Myths, are true stories that never happened. And yet, these stories, which transcend space (where they originated) and time (when they were conceived) can help us not only understand our lives but also improve and empower our existence. This is the third and last part of the Chiron newsletters. The other two: Chiron I, and Chiron II
Creativity, in different traditions, is view as the ultimate act of imitatio dei, Latin for “imitation of God.” However, in order to create, one needs a canvas of sort, an empty slate, emptiness. To reach that state of nullification, many of us resort to self-destruction. Our choice of tools and methods for reaching that place of self annihilation and the emptiness that follows, may differ. We might choose to escape through drugs, sugar, carbs, work, sex, destructive relationships etc. Each of us, harbors an imperfection, a shadow, something that blocks us, resists and pushes back. This shadow allows us to attract an equal and opposite force, which manifests as our creativity. And our creative force is what makes us perfect. Our imitation of God, creator. Keeping the balance between light and dark, is not only part of being human, it is what defines us.
The wounded healer archetype embodies this balance of light and dark, joy and pain, divine and human. It was Chrion’s wound and imperfection that made him a perfect healer and teacher. He gained his immortality because of his deadly afflictions. The myth ensures us that the gods will grant us immortality when we recognize, accept, and assimilate our shadow. Our true potential dwell in our shadow. It is clothed in our imperfection.
Think again of Chiron who was abandoned by his mother because she thought he looked hideous. What can be a worse wound to a baby than the rejection and scorn of his mother, who after seeing her newborn begged the gods to transform her to a tree so that no one will ever say her son “looks like his mother.” But because of this wound, Artemis and Apollo adopted him. The message is clear: right when we feel abandoned and lonely due to our imperfections, the Moon and the Sun take us under their light-feathered wings.
Examples for perfections in imperfections:
What makes your favorite pair of jeans perfect? Not the fact that their are impeccable denim. The compliments you get are most likely due to their imperfections, the rips, distress, tears etc. We pay a lot of money for people in the denim factory to take a perfectly beautiful material and make them seem old, worn out, and stressed!
Why do one million people a year come to a small town in Italy called Pisa? these tourists from all around the globe are not interested in the beautiful white and perfectly built cathedral, but rather in its crooked 4 degrees tilted freestanding bell-tower. Why would anyone travel long distances to marvel at an imperfect building? There is controversy regarding the original designer of the worldwide known tower. Some say he fled the city when his fatal mistake was discovered. Fled? Ran away? Why? He should have the main boulevard of the city named after him. Without his mistake the city would have probably drifted into obscurity. He single-handedly secured Pisa’s economy for centuries with his imperfect calculations.
Iwao Takamoto was born in the City of Angels but since his family was Japanese, they were sent to an interment camp in WWII. This imperfect incarceration turned to be perfect for the young man as it was there he discovered art and was taught the secrets of Japanese animation. He later became a renowned animator, director and producer of shows in Disney (Sleeping Beauty) Hanna Barbera (Scooby-Doo) and Warner Brothers. While working at Hanna-Barbera, Mr Takamoto was asked to develop a lovable dog character that would appeal to a worldwide audience. In other words, they wanted a dog everyone could love. Well, what better dog breed than a Great Dane, after all, they are great. But what Takamoto did is unexpected, here it is in his own words:
A Great Dane breeder talked [to me] about the important points of a Great Dane, like a straight back, straight legs, small chin and such. I decided to go the opposite and gave [Scooby-Doo] a hump back, bowed legs, big chin and such. Even his colour is wrong.
Takamoto created an imperfect Great Dane. If these dogs are known for their bravery, he made Scooby a coward. If they have a deep reverberating bark, he made Scooby’s dissonance and awkward. Takamoto created the most famous dog in cartoons by bringing out his imperfections. Why? Cause it gave birth to a perfect character that resonates with kids across space and time.
Old myths and new myths alike, imperfections turns out to be perfections. I hope this inspires you to dig deep into your shadow and liberate your perfections by accepting and loving your imperfections. For it is your imperfections that will live long after your death in the form of your creation, art, words, relationships, and the love and healing they generate. Those will be your immortality, your constellation in the sky.