From the article “What Can We Learn From Bad Trips?“ published in EntheoNation.
“In a society that so prizes pleasure over pain, we are conditioned to regard difficult experiences as “bad” and avoid them at all costs. This encourages an energy-sucking struggle to shut out challenging material, such as traumatic memories and painful emotions. As we confront the shadow, we redirect this energy, opening the doorway to cognitive potential – a process Jung likened to alchemical transmutation, from “base metal” to “gold.” When we integrate shadow content instead of fleeing, we take crucial steps toward manifesting the Self, our true nature, in the here and now.
Though we often flee the shadow, we see the necessity of its confrontation reflected in countless stories. Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter must face and integrate their internal connections to Vader and Voldemort in order to manifest their heroic nature. Frodo Baggins must endure the sadistic call of Sauron to destroy the Ring of Power. Dante must descend through nine rings of Inferno, for only in descending the underworld can he ascend into Paradiso.”