The word Metanoia is a transliteration of the Greek (μετάνοια), and can be defined as a transformative change of heart; especially a spiritual conversion. Metanoia derives from the Ancient Greek word “metá” (μετά: meaning beyond or after), and “noeō” (νόος: meaning perception, understanding or mind), and can take on different meanings, depending upon its contexts.
Alchemy Of The Mind:
Metanoia is best described as an alchemical transmutation of our consciousness; alchemy of our mind, esoterically speaking that is. Unfortunately, the (inner) meaning of Metanoia became blurred over time as it underwent a doctrinal Christianization. The hidden meaning of Metanoia became veiled, as the church began imprinting their own dogmatic interpretations upon it, centered on religious repentance, and the atonement of our sins, as it took on a more exoteric (outer) meaning,
However, if you’re an alchemist like me, the biblical renderings of Metanoia condemnations are incorrect, or simply not enough to satisfy our spiritual thirst in our quest for ultimate truth. As an alchemist we always dig deeper for esoteric meaning.
Carl Gustav Jung, Metanoia:
In Petrushka Clarkson book, “On Psychotherapy” he states,
Carl Gustav Jung implemented the re-usage of the word Metanoia in his psychology practices, to indicate it as a spontaneous attempt of the psyche to heal itself of unbearable conflict by melting down and then being reborn in a more adaptive form, a form of self healing, often associated with a midlife crisis and/or psychotic breakdown, which he viewed as a “potentially” very productive process.
Carl Gustav Jung, The Shadow Self:
Petrushka Clarkson further states,
Jung considered that psychotic episodes in particular could be understood as an existential crisis, which might be an attempt at self-reparation. In such instances metanoia could represent a shift in the balance of the personality, away from the “persona” and instead, towards the shadow and thy self.
As Jung so eloquently and perfectly said,
“To confront a person with his own shadow, is to show him his own light.”
The Hero’s Journey:
Metanoia is not just a word, it’s an experience, a pivotal tipping point, the plot in the narrative story of our own Hero’s journey; a culminating realization that we must die so we can live, we must be blind so we can see. We must face our shadow self head on so we can free ourselves of our inner turmoils, addictions, and sufferings, in hopes of finding our inner light, often hiding, but always residing inside.
We must learn how to love ourselves completely, without conditions, or judgments upon other. We must learn how to forgive ourselves, and above all, forgive all others so, we can learn to embrace all of humanities shortcomings. We must accept full responsibility for everything good or bad in our lives, and we must truly believe that every hurt, pain, tragedy, loss, and set back we’ve ever experienced are merely stepping stones in this life of ours; a life that we have chosen to live in. This body is only temporary so own it, all of it, and make the very best of it!
Order Does Not Beget Order:
Be willing to go a little crazy, forget everything you’ve ever been told, and be willing to question everything you’ve newly discovered. Rediscover who you are, find your tribe, and above all else, find a way to be thankful for the muck, because order will undoubtedly emerge from all the chaos. Order does not beget order, only chaos can do that, as that’s how the Universe emerged.
Initiates Of The Flame:
Now, if you’re fortunate enough to be consumed by the fire, you’ll find a torch amidst the blackness of the cave, and if you’re able to get past your own shadow, you’ll emerge renewed by the Vulcan flame.
And suddenly, one day, you will close your eyes, but you will finally see, and you will know without a shadow of doubt, an Initiate within you was born.
© Written by Carrie Love
Photography by Noell S. Oszvald