Most transformations work like vortexes don't they? You're feeling ok at one end, but something's calling from the other, and as you stare down that long tunnel trying to pinpoint the source of the call you are simultaneously pulled in and pushed back. The call is alluring but the tightness of the tunnel, its odd scent and uncomfortable heat, its chaos and unpredictability - you can't even see where it leads - puts you off the journey. But you've heard the call's whispered promise, and suddenly your place is not ok. It's a desert's walk in search of water; futile and lonely - all your friends have gone into the tunnel. So you can't sit still, but neither can you move... As you wait the tunnel waits also, feeding off your energy and growing in size. Soon it has consumed everything in the universe except you; and as you sit there, with bleeding fingers stapled to the ground, IT looms above with its mouth wide and eyes fierce like a cobra posing in the sky, preparing to strike. Trembling and crying you pine: why? Why me? Why now? What hell is this and what have I done to get here? You utter a final scream right before it engulfs you and pulls you to pieces.
Then you awake, and - oh, what horrid nightmares! Splintered images of red dragons and cruel laughter; you shake them off. Recomposed, you look around and remember it was from here that you originally departed. This place, which once seemed liked a desert, is full of life. There's food and drink, music, and people too. Eyes catch yours, and outreached arms pull you close, close enough to allow only warm skin to separate beating heart. What happened? Where did you go? Your friends find you and welcome you back. They say they missed you and they felt sorry for you, though they knew you'd make it eventually. They joke about the "cloudy tunnel" and soon you are laughing with them. You realise your death was you birth and you join in with the festivities celebrating your return.
The tunnel is real only insofar as you believe it is. It is created by your fear of change. When you stare down its narrow and dark corridors you are staring into your own resistance. You can't see where the tunnel ends because you can't see an end. But when you finally let go you are instantly transported to "the other side" - your original location. It's quite a journey walking the imaginal tunnel, with its misty walls and walls of mist, because eventually it begs you to consider whether the tunnel is transforming you or whether you are transforming the tunnel. You will constantly encounter tunnel after tunnel in your journey - some will be insignificant, some will be life challenges - but you must go through them, slowly or quickly. Hopefully you'll go through the main one early, the tunnel of tunnels (so called because it dissolves all other tunnels), and you'll realise there was nothing ever to be afraid of.
I originally planned to write a quick little entry about the similarities between transformations and tunnels. I thought the tunnel analogy worked as a rather ubiquitous representation of the struggles many of us go through: from a place of calm, through a period of change, back to a stead state. However, as I was writing the tunnel idea shifted from being about transformations in general to transformations of a particular kind: overcoming the fear-based mind. This is because in my experience this challenge is key. So I guess the analogy could be a little muddled: is it about going through a challenge in the outer world (in a relationship, through a period of growth, etc.) or is it specifically about coping with exaggerated psychological fears (in my case anxiety)? Probably both but tending toward the latter. It is interesting that this happened because it shows how deeply I am attuned to this pattern/task. The tunnel is consuming me and eventually I'll have to be sucked into it. I'm hoodwinked by its forms though and still shuffle anxiously through the days. Although I've let go a couple of times and become grounded again but like I wrote you have to do this again and again day after day until it is automatic. Then there will be other fears that arise, different fears. I wish there was a specific reason "why" I fear people but the reasons are many and complicated. But anyway, I like the tunnel analogy and it seems to fit my experience. Perhaps the "transformation" angle could be used to intentionally mislead the reader while the other meaning creeps up and surprises them? It sure did with me!