Monday, May 2, 2011

Onalaska's Tower

When the word Tower appears in mythology it usually indicates some sort of inflexible MENTAL CONSTRUCT. Think of the TOWER tarot card; which indicates that change is occurring and in order to adapt to it the rigid structure of expectation must be dismantled.

The question that Onalaska poses is simple: that of Hamlet; To be or not to be. Whether 'tis simpler to end life than to re-orient to a new paradigm. In her case it was the end of the tribal/wilderness empire and the onset of Euro/exploitation. She clung to the disappearing reality to the point of disappearing herself.

Perhaps the iconic image of her is not hurling off the cliff but rather poised at the edge. That is what gives it resonance right now- 2011; we are on the edge. The new world is coming and a certain (perhaps uncomfortable) adaptation is required.

There is contained in this iconography a mighty paradox: the leap. At the threshold a leap often represents the unknowing step into faith: a courageous affirmation of willingness to leave the known. In her case the leap was to the end of her life. It is a romantic notion to die for your principles. To take your child with you rather than let it live a life you cannot fathom.

Her hopes were dashed
on the rocks below.

But the image of her hurling to her demise may not represent a failure at all, or a succumbing: it could well be Dying to the Self which is a choice and represents empowerment.

Certainly if our next evolutionary leap as a species is to an interconnectedness of mind & will & spirit then the abdication of one's personal ego/will is a vital element of each individual's evolution. Her leap is not a tragedy at all, but an advanced form of development.