We all shed tears. We cry when we are sad, but also when we are glad, surprised by beauty, love, or touched by other deeply felt and uniquely human experiences. Tears, and our access to them are part of what makes us human, and when we cannot find our tears we have lost a vital link to feeling, whether for another or a part of ourselves. In their negative aspect, tears can signify the falseness of crocodile tears or affective hardening and bitterness; teardrop tattoos represent experiences of violence. In this episode Deb, Lisa and Joseph circumambulate various aspects of the significance of tears, using the touchstones of fairy tales, alchemy, myth, religion and more to uncover the importance of tears, especially in their redemptive, or whole-making, aspect.
Here’s the dream we discuss:
“I was a prince in a European kingdom in the Middle Ages. I was gathered with the royal family in a small but lavish room of our castle. The kingdom was suffering due to the ineptitude, corruption, and libertinism of the royal family. One princess was a harlot and drained funds that ought to have been spent on the people. I conspired with the monk, robed in black, to kill the royal family in order to save the kingdom. I slaughtered all of them with my sword. I even killed the children present, feeling the cruelty of my act, because I knew that if I let them live they would grow up to take revenge on me. There was gallons of blood. After the killing was done, I was physically and emotionally drained, and I didn’t know if I had actually saved the kingdom or committed pointless slaughter. The kingdom was nearly empty, for much of the populace had fled earlier due to the royal family’s corruption.”