Taken from - Women Who Run With The Wolves - Clarissa Pinkola Estés, P64 - Tales of Blackbeard, Naiveté & The Predator Within
Even though from a book aimed at females - I see that this applies equally to both men and women as we all have our instinctive, natural nature.
“So, when women dream of the natural predator, it is not always or solely a message about the interior life. Sometimes it is a message about the threatening aspects of the culture one lives in, whether it be a small but brutal culture at the office, one within their own family, the lands of their neighbourhood, or as wide as their own religious or national culture. As you can see, each group and culture appears to have its own natural psychic predator, and we see from history that there are eras in cultures during which the predator is identified with and allowed absolute sovereignty until the people who believe otherwise become a tide.
While much psychology emphasises the familial causes of angst in humans, the cultural component carries as much weight, for culture is the family of the family. If the family of the family has various sicknesses, then all families within that culture will have to struggle with the same malaises. In my heritage, there is a saying ‘cultura cura’, culture cures. If the culture is a healer, the families learn how to heal; they will struggle less, be more reparative, far less wounding, far more graceful and loving. In a culture where the predator rules, all new life needing to be born, all old life needing to be gone, is unable to move and the soul-lives of its citizenry are paralysed with both fear and spiritual famine.
Why this intruder which, in women’s dreams, most often takes the shape of an intrusive male, seeks to attack the instinctual psyche and its wildish knowing powers in particular, no one can say for certain. We say it is the nature of the thing. Yet we find this destructive process exacerbated when the culture surrounding a woman touts, nourishes and protects destructive attitudes toward the deep instinctual and soulful nature. Thusly, these destructive cultural values - to which the predator avidly agrees - grow stronger within the collective psyche of all its members. When a society exhorts its people to be distrustful of and to shun the deep instinctual life, then an auto-predatory element in each individual psyche is strengthened and accelerated.
Yet even in an oppressive culture, in whichever women the Wild Woman still lives and thrives or even glimmers, there will be ‘key’ questions asked, not only the ones we find useful for insight into ourselves but also ones about our culture. ‘What stands behind these proscriptions I see in the outer world? What goodness or usefulness of the individual, of the culture, the earth, of human nature has been killed or lies dying here?’ As these issues are examined, the woman is enabled to act according to her own abilities, according to her own talents. To take the world into one’s arms and to act toward it in a soul-filled and soul-strengthened manner is a powerful act of wildish spirit.
It is for this reason that the wilding nature in women must be preserved - and even, in some instances, guarded with extreme vigilance - so that it is not suddenly abducted and garrotted. It is important to feed this instinctive nature, to shelter it, to give it increase, for even in the most restrictive conditions of culture, family or psyche, there is far less paralysis in women who have remained connected to the deep and wild instinctual nature. Thought there may be injury if a woman is captured and/or tricked into remaining naive and compliant, there is still left adequate energy to overcome the captor, to evade it, to outrun it, and eventually to sunder and render it for their own constructive use.”
Breathe the change you wish to see in the world.