The image of Frankenstein’s creation illustrates what was called in the past the Guardian of the Threshold very clearly. The Guardian, like Frankenstein’s creation, are made of many different people or bodies. We face, in the Guardian, what we have created in our long past; the many personalities assumed, and lives lived, by our core self or spirit. See: Archetype of the Shadow.

In one of the old western traditions in which people were guided to make this journey into their inner world, the illusionary imagery and environments were called the psychic world. One was warned that at some point you would meet The Dweller or Guardian of the Threshold. Sometimes this was illustrated as a shadowy and perhaps frightening figure, the sort we often meet in scary dreams. If you could face the Dweller without running away, the realm you enter beyond the Guardian was described as the meeting with all the forces you had perhaps unwittingly released or created in the past. They are the factors or experiences out of which the waking experience of your life has been woven. In the past this was called one’s fate, kismet, or karma. Today we tend to think of it as the many influences carried from genes, birth and early childhood, that shape the way we respond in our daily life. In other words, inherited tendencies, cultural programming and psychological traumas. But the Guardian also represented influences from prior to ones present birth.

Not only is it a guardian, but also, if you meet it without fear and pass the tests it presents you with, it is also a guide and companion on the journey. If you meet this by actually facing the ’scary monster’ of a nightmare, a similar thing happens – you meet forces that arise from the past and shape your present personality.

Any deeper exploration of the unconscious shows that it is not simply one’s infancy and its problems that we face. There are influences streaming from the long past through the body that we have inherited. There are the family influences and massive inputs from the culture we were born into, and also other intangible forces playing upon our life. As we cut through the images and drama of the dream creator, we begin to discover and gain insights into this incredible process of creation that forms and guides our life. See Levels of Awareness; Inner World

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