January 23, 2011 – Rapunzel: Journey to Wholeness


Reverend David McArthur

The archetypal patterns of our spiritual journey are found in our ancient tales, like “Rapunzel”. In the beginning the woman who will become Rapunzel’s mother wants a beautiful garden flower very badly, thinking, “if I get that, I’ll be just fine.” But there is a cost for relying on the outer world for fulfillment. It will not fulfill who you are. It does not have that power.

Losing control of Rapunzel, the witch puts her in the tower. Her hair represents the long-focused thought or out-pouring of the brain. But our brains focus on fear. When we’re in fear we don’t connect with the whole of life. Rapunzel herself represents the feminine in all of us, the feelings of beauty and harmony (for which the men in our society get no support). Our growing spirituality – feelings of the Presence – are isolated in lots of us, as is Rapunzel so isolated in the tower. So she sang, her beautiful voice symbolizing attunement gained through meditation in silence. Her beautiful singing attracts the prince, who symbolizes thought, mind, knowledge. He lives with the King (God) and so the prince knows he a child of God. I’m a child of God. Rapunzel learns from the prince that she’s a child of God. I’m a spiritual being, living in a spiritual world, governed by spiritual laws. We come to awareness through focusing on spiritual things. We awaken to the power of choice.

The witch cut Rapunzel’s hair and sent her to the desert. The desert is depression. So Rapunzel no longer had choice or the support of her knowing. There is no stimulus in the desert.

The prince again climbed up the braid of hair only to find the witch, not Rapunzel. He does not choose to be with fear and so he leaps out the window. He falls in the thorny bushes below. He feels pain. He goes blind. When we run into pain we go blind – not seeing the divine, not seeing the truth. We say, “Why did God do this?” “How come I have to go through this?” It is painful. Giving up fear means you have to give up the drama. That is painful for many of us.

We must move from knowing to being. Rapunzel returns to singing, to being in harmony, to attunement. So the beauty she is comes back into her life. The prince hears her. When she sees the pain and blindness of the prince she responds with tears of compassion. Compassion heals pain. You find healing. Vision is restored. We’re able to know and understand. The power comes from within, not from anything without. Choose a greater state of being. Experience a new state of consciousness and live happily ever after.

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