Through analysis we examine the elemental details, the structural parts that make up the whole. Analysis is an exercise of the intellect, using words and formulae as its media. In analysis, complex integrated structures are reduced to their component parts - analysis operates as a sword, dividing the whole into the many.
In western culture, the identification of the sword with the word is an ancient one. In the Bible, we see the "sword of the spirit" equated with "the word of God,"1 then from out of the mouth of the apocalyptic Jesus a sharp sword issues to strike down the damned,2 the so-called "sword of truth". Throughout history, the sword is also seen as a symbol of division, conflict, aggression and war. In both its martial and analytical aspects, the sword has much in common with the historic perception of the masculine.
An unsheathed sword can be a dangerous weapon. In dividing the whole into the many, it easily separates "the us" from "the them", the familiar from the foreign, the friend from the enemy. What will guide the reductionist sword - prejudice, ignorance and intolerance? Without synthesis to balance it, analysis falls into error, the part is mistaken for the whole, the trivial for the significant.
Further, the analytical approach can become completely lost when applied inappropriately to psychological and spiritual metaphors which were never intended for dissection. For it is only by metaphor that the mind can perceive that which is beyond words, the realms of the spiritual and the divine. Analysis so often attempts to take poetic language and visual metaphors literally and out of context, rather than letting the whole point to the higher realities that lie beyond. Thus, in the history of Christianity, we see the reported words of Jesus, such as "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword."3 used to justify acts of cruelty and murder, such as the crusades, witch burnings and the slaughter of heretics. By isolating metaphoric language and treating it literally, it can be used in ways which many would believe to be directly opposite to its intended meaning.
In this analysis of my experiences, I will try to balance the search for rational understanding with both an appreciation of the integral whole and a sensitivity to its metaphoric dimension. I seek to apply what I have experienced in union with the Inner Beloved, that intuitive analysis - the joining of analysis and intuition - which often brings us much closer to the truth than either would in isolation. As in the visualization of the sword crossed by the rose pictured on the home page, one aspect of the integration with the Inner Beloved is the overlay of the sword of the intellect with the rose of the creative intuition.