Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hen and Egg

The sense of Self needs to be released from bondage and emerge as a new creature, with a new base and foundation. Whether this is a psychological event or mystical one, it is definitely experiential.

In being felt, understanding deepens. There is a perception of actuality, of something real but transcendent unfolding. Belief does not seem to be a factor, neither abstract intellectual grasping.

It is like a mist gradually clearing and revealing the outlines of the moon, whereas before only a vague, diffuse light could be discerned. It is a natural movement manifesting as one returns over and over to a state of watchfulness, like a hen who broods over her nest waiting for the egg to hatch.

One senses how inappropriate and useless are any mechanisms attempting to force or hurry this process. All that is required, and all that is possible, is to diligently, mindfully watch.

"And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch" Mark 13:37

We need only be present, observing the energetic currents as they flow back and forth like waves at the beach or the tide in its rhythms.

This, it seems, is the real deal. This is where the action is.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

At last the old joke is actualized in one's own experience, when we realize . . .

. . . we are both.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Hare

I was staring into a large aquarium in which a rabbit was sinking head-first toward the gravel bottom. The animal paused in its descent and looked out at me. I could see it was not distressed, and was in fact calmly holding its breath underwater. I got the impression it had been doing so for a very long time already.

Then I woke up and mulled over this peculiar dream, wondering what it was trying to convey. Water is a symbol of spirit, but why would a rabbit be spending time in that?

I picked up my current book, "Man and His Symbols" by C. G. Jung, then flipped a page and immediately read: "The second stage of human life is characterized by the Hare, in which the individual is starting to become socially adapted."

Hmmm. A rabbit, then a hare?  Seemed a bit on the synchronous side.

That night I went to a lecture on the Mayan calendar. At the front of the room was a statue of the Mayan fertility goddess Ixchel, characterized by - guess what? - a rabbit!

Whoa. Synchronicity seemed to be closing in. It appeared that my unconscious was pretty determined to communicate something to the rest of me. Was I getting the message though?

Perhaps it was saying that denial of one's life is an act of self-betrayal, and that inner light needs to be taken from under the bushel basket and allowed to shine.

Or maybe, that to assume oneself "not good enough" is to pronounce God a failure - a deity capable of making mistakes.

Or that staying stuck in a developmental phase allows primal wounds to remain unhealed, and that a soul's journey needs to be understood, accepted and embraced so it can be set free from wherever it is trapped.

Possibly it was just pointing out the obvious - that my creativity and sociability have been submerged long enough and it is time to express them in a new and fertile way.

So I opted for an experiment:

I headed to a Goodwill thrift store to see what might be there as confirmation. I knew this would have to be pretty special - not your typical Easter bunny or cartoon rabbit figurine. It would have to really fit the sober synchronicities that had already been presented.

So I went in like someone picking up a layaway, as though I already knew what was there.

And inside I found . . . a hare

Not looking not down toward the bottom of the fish tank,

But rather up . . . toward the stars.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dragon Breath

Our real need is not to feel “good” in some fleeting, transitory way, but rather to integrate the experiential journey that brought us to where we now stand. This process may be painful, yet it is necessary for assimilating and viscerally comprehending the implications of that vast trek.

We need to trace the currents and sub-currents of psychic events that have composed this journey and discern the overall shape of their flow. We need to understand how our reality has been formed, deformed and reformed in the process, in order to see ourselves as we really are. We need to reach a more sober and stable energetic state, in which emotional and intellectual movements are coherent with our life-intent.

We should not position our attitudes such as to be indifferent about what has happened. Nor sink into useless condemnation and justification – either of ourselves or others. Rather, we should embrace the experience in its entirety, as its parents and co-creators.

Our darkest shadows have played out onto both the personal and world stages. Yes, we have witnessed the amazing and incomprehensible, not to mention the utterly repugnant.

We have in fact found the enemy, and he is in fact us. Yet any response short of responsible acceptance is a denial of truth, a pushing back into the unseen and the unconscious of what we paid dearly to bring into the light of awareness.

In our bodies, in their very cells, we feel the energetic reality of existence, the dynamism fueling each step that manifests in this moment of decision. Here is the power to go forward, to “move on” with confidence and composure. The dragon has breathed its fire into our lungs and enflamed our hearts.

Yet, whatsoever we deny about our experience and ourselves depletes the future by depriving the present of the rich complexity of all-possibility. With such immense power, we can easily bury ourselves in an early grave.

Or . . . we can build a mountain from which to survey this world

Anew . . . and from on high.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Potter

The priest announced that Lent was nearly half over and that we should “redouble our efforts.”

What “efforts”? To not eat meat or dairy products? I am fasting, diligently in fact. But it seems like no big deal.  Certainly no herculean effort.

Of course, true "fasting" involves more than that. Its purpose is to cleanse the whole person of toxins, both physical and spiritual.  Beyond not eating certain things, it should include the obvious no-no’s - like not breaking the Ten Commandments.

Yet none of this, even if perfectly executed, would necessarily evidence spirituality or wholeness. What do fasts and renunciate behaviors really matter to God, who looks at the heart?

What counts is my inner state, and this remains an impenetrable fog of un-reconciled, un-reconcilable dissatisfactions that coalesce into a yearning for the warmth of true love - a yearning that has never been met. I feel like a child weeping in the dark that sees itself as both unloved and unlovable, longing to appease a Parent that long ago showed (or so I’ve come to believe) that this was ultimately impossible.

Perhaps from time to time a temporary reprieve occurs, an experience of sharing and affection with someone, maybe even a fleeting moment of happiness or peace.

Then the darkness swirls back in. Despair hits again – and in that same old spot which is already bruised and wounded beyond all hope of healing.

The world then seems a weary and miserable place, and life itself no great gift.  But such an attitude is pure ingratitude, despondency.  What to do?

I am advised to “resist the devil” and to be submissive to God's omniscient will. I am reminded that the created object has no right to critique its Creator; the pot should not demand explanations of the Potter who formed it.

What consistent counsel! How very much like what my own parents drove home with their incessant mantra about how children should not “talk back” when scolded or disciplined.

So, our amazing and supposedly all-powerful God is just as insecure as my human mother and father, who in their surpassing maturity could not endure a child’s expressions of helpless grief and rage.

I want to forget them all.

To hell with parents and lovers and deities that need a person to be “just so” in order to merit their affection and approval – which they never give 100% anyway.

To hell with wagging one's tail in order to placate another person's misplaced fury, and betraying oneself over and over and over in the process.

To hell with carrying the burden of not being good enough, strong enough, smart enough, together enough . . .  anything enough.

To hell with being held responsible for how someone else is feeling, as though whatever is wrong in that person's life is my fault.

Let the dead bury their own dead.