Archive for category Loving
We howled when they came and took Al for a walk, and not us. Later we heard their car returning but Al was not back from his walk. They came to pat and stroke us, and we felt a great sadness in their stroke, which made us feel uncomfortable. I felt wet drops of rain on my coat even though there was no rain. Where was Al?
Later at supper time, as I eagerly awaited my bowl, and ate quickly in case Al made a charge for my food, I noticed that Al was still not back. That night I curled up with mum without having to fight for my place. During the night mum became restless and started to bark at every shadow. Al was always the one who would go and see if everything was alright. They kept coming out to stroke us with the same sadness in their stroke and their words. Where was Al?
We sniffed his trial of scent to find him but each time it led to the gate. We kept picking up his scent for many days as it grew fainter. As long as his scent remained, we wondered when he would return. Where was he? Any time now he will come storming and jumping in wild abandon. In time the last trails of his lingering scent disappeared too. All that remained of his scent were my memories. In the dark of the nights I often caught a familiar scent and I moved to make a space for him.
At this time of the year the word gift is prominently on people mind but have you ever given it any further thought? In the runic alphabet, the rune Gyfu has the meaning of gift. It is shaped like the Roman letter X and it was used to denote things dedicated to the gods. According to a rune poem Gyfu is “To people, giving is an ornament of value, and to every outsider without any order, it is substance and honour.”
Whether you believe in a divine being or not to give a gift always indicates a belief in something greater than yourself. For when you give a gift you are reaching out to something outside of yourself in recognition that something outside of yourself exists and the gift becomes the token of the desire to link yourself with that which you wish to honour in recognition.
Symbolically, Gyfu describes the gift of one’s own ability or talent in service to another. Ability itself, or talent, was viewed as a gift to the individual from the gods. When anything is given, a relationship is established between the giver and the receiver. In this world when we give a gift it is a direct reflection of our talent or abilities, for even in choosing a shop bought gift we are using our abilities to choose through our personal vision what the other whom we wish to honour might like. In other words we are looking at the other through our personal vision and are recognizing their uniqueness through the symbol of the particular gift. In reflection upon ourselves the gift is a symbol of what we have to give, thus our abilities and talents that we are able to give to the world.
Gyfu also signifies the unifying effect that a gift makes between the donor and the recipient of the gift. The gift thus expresses the qualities of linking seemingly separate people in a common bond, or even human with the divine. If you look at the symbol of “X” it is two separate lines crossing each other to form a new symbol in unity, thus expressing exactly the implications of giving and receiving. Each one of us has unique talents and abilities when joined with other talents and abilities becomes something greater than the than the individual. It is indeed in sharing our talents and abilities that they grow and mature and become a gift to the world. Yet, we need courage to express and give our talents and abilities.
Esoterically Gyfu is the quality personified in the Norse goddess Gefn or Gefjon, the bountiful giver, the equivalent of the goddess Abundantia, formerly worshipped in central Europe. This further elucidates the meaning of the gift, for we can only give something when we feel that we have something to give. It is only when we are able to give that abundance will follow.
In modern usage, Gyfu is the sigil used to represent a kiss. This is perhaps the most intimate form of the gift, for when we kiss another we truly give our being in union with another. So the fire of a greater passion fills body and soul possessed by the deepest desire for full embrace and intimacy, union – the fire of love is set ablaze, actual, real, full and true. So it is with a gift given in the spirit of love; we take the best of our abilities, of what we symbolically are and gift it to another to honour what they represent to us in gratitude of what their being in this world have brought to us. By simply knowing the other, we have grown and was given a new vision of being, a gift more precious than any material token can symbolize.
I will like to use this opportunity to give my deepest gratitude to all whom have crossed my path to form the symbol of Gyfu to my being; a gift to my existence.
with a human being
is so rare,
one should preserve it. – Anais Nin
I dreamed that I found myself upon a ship navigating the ocean. I found myself within a group, standing before a large window, the sun shinning brightly in through it. We had a guide with us. He asked us to cup our hands, and in our hands he poured, a small amount of sea water (marrah – the bitter water). We had to focus ourselves on what we felt were our essence and imbue the water with what we felt. On his command, we had to throw it against the window. Before our eyes; on the window developed, from each splash, an individual pattern, some big and bold, some small and bright, many patterns. Our guide continued, and told us that from these patterns the masseuses would know what deep massage to give each of us, and so bring our healing, and reveal our individual beauty.
So many people when in search of spiritual meaning for life want to withdraw from normal life, go to faraway places and seek enlightenment in isolated environments. Many years ago, I found myself at that point. I wanted go and live in complete isolation, with not even the convenience of electricity. But as I stood at the verge of waving civilization goodbye, I realized that it was the old way. To withdraw from active life would only simply be an escape. If you truly want to test your spiritual mettle, you have to live in the real world, walk your talk.
In the process of preparing I did at least learn a lot about lost crafts and what living without modern conveniences entails. One of the most enlightening aspects was being without communication; no TV, no news or any other direct form of communication. First thing that I observed was that all that really mattered was what happened in the here and now. If anything happened in the wide world that would affect me, the wave would reach me sooner or later. I realized during that time that what you need to know will come to you when you need to know it. Often it will come to you through the most unexpected sources or you will find it where you least expect it. What this in itself taught me was to live with greater awareness of what transpires around me. What does the sudden song of the bird evoke in me, what does the gentle breeze stir in me? It also taught me that no encounter with another human being, no matter how brief, is ever without meaning. Each person that you meet is a messenger of the divine.
Relationships are the basis of our existence. Relationships exist not just between two people but it is every interaction that happens between anything. In itself one can replace the word relationship with that of alchemical interaction. Every relationship that you experience changes you forever. The encounter with another always leaves an imprint on your soul and prepares you for your relationship with the divine.
Our primary relationship is with ourselves. This is the one relationship that you will have throughout your life. This relationship affects and colours every other relationship you have. If you have a stormy relationship with yourself so it will be reflected in your outer relationships as well, If you are judgmental of yourself you will be so with everyone else. Even our relationship with our environment is reflected in this.
I went up the mountains for a walk in the Fynbos Biosphere. I stood in a gorge looking at a picture that is immaculate in its serene beauty. Straight ahead is a waterfall that drops into a calm rock pool, reflecting the sheer cliffs surrounding it. Ferns, Restios, trees, clings to the rock face against all odds. Somewhere the renowned Disa Lilly will flower in its season. The rock pool, was begging me to jump in to, interact to feel the water, float and gaze at the clouds pass overhead. Sadly I saw a signboard that said no swimming. I know the rules are there to protect the pristine nature but I felt saddened by it. I had to turn down my invitation to interact. It was not always so. I have had many wonderful swims in such mountain pools but life has become a lot more complicated.
We are allowed to see but not to feel in the depth we can. Our relationships with others have become much so too. We observe but there is a mental fence around us. In general, we interact superficially with others in contrast of how deeply we can. I wonder to myself, I know what is like to fully interact with nature but how many children are there in the world today that has not had that opportunity? Is it the same with relationships; quick sound bites and flash thumbnails of impressions, categorized by previous conditions?
Every encounter that we have is meaningful. Every other human being holds a clue to my own existence. If you are open and aware you will be surprised how much insight every encounter you have with another human being can bring you.
Each encounter, no matter how brief leaves an impression on you and reflects a part of the puzzle of what you as an individual are. If I look back to the sea of faces in my memory certain faces stands out. Some I never even said a word to; just a brief silent communication that said so much, meant so much and then was gone but not from my heart.
Each person is a window into a universe unknown to us. The thirteenth century, Persian mystic Aziz Nasafi wrote that the spiritual world, standing like a light behind the bodily world, shines as through a window through every creature that comes into being. According to the type and size of the window, more or less light enters the world. Each one of us is a window on the Universe, the whole of understanding. When you loose someone you love, it is indeed as if you die too, for a part of you existed only because of your relationship with that particular person. Just as each one us are unique in our identities, so each relationship we form is unique in what it reveal about ourselves. Through the loss of a loved one, a person with whom we shared intimate moments with, we lose a window into ourselves, and we feel a death in ourselves, because that part of us no longer exist in local reality. Yet it is not lost but has just been transformed. We now carry within us what that person has revealed to us.
As specie our strength lies in our ability to co-operate with each other, to pass our insights on to others. There are exoteric (outer) and esoteric ways of seeing the same thing, which is really just different perspectives of the same thing seen, felt and experienced from different angles, neither is wrong in what they see, only by looking at the whole perspective can you see the context of what you are seeing, feeling and experiencing. The eco-functioning of the whole will determine the true function of the aspect each one of us sees from our individual “window “ onto the view of the whole. (See;Elephant )It is through our ability to interact and co-operate that we evolve in consciousness, that we can make a leap in consciousness.
Rather than discrete things and independent events, there are but ripples upon ripples upon waves upon waves in this universe, propagating in a seamless sea. – Ervin Laszlo
I open my eyes
With your name upon my lips
With you I found
With you I shared
my most intimate depths
With you I entered sacred space
and found eternity
in a moment
You touched me
with a reality so clear
brought me beauty
I close my eyes
whispering your name
The white bull with the red tipped horns, rose its head from the land of dreams, the red tips tearing through the black blanket of the night. The light of another day wakes the sleeping beauty of Lady Dawn and gracefully she climbs out from behind the mountain to wake me with a kiss. I open my eyes to a world tinged in deep hues of golden rose. My first thought – fire. The light draws me out into the morning, in awe I stand, bathed in the sacredness of the moment. An invitation to renew my sacred intimacy with life. I turn and feel as if a subtle transformation has taken place inside me.
Sacred Intimacy is the gentle impulse for my soul to unfold like a lotus of countless petals. With infinite tenderness the enlivening rays prods my soul to unfold.
When true intimacy is experienced, the experience is sacred. Even a fleeting moment of sacred intimacy transforms your being. Something has touched the core of you, your soul, and even for a moment it is as if the “black blanket of the night” has parted to reveal a glimpse of divinity, your highest potential.
Within sacred intimacy, you truly experience the eternal now, the timeless present. You feel whole and content in being. It leaves you wrapped in a “heavenly scented” glow and in that glow you are beautiful and divine. Once you have experienced it you are forever changed.
Sacred intimacy is the legendary enlivening ambrosia, the nectar of the gods.
“O novice listen to me: a living Fire animates man; a sexual Fire reproduces him. These are one at their source. Man can either drain this fire for his pleasure, or he can sublimate it into a divine force.”
Her=Bak – Isha Schwaller de Lubicz
Within intimacy the fire flows into a divine force and transforms that which you are. Never again can you climb back into the egg from which you came. You have experienced and you know. You can of course try and forget, if you so wish, but you will only harm yourself. This people often do when they have experienced loss, rather than remembering the beauty of the experience.
Although intimacy is of sexual nature in that two seemingly separate elements unite in a “sacred marriage” and something new is created; you can experience intimacy in all relationships. Whether in a breathtaking moment within a natural environment, with a living creature, with a child, with a parent, with a friend, with a lover, a stranger, and of course yourself, intimacy creates a feeling of unity and contentment, even if just for a moment. It is within the unity of intimacy that our personal being is shaped and hued with the colours of what constitute the “I”. All relationships holds the potential for sacred intimacy. A hidden gift waiting for our discovery.
“The value of the personal relationship to all things is that it creates intimacy and intimacy creates understanding and understanding creates love.” Anais Nin
The need for intimacy is like a hunger within us. A hunger that only the “nectar of the gods” will satisfy. Intimacy is shy at its initiation. Two people feel themselves suddenly shy in each other’s presence. Both become aware of an inner vulnerability, yet knowing that there is the potential for pain, they submit to each other in the open trust of children.
We know there is a potential for intimacy when a curiosity draws us to another. We become aware that we are curious to know the other.
“The lion knows how to track; I her-Bak, do not know how to seek.”
“Learn, then! First of all you must achieve curiosity.”
“But is Asfet not curious? He scoffs at hidden teaching, but listens eagerly for its feeblest echoes.”
“That is a kind of indiscretion; curiosity is something different: it is a sponge made for absorbing water, but dry; in other words, it is thirst for knowledge, it is a poverty of which one is aware.
“Now the soul knows everything, but it does not formulate. If one becomes conscious without knowing how to formulate, then one is poor, restless, thirsty, curious.”
“Then it is necessary to dare to admit that one is poor?”
“That is the first condition. That is why vain people know only the unhealthy kind of curiosity: to snap up, copy, and repeat what others have formulated.”
“Ought one not to study the scriptures of the Sages?”
“Certainly, they are excellent for orientating and guiding one’s inner research which alone gives Understanding. That is why healthy curiosity draws out of itself the elements of all problems and creates by its desire the contact with the thing it wants to know.”
“What then have I that I could draw out of myself? O Pasab, I am poor!”
Pasab laughed. “Very good! Everything of which you have become aware in your varied trades and experiences is a real acquisition: it is memory of the soul and not of your brain. Awaken this consciousness so you can extend it to that which you wish to understand; in Nature everything is linked with everything else, and you are part of this Nature; observe outside, observe inside: you will be surprised when you begin to see the relations between things, and little by little their living interplay. Then do not be impatient, go on listening … and then begin once more, until the acquired consciousness can be formulated without effort; thus you will understand what you have known.”
“O my Master, will I have so much patience?”
“If your thirst is not enough, leave it, and remain ‘like the others’!”
Her=Bak – Isha Schwaller de Lubicz
Just so, our hunger, our thirst for intimacy, is a hunger for us to understand ourselves and the world around us.
The metaphor of the sexual act, the union of the divine opposites, the merging of the sacred, mundane and divine is what we desire in intimacy. Are we afraid, do we feel ourselves not worthy, because we fear our own imperfectability? When we make love to the god/goddess in the other, we elevate not only the other, but also ourselves, for we deem ourselves worthy.
For me spirituality and sensuality are but facets of one continuum of awareness and sensitivity. I am not speaking about a superficial self-absorbed sensuality, but a sensuality that connects the physical world with to the spiritual. Indeed our humanness feeds the soul. What is the basis of our humanness? Our sensuality; through our senses we are fed information that forms the basis of what constitutes our individual selves.
Radical Conversations is essential for a truly intimate relationship; without it a relationship will stagnate. Yet very few are willing to face the other without the safety of the romantic dream mirror. Michael McKnight who have generously volunteered to provide me with sparks, have posted the following.
THE YEARNING FOR DEEP CONNECTION-
a relationship that goes beyond the Ordinary… that is profoundly caring, is resonant with meaning, and involves feeling of being truly seen and known.
James Hollis talks about “intimacy” as an ongoing conversation.
I find very, very few that seem interested in having the kinds of conversations that Hollis talks aboout
. Most still run……
“And you run, and you run, but the sun is sinking….”
“Radical Conversations” as defined by Hollis:
People assume responsibility for their own psychological well being
They commit to sharing the world of their own experience without reproaching the other for past wounds or future expectations.
Similarly, they are to endeavor to hear, without feeling defensive, the experience of the other.
Commit to sustain this dialog over time… only full sharing of what it is like to be me and hearing what it is like to be you can fulfill the promise of an intimate relationship.
Radical conversations can have emotional,
imaginal, sexual and spiritual dimensions as well as verbal ones.
Before entering this relationship… do you have the strength to withstand a genuine encounter with another? Can you become that vulnerable?
To quell the Holy Longing does one have a choice but to be that vulnerable?
To love unconditionally is to be fearless. Siegfried the Hero had no fear of dragons or another’s sword. He longed to know what fear was. The following is from the moment he gazed upon Brunnhilde, after removing her helmet and breastplate
“That is no man! Magical rapture Pierces my heart; Fixed is my gaze,
Burning with terror; I reel, my heart feels faint and fails!
On whom shall I call, For aid imploring?
Mother! Mother! Remember me!
How waken the maid, Causing her eyelids to open?
Her eyelids to open?
What if her gaze strike me blind!
How shall I dare To look on their light?
All rocks and sways And swirls and revolves;
Uttermost longing Burns and consumes me;
My hand on my heart, Trembles and shakes!
What ails thee, coward?
Is this what fear means?
O mother! Mother! Thy dauntless child!
A woman lying asleep Has taught him what fear is at last!
How conquer my fear?
How brace my heart”
From Siegfried and the Twilight of the Gods – Richard Wagner.
Ironic that the very thing that dissolves fear, causes such fear in the hearts of so many.
To deeply love, we must also be open to be deeply wounded. One can not love deeply without opening oneself to the sureness of becoming deeply hurt. To love deeply will require one to also hurt deeply. It is the wonder of love that it makes you vulnerable. To be vulnerable means to be open. Love lures us beyond our personal boundaries. It is the allurement of love that entices us out of our cocoons of isolation, and allows us to experience life. In the experience of life we taste and absorb experience as nourishment of the soul. Its sweetness and bitterness both alike enrich our being and creates depth to our insights and brings us wisdom that has grown through the tasting of life. It is through love that we realize the interconnectedness of everything. What touch you; touches me.
Not for one moment do I want to feel less vulnerable, than I feel in love. How can I regret being open, rather than closed in fear.
FROM David Whyte:
“We have the strange idea, unsupported by any evidence, that we are loved and admired only for our superb strength, our far-reaching powers, and our all-knowing competency.
Yet in the real world, no matter how many relationships may have been initiated by strength and power, no marriage or friendship has ever been deepened by these qualities. After a short, erotic honeymoon, power and omnipotence expose their shadow underbellies and threaten real intimacy, which is based on mutual vulnerability.
After the bows have been made to the brass god of power, we find in the privacy of relationship that same god suddenly immobile and inimitable to conversation. As brass gods ourselves, we wonder why we are no longer loved in the same way we were at our first appearance. Our partners have begun to find our infallibility boring and, after long months or years, to find us false, frightening, and imprisoning.
We have the same strange idea in work as we do in love: that we will engender love, loyalty and admiration in others by exhibiting a great sense of power and competency. We are surprised to find that we garner fear and respect but forgo the other, more intimate magic.
Real, undying loyalty in work can never be legislated or coerced; it is based on a courageous vulnerability that invites others by our example to a frontier conversation whose outcome is yet in doubt.
We have an even stranger idea: that we will finally fall in love with ourselves only when we have become the totally efficient organized organism we have always wanted to be and left all of bumbling ineptness behind.
Yet in exactly the way we come to find love and intimacy with others through vulnerability, we come to those same qualities in ourselves through living out the awkwardness of not knowing, of not being in charge.
We try to construct a life in which we will be perfect, in which we will eliminate awkwardness, pass by vulnerability, ignore ineptness, only to pass through the gate of our lives and find, strangely, that the gateway is vulnerability itself. The very place we are open to the world whether we like it or not.”
That which I desire most
I also fear most
Facing the Beloved
so utterly vulnerable
Facing the Beloved
the depth of my vulnerability
I know that my kiss
with my Beloved
will devastate me
rip away the fabric
of all I have known
fling me into the
chaos of the unknown
I will face the Other
In the face of the Beloved
I feel joy greater
than I have known before
yet I feel too
an ancient fear
I felt not even
in the face of death
In the nakedness of my vulnerability
I can cling blindly to the joy
or in full awareness
of my vulnerability
with eyes wide open
surrender to the kiss
the call of the Other
not close myself
in fear of the pain
I might face
then I transcend my fear
into the oneness
Only when I release my fear
abandon my safety nets
that I can experience
the true freedom
of no boundaries
To experience the transforming
union of love
I must enter my vulnerability
in full awareness
look the Medusa
straight in the eye
Persephone in innocent wonder, once beheld a flower of exquisite beauty and scent. In delight she reach for it and was plunged into a world she never expected. The simple act of desire brought division between inner and outer, night and dark, and seasons of being.
If you follow a desire, it will lead you into unexplored regions with unexpected situations. Life and its meaning is not what we think it is when we initially start our journey. The very fabric of life is desire. Desire is the basis of creation, the fiery spark from which life comes into being. When desire ceases to exist we are dying. This applies not only to ourselves as individuals but also to the macrocosm. However conversely, the lack of desire also indicates the end of a cycle and leads to an intermediate phase, a time of gestation for a new phase in which the particular desire is transformed into a higher desire.
Desire manifests as a hunger.
Desire is born in the heart and as I discussed in the “broken heart” we have to experience a broken heart many times before we get to our true heart. The same applies to desire as each layer of encrustation will have within it the embryo of the next layer. What we initially think is our true desire is actually a divine trick that will lead us to our true desire. Our true desire lies in the realm of the unknowable, that which is beyond our present boundary of imagination. That which we cannot imagine we cannot venture towards.
When we begin to explore a desire born in our hearts we actually have no idea as to where it will eventually lead us. Yet, if we are faint hearted in this extraordinary journey called life, we will never get to know who we really are and what our true purpose in the biome of life is. Our lives will lack meaning.
It is however, a journey fraught with very real life-threatening dangers and we might indeed not complete our journey in one life time. Yet, to not follow a desire will most certainly also lead to your death for the very essence of survival lies in desire.
When you lose all desire you will not have the will to survive and without the will to survive which is born out of a desire to explore life in order to fulfil your purpose you are like a body without an immume system. When a human being feels they have no purpose they lose their will to live as we see so much in the world today. In the ecosystem of nature every living creature knows their purpose and so will fight for life to their last breath. Even in so-called primitive cultures the will for survival is much stronger than it is in the sophisticated environment of the developed world because fewer and fewer people can see a place for themselves in the society.
Even inappropriate desires, or desires for hurting even for killing another, mask a deeper desire. Those desires are severely distorted desires of true desires. Although we may choose not to act upon certain desires we still have to look at them to see where they spring from. Here I must mention another aspect linked with desire, for desire itself will remain only in potential unless it is linked with the will to act upon it. Always we have the freewill to act upon a desire or not. We may not have control over what desires arises within us but we do have control whether we act upon it. This in itself is the basis of free will which in turn is linked to the principle of uncertainty. Free will is only possible if there is a principle of uncertainty. If everything is predestined and absolutely certain we will not have freewill for all that freewill actually is, is the right to make choices.
If we choose to act upon a desire we will set in motion a series of causes and affects that will guide us to our true destiny. This is where the principle of karma comes into effect, in that each move we make will set off a chain of reaction that will lead to outcomes which are in effect beyond the horizon of both our vision and imagination.
Destiny is the interplay of both the principle of certainty and uncertainty. The how, when and where is uncertain because it involves our free will but the ultimate outcome is certain. It is like a master chess player playing against a novice. The outcome is certain; the master player will ultimately win, but exactly how the master player will win is uncertain; no one can predict what the moves of the novice will be.
Desire is indeed the golden thread that leads to the center of the labyrinth of who we are; the core self, the heart of our being. Desire is the impulse to manifest the intangible, to actualize and realize that which exist only in potential. This we find expressed in both mythical lore and metaphysical teachings.
Nox and Erebus, entwined rises out of chaos, on the edge of utter chaos. Nox is the unconscious form of nature (creation) and Erebus, the latent divine potency. From their first cosmic and elemental embrace, Eros was born. It is Eros who is the driving force behind the entire theogonia, the unfoldment of thought, the liberating agent who releases and activates the creative process of the mind. It is Eros who awakens the ego to its true nature.
In the Kabbalah, will or desire (Ratzon/Keter) is the first expression of Ain Sof in the creative act, for in order to create and sustain creation, God must will or desire to create and sustain creation. The will or desire is the underlying foundation for all the proceeding levels of existence; the initiating principle of creation. It is an emanation of the bornless spirit of God, which although made distinct in the lower levels of existence, is completely inseparable from the infinite or the eternal. In essence, the first emanation of God’s presence and power is the will or desire to create, which precedes creation itself, and that will or desire is what is called Logos and Sophia – the word (the pattern that connects) and wisdom of God.
The richness, the mystery, almost a sense of adventure is what initially attract us to a particular domain of interest. This sparking of interest is instinctive, intuitive. – rich with possibility, endless nuances “chaos of delight” Charles Darwin – Beagle DIARIES
As above so below. If act on a desire we set in motion the creation of future events. If we truly want to find what connects us to the rest of creation and beyond, the past and the future and the eternal, then we must follow the golden thread of desire. In isolation our lives have no meaning. The force that binds us is indeed also the force that liberates us and is the divine spark within us. When our lives have meaning, they become part of a larger structure. Meaning links the individual to the universal. A lack of meaning means that parts of information does not link up with the matrix of the whole of your consciousness, or with the greater world beyond you.
Without desire life looses its meaning, for we no longer have the pattern that connects us with the whole.
I stared to write this blog with the desire to explore the meaning of life and it has indeed led me to the unexpected. When you follow a desire it will also lead you to a place where you will meet an obstacle that will make it seemingly impossible to proceed, and it will feel as if you have indeed lost the desire itself because the obstacle appears just too great. However, if you look into the depths of yourself you will find that the desire did not actually die, that in fact the yearning for that which initiated the desire has become even greater. Now however, it is time for that desire to enter a time of transformation and out of the dry spell will be born something much greater than you could have imagined.
Following a desire is like entering a romantic relationship. Thomas H. Green describes in his book “When the Well Runs Dry” that there are three basic stages of interior growth which correspond to the stages of growth in any romantic relationship. These stages I found to be true in my own spiritual life. The spiritual life is after all an intimate relationship we forge with the Divine and intimate relationship is born out of an initial desire. As with falling in love we strongly feel that destiny has led us to that particular chance meeting; like finding a needle in a haystack. Perhaps even the analogy of using a magnet to find the needle will not be inappropriate, the magnet of course being our personal resonance.
Once we have fallen in love, the three stages will kick in and we must decide whether we want to take it further. The first stage is getting to know the beloved; getting to know that which you desire.
To proceed in a relationship we must first purify our hearts and souls of all that blocks love, thus sacrifice those feelings and emotions that are not of a loving nature. If we decide to proceed with the relationship we will then spend perhaps several years to get to know the beloved before we can move from falling in love to being in love. At this stage in a romantic relationship, we will feel that the passionate feeling have disappeared and we might feel that there is something wrong with the relationship, perhaps we might even feel that we made the wrong choice and end the relationship in search for a better one, or perhaps even abandoning the quest completely having lost faith altogether. This is when the relationships have reached the second part or as Thomas Green calls it; “From Loving to Truly Loving.”
He explains that the love we felt in the beginning, may be but a pale shadow of the genuine love which we discover in the drought, in the dark night” of both a relationship and in our spiritual relationship with the divine. It was good to move from the head to the heart, but now we must learn by experience that “heart” is an ambivalent word; it involves our emotions, but it also involves our will … love which is strongly emotional is essentially self-seeking, concerned with its own pleasure and delight. It is this kind of ‘love’ which makes for intense courtships and short marriages, since the well of emotion will surely run dry.
Perhaps for all of us, the biggest challenge we face in life is finding who we really are; distilling our essence. When you know your true desire, you will know your unique essence. When you know your unique essence, you will operate from a point of integrity, it is simply no longer possible not to. I am not talking about thinking about who you are, but to know who you are, thus to have gnosis of yourself. This is akin to the difference between Theology and Theosophy. Theology means “thinking about god” and Theosophy means “God’s wisdom.” Yet, in both cases we are trying to fathom the unfathomable. In regard to Theology we are trying to reason who are, and in regard to Theosophy we are trying to experience who we are.
Through life’s experiences combined with knowledge, we begin to gain a perspective into who we are, yet, we will reach a stage when we find ourselves in a state of confusion, as one experiences in the Dark Night of the Soul, and you have to admit that who you thought you were, you not really are. What we thought we desired is not truly what we desire.
Going within, we must go deeper still, into the depths of being, the heights of being, passing beyond to enter into the inmost part of the soul, that holy sanctuary of the unique essence .
Rudolf Steiner likened destiny to a hunger: “The human being, when he is born, hungers to do what he does, and he does not give up until he satisfies this hunger.” When we feel a physical hunger, it dominates our choices. When we long for the fulfilment of sexual desire, an appeasement of hunger, there can be no denial of our orientation. Real spiritual desire is a raw as these. We are born with a hunger of some kind that needs fulfilment. It is this hunger that steers our destiny.
One could then see destiny as comprising out of three elements; will, word and becoming or internal desire, expression of that desire, impression of that desire on the external world. “Oftentimes in denying yourself pleasure you do but store the desire in the recesses of your being Who knows but that which seems omitted today Waits for tomorrow? Even your body knows its heritage and Its rightful need and will not be deceived. And your body is the harp of your soul And it is yours to bring forth sweet Music from it Or confused sounds – Kahlil Gibran
The hunger becomes the ‘intent’ because it directs the awareness (the focus) as well as the activity. Focus brings into awareness what you choose to experience. This automatically makes your awareness selective, to fulfil the intent. It is only when we understand the underlying laws of cause and effect that we can achieve any kind of freedom. In the world we live, we are constantly reminded that ignorance of the law does not free you from the penalties you have to pay for breaking it. So logic would have it that the more knowledgeable we are of the laws, the more freedom you will have. The laws of transformation, that demand that we do indeed grow, govern us all. Whether we do it consciously or unconsciously The degree of our freedom depends on the level of our consciousness.
When we blame the external for our challenges,’ just fate, bad luck’, we put ourselves at the mercy of the external, in the hands of fate. If, however, we except responsibility for all that happen to us, we can become the masters of our fate. Freedom comes from inside of us, from the seeking of self-mastery through self-knowledge.
“Self-evolution converts fate into freedom… From a spiritual mind’s eye, history is far from being a random interplay of individuals, societies, and events. Deep below its chaotic surface runs a subterranean river of evolving, ever transforming consciousness, It is this rhythmic, flowing stream which carries humanity from egoless primitivity through cultural complexes towards higher stages of individuality. Thus the sovereign self dips itself time and time again into this river of becoming, continually cleansing the past and adding to its treasure of experience and planetary participation… The I is incontrovertibly committed to its own progress and the world’s evolution – … Time and time again we are free to attract and grasp experience as we ascend the ladder of being and convert potential into actual, imperfection into perfection… Human biography is the transformation of experience into psychological and spiritual growth… Our corporeal body is the magnificent instrument by which soul and spirit express the themes of our destiny. Could Rudolf Nureyev dance in the body of George Bernard Shaw, or Sarah Bernhardt speak through the larynx of Madam Curie? Destiny… is the process whereby we gradually fill eternity and make it personal. Moment by moment, we select for action some of the possibilities swarming out of the future…” William Bryant – The Veiled Pulse Of Time (Life Cycles & Destiny)
Whatever our personal interpretation of fate and destiny, one thing we can be sure of, that in the present lies our freedom to shape our destiny. The patterns of our past will shape our destiny if we allow it. In the present we have the opportunity to change our ideas and therefore the effects of the past; and to change the future by changing our current patterns.
What secret thoughts
threads my dream?
Soft flowing moonlight river
flowing from an unknown distant past
Thoughts leaping like salmon
A haunting desire
calling me back
to the spawning pool
of my ancient source
where time again arises
a dream of a perfect future.
Swim salmon of my dreams
Let your desire and skill
knowledge of the reverse current
that flows secretly
beneath the surface current
take you safely to the place
of your distant birth
dreams of the beloved
daring you to defy
all the dangers
that awaits along
the arduous journey
When you reach
that sacred pool
leap high and catch
the nut of secret wisdom
and awake to new wonder
by the banks of that sacred river.
A question: what is sacred marriage? Is it done between two different people, or within oneself?
I am a firm believer in “as above so below.” Time and again do I see the principle in operation With the sacred marriage it is no different. The sacred Marriage is known in alchemical terms as Hieros Gamos. It basically means the union of all opposites as symbolised by the conjunction of the archetypal masculine and feminine in the ‘alchemical marriage’, the hieros gamos. In alchemy it results in the grand climax, the achievement of the goal – the lapis philosophorum, the hermaphrodite embodying the united King and Queen. This union engenders the birth of something new, the ‘Rebis’, this ‘divine birth’ symbolising a re-awakening, a new consciousness.
The Hieros Gamos can transpire on all levels, as well as between a man and a woman who consciously enters into a union, to engender “something new.” As in alchemy both has to go through a process of purification first.
To give you further insight into the sacred marriage; in Christian Gnostic traditions the Holy Eucharist is also called the “Wedding Feast,” for the union of the Bridegroom and Bride is celebrated in it. The Bridegroom conveys the wine and the Bride conveys the bread. The “remembrance” alludes to what is conceived through the mystical union of the two opposites. It also relates to what in the Kabbalah is called the ruhaniyut and the sheaf. The ruhaniyut is like the soul of the tree and the sheaf is like the sap of the tree. Both the soul and the sap of the tree are called the life of the tree. Essentially, they are two manifestations of the same thing; the life-power of the tree. Like the masculine and feminine appears to be separate on the lower levels, at higher levels they are one. The remembrance is of the unity. So you can see how the sexual union of the male and female could also become a talismanic representation of the union of opposites.
As above, so below; In the Sophian Gnostic view, the Holy Eucharist is not isolated to the wedding feast, but extends to all of our living, and even food. When we eat and drink, we are eating and drinking the body of the earthly Mother and her children and the Heavenly Father who is the one life-power within and behind the whole of creation. The wedding feast is in remembrance of the unity of all. Everything that we consider to be separate from ourselves can be united within ourselves – in the Bridal Chamber. When we live life mindful of the innate unity of all, we are enacting the sacred marriage. Through conscious living our bodies can serve as the hermetic vessel of transformation. Perhaps in light of this, the following quote from an African oral tradition will cast light on the real purpose of humanity.
Beings were first mineral,
and finally animal.
This hybrid being unifies the three kingdoms.
It is crowned by man.
He signifies unity.
In response to a question;
So, how do you know that the one in front of you is your soulmate, and not just someone of whom you are in love with?
When we speak about soul mates there is inherently a feeling of destiny involved in it. The chance meeting of two souls that change the course of both souls’ lives. Thus the first hallmark of any soul love is the power of transformation. Did the loving of the particular person change your life; change your perception about yourself? No strongly felt emotion should ever be ignored, or written off as “just in love.” Why do you feel such powerful emotions? Any powerful emotions felt gives one an opportunity for soul contact; it is always a pointer to a shadow aspect within yourself that needs to be exposed and as such it does contain an element of destiny within it. Any shadow aspect brought to light and integrated within one’s conscious awareness changes your perception about yourself and will change the course of your life. The ego (I) is the container of beliefs of who you think you are and as such dictates the destiny of your life, because all the choices you make in your life is based upon who you think you are. Choices have affects and thus create your future. If you think you are weak or you are strong you will make your choices accordingly
However, the soul’s desire in turn is the ego’s destiny. From our earliest age we manipulate events in our lives to meet our desires; whether consciously or not. We may not always be successful in achieving what we desire but it will affect our lives and thus our destiny. This is why I like to call desire the workings of the Divine Tricksters; for me may think that we are simply trying to fulfill our desires but actually each time we respond to our desires it sets in motion a course of events (karma) which will ultimately lead us to find our true desire. (See The Broken Heart)
The second aspect that you will encounter is that of fear. Love and fear cannot be separated for whenever we feel something overwhelmingly powerful we will naturally feel fear as we feel instinctively that it will take us out of control. The purpose of fear in an evolutionary sense is a guardian so that we do not overstep our capacity. So when ever we feel fear it indicates that we have reached a personal boundary and invokes alertness and mindfulness in us. Now when the ego encounters soul love it will feel fear, for true love will cause the death of who you think you are. Love lures us beyond our personal boundaries. The ego as such is tricked into a death by the lure of the other. Love and fear moves together. This is also experienced in what is called the fear of God (Pachad). Contrary to what most believe it is not a superstitious fear of God’s punishment, it means “Holy awe”. Holy awe and wonder fills the soul that encounters true love.
Another aspect of true soul love is its purpose. If you use the simile of language, the significance of language is not the process or laws that dictate it, but what is said through it, what ideas and what insights it reveals. With love it is the same, it is not the feeling of love and how it came about that is important but what one can accomplish through it. If nothing is achieved through love, then it soon fizzles out and one is left wondering whether it was just an illusion, just a PEA brained infatuation. Soul love always has a higher purpose; a purpose that serves not just your ego’s desires but serves the greater good.
Personally, what can we achieve through love if not sexual satisfaction, procreation, security, status or simply not to be lonely? In the world in which we live today there is very much a tendency to cocooning in our egocentricity. There is only one thing that lures us out of our egocentric cocoons; love. Love alone entices us out of our shells; allow us to let down our carefully constructed barriers. This is also why no one you fall in love with is “just someone you are in love with.” Love is a precious gift. Treat anyone that you are in love with as if they are your soul mate.
Most people desire someone to love who embodies what they feel they lack in themselves. Advanced human beings, who actually do not need another person; “the magical other” and are already fulfilled in themselves are more likely to meet their true soul mates. When two people who do not need each other unite, that which is already complete is enhanced, amplified beyond what can be imagined on their own. I such a relationship you can really go beyond transpersonal boundaries and have what I call an ascended relationship. You have already overcome your personal limitations, whereas in most relationships personal problems, and limitations are just highlighted. (The mirror effect.)
I cannot over emphasize the preciousness of the gift of falling in love even if it never comes to fruitition. Every time you fall in love it is an opportunity to prepare you for a greater love; whether spiritual or romantic, and educates you in the matters of the heart.