Archive for category The Wound

The Bridge of Crisis


“Some things cannot be spoken or discovered until we have been stuck,
incapacitated, or blown off course for awhile.
Plain sailing is pleasant,
but you are not going to explore many unknown realms that way.” ~David Whyte

Fierce storms have been pelting my abode. Outside the the wind is howling in its might. Trees not strongly rooted, dragged from the earth, branches snapping. In this cold wet wild dark night I open my eyes. I run my finger tips gently over the length of my sword, feeling its keenness. Is it time for the sword of discrimination to cut through the web of my life?

Has there ever been a life lived that had not experienced crisis? A Crisis, whether of short or of long duration, you face not knowing what will be the outcome, yet you have no choice but to face it if you intend to live, for life is change.

Crisis is an attempt of nature, of the natural, cosmic lawfulness of the universe, to effect change … It tears down and breaks up, which is momentarily painful, but transformation is unthinkable without it.” – Eva Pierrakos

On this journey we move from being wounded to being healed of our wounds. For a long time we behave in the ways our wounds tell us to behave, and since our wounds have messed us up inside, we create one mess after another in our lives.

For a time we’re allowed to get away with our wounded behaviour. We either experience minor consequences from it or we ignore the serious consequences. The familiarity of our behaviour is comforting in its own way; we feel right at home in our patterns. Then a time comes when it becomes hard or impossible to continue in that behaviour. That time is usually signalled by a big mess we make in our lives, a chaotic disaster, a crisis. But a crisis is really God’s way of saying it’s time to move on from our wounded patterns. The consequences of our behaviour becomes so serious that we finally feel impelled to change. Now the universe is saying to you, “Look , pal, you can continue to do things the old way, if you want, but if you do, you’re going to pay the price.”

Visualize in your mind the two words “crisis” and “crossing.” They look alike and are alike, because a crisis is really a crossing from an old way of being to a new way of being. To make a crossing, one needs a bridge. The crisis is the bridge you walk across to get over to the new way of operating.” – The Transformative power of Crisis – Robert M. Alter & Jane Alter

So we seem to totter on the edge of chaos before we can move forward. Just as periods of chaotic activity can throw a system out beyond its ordinary grooves, affording it an opportunity to come down in a different path, a new attractor, so we experience crisis, the turbulence which so often accompanies periods of personal transformation, lest we stagnate.

When the end of a Period arrives, one must know how to abandon that which sets its characteristic boundaries, so as to give free access to the Light of the new Period; one must know and hand over to destruction that which is corrupt, so that only what is indestructible should subsist.” Isha Schwalle de Lubicz

I have come to realise through personal experience that there is a calm center within me, around which the personal “I” swirls. In times of intense crisis that demands immediate action, I naturally enter the calm center and know what to do. Within any crisis resides a jewel of understanding, an opportunity for growth, the very substance of a life.

“I surrender to the irrepressible flow of life.”

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The Wound – The Shadowlands


 I was nearly finished writing my next entry, but just needed some contemplation before completing it. When I came back to read what I had already written, I find my file corrupted and everything in it, gone, lost. Why, I do not know. (I may be adept in some areas but technically I am challenged.) I wanted to throw up my arms and lament in woe, but then I thought, “Wait, maybe the direction or timing of what I was writing was not right, maybe I should be writing something else?” The Wound of course …

I had a dream a few nights ago where I was talking to someone with a black Cobra on his lap. While we were talking he was stroking the Cobra and the Cobra had its mouth clasped on his hand. My attention was diverted from the conversation to this. He smiled at me and said, “It will not hurt you, when you approach it without fear, its mouth is just affectionately on my hand, do you want to try it?” The Cobra looked so serene and affectionate that I thought it made perfect sense. In trust I held out my hand, but as I felt the hardness of its mouth enclose, I felt in a fleeting instant, fear. It coiled back and struck with its fangs on my outstretched hand. Suddenly I was alone and I looked at my hand, the two fang pricks clearly visible on two of my fingers. Now already red and swelling. I have been mortally wounded.

I awoke with a gasp of breath, checking my fingers and then I remembered the ancient initiations where the initiate is given poison to drink, or indeed the lethal bite of a snake, to transmute or die. Illumination or death.

Just so, we are, each one of us, born with a lethal wound, one that will either bring us illumination or will kill us. It is the way the Divine Trickster trick us into finding our own individual strengths, our unique voice in the Universe. Our wounds reveals themselves to us through our childhood environment, those limitations, those apparent shortcomings that we have to transmute, whether they be mental, physical, spiritual, or emotional. The form of our wounds are unique to each individual. We can ignore our talents and positive abilities but not our wounds, for if we do it will surely kill us.

“Our complexes are not only wounds that hurts and mouths
that tell our myths, but also eyes that see what the normal
and healthy parts cannot envision …

Our falling apart is an imaginal process, like the collapse of
cities and the fall of heroes in mythical tales – like the dismemberment
of Dionysian loosening which releases from overtight
constraint, like the dissolution and decay of alchemy…
Afflictions point to Gods, Gods reach us through afflictions.” – James Hillman

It is human nature to reside in complacency unless something forces a change in us.

“Each stage of ego growth contains the seeds of its own betrayal. The soul tricks us into setting up the conditions for that betrayal, which forces a deeper self-reflection that might lead to soul encounter and the next stage of growth. The betrayal by a lover can trigger an ego death followed by the birth of a more soul-rooted self and the discovery of the larger story in which we play a soulful part.

But if we are going to redeem our romantic betrayals, we must ultimately practice forgiveness. We must eventually recognise the betrayer as the instrument of the sacred, the person who was capable of wounding us in just the right way necessary for our further initiation.

Romance places us face-to-face with death in one additional way. The deeper the heart-to-heart connection, the keener the awareness of its inevitable loss, wheher through death or other forms of parting. We feel death lingering around the edges of our most intimate conversations. We know we will sooner or later be separated. Therefore, rather than pushing it away or stoically accepting it, we might boldly ask death to become a third party to the romance. Death will then walk with us, bringing us into the presence of every moment. When death whispers that this may be our last chance to touch, the fullness of the now expands and offers the possibility of soul-to-soul contact. Death coaches us in love.” – Bill Plotkin

It is our wounds, our tragedies, our distasters, our failures that contains our greatest gifts. It is this very inherent weakness, seed of betrayal within each of us, that ensures our evolution, our growth. It is the wounds that brings us to the darkness of the Shadowlands, the Dark Nights of the Soul, it is our soul encounters that leads us to our uniqueness, it is in the shadow of death that we at last experience the sweetness of life.

“Snake… come crawling,
There’s fire in your eyes,
Bite me, exite me,
I’ll learn to realise,

The poison transmuted,
Brings eternal flame.
Open me to heaven,
To heal me again.”
Sun Bear

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The Broken Heart


When you hear the phrase “broken heart” the first thing that comes to mind is that of desolate lovers, of hose who had loved and lost. What do we really know about the heart when we embark on the quest for the Holy Grail? The hero or heroine at the beginning of their quest stands on the hilltop overlooking the beginnings of the journey with courage in their hearts and stars of hope and dreams in their eyes. They look at the vista below and to the beyond of the horizon where their vision fades into mistiness, and in their hearts and minds many visions arise of what may lie beyond. Both possible horrors and beauties arise, all that their imaginations could possibly conjure in that moment before the journey begins. Yet, what they do not know when they first set off, is that they will encounter that which is beyond the horizon of their very imagination. That the real purpose of their journey was not what they thought, nor could they possibly have imagined what the divine trickster had lovingly snared them into. 

If you follow a desire, it will lead you into unexplored regions with unexpected situations. Some pleasant and some very uncomfortable experiences will follow that will leave you changed and wiser, or destroyed. It will shatter your known universe without a doubt. Desire is what propels involution and evolution, and transcends time and space. 

A desire is born from an encounter with someone or something that seduces into a longing to know in the Biblical sense. That is; to merge (experience) in order to know. So eloquently described in “Rites and Myths of Seduction” by Aldo Carotenuto in which he explores seduction as a secret invitation to embrace transformation, an openness to change despite risks and suffering. The ego as such is tricked into a death by the lure of the other. Seduction being defined as “carrying elsewhere,” the sweeping of the subject beyond usual experience….By loving we intend venturing beyond the dominion of one’s own ego, to a foreign dimension that places us before what is extraneousness, the stranger, within us – our double, our shadow. The fear of exposure to the temptation of seduction signifies the unconscious comprehension of the initiatory voyage which, thanks to the other, we will undertake. 

This in my experience applies not just to a romantic seduction but anything that stirs a desire in you.  In the Kabbalah there is a term called Klippah Nougah. Klippah is like a husk that encloses the true essence of a plant. The plant can only germinate and enfold once the husk is broken, yet, initially the protection of the husk was a necessary protection until the seed was ready to germinate. Nougah means light or Venus, thus actually Klippah Nougah refers to false lights. In Pistis Sophia (Faith Wisdom), we hear the story of the fall and redemption of Pistis Sophia, who while adoring the True Light above, is deceived by a False Light below. She descends and become bound in the dominion of the demiurge, the Ignorance and illusion. Then, enacting cycles of self-purification, grade by grade she ascends to reintegrate with her divinity and the True Light above.  

The element associated with the heart in traditional wisdom teachings is air, Ruach, Spirit or Holy Spirit. We tend to think of the element of air as removed from feelings and passion and associate it with intellect. If we expect only to experience passions and pleasures on our spiritual journey and jump from one high to another we might never discover what the heart and spirit truly are, just as we might never discover what love really is if we jump from relationship to relationship. We start life with dreams and concepts of what relationships should be like, from ideas that we get from our early environment and the media. However those dreams are based on false concepts, just as the concepts we have about ourselves are based on a false concept of self.

When we start our spiritual journey it is even more so as what we are seeking is the “unknowable.” Therefore those concepts have to be dispelled before we can progress any further on our spiritual journey. Each time such a concept is dispelled we actually experience a broken heart. A broken heart not only relates to so called matters of the heart but also to all shattered dreams. A broken heart leads to what is known as dark nights of the soul. 

Our heart has to be broken many times before we can reach our true heart, for our heart is covered by many layers of encrusting. Although we may feel that our hearts were broken, our true heart cannot be broken, as it is a radiant spaciousness, all inclusive, filled with intelligence, faith, hope and love, and light; what gets broken is the shell of self-cherishing, attachment and aversion that covers and obstructs it. Our true heart is the seat of Faith Wisdom, the gateway between what is above and below, “the pattern that connects,” the spiritual sun, and “a pearl of great treasure.”

Also See Dark Nights of the Soul

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