Posts Tagged love
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.
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act…it is an attitude”
Martin Luther King Jr.
When you begin the path of conscious living, forgiveness is one of the first aspects you have to deal with; forgiveness both for others and for yourself. Conscious living without forgiveness is not possible for it is forgiveness that first brings to us the awareness that there is another way of living life. Forgiveness is what activates within us true compassion.
In the beginning most of us think about forgiveness as something we do for someone else. We think that forgiveness is an altruistic act until we realize that our inability to forgive actually makes us double victims. Forgiveness sets us free on more levels than we initially may realize.
As with any emotional response, we do not realize in the beginning how multi layered our responses actually are. On a most basic level for example when we feel anger, our anger does not just stem from a present cause but is also tied with all our past hurts, right back to our first experience of pain. It has even been shown that already when we are in the womb our emotional life is shaped by what feelings our mother experienced during pregnancy. As much as we are nurtured and influenced by what the mother physically takes in her body at the time of our gestation, just the same, are we nurtured and influenced by what emotions our mother experiences. Within the womb we are developing in an ocean of amoebic fluids consisting not only of certain physical particles, but also the invisible emotional emanations of the mother.
When forgiveness becomes part of your living you begin to realize that tied with what you thought was your personal response to a present situation are also ancestral hurts, fears, and hopes as surely as the genetic ancestry that shaped your present form. We truly begin to realize that actually we can do nothing just for ourselves. Every thought we think and every feeling we feel is deeply intertwined with everything around us, spanning both the past and the future. When we realize the interconnectedness of everything within creation, it becomes impossible to seek our own self-interests separate and apart from the interests of others. However, we cannot merely seek to become selfless because of some religious creed or dogma imposed upon us from the outside. The awareness of our interdependence and interconnection must be realized and recognized within ourselves.
With conscious living forgiveness becomes an essential tool of purification to allow our vision to become clearer. Seeing the world through forgiving eyes gives you a completely different perspective as your vision is no longer filtered through personal hurts. We are liberated from the suffering of negativity when we forgive others, and we become a cause rather than an effect. In this sense forgiveness is simple wisdom well known to the heart.
Yet, from a spiritual perspective, there is an even more subtle mystery behind this. Through our interactions with one another we create energetic links, positive and negative, and even when we are no longer in one another’s lives on a material level, these links remain active and at play on psychic and spiritual levels. Thus when we have interactions with other beings and other souls we form connections with them, whether positive or negative. Either way, just as feelings of attachment or aversion keeps us attached to the karmic matrix just so feelings of attachment or aversion attaches us to a person karmically. It is this inner mystery that is hinted at in the verse. John 20:23
John 20:23 “If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”
Or in another translation;
“Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.”
The Greek word for “remit” is “aphiemi” and means “to send away.” When you cannot forgive someone you form a karmic link with them and when you forgive them “you send them away.” Thus when you cannot forgive someone you are bound to link up with them until what is between you has been resolved.
Positive connections have a tendency to promote and facilitate enlightenment and liberation; but negative connections tend to hold the soul in bondage to ignorance, and all of the sorrow and suffering that follows – it weighs the soul down, as it were. Essentially, holding on to the trespasses others might inflict upon us, we are bound to incarnate again to play out the karmic connection. Likewise, generating negative connections with others by trespasses against them, and they hold on to them we are also bound to the karmic matrix with them. Thus, for the sake of a true enlightenment and liberation, forgiveness is essential to freedom from the karmic matrix. Forgiveness is one of the primary keys to liberate ourselves from bondage to the Law of Cause and Effect.
Accepting responsibility for our energy and our karma isn’t about blaming ourselves, any more than blaming anyone else, but rather it is our empowerment to learn and grow and change – it is our empowerment as a conscious co-creator and for conscious evolution. Since we are not a fixed or static entity, but rather we are a constantly changing phenomenon, naturally our growth and development in the Spirit is a process, a movement – our tikkune (healing) and our self-realization is an ongoing process, so there are many things we will seem to address again and again. In doing so, however, we do it not only for ourselves alone, but we do it for everyone, all our relations. With conscious evolution we realize that we are taking part in the karma of the world and we labor to uplift it. All of this is not quite so personal as it might first appear; it is a movement, a process that we are involved in.
Taking responsibility for our energy is called “confession and repentance” in Christian mysteries, and when the word is liberated from religious dogmatic doctrines we can see there is deep wisdom in this practice as a practice of purification. On a spiritual level, confession is bringing everything into the light, whether positive or negative, in a complete state of openness and honesty, and accepting full responsibility for our energy, our thoughts, words and deeds; and repentance is letting go of shades and shadows, negativity, and reintegrating ourselves with a truer vision of what we are.
Forgiveness allows us to cultivate the silent witness within and allows us to realize that our hurt feelings are a matter of our view and our thoughts, and the play of attachment and aversion. If want to liberate ourselves from the law of cause an effect then essentially our ideal must be that we might be the same in praise and blame alike. This capacity for the silent witness, is very important because as our souls awakens, and as our consciousness expands, we become more and more sensitive, more and more open, and to have such sensitivity and openness we need non-attachment and non-aversion, otherwise it can be quite painful on a psychic or mental-emotional level as our awareness and sensitivity increases.
Our path must be that of a peaceful warrior who puts an end to the violent inclination within ourselves – the violence must end with oneself, and be perpetuated no further. Forgiveness is what defines the boundaries between unconscious and conscious living. It is forgiveness that allows us to truly live love.
What I treasure most about humanity is the incredible diversity found among us aa it is reflected in the biodiversity nature. Life itself, in its essence, is diversity; it is only in the process of death that all becomes alike. Life as a vital energy generates diversity and love embraces the vitality of diversity. Yet, when I look around me into the prevailing culture, I smell the scent of death rather than the scent of life. The prevailing culture engenders death rather than life. Death of body, mind and soul.
In today’s world marketing is everything. At the basis of marketing lies the concept of finding a market for your product and then to apply proven strategies to capture the market so that they will buy your product and not another. Underlying this is the concept of dominion, or the winner takes all. Marketing is the final stage of the process of commercialization and is derived from the Latin word merx (commodity; merchandise, goods).
We can indeed say that the world is in the final stage of commercialization. Just as there is nothing left in this world today that isn’t polluted just so there is nothing left in this world that hasn’t been commercialized. Everything is seen through the filter of “How much is it worth?” Even the most sacred of all human qualities – love – has been tainted by commercialization.
In his essay “Love and Need: Is Love a Package or a Message?” Thomas Merton comments that we are taught within the framework of competitive consumer capitalism to see love as a business deal: “This concept of love assumes that the machinery of buying and selling of needs is what makes everything run. It regards life as a market and love as a variation on free enterprise.”
His comment gives an insight into why it is virtually impossible to find unconditional love in this world. Commercialization makes everything conditional. It breeds insincerity and mistrust. Commercialization is the framework within which we are raised and is thus so deeply imbedded into our way of thinking that it will take a lot of digging to uproot its enmeshment within our psyche.
Dana Gioia laments the state of the prevailing culture; “When virtually all of a culture’s celebrated figures are in sports or entertainment, how few possible role models we offer the young. There are so many other ways to lead a successful and meaningful life that are not denominated by money or fame. Adult life begins in a child’s imagination, and we’ve relinquished that imagination to the marketplace. But we must remember that the marketplace does only one thing — it puts a price on everything.” In a recent survey done in England vitually all the children responded to the question of what they wanted to be one day, that they wanted to be famous.
The way commercialization impoverishes our lives is that it reduces everything to what will sell best. This of course directly affects biodiversity but it also affects creative expression. A reflection of this is seen in the wine market where the wine critic Robert Parker’s particular likes in wines have global effects. “As wines rise and fall on the basis of Parker’s judgments, and as producers respond to his presence, the industry worldwide is moving in an unexpected direction, toward denser, darker, and more dramatic wines.” (Ref) The production of wines now is geared towards what will be best received by the critic.
Creative output is tailored to suit the market, not the artist’s particular vision. With the result we are seeing less and less creative work that comes from the heart and more and more creative work that comes from a marketing campaign. Creative work that comes from the heart is still out there but we are less likely to encounter it because we are less likely to pick it up in the search engines which operate in a hierarchical way. Even in the blog world that once encouraged individual creative expression we are now seeing more and more work that are produced with the specific aim to get as many hits as possible, using specific recommended marketing formulas, rather than coming from the heart. Even spirituality has become a huge marketing campaign.
Commercialization has been around in some form since ancient days of trading. The big change today is globalization. Now commercialization is tailored for the global market or more specifically for tastes the biggest market. Before globalization more diversity was allowed to flourish because brand consciousness was more localized. Now everything is tailored to reflect what is most successful on a global level. “If you sing, then you must be able to sing like the best in the world or give it up.”
On a pure economic level there are of course countless examples of the devastation that global commercialization has had on smaller economies, of which Somalia is a classic example. Michel Chossudovsky summarizes in “Somalia: the Real Causes of Famine”
“While “external” climatic variables play a role in triggering off a famine and heightening the social impact of drought, famines in the age of globalization are man-made. They are not the consequence of a scarcity of food but of a structure of global oversupply which undermines food security and destroys national food agriculture. Tightly regulated and controlled by international agri-business, this oversupply is ultimately conducive to the stagnation of both production and consumption of essential food staples and the impoverishment of farmers throughout the world. Moreover, in the era of globalization, the IMF-World Bank structural adjustment program bears a direct relationship to the process of famine formation because it systematically undermines all categories of economic activity, whether urban or rural, which do not directly serve the interests of the global market system.”
Commercialization is of course rooted in our need for survival on the most basic of levels – survival of the fittest. Yet, if humanity is to advance in consciousness we must find another strategy for survival. Up till now we have even used the same strategy of dominion to bring about change in our social environment against “hierarchical domination.”
In her essay “Love as the Practice of Freedom” Bell Hooks concludes “that many of us are motivated to move against domination solely when we feel our self-interest directly threatened. Often, then, the longing is not for a collective transformation of society, an end to politics of dominations, but rather simply for an end to what we feel is hurting us. This is why we desperately need an ethic of love to intervene in our self-centered longing for change. Fundamentally, if we are only committed to an improvement in that politic of domination that we feel leads directly to our individual exploitation or oppression, we not only remain attached to the status quo but act in complicity with it, nurturing and maintaining those very systems of domination. Until we are all able to accept the interlocking, interdependent nature of systems of domination and recognize specific ways each system is maintained, we will continue to act in ways that undermine our individual quest for freedom and collective liberation struggle.”
A strategy that is based in the ethics of love rather than that of dominion is a strategy that is inclusive rather than exclusive, allows for us to live and let live. The reason humanity has not made much advancement in consciousness since the dawn of modern humanity is that we still apply the same strategy for survival as we did so many thousands of years ago. To evolve, to develop, we must first want to be different from what we are now. This is the first requirement of evolution.
“The significant problems we face cannot be solved with the same level
of thinking we were at when we created them.” – Albert Einstein
This way of survival is simply not sustainable. We have reached the zenith of this strategy. From this point on it will further impoverish us on every level, and rob us of all that we once held dear.
In the Sophian Gnostic tradition the Transference of Consciousness is an essential practice. It is a practice to shift of our center of consciousness from the physical body to a spiritual body, a body of light. Although in our tradition and indeed in the Tibetan traditions it is most often a practice given for conscious dying, it is also a practice for conscious living, representing an esoteric or mystical understanding of resurrection and ascension. To experience a shift of our center of consciousness into a body of light, whether astral, spiritual or supernal light, is to experience a very different view of name and form, and personal history, a very different vision of this body and this life – one that is transcendental. Even a glimpse of this greater reality of our being on an energetic level can be empowering and transforming.
Although this practice may appear to be a very lofty practice, I believe that the essence of this practice is also, and have always been essential in the evolution of consciousness in humanity. If we feel ourselves attached to name, form and history, it is very difficult to change our consciousness because we will feel ourselves trapped in our present form. Although we would like to change our consciousness we would time and again find ourselves up against the wall of what we think our limitations are.
Although we are quite capable of thinking alternatively, we have no way into it, because we have had no experience of it. What we actually learn and see is contained within our social and environmental parameters. What we do is also determined by what we can do and need to do in order to survive, given the environmental, technological and social context. What we do determines a particular sort of relationship with our environment. We participate in our environment, in a particular way, to achieve particular objectives. The outcome is a human being that has a particular way of relating to their environment and pays attention to particular phenomenon in the world depending upon social and physical context.
In our minds the form of something both gives it its power and restricts its power. In our minds, the form of something defines the potency or strength and innate nature of something. “An elephant is big and strong, it therefore does big and strong things.” A way of thinking about this link between form and potency is identity; some people or things do certain things and others different things.
Now, ironically that which I have written in the last two paragraphs is actually exact quotes used by anthropologists to explain primitive modes of thinking. All I changed in the texts was to replace “them” with “we” and took out “so and so postulated”. I did this to show how little we have actually changed in mode of thinking from the so-called primitive way of thinking. The reason for this is exactly the reasons outlined in the above texts.
This sort of thinking, involving the body as our insertion point into life, underlies the
phenomenological studies of Husserl, and later Merleau Ponty, that contributed to contemporary
considerations of embodiment and cognition. In 1967 Horton suggested: ‘In evolving a theoretical scheme, the human mind seems constrained to draw inspiration from analogy between the puzzling observations to be explained and certain already familiar phenomena.” We therefore look towards the familiar to explain the unfamiliar and because we do this we are actually stuck in a loop of consciousness. What really differentiate us from past cultures are our skills, also explained in Anthropological context as; development, in hand with practice and training in a particular environment, generates the skills apparent in different cultures.(Ref)
“Mode of thought is more resilient than mode of production,” according to Philip Duke in “The Foraging Mode of Thought” where he introduced the notions “that certain phenomena have different rhythms of change and that these rhythms have different effects on society and the individuals in it.” In other words although we now live in a society where we are no longer foraging hunter gatherers, we still think in that way. Today our hunting grounds are malls and the world of business.
New thinking have always originated in the visionaries among us. In tribal societies these visionaries were the Shamans and medicine men. In the West the visionaries are philosophers, mystics and artists. What they all have in common is that they are able to transfer their consciousness into a body of consciousness that is beyond the bound body of consciousness of the times in which they lived, which is exactly what the practice of Transference of Consciousness is.
Most Anthropologists agrees with an idea of Lévy-Bruhl that what really distinguished our present day thinking from so-called primitive cultures was, that primitive people lived in a world that had no distinction between the natural and the supernatural. “In this world that ties people into relationships with phenomena, it is possible to exchange abilities or powers.” It is in the sense of taking on an ability that Lévy-Bruhl recognized that Bhororo people of Brazil can actually become parrots. Similarly, Khoesan can become lions and that this was, not a metaphor but a reality in their minds. (This will also be an accurate description of what is achieved in the Transference of Consciousness.)
This concept was called by Lévy-Bruhl, “Participation mystique”, or mystical participation, and refers to the instinctive human tie to symbolic fantasy emanations. This symbolic life precedes or accompanies all mental and intellectual differentiation. (Ref) Jung used the term throughout his writings and the concept is closely tied to that of projection, although the Jungian “projection” is an unconscious projection rather than a conscious projection as is done in transference of consciousness or the techniques used by Shamans to transfer their persona into other planes of being or to access the spirit realm to transfer power. We may well ask why we unconsciously project our feelings; could it not be that we instinctive are already aware of the potential of transference of consciousness?
At the outset, of practicing the transference of consciousness, gathering our consciousness as light within our heart, envisioning the image of a holy and enlightened being in a body of light, and projecting our consciousness as light into that light-presence, and merging ourselves with them, is nothing more than a flight of fantasy – an imaginative exercise. However, over time, with continued practice, it can become more than fantasy. We may actually experience a shift of our center of consciousness into a body of light, whether astral, spiritual or supernal light, and in this experience we will discover a very different view of name and form, and personal history, a very different vision of this body and this life – one that is transcendental. – Tau Malachi
Dying and death are very similar to going to sleep and dreamless sleep – according to the Zohar sleep and dream are 1/60th the power of death, and is the same basic process in consciousness, although the vital connection between the body and soul are not severed in sleep as in death. Therefore, this very same practice of the transference of consciousness can be used as we are going to sleep, as a practice of “dream union,” or an invocation of luminous and lucid dreams.
This in itself reflects what was called “primitive thinking” – “making no distinction between the natural and the supernatural.” Life is a Dream” therefore we can transfer our consciousness into “bodies” that is beyond what we are at present.
The place of this transference of consciousness is at the top of the head, the top of the skull, hence the “Place of the Crossing on Mount Golgotha,” the skull.
This same center is also called the center or star of the Divine I Am, which becomes an interesting contemplation when the nature of this center as a point of transition is known and understood.
Although the practice of the transference of consciousness may seem like a very lofty and advanced practice, and on some level it is, nevertheless it is a practice any of us can take up and benefit from, even if nothing more than used as a visualization of what we can become. It is especially useful during times of crisis where we have to cross boundaries of transitions.
Transference of Consciousness is the way through which we can transcend the event horizon of our current physical limitation, which transcends thinking only from what we know to what we consider beyond the horizon of our imagination. In a sense it is exactly dying consciously in order to live consciously. For in order to move beyond our current limitations in consciousness we need to die to our former way of thinking through the process of resurrection and ascension. In order to make a radical leap in consciousness we need to go beyond the present event horizon of our mode of thinking.
“Don’t promise me forever. Promise me now, because that is all either of us can do. And now, becomes tomorrow, and tomorrow becomes years, You won’t have broken your promise. Promise me for now, I hope with all my heart that now will last forever.” Kayla Sullivan
I have felt myself deceived many times. When you first realize that your trust has been broken, it feels like an ice-cold stab in the heart, which slowly spreads through your unbelieving mind, your world thrown into chaos, believes shattered. But I have picked myself up, shook of the humbling dust, a lot wiser. I have been able to forgive, and have even felt grateful for the lesson I was taught, which saved me from bigger disasters. I have not lost my trust; my trust has grown in depth. From what I have experienced in my life, I know that I will find my way out of chaos, my supply of ideas are limitless, and out of that chaos you can rise with more trust, more understanding, and with a greater ability and capacity for love. The deeper your ability to trust, the deeper your ability to love.
Logically, why should we feel so deceived and hurt when our partner is “unfaithful”? Is it just traditional conditioning? Would unconditional love not imply that you love the other no matter what? There are obviously real concerns about your partner having sexual intercourse with another, such as unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. Apart from that why should we feel so hurt? We are adults, we know that none of us are perfect, and sometimes we all act irrationally and do things we regret later. We learn after all by our mistakes.
If you were immortal could you promise to another person that you would never want to be with another? The myths abound with tales of the gods’ indiscretions. Although we may all give lip service to forgiveness, how many can truly forgive?
Just what is trust? Trust – Firm belief in reliability, honesty, veracity, justice, and strength of person or thing. Firm belief in reliability – what is it to be reliable? Of sound and consistent character or quality. That would imply that you trust that the person in question will never change. His or her perceptions will never change. How can you be consistent when you are always growing and changing? Life is change. Death is certainty; life is insecure.
Yet, we long to trust. Life is change, yet each time we experience change we consciously or subconsciously experience the feeling of trust broken.
Whimsical trust is what our lives are based on. Without it the world would be in chaos. We organize ourselves because we believe there will be a tomorrow, otherwise we might as well just enjoy the moment.
Sarte once said that every promise is going to be false. You cannot promise because you are not whole. Just a part of you can promise, and when that part is no more there on the throne and another part has taken over, what are you going to do? Who will fulfill the promise? Hypocrisy is born because when you go on trying to fulfill, pretending that you are fulfilling, then everything becomes false…” Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
There are some that say that you can only trust yourself, but can you? Who has not disappointed themselves? Trust is based on expectation. We expect a certain person to act in a certain way. We expect… and when our expectations are not met we feel that our trust is broken. Yet we are almost guaranteed not to have our expectations met. If the world were exactly as we expected it to be, there would be no free will and what would we learn? Would a world that is exactly as you expect it to be not be boring? So what can I actually trust in?
For me trust is a deep feeling of inner security. Through my experiences in the world I have learnt to trust that no matter what curved balls I am thrown, I will progress. I will find the inner strength to meet the challenges that I am faced with. I can’t live my life in fear that something bad might happen, then I would cut myself off from enjoying life to the fullest. In love it is the same, I will give my love fearlessly. If pain happens through my loving then I will deal with it when it comes. I will not cut myself off from love in fear of some future possible hurt.
I had to go to a remote farm once as part of a job I was doing. It was sunset by the time I was making my return journey. All that stretched before me and behind me was thick thorn bush veldt. No sign of any civilization as far as I could see. Just as it was getting dark the vehicle I was travelling in, broke down. I sat there thinking” what am I going to do? “There was no way I could fix it and I had no form communication either.(No cell phone) I could hail down some passing traffic but on that particular road, for a woman alone, it would be dangerous. I recalled all the horrendous stories I have heard and I became very afraid. Perhaps some of the other crew will come looking for me, but after a couple of hours of waiting I knew that was not going to happen. They would only look for me in the morning. As I was contemplating my options I saw a truck go by and then stop and reverse back towards me. Two big rough looking guys got out of truck and I thought to myself:” That’s it, my time has come. “ All I could possibly hope of doing was just to run, but it was too late all ready for that and I grabbed something I thought I could use as a weapon. ‘”I will not go down without a fight.” I suddenly felt what one could call a “deathly calmness”. They asked whether I needed help and tried to fix the vehicle, then offered to tow me all the way back to the Hotel. I got into the truck with them and I felt twinges of fear pop up inside me. My fear was totally unfounded. These two men did not only tow my vehicle all the way back but also refused to accept any reimbursement for their trouble and fuel. That day my trust was greatly restored in humanity.
It is all about trust really. In reality nothing is for certain. We walk a thin line between chaos and stability. We are afraid of chaos because we fear we will loose our way. We are afraid of feeling lost. We do not trust our inner guidance. We ironically believe that it is the outer guidance that will show us the way. Without trust there is no love. It is out of the bedrock of trust that love grows and blossoms into its all-encompassing splendour. But before you can trust, you have to trust yourself.
Trust is taught through patience. I used to feel an inner irritation when I heard St. Augustine’s “The reward of patience is patience. What kind of reward is that?
The San had a as part of their wedding rituals a test; if the man failed the test, he would be banished from the tribe.
“The old people’s biggest responsibility was, never to let their eyes tire, of observing the boys … and to look how they walk from the moment they begin to walk. The boy-child that starts the path bent, – throw thorns in the path of other children – will not walk a straight path when he is an adult. The boy that shows he will be a great hunter is the man that will be a good husband for a woman. He is a man with the power of not being hasty … he has the power of the long wait.
The power that comes from the long wait, until the buck is closes enough for his arrow. And he is the man who has the power in his heart not to break the great law of marriage during the first two weeks of his life with his young wife… It is the law that the woman lays with her head to sunrise … the man with his head to sunset … with the soles of their feet touching …”Jagters van die Woestynland – P.J.Schoeman
It was a test of patience, for the family of a hunter who lacks patient stealth, will know many hungry nights. With patience you become a master hunter. One who observes with awareness learns to see the finest nuances through eyes of the tracker. With patience you do not overlook the signs along the way to guide you; you begin to trust the signs, to trust that you will find your way through the chaos.
It will be a long and far road
I came from far to search for far things. will you show me the way ?
You must come when the moon says goodnight to the sun, just before the white bull is in the blue land, at the other side of the hill.
The night before full moon?
Yes, then there will be enough light to travel into the shadow side of the hill…..There are places in the desert where we have to walk at night.
Do you have enemies there?
I want Twihi, my daughter, the child of the winds, to come with us.
Is she old enough for such a long road?
Others of her years, have children run around them.
Why do you want such a one to walk at night?
Where the great hunters of the desert lives, I first only want to show her footprints. Among us, you see a woman best, by her tracks. Beautiful little feet tread footprints in the sand that transfers into the hunter’s heart.
Do I hear you right Xameb, are you looking for a husband for your daughter?
First we must only show her footprints to the hunters White Father.
Then many of the White Fathers questions will be answered without him asking the questions. You just have to look with your eyes and listen with your ears.
Aren’t there any men here, where we are now, good enough for her?
The beggars of the big roads?
But they are your people…
They are just shadows of what their fathers were. Wait till you see Twihi, my daughter, and hear her speak. Then you will understand why these beggars of the big roads for your iron horses, no longer can put a bow in front of her shelter.
Where do you hide such a one that I have not seen her cook a meal for her father?
Xameb turned to look into the distant horizon and answered quietly.
Two nights before the full moon she will be here with me waiting for you White Father.
OK then Xameb, three nights before the full moon you will see the light of my fire on that hill. Then you will know that I have not forgotten.
Our eyes will be on the moon, White Father.
Day after day, Schoeman observed the waxing moon and impatiently consults his calendar. Four nights before full moon he could no longer wait and he packs his truck with provisions for the long journey. Among the contents are several bags of tobacco.
At the appointed hill he settles and wait. He gets out his binoculars with the setting sun and search the breath-taking panorama. In the distance he could hear the night cries of the Berg patryse. His eyes search the landscape, for the patryse. He spots them observing something quietly. In the distance he sees two figures following the truck tracks. They stop at intervals, to peer towards the hill. The older figure sits down. Giraffes cross the view. The smaller figure has disappeared. A lion roars close by. As the sun disappears behind the distant hills, he sees a fire flicker into being.
Schoeman struggles down the hill in the dark, towards the fire. On his way down he hears someone singing.
He arrives at the fire and sees Xameb sitting next to fire. Xameb does not even look up. He just adds another stick to the fire.
Who is singing?
The child of the winds.
Tell me in a language that I can understand, what is she singing about.
It is more beautiful just to listen to it, than to skin it.
Yes, for you who know the content
Xameb does not answer. Schoeman adds more wood on the fire. He walks towards the truck to fetch a kettle. He stops and listens entranced to the song.
Far and long ago….. before the white bull with his red horns tore the black blanket….before he could tear the black blanket covering the dark cave to allow the red morning to open a path for great blue eye of Eloib…..the dark lying deep and quiet…..under the dark waters in the deep cold mud. A child was blown out of the dark night to a seedhut of a white lily. Who among us will know why women are still like their first mother….she sings her song of loneliness in the night.
Xameb rubs his chin, stares into the dark, and speaks as if from far away.
The roads upon which the young hearts search are far roads, but beautiful paths. On those paths you can walk, with your eyes on the far mountains. You don’t bump your toes on rocks. You don’t step on thorns. There aren’t snakes in the vlei-grass with the many mouse paths. There is no tired voice of a mother that calls you to take a crying child, or to come and wash a pot. Beautiful are the roads the young heart visits with their dreams.
Did you yourself visit those roads?
Xameb does not answer. From the hill Twihi’s voice suddenly sounds clearer. The wind must have turned, because the smoke suddenly brought tears to Schoeman’s eyes. He gets up and stands with his back towards the fire. From the darkness he hears Xameb’s voice.
For two winters’ nights I felt Twihi’s mother’s warmth against my body. Then she was taken from me. Then I found another, she was also taken…What roads are left for me?
But there are men that build a third fire?
Not among the Heikum, White Father. Among us the a women will not take a man that has been left alone twice. They say that he has the hands of death. You can ask all the Heikum men that you will meet on the long road. It is an old law among our people. It is never broken.
Did Twihi learn about the beautiful roads from you?
For many winters only she was with me next to the fire and what child’s heart ever tires of stories? It is the sunshine and the rain from which a child’s heart grow. With whom else could I make the long nights shorter?
Now that your hair is white, do you still long?
Is it not at night that we want to be alone the least?
Twihi arrives at the fire. Xameb and Twihi speak together.
The White Father can now listen to the paths on which the young heart travels. I will translate for you.
Twihi stars to speak, Xameb translates, the story of Xa-xeib – the man with the full moon on his chest.
There once was a man. His name was Xa-xeib. He had a fullmoon on his chest.
He also had a wife. She was very beautiful.
The two of them was as if one person. Where he walked, there she walked too. There were not two foot paths to their hut. At night when the others were already asleep, the two played in the bright light that shone from his chest. The night was theirs. They never became tired.
But as her months became shorter, she could no longer walk the veldt with him. For the first few days he did not wander far. He found no pleasure in walking their old paths alone. With the days he had to walk further and further, for his wife wanted honey, then eland marrow.
So he arrives at one day at a rocky ridge, where he sees bees flying against the midday sun.
But there was another who also saw the bees against the midday sun. It was not a honey bird, nor a honey badger.
It was a woman.
The first afternoon he left her only one small cake of honey.
The next day he was there earlier, to take out more honey.
She was there too.
This time he gave her two honey cakes.
The next day he left earlier and the whole way he was argued with himself.
She was not there, but there were fresh footprints.
His heart said to him he must go and look to see whether she is not trying to show him a new nest with her fresh footprints.
His head turned, and his eyes looked to the path that was behind him.
He found her in the bush that was denser than it was at the honey nest.
They stayed together till late because he had the full moon on his chest.
When he arrived at home that night, his wife cried a lot. It was dark in her house.
There were clouds covering the moon. A woman sometimes knows without having seen.
That night he did not sleep.
The next morning he told his wife that he would only look for food on their old paths. At first he did only look for food near the hut. But when there were more and more trees between him and the house he did not look back so often.
Then his heart won again and he left for the bushes denser than the honey ridge..
Far behind him at the home where previously there was only one foot path, she that must become mother, waited and waited. Only when the evening breeze blew colder and colder, did she go inside and tied the door from the inside. She did not want the owls and the wolves to see her tears.
On the new road, ahead where the bush was denser than the honey ridge, a bright light shone all night. There was a lot of playing and laughter.
For the one the night was without beacons. For the two it was a few winks of the eye.
When the white bull with the red tipped horns, tore the black blanket to shreds, for the morning to climb out from behind the mountains, Xa-xeib – the man with the full moon on his chest – did not feel like drying tears for the second time. He was also clever. In the bright light that shone from his chest, he could see that one woman does not like to cry in front of another woman. So he brought Kai-oris, his new playmate with.
And Kai-oris the black tipped vulture, came, looked around a little and said to herself; this house is for two not for three.
He, who brought his wife company, then went to a place in the field where the wind did not blow, and the sun shone bright and went to sleep. His honey knife he left behind.
Kai-oris saw the knife; she took the knife and prepared the house for only two. Before she dragged the one that did not want to cry before another woman, behind the trees, she took out the baby.
Because the child now entered the world too early, she stuffed him into a milk-calabash. She closed it with a grass stopper and rocked it to and fro as if the fat was separated from the milk.
When the white bull arched his back on the mountain and tossed the black blanket with its red-tipped horns backward over the plains, Xa-xeib got up. He was well rested.
Kai-oris heard him coming and hid away the calabash.
In the light that shines from his chest, Xa-xeib saw the empty place in the house. But when the blackwinged-vulture’s eyes said that this house is not for three but only for two that plays all night, he did not hear the wolf crying for his mates behind the trees. His blood warmed. And he tied the door from inside.
Many days passed. And little red toes in the calabash kicked harder and harder against the round walls. Kai-oris heard it and kept Xa-xeib outside by day.
One day the calabash burst open. When she rubbed the child of another mother with fat, she saw the full moon on his chest. She tied a hard skin around his chest and hid him in a big hole.
One day Xa-xeib returned on his old footpaths and saw the child. Kai-oris was not close by. He picked up the child. The child’s one little foot kicked against his heart. It was a small little foot that still did not have hard toenails. But it caused a small drop of blood to drip from Xa-xeib’s heart. Then he knew whose child it was. In the pain that came to his heart he could see the child clearly. He could also see the little full moon under the hard chest-skin. And he became afraid that the black-winged vulture would cut out the full moon with the honey knife. He held the child tightly and looked around. When the little foot again kicked against his heart, he did not wait for Kai-oris to come back. He took the little full moon to his first wife’s sister. He told her that the child has a weak chest and that she must never remove the skin.
But a child that does not drink from mother’s milk is no one’s child. Everyone speaks loudly to him. On no one’s lap is there a place to cry, for one such as he, when a thorn sticks in his foot. He had to carry wood for every one’s fire. He had to clean every one’s ash heaps.
When his shoulders became hard from all the loads of wood he had to carry, and a thorn could no longer penetrate the soles of his feet, he went to look for another house. He walked for many days.
One day he arrived at a big city. There was a rich king that needed a lot of wood for his fires.
There was also a beautiful princess. But the illness from the swamps wanted to take her away each summer. One day he had to help build her a high platform of Tambotie poles, where the little wings from the swamps could not reach her.
For the milk that comes from Tamboti wood, his shoulders was still not hard enough, and his shoulders became bloodied. And just once he carried a lighter load. The king’s men saw it and said that he was becoming lazy. They nearly beat him to death and dragged him away to a little hut just outside the city and left him in the forest.
The king’s daughter saw how he was beaten and dragged away. That night she thought she kept hearing something in the forest. She thought she heard someone cry and then she thought she heard someone sing.
She waited till everything was quiet in the big city, and sneaked out to the forest. The door of the hut was closed, but from the inside she could hear some one play on a bowstring. It was so beautiful that she opened a small gap to look inside. There was a great light inside the hut and she could see clearly who was making such beautiful music. He was for her more beautiful than any man she had ever heard from her mother’s stories was. His clothes were so beautiful that it took her breath away. She became afraid of the small voice in her heart that asked; This man, who was kicked and hit by everyone by day, this man with the bloody shoulders could he not be the one I have so often dreamed of, the great hunter from that will come from the desert?’
In the days that followed, she sat on a hill near the king’s city and her eyes searched on the roads of the great desert. Every night when it was quiet in the king’s city, she sneaked back to the little house in the forest.
One night the man with the full moon on his chest heard a finger opening a panel in the dark hut. In the bright light that shone from his chest, he saw who it was. He sang-spoke to her on the bowstring:
In the great desert there is a high mountaintop. Ahaa
A house with many windows will be built on top of it.
At night many eyes will look towards it, and will ask;
‘Whom of our princes built that house with many windows.
Many will ask but only she will know who built that house on the high mountaintop for her.
Only she will know that it is not lamps shinning in that high house.
She will know where the many light comes from.
The next night she was there earlier. On each of the following nights she was earlier, until one of the king’s men saw her.
Whom amongst us would have the heart to scold her because she went earlier each night?
Whom amongst us would have scolded her for staying later and later each night?
Did not our hearts entered with her, when first the little door was opened from the inside for her?
Did not our hearts form a wide guardian circle around the little house in the forest?
Only the king’s spies did not join us in the wide guardian circle, which we formed around the little house in the forest.
It was a dark night when the king and his spies encircled the bush house.
First he called his daughter.
In front of the people with the hearts of hyena’s, he lashed out at his daughter with his tongue, and said that she was no longer his daughter that from now on her job will be to carry away the ash heaps.
Then he told his hyena’s to quickly get rid of the dog in the bush house.
The dog, though, was a lion.
And what lion hits out at hyenas?
He slung her across his shoulders, and just opened a small section on his chest to light the way ahead. She whispered in his ear; ” Run, there is nothing here for me to look back to. Take me to the house on the mountain top.”
After not many days the people in the King’s city started to ask each other at night;” That house with the many lights…It must be a very rich man to afford so many lamps in his house?”
Some people went to look. And those that went did not return. Then more went.
One day the King saw that all his people were gone.
By then he was so poor that that he himself had to carry his winter skins.
He followed the footprints of his people. It was a hard road for one like him.
When he arrived there no one could believe that once he was a king.
He had to look for his food outside the city, where the ash was thrown.
Because he wanted to throw the two young hearts to the black bee, his hard heart made him eat ash.
When Schoeman looked up from the fire after a long silence, he saw that Twihi was no longer at the fire.
She went to the koppie. Tonight her dreams will visit far paths.
Did she make up the story herself?
There was an old skin that she made more beautiful with beads and shells of her own.
Will she tell us another story tomorrow night?
She is a child of the winds. Who would be able to say where she will be tomorrow night?
Do you still want her to come with to the far away land?
Did the beads and the shells on the old skin, not tell the White Father how she longs for the big hunter of the desert?
Then we will wait.
We will wait white Father …so that the two of us will not also eat ash.
Adapted from “Jagters van die Woestyn” – PJ Schoeman
“The purity of the moment is made from the absence of time.”
In the stillness between,
in the quiet instant,
there lies a treasure beyond compare,
a song of piercing beauty,
penetrating the deepest secret chamber of my soul.
Within dusk and dawn arise subtle hues
memories of the night
Possibilities of the dawning day.
Within the breathless moment,
in the moment of infinity,
in quiet wonder
I know the miracle of being.
“… commune with your soul on your bed, and be silent …” Psalm 4:4
I awoke this morning and I did not move, neither did I open my eyes. I remained still and became aware of time moving from my past to the present and to the future. As I remained still, and allowed the past and the future to swirl around in the moment, I became aware that even in my stillness, by simple being aware everything is continuously changing. Even in my stillness a present moment is being created that is always different. Yet, here I still am, and while I am doing nothing I am changing. Just as a rock that remains unmoved for thousands of years in one place, is never the less still changing. Perhaps in another thousand years it will become grains of sand, and perhaps through some fierce burning fire even change into glass.
I continue to remain still and motionless seeing thoughts and emotions swirl around my awareness. As long as I remain still, I remain between being asleep and awake and am just a being in becoming. As soon as I move I will be incarnating into my being a set of beliefs of who and what I am, of what I am becoming. As long as I remain still I abide in just becoming in the fluidity of moment, but as soon as I move a paradigm of meaning will shape my awakening and as such I will embody a set of beliefs. In truth my beliefs are based on arbitrary hopes of possible becomings birthed in hidden desires. All I can really know for sure is that I am becoming whether I remain still or not. Right now I have a choice to remain still and still become, or I can consciously awake within a chosen paradigm of becoming. I can choose to be in the eye of the storm of my becoming, or on the extremities and experience suffering.
“Pain is unavoidable, suffering is not.”
No becoming is without pain, knowing and observing our becoming ease the suffering. Being a being in becoming, we observe our pain and happiness as flickering moments shaping our becoming which still remains an essential mystery.
In the Kabbalah Binah consciousness is the mind and heart actively engaged in thought and desire, akin to our ordinary state of consciousness, and Hokmah consciousness is the mind and heart completely silent, without thought or desire – a state of pure awareness, thus just being.
There is a term called Hashmal which indicates the simultaneous experience of Binah and Hokmah consciousness and is called “Speaking Silence,” or Dynamic Silence. There is silence and there is voice, and there is no contradiction between them, but they are one and the same. This “speaking-silence” appears in Ezekiel, at the culmination of Ezekiel’s vision, when it says God speaks to him out of silence. In Exodus 20:18 it is written; “and all the people saw the sounds.”
In this state of consciousness, one actually experiences a silence of the mind and stillness of emotions and desires, yet, at the same time, thoughts and desire-energy continues to flow. It is a supramental state of pure awareness, yet, at the same time one continues to experience the mental and vital states. The experience of Hashmal or Speaking Silence is the experience of being in the now – a zone of complete silence in the mind and vital, which is in the midst of the mind yet also beyond it, and at the same time there are thoughts and images and emotion – a complete stillness and motion at the same time. This allows a linking of the various levels of consciousness and thus a free flow and exchange between them.
Although Hashmal is a very lofty attainment and requires a radical change in consciousness, we can relate to this experience through the experience of love. Just as we cannot actively seek out love, as seeking it directly often obstructs it all together, we rather have to cultivate the conditions necessary through which we may naturally and spontaneously experience love, just so it is with Hashmal. In the Mysteries the social identity of the neophyte, the focus of the self-aware person, was temporarily dissolved so that the individual could experience “wide-field” cognitive ecstasy in the presence of the Other, the Beloved. For initiation to be undergone in a way that assured that the content of illumination would be retained, a long process of depersonalization was required, thus a process of clearing away all unauthentic concepts of self.
To experience love we must first clear what will obstruct our ability to experience true love, otherwise will not see our beloved as they are but rather we will see the projections of our needs and our desires and be sorely disappointed. The experience of Hashmal is the state within which the Gnosis Mind manifests and we are able to behold the true nature of reality; hence Reality as It Is. Within the Gnosis Mind the knower and that which is known becomes one. In the moment of sexual ecstasy the beloved and the lover becomes one, yet continue to exist as two distinct individuals simultaneously. Just so it is with Hashmal. We can only “run and return” to this state of being.
“The god Eros lives in the gap between
what we have and what we seek,
what we are and
what we are becoming.” –Connie Zweig
Eros perhaps, it could be said is the passion for transformation, the passion that transfuses and transfigures all forms, sweeping one form-thing-being through another, interfusing self and other, human and divine, perpetuating the eternal mystery of these brief encounters.
Diotima, a seeress and midwife from Mantinea in the Peloponessus, is famed for telling Socrates that “Eros is a mighty daimon, for its power mediates what is divine and what is mortal.” (Symp. 202 E) When Socrates proposes that “Eros is a part of the beautiful (to kalon),” Diotima corrects him, saying “No, love – that is, Eros is an esthetic bent, the passion for engendering and expressing the Beautiful – tes genneseos kai tou tokou en to kalo.” The “esthetic bent” as Diotima called it, is intimately linked to our capacity for love. Love and Eros enhance and complement each other at every turn. Love includes the capacity to embrace and transmit the Beautiful.
Thoughts returns to their arising. A bare tree in the icy winds of winter. All drawn within. In days long ago a mighty wizard cut a wand from its branches, gathered Mistletoe clinging to its limbs. Owls reared their chicks in its safety. Lovers whispered sweet caresses in its shade. Be quiet now and rest in a winter’s dream as your acorns dreams in the dark body of the Mother. Dream of mighty trees swaying in the Spring’s enlivening breeze. Softly I heard the Mother hum a song of dreaming, of dreams arising, within her womb.
Drifting in the Dark Sea
Formless potency of the Primordial Night
Chaos envelops me
and I surrender
In this night
a dream arose
Images rising from
the dark depths
of my soul
and stirs fathomless
What image will you choose
to represent those desires stirring
in the womb of the night
What will be the colours
of your wings?
What does your voice cry out for
in the night?
so that together we may
weave a bright new dream
Let us play for a while longer
in the starry night skies
of our imagination
before we give birth to a new dawn.
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
Before we can become who we really are, we must become conscious of the fact that the person who we think we are, here and now, is at best an impostor and a stranger. – Thomas Merton.
The Myth of Who We Are
After many years of intensely exploring all the aspects of what I thought I was, I realized that I was lost in the myth of what I thought I was. From a young age we create a myth about ourselves. We fashion this myth from our early experiences of our interaction with the world around us. For the rest of our lives, unless we ask ourselves what our personal myth are, we live our life according to our personal myth. We limit our potential to what the hero of our myth embodies. If we do not like the way the story of our myth is unfolding we have to change our motivational myth, but first we must uncover just what our personal myth is.
How do we find the origins and the mystery of our personal myth?
The hero must enter the dark caverns of the underworld, look beyond the masking myth of that which we think we are. In the hidden shadows of our being, in that part of ourselves that we hide so carefully from others, there lies the Grail cup of our healing and our real potential.
The theme of the Grail Romance is that the land, the country, the whole territory of concern has been laid waste. It is called a wasteland. And what is the nature of the wasteland? It is a land where everybody is living an inauthentic life, doing as other people do, doing as you’re told, with no courage for your own life. That is the wasteland … The Grail becomes … That which is attained and realized by people who have lived their own lives. The Grail represents the fulfillment of the highest spiritual potentialities of the human consciousness. Joseph Campbell – The Power of Myth
Unless we explore the assumptions we base our lives on we will remain enclosed in an unconscious image of who we are that was created in our child hood and live according to the limitations embodied by that particular image or Archetype.
We believe we are the mask we project but at the same time we know that the disowned part of ourselves is alive and well, and will someday break through the prison of our mask, exposing that which we have disowned and that which we do not want to acknowledge. We fear that the hidden part of ourselves is a hideous monster and by exposing it to the light the ugliness of ourselves will be revealed and we will be shunned by those around us. Especially those whose love and approval we seek. This is just an illusion we created; we are like the ugly old hag in the Arthurian legends that turns into the most beautiful woman when we kiss her with acceptance, even in her ugliness.
Power: Comes from Latin root posse, which means to be able.
We feel bound and limited by what our personal myth represent to us; “I am this” and I am that”, and I can do only this. We feel limited and powerless because we do not understand and know who we are.
The Rainbow of Potential
*The Rainbow Light is the full spectrum of our soul’s energy and the Divine Power – it includes dark radiance, white brilliance, and the entire spectrum of light and color.”
Somewhere in our distant past, one of our ancestors, or more likely a few at the same time, became aware.
I feel… I?
Who, what am I? Like a mirage appearing to the thirsty lost in the desert we never seem be able to reach it. Like a rainbow that appears in the tears of our life, insights to ourselves appear in a blaze of glory, only to disappear into the vastness of the sky.
“If only we can get to the end of the rainbow you can find the pot of gold.”
The problem is that we are looking for the pot of gold instead of looking at the rainbow. We will keep on chasing after rainbows until one day we realize that the pot of gold is understanding the symbol of the rainbow.
The Hebrew word for “I” is Ani, which is spelled with the same letters as the word Ain, which means no-thingness. Thus there is a suggestion that the real I or me is the nothingness within me; that which lies beyond the mirage or the fleeting rainbow. When you turn inside looking for the self, you will not find the self. The instant one turns inward to look at the self, the self vanishes like the rainbow. Yet, when you are not looking for the self, there is a sense of self. We also find this when we are looking for the source of our thoughts; thoughts arise in the mind, abide in the mind, and disappears in the mind, but the source cannot be found. Although this may frustrate us when we are trying to find that pot of gold, it also points to the real bottomless pot of gold.
You are not Limited by your Image of Self
When you observe your thoughts, you will also notice that the mind spontaneously generates thoughts without end – an infinite potential of creation without beginning or end.
The divine destiny of the human being, is implied in the Hebrew word for rainbow, qeshet. Qeshet is spelled Koof-Shin-Tau; Shin and Tau spell the name of Seth, who is the image and likeness of Adam (the human one – transcended human being). Qof, in essence, represents previous cycles in the development and evolution of the mind or soul-stream and, thus, represents karmic conditioning or assumptions of what we are.
In the understanding of Ani-Ain we find an important key to our true nature. According to the masters when Yeshua turned the water into wine at the wedding feast of Cana it was possible because the root essence and nature of water and wine is the same – Ain/no-thingness. Thus, dissolving the Ani (I) of water into Ain, he brings forth the Ani of wine. If you dissolve your Ani (self-image) into Ain what can you bring forth? It contains the essence of what shape-shifting is.
If you think of yourself as limited by what you think you are; bound to one limited manifestation of self or personal history then think about the potential represented in the understanding of Ani-Ain in terms of self-realization. At the very heart of the path to self realization is the ability to dissolve one manifestation of Ani into Ain and thus remanifest Ani at a higher level. You can thus change the limited image of yourself through conscious evolution.
You can dissolve false self-images and bring forth the true image of yourself – a being in becoming
The Hebrew word Eheieh, which literally means “I am” or “I shall be” which is the highest or innermost name of God. Every time we say “I am this” or “you are this” we are actually invoking the holy name Eheieh. This relates directly to third commandment; “Do not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God.” In Hebrew “sin” translates as “missing the mark”. We are missing the mark every time we use the words “I am this” or “you are this” in negative terms. When we speak in such a way so as to uplift ourselves and others, we are uplifted. It is a simple and basic truth – it is the power of Eheieh.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others” Marianne Williamson
Perhaps this musing on ‘Who am I” will also give a deeper insight in what self-love is. John Carroll in his book “the/ western/ dreaming,” describes soul love, as the “hallmark of soul-mate love is that any enquiry about who you are, what you have done or where you have been is entirely superfluous. It is the I am in another, hardly needing to speak, but to acknowledge with gratitude and awe: I am known. Someone walks beside me. Then each to each on their journey of journeys, may repeat: Courage. I am. Don’t fear!”
Just so it is with self-love from which flows all other love and life.
In soft green grassy lake
I drift and merge
in unfathomable depths
A rainbow burst in splendour
seeds of light
scattered in the passing storm
In brief glory
of numinous potential