Posts Tagged mystical
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.
The Keeper of the Key 1
The Keeper of the Key II
Keeper of the Key III
Keeper of the Key IV
The Keeper of the Key V
Prelude to Keeper of the Key VI
The Keeper of the Key VI
The Keeper of the Keys VII
The Keeper of the Keys VIII
The Keeper of the Keys IX
An image appeared in the mirror of a dusty alley set between red mud brick buildings. Curled up against one of these buildings I saw a motionless figure. I felt myself drawn to the figure through the mirror. As I merged with the body I felt intense feelings of failure and I knew that the body I now inhabited was dying. Memories came flooding through and I knew I was blind.
So proud was I when I began this life. As a seer priest I was respected and had a place of honour among my people. So distant and so far away now seem that time of my arrogant youth. Here I am now, a blind beggar among strangers. I knew I was dying. I no longer had any strength to lift my body to beg for food. No one will mourn my death. I died a long time ago, on the day I lost eyes. That day still burns as clearly in my mind as did red-hot iron poker that burnt out my eyes.
I felt no resentment towards those who blinded me. It was the custom amongst our desert tribes to and to burn out the eyes of those vanquished in battle. I should have seen the trap but I did not. As seer priest it was my duty to keep my people safe. On that day I did not just lose my eyes, but I also lost my sight.
My body was feeling a great thirst and I knew that the time of my passage was close. I did not want to see anymore, that much I could see now. I did not want to see anymore cruelty, if I could do nothing to prevent it. Suddenly I could see with clarity that my failure was to give up. I could have returned to my people and shown them another vision, but instead I withdrew from life into my self pity. When my people needed my vision most, I failed them. I failed to rise from my darkness.
I was feeling my bond loosening with my body and I became aware of two identities within the body at the same time. I was separating from the memories but could still feel the sense of failure. A deep compassion stirred inside me and I embraced the soul as it separated from the body, merging once again in love. As we drifted towards the light, a vision of hope filled our sight and in the darkness there was light.
Upon a cold winter’s night.
I found myself alone.
A stranger in a once familiar land
A world of dark despair.
So many dead and many dying
their own pain,
monsters of humanity
roam the night
Doors and windows bolted
Against the fear
of human behaviour,
in search of innocent prey
Eyes cold and dead
A world where sanity is lost
I call for help
But silence greets me
Answers eludes me
Anger rises inside me
Against my own helplessness
But even my anger
Falls into the mud of despair
I am tired
Caught in a web
I find myself in a marsh
Where it is cold and dark
No light to guide me
Too tired to struggle
I am afraid I will sink into
The mud of despair
Into my infirmitas
In the darkness I see
A light dancing,
I reach out
And fall sobbing
In the mud
I feel rising
Like far-off rumble of thunder
With lightning flashes of joy
How swiftly you can shake the mud
From your wings
Remember you can fly
Soar into the blue heights of joy
Knowing that love surrounds
Even for a brief moment
That nothing can harm you.
To be continued …
“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.
There are times amidst the harsh cruelty of life that a deep stirring awakens from my innermost depths. A yearning of infinite tenderness to reach out and touch another with gentle warm soft intimacy. It is a stirring song that whispers, and reaches out in quivering resonance to embrace the hard cold shells of life, like the breath of spring awakens the stark winter landscape .
It is a yearning for intimacy in its most profound sense and calls to mind the delicate beauty of fragrant rose petals. In awe I reach to touch its soft beauty and inhale its penetrating fragrance, knowing how vulnerable it is in its unfurling, and how fleeting the moment in time. Yet, in that most tender vulnerability is concealed the greatest power imaginable; it is the essence of beauty.
The experience of beauty is need within us without which we cannot survive. We need it as much as we need breath. Without the experience of beauty our lives closes down and becomes brittle and hard, encrusted with insensitivity. Beauty is the breath of life that awakens us from our cold winter dreams. In its essence beauty is invisible and fleeting in nature. We cannot grasp it or contain it. The essence of beauty lies in its vulnerability and that you can only experience it in a fleeting moment that you leave you with breathless awe.
As soon as you try to capture beauty it disappears, for what you are actually trying to capture is not the outer form of beauty but how you felt when you experienced that beauty. Yet, try as you might you will never be able to recapture that moment, just as you can never step into the same river twice. Beauty facilitates a moment of incredible intimacy, of truly experiencing something of the divine nature. The transforming nature of beauty is that you experience something you have never experienced before. In that moment you completely forget who you are and open yourself to the other. Once you have seen and experienced, you can never be the same again because it has changed you forever. That moment, however brief, will impregnate you with a seed of yearning and that seed of yearning will contain a vision of your future. Never ignore what strikes you as beautiful for what you perceive to be beautiful contains an oracular message for you.
Once upon a time a long, long time ago, poets spoke of a garden, some call it the garden of Hesperides, in which grew a special tree. It is said that this tree was a wedding gift to Hera and bore golden apples. This tree was however, well guarded, the dragon Ladon curled around its base. For a good reason these apples were so well guarded for it is said that if humans eat of this fruit, they may be destroyed, poisoned, or driven mad. No mortal can eat these fruits of divinity safely without losing their humanity. From time to time it was rumoured that humans did go to this garden with the help of the Goddess.
One day a young man wandered into the coolness of a forest. It was a hot summer’s day and he soon grew tired. There he saw a beautiful clear spring over which rises an ancient oak tree. He refreshed himself but felt drowsiness overcoming him. He decided to lie down in the fragrant grass at the roots of the tree and drifted into a sleep.
A splash of water on his face woke him from his slumber. He opened his eyes and saw in the spring the source of the splash. Bathing in the spring was the fairest lady he ever beheld. She smiled and beckoned him to join her.
There he stood face to face with her. A great desire came upon him to kiss her lips.
“Let me kiss your lips, fair lady,” he implored her.
“If you kiss my lips, then you must surely fall into my power. You will be bound to serve me through weal or woe as it may chance.”
“It is a penalty I would gladly pay.” He replied and pressed his mouth to her lips.
Then she sprang up, and he knew that he was bound to follow her wherever she might lead him.
Follow her he did and soon he found himself to be in a place he knew not to be of this earth. Past rivers of blood, over fields of jewel-like flowers they traversed and many more wonders he saw. Finally they arrived at an Apple tree with beautiful golden apples. He offered to pick some of its fruit for her but instead she touched his eyes and he saw that a dragon was curled around the trunk.
“Nay, she said, “These fruits will lead to madness or death unless transformed by the Goddess. She removed her girdle and hung it around the neck of the dragon. The dragon fell into a sleep.
“Now it is safe to pick,” she said, “Bring one to me.”
He did so and she ate it. By some wondrous means bread and wine appeared into her hands which she gave to him to succour his thirst and hunger. Again he felt drowsiness overcame him. She picked him up as lightly as a babe and held him to her bosom until he fell into a deep sleep.
He awoke on the fragrant grass next to the spring, with words echoing in his mind.
“Now you must return, but heed my words. A time will come when I shall call you to come back to me, and you must pledge yourself to obey my summons, wherever you may be. I shall send two messengers, whom you will know at once are not of your world.”
He was glad to hear these words for already he felt a longing inside of him.
He went back to his village; suddenly finding himself possessed with a highly charged inspiration. Through his ability fame and fortune came to him, but he was not entirely a happy man. There was always a strange light of longing in his eyes.
Many years later, as he was feasting at a banquet in his honour, when a man came running in and said:
“I have seen the strangest sight in all the world. A milk-white hart and a milk-white hind from the forest beyond the hill-side are walking down the street outside.”
He rushed outside and sure enough, stepping slowly towards them in the moonlight, undisturbed by the crowd of people that had appeared, came the two graceful creatures.
And he knew them to be no earthly creatures. Happiness overcame him at last as he left the throng and with lightness followed the hart and the hind to return him into the arms of his longing.
I felt puzzled after hearing the story. Is it me who is experiencing or is it my shadow? Will what I think I am now also disappear, and be replaced what I now think is my shadow, as in the story the blacksmith told? Am I who is thinking and feeling now actually the shadow of my previous shadow? Yet, if there is a shadow there must be a light. I am but a shadow of the shadow of the Shadowless one. Something else from the story stuck in my mind,” in that anteroom I came to know my true nature.” What is the anteroom? Somewhere in the back of my mind I remember something about the anteroom. But before I could continue my musings, the Blacksmith started to speak again and in his hand he held a small vial.
“You are but the shadow of the shadow, yet you also cast a shadow. When the Creator created this world, and the sun, he also created shadows. The shadow is there with or without light, when you strike off the light it doesn’t mean the shadow is not there. The shadow is there to help you in this world. Because of this, you can evoke it or make it your friend. The Master mystical warriors learn how to develop their shadow. If you want to become a master, you have to learn how to bring it to life consciously, so it can come to your fighting aid. Have you not often wished that you can be in more than one place in the same time, or be more than one person? In reality you are already, but you are not aware of it. How do you know that I am not your shadow? The masters know how to make the shadow come alive so that it will speak like you, look like you, but not be you. The shadow may be used to assist you when fighting, so that there are two of you. It is said that if the shadow gets a punch in, the injury is incurable. But first you must get to know your shadow, because if you do not, your shadow will be your master and use cunning means to control you. Do not be surprised if it was your shadow who tricked you into coming here. Your shadows know which door the key belongs to.“
All of us felt bewildered hearing the blacksmith’s words and more than one glanced at their shadows apprehensively. I tried not to obviously look at my shadow but could not help but look at it from the corner of my eyes. How could a shadow possibly come alive and aid you? It is just fairytale stuff!
“To get to know your shadow you must enter the underworld of your being, where you will encounter the guardian of the gateway before you can proceed. It will be different for each of you, and it will be your first real test. But many have failed the first test.”
For the first time I noticed that behind the blacksmith stood what looked like a stone sarcophagus. The stone was well worn with no rough edges as if it had been worn away by countless hands. It was plain and unadorned and I could not help but wonder what it was.
“Before you begin your journey, you must first purify yourselves of the past. Be prepared to leave behind everything that you have any attachment to, even your names. “
We followed the blacksmith back down to river with its dark waters. The flames from the braziers reflecting on the surface of the water like molten lava.
“ You will leave all your belongings and clothes here , except your keys, as you prepare to jump into the waters. Know that just as you leave your clothes and belongings behind, just so you leave your old lives behind. This outer action is joined to the inner action; the outer person is dead, and the inner person will be conceived in the living waters.”
As I hit the water I found myself instead standing on a ledge, looking down into what appeared to be a volcanic lake. All around the edge of the lake stood black hooded figures holding flaming torches. Looked down into the blackness of the lake’s depths, and I knew that within was a monstrous serpent. I had to jump into the lake for my initiation, but I was very afraid. If I did not jump all my training would have been in vain. What did I fear most? So I jumped. From deep below I could feel the surges of something huge moving through the water, up towards me. My fear grew as I could feel it coming closer, until it felt as if my heart would burst with fear.
To be continued …