Posts Tagged unfolding
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.
Life is a Dream
If you want change, then you must allow for chaos. No change can be completely predictable. There will always be a part of change that will be at the mercy of the fates, because we cannot be aware and conscious of every factor that will be part of what remains in the process of transformation as the chaotic attractor. Complete chaos would mean a complete loss of consciousness or death. We need a body to house the viewpoint of our being. The body of our being will reflect the viewpoint of our being. A being needs a viewpoint to operate within this world. Only with a beingness can we receive an inflow and a outflow. To survive a chaotic situation one would needs to have something familiar to grab on to. Something to hold your identity of self, as without any identity no action would be possible. The physical realm is after all at the jewel of the apex of the triad of action. Action results in something physical manifesting.
Even within our mind/brain action without some limitation no-thing will be the result, as limitlessness, the eternal, implies infinite potential; not yet in manifestation. As soon as something becomes manifested, it will have limitations as it is limitation that defines a form. When something is boundless, it is the potential of becoming. For change to happen a degree of chaos is necessary; a part of something undergoing change must disintegrate from the previous form into the potential to create a new form of becoming. That which had not dissolved into the chaos of becoming – thus formless potential – will serve as the attractor for the new form of becoming.
Strangely there is a feeling of freedom within chaos – the great liberator.
I had a dream in which I had to move. I was completely unprepared for the move although, before the event I thought I was. Until the last moment I had no idea where I would be moving to. Chaos enveloped me. All the known that surrounded me disappeared one by one. With no sleep between days, days just rolled into one with just boxes to mark the passage of time. Will it ever end?
At last the last remnant of my presence was removed from my physical abode and then came the rain. Drenched and exhausted, I stumbled into my new transitionary abode. This home was unfinished. It was a building begun before this present life of mine but left unfinished and uninhabited, waiting. It had no running water but the running water from a stream that nurtured its surrounds. Planks and pieces of wood left waiting for its continued building everywhere, with boxes stacked on top of it. Saw dust and scurrying spiders everywhere.
This house was built with old and new wood that grew on trees from many places. The doors and windows were from houses and buildings demolished long back into the past. There were even doors from a distant island carved with beautiful Arabic patterns and the words “May God bless all who enters here.” It was standing in the middle of a room waiting for a doorway to grace.
In the dream I had another dream. I was back in the house that I left on the last day of moving. I found a room that I had forgotten about. My heart sank; it still has to be packed. I knew the room from dreams I had in many dreams past. It formed a wing to the rest of the house, but it was a room that was never used as it was always found by accident. It was an ancestral room filled with furniture and ornaments from many generations of ancestors. Ancient tapestries and weapons adorned the walls as well as portraits.
I knew that within this unbuilt house resides my future; its structure; a future slowly taking shape. A future built on past forgotten dreams, carved and shaped. Within it was contained dreams not only from my personal self, but also the dreams from past generations and dreams yet unborn in the hearts and minds of future generations. The transition was an abrupt one, as being transferred from one body into another. It takes time to adjust to a new body. To feel how you can move within a new body. Your very thought processes have to adjust to thinking and feeling within a new body to explore the qualities and potentials held within the new body of becoming. Slowly unfolding, a largo in rhythm with a different beat
Often karma is thought of as relating to an individual only. Yet, we are not just an individual self. We carry within the very fiber our being the love, hopes, dreams and desires, as well as the pain, sufferings and disillusionments of past generations within our present selves. We carry within us the potential of the future; the yet unborn hopes, dreams and desires of future generations as well as their pain and suffering. All is one and one is all.
At present humanity is still self-centered; interacting with the larger world through individual isolated pain and desires. Although many may voice the words “All is one” few really know that we are one. Yet, if we are to advance as a whole, as humanity, we must come to know that we are one. We must have Gnosis of our inter relatedness. Then we can truly awaken compassion within us without vital sentiment. It is only when we can operate without vital sentiment that our actions will reflect a higher cause, and benefit all. If we seek enlightenment are we seeking enlightenment purely for ourselves or for all? The Divine impulse is to receive in order to give. Yet, we can only truly seek enlightenment for all when we know that we are not just an individual self.
The spiritual path is all about clearing away blocks, untying karmic knots, and purification of what we think we are. We begin our spiritual journey seeking to still our individual inner longing, but as we clear away the debris of what we think we are, we begin to realize that to advance on the path we must first lose what we thought we were and transfer our consciousness into a “newer home” of being. It is indeed a home that has been coming into being for a very long time. Yet, before we can truly make it our home we must except the chaos of transition.
Within each of us, we progress from paradigm to paradigm in our personal self-evolution. Each stage of this evolution is brought about by a personal crisis, a turning point, a dark night of the soul, a soul encounter. Our personal evolutionary shifts reflect the evolutionary shifts of the greater whole. Within each stage is contained a germ of “betrayal” that will be the wound that causes the Dark Night of transition for our next level of understanding.
Those who do not understand their destiny,
will never understand the friends they have made,
nor the work they have chosen,
nor the one life that waits beyond all others. – David Whyte
Prelude to a dream
“To be nothing but yourself …in a world which is doing its best, night and day to make you somebody else – Means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.” – E.E.Cummings
For me a house only becomes a home when I have planted my herb garden, lemon and lime tree.The first time I ever became aware of the word herb, it was as if an ancient knowledge base awakened in me. You can say my soul naturally delights in the contact with herbs. For me, human beings without a soul connection, are like a potted plants. Yes it can be fairly healthy, but it seems to need constant first-aid. The potted plant is far less resistant than those with their roots in the earth. Just like a fish in a pond, it can only grow relatively to the size of the pond. When you plant a potted plant out in the earth, there seems to be an immediate added glow about it. We are just like that when we make soul connection.
“At its inception, the ego is naturally narcissistic, but if it develops wholesomely, guided by both soul and nature, it identifies with an increasingly wider slice of life. A mature ego understands the occasional necessity of surrendering to – or being defeated by – a far greater than itself, sometimes during the death-rebirth encounter (when the ego surrenders to soul) and other times during ego transcendence (when ego surrenders to spirit). Ego obstructs personal development when it gets stuck, lost, or entrenched at any life stage – when it resists change, loss, grief, or radical transformation at the hands of the gods and goddesses.” – Bill Plotkin
For us to develop to our full potential it is essential to move past “the stage-stuckness”. Many of us are stuck in the past without even realising it.
Before I go any further, I feel I must give my personal interpretation of what the ego is, as there are so many interpretations of the word, by so many, that it can be confusing.
The ego means I: It is that which I perceive as my present conscious self-awareness. That part of me that makes the decisions between right and wrong, between the choices I face in life. It operates through a personal paradigm, and cognitive style. One’s personality (persona – mask) is projected through the ego. The ego is the container of what you believe yourself to be.
When I speak of Divine, I speak of something being spirit based.
When I speak of Sacred , I speak of something being soul-based.
“Matter is the vehicle for the manifestation of the soul on this plane of existence, and soul is the vehicle on a higher plane for the manifestation of spirit”
Alice A. Bailey
When we are children our senses are open; we explore the world with an open awareness. As we grow older we all too often become too selective in what we choose to experience. Our sensual interaction with the world around us becomes habitual rather than open. We choose to loose our sensitivity rather than be subjected to pain, and so stop feeding our soul.
Modern Living impoverishes the soul. What does normal living in the rat race actually offer the soul as nourishment? The soul’s voice may be quiet, but persistent in its call for us to connect. This call will often manifest within us as a restlessness, a deep yearning for something, and of course depression.
Connecting with the soul, is however, not a Gondola ride, but rather more like White River Rafting. Yet, we need soul connection to evolve, to grow. It might just be the reason why extreme sports are so popular, especially amongst the male population.
“When Dagara boys undergo their initiation ordeals, the people of the village realise that a few boys will never return; they will literally not survive. Why would the Dagara be willing to make such an ultimate sacrifice? For the boys who die, this is certainly not a therapeutic experience. Although the Dagara love their children no less than we do, they understand, as elders of many cultures emphasize, that without a vision – without soul embodied in the culturally creative lives of their men and women – the people will perish. And, to the boys, the small risk of death is preferable to the living death of an uninitiated life. Besides when we compare Dagara society with our own, we find that an even greater percentage of our teenagers die – through suicide, substance abuse, auto accidents, and gang warfare – in their unsuccessful attempts to initiate themselves.”
In South Africa every year, many boys die during the initiation rituals. Some of these “schools” are run by people just out to make a profit and many boys die needlessly in the hands of unskilled operators. Even here the culture of Materialism invades the once sacred institutions. Yet, despite the dangers, many young men will tell you, that they do not feel that they are men, until they have been through initiation. Western culture can numb us, but cannot still the call of the soul. The voice of the soul may be quiet, but it is persistent.
“Look around you. How many Americans, regardless of age, are caught in an adolescant holding pattern, waiting for the time when thet will magically become adult? In the meantime, they will dream the infantile American Dream of wealth and power, addict themselves to alcohol and (legal and illegal) drugs, become enamored of the glittering surface of the material world, fall into puppy love and get married, readily dream the clever dreams manufactured for them by media and politicians, fight their own kind with rocketships, lasers, and nuclear bombs, worship celluloid and stereophonic personalities, become obsessed with sex, wallow in the depths of narcissistic depression, persist in self-destructive excess, dislike having to be responsible for personal actions … These signs of cultural crisis, and many more, point to the inability of culture itself to provide meaningful rites of passage …into expanded stages of growth.” – Steven Foster
Deep inside us the yearning for soul connection will not go away. But not everyone is ready to enter the forge of the soul, and soul connection cannot be pushed. Just as you cannot push to be loved, it has to be earned. Sometimes it happens slowly over time, sometimes it strikes swiftly, unexpectedly. All you can really do is to make the conditions of the self-soil as fertile as possible for soul-growth.
What we lack here in Africa, in material terms, is abundantly compensated by soul experience. You cannot speak about Africa without speaking about the soul. Even the most insensitive soul can feel its tangible presence here. Africans that emigrate always long for it. Here, I have learned to trust the saying; ” What you need to know, will come your way when you need to know.” It has been proven to me over and over again, and sometimes it comes from the strangest sources. I can truly say that I lived a rich soul life, blessed by the humanity around me.
I look back at my life and I am filled with the wonder of the exquisite timing of my unfolding. With grace I step into my being. Through the radiance of my being, my living awakens the seeds of my becoming. Carefree as a child in loving embrace, I trust in my soul’s “knowing of being in place”, that strengthens my body to follow the destiny my spirit presents to me.
“Each individual, being a conception of the divine mind, is held in that mind as a perfect idea … We have been perfectly conceived and are always held in the perfect mind, as perfect beings.”
Trust in your unfolding.
the smallness of a seed
the potential of the universe
Wthin the smallness of a seed
the spark of life awoke
forces of creation
In exploring the unknown you will get lost if your intent is not clear. Think of it like you would about a wish, as they say, “be careful what you wish for.”
“There is no act in the universe that is superior to the act of believing, and there is no power that is greater than intent. In truth they are but the two sides of the same coin, and what binds them together is emotion … If, on the other hand, a man has a belief which is charged with emotion, he will go to extraordinary lengths to uphold and defend that belief. Should such a man consider that a particular belief to be essential to his continued wellbeing, then he will choose to die rather than relinquish his belief…However, since the apprentice is not planning to die, but instead to escape the confines of his view of the world, he does the only thing which is possible for him to do – he chooses to believe that it is possible to escape. Since such an escape is the only thing that matters to the apprentice, his decision becomes charged with emotion. It is through this emotion that he first of all manages to activate his intent, and then ultimately to set upon escaping…” – Theun Mares
Intent seeks to unite the unknown with the known. The unknown expresses the purpose of awareness through intent.
To perform effective ‘magic’ three necessities must be present; the need, the emotion, and the knowledge. To help attract, arouse and direct. Magic really just means to materialise something from the unknown. This I found can be applied to any earthly concerns. Need can be replaced with the word ‘intent’ because it directs the awareness (the focus) as well as the activity. The way not to make focus into a hard labour is to use it as if you are looking forward to something special, something pleasurable about to happen. Then your focus is immediately there. Focus brings into awareness what you choose to experience. A decision making, assertive communication. This automatically makes your awareness selective, to fulfil the intent. Energy goes where attention goes.
Children learn to walk, talk and interact with the world by following their intent, which is in turn born out of following the scent of their pleasure, hunger. So for me intent can also be seen as an internal hunger.
Rudolf Steiner likened destiny to a hunger: “The human being, when he is born, hungers to do what he does, and he does not give up until he satisfies this hunger.”
When we feel a physical hunger, it dominates our choices. When we long for the fulfilment of sexual desire, an appeasement of hunger, there can be no denial of our orientation. Real spiritual desire is a raw as these. We are born with a hunger of some kind that needs fulfilment. It is this hunger that steers our destiny.
The hunger becomes the ‘intent’ because it directs the awareness (the focus) as well as the activity. Focus brings into awareness what you choose to experience. Which automatically makes your awareness selective, to fulfil the intent.
I often used to lament that we are not born with a personal manual to guide our unfolding self. Since then I have realised that we are indeed born with a personal manual. Clues for keys to our unfolding is already present within us before we are even born. With our first breath of life, our intent for our unfolding starts to drive us. Just as the dormant seed awakens and start to push its way through the soil, through cracks, around rock and stones. Clues to our individual paths reveals itself through our intent.
Silver wings of silence
Enfolds my becoming
Feeling fingertips of consciousness
Touch my awareness,
I open the dark rainbow wings
Of my silence
A newly emerged butterfly
In the enlivening sunlight
Pulsating its transformed being
Into the veins of its wings
A moment of adjustment,
Before it spreads its wings
Into the unknown wonder of life
Searching for the nectar
Of its purpose