Wednesday, April 6, 2011

HIDDEN CROSSROADS IN THE DARK FOREST OF THE SOUL


Unable to sleep last night I lay awake but with a different awakeness than in daytime.  My mind was moving into the deeper area where conscious and unconscious, personal and non-personal qualities meet.  The insight that I remember is about an approach to sickness that sees the dis-ease not as an enemy but as an uncompromising ally, a presence to relate to and dialogue with, a source of both destruction and creative power.

Usually disease or injury incurs the desire to fight as if an intruder seeking to destroy us was an invader.  But what if sometimes that invader comes to introduce a better way of being that we have not been able to see or include in our present reality do to the smallness of our vision.

Sacrifice is part of such an invasion.  Sometimes death is the outcome, sometimes a larger life and when it fails a smaller life.  But of course life and death are defined by the small mind that comes encased with our body.  There is a larger mind that transcends both the body and the mind it encloses.  We prune fruit trees, and thin garden vegetables to get a better crop and in a sense our identity also needs to be pruned now and then.  Some platforms work as they are but not well enough to build on.

I think of my partner and I who are living with and learning from his pulmonary fibrosis.  We sometimes fall back into the mode of attempting to conquer this disease.  To conquer implies an enemy. We have tried a number of herbal and homeopathic remedies.  Some delay the progress of the disease, but none have cured.  The medical world considers this condition incurable and the only treatment a lung transplant.  I’ve watched him waver back and forth with this judgment for two years.  Sometimes he is very positive about preparing for such an operation and at other times the idea of benefiting from another’s death as well as hosting a foreign organ stops him. But this is an awareness of other people that he would not have reached a few years ago.

The idea of archetypes comes from Plato’s teaching that the manifest world is a reflection of an invisible form that directs the outcome of the physical temporal form. This is exactly backward of the current scientific teaching of creation but I can imagine this concept in everyday life.  In fact on the individual level it is an obvious fact called genetics.  Carl Jung derived his idea of archetypes from Plato’s principle but he did so after observing these invisible forms in
dreams, mythology, history and everyday human behavior. The principle of Thoth and Egyptian magic that eventually inspired alchemy, “as above, so below,” and the belief that the process was reversible, “as below, so above” is something we unconsciously use whether or not we believe. Somehow I can imagine a back and forth dialogue between form and cause.
Thoth also corresponds to the Greek Hermes, God of the crossroads.

I’ve been noticing how closely thought connects with physical events. If I get the urge to water the garden, it frequently rains the next day. If I think of someone I haven’t heard from for awhile, they usually call or I meet them at the grocery store.  The saying “energy flows, where attention goes” can also be turned around to be “attention goes where energy flows in the non-physical world.” Who can say which comes first, the thought or the potential event that is already on its way.  I do believe there is a circular connection, or perhaps it’s the invisible side of fractal geometry.

My partner’s lung disease has accompanied an awesome change in life direction and stance toward others.  He has always been talented and charismatic.  About six years ago his attitudes began to shift from an arrogant self-consciousness and the belief that he was entitled to whatever he could get in life and from others to the beginning of an awareness of the feelings of others.  In his old personality there were times when I thought he might be a sociopath.  But something I can’t easily define kept me from making that judgment.  There was quite another reality hiding behind this fa├žade.  He waffled back and forth for some time but it was obvious that his old skin was worn out and beginning to flake off.  Yes, that image sounds reptilian and I used to notice a kind of reptilian coldness in his eyes at times. Now there is a warm blooded softness in his eyes. I won’t say that the lung disease caused a change in heart but it definitely accompanied it.  The change was already in process but the lung disease was also secretly working in the background too subtle at first to make its presence known. The lungs are in the region of the heart chakra and it is indeed his heart that is gradually taking its natural central place in his life.  All the same, as the power of the heart unfolds so does the pain that originally caused it to be hidden protectively.  It takes courage, another characteristic of the heart to face that side of the process.  To feel is to experience one’s vulnerability and temporality.  Not to feel is to be less than alive.  The heart chakra corresponds to the Sun in traditional astrology and our universe revolves around the Sun. Without the heart life stops. without the heart chakra the soul dies.