Monday, November 30, 2015
Imagining figures of light
Much is being said these days about healing and spiritual awakening, and the causeless joy, clarity, and peace that are the inevitable fruits of the inner journey. Not all that much is mentioned, however, about the disappointment of awakening – or of the ways it can break our hearts – cracking us open to the reality of the crucifixion, the resurrection, *and the transfiguration we are likely to encounter along the way.
In the rush to convert the negative to the positive, to manifest everything we ‘want,’ and to wiggle into some permanent state of ‘happy,’ we forget that there is no transfiguration without a radical embodiment to the cross of the wild darkness within.
In the full embrace of life - right inside the messy, shadowy, nether regions of the psyche - we are invited to meet the wholeness of what we are, which includes the dark and the light, the movement of separation and union, and the entirety of what it means to be an embodied human being.
There is something longing to emerge, out of the mess, surging up from the dark, rich soil of the body. But will you provide a home for it, to unfold and illuminate the path ahead, and resist the temptation to see it as an obstacle that is standing in your way? The only way out is through – and there is a part of you that will never forget this holy transmission which emerges out of the cells of your very own heart.
As Jung so poignantly reminds us, we do not become enlightened by "imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious." He went on to say that the integral, non-negotiable journey of the dark and the light is one that is often “disagreeable" and thus would never be popular.
It is important – and an expression of tremendous kindness to ourselves and others – to remember that we may never want to turn back into that which we have avoided for so long. And it may never feel comfortable or safe. But yet so many are somehow being pulled back home, into and by their true nature, into the vastness where the mind cannot travel – to no longer abandon ourselves and to pathologize the wisdom flow of feeling, emotion, and sensation as it appears as our sensitivities, our core vulnerabilities, and the eruption of present, somatic experience as it comes to offer its intelligence and its creative invitation.
The ancient path of the heart may never conform to our hopes, fears, and dreams, for it is emerging in the here and now as an emissary of the unknown itself. Let us rest in the aching truth that one of the primary roles of the beloved is to seed deflation in the field of separation. Yes, awakening may always be a disappointment, from the perspective of egoic organization. In this sense, the journey is eternally hopeless, but it is in the creation of a home for our hopelessness—and allowing it to be illuminated within us—that we are finally able to step into a world beyond our wildest imagination.
Through our commitment to staying with the burning and the fires of the energetic world, we will come to the embodied realization that this disappointment is sacred, that this deflation is a benediction, and is whole.
As we journey together as fellow travelers, let us find a way to embrace both the joy *and the heartbreak of spiritual awakening, and bear witness to the wisdom shining out of our immediate experience, whether it appears as sadness, bliss, despair, or great joy. It is true that grace will appear in both sweet *and fierce forms, but regardless of its particular manifestation, it is still grace, sent from beyond to open us to the radiant fullness of being.
Do whatever you can to help others along the way – for you can do so much. Never underestimate the transformative power of your words, the way you touch others and hold them, and the most precious gift you have to offer to them and to a weary world – the fire of your very own presence.