As we wander along the way, we will inevitably be asked to re-imagine and breathe new life into concepts that have become second-hand and lost their meaning. Words like “healing” and "awakening" must be seeded with new vision and brought alive again in the fire of direct experience.
For many, these ideas have become deadened, new tools of self-abandonment cloaked in spiritual clothing, fear disguised as transcendence, and detachment dressed up as dissociation, as we attempt to end run our vulnerability and the reality that the beloved can appear at any moment and remove the rug from underneath even our most evolved beliefs and identities.
For the alchemists, the first phase of the journey requires a confrontation of the dark, shadowy, nether regions of the psyche: the abandoned feelings, beliefs, and ideas about what is happening here. In this process, the reference points around which we have organized are dismantled. Even our deepest realizations are converted to dust, as we descend into the tender womb of Now.
While the temptation is to spin into resolution, to find answers to questions, and to shortcut the death-rebirth journey, the invitation is into the creativity of the dark, and to provide sanctuary in which the rich, pregnant unknown can unfold within you. Open as you are re-introduced to the full-spectrum nature of what it means to be a raw, open, sensitive human being, with a heart that is sometimes whole and sometimes in pieces.
Yes, all that you were so clear about even a few days ago can fall away: who you thought you were, how you would spend your time, the relationships you were sure would always be there. The body that was never going to hold up, the kids that were never going to heal your unlived life for you, the partner that was never going to make everything okay. But this dissolution is sacred, and erupts revealing wholeness.
Descend with the breath out of the swirling thoughts and into the wisdom of the body, into the safety and grounding of the earth, and provide safe passage for the reorganization to work through you. There is guidance all around and inside: in your fellow journeyers, the sun, the moon, the animals, and the stars, and buried inside the core of the broken, the raw, the achy, and the uncertainty.
You are being asked to re-enchant and re-imagine your world, and to see with new vision.
Art credit: in the liminal, carving by an unknown artist by way of Flammarion’s L'atmosphère: météorologie populaire
My new book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available