Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Following the sparks of light

There was an old, collective dream that opening the heart was always going to feel safe, that somehow love promised that.

That allowing another to matter was going to be easy, that providing a temple for the grief, the tender, and the broken was somehow not going to feel raw and at times unbearable.

That in the end, somehow love wouldn’t shatter the known.

That to transform meant we’d be in some protected, resolved, untouchable state where we had transcended the sensitivity of being an open, naked, alive human being. That somehow healing meant we’d only have to live in one narrow band of the spectrum.

But healing and transformation are not only solar and transcendent, but of the descending current and the moon, of the earth and the mud and the soil, and at times will take us to dust.

It would seem love has very little interest in our fantasies of invulnerability, trances of mastery and control, or wiggling into some sustained transcendent state. It is just too wild for all that, too creative, too pregnant, too quantum.

Love seeks a vessel in which to come alive here and we are that vessel. It finds us by way of our quivering, our tender not-knowing, and by that willingness to fall to the ground and start all over again.

Sometimes broken, sometimes whole, sometimes a mess, but always alive. In all of our chaotic glory.

When we’re totally unclothed, love will show us what we are. When the known crumbles away, all that remains is this burning heart.

There is nothing more alive than that. There is nothing more sacred than that.

following the scintilla of light in the forests of Southern Finland 

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Turning into the not-knowing

There is a certain death that occurs as part of the healing process, a part of us unable to survive illumination. As we turn the light around, according to one Daoist alchemical text, a piece of soul will fall away.

While it is tempting to spin out of the uncertainty and quickly into rebirth, there is wisdom and purity within the reorganization which we cannot bring into embodied knowing if we patch it all up prematurely.

The dissolution itself is initiation as it offers vision and feeling not available in the put-back-together state. An old part of ourselves that has accompanied us for so long, a fellow traveler is no longer permitted to continue the journey by our side. This prior soul-companion can be another person or it can be a member of the inner family.

Somehow, we’re asked to bear witness to the crumbling of an old dream – my life and the way I was so sure it was going to turn out. This is the holy alchemical operation of putrefactio, a sacred process that is evidence of high-voltage, though fierce grace.

In order to be initiated, we must slow down, return into the earth, the mud, and the womb, and turn into the not-knowing. To take some time to mourn the reassembling of our world, to grieve all that we will inevitably lose as we heal and awaken.

To tend to the pieces of soul, the shards of the heart, and the fragments of the psyche that are being rearranged, to honor the role they have played, for standing by us for so long, and providing refuge during difficult times.

To lament the loss of their companionship and allow them to continue into whatever realm is next for them, permission to travel and experience new things. Even if we are unable to “accept” this, we can touch the ground where they once were, and bow.

To stand in awe at this process, despite the profound pain and grief, to care for all of it as we allow the mystery to reveal itself in deeper and deeper ways. To know that healing and awakening is messy, glorious, and full-spectrum… and is not only an act of creation, but one of destruction as well.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Shakiness as the portal

Much is said these days about healing and spiritual transformation, and the deep joy, clarity, and peace that are the promised fruits of the inner journey. Not much is mentioned, however, about the disappointment involved in waking up, and the immense deflation wired into the transformative process. It doesn’t really sell that well.

“Making the darkness conscious,” as Jung noted, “is disagreeable and therefore not popular.”

Healing can break our hearts and shatter old dreams. It is oriented in birth *and death, creativity *and destruction, transcendent *and descendent currents, and must by its nature dance in the full spectrum.

Not only does it involve resurrection, but the chaotic glory of the crucifixion as well.

While it is natural to have a bias for renewal and rebirth, it would appear the beloved does not share this bias as he or she (or it or they) will make equal use of the alchemical processes of dissolution and putrefactio to open us into her world – each holy arrows in her quiver.

We want to heal but we don’t want to have to feel too much. We want to feel fully alive, but not too vulnerable and tenderized. This is so understandable and so human, and need not be shamed. But it doesn’t seem to always work like that, not in this star anyway, where shakiness is the portal.

At times, “getting what I want” is no longer a majestic or sensitive-enough reference point around which to organize our experience. Love is the new organizer and may have a different idea.

Relationships ending, dreams collapsing, careers recycling, the dissolving of the way it was all supposed to turn out: these yellowings of soul are not evidence of error, failure, or defeat, but of the relentlessly creative nature of love as it emerges here. One form dying so that another may come into being.

Yes, at times the burning can seem unbearable. Such is the nature of the human heart. We may burn until we are translucent, but it is by way of this burning that wholeness is revealed.

Image by Sara Richter

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

At times the blue one will appear

Sadness is not something you need to shift, cure, or transform.

At times the blue one will appear, the melancholy figure of the soul, not to be healed or subjected to some process of transcendence, but held and given space to reveal.

It comes with an offering and benediction that is unique to its place in the spectrum, the blue-place, which carries a unique fragrance and essence, a frequency of the wounded healer.

Sadness need not be operated upon so that it will yield or transform into something else, for it is complete and pure on its own.

There may be an important communication in the core of the sorrow – a special blessing not able to be transmitted in moments of peace and joy. A reminder of something lost, a region of your heart that misses and longs for you, a dispatch from the beloved that can only be decoded in the slow silence of aloneness.

Yes, it can burn there and can take us to dust. But the particles of that dust are made of the scintilla of light.

When turned toward and entered into, sadness reveals a blue-portal through which we can more deeply connect with ourselves, with others, and with nature… and with a world that has forgotten something holy about the wisdom of a broken heart.