..........I stood on a narrow track. The black, slick mountain of almost crystalline rock climbed away to my left to the summit. To my right lay a valley in deep shadow, filled with evergreen trees. From this vantage point high above the treetops, the valley appeared to be totally enclosed in the mountains. There was a harsh angularity about these slopes that contrasted with the soft roundness of the full moon. Yet there was also a feeling of cleanliness and purity about the mountains, uncluttered as they were by soil or pebbles. There was nothing to mar the slippery slopes glistening in the moonlight.
I had difficulty keeping my footing on the slippery track as it wound its way along the mountainside. I continued for some distance until at last the track forked. The right fork continued on much as before, but I chose the left which climbed steeply, in deep shadow, towards a cave. At the entrance to the cave burned a fire. I approached with caution, then waited. I found there was something attractive, magnetic about the fire. I felt the drying heat on my face as it seemed to draw me closer. The desire to step into the fire strengthened steadily, but I resisted. To the right of the fire was a pile of logs which I began to feed to the fire, turning the flames from yellow to white heat. The desire to step into the flames and be purged, to experience catharsis, became overpowering. As I made to take those last steps into the fire, a tall figure dressed in a black, cowled robe appeared at the cave mouth. Though I saw a hint of nose and chin, the newcomer's face was virtually hidden in shadow.
I opened a conversation by requesting access to my unconscious mind, a request that appeared to be well received. As the Druid touched my right shoulder we exchanged bodies. I became aware that the Druid had waited a long time for me to come, and also that the Druid's powers were not unlimited, though immeasurably greater than mine. We had both wanted this meeting for so long, and now that it had happened there was a sense of having arrived and been accepted. So we re-exchanged bodies.
I was lost in silence, not knowing what to ask of the Druid. He reached into a large leather bag leaning against the wall at the cave mouth and drew forth a handful of ordinary-looking rock chippings and gave them to me. I carefully placed the apparently worthless gift in my pocket and turned to leave. I walked down the path, westwards, until once again I arrived at the fork. There I stopped to inspect the Druid's gift. The rock chippings had undergone a remarkable transformation. They had joined to form a composite of intensely beautiful, purple-violet crystals surrounded by a circlet of milky white. They seemed to hold such mystery and purity in their depths. They were life in inanimate form, were both weak and strong.
I began to try to prise the crystal structure apart until my fingers began to bleed with the effort, and my finger bones began to break. So strong was the structure that it defied all my efforts to dismantle it. Then it was that I discovered that I could take the structure apart by lovingly willing the component crystals to slide along their fracture planes. Just as easily I could reassemble the structure. After continuing to dismantle and reassemble the crystals for some while, I saw at last in the depths of the crystal lattice a golden ring containing a single diamond. Around me had developed a mist of glittering particles which had emanated from the crystal, yet the structure had steadily grown larger and more beautiful..........
"..........and drew forth a handful of ordinary-looking rock chippings and gave them to me.........."
At the time, I struggled to see the significance of a handful of apparently worthless collection of rock chippings. As time passed, however, I began to see that what passes as ordinary, run-of-the-mill, primordial even, in the realm of the superconscious mind is, in the world of consciousness, something precious and jewel-like. [I have before me a piece of amethyst to remind me for always of that experience.]
There is much that could be said about the meaning of the amethyst image, its colour, and the appearance of the gold ring in its depths. But that would take too long. It is enough to say that what is represented relates to truth, knowledge, spiritual temperance and repentance, resignation and acceptance. I recall the characteristic 'let-it-happen-to-me' attitude of Mary, the legendary mother of Jesus. And the diamond? Light, life and incorruptibility.
Spiritual truth, the kingdom of heaven, is not something that can be assailed with force. It requires that a recipient uses truth lovingly and respectfully. I say again, the spiritual life does not conform to dictat but responds only to persuasion. Only in that way can it grow and spread like a living entity. [It is not unlike the taking of five loaves and two fishes, sharing and spreading them and garnering what they become, far more than that from which they grew.]
This truth, reality, authenticity, so common at the highest realms of our Christic Self, is experience beyond understanding. It is incapable of being subject to mere intellectual analysis. There is also something oddly alien and other-worldly about this kind of truth that is, paradoxically, both powerful and weak or fragile, that can be lived yet not understood. It is lived because it is Life.
As the Christ said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life."