Let me begin by picking up on the essential features of the first part of this essay. It was near the beginning of a meditation on the possible purpose of my life, not a subject that filled me with great enthusiasm, that the image of a Temple appeared in my mind. Old familiars appeared in a new setting; a link was drawn between Sophia and the Lady of the Lake; I learned of a mistaken conclusion I had drawn about Truth and Wisdom; I was invited to enter far more deeply into my inner world, and drank deeply from that Chalice. Finally I saw in the far distance a group of Divine Sparks being shepherded by Sirius the Dog Star.
On Teaching and Further Symbolism:
Put as briefly as possible, Gnostic teaching says that within in each one of us (and I would not exclude any other member of Nature's kingdoms) is a tiny piece of the Divine, our souls perhaps. These pieces, or Divine Sparks, after existing in the Pleroma, the Light, the Fullness, or the Hebrew Ain-Soph-Aur, incarnate from that unmanifest state into our physical bodies. At the end of the life of the physical body, the Sparks return to the great unmanifest.
In mythology the Dog Star, Sirius, is said to be one of the watchmen of the heavens, keeping guard over the abyss into incarnation. This star exemplifies the initiate who has succeeded in bridging the lower and higher consciousness. Astrologically, Sirius is part of the region of the sky which has been known as the gateway to the ocean of higher consciousness. To say that Sirius, appearing in the Tarot as "The Star", is important in mystery religions would be a massive understatement.
As I have already said, it does not seem to matter whether or not I believe in these teachings and mythological accounts. What matters is that my unconscious mind has chosen these avenues to reveal what it will, even perhaps as a series of 'as ifs'. It so happens that I am prepared to take these teachings as working hypotheses until they have proved their value, or lack of same. There is further point that must be emphasised, namely that every part of this pathworking is a part of me. The image of the Divine Sparks, and of Sirius, are as much me as are the Wolf, Cheetah, Eagle-Hawk, Sword and Chalice. They come as close as I can get to defining what and who I am.
Approaching the Dog Star:
As I watched the Star from afar I became aware of myself, still seated on my throne with the Sword of Wisdom across my knees, as a ghostly projection on the surrounding cosmos. When I gently dismissed that projection, I found that I was travelling effortlessly and at high speed towards Sirius. A certain point was reached when I was captured by the Star's magnetic field. In a deep sense I had returned to my Self. Nearby, was the collection of Divine Sparks, in a state of extreme weariness. My difficulty was in trying to determine where these Sparks were on their seemingly aeonian journey. Were they about to experience the emanative period of physical life, or had that period of their existence been accomplished? (Their obvious fatigue was no guide. In a pathworking of my physical birth, carried out many years ago, I felt the same fatigue, and also had what was probably a near death experience.) The distant light towards which the Sparks were being escorted, was it a vaginal opening into the physical world, or an entrance into some higher form of existence?
It was this point that I had reached when, at the beginning of 'Part 1' of this script, I said that no final resolution to these questions could be offered. There were too many options available; but each one relied to a greater or lesser extent on the belief, wholly or partially, in handed down wisdom and teaching. What I wanted was to confirm or reject those teachings from my own inner experience. That option did not seem to be available. .
I do not believe that at a fundamental level the universe, if left to itself, is interested in complication. Rather it deals in complexity. It is the ego that likes to complicate matters. Sir Roger Penrose once said something along the lines that the universe can only be described in terms of complex numbers*. One of the features of complex numbers is that by means of mathematical transformations, seemingly complicated systems can be changed to simple systems which are relatively easy to manipulate and solve. It occurs to me that this may be what is required in this pathworking. The difficulty is discovering the appropriate 'transform'.
What is the Purpose of My Life?
If the confirmation of handed down wisdom and teaching is not a current option, another option has emerged which is consistent with spiritual teaching the world over. And that option takes me all the way back to the meditation on which this pathworking was originally based. In an odd sort of way, the problems we are currently undergoing with our dear Mol, has acted like a mathematical transform. Her presence, and the tough decisions which we may yet have to make on her behalf, has reduced a complicated equation to its simplest terms.
The role of the Dog Star is to guide, shepherd and care for its 'pack' of Divine Sparks. There have been many 'others' in my life for whom I have cared greatly. Not all of them have been entrusted wholly to my keeping. In those cases I have been happy to play a supporting role. When I let go of my reasoning and absorb the sensings around this pathworking, one thing stands out very clearly, and it is in the form of a total conviction. My life has a purpose, and that purpose is to love. On the surface that may sound obvious and simple, but at its root it is a complex state of being. It is not my purpose here to write a treatise on love, but what is clear to me in a way I have not seen before, is that the love to which I refer is not about thought, feeling, romance or ego-sentimentality. It is not even about the caring about, and the caring of, that appeals to the higher instincts. It is about the practice of love that does not carry any opt-out clause. It is about how I love my neighbour, even if I loathe him/her. Again I say it is about how I practise, not how I feel.
But who is my pack, my family, even my neighbour? I would suggest that it is everyone with whom I am in contact. To practise the art of love is a life-long apprenticeship, and that is what I now realise I have been called to do. From practice, sometimes tentative and inept, has come conviction and affirmation. And there is no worthier activity than open-eyed love, offered in wisdom, in which to engage because it is inclusive and not divisive. All other worthwhile pursuits stem from this one activity. because in the end it is not so much that, as scripture teaches, "God is Love," it is rather that, "Love is God."
* Complex numbers are of the general form x + iy, and are a combination of two terms. The Real part is the variable x term; the Imaginary term iy (said to exist on the z plane which is not Real) is the product of the variable y and the square root of -1, which has no solution in Real terms. (Best to order your mathematical textbooks now, before stocks run out!) It seems to me that in some ways that reflects, or is an analogy for, the way we can live our lives to the full. There is the 'real' part that we associate with our everyday consciousness, but there is also the unconscious, 'imaginary' aspect of our make-up. And it is the latter part, all too often ignored, that holds the key to the understanding of our Selves.