In my previous post I talked about the experience of taking an honest and searching inventory of myself, a process that was taken as deeply as I was able to go. That was a process that I was able to instigate, something for which I was able to take responsibility. Yet what I discovered was that two processes were put into effect, the second one being the natural outcome of the one for which I had assumed responsibility. A word had flittered into my head from time to time, and just as readily departed. I never really paid that word much attention, but in the end it was to underline what the whole process of inventory-taking had been about. That word was denial, more precisely the eradication of psychological denial. Without the removal of my denial, it would have been impossible to gain any perspective on truth.
The more I thought about it, the more I realised that to become free from denial was perhaps the single, greatest step I could take towards spiritual healing. This "process of becoming", in which my inner world of denial, of laying bare the games, tricks and machinations of my ego, was revealed as a process of ever-increasing enlightenment which lay deeper than I could have voluntarily accessed. In short, my inner world had undergone a process of purification.
With this thought in mind, I set about doing a pathworking (along the lines of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius) which involved experiencing the baptism of Jesus of Nazareth, with as much attention to detail as I could manage. Usually, I have no problems with this kind of exercise, but on this occasion another experience imposed itself on my consciousness. I will quote from my pathworking diaries as follows:-
"..........Before me stood a high pyramid of steps, a series of platforms of ever-decreasing size. At the top, on a level with the faces of the Lords of Karma, stood a lectern holding the closed Book of Life, and a high-backed chair. When I stood at the lectern and asked my question,
"Have I made sufficient amends for the hurts I have caused, and if not what more can I do?"
the cover of the Book sprang open and the pages flipped over as if driven by a powerful wind. There were snatches of gold writing, but nothing that I could focus on, or understand. In seconds the Book had closed once more, so I sat and waited.
After a while, blood began to seep from between the pages of the Book, running out onto the white-covered, altar-like table that the lectern had become. Then, what appeared to be a hazy cloud of golden stardust showered twinkling down on to the blood and absorbed it, leaving the table pristine clean once more.
The pyramid of steps had disappeared, to be replaced by an invisible path still on the level of the Lords faces. As I hurried between them everything went dark. All that could be seen was a single old figure with a light shining down on him. I knelt before him and asked for forgiveness for all the hurt I had caused. He blessed me, and I left that place.........."
In this pathworking, I needed to know about the follow-up to the taking of my personal inventory, namely whether I had made sufficient amends. I do not believe that life offers rewards or punishments for what I do. But there will always be consequences, and I needed to face those consequences. I think this pathworking is quite clear. Again, a purification process had taken place.
When I review my experience which I have discussed in this, and in the previous, essay it seems to me that it is reasonable to conclude that I have undergone an inner baptism or purification. This "washing away" process has its counterpart in the baptism of Jesus as lived by the mythological Christ. Gradually it is becoming clear that the inner Christological life of the Nazarene can be seen as a blueprint for anyone choosing to follow a spiritual path. Of course, my life is not his, nor his life mine. Yet there are points of similarity that point to a common set of forms of inner experience which can be entered into by anyone, whether or not they claim to be agnostic, atheistic or religious. It is, I believe, this common form of inner experience that can be inclusive of everyone that could be the best counter to the divisiveness so prevalent in today's world.