Wednesday, 22 December 2021

Goodbye 2021

To all of you who read my scratchings and scribblings, may I wish you a happy, loving Christmas. And may all your needs for 2022 be met in abundance.


                               Au 'voir, et Bonnes fêtes 


Friday, 17 December 2021

Loss of Self-Awareness Through Anger

          This pathworking began as a struggle. I did not seem to have enough to make it meaningful; and everything was so shallow, with only very obvious observations. Then suddenly:-

"..........I am in an underground, stone room, a castle dungeon maybe, though it is spotlessly clean and well lit. I am hammering furiously on the flagstoned floor with my wooden staff, trying to get somewhere. Suddenly, the floor explodes downwards and I am in a dimly lit cosmos.

A galaxy "snaps" into place before me, shining with such a brilliant, white light that I can barely look at it. Although it is very close to me, I can just about hold the complete galaxy within my cone of vision, as it stretches out to right and left like a pair of stylised wings. Within the globe of stars comprising the centre of the galaxy is a bearded, brilliant face that gives the galaxy its shining power. Now there are other, smaller, less distinct faces. If they are trying to communicate with me, I am unable to hear them.

The flagstoned floor has "snapped" back into place and I am returned to, unceremoniously dumped in, the dungeon.  It is over.........."

          Although I didn't realise it at the time, there are some very important lessons to be learned from this experience. At that time I was feeling frustrated --- yes, angry --- that I was getting nowhere with this pathworking. I had descended into my deep self, my beyond-consciousness, which appeared to contain no undealt-with baggage. How the ego can fool one! Yet there was little enlightenment in that "dimly lit cosmos."

          The words that came to mind, "furiously"; "explodes"; "snaps"; and "snapped", appropriately describe my attitude toward my work on that day. There was also the intimation of great power; and anger is a very powerful emotion. Although anger may provide the necessary energy with which to accomplish the goals of the ego, whether for good or ill, it is useless and inappropriate in the realm of the spirit. All that one is faced with is ..... oneself, one's ego. 

          So often in the past I have, regretfully, come face to face with the many expressions of my own anger and frustration. [Even when I used to sport a beard!] There is no doubt that when in that state, one is unable to ..... "hear" that which one needs to hear. The presence of anger is all-encompassing. Most importantly, when one is strongly identified with the ego, under the spells of the "thinking" and "feeling" functions, and the perceptions that have their origins in those functions, one loses ..... "self-awareness." 

          The interesting thing about that experience is that over time, as I have returned to that experience, I have become increasingly aware of a sense of amusement emanating from my inner teacher. This particular pathworking, certainly not the one I had originally sought, has had a salutary effect on my life. A long time ago, the question was asked of me, "Cannot anger also be part of the spectrum of love?" Somehow, I doubt it.


Friday, 10 December 2021

Dawning Awareness

 "..........It is as if there are two spaces, the lower is dark and is Death, whilst the upper is light and Life. They both exist in a state of eternity, outside time, rather than in a state of everlastingness. The Word, coming to believe, act as ..... dimmer switches, moving one's experience, one's being, from the lower state to the upper. Before a spiritual awakening occurs, one is in a state of Death, of unawareness. When the switch occurs, everything comes to Life:  ..... and none of this relates to the life and death of the material body.........."

          Whenever this kind of switching takes place, there is always a sense of ..... Presence ..... sometimes even a sense of Angelic Presence, associated with the event. I recall the first time that I can remember sensing this manifestation of "presence." I had been undergoing an intense study into my inability to carry out a task which my intellect said was within my capabilities, if I just kept trying. This study, voluntarily entered into, [and 'worked at' very diligently], was immediately followed by an ..... awareness, which just seemed to dawn on me like a mist drifting away, as if I were ..... "seeing" something for the first time. That experience made me aware that, under the powerful influence of my ego, I had been in a state of psychological denial, that my goal was beyond my capability to achieve. In the aftermath of that experience, and with no effort involved, I gained a dawning awareness that there was another way of ..... being, that something more powerful than my ego could break through my obsessional behaviour. Thus it was that I came to experience my first encounter with a "Dark Night," the dark night of the intellect.

          The sense of Presence was ..... vague but unmistakable. It was as if the "image" of that presence were symbolic of an awareness of the Self that I had never before encountered. It was an experience that was the total opposite of that state of ..... unawareness, experienced when under the control of the ego, when in that lower space which is ..... dark, and is Death.  

          It is strange that after all these years that I have followed my Path, or Way, without question, that I could have gone in a regressive direction. But I had to choose to follow the Path that I now willingly travel. As I indicated above, it felt as if an enlightening dimmer switch had allowed me to "see" and know that sense of "Presence."

          As the Word said, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whosoever believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." "..........and none of this relates to the life and death of the material body.........."


Friday, 3 December 2021

Visual Language

           The Missal reading for 11th. Oct. 2021 was taken from Luke 11:29-32.  

They - the Scribes and the  Pharisees - wanted Jesus to work a sign for them, a miracle, in such a way that they could become aware if He was the one sent by God, ..... as they had imagined. They wanted Jesus to submit himself to their criteria. They wanted to fit Him into the framework of their own idea of the Messiah. There was no openness for a possible conversion in them. [My thanks to the Carmelite Lectio Divina website for this interpretation.]

          It seems to me that the same principle needs to be applied to the interpretation of the symbols and images that arise during pathworkings [rather similar to, if not the same as, kataphatic contemplative prayer] and meditations. The 'visual language' of the unconscious mind must be interpreted ..... on its own terms, rather than those assumed to be correct as a result of one's thinking function, arrived at through rational argument and logic. In my experience, although I have no doubt that the psycho-spiritual world operates according to its own set of universal laws, understanding the world of symbolism and imagery is much like how one approaches one's appreciation of art. To impose one's own ..... 'intellectual' rules is to run the risk of misinterpreting and missing the point of an artwork. Similarly, the unconscious mind can only be understood by opening one's mind and, if necessary, changing one's way of thinking about matters arising from that realm of unconsciousness. And of course, there is the added advantage that by avoiding ..... attachment to one's thoughts, one also avoids the need to travel that part of the "dark night of the intellect."  

          A very large part of our spiritual and psychological development requires us to change the way we think, get rid of preconceived ideas, engage with the process of metanoia. Or as the Bible calls it, repentance. [As a by-product of that practice, we might just get to save our planet as well!!]


Friday, 26 November 2021

Spheres Within Spheres *

 "..........I float in deep space; everywhere is the colour violet. My archangelic guide is turned away from me. In the far distance is a group of fiery crystals being shepherded towards their destination, but I may not follow them. We, my guide and I, move rapidly upward and outward until halted by an invisible membrane surrounding a sphere which defines my spiritual location. Far beyond, shine more stars and galaxies in a realm that I cannot reach.

          Nearby, is a huge Tree. I reach out and find that I have entered its leafy crown. How can I breach the membrane that defies all my efforts to break through? In some way the uppermost branches have passed through the invisible barrier, but I will not be able, will not be allowed, to force my way through. Now I see that the way through is by a gentle, non-invasive path. I must become at one with the Tree in order to grow through the membrane with the branches.

          My guide and I slip inside the Tree. We climb a double helix stairway until we reach the barrier. There my guide stops and points the way. I can and do move on, into the next sphere; spheres within spheres. Another guide greets me, and we travel on together.........."


          It is a mistake to think that spiritual growth can be achieved by effort, as if such growth is an Olympic activity. The real effort, and that is undoubtedly necessary, lies in becoming prepared which may also require increased self-awareness. The passage from one experiential sphere to another appears to be an act of, what one may call ..... grace. One moves "upward and onward" as if by invitation, when the time is right. It is all a process of inner, spiritual evolution and one which always takes me somewhat by surprise. 

          Alongside the move toward preparedness grows acceptance of what is. And part of that acceptance is a recognition of powerlessness. In one sense, it is the acceptance of death to one sphere, to one way of being, so that one is born into a larger way of living. I find that all previous experiences of ..... being-ness always appear to be so ..... limited.


* [Footnote: "Into the Enchanted Forest - 3" delayed, probably indefinitely.]


Friday, 19 November 2021

Into the Enchanted Forest - Part 2.

          I will reproduce the essential cores of the three pathworkings from Part 1 of this post:-

"..........I am in a forest, approaching a glade. Before me, hanging in space, is a large eggshell with its top section as yet not yet formed. From deep inside comes a bright, blinding light as if from a white sun which had first appeared as a candle flame. Its radiance lights all the trees around us, grouped as if in adoration, in some form of worship. Yet the worship was more apparent than real, perhaps like a loving acknowledgement.........."

"..........I am moving in a forest, approaching a large, incomplete eggshell that seems to symbolise the focus of all my interacting processes with the world/universe around me. Inside the Egg is planet Earth, bathed in warm light. It is this light that streams into space.........."

"..........The great eggshell is here, before me. Through the brilliant light emitted from the unformed top, I see the contents of the translucent shell. It is a golden-yellow yolk encased in albumen. From the yolk worms an indistinct umbilicus which connects the two parts of the shell's contents.........."

          I have found in all my work that the emergent imagery always speaks about my psycho-spiritual being. That work never appears to speak of the 'out there' world, the physical forms. Thus although one could conclude that the eggshell could represent the Van Allen belts protection the earth and all its lifeforms, or the physical skeleton protecting the brain, I think that to conclude thus would be to miss the point.

          To enter this forest is to enter into a mystery, a ..... divine mystery. One needs to approach that mystery with loving acknowledgement, with ..... respect, rather than an egoistic experience of 'worship'. Here, on the threshold of a great mystery, one stands as if at a point of balance, a point of expectant hesitation, before entering the unfolding world of the spirit. This is the home of the perfect soul, symbolised by the white star, a body to which I alluded in a previous post, "The Crypt."

          In the second quote, in which I refer to the planet Earth inside the eggshell, Earth symbolically represents  how one interacts with the surrounding world/universe. It is about the use of physical senses, thoughts, emotions and perceptions and their effects on the deeper spiritual being; in short how the ego possibly affects the soul.

          Very similar in colour and form to our local star, the yolk located within its protective casing and fed from its 'food source', represents [to me at least] the ..... potential of something yet to develop. From the foregoing imagery, I cannot conclude that the soul comes into being, fully-fledged, when the physical foetus is born. Just as a foetus requires a physical, mothering environment in which to grow and develop before birth, so does the soul require a corresponding spiritual, mothering environment.

          I will conclude my thoughts about this phase of the work of contemplation of the soul in the third part of this post.

Friday, 12 November 2021

Into the Enchanted Forest - Part 1.

"..........I am in a forest, approaching a glade. Before me, hanging in space, is a large, human-sized eggshell with its top section as yet not yet formed. From deep inside comes a bright, blinding light as if from a white sun which had first appeared as a candle flame. Its radiance lights all the trees around us, grouped as if in adoration, in some form of worship. Yet the worship was more apparent than real, perhaps like a loving acknowledgement.........."

          The atmosphere feels as if an image had been superimposed ..... a memory of a past experience. It feels reminiscent of , "A Different Nativity" which I wrote about in January 2014. It is the feeling of "divine birthing" that predominates. Then the scene blurs and changes:-

"..........I am moving in a forest, approaching a very large, incomplete eggshell that seems to symbolise the focus of all my interacting processes with the world/universe around me. Inside the Egg is planet Earth bathed in warm light. It is this light that streams into space.........."

          I pondered on this imagery, on and off, for months, never quite understanding what I was being told. Then after a period of meditating on the "soul":-

"..........The great eggshell is here, before me. Through the brilliant light emitted from the unformed top, I see the contents of the translucent shell. It is a golden-yellow yolk encased in albumen. From the yolk worms an indistinct umbilicus which connects the two parts of the shell's contents.........."

          The setting, a shady forest, has been described in a number of ways. In particular the symbol of the forest represents a place, essentially feminine, that is free from control and intellectual "cultivation." It thus represents the Earth in the role of the Great Mother. Further, to enter the Dark or Enchanted Forest is like entering the perilous unknown, the spiritual realm, which one must ..... penetrate, in order to find meaning.

          There is no doubt in my mind that the months, and years even, that I have spent musing over this imagery have finally brought me to the point where I can only conclude that it is the "soul" about which I am being instructed. Not only that, but a study of this subject could arguably be the most important enterprise in my spiritual life. I will develop some of my thoughts in Part 2 of this post.