Monday, 25 February 2019

Somewhere That Is No-where

          I have rarely found that a single meditation on any subject brings one to the very heart of the matter under investigation. It requires a number of meditations, each one being deeper than the one before, yet always related in some way. The series of meditations currently being reported began with the goddess Demeter, moved deeper into an interaction with Mary [the mother of Jesus], before experiencing her as an aspect of the psycho-spiritual self. Going now more deeply into this subject I will try to describe my symbolic surroundings, my inner journey/conversation and let them speak as they will. But first, a few pointers.
          To carry out this form of meditation, a pathworking, one needs some props along the way. In this case the props are a temple/church, some place of worship, but with no details given, and an altar. Anything else that spontaneously occurs is the true conversation, and to be greatly valued. Two further symbols that occurred simply showed that I was on the correct path. One symbol was a pair of Gothic, temple doors standing in isolation whilst the other was a crypt. Together they represented a gateway into the shadow of death, into prayer.
       
..........I discovered that I was walking towards the centre of a sunlit glade where there stood double bronze doors surrounded by a stone frame, but nothing else. They stood at the crossover point of four paths leading into the glade from each of the cardinal points of the compass. Pushing open the doors I entered what appeared to be a personal temple, a structure which had been non-existent from the outside. Before me lay an open, darkened crypt accessed by a ramp leading downwards. I walked down the ramp and found myself in a large space which appeared to extend without limit, outwards into darkness.
Immediately before me stood an altar on which stood a transparent bowl, so clear that it seemed to represent form without substance. In the bowl was a similarly clear liquid which I lit from hand fire. To either side of the bowl lay an ear of wheat. Behind the altar appeared a column of light which seemed to be alive. The darkness around me deepened, and with a slight sense of disorientation, I rose upwards above the altar and felt my hands reach out in front of me. In response I sensed a corresponding gesture from the glowing column, until our hands were clasped together. At that moment I discovered also that I was dressed in a black habit, symbolising obedience, chastity and celibacy..........

          In this experience I entered that state sometimes called one's inner temple. It is a place of virginal purity where one meets the divine, the hand fire confirming something spiritual was present. A temple is also a symbol for a womb, a place of creativity or procreativity. There one must wait awhile, allowing what will happen to actually happen, doing only what was required of one and not what one might choose to do under the influence of the ego.
          As I was raised from the floor of the temple I moved to a point above or over the altar. What followed was a handing process, or more accurately a handing over process.  From that moment on, I was in something else's hands. This action reflects the attitude of Mary, her acceptance and commitment referred to in the previous post, 'Let It Happen to Me.' The links to my previous meditations on a shallower level are clear enough, even to the appearance of two ears of wheat on the altar.
          It is difficult to describe the sense of otherness, of disorientation combined with stability that I experienced. It was as if my ego were losing its tenuous hold on its own existence, and another part of my self were willingly and gladly changing to a new orientation, going somewhere that is no-where. And in the end, that somewhere is indeed no-where, because the symbols themselves are not that somewhere. What that somewhere truly is lies beyond description.

Footnote:          I wished to concentrate on the inner temple and what occurred there, because I felt that was the focus of my meditation. Yet in so doing I have tended to ignore the fact that just as an altar is a place of sacrifice [and not necessarily of the bloody and cruel variety], so also is the Cross. And I noted that the "gateway into the shadow of death" or into the relationship that is called prayer [the double doors of the temple], was placed where the paths in the sunlit glade crossed each other.

8 comments:

  1. Hi Tom,
    This is a beautiful piece of writing that speaks evocatively to your interior spiritual journey.
    Sometimes I think what is in the minds imagination is paradoxically more real than the reality of existence itself, providing you accept mystery has its place. It seems to me you have laid bare who you are and how your experience shapes your existence - at least that is my perception. So I think it wonderful to read about this very personal experience and that you have the courage to lay it all out like that before us. I am quite sure what I may interpret might be different to others or indeed maybe even yourself, but the point is that it is an expression of your authentic spiritual experience.
    Best wishes

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    1. Hi Lindsay,
      Thank you for your supportive comment. I believe your perceptions are correct, and I agree wholeheartedly with your point that what is in the mind's imagination, certainly as manifested in this kind of inner journey, is more real than the reality of existence.

      I have been so long on this particular path that I have become accustomed to the essential reality that is expressed in these conversational journeys that I find it difficult to remember what it was like when I was spiritually blinded by my own ego. That is not to say that my first interpretations are always correct. However, over periods of time the truth does appear to emerge. It is so important to keep records and maintain inner contact. Gradually life becomes less about doing things at the 'right time' and in the 'right way' and more about a continuous prayerful relationship.

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  2. Does your meditation resemble Transcendental Meditation? Or an acid trip?

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    1. Hello Bruce,

      I'll assume your query regarding 'acid trip' was said with tongue in cheek. I have never taken acid, or any other social drug, in my life; not even cannabis! From what I read Transcendental Meditation is similar, if not identical, to Centering Prayer.

      My meditation, of the type written about in this post for example, is 'Pathworking'. Briefly, one chooses a subject, imagines one is actually there, and allows what will happen, to happen. The fewer props one uses, the more likely it is that the unconscious or superconscious mind will respond with images of its own. The mind can only respond with symbols, and it takes some experience to interpret those images.

      In January 2014, [1st., 3rd. and 5th. respectively] I wrote three posts, 'A Different Nativity', 'The Nativity Revisited' and a comment post 'Responsum'. They were very good examples of the pathworking technique using the bible story as my main prop. It is important not to apply unnecessary restrictions to the meditation which simply allows the ego to dominate, and thus block out what one's inner self wishes to say.

      I hope my response has been of help.

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    2. Tom, I may have been confused (addled) by part of an old advertising slogan by Dupont, "Better Living Through Chemistry". Your response was indeed of help. Thanks! And for putting up with my attempts at wit. (I'm half-way there.)

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  3. I find it difficult to say anything about such a personal meditation and prefer simply to absorb its images as if watching a silent film. I wonder if you ever thought of doing a series of paintings based on these meditations? I wish you would.

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    1. It's a lovely idea, Natalie. In fact I even talked about the idea with Lucy some weeks back. The problem is basically, I don't feel I have the expertise.

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