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
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.
"..........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.........."
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!!]