Creating the New Earth Together

“Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? Canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?” (Job 38:33)

I enjoy reading books whose authors agree with my way of thinking and resonate with my depth of knowing. Don’t we all? COSMOS AND PSYCHE, authored by Richard Tarnas, is such a book whose author I’ve come to know and regard as a soul brother and kindred spirit. Although he uses large words and long sentences at times, his spirit flows through the lines and between the pages with unfettered authenticity.  He is a joy to read, and I am happy to share that joy here,

AN ENCHANTED UNIVERSE

There was a time when the cosmos was an enchanted world of mythological characters and soulful presence with which human beings enjoyed an intimate relationship and worshipful communion. The “primal mind” this author ascribes to the Greeks, for instance, knew the cosmos as having a soul. That all shifted with the emergence of the “modern mind” which stripped the cosmos of soul and created a cosmology of  a “disenchanted” universe of lifeless matter, as though Earth were the only planet capable of supporting life.  What ignorance and darkened understanding to limit the vital creative energy of Life to organic matter. Life is everywhere and in all things, organic and inorganic!

Here’s an excerpt from the summary chapter of Tanas’s “epoch making” book that speaks to this evolution of our world view.  In this summation, he addresses the issue of coincidences within the context of accumulated data on the compelling evidence of synchronous events in the heavens with unfolding life experiences on earth, along with his own conviction of a “cosmic ordering principle” governed by a “complex creative intelligence.”

Sources of the World Order

In every field of inquiry, an adequate paradigm reveals patterns of coherent relations in what are otherwise inexplicable random coincidences. A good theory makes observed patterns intelligible. As the physicist and philosopher of science P. W. Bridgman famously observed, “coincidences” are what are left over after one has applied a bad theory. In the course of the three decades during which I have examined  correlations between planetary movements and the patterns of human affairs, I found there were simply too many such “coincidences” evident in the data, which were too consistently coherent with the corresponding archetypal principles, and too strongly suggestive of the workings of some form of complex creative intelligence, to assume that they were all meaningless chance anomalies. Plato’s words from his final dialogue, the Laws, when he criticized the disenchanted mechanistic cosmology of the physicists and Sophist philosophers of the preceding century, now seemed to me uncannily prophetic.

The truth is just the opposite of the opinion which once prevailed among men, that the sun and stars are without soul. . . . For in that shortsighted view, the entire moving contents of the heavens seemed to them only stones, earth, and other soulless bodies, though these furnish the sources of the world order.

Yet the data that has now emerged suggests that what Plato called the “world order” is of a special kind. The evidence points to a cosmic ordering principle whose combination of participatory co-creativity, multivalent complexity, and dynamic indeterminacy was not entirely comprehensible to the ancient vision, even a vision as intricate and penetrating as Plato’s. The relationship between the unfolding realities of human life and a dynamic archetypal order reflected in the planetary movements appears to be more fluid and complex, more creatively unpredictable, and more responsive to human intention and quality of consciousness or unconsciousness than was articulated in the classical tradition.

One important task before us, therefore, is to understand the long development that separates Plato’s vision of an archetypal participatory cosmos from our own. Another is to grasp how the nearly pervasive astrological cosmology of classical antiquity, after deeply influencing the medieval and Renaissance imagination, gradually receded in cultural significance and intellectual legitimacy until it came to appear utterly untenable to the modern mind. Yet another task is to seek insight into why it has reemerged in our own time, radically transfigured. Running through all these questions, I believe, is the great mystery of the unfolding Copernican revolution, which seems to have played the role of cosmological vessel and mediator of a vast initiatory process in the evolution of the modern self.

It was Copernicus in 1543 who proposed a heliocentric model of the solar system, positioning the sun near the center of the then known Universe, motionless, with Earth and the other planets orbiting around it in circular paths. It’s an indictment on the human mind’s myopic and self-centered view of the Universe that less than 500 years ago, a cosmic fraction of a second, we thought the sun and all the planets orbited around us here on Earth.

I would say the human race has emerged from Plato’s “cave” and into the light of day. Since discovering the vastness of the macrocosm, and the bottomless microcosm, we have ventured inward to explore the realm of spirit and consciousness, only to realize there’s an invisible One around which the Cosmos and all of Creation orbits—and the “ordinances of heaven” are being set in the earth by this One without our help or interference. 

Tarnas concludes his findings: 

The current body of accumulated data makes it difficult to sustain the modern assumption that the universe as a whole is best understood as a blind, mechanistic phenomenon of ultimately random processes with which human consciousness is fundamentally incoherent, and in which the Earth and human beings are ultimately peripheral and insignificant. The evidence suggests rather that the cosmos is intrinsically meaningful to and coherent with human consciousness; that the Earth is a significant focal point of this meaning, a moving center of cosmic meaning in an evolving universe, as is each individual human being; that time is not only quantitative but qualitative in character, and that dif­ferent periods of time are informed by tangibly different archetypal dynamics; and, finally, that the cosmos as a living whole appears to be informed by some kind of pervasive creative intelligence—an intelligence, judging by the data, of scarcely conceivable power, complexity, and aesthetic subtlety, yet one with which human intelligence is intimately connected, and in which it can consciously participate. I believe that a widespread understanding of the potent but usually unconscious archetypal dynamics that coincide with planetary cycles and alignments, both in individual lives and in the historical process, can play a crucial role in the positive unfolding of our collective future….

….I have found the archetypal astrological perspective, properly understood, to be uniquely capable of illuminating the inner dynamics of both cultural history and personal biography. It provides extraordinary insight into the deeper shifting patterns of the human psyche, both individual and collective, and into the complexly participatory nature of human reality. It places the modern mind and the modern self in an altogether new light, radically recontextualizing the modern project. Perhaps most important, it promises to contribute to the emergence of a new, genuinely integral world view, one that, while sustaining the irreplaceable insights and achievements of the modern and postmodern development, can reunite the human and the cosmic, and restore transcendent meaning to both.

The oneness of Heaven and Earth is pretty much a given in today’s modern mind that has been awakened to the reality of a multi-dimensional world. Why should we not also be conscious of a dynamic state of oneness between the human psyche and the cosmos?

Since Richard Tarnas published his research in 2007, there’s been a radical shift in our understanding and experience of the oneness of the New Heaven and the emerging New Earth. We have experienced an exponential ascension of human consciousness in the last decade.  And now, with five planets aligning with the earth this month and through February 20, further transformation and awareness are being given an energetic launch into the new decade.

Will we see a Golden Age dawn in the twenty-first century? Not unless and until we include the natural world in it; a world both above us in the heavens and below us in the earth from which we have divorced ourselves. 

“THE WORLD WE STILL HAVE”

I would like to share an excerpt from the SUN of December, 2019, which features a candid and insightful interview by Fred Bahnson with Oregonian “nature writer” Barry Lopez. The title of the article speaks for the essence of the interview: “THE WORLD WE STILL HAVE — Barry Lopez on restoring our lost intimacy with Nature.” His compassion and empathy are inspiring.  

Bahnson: What is it that is looking back at us through the eyes of a wolf, or from a particular landscape? Some would name that God, or some other word for the Divine. How would you name that?

Lopez: I would say it’s an encounter between the two sides of a lopsided divorce. It’s a breach, you know. The agri­cultural revolution was a breach, a divorce. The industrial revolution was a worse breach. The surrounding material world was relegated, in both these instances, to the position of an employee, even a slave; a source of entertainment; a storehouse for natural resources. When wild animals look back at you, I can imagine what they might be thinking if your defense for the massive changes you’ve engineered in their world, and are responsible for, is “But look at this beautiful world we’ve built.” Many divorces are character­ized by incredibly lopsided thinking and misapprehension. I believe one of the reasons our lives are so difficult today is because of the separation from the rest of the natural world that we’ve insisted on having, our insistence on the primacy of human life. Human history, you know, is but one dimension of natural history. It’s not the other way around.

If you can imagine a divorce in which only one mem­ber of the dyad — modern humanity — made the decision to create a breach, and then enforced it, you can begin to understand what the growing malaise in human culture is about. It occurs to humanity that it has lost its spouse. That’s metaphorical, of course. But if you imagine what happens when divorce is forced on just one person, then you can begin to understand why traditional people are reluctant to make that same adjustment. They don’t want the breach. They see the destructive injustice. Why accept a separation from all the rest of creation? Everybody I spoke with in villages across the Arctic in the seventies and eighties, when I asked them to offer me adjectives for people in my culture, the one word I heard repeatedly was lonely. They see us as deeply lonely people — and one of the reasons we’re lonely, if you agree with that, is that we’ve cut ourselves off from the nonhuman world, and have called this “progress.”

Bahnson: So perhaps those moments of numinous encounter are really moments of regrounding ourselves in reality?

Lopez: Yeah, reconnection. It’s reconnection. And this brings us around to the issue of memory. I recall every day the moments of primal contact I’ve experienced with the nonhuman world — with pronghorn antelope and wild salmon and scarlet tanagers — and with the nonhuman world’s most intimate and knowledgeable interpreters: indigenous people. The memories regenerate me; they
boost my desire to try to work in my writing as a media­tor of some sort between the dehumanized natural world and my own acquisitive culture.

Bahnson: What, specifically, are those moments of primal contact?

Lopez: They’re private moments of animated contact with the world outside the human. Watching animals, just sitting with a friend and watching animals for a long time, not saying much. I think of those moments at Lake Clif­ton in Australia that I describe in Horizon: standing out there on the boardwalk with two friends, drinking it in. Or in Antarctica, at Cape Crozier, watching the emperor penguins. It’s not about interpreting or “figuring out” what these wild animals are doing. You just give in to the spectacle. You become a participant.

Can we save the world we still have? Watching Saturday morning “Nature” programs almost every weekend on PBS, I see many incidences of intimate human contact with the wild kingdoms. It’s encouraging, to say the least, and very heart warming. It causes me to believe that we can do this. We must do it.

 Until my next post,

Be love. Be loved,

Anthony

tpal70@gmail.com   

 

“Watch and listen, you solitaries! From the future come winds with a stealthy flapping of wings; and good tidings go out to delicate ears.”
Fried
rich Nietzsche,Thus Spake Zarathustra

My spiritual mentor once stated that the entire solar system, which he rather called a “Solar Entity,” is the embodiment of Man, is Man, with the planets’ orbits serving as “wheels within wheels” turning the thinking Mind of Man, the planets themselves being the manifest form of Mind.

When I first heard this scenario back in the 1970’s, I thought it sounded wonderful, even plausible, although I didn’t quite understand what he was talking about, nor how it all worked. 

The idea was only a beautiful theory—-until I read COSMOS AND PSYCHE, an “epoch making” book by distinguished philosopher and cultural historian Richard Tarnas, who shows exactly how it works.  To borrow a quote from the back cover of the book by one impressed reader, “This is the closest my head has been to exploding while reading a book.” It was that powerful a read, all 492 pages.

Basically, the author assigns archetypal energetic characteristics to the influence each planet in our solar system exerts upon the human psyche. The archetypes are not in the energetic fields of the planets themselves, but are rather latent in the collective human psyche and brought forward into manifestation, through individuals as well as the collective body, during specific alignments (conjunctions and oppositions, as well as other dynamic configurations) of the planets. Each planet has its own characteristic and archetypal “personality.”

HOW HISTORY KEEPS REPEATING

These planetary alignments occur repeatedly and with clockwork precision, a phenomenon that the author researches tenaciously and meticulously covering every significant alignment and event that have occurred on the planet since the birth of Jesus in 4 BC, and several decades prior to that, to the present millennium, and every significant historical figure from King Herod the Great and Jesus to the Bush presidencies up until the publication of his research in 2007.  

The author calls these events “coincidences,” but the reader is given the incontrovertible impression of a cause-and-effect relationship.  Just to give a sampling of the author’s comparison of past planetary alignments to present and possibly future alignments and events, here’s an excerpt from his book:

From the survey of planetary cycles we have already studied we can tentatively extrapolate from previous correlations as well as from current trends to assess what kinds of cultural and historical phenomena might coincide with these next alignments. The immediately preceding alignments of any cycle tend to be especially relevant. For example, the already approaching Uranus-Pluto square alignment that will extend through 2020 points to the possibility of a significant cyclical development of the cultural impulses and archetypal dynamics that emerged during the 1960s. Characteristic themes we have observed for this cycle in past centuries include heightened impulses for radical social change and cultural creativity, accelerated technological and scientific advance, the empowerment of progressive and reformist political movements, intensified feminist civil rights, and countercultural activity, increased drive for freedom and autonomy at both the individual and collective level, pressure towards radicalization in many spheres of action and ideas, intensified ecological activism, and awakening of the instincts and nature in many senses, changes in the global balance of power, large demographic shifts, and the activation of mass energies and mass movements of various kinds. Generally speaking, Uranus-Pluto eras have tended to bring forth the catalyzing of powerful forces in many forms, the awakening of a will to power that can be both creative and destructive, and a tangible intensification and acceleration of human experience.

All of these specific themes have been strongly in evidence during past Uranus-Pluto alignments with considerable consistency. Yet as to which of them will be visible during these next fifteen years, we of course cannot know. If we consider feminism, for example—from Mary Wollstonecraft and the women of the French Revolution through the Seneca Falls women’s rights convention in 1848 and the suffragettes of the early 1900’s to the women’s liberation awakening of the 1960’s—the Uranus-Pluto cycle has been highly consistent in its correlation. The developing diachronic pattern suggests that with this next dynamic alignment of Uranus-Pluto another period of both the spontaneous empowerment of women and an intensified striving for equality and self-sovereignty is on the immediate horizon. Because the alignment is a square [90 degrees], the potential for stress and struggle in that process is high, but considering the clear sequence past correlations, it seems to me altogether likely that another feminist propulsion will infuse itself into the culture and that women will emerge from the next decade and a half with considerably more political and economic power than now. Yet one can never be certain how these archetypal forces will become concretely embodied, only that they will tend to do so in a way that is consistent with their character and grounded in the developing cultural context. . . .

The natural human tendency is to want to know that the general outlook for the foreseeable future is uniformly positive and will only get better, with blue skies as far as the eye can see. Yet there are advantages to knowing of a poten­tially challenging reality in advance, facing it squarely, preparing for it, and rec­ognizing its signs and characteristic motifs, its dangers, and its positive potential when it is consciously assimilated and enacted. Perhaps equally important, it can be psychologically centering and spiritually fortifying to recognize that such periods may represent the unfolding of larger cycles of archetypal development and human evolution in a context that is in some sense cosmic, subtly ordered and intelligible, rather than arbitrary, random, and meaningless.

The overall perspective one is afforded as one moves with the author through the centuries of the previous two millennia and into the current era is the progressive nature of the evolutionary continuum guiding the transformation of human consciousness, orchestrated by the symphony of our Solar System performing the “Music of the Spheres,” all accomplished and performed under the hand of Divine Providence, whose Presence is clearly evident, as well as acknowledged by the author himself.

Each major event initiates a cycle, or advances the previous ongoing evolutionary cycle in its field, and one historic legend or memorialized actor on the world stage (inventor, artist, philosopher, writer, scientist, astronomer, discoverer) gives birth to something new, such as new ideas or inventions, or further develops and implements the ideas and inventions of those who had gone before—all guided and moved along by the clockwork precision of the repeating planetary alignments, one such occurring even as I write.

FIVE PLANETS ALIGN THIS MONTH

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn moved into alignment on January 6th and will stay in alignment through February 20, 2020. We are likely to experience an energetic jolt and upgrade from this once-in-a-decade alignment. The last one occurred in 2005.

Richard Tarnas describes the archetypal characteristics of these planets in his book. Here is a brief summary:

Mercury: the principle of mind, thought, communication, that which articulates the primary creative energy and renders it intelligible; the impulse and capacity to think, conceptualize, to connect and mediate, to use words and language, to give and receive information….

Venus: the principle of desire, love, beauty, value, the impulse and capacity to attract and be attracted, to love and be loved, to seek and create beauty and harmony, to engage in social and romantic relations, sensuous pleasure, artistic and aesthetic experience; the principle of Eros and the Beautiful; Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. 

Mars: the principle of energetic force; the impulse and capacity to assert, to act and move energetically and forcefully, to have an impact, to press forward and against, to defend and offend, to act with sharpness and ardor; the tendency to experience aggressiveness, anger, conflict, harm, violence, forceful physical energy; to be combative, competitive, courageous, vigorous; Ares, the god of war.

Jupiter: the principle of expansion, magnitude, growth, elevation, superiority; the capacity and impulse to enlarge and grow, to ascend and progress, to improve and magnify, to incorporate that which is external, to make greater wholes, to inflate; to experience success, honor, advancement, plenitude, abundance, prodigality, excess, surfeit; the capacity or inclination for magnanimity, optimism, enthusiasm, exuberance, joy, joviality, liberality, breadth of experience, philosophical and cultural aspiration, comprehensiveness and largeness of vision, pride, arrogance, aggrandizement, extravagance; fecundity, fortune, and providence; Zeus, the king of the Olympian gods.

Saturn: the principle of limit, structure, contraction, constraint, necessity, hard materiality, concrete manifestation; time, the past, tradition, age, maturity, mortality, the endings of things; gravity and gravitas, weightiness, that which burdens, binds, challenges, fortifies, deepens; the tendency to confine and constrict, to separate, to divide and define, to cut and shorten, to negate and oppose, to strengthen and forge through tension and resistance, to rigidify, to repress, to maintain a conservative and strict authority; to experience difficulty, decline, depri­vation, defect and deficit, defeat, failure, loss, alienation; the labor of existence, suffering, old age, death; the weight of the past, the workings of fate, character, karma, the consequences of past action, error and guilt, punishment, retribution, imprisonment, the sense of “no exit”; pessimism, inferiority, inhibition, isolation, oppression and depression; the impulse and capacity for discipline and duty, order, solitude, concentration, conciseness, thoroughness and precision, discrimination and objectivity, restraint and patience, endurance, responsibility, seriousness, authority, wisdom. . . .

This will be an intense seven weeks under the stars . . . and a fabulously exciting decade of radical change and evolution for the human species, as astrologist Pam Gregory foretells in the clip below—well worth viewing.

Today, January 10th, we have a Lunar Eclipse.  Lots happening in our solar system and cosmos. I will share more from Richard Tarnas’s epoch book, COSMOS AND PSYCHE, in my next post of this new series. Until then,

Enjoy the ride,

Anthony

Email: tpal70@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

“Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in.” (Psalm 24:7)

As we leave 2019, our world is in turmoil. Our government is under siege from within by its political parties battling over the impeachment of the president. Our Beloved America is on the precipice of the implosion of its grossly indebted and unbalanced economy. This civilization is in the throes of an existential crisis.  Wildfires burn in Australia, as they do every year in California. Let’s face the truth and the facts: the world we have created on this planet is not in harmony with the Earth.

While we are busy with our isolated personal lives, striving to make ends meet, or even survive, and to safeguard our health and our sanity, the health of our natural resources deteriorates from a lack of stewardship and sheer exhaustion from an overpopulated planet—not to mention the state of our hearts and collective consciousness, the real garden we were given to tend and keep. The garden of our hearts here in America is in a state of anxiety, chronic stress and eroding fear.

Wars continue to be waged in the Middle East and could escalate into a U.S. involvement in yet another war with Iran in the wake of the killing of Iran’s chief military commander, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, under President Trump’s direction.  Endless wars have devastated that part of the world; desperation and fear fill the hearts of millions who are starving for a lack of food and/or driven from their homes and homelands living in tents while seeking refuge in countries, some of whose borders are closed to them, while we are building a wall to keep them out.  This is the sad state of affairs in which we leave our world at the end of the second decade of the 21st Century, and launch into an election year of 2020. 

“The gates of hell shall not prevail. . . .”

The title of my last post in the series on the Thymus Gland is “The Windows of Heaven.” Looking at the current global outpouring of hate, fear and anger from out of the heart and psyche of humanity, I am drawn back to the series to take another look at the heart, this time as a trapdoor to hell—a trapdoor that was sprung open once again in our world’s history during the 2016 Presidential campaigns here in America, the historical moment when one individual stepped up onto the Republican platform and announced his candidacy for the elected office of President of the United States.

The tone this one man sounded, and continues to sound, has summoned up legions of demons from out of the collective unconscious, a reservoir where vibrational patterns of unholy attitudes and dark patterns of violence have been lurking and working behind the scenes of human behavior and activity throughout the warring history of mankind, now released into the collective consciousness full-force, nothing hidden in the secret places of the heart. 

This narcissistic leader has gathered resonant substance around him that has formed a “base” comprised of individuals who feel their voices and concerns have not been heard and met, and whose minds and hearts are open to his revolting and insulting rhetoric while they applaud and egg him on—much like the masses in Germany did to Adolf Hitler in the 1940’s.

This is collective insanity. Our nation is not sane, not whole. We are divided along partisan lines, by racial prejudice, by discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender equality and LGBTQ rights issues, and by religious beliefs and socioeconomic class distinctions. Divided, we are falling apart.

The nauseous brew in the collective unconscious has erupted and is spilling over into the sea of the collective consciousness, polluting these hallowed waters and engulfing the sinking ship of humanity in waves after waves of hate, fear and anger. The undoing of the human condition, created by the human mind out from under Divine governance, is underway—and it’s creator is lashing out in wrathful anger because it knows that it has but a short time remaining on this Earth—this “little blue dot” of a planet adrift in a ray of sunshine, as Carl Sagan graphically portrays our tiny but sacred home among the stars. The human condition is being transformed by fire and transmuted by Spirit even as the old earth is giving way to the emergence of the New Earth.

A phrase from the Book of Revelation in the Bible comes to mind:

Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and those that dwell in them. But woe unto the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea. (Rev. 12:2)

OF DEMONS AND SHADOWS

As I turn eighty this new year, what elder wisdom may be mine to offer is becoming more available to me, as experience tends to afford us elders.  In my lifetime, I have wrestled with demons and prayed my way through shadows and dark nights of the soul—not unlike many in the upcoming generation who now have support groups for processing their issues and coming clear of their demons and shadows.  We didn’t have that kind of group processing when we left our father’s house to make a life in the world.  Only later did we begin to have workshops in self-realization available. Even then, I found little encouragement in the wise counsel of the day to “Just Keep moving.” 

In my experience, detoxifying the human psyche can become an obsession, as well as an endless task of dredging up demons out of a bottomless pit. One will never get to the place in Plato’s “cave,” where there are no more demons shadow-dancing on one’s walls, as our “personal” issues and shadows are connected vibrationally by resonance with those in the collective unconscious.  Sometimes one really cannot tell what demons are one’s own to face and what demons come out of the collective. I may get rid of one demon only to have two more move in to fill the void.     

Some say we must face our demons and embrace the darkness. The question I pose is “Who is it that is doing the facing and embracing? The ‘mere human’ or the authentic Self?” My inner wisdom tells me that if the spirit of this world comes and finds something in me, then I have work to do. If not, then I need to let it pass on through . . . and keep moving.  “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” 

YOU ARE THE LIGHT

There is only one way to  come out of the cave and into the light of day. We must open the Seventh Seal at the highest level of awareness and let the Light of our own angelic and immortal being flood our souls with love, and then step into this Light in the center of our turning worlds and assume our true identity as rays of sunshine, sons and a daughters of God. In this center of Light and Love there are no shadows, and you can see things in your world clearly, no longer through a “glass darkly” but for what they truly are: things, just things that cast shadows on the ground behind them.

Things are nothing more nor less than distortions of the One Light of Love. And by “distortions” I mean lower and denser vibrations of the One Light of Love of which all things in the “material” world are made. You are the pure, differentiated Light that shines on things that, due to their density, cast shadows behind them.  Be the Light of your world, and stop the futile effort of getting rid of the shadows in your life.  They are nothing, have no substance, no reality.  The “things” casting the shadows are the disturbances in the heart, the “wounds” that only love can heal.  Let your light shine, your love radiate through your disturbed and wounded heart, and you discover your Self in the process. Expression is the only way that allows the release of your light.

Sometimes that expression of light needs to be a laser beam of rebuke: “Get thee hence! Begone!” The man Jesus faced his demons in this manner. When vocalized, rebuke is a sonic purifier of dark energy.

Shadows are nothing but the absence of light. If you’re dwelling in the darkness of the shadow, you can’t see the Light. There is “this thing” standing in the way blocking your view: this wound, that issue, that person or those people. We blame the wound and the perpetrators for our unhappiness and depression.  How about simply getting around and over the things casting shadows on our path in life and come into the Light where there are no shadows?  The simple acts of forgiveness and unconditional acceptance could get you there.  The word “empathy” is used in many talk shows and television interviews lately.  

I remember from my early years of awakening a parable my mentor used frequently in his seminars. No doubt you’ve all heard it repeated in various talks and articles yourself.  In the parable a man in an insane asylum is sweeping the floor of his room all night long until the sun rises in the morning, when he would stop sweeping and sit down to rest in blissful satisfaction that he had finally swept all the darkness out of his room. Wrestling with shadows can be nothing more than trying to sweep darkness out of one’s heart and psyche. Just turn on your light and let it shine away the darkness.

Switching metaphors for a moment, this little poem has provided wisdom and guidance for me. It’s called “The River.”

I am the River

The River flows. The River flows.

The River flows up to an obstacle.

The River does not stop at the obstacle.

The River goes around the obstacle.

The River flows. The River flows.

I am the River.

The River is Life, and Life is unconquerable.  If you can be overcome by some obstacle in your path, then you are not identified with Life. Your are in ego identity, and ego identity is an obstacle in itself.  Let go of the obstacles and move on with the River, as the River.  Say “I Am the River and I’m going to keep on flowing.” Perhaps this could be a good New Year’s resolution: to stay identified with the River of Life.

The heart lifted upward lets the light of Heaven in . . . and the blessing you are out; cast downward, it opens to the dark shadows in the collective unconscious.  Let your heart be lifted up in thankfulness for Life and for Light as we begin the New Year and decade in 2020.

I leave you to enjoy two excerpts from Handel’s Messiah sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to kick-start the New Year.  

“Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in.” (Psalm 24:9)

 

Blessings for a happy, healthy and new life experience in 2020!

Anthony

Email: tpal70@gmail.com

    

“For unto us a child is born. Unto us a son is given . . . .  And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9;6)

(Click on Handle’s Messiah to enjoy the music)

A question that’s been around for some time now is: “Was Jesus born on December 25th?” The answer, according to Rabbi Jonathan Chan, is NO, Jesus was born in the Spring — “Nissan One”– in March or April, the only time of the year when shepherds would be out watching their flock at night when baby lambs are being born. It would also have been around the year 4 BC, the historical date when King Herod the Great died.  In case you are unfamiliar with the story, he was the king who ordered all the male infants two-years old and under killed after he learned from the Magi that a “king of the Jews” had been born.

(When you have 24 minutes to spare, click on the the Rabbi’s name above to view the entire compelling argument and historical, as well as astronomical and celestial evidence. He’s quite entertaining as well.)

I saw a post on Facebook a few days ago that the “Bethlehem Star” was seen back in June of 2015 for the first time in 2000 years—according to a CNN special report. The “star” is thought to be a brilliant phenomenon in the heavens created by a planetary conjunction involving Jupiter and Venus. There is also conjecture that the Star of Bethlehem could be a super nova, or a “gamma burst” as this clip demonstrates.

Well, there was such a “triple conjunction” on February 25 in the year 6 BC with the planets Jupiter, Saturn and Mars forming a triangle low in the western sky. This is when the “Three Kings” of the Magi saw “his star in the East” and proceeded to Bethlehem to see the newly-born child “King of the Jews” and to bring him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. It apparently took them two years to reach their destination. So, we can remove the three kings from our Nativity Scene as they were not there yet. They can be put there on January 6th, the Feast of Epiphany, which commemorates the revelation of Christ to the Gentiles, as represented by the Magi. 

The Real Reason for the Season

So, why do we celebrate Christmas on December 25th? And what’s the real reason for the Season? Here’s what I found at Space.com:

In ancient times, Dec.  25 was the date of the lavish Roman festival of Saturnalia. It was a time when gifts were exchanged; homes, streets and buildings were decorated; people came home for the holidays and everybody was in a happy, party mood. 

It has been said that early Christians chose the date of the Saturnalia in order to avoid attention and thus escape persecution. When the Roman emperor Constantine officially adopted Christianity in the 4th century, the date of Christmas remained Dec. 25.

The real “reason for the Season,” then, is gift-giving, and in the Christian world, in celebration of the birth of Jesus, celebrated by Handle as “Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”  (from Isaiah 9;6). It is said that after Handle finished composing this masterwork, he exclaimed “I have seen the face of God.” (Click on Handle to enjoy the music)

Thanks to the Romans, we can have a “White Christmas” in December, which we could not have in March or April.  How wonderfully perfect it all worked out!

LOVE IS BORN ANEW IN OUR HEARTS

Meister Eckhart saw the true meaning of Christmas when he penned these words:

Where is he who is born King of the Jews? Now concerning this birth, mark where it befalls. I say again, as I have often said before, that this birth befalls in the soul exactly as it does in eternity, neither more nor less, for it is the same birth: this birth befalls in the ground and essence of the soul. . . . God is in all things as being, as activity, as power.” 

Here’s something I would like to share with my readers during this year’s Holiday Season. It’s from “Daily OM” and written by Madysin Taylor:

Holding the holidays in your heart throughout the year it can be wonderfully transformative. Holidays and joy are two elements of our lives that are naturally intertwined. Traditional celebrations awaken within us an ardent desire to reconnect with the people we care about and to share our abundance. During the holiday season, we feel more driven to actively practice compassion, tolerance, selflessness, and gratitude. When we feel stressed, we find peace in the company of loved ones. And, filled with warm thoughts, we endeavor to ensure that others can share in our celebrations. Yet while happiness and holidays go hand in hand, the serenity and optimism that blossom within as we act on our festive feelings need not be relegated to a few days or weeks each year. We can carry the holiday spirit within us all year long if we make an effort to embrace a celebratory frame of mind no matter what the date.

Holding the holidays in your heart can be wonderfully transformative. Changing your life can be as simple as thinking about the uplifting activities you engage in and the positive attitudes you adopt during the holiday season and then integrating them into your daily life. If you learn to always be as open to wonder as you are around the holidays, the world will seem like a more magical place, whether it is December, March, or August. While holidays represent a great opportunity to reconnect with family and friends, there is little preventing you from reaching out to the people you care about throughout the year. The patience, compassion, goodwill, and tolerance you feel while celebrating can easily become a part of your everyday experience. Likewise, you will soon discover that the generous charitable gifts you give once a year mean just as much during other months and are often needed even more.

To remind yourself of your decision to carry the holiday spirit in your heart, consider displaying some small part of your holiday décor to signify your commitment. Remember that giving, whether your gifts are tangible or of the soul, always feels good, whatever the occasion. However you prefer to celebrate the holidays, practicing the ideals of the season every day means experiencing the beauty of the holiday season all year long.

We just finished watching the Global Citizen Prize television extravaganza this Friday evening — celebrating the world’s most inspiring activists — hosted by the exuberant John Legend.  What a huge release of love and compassion for humanity and care for the planet! What a reprieve from the daily national news! This is truly the “eleventh hour” and there’s so much more to be done to save our species and the natural world. It was so good to see and to honor with gratitude those who are leading forth in this effort and the much they have already done. God’s blessings upon them each one.

I leave you to  enjoy the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s offering of an excerpt from Handle’s Messiah.

And with that, I wish you all and each one a very Happy Holiday Season, a Blessed Solstice, and a healthy New Year in 2020.

Merry Christmas and “May God bless us each one.”

Anthony

Email: tpal70@gmail.com

 

“The Windows of Heaven”

“Jesus said: I have thrown fire on the world. Look! I watch it until it blazes.” (The Gospel of Thomas)

In this series, I have focused on the function and spiritual significance of the Thymus Gland and the role this endocrine gland plays with the Spirit of Purification in keeping the body temple, especially the inner sanctum in the center of the brain, protected from the intrusion of harmful bacteria, viruses and toxins. This role involves the purifying fire of Love carried out energetically by the fierce and sweeping activities of the immune system, which I have called the “immune alliance” because of the whole body’s involvement in the conflagration and elimination of toxins and metabolic waste from the body. The spiritual heart is where the purifying fire of love is generated. 

Purification is all about energy and frequency. Everything vibrates at a specific and unique frequency. The purifying fire of love vibrates at a higher frequency than do toxins and metabolic waste. The higher vibrations of love penetrate the lower vibrations of toxins, transmuting them and rendering them harmless while being eliminated from the body. This post speaks to this process and to the importance of maintaining a fire in one’s heart . . . and identifying with the fire as the one burning, not being burnt. 

Windows of Heaven  

   The Thymus, located by perfect design just above our physical heart, opens up a vibrational gateway into the spiritual heart and the subconscious mind.  Here the bloodstream may be continually bathed in the purifying currents of love.  The bloodstream, along with the lymphatic system, carry the nourishing gifts of the natural world throughout the temple for blessing and incorporation into its sacred anatomical architecture.

  In the last book of the Old Testament (Malachi 3:10) are found these words:

 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

   This instruction and promise may be seen in at least two different ways.  One way relates to being given a blessing from God out of heaven and the other relates to being the blessing poured out through the windows of heaven we each one are. Either way, when all of the tithes of the natural world are brought into the storehouse of the Lord, which the human body is, they are blessed and they provide the means by which the blessing that I AM may be poured out of heaven into my world.

   All of creation seeks the Lord of Creation in and through Man so that it might provide clothing for His spirit.  We are designed with a spiritual heart — as well as a physical heart and digestive system — so that this natural process of ascension of the tithes of creation might occur.  Our hearts provide an altar of sacrifice whereby all things that come into it might be made holy. They are made holy by our love for them and in their union with us.  The word “sacrifice” can be traced to its Latin root, “sacher facere,” which translates “to make holy.”  The root meaning of the word holy is whole, complete.  All things are connected up to Source through natural relationships with all aspects of creation.           

   In the story of the Israelites we have been revisiting, a fire burned upon the altar seven days of every week, and they brought sacrificial tithes from out of the animal and vegetable kingdoms to the altar to be offered up to the Lord through the fire.  Anything that even touched the altar was sanctified.  In order for this to have happened, the altar itself must have been holy.  The altar of the tabernacle was holy by reason of the fact that it served as a symbol of connection between the Spirit of God, symbolized by the Ark of the Covenant, and the Israelites.  It was holy by reason of the fact that it provided for a sense of wholeness, a state of oneness, between them and their God, and whatever came between them and their God to defile that sacred place of connection was immediately purified or eliminated.

   This representation of the altar as the place of worship, the place where the people came to offer their sacrifices to God and to receive the blessing of the Most High through Aaron, the High Priest, is essentially what the priesthood, embodied by the tribe of Levi, provided. This connection with God was all important to the children of Israel.  God was their savior and redeemer from the land of bondage in Egypt. He was their “shield and buckler” in the face of their enemies.  They had every reason to believe in and rely on their God, who was the God of their forefathers all the way back to Abraham. Thus the importance of this connection through the tribe of Levi, the altar, and the sacrificial service.     

  The fact of a need for connection with God implies the experience of a state of disconnection, of separateness.  In reality God and Man are not separate but are one.  Only in human consciousness has there been a sense of disconnection and separation.  This sense of separation has been due to an absence of the spirit of God in the human heart.  God has not been welcomed there, not because human beings have not wanted to be connected with God in some way, but because of the state of turmoil maintained by them in their troubled hearts and their failure to heed the command of love to “Let not your hearts be troubled.” There has been a need, then, for an external symbol of the presence of God all down through the history of mankind. 

   The temple service was to so please God through sacrifice that he would bestow his blessing upon the nation of Israel so as to make it not only a holy nation but a strong nation which could defeat its enemies.  So the altar is a very accurate symbol of holiness, of wholeness, to the extent it has provided that sense of connectedness, sanctified by the evidence of the presence of the Spirit of God.  It had, as I said, a fire upon it seven day a week, no doubt made possible by the burning of oil, which reminded them of that Presence.

   What about my own heart?  Is there a fire of love burning in it at all times keeping it pure and holy?  Are the people in my world, and the creatures of the natural world and all living things, safe and made whole and holy when they touch my heart—or when I bring them into my heart, or into my body for nourishment?  They are to the extent I maintain my heart as a holy place, fiercely guarded and anointed daily with the oils of love and forgiveness.  They are to the extent I care for my heart as an altar where the offerings of the natural world may easily find their way Home to the Lord of Creation, and to the extent I receive them in the name of the Lord of Creation.  How can I receive them in the name of the Lord of Creation unless the Lord of Creation is present in the temple of my body?

   To the extent I am present at the altar of my own heart, as an angel of fire, who stands in representation of the Lord of Creation, then the altar of my heart is holy and anything that touches it is made holy and wholly connected up with God.  The world of creation comes Home to rest in the presence of God right here inside of me, to the extent that I provide a Home for God to rest on earth.  This was what occurred on the seventh day of creation. “And on the seventh day, God rested,” because he had created Man to steward his creation and to provide a Home on earth in which he might dwell with and enjoy the works of his hand.  

   The Master said the pure in heart shall see God.  Do I see God in all that comes to me to worship at my altar and to receive my blessing as a lord of creation?  Happy is that one who can see God in all people and in all things, for that one has a pure heart.  A pure heart is a happy heart.  A happy heart pours out blessings into the world.

Bound Back to God

  “What I am touching upon here are the giving and receiving aspects of the Creative Process.  Love and the breath of life are being given by God to all of creation continually seven days a week.  What comes back is creation’s response to the radiant outpouring of love in the rhythmic ebb and flow of the breath of life.  We are the means by which this process is designed to be stewarded and guided, and it is in our body temples where all this is designated to take place.  Since all things are connected back to God through Man, the crowning creation, it has always been so that men and women have sought to restore this connection through religion.

   It is perhaps pertinent and appropriate here to note that the true meaning of the word “religion” embodies this very process.  It literally means “to bind back to.”  True religion helps us to mindfully connect back up with God in ourselves and in others, not so that we can get to where God is up in some imagined heaven somewhere, but so that we might become consciously aware of the reality that God is here present with us already.  The extension of religion into our daily lives, then, is for the purpose of connecting and binding the world back to God. We cannot successfully escape this responsibility, which is truly a privilege no other life form shares with us in quite the same way.

   This can take place anywhere I am, such as while I am enjoying a nourishing meal with friends, or even alone doing my chores, working in the office or tending my vegetable or flower garden. Do we need a church and a time-worn ceremony to make and maintain that connection?  I find it easier to connect with God in the cathedral of a beautiful forest with tall pine trees hovering overhead than I do in a stone building lighted artificially going through the motions of rituals that have lost their passion and meaning.  I find it easier to connect with God looking across the dinner table into the eyes of a friend or family member while doing what we seem to do best and enjoy most—eating!  And who doesn’t enjoy eating!  God enjoys it a whole lot!  No doubt that’s why he designed us so we would need to eat as often and as much as we do, not just for our nourishment but more for his enjoyment and communion with his beautiful world. 

   Father God enjoys receiving the fruits of his giving and the pleasure his creation brings back to him at the hands of Mother God and together they have chosen to do this through you and through me.  He keeps giving love and She keeps returning in kind back to him on our dinner tables, completing the never ending cycle of the Creative Process. We may participate in this process of giving and receiving by embracing it with a thankful heart, the essence and meaning of the Blessing before meals. ♥                                                      (SACRED ANATOMY)

  This post brings this series to a close. I welcome your comments and any thoughts you wish to share.  Here’s a cute little video to lighten your heart:

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0?ui=2&ik=f24c188fad&attid=0.1&permmsgid=msg-a:r-7932048461183660138&th=16f059ae75962767&view=att&disp=safe&realattid=16f059ab1727dafd1812

Until my next post,

Be love. Be loved.

Anthony

Email: tpal70@gmail.com

And life itself told me this secret: “Behold, I am that which must overcome itself again and again.” (Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus spoke Zarathustra)

Continuing in this series on The Thymus Gland and the Spirit of Purification, and the theme of the previous post, citing Dr. Joan Borysenko’s professional perspective on Plato’s metaphorical description of the process of transformation as an emergence from out of the “cave” of isolation into the light of day — along with my own perspectives shared in my book SACRED ANATOMY:

Crossing the Threshold (cont’d)

    The traditional way [of treating an ill condition] generally prevails as the person proceeds to undertake a life-long regimen of medication to keep the symptoms suppressed and death at bay, and it is sometimes like pulling teeth to get a person to let go of the grip he/she has on the doctor’s “diagnosis.”  This only tends to assure the permanency of the condition by sending the message to the brain that in order to be able to continue treating the diabetes, for instance, the “disease” must be maintained in the body.  As long as the symptoms of dis-ease are being suppressed and not heeded for their message, and the appropriate action to address the cause is withheld, then the healing process is disrupted, thus making the symptoms of dis-ease necessary and prolonging the inappropriate therapeutic action of symptom-suppression. Where this suppression is being accomplished, as with most therapies, by the use of harsh and imposing chemicals, it can become dangerously toxic to the rest of the body over time.

[This also applies to alcohol and drug addictions as well as mental illness. One must maintain one’s identity as an “alcoholic,” for example, in order to participate in an AA program.]

    I hyphenate the word “dis-ease” in order to remind myself as a physician, and to inform my patients,  that we are not treating a “condition,” which the word “disease” implies,  but simply listening to the places where the person is experiencing the discomfort or pain for messages from the subconscious signaling where changes need to be made in one’s life style and attitude, as well as what kind of support can be given to enable the healing process already underway.  Dis-ease is always an indication that a healing process is underway. This process gets underway at the moment of insult or injury and starts with the subconscious mind asking for the cooperation and assistance of the conscious mind.  Pain and discomfort is its way of asking.  When the subconscious is satisfied that help is being given and changes are beginning to be made, the symptoms may be turned off, simply because they are no longer necessary. In the case of a fever, the temperature will be turned down when the purpose for the fever — the incineration of toxins — is satisfied.  What thwarts the healing process most is failure on the part of the physician, and the person experiencing the dis-ease, to hear what the body is trying to convey, and therefore failing to render the appropriate care and assistance. 

   Often that message does not get through to the conscious mind until the individual is at death’s door.  Even then a radical shift in consciousness, or in the vibratory pattern maintaining the ill condition, can bring about miraculous shifts in the healing process and the person suddenly begins to manifest that altered state in the physical body itself.  Remissions of illness occur.   Life prevails.  Sometimes the answer is not available until it becomes evident that one’s life is at stake and death seems imminent. Such intensities of energy create pressure inside the subconscious which engenders the feeling that one has been backed into a corner where it appears there is no way out but death, when suddenly one looks up in prayer to a higher Source of power and the answer comes popping up from out of the subconscious, as though caught up in the sudden upward flow of prayerful energy and sucked into the conscious mind.   Like the proverbial bar of soap that, when squeezed in a fist, will go in the direction it is pointed, we sink or swim in the ocean of life depending on what direction our deepest and most heartfelt response is given.

   Dr. Borysenko sites Victor Frankel’s moving story from his book, Man’s Search For Meaning, in which he relates how he survived four Nazi death camps simply by looking up to a higher power in times of crisis, therein turning his obviously limiting circumstances and horrible suffering into opportunities for discovering the genius of life’s indomitable transforming spirit.

…In those most terrible of times some people succumbed to the inevitable epidemics that swept the camp, dying before the brutality of the Nazis and the fire of the ovens could consume them. But those who were able to find some meaning in their suffering were more likely to hold onto life….  Frankel and others like him created ritual out of horror, growth out of destruction by choosing to believe that there was some transcendent meaning to their suffering.

   She then brings it all home for me when she focuses in on the core purpose for all of life’s experiences and challenges, which can lead us to further spiritual discovery and growth: 

    When we set our sights on a higher meaning, we automatically cast ourselves in the role of the dweller at the threshold, an initiate in a great story.  We’re not powerless, trapped or worthless.  We are passing through the fire on the way to a purification of sufficient value that our suffering becomes worthwhile when weighed against it.  Part of the value of suffering and dwelling at the threshold is that it initiates or intensifies the search for what is most sacred.  For only in placing our minds on the promise of that sacredness can we emerge from the liminal period not only intact but transformed, healed.                          

    The late American psychologist, Abraham Maslow, spoke of the deep need to find not only personal meaning in our lives but trans-personal, or spiritual.  A need is like a biological drive, an instinct.   It’s part of the genes, part of the race memories that form the collective unconscious that all people share.  When a biological drive is thwarted the organism suffers in some way.  The particular kind of suffering that accompanies a thwarted drive for trans-personal meaning is a feeling of emptiness, of meaninglessness about life that can progress to depression if the need isn’t attended to.

   I love where Joan leads in the direction of discovering what is most sacred inside ourselves as the purification process burns away the outer shell of our substitute self only to reveal the authentic Self. The analogy comes to mind of a kettle of molten gold bubbling inside a furnace with the dross floating to the top to be scrapped off and discarded.  What remains is the purified precious metal.  I am, and we each one are, as “gold tried in fire” and found worthy of being called precious and lovable as we emerge through the fire of the Spirit of Purification, which stands guarding the way to the Tree of Life in the fourth plane of being.

   I see the drive inside of us toward spiritual meaning, toward the experience of union with God, as being much more than genetic and biological.  I see it as the irresistible compulsion of spirit, of love itself, to find expression through human hearts in this world, a world which has tried without success to suppress and even destroy its expression down through the ages.  This futile attempt to suppress love has been the basic, underlying cause of all human sufferings, including mental depression — especially mental depression, for it is the false ego usurping control of our lives through the capacity of the human mind that has put forth the greatest effort to both prevent love from governing human hearts and to subdue the natural processes of life to serve its own ends.  The human mind is far too small a capacity for the false ego to use in its attempts to hold back the forces of the natural world and to thwart the purposes of God for humanity.  It may summon the help of the heart, a much larger capacity, by putting up dams of resistance in the form of ill feelings and judgments.  But all the dams it puts up cannot hold back the purifying waters of the Spirit of Purification. They finally break asunder, often bringing untold suffering, mental anguish and insanity into the lives of human beings.  Even through all of this, the truth of love can be revealed. This is so on both the individual and the collective levels. The Spirit of Purification is very much at work today cleansing the hearts of human beings and the collective heart of humanity of fear, hatred and terror.  

   The false ego itself, individually and collectively, is deflated in pattern after pattern of failure, until it grows weary and tired of resisting the irresistible spirit of love.  It is in the wake of such failures that the truth of the One present, but heretofore missing in action, has the opportunity to come forth and allow the false ego to dissolve and pass away.  Both mind and heart are thus transformed by the coming forth of the angel and the radiation of love that is even now shining brightly on earth through a growing number of hearts.  Nothing can thwart the compelling and irresistible power of love to transform human beings and to restore the world back into a place of beauty, love and light.

   Actually, the world of beauty, love and light exists already in the fourth plane of being.  All it takes to know it is for each one to cross over the threshold of purification by fire and enter into it.  The kingdom of heaven is then surely known to be within.  Upon entering in, one is wise to simply abide there and from this place bring forth beauty, love and light into one’s world, now seen as a creative field to offer love, truth and life into rather than a world of hell and chaos from which one sought ways to escape.  For what wanted to escape no longer exists, and the one who has come forth, the angel of light and sound, is eternal and is not going anywhere but always lives in heaven and is delighted when received by his/her own in this world. (From SACRED ANATOMY)

I always enjoy hearing from my readers and followers. So, if you have any thoughts you would like to share, I would love hearing them.  I will conclude this series on the thymus gland in my next post. Until then,

Be love. Be loved

Anthony

tpal70@gmail.com

“Waves of anger and fear Circulate over the bright And darkened lands of the earth . . . .”    (W.H. Auden, September 1,1939)

Plato described the transition from the old self to the authentic Self as moving from out of “the cave” of isolation, where life is observed as confused reflections on the walls of the cave, into the light of day where one is fully engaged as a liver of life rather than an observer only.

Crossing the Threshold                                                    

This passage of the soul from out of the dark cave and into the light of day is made much easier with the assistance of a “spiritual midwife,” or mentor.  One need not go it alone these days with the many spiritual guides and personal transformation facilitators available. 

 One such spiritual midwife, and “guru” to many, is Dr. Joan Borysenko, clinical psychologist and medical scientist, who has done much work in body-mind healing and spiritual transformation.  She offers some professional insight into this process of transformation in a tape series entitled, “The Power of the Mind to Heal.” With her permission, I would like to share with you now an excerpt from these tapes, primarily for the grounding in the work-a-day world her words provide, but also for the profound gift she brings into the healing field through her expression and her deep and compassionate understanding of humanity’s state of amnesia, out of which many today are awakening and struggling to make sense out of the events of a dawning new age which we are all seeing and experiencing in a new way.

From Dr. Borysenko’s tapes:

   “The events that call us forth from Plato’s ‘Cave’ are different for each of us, and perhaps the best prayer in times of trouble is not to pray for the troubles to cease but to pray that our hearts and minds stay open to change so that we’ll emerge from our crisis transformed, wiser and more loving.

   “Unfortunately we’ve lost our cultural understanding of the value of darkness. Suffering and pain are downright unpopular in a culture that’s addicted to ‘positive thinking.’  But a lot of what passes as ‘positive thinking’ isn’t positive at all . . . .  A lot of us slap on a veneer of positivity and phony faith to hide a heart full of pain and fear.

   “The psychologist Carl Jung put it very clearly when he said that we can’t find the light by imagining good things.  The only way to the light is to go back out through the darkness.  Then we can emerge transformed with truly changed minds. 

   “The mythologist, Joseph Campbell, said, ‘one thing that comes out in myths is at the bottom of the abyss comes the voice of salvation. The black moment is the moment when the real message of transformation is going to come. At the darkest moment comes the light.’”

This has certainly been true in my own experience of dark times.  Another way this has been expressed is “The darkest hour is the one before the dawn.”  Some of my best days have been after two or three days of internal void and mental cloudiness, passing through layers in the veil. We may be fortunate to have had someone represent the light of Being to us so vividly and powerfully that we are able to forge a path all the way to the most sacred and holy place within us and perhaps even fuse in rapturous union with the Beloved, losing ourselves to the world and entirely into the arms of Love.  Sometimes, in such ecstatic experiences “in the light,” the path we forged with the help of another’s light closes up behind us and we lose our way back out into the world.  We leave the world to ascend the mountain of spiritual attainment and enlightenment, where we stay for a season knowing that we must return to the world we left behind.

Often we have to find our way back out on our own through a heart cluttered with fears and doubts and a mind rigidly structured with beliefs and prejudices of sorts we never even imagined were there.  This time, however, we have only our own light, which by now we have learned to shine, to light up the path leading out into the world of hard facts and experiences. For me, finding my way back out into the light of day where I could be of real value and service to others has been the greatest test of my spiritual awakening and transformation.  The most difficult of tasks has been to learn how to reach out and to touch people where they are.  I could not have done it without help, without someone to at least provide a sounding board for clarifying issues and validating my own gut perceptions and new-found sense of true self-worth.  One way and the other, both in going in to find oneself and in coming out to reveal the wonderful one I discovered my Self to be, one has to traverse the darkness of the cave where the false, isolated self spent its entire life wandering around in a solitary way.

Dr. Borysenko describes this transitional period from her professional point of view as represented quite often by physical, mental and emotional symptoms of so-called “dysfunction.”

   “Not only have we lost our appreciation of the value of darkness as an authentic path to the light, we’ve also lost the priesthood whose function it was to bring us through the transitions.  All too often our religious priesthood is as out of touch with sources of wisdom as is our secular priesthood—therapists and psychiatrists [and I would include here health care physicians] who think more in terms of pathology than they do of growth and potential.

   “We can learn a great deal about approaching these times of transition by observing how the priesthood of more primitive societies treats people in transition—whether the transition comes unbidden or whether it is set into motion by a special ritual or rite of passage.

   “The anthropologist, Victor Turner, is well known for his study of the ritual process in different cultures.  He defines a ritual as a ‘rite of passage,’ a transition between two distinct states of being, or stations in society.  The traditional rite of passageway in primitive cultures consists of three distinct stages: the separation from one’s previous state of being; the liminal period during which you dwell between two worlds, not here and not there; and the reincorporation afterwards into some new role or status in the society.

   “The ambiguous intermediate state of liminality is a kind of dwelling at the threshold of a new life.  It’s often compared to being in the womb, in a state of darkness and invisibility, or ‘wandering in the wilderness.’ The Jews wandered in the wilderness for forty years when they left bondage in Egypt, a time of dwelling at the threshold before they were re-born to a new life in Palestine. Jesus, too, wandered for forty days in the wilderness when he died to his old self, the carpenter, and was reborn to his God Self.

   “Each of us, in that very same movement from our separate ego to our God Self, has to do some wandering in exile and in this period we may feel confused, unhappy and like we have nothing left to hold onto.  If our culture hadn’t gotten so out of touch with the meaning of ritual and myth, we would know that this ‘no-man’s land’, the ‘dark night of the soul’ between the death of our old self and the birth of our new Self was grace, not ‘mental illness’ or ‘PMS’.”

What a wonderful and empowering attitude to hold toward a health crisis, or a life crisis, that might come our way seemingly just about the time we thought everything was going so well in our lives. I know for a fact, just from my own personal experience with physical illness, that unresolved inner issues come up to be addressed when the physical body is undergoing a viral cleansing, for example. One is compelled to be thankful for such interruptions sent by life perhaps to get one’s attention. It is believed by some psychologists that our own sub-conscious minds create the symptoms of dis-ease in order to alert us to the need to address important issues in our lives.   We can rest in assurance that all is well during times of crisis rather than tense up in fear of the unknown.  Healing can come quickly as we listen to our inner voice for the very specific message that will open the door to us for transformation. It is there if we are quiet enough, and honest enough, to hear it. Joan continues:

“The collective hypnosis—our unconscious adherence to the familiar beliefs that guide our lives—is broken in the liminal period, in that time of exile, in exactly the same way our own uncelebrated life crises strip us of what we know, delivering us to the threshold of the unknown. In times of transition we awaken from the familiar terrain of life and find ourselves in alien territory.  If we know that this frightening, unknown period was a necessary transition, like the transition period of labor, we could more easily ask for whatever help was needed, and more patiently hold on and wait for the birth.  We could take comfort that the process was natural, not pathological.    Each dark night and each little death peals away a layer of conditioning, restoring our sight so that we can see more clearly.  What a difference it would make if a person in the throes of a life crisis were called an ‘initiate’ and then skillfully led to a rebirth. Instead, our psychological initiates are often labeled neurotic, psychotic, addictive or character disordered, labels that create helplessness and low self-esteem. These labels reinforce the fearful story that we are damaged and less than whole.    Some of the power of the ‘Twelve-Step Recovery Program’ comes from the context in which addiction in placed. In anonymous programs, addictions are transitions between a life where the person was out of touch with a higher power and one in which the reality of that power becomes not only the force for recovery but also a renewal of the meaning of life. Addiction as a liminal experience, for those who are willing to see it in that light, creates excitement, empowerment and even gratitude for the addiction as a guide to a new, more self-aware and fulfilling life.”

It is one thing to admit that one’s physical body is addicted to a drug, such as alcohol, and to take the necessary steps toward sobriety and non-dependency.  It is another thing entirely to take on the label of “alcoholic” as one’s identity.  The statements “I am an alcoholic” or “I am a drug addict” can serve to dispel patterns of denial, but it isn’t the truth of who one is.  Such firmly held fixations in consciousness could come to hide awareness of one’s real identity.  This can set up a circular codependent relationship between condition and treatment in which one must continue being an “alcoholic” in order to participate in the process of treatment, and vice versa.  Further, one might be prone to think that, without that identity, one would become as nothing.

In the health field, similar situations arise where one becomes identified with the “disease” for which one is being treated.  To continue saying, for example, “I am a diabetic” fixes the condition of diabetes even more firmly in consciousness, which in turn creates the vibrational terrain that determines health and dis-ease in the body-mind continuum.  What if one were to say instead, for example, “I am fine.  My body, however, is having some difficulty handling sugar at this time, so I will withhold sugar from my diet until such time as I have corrected the reason(s) for the difficulty?” This, in my view, would be more accurate as well as the intelligent and cooperative first step to take toward a holistic approach to healing while engaging orthodox, traditional disciplines and therapeutic methodologies.   (Excerpted from Sacred Anatomy)

I will continue with this theme in my next post.  Thank you for sharing my meditations. I would love to share any thoughts you may have. Until my next post,

Be love. Be loved.

Anthony

tpal70@gmail.com

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