Thanks for letting me share this "unusual story" with you. I feel a bit self conscious and self absorbed in writing this series and at times in writing this blog. But here I am and here these writings are. What to do? The experiences depicted in this story are all quite meaningful to me for a variety of reasons and will resonate within me, continuing to welcome and to prod, searching for an ultimate settling point within my heart and life, for a long, long time.
This is a story that brings together returning themes in my life: spiritual connection, myth and ritual, the dark forest and the light, synchronicity and grace. For me these themes can appear unusual because they aren't part of the general cultural makeup or societal awareness where I grew up or where I have lived or visited. They speak of a connection, hopefully ever emerging from within, with something that can't be scientifically ratified or spoken about in a way that 'logically' might make sense. But this does not dismiss their validity. Talking or writing about experiences like some of those discussed in this series of posts is difficult because these experiences exist in a realm so delicately weblike, so fragile and intricate and personal, so 'not of this world' that as a writer it can be a struggle to bring them to words. I can see how they might be difficult to understand or even believe. By writing about them, my hope is that something opens within you, a window to a new and unexpected vista that will with time enrich your experience of the fullness of life.
There can be priceless engagement and conversation with a nebulous and numinous world that is internal and at the same time something greater, 'out there,' a connection between the heart and the heartbeat of life, between the individual being and an interconnected beingness. Higher, seemingly less tangible forces wait patiently for us to open to them, silent spirit guides camouflaged among the trees. I wonder if they take their form in alignment with our own belief systems, revealing themselves and their offerings for one person as a saint, for another as an angel, for another as an animal spirit. But they are also true of themselves, speaking in a language that feels more like a 'pointing to' than a 'description of.' These connections and interactions can be known, perhaps sensed is a better word, and are penetratingly and lastingly touching and utterly confirming.
The same holds true regarding the power of ritual when participated in with sincerity and focus and good intention. Ritual melds intention with the material world, facilitating this inner/outer engagement and conversation, tapping us into perenial wisdoms and momentums of light. At the same time, they are in fact enactments of these wisdoms and momentums. Also at the same they inform the world and our involvement in it. That I have hesitated to mention these experiences in this blog speaks in part to my own discomfort, my own scepticism. There are voices in my own ears, my voices, taken on somehow somewhere from other sources. Like clouds obscuring a luminous and innocent moon, they gather doubt and disillusionment and therefore obscure or diminish not only the vibrancy and texture and meaning of these experiences but also the experience of life. "This isn't real, it's all a sort of fancy or fantasy. Don't you believe it."
These thoughts can swirl around and around in the head, spinning, dizzying and disorienting and darkening. The swirling of disillusionment can seem such a heartbreakingly painful and lonely place. It can appear so hopeless. I use the words 'seem' and 'appear' intentionally. The dark forest seems so dark, the foggy swamp appears so dense. It all feels so scary. So uncomfortable, frustrating, and pointless. So lost. This is all part of what in myth is referred to as the hero's or heroine's journey. There are many treasures hidden away in this forest and in this swamp to assist us in this journey. Treasures that faintly glimmer but which we must unearth again, reclaiming strengths, potentials and untapped resources through the struggle of breaking down structures that no longer serve us, regaining our equilibrium, and moving forward in what the Sufis call the Journey without Distance. There is nothing wrong with struggle, particularly when it involves becoming more fully who we are. It is worth the climb to behold the view.
Synchronicity is such an integral part of this journey - a foundation and extention of ritual, a thread from which the interconnectivity of internal and external worlds is woven, a silent partner in the journey toward self discovery. The book that's been on the shelf for years but when finally read is right on time. The word spoken by a friend or even a stranger passing on the street which is just the thing we need to hear. The opportunity arising unexpectedly and out of the blue that clears the path to a foreseen or unforeseen goal. Synchronicity speaks directly to how we extract meaning through recognizing an underlying interplay between the events in our lives and our interpretations of those events and of our lives. And I often wonder if another, more accurate word for this dynamic presence in the world is grace. A benevolent expression of that higher intangible force which is greater in our life, greater both within and external to us. Either way, however you like to look at it, it's like a strong and flexible glue that somehow emerges as structural to life. Another aspect of spiritual connection, like ritual, like the dark forest and the mythic adventure, grace or synchronicity is a testimony unto itself. It is ongoing and ever present, it's existence only to be intuited and affirmed by our eyes being open to it through a willing engagement to respectfully look again toward that ephemeral 'something' just behind the veil.
If I am to be totally honest, it is difficult to say with 100% certainty that these experiences are real. But I can say with great honesty that they are true. They bring… no, they ARE of great purpose, they are opening me to a way of perception of and participation with life that somehow ripens the blood. These experiences germinate primordial seeds seemingly planted long ago but doubtlessly sown by a loving and open hand.
I write about these experiences, I write this blog, with a hope that you might find something for yourself that makes sense within your own life and that will walk with you through warm days and stormy nights, supporting you to be fully who you are in all of your truth and all of your beauty. I hope that in some way you might be drawn within, that some vital inward connection will be hinted at that will whisper to you, "Enter. Come closer. Please." I hope in some small way you find something to light the way of your finding your own unique and invaluable way.
I think I'm done now with this series. Thanks again for reading it. In the wonderful words of metta meditation: may you be happy, may you be peaceful, may you be liberated.