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  • Sacred Sorrow: The Sacred Wound Part Four

    A wise old proverb says, “God comes to see us without bell;” that is, as there is no screen or ceiling between our heads and the infinite heavens, so there is no bar or wall in the soul, where man, the effect, ceases, and God, the cause, begins. The walls are taken away. We lie open on one side to the deeps of spiritual nature, to the attributes of God. Justice we see and know, Love, Freedom, Power. These natures no man ever got above, but they tower over us and most in the moment when our interests tempt us to wound them.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    What if our higher selves were – at every moment seeking the most potent expression of our existence? What if it was asking us to create the reality that was in the best interests of not only humans but all the beings that inhabit Planet Earth? I know I have been procrastinating as I consider this post and what meaning there might be behind it. Procrastinating? I’m not so sure now. Every time I come back to work on this I look at it and seem to be blocked. There’s just something about it that won’t allow me to move forward with it. I had hoped to expand on the reference to the enneagram I left at the end of Part Two of these series of posts. I made a start and yet each time I came back to it I’d look at it and it’d look back at me and there’d be nothing going on. Uninspired – I was blocked.

    The enneagram is full of complexity, follows many nuances of character. I doubt whether I would have done it justice within one post and I certainly don’t have the depth of understanding that would enable me to talk intelligently and fluently over another series of posts. The enneagram is one of many great tools to use if you are seeking understanding about yourself and your motivations. I gained some insights into myself through reading and maybe if I’d dedicated myself to it I may have found a path to enlightenment. I don’t know if I have some sort of spiritual attention deficit or whether I’m looking for a simpler path, but I found myself leaving that behind and seeking other ways. I’m not sure I felt it at the time but now it seems life is complex enough without following someone else’s ideas about finding enlightenment. I did the reading, talked about what I found, discovered as I said in the earlier post that I sat at point five on the enneagram, and wasn’t sure I liked being pigeon-holed. I guess being “the Thinker” I find it easy to get lost in ideas and the seeking of wisdom in books, while all the time it waits for me to get out there to physically embrace life and find my own wisdom through experience.

    As I sit here, dealing another hand of Mah-jong, I’m visited by a spider. I seem particularly sensitive to its path across my hand. And I flick it off. Hardly exemplary behaviour seeing as I favour the Buddhist philosophy of doing no harm to any living thing.

    The story of Robert the Bruce and the spider springs to mind. Robert sought the answer to whether he should continue fighting the English. What am I seeking the answer to as I follow this trail through the Sacred Wound and should I continue? Am I clutching at straws? Seems the Spider thinks I am on the right track as he has taken his leave of me.

    It seems this post has been slowly coming into focus over several months, since December, in fact. And paradoxically what has now come into focus is mist. While road tripping to Mount Cook with my daughter I was touched by a synchronicity as I listened to the retelling of a Maori myth and heard a piece of native wisdom. It is said that Mt Cook or Aoraki as it called by the Maori is a place of Spiritual Enlightenment and it is hard not to be awe-struck by the grandeur of the place.

    Mt Cook
    Mt Cook

    The first time I visited Aoraki I was blessed with an uninterrupted view of the mountain. This second time the weather seemed against us. From the vantage of the hotel the mountain was covered in mist. Having observed this phenomenon, the tohunga, their spiritual leaders discovered the wisdom for their chiefs of not always being available for the tribe, of having time away. Wisdom also is not in full view. It must be found in our encounters with life.

    We sought a closer view the following day and were rewarded. So it is with enlightenment itself. It is said by some that we are already enlightened we just have to remember it is so. And yet sometimes the face of the mountain, the face of enlightenment is shrouded in mist. It is easy to get lost during those times, to forget we’re always a spark of the divine and then to create trauma for ourselves and others, tearing open the fabric of the soul. This tear may become the sacred wound in its turn opening you or the other to the possibilities of a benevolent soul consciousness.

    The myth I heard told the story of Aoraki and his three brothers, off-spring of the Sky Father – Rakinui and Maori Earth Mother, Papatuanuku. They had set sail voyaging round Papatuanuku when their canoe ran aground on a reef. They climbed on the top side of the canoe, but the wind rose from the south freezing them, turning them to stone. The canoe became the South Island, “Te waka o Aoraki”. Aoraki being the tallest of the brother’s, became Aoraki the mountain, and his three brothers the peaks surrounding him. The rest of the crew became the Southern Alps, the mountain range for which the South Island is famous.

    As I pondered this the words of Emerson came into focus. From an enlightened perspective there are possibly no greater attributes than those he speaks of in that quote – Justice, Love, Freedom and Power. Just as those mountains tower over us so do those values. They’re something to aspire to. In the routine of our lives it is easy to lose sight of these aspirations. I guess these aspirations are what bring us to study the concepts contained in the enneagram and other systems of spiritual guidance.

    Each of these aspirations lies on a continuum, Justice-Injustice, Love-Fear, Freedom-Slavery, and Power-Impotence.  I feel impotent in the face of what the earthquake has wrought. I had my year mapped out – an exit strategy for my job, a move into something new. All this is on hold for now. This opened up a feeling of slavery to the job I was already in and on-going frustration with the mundane nature of the tasks ahead of me. As I read these words now I’m touched by a sense of injustice. That an earthquake can affect not only the physical, but also the mental and emotional is a testament to the power of nature. And my lot is nothing to what others have endured. It brings me back to gratitude and humility. Is it fear that holds me in place, keeping me safe until I’m ready? Or can I venture something new now, generated from the passion in my soul for transformation.


  • Working with our Modern Plagues

    What do we need to look at within ourselves when we consider these modern plagues? We saw the Egyptian plagues had a probable natural cause while these modern plagues are largely self created.

    Consumerism/Debt, Deforestation, Addiction, Poverty, Celebrity, Climate Change, Female Infanticide, Politics, Suicide, Terrorism/War.

    All this has been created by our thoughts of who we are at this point in time. Again I was finding it difficult to begin this post I had some ideas but when I put myself in front of it nothing happened.

    I begin a new job tomorrow. Leaving my current abode and moving to another area about an hours drive away. Living on site taking up the position of Catering Manager for the YMCA Camp at Wainui Park.

    I went for a bike ride through my favourite spots,  a sort of a good-bye. I’m sure I’ll be back but it won’t be the same.

    Its autumn here in the Southern Hemisphere.

    South Hagley Park
    South Hagley Park

    Leaves are fading, falling, carpeting the earth. Along with acorns they crunch under the tyres as I take the path through the park.

    Seems as though we are in autumn (fall) universally. Harvesting those things we’ve created through our thoughts. The good and the bad. Thoughts about who we are individually and globally.

    Is there a coldness entering our universal consciousness? A time of what worked during the summer of our age beginning to become frozen. Do we need collectively to embrace a wintertime? To consciously allow a winter bleakness to enter our psyche that we can better appreciate the springtime that’ll follow. To huddle together, deriving common warmth. Burning away the deadfall, those branches of thought that no long serve our global community, that have outlived their necessity to the tree of humanity.


    What will follow this conscious embrace of winter, this burning away metaphysically the deadfall of “civilization”, the “civilization” through which have emerged these modern plagues. The ideas and and thoughts that serve our concept of a common humanity will be the first shoots pushing through the thawing earth as winter turns to spring.

    And yet throughout a winter there is still greenness to behold, still flowers to spark our imaginations for the unfolding beauty.

    Are there areas of your life that seem to falling away, parts of your psyche going cold to ideas you have about yourself. Can you see the seasons at work within yourself?


  • Working with Qualities of the Soul: Madness

    I had completed my blog for the day. It’s been taking two or three hours to get my blog to a point where it is in a shape for posting. So the day is almost half gone by the time I get the post up and then move into the rest of the day.

    Parts of the day, small parts are spent going round and round in my head – What’s happening here? Why am I not getting any offers of work? When am I going to get some money going into my account? When am I going to get a ring from the credit card people, the telecom people, the bank? I was honest with the companies I had outstanding debt with. I see what is most important in life. Shelter and food. Those are the two things that are in focus when my financial wellbeing wasn’t so well. Paying the rent. Putting food on the table. There has even been a week when paying the rent went out the window.

    The whole experience I’d describe as a madness. Why have I allowed this to happen? What is it that I am seeing within myself as I make this passage? I had a similar experience over the Xmas period 2007-2008 but I had some holiday pay to carry me through. There was uncertainty then, though nothing compared to this time. I consciously stopped that facility through my pay earlier in the year. What was I doing – saying to the universe show me the worst?

    If  I’m appearing mad to myself how are others experiencing me? Do they think I’m mad? I’ve noticed a sort of coolness in some. And I wonder about that. Others are supportive, being with me through the process.

    It has been interesting watching what has been going on inside of me as I notice the way my son has been tackling the same no work space. I notice my frustration as I sense he’s not giving all he has to the process and I wonder how much of that is me not giving my all to my life. How much of this madness has to do with my not being all I am meant to be? How much of this madness has to do with fear? Of not being or doing enough with my life.

    Enough about those areas. There were good things going on as well. I visited my friend whose house I helped paint. We’ve been working on a business proposal for a while now that has had its share of challenges. We were finalising a flyer. We had talked about paying for distribution but as we considered it further we thought we deliver them ourselves. Will keep our costs down. So all good to go with that.

    From there I went to a planning and assessment seminar at Work and Income. I’d collected some of the bits and pieces they wanted me to bring but had neglected a few things so I wasn’t overly confident that there was going to be any change to the situation there. As I was going in I was receiving texts from the temping agency I’d signed up with saying they had work for me. It was all happening. It kind of felt surreal here I was signing up for unemployment and receiving calls about jobs at the same time. The madness of it all.

    And other things began opening up also. Just bumping into people I hadn’t seen for weeks. I’m not sure whether this process has changed me or that something else on a more global perspective changed. I am moving again at least financially. And I’m committed to sharing myself through my blog.

    Life is too precious. I thought about not connecting when I saw people on the street that I knew. I considered just biking on to my appointment. Life is much more satisfying when I stopped to smell the flowers along the way. In  a metaphorical sense people are flowers – they bloom when treated to some positive attention – a smile, a hug, recognition. When the sun of a smile, of recognition, of a hug shine on me I can’t help but return the compliment.

    Life is good.

    Blessings to you.

  • The Wasteland

    Depleted Azeri Oilfield

    One of the ways a Creative Mythologer works is by acknowledging and working with what is in the foreground of his life at any moment. What am I attracted to? What is calling to me? I’d been looking at lending the OilCrash Movie “A Crude Awakening” for a few weeks. The video store had it on a shelf of staff picks so I imagined it would be interesting.

    In the movie I was struck by the images of oilfields and the ugliness that goes along with them. There is a busyness and excitement when they’re productive and when the resource runs out there is an emptiness, a wasteland. How can we devastate what is beautiful and then leave it ugly without repairing what we’ve done?

    The narrator called our attachment to the possibilities of petroleum an addiction. Alcoholism on wheels. Its not only ourselves we are damaging with this addiction. We are affecting our landscapes. Climate change is another affect. One of the people interviewed in the movie referred to oil as a magnet for war. The movie is a sobering reminder. A reminder that any addiction sucks away our spirit.

    I look at the ways I’m addicted. I look at my uses of power and control. Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I see the slavery to substance, to feeling, to mood, the habit of thought, the habit of devotion. I see them and understand them because I have experienced them first hand. And when a narrator in a movie refers to our oil usage as an addiction also, I wonder how much am I addicted to the lifestyle I am living at the moment.

    I notice when I am without work I begin to have withdrawal symptoms even though I’ve told myself that it’s a lifestyle choice. Fear comes up and I lose a sense of being supported, until I finally get some news that there is work, or that I have a client. I have debts to service and these can also create a sense of being enslaved. That somehow this addiction to certain standard of lifestyle wrought a financial commitment that I don’t have the freedom to walk away from. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing as I need to see even debt in a different light.

    The images of the wasteland have me looking again at the Grail Mythology. In the search for the Holy Grail the knights needed to quest with pure heart in order to heal the king and find the Grail. The Grail symbolizes the principle of wholeness and is the source of everything we ask for. What am I not Being in order to feel Whole. If I don’t ask the question “to whom does the grail serve” I remain in the wasteland. If in my life I’m not lead by a pure heart I continue struggling in the wasteland.

    It seems that the questions I pose to life itself create the results that materialize for me. If I don’t feel whole I need to understand and clarify my questioning process. Are the questions I’m asking coming from my unconscious habitual ways of thinking or are they lucid questions emanating from an awakened consciousness. As my life changes I need to perhaps change the questions I’m posing.

    Grail Myths: http://www.uiweb.uidaho.edu/student_orgs/arthurian_legend/grail/fisher/