• Tag Archives paradox
  • 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 Aspects of the Soul: Freedom

    I definitely felt freer within myself yesterday. I’m forming a new habit through blogging and it feels positive.

    Once completed I easily moved on to another item I felt I needed to explore. That I look to receive some financial support even though it will only be temporary. I filled out the papers even though in some sections I felt resistance to what they were asking. I rang the Work and Income Department of the New Zealand government. They wanted to put me back to the work broker I had consulted with before. I didn’t want to revisit that experience. I took the planning and assessment option.

    I’m not resisting work. I’m open to receive work that comes my way that takes account of my full talents and abilities and is in alignment with my purpose for this lifetime. I’m not going to take the first job that is waved in my face by a bureaucrat.

    Once I’d completed the paperwork I had to collect some data from my current employee at Christchurch’s AMI Stadium to verify my earnings last year. It was also an opportunity to pick up my knives which I’d left there after the previous game I’d worked on. While there the boss gave me a run down on what was coming up for the months of February and March. It seems intense. And it feels right.

    Part of this decision is based on working with a 75 year old chef. Most of the people that he’s worked with over the years have left and I’m getting the feeling that this may be his last season there. I want to be there for that. He has a fifteen year old daughter and feels a duty to work to provide for her.

    I don’t get a sense that he feels free to do what men of his age are doing – enjoying retirement. He’s down to earth, has had many experiences in his lifetime, he keeps in touch with a lot of the people that have worked alongside him, and mostly has a humorous way about him. He knows what he wants to do and does it, he’s always ready to show the young ones how to do a particular task if they’re struggling and are open to be taught. There are times when he’s unsure about something and allows himself to seek clarification. He’s a shining example of what it means to be human and privilege to work with him. Thank you Jimmy.

    When I got home I connected with the temping agency I signed up with to check on work availability. I was beginning to think it was a little weird that when I was painting I was receiving invitations to work and then once painting was over the notifications stopped. If as a Creative Mythologer I am aware that the world is always a reflection of my dominant thoughts what was with that? I have no aversion to work. I am choosing to put myself out there to work and I am choosing to commit to my blog that others may find a path to their transformation.

    Don’t you hate when you look at a word that seems right and when you check its wrong and sometimes it just looks silly. That’s how it was when I began looking to see if I spelled commitment right. I had two t’s before and was sure it was right. What might that be saying around my belief of commitment.

    Making a choice and being committed to that choice creates freedom. Freedom that comes from the acknowledgment of commitment. Of bringing all of who we are to the banquet that is life. In making commitment we allow ourselves to truly be with whatever it is we are committing to. Commitment to truth is liberating. To follow what is true in the face of what seem to be overwhelming odds. To imprison ourselves to being true to our Self is the paradoxical path to freedom.

    I was feeling imprisoned by the challenges and resistances I was facing and yet as I faced and embraced the resistances that were begging me to honour them I enabled myself to feel freer. The day became clearer and my disposition lighter.

    I received a wonderful email which touched me from a friend. I honoured the promise I’d made to myself to begin the article I was planning. It was started and the day closed out with a sense of peace in my heart. Life is Good


  • Working with Aspects of the Soul: Detachment

    Learn the growth of that inner detachment which will enable you to merge yourself in the consciousness of your brother and so know and ascertain the best way to help him and stimulate him to renewed effort. Cultivate true humility to force yourself to give all you have in selfless service and then to forget you have given this of yourself.

    I had woken a little later than I anticipated and hurried through the discussion of the previous days activities with my previous post. The painting was continuing and I finally got there just after 9. We were expecting the weather to be super hot and it didn’t let us down. I was putting the finishing touches to one end of the house and then carried on with the work I’d begun a the front of the house. I’d imagined that the front of the house was going to be a little cooler after lunch because the sun would be moving round to the back. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I started to burn.

    I was frustrated because I’d been hoping to finish the work that day. Having said that it was ok we decided to finish early and enjoy the sun. I was able to catch up with a friend who is going through a disputes tribunal at the moment so was able to render him some assistance with paperwork.

    It is interesting to watch as the world mirrors our intentions. Here we were both facing challenges in our lives and yet both cultivating an air of detachment to it. Doing the best we can with what we have.

    It has been so easy going through the last couple of aspects. I’ve had no one at home so it has been relatively easy to maintain my composure. Any turmoil I’ve had to cope with has been my own inner process and though the fear comes up it also passes.

    Something I allowed myself to do a few years back when I was living by myself and thought I was going mad was to go deeper into the feeling. To consciously plumb the depths of that particular feeling/mindset. The deeper I entered the experience the less heavy it seemed until eventually I began to laugh. A joyous laughter. The laughter of a discovery that what I’d imagined was real was actually false. The discovery of paradox, of contradiction in the moment. It was the ultimate slapstick where you kick yourself up the back side and fall in a puddle of mud.

    Let life be funny, it is one way to detach from worries.