Guess what! I have discovered a new sin! One to equal the granddaddy of them all, which is Pride.
It is one I seem to have spent a greater portion of my life committing, albeit unconsciously, which is part of the problem.
It is taking the physical universe for granted.
For me, as I approach my 85th birthday in November and ipso facto my “Aberduffy Day”* (or demise), it is late but for the rest of u, I hasten to bring it to your attention.
Margaret Fuller, a Transcendentalist and friend of Emerson & Co, said “I accept the universe.” I always was impressed by that. It seems so sensible. But now I would rather be remembered for saying, “I appreciate the universe.”
I am in awe, constantly blown away by the wonder of the intricate workings of this body that I ineluctably will have to leave behind. I think of the tragedy and waste of miracles: the 9 months every soldier, every man/woman in today’s world was carried in some mother’s womb, nurtured, educated for years only in a split second to be wiped out, wounded, crippled in mind or limb . . . how time-efficient is that!
But let’s start further out. When I was teaching kids in ninth grade, they were looking into drugs called “speed.” I asked them if the following was not sufficient. So, as you read this, take a moment to feel how fixed in time/space you are at the moment. What an illusion!
1. The earth is rotating at 1000 mph.
2. The earth is orbiting the sun at 60,000 mph (spinning as she goes).
3. The sun in the galaxy of the Milky Way is moving at 481,000 mph.
4. The Milky Way, in turn, is whizzing at 1,350,000 mph.
So, if anyone you know is depressed, just think what an accomplishment and miracle it is that each of us can go to sleep and wake up in the same body with the same name and identity!!! It is staggering and yet we take it for granted.
My mother once told me a Beejum story in which I went to sleep and woke up the next morning and looked in the mirror and saw the head of a rhinoceros! I was about 5 at the time. It must have made a lasting impression!
As I understand it, there is a ratio proposed that the average number of atoms in a body might equal the number of stars in the universe, and each atom is a miniature point of energy whizzing around in a dance of its own. So Heraclitus was spot on when he said panta rhea, everything flows.
So what invisible processes conspire to materialize all this in manifest order and beauty? Surely they are the basic archetypes of life/form, yang/yin (male/female), expansion/contraction, light/dark which primitive humans intuited were divine and when talked about were given the names of gods/goddesses. In history, the names change from age to age and culture to culture, but the processes never do! The names are personifications. These opposites are interconnected by the hermaphroditic process of communication, personified as Hermes (Mercury).
What I have discovered for myself is that the end result is objects! Manifest not only in nature but in cups, pencils, buttons, pots, windows – you name it. The manifest world is a mute testament to Light, Life, Love.
These are attributes we give to the Mystery we call Spirit (Creator).
To quote the alchemist Petrus Bonus, “To find the Philosopher’s Stone, look with the eyes and see with the heart.”
Look with a loving eye! Jung’s ‘The longest journey we need to travel is from the mind to the heart’ or the coniunctio of ego/Self, made by the grace of Sophia.
Last week, I looked down at a candle and saw the center wick. That is Jung’s Self, the center of the mandala of the psyche.
The flame that lights it is the Divine Guest. There are many, many individual wicks but the flame that lights them is the same flame. It is related to the Sun, the center of our solar system. This sun is a manifestation of what we might call the Sun behind the sun.
To quote Sheik Muzzafer, whom we met in Istanbul: “Allah says: How can I not reward you when you have sought me for so long by revealing Myself in the beauty of this world!”
Phew! Time for my Scottish Communion . . .
* Aberduffy Day, which is in The Beejum Book, came to me in a dream many years ago before I met my Polar Bear. I dearly loved an older man; in the dream our fingers were touching through a wire-linked fence. I was weeping at the cruel separation. He said: “Don’t cry, my dear, we will meet again on Aberduffy Day!” I woke up on a wet pillow but convinced such a day existed. So I checked all the Celtic festivals, etc. No luck. Then I realized from the little Gaelic I know, that aber is connected to ‘river’ and ‘duffy’ comes from dubh, black. Black River = Styx = death!! So, who the heck wants to die when they can celebrate Aberduffy Day! Remember that when I am gone.
In The Beejum Book, Mr Rathbone is on the train to Beejumstan . . . Mr R was the uncle of the actor Basil Rathbone. I met him in Rome when I was 7. He was a friend of my Grandma King. Both were in their 70’s. My R treated me like a grown-up and we had many serious discussions. I loved him dearly. He told me what I needed was an en-cy-clo-pee-diah. My parents explained that this would not fit in my suitcase, which was all I had for many years to come.