This morning I did another meditation to speak to the spirit of my disease. This is what came up:
This time when I went into my turret staircase to decent into a deeper meditative space, I found that the walls were not brick anymore, but wood. Not planks of wood, rather smooth wood that went on and on down. It felt like being inside a tree. Inside a tree! I remembered my teaching recently, that the world tree – the axis mundi, is also us. We are the intermediaries between heaven and earth. Was I descending into my own body then?
I saw myself as the tree, with my chakras open and spinning.
Everything was very dark. There were no windows. I spent some time envisioning sconces on the walls with fire in them. Also feeling the air – it was very warm and comforting in there. I sat on the stairs for some time and just rested.
Then, when I asked the darkness, what are you here to teach me? what do you need me to see?
I was whisked away to an earlier time in my life, I was around 9 or 10, when I had a falling out at school with my best friend and she turned everyone against me. My whole class ignored me for months. Being a popular kid with no trouble getting along with anyone, this was a shock to my young psyche. I had the chance to feel what it was like to be the outcast, the ‘other’. Even though my friends and I patched things up eventually, I never really came back from that experience the same. Even my dad mentioned it to me a number of times: “Remember that? You were never the same after that’.
When I asked what this is about – I got ‘change’. The way things can suddenly change in life. When I was young it really took the carpet out from under me. This betrayal perhaps was the beginning of the pattern – anxiety, fear, disease. I was unseated.
When I asked how I could heal things I immediately got, keep doing this – keep asking – keep communing and communicating – keep doing what you’re doing – yoga, meditation, self-love.
But then, a vision of me as a swirling column of light, dancing through the otherworld – and the Earth as a much larger swirling column. What came through was that the world has been unseated. My body is a reflection of the whole – micro to macro. The body of the world is imbalanced, therefore so is mine or vice-versa.
What?? My first reaction to this was to toss it aside. It was altogether too big of a concept for me deal with. I mean, you want me to heal the world to heal myself. How am I supposed to single-handedly heal the world? I literally pushed this vision aside and out of my mind until yesterday. It was my birthday – I took the whole day for myself and went to my favourite bookstore for hours and hours. (Ah what relief, what joy.) I bought a book and this is what it said:
Silencing our deepest responses to the condition of our world not only fosters a sense of futility, but also mires us in it. Each act of denial, conscious or unconscious, is an abdication of our power to respond. It relegates us to the role of the victim before we even see what we can want to do.
Our pain for the world, including the fear, anger and sorrow we feel on behalf of life on earth is not only pervasive. It is natural and healthy. It is dysfunctional only to the extent that it is misunderstood and repressed.
We don’t break free from denial and repression by gritting our teeth and trying to be braver, nobler citizens. We don’t retrieve our passion for life, our wild innate creative intelligence, by scolding ourselves and soldiering on with a stiff upper lip. That model of heroic behaviour belongs to the worldview that gave us the Industrial Growth Society (modern capitalism).
The most remarkable feature of this historical moment on Earth is not that we are on the way to destroying our world – we’ve actually been on the way quite a while. It is that we are beginning to wake up, as from a millennia-long sleep, to a whole new relationship to our world, to ourselves and each other.
The worldview emerging now lets us behold anew and experience afresh the web of life in which we exist… It lets us honour our pain for the world as a gateway into deep participation in the world’s self-healing. More basic to the Great Turning than any ideas we hold is the act of courage and love we make together when we dare to see our world as it is.
The book is called Coming Back To Life by Joanna Macy and Molly Brown. Very inspiring read so far.
I am left feeling that my healing is tied to my activism. I have long been following a path of treading lightly on the Earth, but maybe it’s time to take it to another level.
This is the thing: I’ve been asking for my purpose in life for a few years now. I’m in my early 40s and still don’t know why I’m here. I know what I care about, but I don’t have a career as of yet and I have so may interests it’s hard to pick one area to concentrate on.
If disease comes to teach us, then I have to listen. Maybe I’m being directed towards healing the Earth. Maybe that is my calling. And therein lies my own salvation.