Monday, February 2, 2009

Interstices

I was a hidden treasure and desired to be known:
therefore I created the creation in order to be known.

-- Sufi creation myth
I love that funny little Sumerian stele of Lilith (which is posted on my previous post). I always imagine her in some ancient desert, under a starry sky, suddenly appearing amid the flickering light of a campfire, with her owls and her beehive hairdo. To learn more about Lilith, visit the Lilith Institute, founded by Deborah Gren Scott, who teaches women's studies at the New College of the California.

Lilith certainly got her share of mythological scapegoating. From the "night side/dream side" aspect of the great Mother Goddess Inanna,as well as the midwife who helped women to give birth at night, she evolved through time to the innumerable Hebrew "Lilits" endlessly tormenting otherwise chaste men in their beds and dreams, even as their wives slumber innocently beside them. Lilith was called the "great whore" - the archetype blamed and punished throughout history in various ways for those "unchaste lustful thoughts" which surely would not arise otherwise. Feminist writers including Susan Brownmiller and Germaine Greer have written brilliantly about this.

I cannot end this ramble about Lilith without throwing in one of my favorite homilies. The word "Whore" derives from earlier Semitic words that originally meant "Priestess" and/or "Fertile": Hora, Hara. "Hara" is a term still used to indicate the 2nd Chakra, "womb" or sexual/creative center. And to this day, the "Hora", a Circle Dance, is still danced at Jewish weddings. The evolution of this word within our language, from a term of respect and possibly a sacred term, to the worst kind of insult that can be cast on a woman, is telling in many ways. Following a Jungian thread, this western Dark Goddess, the "Goddess of the Outlands", cast out into the mythic periphery as fearsome, but ever dangerous demon.... is also the initiator of fertility, priestess of the rich life of the unconscious, as well as the one who leads the "Circle Dance" of integral self-awareness.

I wanted to thank "Crooked Smilee" for her kind comment. Grief is indeed a strange mate. Her blog is "The In-Between Space" (crookedsmilee.blogspot.com) Here is how she describes her blog:

"The convergence point between the spiritual, social, & political realms in human awareness::: between illusion and reality...truth and lie.... discernment and denial....reason and intuition....emotion and deep knowing."

Surely Lilith is a Goddess of the "In-Between" spaces, the "Interstices". And that is also why she has so much power to transform us. Here's what David Jeffers, an artist and scholar of the Kabala, had to say:

"There are references in the Kabala to what is called "breaking the shell". The mind set of "what you believe" is the shell, and Lilith is about breaking the shell. You have to fall apart sometimes to be put back together; because that's the only way you can be reconstructed. You cannot veneer these teachings on top of who you think you are. "

Syncronicities to me belong to those "Interstices". They may well be, as physicist F. David Peat** suggested in his book SYNCRONICITY - The Bridge Between Mind and Matter breakthroughs that hint of the deeper, integral nature of reality. (see also the Pari Center ) Am I making any sense? Well, I'll continue to blunder around. In other words, here we are living our lives on three dimensional terms, making our plans in space/time as we understand it, and every so often a pebble, a dust mote, a breeze, a conversation from the fifth or sixth dimensions penetrate our perceptions, before vanishing again, leaving one confused, amused, but with just a tiny glimpse of something vastly unfathomable and yet strangely familiar.

"Syncronicities provide a bridge between inner and outer worlds, between our private thoughts and external, objective realities.

Within a synchronicity, patterns of external events mirror an inner experience. To distinguish synchronicities from mere chance occurrences Carl Jung stressed that they must always involve "meaningful coincidence" that lie beyond any
explanation involving causal links and connections. In this way syncronicities reveal to us an underlying world of patterns, forms and connections that transcend any division between the mental and the material."**

"I believe that all coincidences are messages from the unmanifest –
they are like angels without wings, so to speak,
sudden interruptions of life by a deeper level"

.... Deepak Chopra

How are we linked, really? What threads are we throwing out and finding resonance with, at any given moment? I was thinking last week of writing about "Between", because last week I read from my new book "A House of Doors", and chose two poems that feature the idea. "To Stars" is one of them - I hope it captures a little of those "between" places where other forms of perception live. And, within the awe, a great song of belonging.

To Stars

With age,
I’ve learned to watch my feet.
I’ve become cautious of falls,

the true frailty of bones, and equally fragile,

the choices found at every crossroad.
Time, I’ve discovered, makes us bend -

we learn the habit of looking down.

After a summer rain,
the smell of diesel
and chaparral
I was blessedly nowhere,
just between “here” and “there”
.
A truck stop off I-40,

I was falling off the edge of the world

in a nameless little desert town,
my feet disappearing

into a sweet black
halcyon midnight:

then you made your puddled,
gracious descent:


Luminous Orion,
and faithful Sirius, the dog star
Antares, the Scorpion’s tail,
the Pleiades dancing forever, arms entwined

in Indra’s shining jewel net, and the Big Dipper
offering, offering forever


looking up at last, I heard you singing:

"Wait for me, Wait for me"

-------------------------------------------------
**From the catalog (2006) of the Pari Center, founded by F. David Peat and colleagues:

"Synchronicities are those mysterious and inexplicable coincidences that occasionally erupt into a life. At times we may feel that those around us are confined to a narrow world of logic and physical law, a world that admits no hint of mystery. This can give rise to a feeling of isolation within an indifferent universe and an increasing complex society whose members are reduced to ciphers. Synchronicities, by contrast, offer a doorway into a very different world. A world that also has resonances with the deep insights that have bee

n revealed by the new sciences.

True synchronicities are more than mere chance occurrences. They are characterized by a sense of meaning and numiniousness. They provide a bridge between inner and outer worlds, between our private thoughts and external, objective realities. Within a synchronicity, patterns of external events mirror an inner experience; likewise dreams and fantasies may seem to flood over into the external world. To distinguish synchronicities from mere chance occurrences Carl Jung stressed that they must always involve "meaningful coincidence" that lie beyond any explanation involving causal links and connections. In this way reveal to us an underlying world of patterns, forms and connections that transcend any division between the mental and the material.

Synchronicities also act as markers of time, moments of transformation within a life that occur in chairos, when “the time is right”. Thus, while causality ties us to our past, synchronicity can link us to our future. They can also act as significant encounters when a door is opened through which we can pass. One notable encounter took place between the psychologist Carl Jung and the physicist Wolfgang Pauli. This meeting of people from two very different worlds led to Pauli’s series of dreams which caused him to explore the relationship between psyche and matter and believe that the time was at hand for the "resurrection of spirit” within the world of matter.

www.fdavidpeat.com

No comments: