Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be experienced. Joseph Campbell
It’s always fascinating for me to sit and ponder the many – seemingly diverse – thoughts, insights, experiences and conversations I have had across the week, only to find a lovely synchronicity emerging when I sit down to write.
Last week I spoke of my realisation that I tend to be very grasping in my approach to spirituality – amongst other things, well, everything really.
This week I have seen an impatience, alongside this tenacity, I want it all and I want it now. Move over Veruca Salt…
To experience a synchronistic event is to necessarily be changed at our core. Paul Levy
My friend came over on Saturday night, we are both studying druidry and we had a lovely meditation ritual together. After a robust discussion of all aspects of life, the universe and everything, he said something that resonated with me.
Interestingly I know he has said this to me before, but I never really got it until he said it that night.
He talked about how easy it is to misconstrue spirituality and emotionality. Emotionality is all about feel-goods. Don’t feel good? White-light that sucker, affirm it away, have an exorcism…
I mean I’m being silly to demonstrate a point, but there is certainly an element of this thinking in many New Age practices. Only love and light are acceptable, all other experience must be ‘cleansed’ away.
True spirituality, he argued, makes no value distinction between light/dark, good/bad feelings. All experience is honoured, all aspects of life are a reflection of the nature of existence and it is the value judgements on these aspects as good/bad, light/dark, and the ego-based reactions to these judgements that are the issue, not the experience itself.
I haven’t done justice to his words, but hopefully you get the gist.
Life is cyclical, death/rebirth, growth/decay, day/night, summer/winter – all cycle round in their perfect balance and order.
No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell. C. G. Jung
I was listening to a spiritual podcast last night, the host is lovely and very earnest and interviews some really interesting people. Last night it was Anita Moorjani who has an amazing story of spontaneous healing after a near-death experience.
The energy produced by the interview and the callers asking questions was palpable. Both the interviewer and interviewee were in tears by the end.
I felt very moved and then I thought “Aha! Emotion!”
Synchronicities by their very nature demand our active participation, as they are not something we can just passively watch and remain unaffected by. Paul Levy
So I think while an emotional reaction to hearing a story or watching a powerful ocean break waves on the shore, or standing in a sunny verdant glade at dawn, can be an ‘in’ to connecting with spirit, it can’t be the be all and end all.
After this initial ‘in’, to the heart, there must be some substance. And this substance for me, comes from a practice. In the same way a romantic relationship starts on emotion, but needs to develop into something more substantial than feelings for it to last.
And I am the first to admit I am a real sucker for the emotion-bursting experience. Yet I also see that if that is the sum total of my spiritual practice, well, it’s pretty meaningless.
Synchronicity’s inherent revelatory nature is ultimately offering us the realization that we are playing an active, participatory and hence, co-creative role in the unfoldment of the universe. Paul Levy
As such I am in training to be a druid. I know, I know, it brings up old images of Doctor Who and hooded cults at Stonehenge, but when I read more about it, it is actually a beautiful nature-venerating practice, that honours all the things I believe in.
It is also the practice of my ancestors the Celts, and it has strong shamanic influences. It venerates music and storytelling, and nature worship, as key spiritual practices. It’s so me, it’s not funny.
Actually it is kind of funny. It makes me laugh. I’ve been searching my whole life for something, and it’s been here for thousands of years.
Druidry honours music and creativity very highly, so it fits in beautifully with my Chakradance practice.
One of the many beautiful aspects of Chakradance, is the influence of Jung’s archetypes on the imagery for the chakras. As such there is a focus on both light and shadow, which has made the practice incredibly powerful for me.
Honestly, as someone who after experiencing life as my own private hell, swung the pendulum way too far the other way and tried oh so hard to be oh so good for way to long. All this achieves, as my friend so eloquently reminded me is a larger shadow to deal with when it inevitably pops up. Which it will. It’s like Neo trying to fight Mr Smith in the matrix.
So any spirituality worth it’s salt will acknowledge and honour the shadow. Yin and Yang, night and day, light and shadow – where would we be without both? It’s like trying to paint with only bright colours, or listen to a piece of music with only the white notes.
Whenever I dance the throat chakra, I see images in my mind’s eye of women wearing blue robes. Sometimes they seem ancient Grecian or Roman, sometimes they are timeless, this week I saw only one woman, intend of three and I intuitively felt that she was the Mother Mary.
Being unmediated manifestations of the dreamlike nature of reality, we can interpret synchronicities just like we would interpret a dream. Paul Levy
Now for those of you who have not done much visualising it can be hard to describe what happens. Also it’s different for different people. Some people are all visual, others have other sensory input. I have some visuals, not very strong, almost like the reflection of light through a stained glass window, they are getting clearer with practice. My strongest sense is clair-sentience, it comes as an insight supported by a strong gut feeling.
So in this dance where I saw the Mother Mary, I visually saw the image and then I sensed that it was an image of the Mother Mary. So here’s where it can get tricky. This to me is an archetype, so what I’m experiencing is an image that the collective unconscious, as interpreted by my consciousness, associated with certain ideas.
Archetypes are the image-making factor in the psyche, informing and giving shape to the images in our mind and the dreams of our soul, and as such, they insist on being approached imaginatively. Paul Levy
Obviously Mother Mary is holy, revered, devoted, sacred, a loving mother and a universal image of compassion and truth. Also, in the last few weeks I find myself listening to the Beatles album Let it Be, and the title song with the soothing words of Mother Mary resonated deeply in me.
When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom ‘Let it Be’. The Beatles
Don’t force just let it be.
It is easy to think that synchronicity equates with simultaneously but it doesn’t always. Often what Jung talked about was that time spent considering a certain insight where suddenly it seemed that every conversation, every image, every occurrence has some relevance and meaning to this idea.
To quote Jung, “Synchronicity is no more baffling or mysterious than the discontinuities of physics.” It is the place where causality and non-causality overlap and become somewhat murky. It is only our ingrained beliefs in the nature of causality that creates ‘intellectual difficulties’ and makes it appear unthinkable that such events could exist and simultaneously be meaningful. “But if they do, then we must regard them as creative acts, as the continuous creation of a pattern that exists from all eternity, repeats itself sporadically, and is not derivable from any known antecedents.”
Continuous creation is to be thought of not only as a series of successive acts of creation, but also as the eternal presence of the one creative act. C G Jung
This has been my experience in writing this blog. My focus on intention, my open and curious mindfulness to nature and the world around me, has created a perfect petri dish for synchronicity to flourish.
I will often have a few concepts floating around my mind and then these concepts will play out in the world, in my relationships, my interactions through art and reading, and of course, my Chakradance.
This week I had a conundrum. I am planning to run 9 week cycles of Chakradance next year. Saturdays really suit people but I work alternate Saturdays at my day job. At that rate the 9 week cycle was going to take about six months. It also clashed with me going to Bali in May for shamanic training.
I realised I couldn’t find a solution, so I waited for inspiration.
It came pretty quickly in the form of some discussion on the Chakradance facilitators forum on Facebook. A wonderful virtual community of teachers where people ask really helpful question and the group shares their experience. So one facilitator asks about the way people structure their courses and another responded that she run the cycle over 6 weeks, doing two chakras a week.
Now this is not earth shattering, I know. But it seems to be how things work, if I let them. I had an intention and it wasn’t working, I paused for reflection and guidance, and then the solution appeared.
Sometimes the wait is longer and these synchronous events occur slowly over time.
At the moment I am feeling a bit pressured, there’s lots happening in my life, and other areas of my life where I would like lots to be happening have slowed or stopped. The archetype of the blue ladies reminds me of peaceful silence, reverence, patience, temperance, compassion and trust.
And I see that sky blue of the throat chakra everywhere. It causes me to pause and reflect on these messages from my unconscious.
With a personality like mine, the complete opposite of the above, it’s no wonder they have to keep coming back, again and again!
I acknowledge a world beyond my senses, a truth beyond my intellect, a wisdom beyond logic, a power beyond my limits, a serene design, despite any distressing display.
I open myself to every transformation that is ready to happen in and through me.
I understand that both negative and positive events can be synchronicity, and both are here to serve me.
I trust that the universe will allow what needs to come to me, when it needs to come to me
Even if I am changing and I cannot yet see the reality changing to match me, I know that everything is different, and will be, because I am different.
You can’t force synchronicity. It seems to only occur in the optimal conditions. It is only by allowing and trusting in the unfolding of life, the mindful attention to each moment and the open awareness and teachability to notice the symbols as they emerge, only then can it happen.