It was in a first year philosophy class that I first heard the famous Socrates quote “Know Thyself”. I kinda thought I did. I was a rural Albertan girl with all the hard work values of a redneck, the social morals of an activist and the naive dreams of a hippie. That sums it up right? Almost twenty years now I’ve sought to embody Socrates words – words that have become an incantation of sorts living just beneath the surface of perceivable thought. Like any good incantation the pursuit of self-knowledge bubbles up from the cauldron of my unconscious inciting questioning, feeling and understanding. I am truly spellbound by it.
I like to indulge philosophy like ice cream – up to my elbows and for as long as possible. There was a time in my undergraduate years that my day would be a continuous cycle of read, contemplate, repeat – alternating coffee shops and couches until I hit satiation point. Which, like with ice cream, wasn’t until I reached the bottom of a number of barrels of delicious flavours of contemplation. There’s a part of me that relates to the archetypal scene of an ancient philosopher pouring over texts and scrolls which, except for the glow of the firelight, is enshrouded by darkness, silence and solitude. My undergraduate years are long.
“We must no more ask whether the soul and body are one than ask whether the wax and the figure impressed on it are one. ” – Aristotle Gurdjieff speaks of the crystallization of a force through spiritual effort that has the capacity to withstand the torrent of external assaults we experience regularly. This force is the place where human and Divine collide – an interface that we call soul. He sometimes describes this force as a “finer substance” which can be felt distinct from the denser vibration of our personality and physical reality. As you traverse the spiritual path of yoga (or otherwise), the question is: Can you sense the presence of this “finer.
The concept of “neti neti” stems from Advaita Vedanta which is a non-dual Eastern philosophy. Neti neti means “not this, not that” and is a specific way to approach the search for God. In our human experience we have thoughts, emotions and sensations of living in every day life. The notion of neti neti posits that Spirit or God is none of these things. The ecstatic experience of being moved by the primal sounds of a chorus of drums – that’s not It. The vast, spacious feeling at the apex of a mountain or the silent, soft longing for wholeness and peace – that’s not It either. I am.
How do I begin a post like this one? Despite numerous attempts over the last few weeks of inactivity on my blog I have not found a graceful or poetic way to say that I’ve ended my marriage. Ya, Merry Christmas hey? There would have been a thousand better times for this tidal force to move me as it did, but it seems I could dam the force no longer. The first I heard of this tidal force was a number of years ago. Inside of me, though, it began not like the tide that moves me now but like the slow, intermittent drip of a leaky faucet – a.
It was years ago, in university, I remember a professor commenting that we come into life alone, go out alone and that no one is ever really able to enter our experiences with us. His point was that existential loneliness is a fact of human life. I have not felt the truth of this so clearly as in the last few years. I have spent many moments in the isolating walls of my house, alone with my child, alone with motherhood, alone with the domestic duties that seem laid upon me by cold and distant societal expectations. cheap nfl jerseys,cheap jerseys,wholesale jerseys from china,I urge the Commissioners to call.
This past weekend I attended the second of four workshops in the Soul of Christianity series with Atum O’Kane. Like the first workshop, this one was took me yet again deeper into the Christian story, this time through the symbolism of the cross. Although there were many highlights, I want to share one piece in particular that relates to this weeks topic. Atum talked about the cross as a symbol for four directions (paths) of spiritual development: The upper portion of the cross: The path of transcendence. This is associated with the virginal aspects of Mary, not in the piety sense of the word, but related to the unpolluted source of.
To be fully alive, expanding in all directions. This is my deepest wish, and my greatest fear. What does it mean to be fully alive? This question has been haunting me in various forms for most of my life. I can’t say that I’ve come to any conclusions about it. Instead, I suspend the question in my heart and what rises in brief lucid moments is a vision of a radiant sun, expanding in all directions from the center of my chest. I see it and feel it now and it brings soft tears to my eyes. I sense that this symbol represents two things. The first is that I can become.
There is something that calls us to Wholeness (or Spirit, God, Peace, Allah, Jehovah, Krishna etc etc) isn’t there? I remember as a child feeling less like Spirit called to me and more like it bellowed holy renderings at the very top of it’s lungs. At the time I recall feeling what Jeanne de Salzmann calls a “nostaliga for being” that I could neither articulate nor understand. I felt a deep love and appreciation for the wonder of life that would sometimes overwhelm me. Those were softer times when I could lay in the grass of my back yard and let those feelings flood through my relaxed body, tender heart and open.