I offer my inner journey as a gift to my community. Like the gift of a child, it doesn’t have to amount to much, by worldly standards, to be sincere and to be a treasure, to those with eyes to see.
Last week I shared my sense that, what we in the West call “Christ” is a built-in potential for humans.
I suggested similarities between how a human population develops writing and how it names the transcendent-transpersonal. It’s an interesting parallel. A culture develops writing; an individual learns to write (in the language of her culture). Similarly, a culture sees the Divine manifesting as Christ; an individual learns the language of Christ as a way of expressing to others and to herself, the Divine within and the Divine among us.
As I was writing last week’s post, I expected that this week I would make some sort of momentous “personal-christ” statement, based on extrapolating from the power I felt moving in me at the time. Of course things seldom work out as we expect. The power, the turmoil, I felt last week is still very present to me, but now I am trying to coach myself to settle in to a period of longing, a period of living with a sense of paradox and of “doing the work” to return to the Source.
So what I have to offer this week is not “my answer,” but only my quest for wholeness. I have been focused for years on planetary wholeness, which I call Gaia. As I have devoted myself to this work, I have discovered I must seek my own wholeness; if this troubadour is to sing of the beauty and wholeness of the earth with every cell of my body, then I am called upon to embody that beauty and wholeness as it expresses itself in me:
A fragment of the hologram of Gaia.
I feel called to express the combination of “my message” and “my lived life” as a coherent whole. That is part of the commitment I made to Lady Gaia, to be public, to be a witness in my lived life.
.: And what, dear Richard, might the coherent-and-beautiful-you look like?
.: Well, the most beautiful thing I can offer is my striving. The result will be flawed, of course, but that’s OK, that’s part of the package for every incarnate life on earth.
.: And for what are you striving?
.: Ah, now we come to the double-eye of my turmoil. One eye of my current storm is what followers of Carl Jung might call a “crisis of individuation.” I have gotten far enough along in my process of maturation that the semi-autonomous aspects of my personality which I have been calling “needy-greedy” are blocking my path toward wholeness. I am striving to love them, these fragments of the Divine, into the wholeness of my larger Self.
The other eye of my storm is the question, “how do I name this process?” Part of my Gift is knowing the names we give to “reality” have consequences. I want to call this process “giving myself to my christ.”
Another phrase would be “pledging myself to my higher power.” (This language has worked well for tens of thousands in AA.)
Or I could follow Jung and say “I am struggling to more fully integrate my shadow aspects into the next stage of my personality, all under the guidance of the Self.”
So, two eyes to my storm, two quiet nameable centers around which energies swirl with frightening speed.
My readers will recognize the energies in our society swirling around the second eye. If I say “Christ,” I am afraid I will offend my sister, Christine, and other Christians who might refer to themselves as “fundamentalists.” Chris has been talking about the “good news” for years, and has been looking for an opportunity to talk to me about the joy of accepting Jesus Christ as my personal savior. Am I going to tromp in and say, “I’ll take that Christ! This is what it means to me”?
When I talked to Chris on the phone this week, I said only, “I feel called to live with a higher level of integrity.” That made sense to her and she could relate to me in a comforting and knowing fashion.
As for the language of “higher power,” I’ve always liked it and disliked it for the same reasons. The way the phrase is used allows many people to join together to do good work. The language of “higher power” says, “we will all have different views of what this means, and that’s OK; let’s get on with our work.”
Saying “Higher Power” turns our focus away from the Divine, to concentrate on the work of the Divine in our lives. Right now I am preoccupied with a sense of “being called,” of being drawn toward something, and I am reluctant to use language that says “yes, but let’s not try to talk about it directly.”
And what about Jung’s language, “integration of the personality under the presiding guidance of the Self”? I believe every word of it. But is that MY language? Is that what I want to say to my friends? I am a troubadour. My job is “to touch hearts with words.”
So these are the energies I can name, swirling around the second eye, the outward-looking eye of my storm. The energies swirling around the eye of my inner struggles are harder to name and more immediately frightening.
Friends know that there is a reality that lies beyond any and all words.
I am trying to remember this.
It is in this realm that my work lies, in prayer, and in carrying my yearning for wholeness into daily life.