Ralph Metzner discusses ten classical metaphors of self-transformation. I can relate to all of them and I feel lucky that I can afford the luxury to look at myself and reflect on my path.
I can still remember prior to my ‘awakening’, the sheer fear present in my gut, the feeling of falling into a dark whole, if I passed that threshold. Then with the help of a guide, and learning to meditate, I moved past the veil and begun exploring the inner landscapes of my being, gradually coming to terms with my distorted perceptions of reality, step by step transforming outdated belief systems that could only cause pain. Reflecting back on that particular morning in San Diego, in 1981 during the ‘6-day’ course, when I could hardly put a foot in front of the other, feeling totally exhausted from the emotional excavation, the only way I could begin the daily 1 mile race, was to repeat internally ‘I’ve got to be willing to die’. That sentence became like a mantra. When despite my sheer exhaustion, I broke the all time speed record for women in the course, I had yet another glimpse at our unbound potential, who we are is more than body, emotions and mind.
Exploring soul retrieval and vision questing, I gathered gradually all my scattered parts, regularly feeling that, for sure, now I had arrived, only to start climbing time after time again. Now I am wiser and when that feeling comes, I am ready to face yet another unfolding in my journey, but definitely feeling like I am on course now. Therefore, the metaphor that I currently identify most strongly with is the one «from being on a journey to arriving at the destination».
I can strongly identify with Campbell’s archetypal Hero’s journey, as a form of dying to the world as reported by Caroline Myss in Sacred Contracts (2001). This great journey as reported in myths from all over the world :
«…always begins with a process of separation or alienation from the tribe, followed by a series of difficult challenges that the hero must meet alone. The journey culminates in a descent in the abyss of self-doubt and a loss of faith in the Divine, but then results in a vital transformation and a renewal of trust, which in turn leads to a revelation of some new knowledge, insight, or wisdom. The hero than return to the tribe and imparts this insight……» (page 65)
So did I leave my native France, to gather roots in Canada, always searching through my travels for a greener landscape, outside of myself, yet another relationship, sure that after this trip or that experience, I would feel better. After four painful separations I began to realize that I had a big part to play in the drama of my life. Taking responsibility for my pains I began searching inside, but for the longest time, still blaming my parents for the origin of my suffering. For a while, relying only on my powerful rational mind, I thought I could explain everything or attempt to. But all explanations of ‘why ?’ did not stop the suffering. It is only when I began to realize that by listening to my intuitions the outcome could be different. I was moving down from my head into my heart, accepting the pain as a necessary path and in the process contacting a source of raw knowledge that left me puzzled. It is only in the last few years that I have the feeling that the end of struggling is in sight.
As reported by Metzner in his article, it is in the desert that the questing hero finally finds that which he or she is seeking. And quite literally, it is in a desert environment that I live. My stay in KSA for the last 7 years, with all its strictness has forced me to go even deeper into the cellular memories of my race. This has contributed to the healing of my personal history which in turn, I believe contributes towards healing the masculine/feminine split in the world. The fight my mother started in the 60s.
In God and the evolving Universe, Redfield and Murphy (2002) contend that thousands of years of human striving have brought us to this latest phase in human evolution. Our species homo sapiens as reported by Metzner is undergoing a transmutation in the words of Sri Aurobindo. I believe we can no longer look at the world from a mechanistic point of view (Transitions, William Bridges, 1980) and attempt to find a solution to the problems of the developed world by exploiting the less privileged of our species, whose weight do not count in the balance. Systematic ignoring of informal and formal requests for dignity from the less developed nations and the poorest of our race has contributed to this split between have and have-nots and is at the root cause of terrorism. Old solutions to economic difficulties, fighting our wars outside ourselves, no longer reap the dividends past civilization could get away with. We are spirits living in matter, dying to realize our unity with the Divine, choking in the duality of outdated thinking processes that keep us locked in the past, repeating history and perpetrating pain and suffering.
In her latest book Sacred Contracts, (2001) Caroline Myss writes that
«… a Sacred Contract is an agreement your soul makes before you are born. You promise to do certain things for yourself, for others, and for divine purposes. Part of the Contract requires that you discover what it is that you are meant to do. The Divine, in turn, promises to give you the guidance you need through your intuition, dreams, hunches, coincidences and other indicators.» (page 47)
Referring to the great prophets Abraham, Jesus and Muhammad and their struggle at the direction of the Divine, she writes:
«Given how uncertain they were even with direct intervention and guidance, you need to accept that only through acting to uncover your Contract will it be revealed to you.» (page 69)
attunement to the Reiki Master energies has given me a direct connection to the Divine, something I never had before. I am still exploring that relationship, experiencing moments of stalling in my life, when I don’t feel ready to follow the guidance I receive. A few days ago, I have pulled the ‘Warrior’ card from The Medicine Woman Taro Deck, by Carol Bridges (1991) :
«..I am a point of power for the divine plan which works unfailingly through me. Having set my will to follow the highest within, I am strengthened to express the victorious life.»
In line with the Heroine’s journey, I feel called now to impart my insights with my family. My mother at 88 is presently suffering from a fall and is hospitalized for another few days, she has just recently discovered a cancerous growth in her left breast. Disillusioned through her own set-backs in life, she has banished God from her life, perpetrating suffering from an unwillingness to forgive my father for his betrayal, even though he has passed away since 1988. I have lately began discussing her fear of dying with her and the power of forgiveness in the healing of long standing grief. I am able now to candidly share my own journey and difficulties of forgiving her and the internal freedom I am experiencing since I was able to do just that.
I cannot but wonder what a woman like me, who has searched so much to reconcile with her feminine part, is doing in this part of the world, a land in which women outwardly cannot even drive a car, have little status except as mothers, wives, still needing a male guardian to get around.
Am I here just to heal my own self ? I believe that whatever I heal in myself will have a ripple effect in my energy field and will impact my direct environment (family and social). Many questions arise, have I lived here before, have I come back in this lifetime to share my own understanding of my own healing process and thus contribute to an evolutionary trend our ever expanding universe is setting the stage for ?
I trust the process now and am confident that this coming year will shed some more light on the ever unfolding journey, feeling more than ever before connected to a source of transpersonal guidance that imparts wisdom, through intuition, revealing ever more the wholeness of who we are.
Redfield J. & Murphy M., God and the Evolving Universe, New York, Penguin Putnam Inc., 2002