Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rapture of Being Alive ...

People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life.
I don't think that's what we're really seeking.
I think that what we're seeking is an experience of being alive...
so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.
~Joseph Campbell

oh yes.

Can't speak for anyone else here, but what I want, beyond anything else, is a vibrant, full-bodied experience of BEing alive.

The whole thing ... full-throttle ... no holds barred ... wringing every bit of juice out of every moment ... every sense involved and participatory ... every nuance explored ... every level of my BEing, physical, emotional, spiritual, engaged and encountered.

But that's all.

It may seem that living for rapture is a selfish act reserved for the elite, or that it's a fancy phrase for hedonism. But it isn't. Rapture is not a selfish emotion. It is pure gratitude, flowing freely through the body, heart and soul. Gratitude for what? For breath, for colors, for music, for friendship, humor, weather, sleep, awareness. It is a willing engagement with the whole messy miracle of life. The world suffers more from unhappy, stifled people trying to do good, than it does from those who are simply content within themselves.

Now, I'm learning something I initially resisted (though, of course, what we resist persists ...). I'm learning that inner contentment comes via the path of pain ... for it hurts to let go of the external things we *think* will make us happy. Before we can connect with others, we have to know, and love, ourselves. This seems to often require a time of aloneness, even loneliness ... which doesn't mean solitude. We can feel, and even be, alone while surrounded by others ...

The great loneliness -- like the loneliness a caterpillar endures when she wraps herself in a silky shroud and begins the long transformation from chrysalis to butterfly. It seems that we too must go through such a time, when life as we have known it is over -- when being a caterpillar feels somehow false and yet we don't know who we are supposed to become. All we know is that something bigger is calling us to change. And though we must take the journey alone, and even if suffering is our only companion, soon enough we will become a butterfly, soon enough we will taste the rapture of being alive.

Every single syllable resonates for me here ...! Butterflies loom large in my life. They speak of transformation, freedom, soaring, beauty, joy, and trust. I wear a butterfly pendant strewn with amethysts and rose quartz (amethyst is the stone symbolizing the crown chakra, and speaks of transformation; rose quartz symbolizes the heart chakra, and speaks of unconditional love and emotional healing).

I've meditated throughout this healing journey lately ... and I've seen myself as being in a cocoon ... hiding away from the world, tucked in with myself, in a state of "transformational goo" ... no longer what I was, but unsure of what I'll be ... awaiting wings.

Last night, during an intuition class gathering, we did another meditation ... I received a gift in this vision ... at first, I thought it was a cake, but as I reached for it, it turned out to be an elaborately folded Japanese wedding kimono, white, and covered with intricate embroidery (turns out that a white kimono means an ending and a beginning ... and I sense this means a "wedding of me with my soul")

... and I was told that it was made out of the silk of my own cocoon ... and the long sleeves did indeed look like butterfly wings. I was told that I was no longer in the cocoon, that that season had passed ... that I could now wear the kimono, and fly... it had nothing to do with how I *feel* ... that this is a spiritual reality.

(Then they all looked at me, opened their mouths, and sang, "Feelin' Groovy" -- I kid you not!)

(no, I do not have "normal" meditative experiences ... shouldn't be surprised!)

I cannot affirm that I am FEELing like I'm out of the cocoon, and can now fly. But they were adamant that this was not about feelings ... it's about reality. More of that stepping out into darkness stuff...? Crap.

I mean, would it be too much to ask for a spiritual lantern, or a flashlight? I keep finding the edge of the abyss, in the dark ... like the Tarot Fool ...

(Hmmm... I felt compelled to mention the Tarot Fool ... don't know why, but I saw it in my mind's eye ... and, just for kicks and giggles, I looked it up -- fascinating what it says here):

The Fool represents the "everyperson" - the essence of us all embarking on the journey of life, self-discovery and mastery. He is the innocent, the whimsical, the "inner child" mixed with the "inner sage" that lives down deep inside of us all. He faces life and his journey unafraid, trusting, the perfect example of total and utter faith that all will be well, that every experience has a deep essential meaning. He traipses along the crags of life, regardless of any hidden peril or disappointment, his eyes are turned to the heavens and he knows that he will be kept safe and whole along his travels. Key words associated with the Fool are new beginnings, important decisions and optimism.

He is the first and the last, the alpha and the omega. It represents both the fledgling beginner and the adept master. The Fool reminds us of things, sacred things, that we have forgotten or repressed. The Fool knows his or her own ignorance, thus is seen as the most wise.

Because the Fool is trusting and open to all experiences, he provides the perfect role model as we too embark on our life journey. The Fool coaxes us to walk our own path, not the path of the "herd". To trust our own inner voice, our intuition and our inner knowing and to embark on our life course with faith and a stout heart. We need trust, faith in the goodness of life and people, and an undying belief that all will work out exactly as it should.

The Fool is the ultimate "Free Spirit" - this card represents the self-actualized person, free from societal constraints, someone who is able to let go of outmoded beliefs and ideals with the courage to pursue their own special path.

Oh wow ... that could well be my life's motto...!

Have you ever felt caught up in a sychronistically-serendipitous moment ...? I'm having one right now. Goosebumps...!

Back to the rapture theme ...

If ... an evening sky, or an old song has not made your heart flip-flop lately, why not? What is keeping you from feeling the rapture? I can assure you, you won't find the answer in a lighted room. What stands between you and a full-bodied life can only be found in the shadows. What wants to live in you may be waiting -- as it was for me -- at the end of a long loneliness.

Hmmm... was the cocoon experience the same as the "long loneliness"..? If I've come out of the cocoon (regardless of how I currently FEEL), am I now about to discover "what wants to live in me"...?

What's that I feel ...? A deeply-percolating sense of excited anticipation ...?

Could be...

Shalom & Namaste ~

1 comment:

MysticBrit said...

You're gettin' that Int-it-great-ed Feelin', Dena, if only in glimpses. Some beautiful imagery here.

And only you could use a phrase like 'a sychronistically-serendipitous moment':)

Let it Percolate. Smell the rich roast of Life, as it Lives in you.

And S & G wrote some of the most powerfully meditative music around - even the 'light' stuff has substance, and the 'deep' stuff is prophetic.