Today we have in the Western World lost much of the rich beauty that infused our ancestors living in a state of constant prayer. The richness of the Celtic tradition is felt strongly still in pockets of the remote Highlands of Scotland where I live. It is a tradition that encompasses all life and excludes nothing from the shelter of belonging.
Celtic tradition emphasises the connectedness of all. All life is seen as sacred aspects of a woven whole and nothing, be it animal or mineral is seen as more important than any other aspect. Respect for the sacredness of all life including one’s own gives meaning and purpose, it offers one a place to inhabit which is meaningful and respectful. Few people now stop and give thanks to a landscape, a river, a wild and exciting sea for enriching their life experience. Our lives have been dislocated from this rich earth we inhabit that provides for us, and dislocated from our own spiritual being that is our true validity and essence. We have become isolated from each other and ourselves, we no longer remember who we are or why we are here.
Blessings to accompany all activities were of utmost importance and serve to remind us of the attention we should pay to all our thoughts, words and deeds during the daily round of hours, no matter how insignificant they may seem. This in turn nudges us into being fully present in our lives and to thus inhabit the richest of experiences in all that we do.
In this post I would like to try to express what the Mystical Vision feels like. This piece I wrote many years ago describing the moment when you are “caught up” also expresses how difficult it is to relate. To describe the indescribable in a way that even begins to make sense or gives you a flavour of its intensity is quite frankly impossible, but I take heart that many of you who are reading this will know what I mean by that and will forgive my feeble attempts at it. I include it in its whole and unedited. At that time I was living in the city of Norwich, mourning living in the Highlands with every breath I took, [and struggling to obey the Lords choice of my location too!].
“I feel like I am going completely mad, like a prisoner who can only gaze at the night stars through the bars of her cell. The sense of un-belonging overwhelms me, sucking me into its abyss of despair. The energy levels of a city are all wrong and I guess I am aware of that some times more than others. A physical, mental and emotional pain, I walk outside and feel physically sick with the concrete and cars, the noise attacks my ears, the grey attacks my vision. My solar plexus feels as if it will explode with rage and sorrow that I pick up from all around me, other hapless prisoners of the city; like a coiled spring about to burst out.
The Earth cries out to me and hearing her I bend my head in helpless impotence. Her rape and plunder goes unheeded and I am the poorer for it. I cannot stop and gaze at her beauty and offer worship here; for she is clothed indignant and quietly weeping in a place I cannot find her. Only her body remains and like a rape victim-her spirit has long since flown. Her shame is mine and her liquid darkness where I too wish to hide.
The problem is not just this city, but all cities, all countries that hold an ethos of entrapment, with iron grip of those who cry out the freedom of the Divine. Centuries of enclosure, oppression and negativity have created a mantle so dense; I choke and gasp as I drown in its noxious fumes, seeking pure air. Own, acquire, and possess-the order of the day. I don’t seem to fit, I feel like the odd shape of a jigsaw puzzle, out of time, out of fashion, the crone sitting quietly in the middle of the beautiful people.
Creation is painful; each thought is wrenched from the womb like bleeding entrails still attached to their owner, independent yet strangely belonging. In this world, reality and illusion merge, circling crazily as fairground rides, ever faster until all disappears into a foggy morass of senses. The pain should put one off yet the mistress is demanding and one would willingly die for just one second of clarity in expression of the vision. Temptress, sorceress, playing the lute of seduction, whose melodic tones become the flow of blood itself. No longer without-but within, what was once a foreign landscape is now the body one temporarily inhabits.
The muse is a parasite sucking all rationality, character and identity out, leaving only vacuous spaces to be filled with swirling thoughts, fine as sea mist, transparent as air-Universal Breath sweetly blown as a kiss from on high. Ever onward and upward she leads me, tripping in her wake as a pied pipers child, transfixed and hypnotised by the sounds and colours of Creation.
I sit as John, at the feet of the thrones of Revelation, wretched, humbled, humiliated, vomiting the density of humanity out, unworthy of my divinity. I am in a nowhere place of being-neither belonging to one world nor another, desire-only another word for weakness in the face of true Power. In my insignificance I am shown our glory and I, too weak to acknowledge it lie defeated; dying. Weak as a kitten, with no will of my own to claim that which is ours, finally I just AM. Thus it passes over: bestowed, regardless of any individual, and I watch with Terror at its Holy Magnificence.
Descent is harder than ascent I have come to appreciate-for it requires the loss of the individuality of self, the final barrier. Darkness when it comes is the final surrender, the acknowledgement of matter and form. The sweet darkness of the Earth, sticky and cloying envelops us closer than the air of ascent. We return to the womb from whence we came and are promised renewal. Like Demeter we are forced to face ourselves on our return journey home. Death is life and life is death. Living in a mirror image world, we believed it true and became the illusion. Sophia-Wisdom, our Great Mother teaches us again.
And as the vision passed, I knew this:
My Being is the only safety within a jungle of confusion and illusion.
Within my Being is the Cosmic Christ, the destination of the journey
The refreshment of the parched, the food offered to the starving.
Christed One, be One with me, hold me tight and keep me from harm’s way, for I am lost, lonely in this world and have great need of your Light. My will is Thy Will and Thy Will is mine. My desert shall be watered from the sweetness of my desire for Thee Beloved, and mine enemies shall be scattered in the winds that sweep the plains and the hills. Blessed be my Soul, in grace and Love. My Lord, My Beloved, answers my cry And I am no longer alone. He walks with me all the days of my life.
I have no other purpose in life other than to be, and in my being the highest vision of myself that I can, I am a vessel through which the Christ Consciousness can reach down through the multi-layered levels of my being, down to the very Earth itself. My body and my life is a holy vessel that can be filled to overflowing with Divine Presence, as servant to creation. My highest vision of who I AM is beauty, joy, compassion, light, Love, truth, wisdom, forgiveness and creation. The greatest of these is Love. By embodying these, I may be a light myself and thus share light with the world. Blessed Be.