The Christmas Season approaches as a timely reminder of the great inflow of divine energies embodied in the Christ, of the divine within each and every one, and of the soul in all things and in all kingdoms in nature. Christmas stories abound with the significance of the plant kingdom, of the animal and human kingdoms, and of the angelic hosts ever alert to serve divine purpose. Such stories warm and expand the heart into deeper and wider understanding and a finer, subtler sense of being. They trigger far memories of a distant past when we have flown forth as the arrow of self-awareness to become embedded in the realm of matter where we expand, linking the fragments of the One Soul until, as One, we pervade all the dimensions back to our Source in those rarefied planes, as subtle as pure being. It is the story of the Soul, the Christ essence, immersing in matter and then pervading the material world with life, light and upliftment. Christ’s words, as recorded in the Bible, resonate with this shared livingness:
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit… 9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love… 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” John 15:4-12
When we have been entranced by a “good book”, a movie or a piece of music we realise that if we “give ourselves up” to something, or become fully immersed in it, it comes alive for us. We can become completely lost in it so that our usual perception of the world and sense of identity fade into the faint background and we suspend our disbelief in the imaginary construct in which we are engaged. It can be so all-embracing that we might physically twitch and move in reaction as stirred emotions flow through us and our mind is engrossed in the constructed characters, circumstances and events.
One might wonder, then, at how a soul, incarnating through a personality may bring to life the experience of that persona
Yet strangely we tend to apply the analogy the other way around – as though we are the temporary persona in a more real sense and the realm of the soul is a fantasy or perhaps a faintly sensed world of nebulous shape and shadow. We might theoretically know about our soul identity but to live it as the centre of our very being would involve our complete immersion in it. Then as one progressively expands awareness there comes the point of immersion in a still greater life, a much subtler and more pervasive extent of being, as the Tibetan describes:
It has been…defined as something akin to ‘immersion in a realised state of Being,’ because the initiate is a conscious aspect of that of which he forms an integral part.” The Rays and the Initiations, page 723
…if we can immerse in and identify with a character in a story it is also within our power to identify with all other human beings.
For many others their heart is stirred to compassion and care, moving to speak and act from a more humane perspective and deeper understanding.
…the voices of the wise and far-sighted are becoming increasingly heard. They resound through the neural pathways of the worldwide web
We are coming to realise that if there is an identifiable enemy then it is one of our own making. Looking more deeply into the rise of any so-called terrorist group or oppressive regime and how its members came to participate in it, we might find a sense of perceived lack – lack of understanding, of opportunity, of dignity, of recognition, of a sense of power over circumstances. In some way, however distorted through wounded vision, they may be seeking fulfilment, achievement, meaning and significance in order to build a sense of stable identity. In some way human society has failed them and continues to marginalise them as pariahs, thus reinforcing their distorted view of their humanity – a circular vortex that can only spiral downwards.
Fear is a virus that infects, cripples and spreads wherever it finds its own shadow – fear of loss, of disconnection, of separation, perhaps of being lost in a world that seems to happily proceed without us unless we do something extreme enough to be noticed and taken seriously. In many cases those we have branded “terrorists” are those we have disenfranchised in some way or perhaps have rendered stateless through our half-thought, pre-emptive actions in defence of a familiar view of the world to which we try to cling long beyond its time of relevance (or “use by” date).
…the mighty tides of change are revealing the underlying synthesis of shared aspirations and challenges.
I entered the life of the brown forest,
And the great life of the ancient peaks, the patience of stone,
I felt the
changes in the veins
In the throat of the mountain, a grain in many centuries, we have our own
time, not yours; and I was the stream
Draining the mountain wood; and I the stag drinking; and I was the stars
Boiling with light, wandering alone, each one the lord of his own summit;
and I was the darkness
Outside the stars, I included them, they were a part of me. I was mankind
also, a moving lichen
On the cheek of the round stone…
how can I express the excellence I have found, that has no color but clearness;
No honey but ecstasy …
“The Tower Beyond Tragedy” by Robinson Jeffers