In the timeless pageant of Life throughout the cyclical procession of the seasons, the Angel of Endings always precedes the Spirit of Regeneration so that the innate qualities of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty may be born anew and revealed more skillfully and radiantly at every turn of the evolutionary spiral. Appearance, disappearance, and reappearance characterize the natural rhythm and flow of an emergent process guiding the unfolding of life in every moment.
We are learning to appreciate that life moves in cycles of in-breath and out-breath, with pauses and periods of stillness between the breaths. There are times in each of our lives when it becomes painfully obvious that we need to enter a time of introspection – our version of the ‘forty days in the wilderness’ experience – to release, reclaim and recover ourself after a long period of outbreath and activity.
During these inward-looking periods, we are invited to examine ourself carefully from many angles – our values and beliefs, the tidal pull of feelings, childhood conditioning, as well as those other patterns and behaviors acquired along the way on our life journey. It is important and healthy to periodically enter times of Silence as everything issues forth from the silence. Silence is the still point and synthesis of all sound and outer movement. Silence is the sacred womb out of which all new things are born. It is in the silence of our heart, that the Song of the Soul may be heard and where we sense its deep desire to express itself in new and powerful ways.
It is said that the longest and most arduous journey of all is that between the head and the heart – short as measured in physical distance traveled but long and seemingly never-ending when trodden as a personal Path of Liberation. Three months ago, I found myself entering a much-needed period of reflection in order to let go, recycle, and renew. Early on in the process, I invited my mind to live inside my heart and learn to see and hear with the compassionate eyes and ears of the Heart awakened. I was seeking to follow the doctrine of the Heart.
I recall a similar occurrence back in 1982 while living in the Findhorn Community in northeast Scotland. I had been Director of Education for a number of years and sensed that this role had become more of an administrative task rather than the original, inspiring educational calling. One day, I had a stark realization and knew in my bones the need to let go and recycle myself.
Stepping down from the Education work, I became a gardener once again – blessed with the responsibility of tending the original vegetable garden that gave the community world-wide recognition through the experiment in cooperation between humans, the over-lighting Devic or Angelic presences, and the Forces of Nature – the elemental beings.
Announcing that until further notice, I would not be offering workshops or speaking publicly, I immersed myself inside a daily focus of caring for the land. It was the right decision and after two years of a healing hands-on experience in the garden, I remerged with a new sense of life – a new sense of meaning and belonging – together with a deeper appreciation of our vital role and place in the greater scheme of things.
The Ageless Wisdom teaching underscores the impermanence of material forms and reminds us that death always precedes the regeneration of the form-life. However, not everyone understood this and there were friends who offered their condolences at my seeming ‘social demise and death’. For some, it was as though I had undergone a loss of status – a fall from grace with the shift from being Director of Education to a new life as a simple gardener. I had to explain this was a conscious choice to recycle myself, to compost old forms, and allow something new to emerge. In this same spirit of natural death and rebirth, I entered this recent time of in-breath and introspection.
One of the biggest challenges with our beliefs is that we can all too easily believe them to be true and infallible. Beliefs are more of a current interpretation and approximation of the truth that is conditioned by our personal chemistry, upbringing, and other imprinted biases than a fixed and final statement of ‘what is’. I have found that it is a delicate dance to hold beliefs as useful stepping stones on the path and not have them end up as our sole and fixed source of security and identity. To avoid becoming stuck it is necessary to regularly move our feet from one stepping stone to the next in order to make progress.
One of the tests of treading the spiritual Path entails learning how best to embrace a spiritual belief and be guided by a chosen doctrine without inadvertently becoming indoctrinated by the very creed we have chosen to follow and that we hold as essential and core to our life. I frequently ask myself: “How do we each continue to evolve and avoid becoming prisoners of our own mental constructs and adopted beliefs?”
Whether we call the questioning a time of ‘release and renewal’, ‘death and transfiguration’, or ‘crossing the burning ground,’ this necessary and periodic process of surrender offers us the possibility of recycling and healing the past through the light of Love and Truth while creating an open and fecund space in the heart in which something new may emerge. The path of personal liberation and freedom from attachment lies as the heart of the Buddha’s teaching.
We are being invited to walk that upper Middle Way where we are supported by the Wisdom of the Ages and yet, in the end, must be self-reliant and stand solely in the strength of our own sovereignty. This was the theme of the Buddha’s Last Sermon, in which he declared:
“... Those who, either now or after I am dead, shall be a lamp unto themselves, relying upon themselves only and not relying upon any external help, but holding fast to the truth as their lamp, and seeking their salvation in the truth alone, shall not look for assistance to any one besides themselves, it is they who shall reach the very topmost height...”
What does it mean to go through the passage alone without any external assistance? And why alone when we are told the Age of Aquarius has to do primarily with the cultivation of group consciousness? I find it useful to place my personal life inside a larger context and perspective to find greater meaning, and so here is my big-picture take on the question posed utilizing insights from the Ageless Wisdom teaching.
If each one of us is truly a fractal of the One Life and this all-embracing Consciousness is seeking to realize Itself, then each outpost of its Being – namely each one of us – functions as a portal through which Eternal Life enters into the densified realms of time and space. As a ‘temporal fractal’, we thus act as an incarnated agent of the One Life in Its quest for Self-realization. As we do this consciously with others, this journey of ‘self-knowing within the Many’ brings us into a greater awareness and an expanded sense of Self. I sense that there is a grand strategy at work for the evolution of consciousness whereby the One may realize Itself through the combined and merged experiences of the Many.
Therefore, in order for wisdom to show up in every person as an embodied reality, this refined level of self-awareness needs to be born from within and not adopted from the outside as a belief. Wisdom resides inside the Heart awakened, and so the doctrine or pathway of the Heart is that which eventually allows the One to know and express Itself through the Many and for the Many to know themselves as the One.
It was stated earlier that a real challenge facing us is of following a doctrine without becoming indoctrinated in the process, and so, by way of example, let’s shine the light on our community here at Meditation Mount and even on the content of this essay. Are we unwittingly indoctrinating others by having them believe in something just because we follow a particular tradition and path of spiritual inquiry? For clarification, our lineage is the Trans-Himalayan Mystery Teachings which also finds expression in Theosophy as well as the teachings of Rudolf Steiner and Krishnamurti.
Even though Meditation Mount comes from a long and rich heritage of esoteric wisdom, what we seek to offer are practices that will awaken the soul and allow each person to live fully from a place of deep authenticity. For those who visit in-person or online, we describe the Mount as a ‘Sanctuary for the Soul’ – a consecrated space of stillness and beauty where it is possible to deepen the relationship with your essential nature: on your terms. The invitation is to believe in our own sovereignty and its indwelling power to reveal and express our inherent divine nature in daily life.
We support the awakening and expression of this Essential Nature and seek to assist in the creation of a society built on a set of universal principles that benefit the good of the whole. We affirm the following three Principles as foundational.
The Principle of Essential Divinity
The Principle of Goodwill
The Principle of Unanimity
By living into and embodying these Principles, the ethical bedrock upon which the structures of a new society will emerge, is steadily put in place. There is a biblical quote that urges us to “build our house on a rock and not on shifting sands.” Imagine then, for a moment, if the underpinnings of a new era were based upon the Principle of Essential Divinity that affirms a spark of the Creator present in every person, and thus each is a sacred fractal of the One Life; the Principle of Goodwill that proclaims Love as the lifeblood and glue that connects and coheres all beings and the Principle of Unanimity which declares we are all parts of a limitless, loving and interwoven Matrix.
At Meditation Mount we believe that a society solidly founded upon these universal principles will be one where mutual respect, joy, and a common spirit of caring and sharing suffuse the ethers and positively condition all relationships. The Golden Rule of any healthy community is Love, and so without this essential ingredient there can be no golden age for any one person, nation or civilization.
At this pivotal time, as one great cycle comes to an end with the crumbling of its outworn and unstable foundations and structures, the call from the Soul of Humanity is being registered in the heart as it invites us to enter a time of reimagination and reconstruction based on those principles and values that serve the highest good of all.
Appearance, disappearance, and reappearance – birth, death, and rebirth. These are the natural cycles and phases in the pageant of Life. It is the acceptance of the inevitability and gift of ‘endings and beginnings’ that allows the continuous and generative process of renewal to take place on Earth: epoch after epoch.