Holy Birthings

“To see the world in a grain of sand, and to see heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hands, and eternity in an hour.” *

512px-William_Blake_006 Hecate

Spirit and matter

Is not the beauty of the Christmas spirit a celebration of the birthing of the holy child, the god incarnate? Might this celebration begin anew in every birthing as yet one more infinitesimal experience of the miracle of spirit and matter manifest as one?

“Eternity is in love with the productions of time.” *

William_Blake_-_Sconfitta_-_Frontispiece_to_The_Song_of_Los

Matter and spirit are then the form of manifestation in this earthly dimension. No need to transcend the physical, as if you could outside of death, but more to be present to this eternal now; to experience this unique distinction in style and quality of creation’s possibilities. What we call the physical, necessarily then, is embodied spirit. If, or when we are only spirit, it would not be here in this earthly human form.

The Language of Image

Although the modern, much more recent term, is inner and outer space, before this objectified view, heaven was not an outer space separated from an inner form. Who knew where we were but for a small glimpse above into an unfathomable eternal realm. Even the stark contrast of hot star and cold space that we have now measured was unimaginable from this perfectly temperate earthly home.

Spirit and matter bound together as the marriage of Heaven and Earth might now seem an impossible image to carry us along the human journey, and we might still refuse its simple truth that there’s nothing to transcend, nothing split apart, and that it’s only the images we carry telling us differently. Seemingly opposite, spirit and matter are a lover’s embrace necessary for this earthly realm to make manifest in just the way we are in the here and now. In the vastness of space as we now know it, how could it be more sacred, more miraculous?

Blake_Experience_Introduction

In the West in particular, the historical struggle against the elements has become cemented into an idealization of spirit, opposing it to matter as if the two could be separated in this human form of embodied senses. Perhaps too much disregard and devaluing of matter is primarily what has brought us to the brink of ecological and socio-political disaster.

I know I am not alone in the mourning of the loss of these ancient images that embedded a sense of belonging to creation; the miracle and necessity of it. Image itself, seems to be relegated to that of the fanciful or child’s play. No wonder we are so burdened by a dire sense of reality that compels us so passionately and deeply. Is it perhaps in faint recognition of the loss, the burden of action, desire and responsibility so painful that to claim a sense of belonging stifles the heart into a sense of longing?

“And we are put on this earth a little space that we might learn to bear the beams of love.” *

Love

Traditionally, matter has associations to the feminine and the body; matter, from the root mater, or mother, as in mother Earth as compared to father sky. Matter is often “what’s the matter,” a question, perhaps spiritual in nature, that seeks to identify problems within matter. If overly identified with spirit, we are prone to make unfair claims on matter’s part in the mess of life. But is it not to spirit’s desire that we find the urge to hasten, neglect, chastise and blame the flesh, along with the matter of earthbound being? What if these lovers called a truce and could see the impossibility of any absolute separation, but rather see the space between as degrees and qualities of perception? …and then perhaps lived through a caring for their mutual needs in this eternal dance?

To rise from history to mystery is to experience the resurrection of the body here now, as an eternal reality; to experience the parousia, the presence in the present, which is the spirit; to experience the reincarnation of the incarnation, the second coming; which is his coming in us.

Norma O. Brown

If a more feminine receptivity were to take a deeper root in psyche and find a truer relationship to the spirited masculine, a conversation might take place in which a room is then prepared for the marriage, a holy communion, or Jung’s coniunctio. Perhaps we need the second birth, even the perpetual holy birthing, to realize and actualize what the marriage of Heaven and Earth makes possible through this amazing earthly human experience.

*All quotes and art, except where noted, William Blake

Merry Christmas


Wishing all my friends and family peace and blessings at Christmas and throughout New Year

As a child, I loved Christmas and everything about it, especially listening to, and singing along with the carols. Even without a clear understanding of who Jesus was, or who God is, or even who Santa is, there was a magic in the mystery of what this special day was about.

Christmas was special; filled with all of the sensual things that appeared only at that time of year, from the carols to the home made cookies, to the beautifully decorated tree, to the serenity of the manger showcasing the sharp contrast of circumstances- poor Mary and Joseph huddling in a dark stable to give birth to the baby Jesus amid the barn animals, yet visited by the three great and wise Kings traveling hundreds of miles from their riches and finery so far away.

Yep, it was to the manger that I was drawn, intrigued by the story I hoped one day to really understand.

But somewhere along the way I lost that wonder, and the story of the manger became just another silly tale whose historical reality seemed just as unlikely as Santa, flying reindeer and the North pole.

Years went by in which I never celebrated Christmas hating everything about it.

Now, it’s different. Although no longer bitter to avoid it, and yet without any of the childhood dreaminess I once had, Christmas is very much a time to reflect and to look both backward at what has passed and look forward to what might be.

This year past has not brought too many changes, but I do feel a bit closer to my family and a few old friends as our paths seem to parallel again.

As I watch my parents aging I realize how frail we all are, how short life is, and how much I love life and how blessed I have been to live the life I have lived. Even though, or perhaps because of, the pain and suffering that once seemed impossible to escape from, is now a memory, I know that pain and suffering made me, and brought me to this place and time in my life. So compassion abounds for others and for just how lost, alone, complicated, crazy, hurting, hurtful, humans can be.

I don’t know how much any of us can do to change the course of the human adventure that we share, but I do believe that we each play our parts and that sometimes without knowing, you may have touched someone and helped them in a way that shapes the direction and focus of their life. That is okay and you don’t necessarily have to know the extent of your influence, but rather, have faith that love is always the best choice and a powerful force that brings light into the darkness that surrounds us all.

Merry Christmas!

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Clare waits for Christmas