January 18, 2021

Today was a relief. My soul was exhausted from the intensity of the past two weeks and I just needed to rest. When I began meditating, I found myself in a beautiful cave with layers of gray, white and blue rock. I was standing in the middle of a small stream and there was an opening to the cave before me through which soft morning sunlight was streaming. I could tell right away that this wasn’t the realm of the Bardo because, while beautiful, everything was decidedly normal. It was about as close to the physical world as you could get. I waded through the cave toward the sunlight, feeling chilled. It was a cold morning, probably wintertime, although the climate was warmer than Michigan.

Griffin was waiting for me when I exited the cave. (He really is big!) He greeted me warmly with a bear hug. His clothing was rough and he had a lot of red stubble on his face. He looked tired, too, and was older than he’d appeared in the Imaginal/Bardo. In short, he was decidedly normal. Not particularly handsome or ugly but incredibly dear to me nonetheless. In the Imaginal, he appeared as an idealized form which was quite stunning but now he looked like a regular guy, no one you would necessarily take a second glance at if he passed you on the street, other than the fact he is so fucking huge.

He took my hand and led me up the hillside overlooking the little stream that poured forth from the cave and we sat down in the grass. Cows and sheep grazed nearby. The view was wintry but still green with diffuse sunlight shining down from the east. In the distant were hills and scrubby heaths. I’m not sure but I think there may have even been a highway in the distance, which made me wonder if we were in present times. It’s hard to tell because the view was pretty timeless. We could have been pretty much anywhere in Northern Europe from Medieval times to the present day.

The grass beneath us was spiky and damp and Griffin’s shirt was rough against my skin. His huge hand was wide and calloused but warm. In fact, his whole body was deliciously warm and I was chilled so I pressed against him and we sat there, looking out across the valley, holding hands and enjoying the simple morning. I closed my eyes and meditated, savoring this most basic of intimate moments with the man I love, the man who helped me along on this wild and crazy journey, the man who never left my side.

I meditated for a while before finding myself back in the Imaginal. It was weird because I was simultaneously aware of being present in physical realty back in Michigan...and with Griffin sitting on the hillside...and in the Imaginal Realm. How weird is that? Reality is sure trippy!

In the Imaginal, I was standing in the hall of a stone manor. There were pictures lining the walls in gilded frames, portraits of people I didn’t recognize. This was clearly not my soul’s memory but the memory of someone else. A butler holding a candelabra with guttering flames stood before me, waiting to lead me up a spiral staircase. He started walking up the stone stairway and I followed. We climbed the stair to the top of a tower and the butler left me alone in a round room with a doorway opening onto the moonlit sky.

Before me sat a bust covered with a white sheet. I pulled the sheet back and beheld the statue of a ghoul’s head, its face no more than a gaping maw opened wide in an expression of pure misery. For some reason, I jammed my hand through the creature’s mouth and withdrew a shining pearl from its craw. “So,” I thought, “this is another suicide victim, someone who died of an overdose of pills no doubt.”

I examined the ‘pill’ in my hand, walking out through the open doorway onto a small balcony. The object--the 'pill'--was brilliant and shiny and beautiful and reminded me of the Pearl Beyond Price, the Personal Essence, the individuated form of Essence that the ego seeks to emulate in the Diamond Approach. As I held the pearl out in my hand, a hawk dove down and grabbed it out of my hand, transforming as it did so into a resplendent phoenix, a bird of such beauty and immensity that it defies description. The phoenix bade me jump upon its back and soon we were flying off to its aerie on a craggy cliff not far from the castle tower.

It deposited me in its nest and placed the glowing pearl amongst its eggs. The pearl by this time was the size of a large egg, bigger than an ostrich’s. As I watched, the pearl hatched and a beautiful (human) baby emerged from the fragments of its shell. I picked up the baby and held it in my arms, then climbed back upon the phoenix’s back. The giant bird flew me back to the tower where I discovered that the statue had crumbled and in its place lay the body of a man on the floor. The man was very weak. (I’m seeing this is a common theme with suicide victims - so far when I meet them in the Imaginal, they are so weak that they can barely move. This would make it difficult for them to continue on their journey and explains why they need help.)

I knelt down beside the man, still holding the precious baby. He gazed up at me through barely parted eyelids but his eyes widened when he spotted the infant. I held the babe out to him, instructing him to cradle it in his arms and take good care of it because he was cradling himself. This baby was his redemption, his second chance.

Looking out onto the balcony, I saw the phoenix was perched expectantly and I urged the man to take the baby and climb upon its back. The phoenix would guide him to the next part of his journey. I stood back and watched as the man, cuddling the baby and weeping, did as I instructed, and rose from the floor and walked stiffly out onto the balcony. There, he climbed upon the phoenix and they departed, the bird flying off with the moonlight shimmering like rainbows off its long, trailing feathers.


After this, I drifted back to the physical realm where I meditated for the remaining few minutes of my time. I was still aware of Griffin’s big hand enfolding my own and my body pressed up against his comforting bulk. It was good to savor a meditation that was pleasantly paced because I needed a respite from the intensity of the experiences of the past couple weeks.


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