December 21, 2021

 I failed. I seem to need regular reminders of my fallibility during these excursions into the Imaginal. I guess they keep me humble. The overriding message lately has been, “There is nothing you need to do except breathe and stay in your belly.” Nevertheless, I’m human and I have an ego and I therefore can’t resist identifying with the experiences in the Imaginal and believing that there is something about *me* that’s making things happen. Well, I guess in a way that’s true but the something has nothing to do with my actions or abilities; rather, it has to do with simply being present. This is something that anyone who meditates or engages in a spiritual practice can “do.”

Yesterday, I drawn back to the African American man and also his murderers. It was a difficult meditation because the holding of space involved holding the deep and painful schism that causes the violence and hatred to erupt in the first place. As humans, we split. It’s a primitive defense, maybe the most primitive, and it causes incredible suffering and is the root of so many of our problems. Hatred is splitting that often results in violence, although not always physical violence. Hatred was most certainly responsible for this man’s death. It’s also responsible for the deaths of untold millions. Every war is based on hatred and splitting and it usually is expressed physically through men. (Women hate as much as men but tend not to express their hatred in such graphically violent ways. Oh, I’m not stupid - I know they injure, maim and murder just like men but overall they don’t seem to be the cause of much of the world’s physical violence.)

The meditation involved holding the yawning chasm of hatred and as many of its bitter fruits as possible. It was a hard meditation and I could feel Apis’ “hands” upon my shoulders, steadying me. Even so, I knew this was beyond me. I am not capable of holding such a schism and it’s sort of egomaniacal to try. The meditation ended without any sense of resolution. I was tired.

Today, I found myself in a shadowy underworld at a crossroads. There was mist all around me. Skeletal trees grew all around. There was an eerie stillness.

I was joined by the man. His eyes were still hidden from me, just like always. I don’t know why but it bothers me that I have never been able to see his eyes. I take it as a personal failing of mine - and maybe as an expression of my racism that he appears nameless and almost faceless. Or maybe he doesn’t want me to see his face? I can’t say.

He has warmed slightly to me over the last few days but I wouldn’t call our relationship close by any means. Again, I couldn’t help but take this as a failing of mine. I had the bitter realization that some things are beyond me like bridging the racism divide. I’m just too naive, too ignorant, too oblivious to do so. I can feel some of it but the depth of my feeling has limits…like everything about me.

I felt the sting of failure, believing that I had failed this man. There was so much unresolved, so much pain, so much suffering. I couldn’t touch it. He was like a foreign land that I can’t reach. It broke my heart and I blamed myself. Up til now, all of my encounters in the Imaginal have resulted in some transformation, some resolution of the lost soul’s stuckness. This was the first time that I had failed.

He didn’t seem to blame me. If anything, he seemed content. I think he probably saw more clearly than I did that there was only so much I could do. I’m just a privileged, naive white boy after all. What do I really know about what it means to be on the receiving end of the worst expression of racism? Nothing, really.

As we stood there at the crossroads, I slowly became aware of an approaching glow. It was white radiance that gradually strengthened until I saw the same guide (the Virgin Mary?) approaching us. She was dressed in the robe from before but she was brilliant white this time whereas last time she had not been radiant; she had appeared as a ‘normal’ woman in a blue robe.

I bowed to her when she stood before us and I apologized for my failures. They were so many and so glaring but she didn’t seem bothered by them. Instead, she said, “It’s not true that you have failed; you’ve done exactly what was needed: When I brought you to him, he could not see me and now he can. That is everything I needed.” She paused, understanding that this didn’t really address my concerns, and continued, “healing takes all of us. There is an entire family here, of which you are one member. We each do our part. Yours is done now. You can rest.”

I’m still so new to this and have a lot to learn. I still don’t completely understand what my role is, although perhaps I’m getting a clearer picture of it. If nothing else, it is humbling.

I took my leave of this unknown man, noting that he was now clothed in a white robe. He seemed legitimately appreciative of me and my ‘help.’ And he walked off down the road with Mary.

Will I see him again?


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