May 9, 2023

 Yesterday, I was back at the chapel but this time it was the oak tree beside it that drew my attention. Rather than a tree, it was just a black outline of a tree and the blackness was the depthless, impenetrable blackness of the Absolute. I entered the blackness, this outline of a tree, and found myself descending into a cave beneath the tree. There, a clear spring percolated up from the ground. It was clear that this spring was holy as was the tree and ground. In the center of the spring, lying face down, was the body of the woman I’d met inside the chapel. I still don’t know exactly who she is, she seemed old like a pagan who had been venerated as a saint by the Church. Who knows? Her body lying in the spring with the oak grown up over her tethered her to this place.


It also tethered something else.


I became aware of another black entity. Well, first I became aware of the outline of a black sword. Was this the weapon used to murder the woman? I couldn’t tell but followed the outline of the sword to find it held by something. It appeared at first like a werewolf and I misgendered it as a male. Actually, it did initially appear as male but soon its skin split open, revealing a female entity underneath.


I’m still not sure who this was supposed to be but there was definitely a connection between her and the woman. Had this female entity been a human once? Had she murdered the woman? Had they been lovers? I got the sense that there was a connection between them, a strong and complicated one. I’m still not exactly sure what it was, though.


The female entity was vaguely human in shape but she had a demonic form. Her mouth was a circle of spiny teeth as if she sucked the blood out of her victims. I guess you could say she fed like a parasite. Had she been feeding on the woman?


There were so many feelings swirling around inside her. I cannot even begin to describe all of them. Her form was as chaotic as her inner being, shape-shifting constantly. I could tell, however, that she was not all evil, maybe not even partially evil. Overwhelming, I could tell that she was misunderstood. One thing was clear: She longed to be with the woman from the chapel. 


I think this may be why she was drawn to me, both of us being parted from ones who we love the most. I always feel like the ghost of Griffin accompanies wherever I go in the Imaginal and everything I meet when I’m there can sense his presence - and absence.


Not much happened after I encountered her and she split out of her werewolf form, becoming more classically demonic in appearance. We were standing in shallow water but separated from the body of the woman under the tree. There was an opening to the cave beside us and diffuse, foggy light streamed in.


I say with her, not doing anything or trying to figure anything out. And then my meditation was over.


This morning, I was back with the demon woman. Her form was the same as before and we were still standing in a shallow pool with the cave opening beside and above us. This time, however, I realized that I knew where we were: This was the fog-enshrouded forest of the crossroads, that place I’ve visited so many times in the Imaginal. Not far behind this recognition came the question: What is this place made of?


Remembering to wonder what the substance of the Imaginal is turns out to be a powerful way to summon the truth because the truth is that the Imaginal is made up of truth. It could never be any other way. No matter what the outward form, whether light or dark, it is always truth. The same, of course, is true of the physical world.


Upon remembering that I was made out of truth, just as everything around me, my form shifted and I became suffused with golden light. I was wearing a flowing, white robe and was hovering over the ground. This was an angelic form and not just any angel but the Angel Gabriel. (Or at least the one I call Gabriel. It’s hard to say for sure if he is or not.) I realized that I was merged with Gabriel and there was no separation between us. We were effectively the same thing. Further, I understood that he’s been merged with me for while, ever since my last meeting with Christ. I knew he’d been keeping me focused during my meditation and had been conscious of him occupying the same space but I guess I assumed he’d wandered off at some point. The truth is that he never left.


I didn’t have long to wait before we were summoned to, well, I’m not sure where exactly but it sure appeared like heaven. The ‘ground’ was the clouds and the golden sun shone brilliantly down upon us. (I know this sounds corny but it didn’t seem that way at the time.) Before us, seated upon a throne of gold and shining as brightly as the fun was a king surrounded by angels. Again, I’m not entirely sure who he was but somehow knew that this was King David. He appeared to be a bearded man of semitic origin. His throne had a strong feeling of all three of the monotheistic religions, so much that he could have been a representative for any of them. I guess he is, too, being revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.


I am unable to put everything that transpired there into words because much of the meaning is still opaque to me. Whatever it was, though, was significant. David was curious about me, curious why Gabriel had chosen to cohabitate inside me, curious about the demon woman. I had a strong sense of the tradition of these patriarchal religions. I know that the patriarchy has a poisonous reputation these days but I didn’t react to it. This was the patriarchy expressed in a healthy, albeit somewhat limited, way.


I could feel David boring down deeply into me and knew that nothing about me was concealed. He took note of my quixotic and unorthodox journey, starting as the child of old pagan gods, becoming human and being claimed by Griffin. Then came two more lives during which I suffered greatly and slowly awakened to the history beyond my earthly existence. He was particularly interested in my experience of the Absolute and the unity of light and darkness. My recognition of love and beauty and truth in even the deepest of darkness. He saw my encounters with Lucifer and with Christ as well as everything else.


I opened to him, inviting him to see everything. I was open about my flaws, my deficiencies, all the ways I still need to grow and the ways I’m still controlled by my instinctual drives. I didn’t want to hide anything from him.


In particular, I felt compelled to show him how vast the tide of darkness was. There seems to be a whole universe of negative karma that has accumulated and it’s growing bigger all the time. It’s so big that it threatens to overwhelm the Kingdom of Light which I define as belonging to the three monotheistic religions. I pointed out that it’s these religions' insistence on rejecting darkness, the blindness to the co-emergence of lightness and darkness, that has brought us to this point. It is past time to healing the dualistic split because it’s threatening everything the followers of these religions hold dear. It’s time to invite the darkness back.


Further, I showed him that this schism between light and darkness had led to the fall of many angelic beings. Because darkness and light call to each other and are ultimately the same, angels and humans alike are drawn to darkness. It’s not exactly a problem, more of a stage in development. One has to taste the apple and fall out of Eden before one can find one’s way back to it.


(I get that the mystery of Being is far, far, far bigger than anything the three monotheistic religions can conceive of and Being is not and never has been in danger of being overwhelmed. How could it? What exactly would overwhelm it if it is everything? The Big Three Religions, though, are based in duality and their realms are finite and are at risk.)


He seemed surprised by what he saw. Looking at Gabriel, he said, “I see the mark of Christ upon him.”


Gabriel nodded. “Yes, he walks a dark path but always with Truth.”


I knew I was being assessed and there wasn’t anything I could do or say that would make any difference. In the end, though, I could tell that, whatever the test had been, I had passed it. David had learned something from me and was surprised. Further, I think he was prepared to act.


He turned his attention to the woman in demonic form, although in this place I saw that she was no longer a demon but a ‘normal woman.’ She seemed to be in her twenties. She seemed to know David and (it pains me to write this because it feels so sexist) she threw herself at his feet, begging for mercy. I reached down and helped her back to her feet, ashamed that I had to play that role. I guess my feelings don’t matter and, as much as I would like it to be otherwise, the sexism is very much alive in parts of the Imaginal.


I was angry that she would have to apologize for anything. There were no words but it was like I said, “She is who she is. You just saw how light and darkness are one. She has nothing to apologize for.”


Gabriel soothed me, saying, “We see it. Of course, we all see it.”


And then we were back at the crossroads, Gabriel, the woman and me. The woman was back to her previous demonic form and I have to say she makes a particularly fiendish demon. Still, I guess I’ll never see her exactly the same way again, now that I’ve gotten to know her a little. Before we parted, I could tell that I had made a friend.


Gabriel didn’t leave. He had only one thing he wanted to say before my meditation was over. “That was important,” he said. “I’m glad you did that. I knew Jesus chose well when he picked you. We have much to learn here and are not so different from you humans in the physical world.” The old saying is ‘as above, so below’ and apparently this is true.


***


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