Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Don't Miss Out On The Wind

Don’t miss out on the wind.

Plato emphasizes that the wise must transcend the body and its material prison in order to discover their refined spirit. No doubt this is based in ancient pagan spiritual practices grounded in the mysteries. But it is only half of the story.

The soul is, in fact, bi-directional. It connects to the spirit, and it connects to the animal-spirits within the body. It grows up from the earth, but is breathed into by the spirit. We find this in the Voluspa strophes where mankind is created from the trees. The odr is in between the ond, the spirit that can soar into the cosmos, and the la, the blood, and leiti, the senses, both of which give us animal movement.

The fact of the matter is, we need both.

We incarnated to have an experience of Beloved Mother Earth. Doubt not that we wanted to feel ourselves deeply within her womb. The ascetic path of detaching from everything bodily and material only speaks to half of the equation. It is true that if we get too caught up in the senses and take everything literal we find there, we may lose out on important spiritual truths. Yggdrasil, for example, cannot be seen with the five senses. Blake called that part of us that is entirely invested in the five senses the “spectre”, and it is this part of ourselves that doubts spirituality and questions immortality. This is the animal part of ourselves that becomes afraid of any fright of death. But it is also the part the is deeply attuned to the primal experiences of the earth. We ought not slander this animal. Indeed, we have come in part to care for it.

Don’t miss out on the wind. I believe that we need to experience the qualities of this natural and wild world, the wilder the better. This is important to our soul. Lately at times I will do nothing but open my window in the evening, with the lights off, and lie in bed, allowing myself to experience all the sounds on the air, and feel the cool wind. I may do that for an hour or a couple hours. Or I go outside and walk around, to feel the sky, the trees, the grass. I need these things. These are not extraneous.

The fact that Plato de-emphasizes these experiences may suggest that in his time, particularly in Greece, there was great gusto for the material enjoyment of the senses, and that this could be taken for granted, and thus, his teachings were intended as an antidote, a balancing medicine. But the fact of the matter is that spiritual teachings have since been imbalanced in this direction. Opening our Cosmic Mind is important. It is important to practice the gaze of see-through eyes which turn this opaque flesh and matter transparent, so we can look into body and world and see the tumbling stars and nebulae through them, and soar to all the far places our spirit of wind may take us. In this way, we may surge throughout the nine worlds, and allow the Great Tree to gallop as a great horse. These are important. Some of Plato’s suggestions on de-identifying from the body can be very useful in this regard.

But do not miss the fact that the soul needs the earth besides. We do need what Father Sky offers. But we also desperately need what Mother Earth offers. We will not be complete without feeling the soil in our hands, many a time, tumbling in the grass, licking – yes, licking – the bark of trees (non-poisonous varieties!), running our hands through someone else’s hair, standing out and allowing the winds to affect us. These qualities we need within us. We need to deeply experience them so that they become a part of us. The ceremonial magicians and hermeticists speak about uniting the microcosm – our psyches – and the macrocosm – the world about us, and this is an intellectual expression of a very heathen sensibility. We become ourselves through the world. We grow soul through the experiences of the world.

Let us not become after life a hungering soul who is bereft of all the experiences we needed to be full and complete. This does not mean diving after experiences like a tourist. It means taking the time to really feel and reflect, and deepen that which we encounter into true experiences. The dead who do not do this miss the carved wood of the chair, miss the exquisite linen of the doily table-cloth, crave the textured bark of the hickory, long for the wind. For these qualities do not live within themselves. That is what it means to be a heathen, to take these qualities within.

For the truth, which Plato did not speak, is that when you deepen your experience of the sensual earth-world about us, it deepens into an experience of soul that is as spiritual as the ascetic spirit.

Or did Plato? He spoke of material things as shadows of their real spiritual forms. This suggests that by immersing ourselves in the material things and deepening our connection, we could touch the level of spirit-form within the things. This is probably how seers and witches functioned in his time. So he may have expressed this as well.

What is really needed is a balance. There are those who can afford to detach from their enslavement to the senses, and stretch their mind beyond to more cosmic and intellectual truths. But there are those who are so in flight they have lost their groundedness. Now why did they come to Earth, of all the nine worlds? Perhaps because their soul lacked some of the weightiness that is fitting for a good soul. We come here to mature. If we trust Beloved Mother Earth, as the kind guardian and spiritual guide behind and within this material stuff, she will help us find that rich and soulful maturity.

Don’t miss out on the wind. The earth The leaves. The ond cries out we are immortal. Let us listen. But the blood and the senses say, you are a traveler, a short sojourner in a place of marvel, whatever its terrors : drink the marvel, taste all you can. The blood and senses do not lie. Spirituality is simply finding their proper place. The sense of mortality rises up from the blood and senses. We know we are not here forever. Therefore every moment is precious. Therefore we have an opportunity. The soul has a chance to be stained not by sin, which mars it, but by the color of earth tones and the texture of experience. This makes for a colorful, alive, vibrant soul that will enrich and nourish the underworld within-of-all-withins when it returns at last to its roots.

For why did a flower arises from roots at all but to blossom? Raise and unfold thy petals, drink in the rain, feel the sun on your fronds, and come into your own bloom of warmth. The soul says, let me run like an animal upon these blessed plains. Allow me to pant and stand my ground and truly feel. And the soaring spirit, which longs to rise above and sail the seven seas of the nine worlds, will be enriched by the experience.


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