The Siege of Initiation

I alluded last time to my commitment to a spiritual path. In my bright-eyed enthusiasm, I neglected to mention the dark side of that coin, which, appropriately enough, now shines upon my life in its turn.

This world is a proving ground. Earthly existence is defined by tension and struggle between opposing forces. On the one hand, the human spirit desires to be free and to experience oneness and unconditional love; on the other hand, it is seduced into bondage, separation, and fear by all the myriad illusions of this world. It is our moment-to-moment freewill choice that decides which influence will win out.

Last week, prior to my trip to Model Expo in Helsinki to display a few of my Lego creations to the public, I was very much of two minds as to the task ahead of me, which is to let go of that material pursuit which has so consumed my artistic impulses for most of my life (not to mention a considerable amount of money). I figured that the exhibition would clarify the matter in my mind and bring me to a place where that letting go would be easier. In essence, I wished for my passion for turning ABS molded bricks into my original creations (MOCs) to burn itself out - a burnout that I've been trying to induce for months already. On some level, that notion did come true. I do feel more able to quit the hobby and sell off my collection than before. Doesn't mean the thought of it doesn't still cause me some amount of pain, but the way has opened up before me to the point where concrete action is feasible.

There's a lot more plot and drama to this story, but I'll try to pare it down to the most relevant bits here.

I was told, in a Tarot reading, that I would be going through an energetic battle (8 of Swords). That seems to be coming true already, although it may be that the real thing is yet to come. But judging from my dreams last night, and the way I've been feeling... yes, this is very much a battle of opposing energies. And it's one that I've been losing quite badly so far. Through emotional heaviness and negative thought patterns, I've found myself succumbing to confusion, powerlessness, and victimhood.

One of my dreams last night showed a small, reptilian demon acting like a harmless, cute little puppy that just needed someone to open a sealed packet of food for it. The girl's sympathy and compassion were winning out over her better judgment... next thing I saw was the same demon, ten times larger, swallowing a man's arm while its friend went for his other arm.

Don't feed the demons.

I was also shown, prior to falling fully asleep, a vision of myself and my shadow self. My shadow self was just too strong, too cunning for me; no matter which way I turned or what I tried to do, he was there ahead of me, sabotaging, overturning, perverting, diverting everything I did so that it fed into his plans instead of my own. There was no way to win at this game. As difficult as it was, I knew I had to stop fighting him, stop resenting him, stop relying on my own strength and limited vision. I tried to quiet myself, find peace, connect with the One in whom there is no separation and no conflict, to realize that I and my shadow were of the same stuff, just different expressions. The true I was neither little-me nor shadow-me, and yet contained both. The key to ending the struggle was understanding, acceptance, forgiveness, release. I did not actually attain that at the time, but I knew it and I went for it.

I'm being tested. I've been warned about this by a lot of people who've walked the spiritual path. There's no free lunch, no pill to be perfect, and no one-size-fits-all solution. It's a process that has to play out for each person. A process of shedding all those endless layers of false self, revealing always another, slightly more realized image of the perfection at the center. Every experience, pleasant or unpleasant, is an opportunity for progress. It's all in the attitude with which you meet it. For best results, choose love. Choose faith. Hold fast and have courage.

The Divine can appear as a terrible, punishing schoolmaster, or as a gentle, supportive teacher. Both forms have the same goal and the same purpose, merely different approaches. Life as struggle; life as gift. Both equally valid ways of seeing, both necessary. One to be transcended, the other to be realized.

Namasté, my friend. All the best. See you at the destination. Back Home.