12. Echoes of Before

It’s the morning of September 19, 2012 and I’m flying to Germany for the 3rd anniversary of Christa’s passing. Tired from my early start, I doze a little way into the flight. Almost at once, I slip into a dream. I only have a week there, I know, and already all but one of my days – the Saturday – are full with appointments. I must meet Christa on Saturday and will go wherever she wants for the purpose. She comes to me then in a surge that I experience within my dream as a wave of the purest love. ‘I can’t meet you my love’, she seems to say, ‘but that’s not necessary because I am always with you.’ I wake up promptly then, overflowing with this feeling of pure love, knowing that it’s beautiful and true.

*

Next morning, after a night of further dreams, I leave my friends’ apartment in C’s old city. From here I will walk to its outer fringe, where we lived on and off for five glorious, tragic and mostly wonderful years. Holding C in my Heart and held by her, I come first to the market where sellers of fruit and vegetables tend their stalls, talking busily as they serve their customers. The scene is familiar and complete except for one who used to grace it with such beauty and style. The church bells ring. I sit by a small fountain under the steeple, my Heart swelling over an ocean of boundless love, relishing what a marvellous show our play of being human is: this parade of shoppers, vendors, infants, parents, workers and police; people rushing earnestly to withdraw cash before appointments can be kept or goods purchased.

My appointments here are always already made and kept. I rise slowly from the stone bench, gesturing inwardly towards the coffee shop, the newsagent’s and apothecary where not so many preciously trivial words were spoken. They crowd in on me all at once, flooding me with a tide of evacuated memories: no details or specific images, just a deep underlying sense of infinite gratitude and appreciation. I sit back down, understanding that Christa is now inspiring me to know better how to live my new love. As Goddess salutes Goddess, all is good. Then it happens, a crashing revelation of what I have been struggling to express for so long. Time cracks open, allowing past and future to rush in and occupy this moment in a swirl of over-flowing Presence. I see many generations of market-goers, centuries’ worth, all going about their business, helping me to realise what it really means to be here now, awakening yet again in the midst of a Sacred Play.

I stir myself after a minute and get up, moving like a Bushman who walks not in red clay but in the memory of his ancestors, those who have been and are yet to come. In this walking, the past is not only remembered but also re-valued and renewed. I over-paint the traces of all who have been by walking consciously where they have walked, breathing as they breathed and knowing this as I do it. I experience a density of Love, a proliferation beyond content – as if awareness has been distilled into Pure Feeling that includes everything within a sphere of Universal Love that it projects. All- encompassing, this sphere is centred here and now through me but extends in all directions of space-time. It is timeless and unbounded. What we call the future is made present by it, abstracted and distilled into a clarified consciousness whose expressive aspect is a searing love that burns in me for every person, plant and creature that I meet upon my way.

I somehow make it in this altered state to the outskirts of the city and enter a forest where I walked many, many times with Chris when she was recovering from a first illness in 2007. Such dates mean nothing now! Nor boundaries of perception within which we walked at that time. The track before me is replete, pregnant with memories and the promise of a love more potent than any merely visible thing. I am on fire with love, a love that comprehends and redeems, buoyed by images of a fresh track newly opening. I am skipping through dimensions. Thoughts clamour within me, formless but insistent. Haplessly, I pull a note book from my pocket and record impressions in waves of inky scratches that I can’t read. Then I stop, kneel and hurriedly write a rough draft of words for later polishing as below.

*

Calendar lore promises timelessness with the completion of 9 waves as a systematic building up – towards what? Apotheosis: understood not as rapture or catastrophe but revelation, as the fulfilment of preparation to a point of fusion where what has been prepared for is ready to manifest. This is better seen as a state of consciousness than as a condition of the world. It implies that we are being pushed towards a shift from a logical-analytic mode of information processing to a more intuitive style. This matters not just because our current rate of producing information far exceeds our capacity to absorb it (already a clear sign of imbalance and disorientation) but because the intuitive mode opens us to a timeless realm where we walk like Bushmen with ancestors of all ages, including those who have yet to come (in terms of a linear-sequential mode that needs time to happen in).

I had said this to my daughter before leaving. A clinical psychologist, she thought for a moment before proposing that both modes are required. A purely intuitive mode would be too solitary; we must communicate through language and other symbols in order to bridge the gap between our isolated subjectivities. I find this interesting not just in so far as it’s correct but also in so far as it’s mistaken. The reflection is offered by one whose intellectual formation happened under a late Mental regime, where symbolic interaction is deemed necessary to co-ordinate multiple ‘perspectives’. It presupposes a Subject-Object dichotomy, where a (human) subject of knowledge regards the world as an object to be known. Hence Clare’s analysis starts from a cultured platform of isolated subjectivity and imagines that active gestures of reaching out, physical and symbolic, are needed to overcome this.

For the Bushman who has never received such a formation or an apostate who has shaken its effects, the intuitive mode engages an order of existence in Being where everything is already connected and known to be so at an immediate, pre-conceptual level of Pure Feeling awareness. This is the essence of archaic consciousness and it is present long before our so-called Fall ushers in a sense of isolated subjectivity. A sense of Unity is what is given first. Symbolic activity doesn’t first serve to build relationships out from a sense of isolated subjectivity but rather to articulate a wholly implicit form of Unity Consciousness that is given from the very start and gradually comes to explicate its own nature by means of ever bolder acts of expression, from cave art to Picasso’s aperspectivity and beyond. This is how Consciousness comes to know itself through existence in time and also why: because Archaic Consciousness is at first implicate, it warrants an evolutionary process in order that the self-explication of Unity can unfold through Becoming and in Being.

This process reaches a decisive stage in its fulfilment during our time, when Integral Consciousness looks back to retrieve a sense of all we have been, integrating not just Archaic Consciousness but also Gebser’s intermediate forms: Magical, Mythic and Mental. Because all have played a role in our unfolding and continue to, all must be represented in our culminating realisation (for now) of Unity Consciousness. This process is directly paralleled and supported by how the Mayan calendar is set up after the shift of 28/10. There is an obvious connection between the 9th wave and the workings of Integral consciousness in this respect. I have drawn it to the attention of calendar ‘experts’ but found most of them committed to a vain belief that their show is the only one that matters. Certainly, we live in a time of great change and this is indicated by the phenomenon of galactic alignment but it is not caused by it.  The quantised, a-periodic, non-linear change patterns carried by 9 creation waves have brought about conditions that did not obtain the last time this alignment was observed.

Now is a time for Great Remembering that exceeds what even the symbolic resources of indigenous people anticipate because it is undertaken from a non-perspective that was never available to them, having only recently been engendered as a structural possibility in time by the completion of 9 Underworlds. This doesn’t just involve a transcendence of time (which has always been available to mystics) but its fulfilment, namely the realisation of timelessness in time, a ‘Time of No Time’ that requires a recollection by Integral Consciousness of Archaic Consciousness and all other forms in between. This ‘Time of No Time’ is a beautiful mythological symbol, far richer than its casual use by New Age sloganeers would suggest. Briefly, it implies a union of stillness and motion, Being and Becoming, wherein the self-explication of Great Mystery by means of evolution attains self-awareness in time such that evolution becomes a consciously directed process as we creatures remember our ever-present Origin in Creator Consciousness, a Unity that evolves forever in token of its Love.

Note that Integral Consciousness doesn’t just ‘fix’ Archaic: it is also rooted in and fulfilled by it, as Archaic Consciousness holds the germ of Unity that Integral craves.  A similar relationship obtains with Magical, Mythic and Mental. Each carries its own gift. The Archaic structure never simply disappears, nor do any of the others. Rather its expression (and theirs) comes to be increasingly constrained by a developing sense of individuality that tends increasingly to experience itself as separate and to arrange experience in order to maximise what it takes to be its highest interest. This process culminates with a self-deification of ego during the late Mental phase, introducing havoc which the Integral structure is now seeking to put right.  Each structure has its creative momentum to impart towards further unfolding of the whole and therefore needs remembering. This is crucial now that the driving power of the primary creation waves is superseded. We must now become conscious evolutionaries or stay stuck.

*

Toppies went on to tell stories the night of our visit to the Tree. These engage an order of myth in which the Bushmen also live and express a consciousness of Source that they still carry. Archaic consciousness naturally informs Magical which naturally informs Mythic until something happens to prevent this – namely all that may be included under our dense mythological symbol of a ‘Fall’ (1). As noted earlier, the Great Mystery of Consciousness is intrinsically unitary despite also being intrinsically creative. Its ‘flow’ comes to be cumulatively regulated by successive structures, just as its expressions are constrained by successive Underworlds in the calendar model. The tendency is for working consciousness to identify with expressions of the most current form although their hold over consciousness is usually deeply unconscious, exactly like the Underworlds. That is to say, consciousness is subject to structural influences which it is generally not aware of. This changes with the advent of an Integral structure that is intrinsically reflexive and promotes a conscious revaluing of all earlier forms, particularly now that the Underworlds are complete and a repeating 9th wave supports it.

Toppies’ stories, for example, make it abundantly clear that there is no question of cognitive deficiency on the part of the teller or of the audience that thrilled to fine points of his telling. These Bushmen exhibited a high degree of abstract mental competence in my presence. This is far removed from drawing bows and baiting traps but retains close analogical links to a world in which their culture has been immersed for at least 100,000 years. That world is now vanishing and they are at a loss as a result, particularly communities who have lost the Magical-Mythic practice of trance dancing and with it their connection to ancestors and Source. The impact of such de-culturation is traumatising and I was mostly very impressed by their resilience in the face of this and other aggressive intrusions of ‘white’ civilization.

The Bushmen’s ‘Mental’ competence in Gebser’s sense appears to me to have been grossly under-valued due to its engagement with dimensions of reality to which the valuers have grown insensitive (due to our unacknowledged histories of trauma) and the fact that it still filters through Archaic, Magical and Mental forms with an ease and grace that we lost with our ‘Fall’. The essence of this is a narcissistic entrapment that is symbolically evoked by Yahweh’s shaming of our First Parents’ nakedness (‘we’ being historical peoples of the Book: Judaism, Christianity, Islam) and runs through to the so-called rational ego’s proclamation of its own sovereignty, a conceit from which ‘white’ civilization and its conflicted world is still seeking to recover. Integral consciousness is the primary vehicle of this recovery and it strikes me that the Bushmen have had far less need to exercise it until recently because their cultural practices have always been fundamentally bound up with remembering.

Trauma and self-interested power plays induce forgetting. The Bushmen have, until relatively recently, been far less affected by these than conquering cultures that are effectively founded on a ‘Fall’. Their Mental adroitness may appear suspect when they are whisked into the cosmopolitan milieus of unwittingly self-divided movers and shakers (the sovereign ego represses all that it presumes to be in charge of) but this is an entirely superficial impression. Our question must be whether we would really want them – and the still innocent part of ourselves that they reflect – to finally adopt practices of manipulation and concealment by means of which we sustain our rootless trajectories. I saw beginning signs of this and it was not beautiful but I also witnessed the legacy of Izak’s heroic dreaming of a Tree of Life and Faith around which human communities can once again awaken and unite. It was here that the truest meeting happened, not just between us but also within, stimulated by mutual reflections of One Love. It was here that my broken postmodern sensibility finally retrieved the seed of its deep Archaic integrity and that the Bushmen realised that white men can also sing in love. We became newly integral together as a result. Toppies confirmed as much that night when he spoke of the love he felt for all people, not just Bushmen, around the Tree.

The sundering of Love (into Lover and Beloved) becomes derailed when ego acclaims itself as Lord over experience. This happens because it disengages the Lover from intuitive access to a Tree that was provided to guide her/his journey Home to the wholeness of Love. Alienated from right relationship to a point of disavowing traditional means that might help restore him, modern ‘man’ succumbs to fantasies that prove in the end to be narcissistic projections of his own truncated subjectivity. (Patriarchal science exhibits a deep structural continuity with patriarchal religion in this respect.) Now evolution, carried by the 8th and 9th waves, has opened past ego and galvanised Integral consciousness’ drive to heal rifts induced by Mental perspectivism and earlier forms (2). We have noted how over-assertion of the rational intellect was necessary for our human experiment in freedom, bringing us to our current point of choice between perpetuating warped subjective fantasies or realigning with a constant Way (Divine Plan etc.) that even now seeks to open through us.

These options are not opposites. The derailment is comprehended by the unfolding as a condition of our finding freedom in  relation to it. This freedom comes of realigning voluntarily with Source, having acknowledged the alternative of cycling endlessly through conditioned addictive patterns. Such ‘realignment’ entails a remembering of Archaic consciousness and actually involves our aligning consciously with an inner resource from which we were never actually separated except in our own imagining. The difference is that we were first unselfconscious expressions of Source/Archaic consciousness; our participation in it was immediate and unreflective. Then we became self-conscious via a long evolutionary process of ego-formation that spanned the National and Planetary Underworlds at least. Next came an impulse towards ego- transformation and transcendence that we associate with Integral Consciousness and arrival of the 8th and 9th waves. The purpose of this convoluted unfolding becomes clear as we awaken from self-consciousness on the level of narcissistic entrapment into expanded reflective awareness of the dynamically unfolding Unity of which we have always been part.

As we awaken, this dynamically unfolding Unity (Consciousness) becomes aware of itself as such in existence and in time, radically altering the nature of our participation in both. Moreover, because the dynamic unfolding of Unity (Consciousness) in time represents a projection of the Unity of Consciousness beyond time, its awakening is also an awakening for Consciousness outside time, making possible a more intimate communion between ‘two’ that can now be realised as One. Hence our currently available experience of a Time of No Time, where it is possible to participate simultaneously in the stillness of Being and the motions of Becoming – both also known as the Truth of Love.

*

For me, the story is almost up to date so far. My inspiration after South Africa was that I needed to have all writing to do with my visit there complete before leaving for Germany. Here, I was given to understand, a new energy would supplement that of Africa in my awareness, reshaping it towards new horizons. Today is my first full day and I feel at home in the forest. Last night I had many dreams. In the first it was explained that a powerful female teacher, an emissary of Goddess, would reconfigure my soul during sleep. I woke up to accept. My next ‘dream’ lasted most of the night and featured countless flowing images of this process as it happened, including a decisive rearrangement of relationships between consciousness structures like those Gebser describes. It was evident that the purpose was somehow to expand the imprint of my African legacy.

As a result, it is now clearer than ever that Archaic (Source) Consciousness does indeed persist under transformations induced by the emergence of later structures (and that the same is true of relations between these also). The writing recorded above is also a first expression of my remaking by night. For some reason, it strikes me now that ‘Western man’ – he who dissociates himself in the later Mental phase from earlier consciousness structures – nevertheless initiates a formal study of the past that brings questions of origin into focus for intellectual modernity. (Philosophy of history and evolutionary theory are largely creations of the Planetary Underworld, for example.) This illustrates a general point that later structures make the past freshly available in ways that are compatible with their own dispositions. This tends to reduce but also to preserve the past. It might also serve to fulfil it.

In any case, such late Mental ordering eventually led to the identification of problems of relativity that would undermine our ‘laws’ of perspective and, as a result, to their transcendence by Integral consciousness. It too, we may be sure, will continue to bring out new depths of richness that have always been hidden in our past, all the way back to Origin. This is especially true now that all Underworlds are complete and we are asked to realise the timelessness of every present moment in which the love of all time is available to be realised for ever and ever, again and again and again.

*

The next day I visit an island in Lake Constance that Christa particularly loved. Here I have a distinct sense of seeing through her eyes. The following day is wet and spent working over the paragraphs I had drafted roughly in the forest. I am very tired that night and sleep soundly before waking to the morning of Christa’s anniversary. I have dreamt that a very old part me must die (be released) and, peculiarly, am preoccupied with composing stanzas in my head that make fun of my new love’s human foibles. This is utterly unexpected and relents as our journey gets under way.

It is sunny when we reach the cemetery, a hundred kilometres off in Christa’s place of birth. I walk slowly towards the quiet corner where her ashes are held in a rectangular block of box-like stone vaults. I have never forgotten C but now she lives less in the forefront of my Heart than around and through it, as if it has become a conduit for expressing her love on Earth. Recently Kx has sat there also, a second Goddess who dwells to the fore. Just now, approaching the vault that bears her name and dates, I am conscious only of C. I have come here to remember more specifically and all feels good. I stand before her name, experiencing the deepening of a love that is already infinite (and teaches me to love more).

This is brought about by being around her old places, of course, and seeing this last tangible notice of her having been. The strangest thing is that, in the midst of a searing ecstasy that allows me to comprehend new depths of love within me, Kx reappears, faintly, as a soothing presence to lighten my way and offer a new face to the Goddess as embodied. While C has become a source of high inspiration that guides my life, Kx is now a lens through which it focuses for expression into our still evolving human future.

Later, with C’s parents, I admire a beautiful photo of her that I’ve never seen before. I can feel her spirit streaming through it and remember the Flow of Love that moves (through) all life. I live more or less constantly in awareness of this Flow because my continuing relationship with C has allowed me to adjust to the level at which her consciousness now operates. That is why no ‘meeting’ was required: the permanence of our union is constantly assured in Consciousness.

I speak easily out of this awareness with her parents, telling them about my airplane dream. Her father says that this is just what my mind wants but he is wrong. The first part of the dream, where I seek an appointment, expresses what remains of my human attachment. C’s response, which is also that of my own higher consciousness, comes from way beyond my conditioned psychology as John and carries me further beyond it. To trust in Life, in the Flow of Love that moves (through) all Life, is all we really need to do, or rather not do.

We get lost (knocked out of the awareness of this Flow of Love) whenever we are locked in judgment. This invariably reflects un-clarified traces in ourselves and occurs when something happens that threatens our position or our sense of security regarding our position. We are moved then to clarify by reviewing details to get our story straight, generally in defence of a tentatively held self-image. This whole issue is far less charged if we act from Source because wherever we are then is always the right place, such that we don’t have a ‘position’ or at least not one we expect to be in long  enough to worry about its defence.

I return that evening feeling pregnant with myself, held between two Goddesses in One Love. I pass the time before sleep writing out whimsical verses I had composed in my head before getting up that morning. At the very least, these suggest a forward-looking levity that I haven’t known since C passed. I laugh at their silliness, sensing that a corner has been turned. This is not something I chose to do wilfully or out of disrespect. It was something I had no option but to do, impelled by the same Flow of Love as my words that afternoon. I sense that this opening leads back towards clearer  engagement with the 3D world and away from long bouts of higher plane immersion to which I have become accustomed with C in recent years.

*

Next day I visit the Friedwald with a young friend. A ‘Friedwald’ is a protected forest area where people can purchase burial plots under designated trees. Eventually their ashes will be interred underneath, marked only by a discrete note of their names and dates on the tree. Marc shows me what will be his mother’s final resting place. Her name appears on a tiny plaque along with several others, only two of which have had dates added. I find this unutterably moving. Here, at the Heart of Old Europe, people are remembering what it is to walk in the presence of ancestors. This is what we are doing now, following trails cut for the purpose.

Earlier Marc had been saying how sometimes he feels impelled to follow his Path but then remembers all the factors ranged against him, so that everything seems too much and he does nothing. I advise him to focus only on the next right step, attending to subtle cues/impulses that arise and following them. Now he points out two tall trees that rise like a gateway above the dense undergrowth of the forest floor. He says that he feels moved to pass between them. I remind him to follow his bliss and, gingerly, he makes his way through thick bushes to come before what now clearly resembles a portal. He beckons me in. I follow and kneel to one side, undertaking to keep watch without interfering. Then a visionary atmosphere descends.

In my vision, a young man stands on a threshold, a difficult past behind him and an unknown future before. This future will not be like the past. The young man cannot step through and stay the same. He walks forward, unable still to see a future but committed to it by virtue of his choice. Looking back through layers of the troubled past, he discerns the energies of Source and early times lived in harmony with them. Remembering these times, he feels energised, strong and filled with clear intent. He realises that in order to have a future we must remember our past and know where it is we come from, our Origin.

Afterwards, despite not knowing how to get to our next destination – a Crusader monument erected in the 13th century on the far side of the valley – the young man sits into a car and, following his intuition, drives directly to it. It was in this spirit that his older companion had earlier made his own sacred journey to Africa.

Notes (all references are to www.sacredplay.info ):

(1) See ‘Legends of a Fall’ under ‘9th Wave/ Later’

(2) It is notable that Wilber’s pop version of Gebser’s Integral Consciousness has grown exponentially since the turn of the 21st century, coinciding with the advent of the Galactic Underworld.

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