SEPARATE GAIA FROM CHRONOS
In the previous chapter, I offered the idea that when we get Chronos right in this world, all the worlds line up. Howevery, the way that Chronos becomes Kairos – the right timing – has more to it. Saturn and the power of the sky have taken more credit than deserved. There is a daily, seasonal and yearly right timing that is due to the motions of Earth – rotation and orbit. Where this concerns us most in Earthbriety and archetypal ecology, is when the seasons of the year are understood to also be the seasons of a life.
Look again at the 2 Western examples of chronopathology:
When I was 7 years old in second grade, I remember deeply contemplating what was presented as a sacred fact. That fact was that human beings are meant to be happy and in Heaven with Jesus and his Father. With that idea, I came to the terrible conclusion that if I really loved my family, I would kill them now so they can be with Jesus. I would do that, even if it meant me going to Hell forever. I felt this would be the ultimate sacrifice. I remember clearly contemplating this as I walked up to my friends house on Newton St. in Norwalk, Ohio. It was terrible and in that moment, it was as if my mind split and I told myself that such thoughts were off-base. Yet, all the chonopathology around me continued to point to the value of death over life – the books, the songs, the teachings, the sacraments. This was no different in the Protestant Christian traditions of my friends.
Having fallen asleep, he imagined he saw ghosts and was terrified by these appearances. He walked through the streets, and he was so horrified by the visions that he had to bend over on his left side in order to reach his objective, for he felt a great weakness in his right side and was unable to hold himself up. Ashamed at having to walk in this fashion, he made great efforts to straighten himself, but he was struck by a violent wind. The wind seized him like a whirlwind and made him spin round three or four times on his left foot. It was not this, however which frightened him most. He found it was so difficult to advance that he was afraid of falling at every step, until, perceiving the gates to a college standing open on his path, he entered, to seek refuge and help with his affliction.
In chronopathology, the cause is a transformation of the age and size of the cosmos and the astronomical reality of our Earth. It’s our 13.82 billion years old cosmos and our planet with an atmosphere that turns on its axis and orbits a mid-sized star that trigger a crisis of world view. In the 6000 year old universe of the Bible, the possibility that the end is near and we will be caught up to meet Jesus in the air, is not too bad a stretch. However, in an evolving universe in a galaxy of 2 trillion galaxies, the end of our world and the entire universe no longer makes sense. The old idea of heaven above is no longer expressed in the day to day media. Our programs show crossing over and not rising up. It splits the mind to be out of order with the age and size of the cosmos as understood by the science of the times.
There are persons, like former president Reagan’s secretary of the interior, James Watt, who infamously was quoted saying: After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back. , who suffered the same kind of death-urge that I wrestled with age 7. Watt was a person who was using Biblical cosmology while at the same time being responsible of 20th century management and conservation of most federal land and natural resources between 1981 and 1983.
My Catholic teachers passed on a chronopathology like James Watt had. Descartes had a chronopathology that came with the crisis of that same Biblical cosmology and the facts of empirical observation of the world.
Kairopathology is a timing problem with the seasons the year and of life due to a split in relationship from Earth and Indigenous wisdom. Those who suffer disassociate from relationship with evolution and the orbiting planet Earth.
To suffer the inner division between the actual wholeness (mind, body, emotion, spirit) of a season of the year and of life, to suffer with psychological ideas based on the archetypal themes out of sync with the actual life season, to suffer inner division of the wholeness of a season due to having no psychological ideas, is kairopathological
WHERE WE ARE BLEEDING LIVES
It has been in great part because of kairopathology that addiction and co-dependency have been a struggle in my family for 7 generations or more. The reason why is because culturally, there have been no rites of passage for youth. Religion, as it has been taught, was taught in a way appropriate for the latter days of life, for old age. During the flowering of childhood, in the season of the spring or East, the teachings of for the declining days of life, the autumn or West, were taught.
There is a time in life when to be dead and with Jesus is a blessing, as in autumn when winter is soon to come. However, during the blossoming of youth, any teaching about how good it is to be dead and with Jesus, or about how good it would be for the whole world to end so Jesus can come, are kairopathological. Their timing is off and causes suffering because you can never quite really make it to Earth when you need to most.
Generally, there are 4 rites of passage in a lifetime – along with birth and eath rites, there is the passage from childhood into adulthood. There is the passage from adulthood into elderhood. In the first, to move from childhood to adulthood, the goal is the attainment of a soul-awareness where you do not fear life. The inner strength helps you fully embrace the adventure of establishing yourself in the world, falling in love, maybe having a family. The second rite of passage, when properly completed, allows you to not fear your death. The inner strength helps you fully release and surrender into your death.
In my life in Ohio, there have been few who understand the difference between the 2 initiations. Those religious leaders who taught me over the years were very loving persons. I know that if they had known there was such a thing as 2 initiations, they would have shared it. I know the lack was due to our cultural poverty of soul knowledge.
For those whose cultural ideal was the secular, moral world, where academy, meetinghouse, courtroom and jail were the pillars, the possibility of a relationship with the Beauty that sustains the Earth and the Dream of life, did not exist.
Secular education goes on at the suicide level of soul awareness. It may be connected to the seasons for sales. The goal of and acquiring competitive skills, material goods, property and influence locks out the numinous and the Beauty of our planet.
For both examples of kairopathology, whether of mis-timed religious teaching or of power-driven secularism, Earth, as a sacred person, as Gaia, does not exist.
THE TIMING SPLIT FROM GAIA SEEN THROUGH THE LENS OF ARCHETYPAL ECOLOGY
Because archetypal ecology includes the value of Indigenous archetypes of the ethnosphere, it is possible for us to imagine universal wholeness, especially human wholeness by returning to the archetype of the Lodge.
As I wrote in the introduction, the Lodge is bi-polar, which means that what you see is only half of the whole. Human beings sit in the middle of all that is. Beneath the ground is a mirror image of the dome of the ribs above. Human beings do not sit in the center, but near it.
The 4 horizontal layers offer a map of the numinous. The horizontal layer closest to the ground represents experiences in the physical world where the beauty and timing of what occurs is message-bearing – it represents the world woven with synchronicity that implies relationship to the deeper sense of things.
The first time I met my mentor, Gene Monick, in order to work on his book, Potency, we met in Dubois, Pennsylvania. Dubois was a half-way point between our homes. I shared with him how to pray with the sacred pipe, known as the Canupa, in Lakota. We prayed in a pipe ceremony in one of the parks in Dubois. At the end of the prayer, a woodpecker came down from a nearby tree and landed on the ground in front of us. It looked up at us for a long time. For both of us, this had never happened before. As we considered the reason for our meeting and the prayers we made during the pipe ceremony, that woodpecker was freighted with information, as John Wier-Perry would say.
The second layer represents the invisible spirit world that is closest to ours. Closest, in the sense of the one we tend to experience most and also in the sense that it is a world where individual identity still plays a part. It’s a world close to ours in likeness. The second layer, however, is not bound to space-time.
This layer of the spirit world is of our ancestors. Ancestors are not ghosts that haunt. They are warm, loving and humorous beings who care for us. The most pivotal night in recent family history was in November, 1975. It was the night that my father got into trouble for drinking and my mother prayed for him to find help. As she prayed, Mom felt cared for by my great-grand-mother and a loving professor from Mt. St. Joe College. That support came as Grace. It was loving. It was not a haunting.
The third layer of the lodge is the spiritual world where there is no longer an individual identity, but loving service and Purpose. In our culture, this is the level of the angels and if you are Catholic, the level of the Saints. In the Indigenous world, this level is of the Directions, Grandmother, Grandfather, Thunders, Sun, Moon and cultural Ancestors.
What my first Teacher with the big “T”, Mike Hay, had his near-death experience, he shared that after he met with family members and persons he loved who had died, he advanced to a boundary where there was a being of light. He said that he did not know if that being was an angel or it if was Jesus. In the telepathic way communication happens in that world, he told the being that he wanted to stay in the other world where he was. The being replied that it was not yet his time and that if he moved further into the spirit world, crossing the boundary where the being of light was, he would not be able to return. It was in this way I had the good fortune of being taught by someone who died and then came back from the dead with a mission to complete.
The fourth layer, in a Lakota-style Lodge, there is the shape of an 8-pointed star:
This layer is at once the layer of the spirit-world that is ‘furthest’ from us, yet it is also the one that is closest, found in the very center of our hearts. This is the layer of Silence and Presence, the Location of Creator that is the place of peace beyond understanding. It is both all the way inside, yet also stretches to the fearsome dimensions of the All. As a star, this is the symbol for where the our own awareness of Eternity constellates with all the stars of the cosmos.
HUMAN WORTHINESS, SEASONAL AFFECTIVE RIGHT TIMING, KAIROS WITH THE SEASON OF A LIFETIME
Before I write of the 4 layers under the ground of a Lodge, it’s good to pause and consider the full impact of imagining that all human beings are both capable and worthy of direct personal experience of all the layers: The Beautiful Meaning of Earth, our personal ancestors which includes animals we have loved, the impersonal, anonymous, sacred powers/angels, the layer of Silence and Presence, the Location of Creator that is the star of peace beyond understanding. The Lodge reminds us that all the layers are interconnected and in harmony with the whole.
The upper layers of our map describe objective experience. By this I mean that you observe and feel what is not you — be it woodpecker, great-grandmother, a being of light or the Presence of the Holy. The layers beneath the Lodge are layers that belong to Earth-wisdom.
The knowing beneath the Lodge represents the spiritual experiences of becoming and dreaming. Another name for this is knowledge by identity. Thou art That – the Tat Tvam Asi or तत्त्वमसि This is the profoundest and most challenging form of human knowing. It’s important to remember that in these experiences, the becoming is loving, warm, illuminating and humorous. These are not experiences of being possessed by parasitic entities which are hateful, cold, confusing and cruel. Dreaming, however, may very well put us into situations of terror, horror and sickness – however, they are not outside us, but are the way that the soul speaks in pathologized images. Our dreams show us our wider subjectivities.
Let us consider the 4 layers of the Lodge in terms of becoming.
For the first level, I have a friend who was invited to put on the mask of a cougar in ceremony. She agreed and was very surprised how when she put on the mask, she became Cougar.
For the second layer of Earth-knowing, another friend of mine had the odd experience of knowing the things that Jackson Pollack knew, as if he became Jackson Pollack, when standing before the painting Autumn Rhythm.
As an example of the third layer of knowing by becoming, I enjoyed the experience of becoming a stone during a vision quest lodge with my first Lodge teacher, Alex Farkas. The experience was just what I needed at the time – there are no words that can describe the experience itself, but I can say that the enduring gravity and realness of the experience stayed with me as a body sensation for the next 3 years after.
For the 4th layer, the star under the ground, there are the many Akashic or Cosmic Sky experiences in the clinical records – experiences of becoming one with all that is. I wrote in chapter 1:
Notwithstanding the great variety in which it occurs, the Akashic experience has strikingly uniform features. Whatever else it may contain, the Akashic experience conveys that the experiencing subject is not separate from the objects of his or her experience — the sense that “I, the experiencing subject, am linked in subtle but real ways to other people and to nature.” In deeper experiences of this kind, there is a sense that the cosmos and I are one.
Originally, a sweat lodge was a men’s ceremony that mirrored what was imagined as the monthly inner and hidden death/rebirth of the women’s menstrual cycle – or moon. When women in in close proximity, their cycles align and they enter their moon time at the same time. The inner re-birth was imagined as how women ever-return to right relationship with the seasons of the year.
The Lodge, then, for men, was how the monthly restoration and synchronization with the ecosystem around them occurred. It still works this way. I’ve had the great gift of sweating each month since 2002. What I did not know when I began was how much our awareness of the passing of days increases in beauty when we take the time to die to the timing of the previous month and be reborn into the seasonal wisdom enjoyed by all the natural world.
Kairos, when it is re-joined to Gaia and Ouranos, when it is understood through the archetype of the Lodge, is a bi-polar and seasonally affected wholeness of mind, body, emotions and spirit.
Look again, now, at The Last Judgement:
When reflected through the wholeness of the Lodge,
much has gone missing. This image is cut off from a direct connection to the local ecosystem and animal life, the Beauty and wisdom of the season. The second layer of loving ancestors and animals who care for us in the spirit world closest to ours is not present. The third layer of saints, angels and powers, Christ included, does appear, but there are no other beings by those sanctioned by Christianity. The Silence and Presence, the Akashic experience of becoming one with all that is, does not appear.
The possibility of becoming and knowing by identity does not appear.
Christianity’s Great Day of Reckoning shows chronopathological, kairopathological bi-polar and seasonal affective disorder. From the Lodge’s point of view, it appears like this:
When viewed from the secular lens that rejects all but sensate reality, the reflection is this:
When viewed from the early modern, Creator as Clockmaker who observes from outside time, the psychological reality looks like this:
It is a vestigial remnant that first came into the world as this:
The preacher was constantly yelling. He kept saying these were the End Times.
He said that human beings are wretched. He said that the Earth, too, is wretched. He said that even God has given up on LGBTQ persons because they are so disgusting. — Rowan M.
ALL THE BURNING WE HAVE FORGOTTEN
The unconscious degradation of embodied life on our planet that I showed above runs through all 7 generations of my family, the Reynolds. My ancestors arrived in Virginia in 1740. Through Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, Church of Christ, athiest, Catholic and 12 Step recovery movement, all of my ancestors have suffered this terror. I wrote of the beginnings of patriarchy in the opening paragraphs. It’s true that in his Theogeny, (700 BCE) Hesiod, with the Muses singing through him, prophesied how Gaia and Ouranos were Titans and how by Zeus they were condemned as far below the Earth as the sky is above it.
Yet, where this primal crime directly impacted my European ancestors was in their experiences of witch burnings. It’s telling how so few families I know have any stories to tell about their own past – mine included. I think to fully understand how our culture might consume and destroy the planet, it’s important to know how the name, Gaia, was used as a name for old women.
GAIA CONDEMNED AS A WITCH AND BURNED ALIVE
Friedrich Spee was witness to so much torture and burning of witches in Germany that they say his hair turned pre-maturely white from the trauma. He published Cautio Criminalis in hopes of bringing clear-mindedness and compassion to the leaders of his time.
He opened the text with a lament that those princes and persons of power who should read his book, won’t, while the people who don’t need to read his book, will.
If you read with an awareness of Gaia condemned and buried beneath the West’s ascent to the transcendent divinity above, you can recognize how that violence haunted the German communities of his day. The following is an excerpt from Cautio Crimimalis. It is Spee’s response to his question 51:
What is a brief summary of the method used by many judges in witch trials today, fitting for the noble emperor to comprehend and Germany to study?
8. If the judges still delay and abhor dealing with such a perilous matter, then a specially appointed inquisitor is sent. If he brings with him a certain inexperience or passion, as is normal in human affairs, it changes its complexion and name in this matter and becomes nothing more than pure justice and zeal, which no doubt his hope for monetary gain does not diminish, particularly in a rather poor and greedy man who has a family full of children, when a bounty of several thalers is has been arranged for him for every criminal he burns, in addition to the incidental monies and contributions that inquisitors may liberally extract from peasants, as I mentioned above.
9. So, if the possessed should say nothing, or if the malign and spurious (for it is never proven) rumor of the day falls heavily upon some poor, common Gaia, then she is the first.
10. Lest they should appear to try her on the basis of a rumor alone without any other evidence, as they call it, look! suddenly some evidence is at hands by means of this dilemma: either Gaia led an evil and immoral life or a good and virtuous one. If evil, then they say that is strong evidence, for evil from evil is an easy assumption. If, however, it was a good life, then this is equally strong evidence, for they say that is the way witches cover themselves, for they usually try to appear to be especially virtuous.
11. Gaia is ordered to be taken to the prison, and look! more evidence comes from this dilemma: either she now shows that she is afraid or she does not. If she shows fear (and naturally so since she has heard what severe tortures are normally used in these matters), then this is evidence because they say her conscience is accusing her. If she does not show fear (and naturally so, for she is confident of her innocence), then this is also evidence because they say that it is of course quite peculiar to witches to boast that they are innocent and hold their heads high.
16. Generally, however, lest it seem that the judges have not given Gaia at least a chance to defend herself, they lead her into an appearance in court and the evidence is read out and examined, if that is really an examination.
21. Once Gaia has been searched and shaved, she is tortured so that she recounts the truth, that is, she simply pronounces herself to be guilty. Whatever else she might say is not the truth, or can it be.
26. Should Gaia in torment roll her eyes in agony or stare, then this is new evidence. If she rolls her eyes, look! they say, she is searching for her concubine! If she stares, look! she is looking at him. But if she does not break her silence after several rounds of torture, if her face is twisted in pain, if she sinks into unconsciousness, etc, they shout that she is laughing or sleeping during the torture, that she is using the sorcery of silence, and she must be so much guiltier. How fitting then that she be burned alive. This was recently done to several women who did not want to confess despite being tortured repeatedly.
30. But if Gaia does not die, and some scrupulous people do not dare either to torture her further without new evidence or burn her without her confession, then they keep her in prison bound in tight chains, and there she is to be tormented for up to a whole year until she is overcome.
34. While Gaia is still kept in the dungeon in the way I said and is harassed by those who out to do it the least, there is no shortage of beautiful discoveries with which diligent judges may not only find new evidence against the witch but also prove (God save us!) her guilt to her face, so that they may proclaim that she may be burned alive in accordance with the ruling of the academies of doctors, as has been discussed earlier.
35. Some men, however, order that Gaia be exorcised to excess, transferred to another place, and then tortured again, as if perhaps by this purging and change of location her spell of silence can be broken. But if they can make no progress this way, then finally they commit her living to the flames. Since she dies whether she confesses or not, I would like to know, may God love me, how can she ever escape, no matter how innocent she may be?….
When you read how those called Gaia were treated, it starts to look like being scourged and crucified was a gentler way to die.
RECOLLECTION OF OUR PRIMAL WOUND
Khor Rori and Al Baleed that I shared above as locations for the primal wound was where my son, Isaac, invited me to visit. It was life-changing, especially when we visited his friend, Moamar, in Salalah, Oman. Salalah, in the Dhofari region of Oman, is still the center of the world for the ancient frankincense trade. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Location.
Frankincense was once as lucrative as petroleum is now. The principle ports for the old spice trade were Khor Rori and Al Baleed. Remember how we are the inheritors of a 5000 year old human pattern of consciousness based on a patriarchal, colonizing, sky God-King of war. This same archetype is a force to consider when listening to Western persons talk about their Father on High who is the Lord of Wisdom, King of kings, Creator of all things or about how they have rejected the idea of that Father on High.
Where is Anzu at work in our unconscious collective inheritance? My hunch, based on many mistakes I’ve made in life, is wherever there is dogmatism, lack of humor and self-doubt, when there is certainty that becomes violent and ends relationships, you will find Anzu’s colonial ghosts and smell the frankincense. You will find the Old Man consuming life like “a fire burning over the earth, taking with it plants and animals, ancient skills and visionary wisdom.”
HEAL THE FIRE WITH FIRE
I write this section now after standing out in the street in Princeton, Kentucky, during the totality of the August 21, 2017 solar eclipse. I went on a quest with my cousin, Penny, to experience what it felt like to stand under that union of sun and moon.
The insights that opened to me from actually standing beneath the light of the eclipse were inspired by how the whole sky dimmed so as to be as if I was seeing through a glass darkly, by how the sun and moon in union look like black fire and white fire, and by how the planets stood forth in the cobalt-blue skies while the stars were not visible to me.
The awe of being within the experience made for the first time I felt the daytime sky as numinous. All around me, people cheered at first, yet, just after most dropped into silence. There was no traffic moving. In the distance someone lit off fireworks and, as hard as it is to believe, there were people who never stopped talking once during the entire miracle. Just as the light re-appeared from the other side of the moon, someone standing by the church down the street shouted out a Biblical verse about the Glory of God.
It was all right there in that moment, how it could have been that a Sky God could emerge in human awareness, of how the legend of the origins of the Hebrew letter/numbers being of black fire writing upon white fire, of how the planetary Goddesses and Gods could stand forth and be separated from the starry background. It was also clear of how that awareness also came forth in a cobalt-blue half-light.
You can get a sense of the black fire and white fire language from the above photo. What the photo does not show is the cobalt blue of the sky all around, how the horizon in all directions remains illuminated as in dawn or dusk. You cannot see that Venus and Jupiter are standing forth. You cannot see how Mars and Mercury are also visible to those with the eye for them. (I could only see Venus and Jupiter)
I can affirm that sky-knowing is as numinous as ever. I think the patriarchal system was inspired by the noon-tide awe and observations of eclipses of the sun – from how it feels to be beneath, inside. I think that by losing the bigger picture of the wider context of the cobalt-blue dark/light, we have forgotten how our learning of numbers, letters, sun, moon, Sky-power, was meant as preparation for a deeper experience of life. Learning is meant to be released and surrendered to experience the direct knowing – gnosis. Our true reading is to enter into direct conscious union with the Book of Nature, with the Book of Life, with our own lives.
Unable to surrender the half-light of our most sacred scriptures, we live in a darkened world. So long as we forget that the knowledge we gain from the ‘black fire’ of our letters and numbers, of the cosmos that is revealed by them, is meant to be surrendered to the knowing of Earth, we walk in a noon-day dimness.
remains incomplete until it can do this:
and finally, this:
THE SACRED WIND BLOWING DESCARTES BACK TO COLLEGE- A REQUEST FROM EARTH FOR US TO TEACH BETTER
He found it was so difficult to advance that he was afraid of falling at every step, until, perceiving the gates to a college standing open on his path, he entered, to seek refuge and help with his affliction.
It’s important to know that in French, the word, college, is what we call junior high or middle school. 400 years ago, a sacred wind was blowing young man Rene back to a college that might help him and ease his affliction. The wind pushed him to a place where youths from 11-15 were educated.
Archetypal ecology insists on the recovery of rites of passage in how we educate our youth. Strategies from rites of passage
We can recover the teaching of the Medicine Wheel regarding the 4 parts of the human being: North is mind, East is emotion, South is body and West is spirit. All of these qualities are meant to be present and in balance in a healthy person.
We can remember how the 4 seasons are also the times of life: East is childhood, South is adulthood, West is elderhood, and North is the resting place.
We can work with the idea in mind that in the same way that a person needs help coming into this world into childhood at birth, we all need help moving from childhood into adulthood. The deaths of so many is a request for help from the community. Human beings were never meant to transition from one phase of life to another without help.
In the East of childhood, if it hurts, you need to get away from it. If you feel empty inside, you need to cry out and get others to help you. As a child, this is a rule of survival so you stay healthy. Moving from the East into the South of adulthood, the ways of childhood are turned inside out. Where it hurts, that is the place you need to make your teacher because there is wisdom that is trying to reach you. If you feel empty, what fills you up is giving – a particular kind of giving – from your heart with love through sharing the gifts you have with as many as possible. Our gifts in life are called gifts because we are meant to give them away. That’s the only way to keep your gifts, in fact.
Collective. Transpersonal Mind, Emotions, Body, Spirit.
What a child does not know is that adulthood is a collective experience. A girl does not choose the time of her first period. It’s another woman’s body who pulls her into it, for example. For the male anatomy, it’s a private nocturnal emission that drives the child out into the collective adult male world.
Emotionally, to be aware that our feelings do not only belong to us is crucial knowledge. Grief, fear, desire, love, anger, rage, pain, confusion, despair, loneliness, numbness, do not all belong to us alone. Here, again, the Medicine Wheel is helpful. Thoughts can lead to feelings or feelings to thoughts. If no one shows you, a little storm of thoughts and feelings can begin to run away with you. The Wheel says, to move into the body, to do some kind of action, service, creativity, that is inspired by those thoughts and feelings – in such a way that you move through them.
As you move through the thoughts and feelings with an action they inspire, the spirit comes to meet you. By this, I mean that there is something that was not known before, an idea, an insight, a new realization that comes from beyond your usual ways of understanding.
Personal emotions are connected to how everyone is feeling. Once you release them, there is a possibility to act in new ways that are connected to 7 virtues. Where there was grief comes a possibility for courage. Where there was fear is a possibility for strength. Where there was desire is a possibility for wisdom. Where there was anger, there is a possibility for generosity. Where there was pain, there is a possibility for health. Where there was confusion, sense of Purpose and where there was shame, a sense of worthiness. The light and heat of the flame represent this transformation.
Lastly, there is collective adult knowledge that is hidden in plain sight from the children. It’s not because of cruelty, but because until there is a capacity to feel into the collective and participate in it, the collective adult knowledge does not make any sense.
Part of the pain that is to be approached as our life-teacher is the pain of not knowing. Sometimes the future presses you to know the most important questions in life. The pain of the unknown, the unknown information, to not even know you do not know, weighs upon our youth. Also, the unfinished work for the future, that same pain felt by the youth also presses upon the elders, the adults, even if they are unaware. Rites of passage invite all to re-new the deep meaningful relationships – the soul, of life.
Find below 9 themes to be studied during the time of rites of passage. These come from James Hillman’s Myths of the Family. They are themes that all contain some mystery. No matter how many times or years you look at them, there is always more to learn. Knowledge is these themes that the community has is wisdom. Lots of students going to the hospital can be thought of as a request for the wisdom that has gone missing.
1. Contemplation of death
2. Inferiority, sense of evil, shadow, not being good enough to keep
3. First experience of falling in love, the mysteries of sexuality and gender
4. Name change
5. Accidents and illnesses that take you out of the system
6. Deep need for Beauty
7. Loyalty to friends
8. Thoughts and experiences of God and religion that may never come again
9. Desire for ordeals and testing, even a risk of death
When the passage is complete, the individual feels clear-minded, happy and is not afraid of fully living life, embracing love, even if failure and loss may be involved. When done in community, the entire community is renewed. What was once chronopathology becomes synchronicity in all dimensions of life. What was once kairopathology becomes synkairos:
Direct experience of right relationship with the Beauty that sustains the world. It is felt as personal, as well as, collective sanity and happiness in sync with the personal season of life, the season of the year and the creative life changes that mark the boundaries at birth, adolescence, elderhood, death, re-birth.
Synkairos is the wisdom of the somatic “prayer” of the season and phase of the moon as a human being in community with all of nature upon the Earth. Synkairos is tended by ritual throughout the year — wherever 2 or more are gathered for the good of all. It is a re-uniting of Aristotle’s formal cause with ecological evolutionary health that Thomas Berry called, The Dream of the Earth and that Theodore Roszak called, The Voice of the Earth. Synkairos is the decolonization of synchronicity.
RIGHT RELATION WITH THE BIRTH OF THE YEAR
Personal and relational synchronicity lived within a collective cultural synkairos with our ecosystems is the normal path for human beings on the planet. Healing of our time and timing ailments and the way we are consuming the life of the world to come, begins in an unexpected location at an unexpected time. This has always been the pattern and it seems that it will endure for the foreseeable future. What we are seeking is Recollection of the True Meaning of Christmas – I have a story about that: