Monday, December 7, 2009

Seasons of Initiation

Today I am finishing the 10 week Science of Mind Foundations class. This class has been an initiation of sorts for me. Though the material wasn’t exactly new to me I still had much to learn. The main thing it taught me was that one’s spiritual path is a process. We go through cycles much like the seasons and so the project that I present in class tonight is a poem that uses the seasons as a metaphor of the process that I have gone through in these past weeks.

Through words I created my story of the past 10 weeks. While I was creating it more truths were revealed to me. This is the power of words. With them we can recreate our experience and through using them even more about ourselves is revealed. We transform our experiences and ourselves during this process. So here I am on the other side of this experience about to stand in front of my class and reveal something of myself, something of my true self I hope. This is scary, but this is the only way we move forward. We digest the experience and from that experience we create, which is to say we internalize it and come to truly live it. At the final stage of this particular initiation I see in the distance the next one for it is an endless cycle of learning and growing just like the seasons.

The Return – A Process of Initiation in 9 Parts

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.
~T.S. Eliot from Part IV of the poem Little Gidding


Winter passes slowly.
The ground frozen protects the seed.
In darkness it sleeps
waiting for the return of the light.


A glimmer of what is to come.
Will the groundhog see its shadow,
run and hide in the dark belly of earth
afraid of what it casts in the light?
Or will it see only gray and stay out,
little by little see what the growing light


Sunlight melts away ice.
All becomes aware.
Greening begins in the warmth of sun
and moisture of melted earth.
Clouds cast shadows and rains loosen soil
so the seedling can find its way to the light.


Full bloom flowering.
Things grow into color.
Sunlight reveals what was always there
in the deep dark beauty of winter.
The bristly bush realizes
it harbors the rose.


Sunlight burns.
Its rays sometimes too much
for green things. The flower wilts.
It knows more than it can handle
but its seed finds its way
onto the earth
and waits.


Calm settles over the land.
Something begins to shift as
first harvest begins.
All that was hidden behind flower
now manifests, is ready for release,
eager to be transformed through
consummation of its ripe flesh.


Soon all falls as sunlight wanes.
Before it does there is a glimpse of brilliance
in green turned to red and gold, the promise of return.
No time for sadness.
The fruit is full and ripe with flavor.


Darker and darker still,
one last harvest before going within.
Once culled of her bounty, the earth rests.
The seed scattered waits
for the blanket of snow.


Snow sparkles like crystal in moonlight.
Millions of flakes scattered over seed
mirror the stars strewn across the heavens.
The seed sinks deep in the cold dark earth.
Begins to know again.

With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always—
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

~T.S. Eliot from Part IV of the poem Little Gidding

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