Years ago I had one of those life-changing dreams that happen if we are very lucky, and it is as clear to me today as it was the morning I awoke from it:
In the dream I am high in the hayloft of a large barn, looking down, and below me is a circle of dancers brightly dressed, swaying and stamping to a beat and laughing as they do-si-do from one partner to another, weaving themselves into a gorgeous, colorful fabric as they dance.
I watch from high above them, but at the same time I am also right there on the barn floor with them; one of the dancers, hand in hand with my friends. My hips sashay sexily to the music, with my nose I breathe in the sweet musk of baled hay in the loft above us, my skin feels the tickle of sweat on my face and giggles rise up and out from my throat.
I dance from partner to partner, grasping one hand after another as my feet stamp to the beat of the music along with the others and see their colorful costumes pass before my eyes— orange, blue, red, purple. I grab a girl’s hand, then a boy’s, then the girl with black hair and then the fellow in the rainbow shirt until I twirl back to my own partner again, laughing and laughing until I am dizzy and out of breath.
But at the very same time I am watching quietly from above in the hayloft, mesmerized by the mandala of the whole design even though I am still dancing and laughing in the circle down below.
Both are real. Above and below, they take place at the same moment in time, separate only because I am seeing them from different perspectives simultaneously—one being lived on the ground in the moment, and the other witnessed from above as a Whole design.
I find myself doing that a lot these days, watching the world through multiple lenses at once. I see the everyday realities of burning lands and rising oceans that put our lives in jeopardy every day, and the fear and mayhem that inevitably follows it. I watch the breakdown of societies as we know them; the terror of refugees fleeing war and hunger; the destruction of the natural world for profit.
At the same time I see the inevitable, ongoing cycling of Time over thousands of years in which whole societies and worlds eventually collapse, renew and emerge eventually into new eras, cycle by cycle. In Sanskrit, these are called yugas. Time Maps also exist amongst many ancient cultures—the Maya, the ancient Hindu, the African Dogon ….
The world we know and live in may indeed be on its way out, to replicate a process that has happened before, and will happen again. I sometimes wonder if I was born in these times to assist this process of inevitable renewal; in fact—maybe that is what writing these pieces all these years has been about! Who knows?
I keep being reminded of the birth-pangs when my children were being born, and I cannot help but wonder if what we are collectively going through on earth now is like the labor pains of childbirth? Unforgettable!
After 9 months of carrying around an ever-growing weight in my body, with my first child, I started to sense the first stirrings of change as my belly tightened, then released … then tightened again. Gradually the rough beginnings of labor rumbled in, becoming harder and harder to ignore and I had to stop and breathe, getting used to the gradually increasing pains. Soon I had to lie down and breathe. Whew! It got harder and harder—hour after hour of hurting—and when the pains started coming without let-up, Herb bundled me up, alerted the doctor and got me to the hospital in the middle of the night, racing through the high water and winds of a winter storm!
“Sorry for the timing,” I gasped, trying for a joke when we got there at 2am, and yet it still took a few hours more of continuing contractions, the pain increasing and waning … increasing and waning before this baby, blind and untested, fought his way through the narrow, dark tunnel inside me, my contractions pressing upon his unborn body, squeezing and all but strangling him in his way towards the light and air. And then—pain growing in intensity until there was nothing to do except to go with it with all my heart and soul. And when I was at the end of my tether, he broke through at last—and my baby was born!
New life in the world.
Yes, in these days as we try to understand what is being born into this world, I am as terrified as anyone. I am also watching from the ‘hayloft’ high above and see a larger picture in which the dance is always changing, dissolving and evolving into more complex forms of color and shape and motion. I am a watcher and a dancer at the same time, sensing new patterns trying to emerge into this world of ours, recognizing that nobody ever said it would be easy!
I watch for the patterns every day in every way, intuitively feeling for a sense of wholeness in what may be inevitable processes we are going through. To me, it is all ultimately powered by Love, the highest frequency that encompasses everything in Time and Space that we call our “world.” Hard though it may feel to us, I believe we have to trust it because—as with labor—there is no other way to get through. We have no choice but to keep breathing with it! That’s just the way it is.
People like me have, through the Ages, been referred to as ‘mystics’—and have also been shunned as witches and burned for their beliefs. My beliefs, as it happens.
Here is what I see, and what I believe to be true:
That the Earth we inhabit is only one point in a much larger universe, and that Life itself may be intrinsic to a cosmos in a multitude of forms, rising into material existence and then out again, through death, and back into Time and Space from its birthplace in pure consciousness.
That humanity on Earth is one life-form amongst many, and that consciousness itself is the template upon which whole worlds emerge and take meaning.
That awe is the appropriate response to the majesty of where we human beings—and all of life and the dimensions of the world that life inhabits—come from.
That, by definition, we humans are inextricably connected to one another, in balance, in beauty, in brilliance, and that murdering one another—by any means—is unworthy of our gift of life and our talent for delight.
And that we take our place amongst many millions of life forms on our planet, like a web of tiny pearls all connected by the string of life—remove one, and the whole string breaks.
And we are only one planet amongst many; one planet in a multitude of planets and solar systems in a Space that goes way beyond where our telescopes can currently reach, and ultimately, I believe, there is nothing to fear because where we actually live is in ALL of it!
I cling to those truths and universal patterns beyond Time and Space in which we ultimately have our lives and beings. I believe in the sacred nature of a conscious Cosmos in which every atom contains the intelligent design of the Whole—even now when we humans are lost and frightened. I believe in a bigger picture that we can learn to decipher once we are ready to accept that it is there.
Please come and join me in the hayloft and watch with me. Then we’ll go downstairs and join the dancers dancing their dance.
Dancing our dance!