For the past three days, when I go to my on-line “Inner Child” card reading service, this is the card that has come up. The Five of Crystals. The image tells all! The gnome is completing the construction of his sanctuary and is crowning it with the sacred mandala that represents spirit entering matter. Notice the tree in which the house is built is an apple tree…..the tree which in the Christian tradition is most commonly associated with “the fall of man”. In this image, the gnome has built his sanctuary high up in the branches of the apple tree as if to say, “the old traditions will be the foundation upon which your sanctuary will be built, while the sanctuary will now become the crowning glory, transcending the limiting images, stories, perceptions represented by the old traditions.” Not to be tempted into fostering duality between the old traditions and the new sanctuary, it appears now that the old traditions and the new sanctuary live in harmony with one another. The ladder, hanging on the branch of the tree represents the process we all go through in moving through the messages of our childhood into the transcendent liberation of authentic self-realization.
In the Catholic Christian tradition in which I was raised, one of the foundational stories was the story of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from Eden. The doctrine of original sin was founded upon a literal interpretation of this myth. As my own journey up the ladder of the apple tree has unfolded, I have found myself shedding the traditional interpretation of this myth. What I have come to recognize is that our Divine Source is infinitely loving, generous and kind and would never punish his/her/its children in this way. The truth that Jesus came to remind us of is that we are One with God…..always have been and always will be. There is no separation from God except in our own imagination. Admittedly, this is a difficult concept to wrap our brains around. How can we be One with God and seemingly individual beings? The image of a wave of the ocean is the image that most describes this truth for me. (Thank you to my friend, Julie, for giving me this image). We are the waves of the ocean, seemingly separate from God (the ocean), but completely inseparable. As we move through the experience of our human journey, we temporarily perceive ourselves as separate from our Source and from one another. As we grow spiritually, we begin to remember the truth of our Divine origin and if we are willing, move toward shedding the illusion of separation so that we can move more and more fully toward remembering the peace and the love that are our true self. The image of the gnome in the apple tree represents for me that journey.
This is the image I hold in my heart and in my mind as I boldly take another step in the process of holding space in which Contemplative Community may emerge. The step I took today was to send invitations to my local Facebook friends for the first offering of Contemplative Community. In a strange mixture of anticipation and fear, I hit “send” and released a deep breath of relief. Now…..we shall see what happens (with no attachment to outcome!) 🙂