Part 2, chapter nine
During my youth my father excelled at the self-created skill of being able to observe people in a passing crowd and invent names for these anonymous by-passers, which, after he had pointed them out and I had looked at the person, tended to suit them perfectly. Anyone passing by on the street, sitting nearby in a restaurant, theatre, or anywhere else in the great inglorious world of the hoi polloi, was the unconscious subject of my father’s light-hearted and lucid pseudonyming, so to speak.
To him, Clem was the chubby tourist walking purposelessly about on a ferry; Boris and Hortense were the thoroughly benign and working-class, incognizant neighbours camped beside us one year. Orville was an uptight, perfectly manicured clerk at a convenience store. Zelda was the repressed, and embittered housewife doing chores on her front porch. It didn’t matter what the person’s name really was, it most likely couldn’t have labelled them any better than my father’s trained sociologist’s keen eye, acutely witnessing the underlying essence beneath the obfuscating form.
Which brings me to the Dumbrowskis. The Dumbrowskis were more of a fabled family to my father than an actuality; they were ever present, and yet never became more than potential. They existed in many guises, but never in reality. Wherever we lived, or travelled, my father would always claim that the Dumbrowski’s were going to join us, or we would meet them somehow along the way. They were part of our life, part of the drama in which we were inextricably bound, though I never recall meeting a true Dumbrowski. And yet, given the Law of the Word, it was inevitable that this fantastic species would one day appear before me in the manifest.
I bring this up not for its nostalgic and anecdotal qualities alone, but because this produced one of those many occurrences, or hallmarks, as it were, in the growth of my soul- the little repetitions or oddities by which I began to intuit the magical, sublime livingness of God’s theatre- and so, though I had never, in reality, met a Dumbrowski as a child, their mythical affinity to my being, due to my father’s regular verbal incantations, would inevitably bring about their existence in the outward drama of my life.
It came to pass that on a rainy autumn day I was hitchhiking along a logging road on the Charlottes, planning to do some Chanterelle picking so as to fill my pockets with some dough again, but suddenly I felt the need to turn around and head the other way. No doubt I had my own ideas about why I was doing this- the ego has an excuse for everything it does without ever humbly admitting that God does everything- but regardless, soon after spinning about and thumbing my way back out of the forest, a beat up old pickup-truck came along and I was given a ride by a woman who would in the end drive me right to the mushroom fields and who, it turned out, was the cousin of a good buddy of mine from back east- four thousand kilometres away- and she had grown up in the town right next to mine. Things like this are intended, it is only for us to empty ourselves into the whole and believe. Had I not turned around she would not have picked me up, and had she not picked me up the rest would not have followed.
What happened is that we drove to a mushroom-picking camp and I set up my tarp and went to sleep. The next day I met a hippy couple who were from my home province as well, and who, soon afterward chose to camp right beside my dilapidated tarp, and their name, of course, was …the Dumbrowskis.
Although these two folks were far from the vulgar, proletariat, dim-witted mob that I had come to associate with the name, I took this event to mean that I was finally at one with a part of my destiny. And no doubt I was. The Dumbrowskis turned out to be absolutely kindred spirits of mine. Our minds met and agreed upon some of the subtlest matters. As well, soon after our meeting I was to remember having had a dream of the woman Dumbrowski, perhaps a week earlier, before they camped near me- a dream that I could not piece together at the time, but recognized her in it after we had spent some time together.
It was a portentous message, and after a few weeks of spiritual exchange, our time together would culminate with her and I alone, standing together by the side of a lake and receiving the rainbow covenant, signalling the fulfilment of our communion.
In relating this I must continue to argue that each of us must accept their own reality, that each person’s reality belongs to that person and that person alone, and that we are not born to agree, we are born to see. And I was beginning to see that once I had disentangled myself from the multifarious layers of phantasmagoria and inertia, I came closer and closer to the inside of the circle, and at that point everything that happened belonged to me, and only me, and I had to believe in it or else I might have to die like all the rest, and start all over again.
I believed, and not long after these events occurred I had another dream in which I was wearing two coats- one inner and one outer- and they were almost perfectly matched. That is when I began to recognise the old axiom that “what is outside of us is a reflection of what is inside”, and vice versa. The spiral was beginning to tighten.
It was not long after this that I also began having dreams of my anima growing older. There she was, painted across the canvas of my subconscious, the same Sandy whom I had found and lost years earlier, and yet somehow she was different, as if she had an older sister whom had now taken to the stage in my dreams. I couldn’t, for the life of me, interpret their symbolic meaning; not, that is, until a few weeks later.
What happened is that after my service was complete on the Charlottes I was given the sublime directive that it was time to bug out and head south again, so I jumped on a ferry, arrived in Vancouver, and within a few short hours ran smack into the living incarnation of this older Sandy- the very one I had been dreaming of. Instantly I was in love. That was when things began truly coming together, and truly falling apart.
When things like this happen to you, you can bet you’re on a cosmic course piloted by the unknown captain directing your ineffable craft into the infinite beyond. You know you’re a part of something so big and inexplicable, so unique, and so unprecedented, that try as you might to let others in on what is happening to you, you don’t really even have a clue yourself, and the best thing to do then is to just soften your gaze, open your heart, loosen your expectations, and let it all happen.
This is exactly what I didn’t do. No, poor me, a most unlikely candidate for such a privileged cosmic convergence; I, like a starving man at a banquet, stepped up to bat without an inkling of how to play the game. And I swung, and swung, and swung at a ball which was never meant for me to hit. And when finally I had struck out I was miserable. Which is to say, for the second time in this crazy lifetime of mine, I had found, loved, and lost my anima in the flesh. And when absurdities like that happens to you, you curse God for making a scapegoat out of you and for allowing all the imperfections and indifference in the antiquated bureaucracy of the heavens to screw the whole show up. And yet it wasn’t the heavens that were screwy, it was me.
That is- as I finally figured out, through all my whining, and gnashing, and writhing about- I had entered the wrong door of the castle; I had mistaken a sister for a mate. Apparently, as the powers were none too lax in reminding me, I was only supposed to knock on this elder Sandy’s door and say hello, but in my misguided habit of taking the world for the way men see it, I went right for the bedroom and forgot the rest of the home. And that is when I learned a very hard, very important lesson: what God does not want to have happen, does not happen. Laugh or scoff as you might, but the force which runs about and through us, and makes all things which are made, has greater power to orchestrate the factors in our lives, and make sure that the greater event holds sway, than any of our little egos are wont to allow. I met this absolute force of will, and it stopped me and caused me more grief than I am prepared to relate. And that is all there is to it.
Looking back I can chuckle at my rage towards the heavens then, at my clenched fist cussing and calling down the maleficent force which had set me up. But I had to find, as we all must find, that what we most desire is not necessarily what is best for us. And I had to go crazy with sadness and mad with confusion over this love lost as quickly as it was found, and I had to leave Vancouver again for a spell and head down to Northern California, and I had to wander amongst the giant redwoods, alone and feeble and distraught because God was against me, and I had to walk and walk and walk and drink myself away in a little town with a little bar called, interestingly enough, ‘Jack’s Pub’, and then I had to walk and walk and walk again until finally coming to peace in a tiny motel in the middle of nowhere; a motel, which, like myself, had a few lights missing, and, laughingly enough, would spell out the message of my imperfect gaze in bold and unquestionable terms, for, as I came upon this little motel in the woods, as the sun went out dying into the Pacific, there, on the last day of my insane pilgrimage, lay the bold and clear letters spelling out both the place I would lay my head that night, and the consequence of my own myopia: JACK’S MOTE_. Some lights had gone out on the sign, and the L was missing in the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God, and the word became flesh and descended into my darkness, extracting the beam from my spirit eye, and I went to sleep that night and awoke a less bitter and a stronger man for my errors.
That loss, which drove me practically insane, led, however, on to a further, inward realization, as loss always does if you are strong enough to flip the coin and take what you’re given into the welcoming wind. Many hard lessons which I learned through loss and struggle in my outward life became valuable insights which would expedite my inner process later on.
Regret is a matter of perspective; to have regret is to not yet know that every external failure is leading to an internal victory. Regret is the interstice of time in between the two. For would a relief pitcher in baseball, who, when warming up in the bullpen before being called into the game, and failing to throw a single strike in a hundred attempts- would that pitcher, when finally on the mound and throwing strike after strike, and in the end winning the game for the team, would he later sit alone, sombrely regretting his errant attempts while warming up? I think not.
The pain and confusion I suffered when my elder anima withdrew from me- or was withdrawn from me by the force of the law, so to speak- after our brief but intense love affair, which caused me in the end to condemn and curse the bumbling bureaucrats in heaven, and their seemingly pernicious intervention, would in the end provide a lesson which would later quicken my internal movement from the sacred marriage of the microcosm, to that of the macrocosm- which is an event that is, as always, obscure, and sublime, and not so easily delineated as words might make it seem. For it was during the loss and aftermath of this physical relation that I was given dreams and understandings telling me that she was not the correct partner for me- that another woman, whose soul was more suited to the destiny of my own, had already been sighted and chosen and that I needed only to be patient- a characteristic which was seemingly absent from my psychological makeup at the time- throughout it all, and the great plan would come to fruition. Needless to say that despite my initial disparaging remarks to the firmament, and my vocal ingratitude, the prophesied relationship eventually occurred and the chosen woman became an essential aspect in the furthering of my heart and spirit, which is to say, she was the one who became my soror mystica, as mentioned earlier. And so once again I could only throw up my arms in bewildered hallelujahs and wait for the next test to arise, as they are wont to do on the awkward path of the hapless chela.
Anyway, it was largely due to this outward scenario which I have just described that, a while later, near the end of a process which culminates a certain period of the inner work, I had taken another caretaking position and was looking after some cabins, boats, ducks, and chickens in the remote, untouched wilderness of the southern Charlottes, but this time I was completely alone for a month of psychic involution and communion with the land. Furthermore I had just recently learned to descend my microcosmic consciousness- my self- into my microcosmic being- my body-, thus finally enjoying the ecstatic union of spirit and flesh- of the male and female aspects of my own being; aspects which had been becoming more individually apparent and more conscious of their uniqueness, and therefore more capable of recognizing each other and uniting.
And so, projecting my non-being into the flesh of being I could bring forth a sort of peaceful union which is only possible once the two polar opposites are separated unto themselves and then reunited. It was as if an internal union was taking place which brought about a tranquillity and sense of well being which I had never experienced in the previous years of my exhilarating ride from plateau to valley and back up again on the indefatigable roller-coaster of existence.
And so, continuing on with this procedure, it happened one night in a dream that these two halves- the male and the female- came together and I could see that they were vibrating at very different frequencies, in altogether disparate patterns, but as the two bodies merged into one, the frequencies blended, creating a new harmony, a harmony which would have been impossible to achieve for either of them left on their own.
An electric explosion from this union awoke me as the energy shot about disentangling itself. At that point the complete and everlasting union had not come to pass, but I was given to understand the magic and beauty of this internal marriage- the mysterium coniunctionis, or chemical wedding- by which the one becomes two and then the two merge back into a wholly new one. The next night Venus came to me in a dream and said that from the union the night before the mystical child would be born.
This ethereal coming-together is symbolically similar to the courting ritual of eagles, in which the two flirting birds will fly high up into the air, then grab hold of each other, stall in their ascent, and then plummet downward, grappling and wrestling with each other and spinning about in a mad, tumbling descent- which is the oddest form of foreplay I’ve ever seen- and then break apart before hitting the turf, only to fly back up again and have another tussle with each other’s loins. I say that the spirit and soul join in a similar fashion, as they grapple while descending towards the ascending flesh, in the perilous mating of essence and form.
To be sure, the event of my own inner coming-together complicated my efforts to feed the chickens and bail out the boats which I was caretaking- it is tough to rocket off into space and also take out the garbage- but it is always essential to stay somewhat grounded, lest the lightning come down and incinerate the electrodes.
And so I kept on with my duties, minimal as they were, and kept on walking amongst, and living with and loving the Earth, and let the process run on its own- in the darkly catalysed body- inalterable speed, as it is intended to do, for I have found that many problems come simply by inhibiting a natural movement which, if allowed, will progress along on its unconstrained way.
Thus it happened that, as quickly as in the manifest event earlier- when my elder anima and sister on the Tree of Life and I were parted, and I was left to drift and then to be led to the intended union- I again felt the greater Self divide the male and female halves of my microcosmic, inner self again. This caused a certain level of anxiety and confusion, to be sure, but it was because of the previous experience- of the coming together and then the taking apart- that I relaxed and listened and realized that if I surrendered to the Self (as if there was an option) an even greater union might occur- the marriage of the Macrocosmic Consciousness, the Father, with the Macrocosmic Body, the Mother Earth.
It is as if the lower union had to be temporarily divided so that the higher selves could meet. For true wholeness does not exist within the microcosm, because only the macrocosm is whole, because it is the whole thing.
I once read in an esoteric text- the kind that falls into your hands with indescribable synchronicity, right at the time your path has become profound and confusing- that, in occult circles, it is considered the second greatest union to mate with one’s mystical sister, and the highest union to mate with one’s mystical mother.
I suppose this is what symbolically happened to me both times- that initially I had so desired the first option, that I could not see anything else, and so I had to be grabbed from above and taken off course so that I would not bungle my highest destiny and mate with a Sister, instead of The Mother.
It is interesting to note that my soror belongs to the spiritual archetype of my biological mother as well. But my soror was much more than even that. Much, much more, to the point where I realized that in her I had met myself- inverted and flipped about in the warping mirrors and vortices of the ether perhaps, but she was me, and I was her; that is, we were the same being, only reflected through the cosmos in a different way; we were ‘twin souls’ as the term is known in esoteric circles. Thus, being in relationship with her created a convergence of aspects I had never read nor heard about: a soror mystica, who belonged to my mother’s archetype, and who was my other self, and also my lover.
And who, in the history of the occult world, could have imagined such an implausible and irregular happening?
Anyway, the marriage of the Father and Mother within me would not come to complete fulfilment on that trip either. There were still some things to work out, one which would take me to the other side of the earth, and to another place where the two cosmic Parents had gone to war thousands of years ago, and were now attempting to reunite. But that’s another tale altogether.
It was also during this care-taking and monastic stint, down in the southern wilderness of the Charlottes- which was the single longest duration I had yet spent alone, in total isolation- that so much had been cleared out and fell away from me that my insides felt as if a giant psychic enema had been gushing in and washing things out for weeks, and taking all the shit inside me with it, so that when I lay down in bed at night, before drifting off to sleep, I would fall further and further away from identity until I left the orbit of my little existence and entered into the vast space of consciousness which exists within each of us, and there, with an adroit non-effort, I would negate myself and vanish completely, and all that would remain was the living space of the Self behind the self, which was my true Self.
Finally, my true Self, the one who I was beneath it all. And by returning to It the dam between non-being and being broke open, and the lifeblood of divine energy came rushing out of the space, and into the body, exciting and rejuvenating the connection between them again.
In order for this to happen I had to completely forget about myself, to evict any idea of who I was or whatever compelled me. I had to become as small as a tiny flame and then blow myself out. Only then did my Godself wash through me, unimpeded, and the contiguous ocean fell into the tiny drop that was me.
In doing so I found, as I disappeared from within myself, another I which was also me. It emerged and encompassed me, and the soft electric energy of the larger dimension would pour down, upon, and through me as the first I regained itself without losing the second I which was surrounding it and all else; I am inside I, self within Self, body immersed in consciousness, a presence within a presence, and both of them are me. And the energy poured forth like this until I fell asleep, or fell back into identity, whichever dream world came first
This was a tremendous rite, one which had been hovering seemingly far out of reach from the moment I started my inward pursuit, a decade earlier. Back then I had gotten up and going before I knew where, or why, or who, or how, or what was happening. I was up and going and running from not-God to God, and back and forth, on and on through all the merciless stages in between. Flailing and fighting, struggling, loving, laughing, stumbling, squirming, wondering, asking, listening, surrendering, and then back up and flailing again. At first I was a madman, then a saint, a liar, a preacher, a thief, a soldier, a hero, a loser, a servant, a tyrant, a victim, a fool. I was up and at it, and going through the howling darkness and glee, through the gratitude and contempt and worship and spit. I was a part of it, none of it, no one, some one, everyone, and all. I was never sure and always certain. I couldn’t give in and I couldn’t go on. How it came to be so I had no clue. I couldn’t start it nor stop it nor join in. It happened without me participating and it happened because of me. In between God and not-god I loved and hurt and lost and grew and shrank, and was built and broken in the stress and calm of non-meaning.
It’s a hapless lot of incalculable madness, this happening.
When everything begins to go right and wrong simultaneously, and you lose the ability to tell the difference, for there is no difference, and either way you don’t really give a damn, because life has flopped up and down on you so many times that, like a person on a crazy ride at the country fair, you lose the intensity, the fear, and the joy of the event, and instead sink carelessly back into yourself; for you have become psychologically gimbaled and unable to lose your sense of equilibrium.
When you have lived existence out completely in its manifold directions- when you have thought and fought, pondered and wondered, yearned and wept, hated and loved- all to their furthest extent, and yet you are still unbroken, still earnest, still alive and mad for life, still strong and fighting, still driven on and on like that wild hare fleeing the unforgiving hounds- the most unexpected shift eventually occurs; the self dissolves in the vision of its limitless dimensions, the mind loses meaning, the heart loses loss, and the whole swollen mess of life literally flips inside out, and upside down- as occasionally it seems wont to do- and everything changes at once, yet nothing has changed.
When pain is no longer painful, joy no longer a thrill, life no longer a teeter-totter between estranged opposites, then the leveling-off is well under way. That is when you become dangerous and necessary to the world, because you are outside of its struggles; you become a random particle, divorced from the chains and rules of life, and so you are both needed and distrusted, admired and despised, and praised and blamed, because other people’s troubles are no longer your troubles, their taboos no longer your taboos, their sorrows are no longer painful, and their euphorias mere trifles to you. You are beyond their sufferings, concerns, and desires, and therefore all powerful and yet powerless amongst them.
Always thundering forward like this, it has to go on and on, all the while stopping without ending, because everything is always ending and nothing ever ends, though it only comes back to us when we let it go, because it was ours to begin with and we only had to stop chasing it in order to be caught. That is when God and not-God happen together. The wheel grows wings. The lion lies down with the lamb. One eye weeps from laughter, the other from pain. And suddenly you’re always separate and never apart. You have become what nobody told you you were. And it is finished.