Two weeks ago, I found myself in that rare space of having just come out of a dream but was not fully awake. In this lucid state, I knew that the veil was very thin and that based on past experiences, I could ask questions of the cosmos and get answers that I’ll remember as if the conversation takes place during the day.
A lingering question that emerged earlier during the day before was where might my soul group be from. It’s not like I had a burning desire to know and I don’t think that information is necessary for me to do my vocation here. Yet, since I was in that lucid state, I thought I’d go ahead and ask.
I felt strongly that I had the cosmos on the other end of the telephone line, as it were. I was very aware that I was not alone and that I was being heard. I consciously sent out a thought/feeling that was a combination of, “Where did I come from?” “Who are my people?” and “What is my mission?” Before I even finished my thought/feeling, I received an immediate vision and information.
It was as if someone STAMPED an image of a cross right in my line of sight and I heard/felt the words, “I follow the way of the Cross.”
There were many feelings and ideas that I instantly received along with this vision. First, I knew that the answers to my questions, especially as to my cosmic origins were unimportant for my mission here. I could learn this information in the future but it would be a distant second in terms of importance compared with the reason why I incarnated.
That reason was confirmed once again for me. I follow the way of the cross. I chose this path, preincarnationally. What is this path? What is the way of the cross?
How I received this vision was that the way of the cross is the way of living with the tension of all of the paradoxes in life, especially inside of me. To be on the cross is to willingly position myself at the axis mundi, the archetypal center point where seeming contradictions are held together in balance until they resolve themselves through acceptance, forgiveness, and gratitude.
I am very aware of my own contradictions which perplex me. During a single day, I can feel deep shame at how phony, little, petty, insecure, ignorant, immature, and broken I am. Then, there are moments in the same day where I feel so completely whole, joyful, and grateful that I stop being me and become Love, Itself. In those moments, I feel that I am a nodal point of the Infinite Creator that sees the world from my little vantage point but sees with eyes that aren’t mine. It’s as if God in me sees God outside of me and the whole circle is complete. My little self and the Big Self merge in those moments. Rather, they are always merged, in total union (as are all beings), but my perception or conscious awareness in those moments drops away and I participate in what Meister Eckhart described so perfectly, “The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God’s eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love.”
You’d think that I’d be able to stay there, to stay “enlightened,” as it were. But no. Maybe this would be true for some people, but for me, back on the cross I go because if I try to stay there or force that kind of experience, then it slips away and I begin to feel too full of myself or I begin to doubt how I can live in the so-called mundane world again.
It’s a tricky thing. If I stay focused on the joy and ecstasy, which may be the natural state in such moments, then I begin to take the reins and quickly the experience starts to activate my imagination where I envision myself wanting to communicate this experience to others so they can experience it, too. While this may not be a bad impulse, it is a drop down from the experience, itself, and there is a kind of subtle urgency that creeps in. This, then, moves me into my egoic self fairly quickly and I end up sliding into self-doubt and unworthiness.
If I stay there too long, I find myself almost possessed by what Eckhart Tolle describes as the “pain body.” I compare myself to others, I find myself unworthy and wanting. I mentally and emotionally scrounge around for stability with a kind of frenzied energy.
Then, once I awaken to the fact that I have once again lost perspective, I can practice the simple exercises I know that work and enter into the present moment with curiosity. I can become the witness that watches myself dancing for attention and calling out in neediness. But if I press too much into the witnessing role, I start to wonder if I’m even doing that right and pretty soon I can fall right back into another possession of a pain body. In wanting to fully enter into the present moment, I miss the present moment. Ironic.
Yet, and here is where the cross is so important, if I choose to stay on the cross, this center axis, then I can let joy be joy and not try to control it or use it for motivation to do something. I can let it be. When I do that, I flow right into overwhelming gratitude where I instinctually and without any thought of my own, offer myself back to the One in an act of self-emptying (kenosis). I become completely flooded with an tsunami of generosity and desire to pour myself out into the world, back to the One who first gave to me this grace. My mind, my body, my spirit say in unison, “Take what is Yours, receive what is Yours since all I have and all that I am, is Yours because we are One and we are in each other.” The mundane present moment opens up to a felt-sense of timelessness, as if it is the touchstone, the access point to the heart of the Infinite Creator. I become reminded of Ra’s proclamation, “Love is all there is…[and] the moment contains love.”
When I can do that, then I don’t desire or have any need to craft a narrative of the experience and I can let it be as it is without labeling. This is also true of the so-called negative emotions that I feel daily. When I don’t hold on to them tightly and don’t let them define me, then I can let them be, too. I can give them their space and place inside of me without trying to kill them or separate myself from them. Rather, I move through the pain by not allowing myself to be seduced by its urgent messages. I can acknowledge pain’s presence, and then forgive it. This is cross-living for me and it is sometimes a moment by moment choice to stay crucified in the Now. And the Now is where all of the wonder happens and I have found that it is my greatest, and always present, teacher. To live crucified is to intentionally live bearing my wholeness of being which includes joy, peace, and ecstasy, too. For me, to choose this kind of vulnerable wholeness is to finally live fully human. Cross-living is how I fulfill the oft-mention statement: we are spiritual beings having a human experience.
Why do I share this now? I was asked to and through discernment that has lasted a few days, I feel okay that it is not coming entirely from a place of narcissism inside of me. The bottom line of living the way of the cross for me is this: I willingly attempt to hold open my heart to my small self, my needy and insecure self, without harsh or negative energy. This allows me to have compassion for myself. I also open my heart to the world and know that my heart will be broken. It seems that to live wholeheartedly is to know that I will hurt because the world is hurting. I will be vulnerable to the hurt in my brothers and sisters and I shall not try to close this wound up. If we are all one, as I know we are, then all of the world’s hurts are my suffering and my suffering is a microcosm of the macrocosm.
To stay on the cross is to live life at its most daring because I admit right up front that I am vulnerable. And it is through vulnerability do I draw my strength because there is great power in the energetic confluence of liminal space.
My vocation, I am joyful to say, is to live like the crucified one who became our living ankh. I follow the way of the cross.