Tag Archives: life’s meaning

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~   ]

I know now that for a life to have any sort of meaning it has to be experienced from the point of view of having asked one big question. You may well ask, what do you mean by ‘a big question’ and I will reply, I mean such a question which, no matter how you try to find an answer for will remain unanswered. You can watch TV ‘til your cross-eyed, scour the internet, pray, ask whomever, do research, meditate, ponder. You can read philosophy, study all the greatest collected wisdom, watch Ted Talks or even play with algorithms and everything you put in that basket will fall out the bottom.  

That’s it, that’s what real life is: a question bigger than anything a single life can ever answer and no one else has ever asked and given answers to. You see, a big question does not lead you in circles. You’ve all heard the saying, that doing the same thing over and over expecting different results is the definition of insanity. So think: isn’t that what our civilization (so called) has trapped the population of an entire world into doing? It’s our endless search using repetitive small questions that is bringing us and our bullshit accomplishments (again so-called) to their ignoble and much deserved end.

You may not agree and that is certainly your prerogative. You may continue to think about your traditional answers to your endless small questions and they will gladly continue to drive you to power society’s squirrel cage with their trite, repetitively useless non-answers.

If you would put an end to your personal contribution to society’s merry-go-round; if you would figure out a way to exercise your mind outside the pointless running with the herd up the forever collapsing side of the squirrel cage, try to ask one really big question.

The answer is always in the question, of course, or there could be no question, but you have to know how to ask the question if you would extract an answer from it. It takes imagination, courage, daring, commitment, dedication and I daresay compassion to ask one big question knowing that eventually an answer will begin to form to hang over your head like the sword of Damocles.

Each big question’s answer will demand your life. No, not your physical life, that is of little consequence to any big question, but your mind’s life. It will demand that you be ready to change your mind completely and endlessly – without ever reverting to simplistic answers given by little questions. Without ever going back to the squirrel cage even if you discover that you are the only one who jumped out and are standing alone while the herd frantically continues to power the spinning wheel that makes all the great evils of this world endlessly possible, or as endless as there is a world to sustain such foolish and enormously wasteful expenditure of finite energy.

Whatever your big question was that propelled you out from the thundering stampede, it now begins to formulate an answer.

You didn’t start out to go on some quest to the top of a mountain, to the jungle or in the deep desert – no, no such romantic idiocy that also brings you full circle. You just asked one big question, your big question. And only you, standing alone “far from the madding crowd” can ever formulate and hear the bits and pieces of your big answer. Only then will you also realize that it is on the formulation of that answer that you will cross the threshold into death and beyond where you will continue from one existential riddle to the next.  

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Inland pond – along the Fraser River, August 15, 2020

 

Search for the Meaning of Life

[thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha’Tara]

Life, I ask myself, late in the night as I ponder reality: what is life? I know what I think it is; I know what I’ve read about it; I know many other peoples’ thoughts on it, but none of that answers my question. Is life a ‘what’? Is it a ‘who’? Is it a guide? Something to be endured, gotten over with on the way to something else?

I suppose my question makes as much sense as a sardine asking itself what the ocean is. Unless I can travel all of time and space, and beyond time, such it seems must remain the unsolvable riddle, the unanswerable question. Yet knowing this only makes me want to wander the labyrinth even more. I don’t want out of there until I have received a satisfactory answer.

Am I meant to live forever then, forever searching for an answer to my ultimate “Why?” and never arriving at that answer: is that how it works? Or, am I meant to discover the answer serendipitously, by assembling the puzzle pieces through a series of events based on some common sense and pure luck?

Is life the greatest master teacher or the final trickster? Or as some have tried to convince me, nothing more than a meaningless happenstance you go through once never to be heard of again?

If one were to either through luck or good management discover the secret of life, would that answer all the other “why’s” that led to the final answer? Wouldn’t I not then be asking why was such and such a process used to create all the pieces of life’s puzzle? Why pain? Why happiness overshadowed by loss? Why they good crushed under the jack boots of evil? Of sorrow and joy, why can’t one exist without the other?

Tonight I experienced another of those recurrent bouts of empathy for a world I don’t even particularly like or care for: a world I just happen to be in at this time. I “saw” people, not as groups, collectives, races, ages, genders, but as individuals, yes even in their billions, like rain drops falling in a storm-tossed ocean. It was a wave of sorrow for this world so powerful I had to find some support to lean on, my legs did not want to support me. The world, mankind, passed through my mind and all my physical energy was focused there.

Life, so it seemed, was passing through me as through a filter.  There were sobs, sighs and tears and I thought, yes, that is what it means to become an empath. You feel but it’s a knowing, aware feeling, not an emotion that flares and dies and leaves you free to continue where you left off. This changes you, each time it happens it gives birth to a new awareness of life, a new ‘you.’

So that’s where it’s at for me in my current understanding of the meaning of life. It is an endless birthing of new awareness; an awareness that determines the path I must walk until another birthing happens, then the path changes again. Push, feel the pain, along with the need to bring this about, push again and again, then rejoice in what is birthed.

Nurture this preciousness until the next time.

Life means there will always be a next time.

Voice from the Other Side: Lessons of the High Priest to Ix’tal

 

As I remembered it, and as I wrote it, another lesson from the world of the Nagual.

The following story, which is my story from past life memory work, is not a “politically correct” story according to this world’s current understanding.  Although man “sacrifices” thousands of helpless victims everyday, the willing blood sacrifice from a chosen ‘victim’ carries a powerful social stigma.  I believe that this stigma is designed to help hide all the crimes perpetrated by this society upon helpless sacrifices deemed necessary to the maintenance of “freedom and democracy” (or whatever other slogans people use to propagate their particular brand of society) and the dichotomy in this belief is never considered, its consequences never explored.  It wasn’t always so.  There was a time when understanding of the cycle of life, death and re-birth, was real and palpable.  We lived to die and rise again, and we wanted our death to mean something.  The following is my attempt, from what I re-structured of a long ago life, of what that meant to me then, and what it means now that I have re-strung that thread upon my current needle.  Please accept it in the spirit of compassionate, caring, power in which it is offered.   
{from   ~burning woman~  written by Sha’Tara}

Voice from the Other Side: Lessons of the High Priest to Ix’tal

 “And you will hear and understand the voices of the dead.” (Teaching of Aenea – Rise of Endymion, by Dan Simmons)

 It is a long time ago, in what is thought of as the days of the great South American empires; the heydays after the great Quetzalcoatl had left us a marvellous civilization.

 What I was told:  My earth parents had made many petitions to the Temple for the Sun God to grant them a son.  But my mother, it seems, was barren.  Yet late in life she became pregnant.  She had, not one child, but two: a boy and girl twins.  As befitted the occasion, the infant girl was gifted to the Temple to be trained in the mysteries of the Sun God religion.  As she grew up, she could qualify to be one of a select group of girls from whom would be chosen the yearly sacrifice to the God, to become the Chosen.

 My name is Ix’tal.  It is not my real name but my Temple name.  I have lived my entire life of fourteen years within the confines of this place.  The other girls are my friends but we are encouraged to spend much time alone in quiet introspection.  My best friend is the old High Priest who oversees our training.  I remember, near the time of the choosing, a particular conversation.  There were a half dozen girls in the room.

 “None of you have ever known hurt, pain or suffering.  These have been carefully kept from you.  The temple has provided for all of your needs and has trained you into many arts which all but one of you will soon find very useful when you leave here.  Now tell me, do you understand what I mean when I say, you do not know what pain and suffering is?

 The girls nod affirmatively.  I look into the old man’s face and say, “I am sorry master, but I do not.  How could I?  If I have never experienced a thing, how could I know what it is like to not have experienced it?  One must come from the other and vice-versa.”

 “A wise answer.  Do you miss this not knowing?” 

 “The question begs the same answer, master.  One cannot miss not knowing if one does not know of the possibility of knowing.”

 “Ah… And do you feel we have kept things from you here in the Temple?”

 “Master, within the choices given me, I chose to serve the Sun God.  To dedicate my life to his desires for me.  Whether things were kept from me or not does not matter.  What came to me, I received because I choose to believe that is what He desired for me.  The rest would have been a hindrance or superfluous.  I am His as I am.”

 “Blameless and without blemish are you in this, your fourteenth year with us.  You have made our choice easy.  You have been Chosen.”  There was a sigh in the room.  Both of relief and of sorrow.  But what I remember is the joy of revelation. 

 And the rest I will never forget.  At the equinox, I was dressed in a simple white robe.  I was escorted by the High Priest to the foot of the pyramid of sacrifice behind which burned the eternal flame linking the Temple to the Sun God’s palace in the heavens.  Carrying in my hand the knife used for the ritual, I walked the 33 steps to a narrow platform at the top.  I turned and faced the people, all chanting and bowing in the yard below.  Were my parents there?  I would never know and it did not matter, just a fleeting thought. 

 The High Priest then climbed in turn to stand two steps below me so his face was even with mine.  He was tall and I was short!

 I could still choose to live.  I could hand the knife in its heavy gold case back to the High Priest.  I would then be given some survival rations and gear and cast out into the forests to fend for myself.  I would not be harmed but would be an outcast, never able to return to this land.  Or, I could pull the knife from its golden case and holding the razor-sharp serpentine blade in my hand, pass the handle to the High Priest.

I seemed filled with a strange power I had anticipated but never known.  The choice at that  moment was so easy, so unbelievably easy!

Slipping the knife out of its case, I passed it to my friend and he took it.  He had confided in me before, “I shall endeavour to be as brave as you will be in your innocence.  But please forgive me if my hand shakes, for I love you dearly and I would rather kill myself than cut your heart open in this ritual.  Do you understand that?”

 “Yes, master, that I do understand.  And the little I know of love, I extend to you in return.  We will not fail.”

 The master was an adept.  He slipped his left hand behind my back to hold me and he cut my heart in half without hesitation.  As the blood poured out, he took some in his hand and put it on my head: this was my baptism and initiation for passage to the Sun God’s world.  As my body collapsed he pushed gently backward and I fell into the fire.  What I remember of that moment is the most intense feeling of joy any sentient being, I believe, could ever know.  Had I not already been dying, that feeling would have stopped my heart in any case.

 I remember conversations we had about life with the Sun God. 

 “Does every sacrificed Temple virgin become a bride of the Sun God?”

 “Yes.”

 “How many wives does He have, then?”

 With a broad smile:  “Only one.  It is not like here.  Time flows differently.  While you are his bride and wife, no one else will share this with you.  But you will desire to know more of life and He will give you many, many choices.  If you wish, you can return to earth.  He will make you into a ball of light and you will choose a mother and enter her womb at the moment of conception.  You can be a boy or a girl.  You won’t remember where you came from and you will have a normal life, although you may find that this “normal” life is not satisfying.  You will hunger for more, as anyone who has spent time with the God must.  Eventually, you will begin to remember. 

 As I did.  That is why I am High Priest here now.

 “What if I choose not to leave His side?”

 “Would you deny the next Chosen her rightful place in His life?”

 “No, of course not.  But if I fall ‘in love’ with Him?  What then?”

“You will be too wise and strong for such lesser feelings, my daughter.  You will know and it will be easy the choose the right path, always.  Your first real choice, to die in order to live, that is the most difficult.  Do that as impeccably as you have lived you life here with us and you will know. 

 Now let me tell you what it really means to be ‘Chosen’.  It means to become compassion.  That is what “knowing” means.  The rituals of the Ancients remind us, always, there is no higher calling.  And perhaps in some distant other life, this you will remember.  The lives we live and the deaths we die often bear strange fruit.  Many generations may pass before such seeds suddenly burst open.  Then, if it was engendered in joy, you will experience that joy once more — and it will all be yours.  You see, when we give ourselves up for others we give ourselves the greatest gift there ever was and possibly ever will be.  Life, as you will experience, is only about giving.  Whatever only feels the need to take and to hoard to itself is not truly alive.

 “I am confused.  Why does the Sun God “take” virgin sacrifices then?”

“A great mystery, child.  He does not take.  He frees.  In this world the lot of such as you is not remarkable.  Your life in the world, apart from being short, is filled with grief and sorrow interspersed with fleeting moments of happiness and even rarer joy.  The dangers to health and well-being are endless.  The God would have you by-pass that, just this time around so you may know there exists such a possibility.  The blood sacrifice is all of your life’s pains, sorrows, losses and grief’s combined into one act of selfless dedication to a communal dream of blessing — healthy children, peace from enemies and abundant crops.  One beautiful plunge to be followed by flight into the heavens to stand at the side of the God.  Having experienced this miracle, your compassion will then be forever sustained by this knowledge.  You won’t need to believe, you will know.

 [From “Lessons of the High Priest to Ix’tal”]