Last week, I have written a blog post with a title, ‘What if it is a retreat instead of a quarantine?’ There I have mentioned the retreat tradition in Sufi culture, which I feel connected. On the other hand, I am living in Spain right now, and here actually it is Lent (Cuaresma) time, the 40 days purification time which we are still in. It will finish next week on the 9th of April.
ONCE I GO DEEPER, I COULD FLY HIGH
I could feel the importance of symbols. I could relate to the phrase saying that once I go deeper, I could fly high. Since my little girl came to this life 3 years ago, it has been a deeper journey for me to my roots, where I could relate to my ancestors. Each time I go and connect deeper, I feel like I could become a shining star, flying high above.
This week, my intention was writing about Holy Week which will take place between the 5th and 12th of April this year. In Spain, Holy Week (Semana Santa), has always been one of the most important days during the year for the tradition, whereas as I did not grow up with this richness of symbols, I could not feel connected to it very easily. So my intention was for connection with its meaning. I made my intention and then let it go.
This morning while I was listening to music, I felt the urge to put the lyrics of Farther Along, from Josh Garrels to co-sing it. It has been on my Spotify list for a while, whenever I listen, I feel connected to it. This time while paying my attention to the lyrics, I have realized that the symbols of the holy week I was looking for were in this song.
WHILE LISTENING TO HIS SONG…
I can relate to his path- the hero’s journey. The path that we are all taking in the search of the truth, where only LOVE can open the doors, where we all need a rope, a rope of God which one can hold through faith. I can see the house of mirrors full of smoke, where we are all mirrors of God and if only, we could clean the smoke to shine brighter.
I can feel the joy and proud for those who could courageously escape the seductive voice with a heart of faith while walking back home.
I can see the life with full of beauty that is unfolding each moment. I know deep inside that I am blessed by God and I can wash away all the things I have done, the river of Forgiveness is there for me.
I know that this journey is full of falling and standing ups and yes as the song says;
‘Still get hard pressed on every side
Between the rock and a compromise
Like the truth and pack of lies fighting for my soul
And I’ve got no place left to go
Cause I got changed by what I’ve been shown
There’s more glory than the world has known
Keeps me ramblin’ on…’
I know that we are in the kingdom of God and we are his guests. We are here because we have been invited.
While listening and singing again and again with Josh Garrels this morning, I suddenly think about the book that I am reading right now: Living Your Unlived Life. Coping with Unrealized Dreams and Fulfilling Your Purpose in the Second Half of Life. Robert A. Johnson and Jerry M. Ruhl.
I quickly wrote down below the phrases that I underlined with amusement this week while reading:
SYMBOLIC LIFE: CURING OUR ONE-SIDEDNESS
…It is symbolic life that allows us to move beyond the regrets, disappointments, and limitations of unlived life and thereby achieve meaning and fulfillment. Our capacity to engage mythic sensibility is what makes spiritual experience possible. As Jesus suggested, the kingdom of heaven is spread all over the earth, and yet we do not see it. We experience greater awareness through encounters with that which we are not. If mysteries were knowable directly, they would not be mysteries. *(1)
SIGN VERSUS SYMBOLS
…A symbol has not one but many possible meanings and points beyond itself. What we call a symbol is a term, a name or an image that may be familiar to us but which through its connotation and application also points to hidden, vague, or unknown meanings. For example, the image of the cross. For Christians, a cross means much more than the intersection of two lines. It has wider unconscious aspects, qualities that can never be precisely defined or fully explained. Jung pointed out that in exploring symbols, our minds are led beyond reason and logic. There are innumerable things beyond the range of rational human understanding. *(2)
…The unifying power of symbols is one of the deepest and most powerful secrets of human life. That power is embodied in all the world’s great religious systems, art, poetry, music, science, and culture. We have a deep and rich heritage of symbolic life, but something has gone wrong with our relationship to many of the symbols contained within our cultural traditions. Modern society has lost the power of symbolic life, though we have not escaped our need for it. *(3)
…When you allow symbolic images to arise from within, and then in your imagination, you begin to talk to and interact with these inner figures, the dialogue will reveal things you never knew about yourself. *(4)
THE HUNGER FOR SYMBOLIC LIFE
…Religious traditions are rich in customs and ceremonies for meeting anything that might befall a person. There are rituals to help carry us over a threshold during life transitions such as birth, becoming an adult, marriage, and death. For some people, prescribed rituals still work effectively. Sometimes you can modify a religious ritual to meet your requirements and thereby devise the medicine (ceremony) that is exactly right for your particular ailment- this is the highest form of creativity. *(5)
…Jung, writing in the 1950s could see that people in the west were increasingly living without a symbolic life. ‘Only the symbolic life can express the need of the soul – the daily need of the soul, mind you! And because people have no such thing, they can never step out of this awful, grinding, banal life in which they are ‘nothing but’, he wrote. *(6)
HEART OPENING MORNING
Just then a friend of mine from Indonesia sent me the Sufi song sang by her.
The song that I had sung when we were all together in a sound healing therapist education. She connected to it and sang it and sent me back. Listening to her I felt again this love. This love is greater than anything else.
These are all that I have lived in some hours’ time, during this morning. It has been a heart-opening morning. I feel blessed. I feel connected. I feel one. I feel the symbols are talking to me and I am choosing to love and walk in the forest of mystery. The holy week is just here, coming.
Farther along we’ll know all about it
Farther along we’ll understand why
So cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We’ll understand this, all by and by.
*(3) p. 84,
*(4) p. 85,
*(5) p. 99
*(6) p. 99