Wednesday 2020: Standing in the Balance
|HOLY WEEK CONTEMPLATION #4|
|WEDNESDAY: STANDING IN THE BALANCE|
QUALITY: MOVEMENT AND BALANCE
In this year of the corona virus, humanity, wrapped in the cocoon of mandated quarantine, faces essential questions of life.
Unfortunately, many will be confronted with urgent questions of survival, perhaps not able to secure housing, food and essential supplies. The foundations of society are confronted with the very real image of death. As the days crawl by, we have watched enough movies, done enough puzzles, to last a lifetime. If we are lucky, we are gifted the chance to go outside often enough to breathe clean air, hear birdsong and enjoy the greening of spring. We are able to enjoy good food and loving conversations with those near us.
But all of this poses the urgent question: What are you really doing with yourself in this time of retreat?
What balance are you finding in this weeks of quarantine?
Now restricted to the interior rooms of our dwellings, our interior spaces open up. By this I mean: the interior spaces of our souls. Increasingly we find: it is time to face the inner questions, such as: can I be comfortable in my own skin? am I driven by the incessant urge to distract myself? does the societal fear drummed up to a fever pitch take root in me, too?
Centuries ago, Henry David Thoreau chose to seek out these states of self-isolation. He chose to move into the woods to be alone, writing he wanted to “confront only the essential facts of life, and not, when it came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
In my own experience, this time is a gift to confront these essential fact. For when all else fades away, there is only one true place we can go to find the authentic self, and that is the center of the heart. In our threefold self, neither the mind nor the gut alone can give us the balance that we need. We need to find the fulcrum point of our selves in the heart.
True: we need clarity of thought to stream through all of our consciousness, to be honestly seeking understanding and wisdom. And as long as we live on the earth, we need to feel the power of being grounded in caring for the needs of the present day.
But it is the heart—the heart chakra— that can hold the dynamic balance between these extremes.
In my eurythmy practice, this feeling becomes somatic. Standing quietly, we can cultivate the experience that the heart has an “interior door to the infinite.” When we center ourselves in the heart, we can be aware of many wonders simultaneously: the present moment and the infinite, the heavens and the earth, the head and the limbs, self and others.
In the heart, you are both World and Self. Here is the home of the Spirit Self, being born in you through your life journey.
Here we learn to love life.
Here there is no fear of death.
This is the lesson of Wednesday, the middle of the week, the day of Balance.
WEDNESDAY OF HOLY WEEK
In the meditative journey through Holy Week, Wednesday stands at the midpoint, offering the fulcrum in the unfolding drama. Midpoints always imply a crisis, and a turning point. Here we move from what has been towards what will become.
Holy Week marks the journey of Christ’s last week of his life on earth in the body and soul of Jesus. We could also say it marks the journey of the human being Jesus as he walked through the last week of his life on earth bearing the stupendous power of the Christ in every aspect of his being.How could this limitless Creating Spirit and this earth-man merge into one? How could God become so small, and the human being become so pure a vessel that they could become one perfect union?
And to take the next step: how can I work on my own self so that I, too, can become a vessel for creation, for God?
In the story of Holy Week in the Bible, Wednesday presents us with two powerful archetypal figures in Jesus’ circles. One is Mary Magdalene, who kneels at his feet with a bottle of precious ointment and anoints him with the devotional power of her overwhelming love. The other is Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus. It is said that he had been hoping that Christ would reveal himself to the world as a fully public savior and bring political and social peace to the world. He grew impatient with Mary’s deed, and fled to Jesus’ enemies. For the price of 30 pieces of silver, he revealed to them where Jesus could be found, and led them to him the following night.
In the crisis of Wednesday, these archetypes can speak deeply to our souls. Don’t we all bear within ourselves two souls: the idealist and the pragmatist, the generous and the greedy, the pure and the impure? How can we balance the polarities in our being? How can we create the active center point in ourselves that can endure the tension between extremes?
How can we access the quiet place in the human heart that is really aligned with truth?
Can this time of quarantine give us the strength to seek, find and build our center?
The Eurythmy Gesture for Wednesday
The planet Mercury rules Wednesday, and speaks through the vowel sound I (ee). In the eurythmy gesture for I (ee), we can experience the archetype of the Divine Ego, of the I-Am, as it strives towards self- actualization. I invite you to move this gesture with your own body. (You can find more about the sounds in my book, Eurythmy Movements and Meditations)
This I (ee) is spirit self is the Ego, the I-Am, and its invisible fuel is the essence of spirit-being. So, too, in the course of each human life, we can evolve past the immature experience of defining ourselves by what we are not, and begin to define ourselves from within. The Ego, the I-Am of the human being is the eternal flame that burns in the inner core of our being. It is never in a stagnant condition. In constant self-creating, it lives in the dynamic relationship between being and non-being, interior and exterior, right and left, up and down, heaven and earth. As if on a tightrope, the I-Am seeks and creates balance between polarities. It creates itself anew whenever it awakens into self-consciousness. The sound I (ee) rings forth from the soul when it manifests its own light-being in spirit filled self-manifestation.
Begin by imagining yourself clothed in radiant yellow-orange. Feel your heart, the center of your being. A stream of light radiates outward from this center with energetic red brilliance, expanding outwards through the upper arm into the space above you. Balance this outgoing energy with a blue counterweight in your other arm. The lower arm grounds you, helps you feel the earnest necessities of life. Feel the dynamic tension of the forces of the two. The awakened human begin can balance heaven and earth, spirit and matter, light and dark. As you practice this gesture in eurythmy, learn about your own soul. Do you tend more towards the light or towards the darkness? Can you be both practical and enlightened.? Can you bear responsibility and align yourself with high spiritual striving?
Who are you? Who are you becoming?
This is the gesture of the awakened heart, a heart that allows itself to learn through constantly practicing awareness of the I-Am. This is the prototypal gesture of Christ, imprinted into human beings for the first time through one human being, and vouchsafed for all humanity as our future birthright. Walking the path through matter, we awaken through balancing heaven and earth.
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