This morning, during my study/prayer/meditation time, I was drawn to open Gödel, Escher, Bach, by Douglas Hofstadter, to a random page and read the first paragraph that my eyes fell upon. I often do this use books as oracles in this way. My message for the day is this:
“This system–the Propositional Calculus–steps neatly from truth to truth, carefully avoiding all falsities, just as a person who is concerned with staying dry will step carefully from one stepping-stone in a creek to the next, following the layout of stepping-stones no matter how twisted and tricky it might be.”
Since I read that out of context, I have no idea what the author meant. What comes up for me when I read this is remembering when I was in the Sangre de Cristo mountains hiking earlier this year. There was snow on the ground and it was very cold. I had kept my feet dry on the stepping stones that were the only way to continue on the path (without getting wet). At one point after that, however, I just had a sudden urge to feel the cold water on my feet. I took off my shoes and plunged my feet into the icy water. I got pains up my calves and it took a bit for my feet to warm back up but it was worth it.
I feel this is very much the way it is embracing the creative life or the Hero’s Journey. Sometimes we must follow the animal instinct or the deeper calling, we must walk off the neatly laid path and stop “avoiding falsities” in order to find the treasure that awaits us.
I have a friend who doesn’t want to accept a tarot card that is in the reversed position. It feels to me that she doesn’t want to look at the underbelly of it all or face suppressed energy. The “living in the light” way of being can be very dangerous if we are avoiding looking at our shadow, in my experience. This is how I see walking on the stones to “stay dry”. How do we know it is a falsity if we don’t have the courage to get wet? I don’t believe there is a “right” or “wrong” way of being. There is only that which makes us feel separate or that which brings us closer to the One. I don’t believe we get closer by denying the aspects of self that we wish to avoid looking at. Shame or fear drives a wedge between us and the rest of the world and certainly between us and our immense power and energy. We can’t do the dance of co-creation with the Universe if we are afraid to dance with our own shadow since the shadow is part of the Universe.
For me, taking the plunge in the icy water brings the clarity that comes from awakening the senses and supports my faith as I trust that warmth will come when needed as long as I am following the Call and having the courage to embrace the most “dangerous” legs of the journey. That rush of awareness and connection to All-That-Is in that moment is exactly what was needed and will stay with me for the rest of my days.
If I had allowed fear to separate me from my higher awareness, I would not have the treasure.
We have to trust Life enough to take the plunge into the unknown and dance naked in the darkness.
The only falsity is that we are somehow outside of the Circle of Life.