Saturday, August 16, 2014

The High Priestess

The beautiful lotus - a flower grows from mud.
Did you watch Monkey Magic as a child like me? Do you remember the kindly male voiceover at the beginning... 'The Father Buddha said "With our thoughts, we make the world"'.

What a strange quirk of human existence - our ability to view our surroundings and give meaning to our lives by filtering it through our greatest asset - the mind. Our large, developed brains grant us the honour of being the most intelligent animals on the planet, but as a species we are so immature - inflating our egos to act as if we are separate from everything around us. As scientists we probe and observe, pretending the results have nothing to do with us (Quantum physics is finally proving otherwise), as capitalists we dig and divide and carve up anything and everything, presuming a right to do so, ignoring the rights of all other species and ecosystems unless they serve some purpose to us. We justify anything that has a dollar value attached to it - money has become our false idol.

Yet even in this insane playground we are a planet full of spoilt children - given everything we could ever wish for, yet grow up with a feeling that something is missing. Jeanette Winterson ponders this in her memoir 'Why be happy when you could be normal?'.
'A meaningless life for a human being has none of the dignity of animal unselfconsciousness; we cannot simply eat, sleep, hunt and reproduce - we are meaning-seeking creatures. The Western world has done away with religion but not with our religious impulses; we seem to need some higher purpose, some point to our lives - money and leisure, social progress, are just not enough.'
What is it that's missing? Why do we seek this higher meaning? Why does it feel so uncomfortable at times?

The Prince Siddhartha, who later became the Buddha took note of this human suffering - it's what he sat under the Bodhi tree and meditated on for 6 years. Our cravings take many forms - love, loneliness, freedom, power, wealth - we try to placate our desires with material posessions, with religion, with escape by intoxication or indulgence. Or we try to ignore it, filling our lives with endless lists and tasks or dumbing ourselves down with meaningless electronic entertainment, anything to avoid that hollow feeling of desire. Sometimes we even hurt those closest to us, forcing them to abandon their own dreams in retaliation.

I read somewhere that the pain we feel inside stems from our feeling of being separate from Oneness. Whether you call this oneness God or Gaia it doesn't matter, it all means the same thing. If you seek a higher meaning in your life, try this - imagine we are all expressions of the Divine - in the simplest terms, we are God's desire to see ourself. We are all tiny mirrors shining a light back onto itself, all making up the whole of a light that is too bright to look at directly, like the sun.

This feeling of being separate from Oneness has similarities to our child-like longings for a mother-figure which is why this feeling is so often represented by a female in religious stories and myths. She is the Lunar figure, separate from the sun, who reflects and softens the solar light so that we may look on it. In the Tarot this figure is represented by The High Priestess. She stands on a crescent moon boat gliding over the unconscious depths of the mind. She has her finger to her lips asking us to be silent, to meditate like the Buddha and trust that the truth we are seeking lies within. She is a gatekeeper to the deepest parts of ourself, the messenger that bridges the surface to unseen depths, and brings our inner wisdom to conscious awareness. Like Gaia, she patiently watches us as we struggle upwards from the muck, watching proudly as our souls strive towards their purpose and blossom magnificently like the revered lotus flower. Culturing our inner light is the path to honouring not only ourselves, but the great Mother Gaia herself.

If you would like help tapping into your 'inner wisdom' you can contact me for a Tarot reading or Numerology profile via Katie Little Readings & Writing on Facebook. I also highly recommend this series of inspiring free Meditation Society of Australia podcasts.

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