When you come into Jung’s second stage, the last half of life, the quest is for the import of the OM that you’ve heard in the heart chakra, so that it will become the forming and structuring energy of your life, without care for achievement, without care for prestige.
~ Joseph Campbell
She-who-scribbles found that the quest doesn’t end with the finding of – and understanding the significance of – the OM in the heart chakra, although it’s a very pleasant place to take a rest.
The inquiry moves on. It now asks, what ‘hears’ the OM in the heart chakra? What is this slippery subject that seems to be aware of all this questing and OM-ing? Why can’t it observe itself no matter how cunningly it’s stalked? Why, when it can’t ever be avoided or escaped, can it never be known?
Then one fine day you’re sitting with these questions alone refusing to accept the answers of another no matter how reputedly awake and the penny drops right through the works and takes the questions with it and you just crack up guffawing. OM-G.
Image: Sculpture by Ernst Barlach, 1937, bronze, 20.8 x 30.96 x 12.38, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The weird thing about rapture is that it can’t be called an experience; it’s the absence of an experiencer. It can’t be recalled, although in retrospect there’s a sense that Awareness has been simply awareing Itself. It has to be the ultimate relaxation. Perhaps it’s the natural state of Being-ness.
Joseph Campbell spoke about finding the still point within where commitment falls away. But I think it’s impossible to find the still point. I found that when the seeker of the still point gives up the search
IT finds you
The still point is like a magnet: IT draws you to ITself. And once that magnetic beam has you in its pull, all that you thought you were disappears. Like into a wormhole. Like into another version of the universe.
If a plant that thrives in temperate zones is placed under the tropical sun it doesn’t take long to die. If a creature that thrives in temperate zones is brought to the steaming tropics it will try to run away. Yet if a human that thrives in temperate zones finds itself in those tropical climes it will often force itself to adapt with a barrage of shoulds, oughts, musts, and air-conditioning.
Conflict may seem to be resolved in the mind but the body silently suffers. The evidence is visible all around: lethargy alcoholism substance-abuse obesity skin-cancer depression … and the root of all this suffering? The dragon – the one described so well by Joseph Campbell as the dragon whose every scale bears the dictum: THOU SHALT!
The secret sword that slays the dragon is the question: WHO SHALT?
Who is the one who must adapt? And who says so? Dragons are notoriously difficult to find, yet they dissolve in the mirror-light of Awareness. The conditioning that constructs them vaporizes. No ‘shalts’ survive. It’s all a matter of fearless eye-balling.