A syncretic approach to esoteric teachings - the golden threads that connect Pagans, Yogis, Rosicrucians and Masons.
This is the Mother's Forest
After years of trying various paths through the forest of life, I finally found the Triple Goddess - Maiden, Mother, and Crone. Her Hindu guises go by such names as Saraswati, Lakshmi and Kali, though there are many others. Celtic Pagans have our own names - Danu, Cerridwen, Brigid, Hecate, The Morrigan - as do all of the other religions; but it is not necessary for any of those names to agree with yours. The Goddess will assume the aspect you love best.
I have always liked the metaphor that we are picking our way through a beautiful but dense forest, with as many areas of impenetrable gloom as blinding patches of sunlight. We never know what we might encounter around the next tree or boulder, and we proceed cautiously in case we need to back away and try another direction. We can't quite remember how we got here, or even where we are supposed to be going; but life is incapable of standing still, so we keep moving ahead.
What we may not learn for many years, is that the forest belongs to the Goddess. She is the secret that resides at its center. She is the unnamed "something" that we seek, for She embodies the answers to all of our questions.
Om Mani Padme Hum—"The Jewel in the Lotus"—is the Goddess. Lakshmi likes to hang out on a huge open lotus blossom, from whence She dispenses good fortune and prosperity. Her lotus is found in a lush green rainforest - this forest. Though when you finally attain the center yourself, She will welcome you in the guise you love best.
God and Goddess are the same, as both sides of a coin are the same piece of currency. But when we came into these bodies of flesh, we entered the realm of the Mother - in most cases literally, since most of us came into a mother's womb.
We know The Charge of the Goddess: "Listen well when you come into my presence, and I shall teach you of deep mysteries, ancient and powerful, the rhythms of the planets and the seasons, the circle of life and death and life renewed." The Goddess is the circle of life and death and life renewed.
In the early 90's I studied a fascinating piece of channeled writing called A Course in Miracles. It is based on the Hindu philosophy of Vedanta, but is couched in Christian terms for a western audience. One of its teachings - that purports to be comforting but which I found profoundly dissatisfying - states that the Father (God) looks in on his sleeping child (us) who is only dreaming this physical world. The Father can see that the child is having a nightmare, but since God lives in the reality of Divine Love and knows that the child is safe, the Father cannot tell what the child is dreaming. The Father only knows what is real.
"How does that help me?" I used to protest. "How could the Almighty God not know what I'm experiencing - even if it is only a dream?"
But now I can guess the deeper message, which ACIM never quite gets around to admitting - that our Mother is the one who accompanies us here. The Goddess understands intimately what we are experiencing. If we call upon Her and listen well to the response, She will lead us to that place within ourselves where we can finally understand the Mystery. "For if that which you seek you find not within yourself, you will never find it without."
The forest is a metaphor, and our physical journey is but a symbol of our spiritual one. Just as the point on which we meditate in the center of a mandala vibrates in harmony with the point that is our own third eye, the center of the forest is also the center of our own consciousness. At our center is our Source. At our center is everything Divine and significant to us. At our center is our own immortal Self. The Goddess promises, "I have been with you from the beginning, and will welcome you into my arms once more at the end of all your days."
Time and death will devour those parts of me which can be devoured. That part of me which is God will devour death and time.
So Mote It Be. Merry Meet, Merry Part, and Merry Meet Again.
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