Monthly Columns

As Above So Below (How the Stars Became Our Hearts)

Mastery

The air was brisk. A cold mist swept about.

 

The wind kicked up ferociously, turning the mist into a billion freezing daggers. They pierced my flesh all over, burning like fire. A wave crashes below, and I see I am manning a castle wall. I give the signal. They blow the trumpets.

 

As the trumpet blasts fill the air, the sky grows dark. At the tip of the castle, a giant pyramid built into the walls, into the beach. The base of the pyramid, into the sea. And as the trumpets blasted again; I see the monks come out. 

 

They sit in perfect rows on the two faces that face the sea at the pyramids corner. The tip of the pyramid is lit. A pyramid Castle wall lighthouse. As the monks sit, they meditate. And in the distance, I see the storm. The wave. The wind kicks up so violently. The trumpeteers abandon the ramparts. But I stay and watch. The waves of ice slam into the pyramid and the monks. And they start chanting. Violently. The trumpets blast again. But there’s no one playing them. As the waves recede, some of the monks are swept off at sea. I can’t sea them in the waves. Not thrashing violently about, but still in meditation. Willingly giving their lives to the ocean.

 

The monks who remained chanted. Prayed. Their bodies red from the icy surf. The wind slashed them like whips. This continued until only a few monks remained, and the storm receded. The monks who remained were nearly frozen to death. Pure bliss on their faces, they got up, and went back into the pyramid.

***

Jewels, money and lands mean nothing to The Goddess. All belongs to her already. The only thing of value we have to offer them is our pain.

 

Life is greatly unappreciated. By everyone. There are very few exceptions. Even in the act of appreciation, much must be taken for granted. It takes this pain to remind us of how beautiful and how lovely the mundanity of existence is. Even the experience of pain is an exceptionally beautiful experience. Pain, maybe the thing we take for granted the most. Always hate, until it is gone. The pain pays the way. The pain, by contrast, not only casts light on joy, but creates. The triumph of rising from the depths is the most powerful part of life.

 

 

 

We are a circle; within a circle.

With no beginning; and never ending.

Embedded into reality this polarity. Ebb and flow. Wax and wane. Summer to winter, to summer. Life, death, and rebirth. The wildfires burn the old trees, yet germinate the seeds. The death of the old ones gives space for light to reach the leaves of the saplings. The death of these trees is inextricably connected to the birth of the new generations.

 

Though it seems impossible from an individual perspective, your physical death means very little. If you look at the many laws of nature, such as the law of conservation of mass; which states that matter (nor energy) can be created, not destroyed; it would seem nearly obvious by logical deduction that you can’t really be destroyed…..or created….

 

See…You ALWAYS were.

 

Another thing that would seem to defy individual perspective, you never didn’t exist before, and there is literally no such thing as non-existence to return to therefore. So, you can’t BE DEAD. 

 

You can die though.

 

Many, many times. The change known as death comes in many forms. The first time you break your favorite toy as a child, or lose your favorite Teddy. If you had a traumatic death as a child, another’s death is still death to you. Losing a job, a breakup. You face death in life, yet every time, at the end, you’re still here. Transformed. Purified. Better.

 

Death is the pain of losing what you believed to be yourself. Your bond with a sibling, or a place. Your first time going to middle school. Elementary School you died, and that’s all you ever knew. This death comes in the form of some kind of pain. In this case, the pain of social anxiety. Fear. You can’t even imagine what lies beyond that threshold, but you survive the other side.

 

Somewhere in that pain. That fear. Is what the gods want from us.

 

 

Precious stones are created by the most adversity, deep in the heart of the earth, being crushed by the weight of the earth’s tectonics, and super hot magma. The brilliance you perceive set in a piece of jewelry has been further cut by lasers, and polished by friction. Adversity creates beauty and power. Think of a time you were given an expensive gift, and compare that to an expensive thing you worked for, the feeling of the item gained through adversity tastes a little sweeter. There’s nothing in life more delicious than a fruit from a plant you labored for months to care for. In this way, life’s adversity seems to be the crucible by which we are purified, and brought closer to perfection.

 

This is the mastery of life. Pain is not an unavoidable phenomenon, therefore, we should learn to not only surpass it, but embrace it. As easy as it would be to just follow advice, life’s deepest lessons are drilled in you by pain. As above, so below, as pain keeps you safe in this life, so it opens the gates to the next. By the end of life, you should be able to embrace the pain you’re in, and let go of all that you’re still clinging to. Death comes again and again in many forms, and this pain is like the shepherd’s hook that leads us to purity and enlightenment. The pain of life forces us to look at the ever unchanging peace within. The true self, outside of individuality. The eternal pulse that flows through all creatures. The essence of Christ and The Buddha. Atman and Brahman, are all universal concepts with different words attributed to them.

 

The pain forces you to see that you cannot truly be free in this life, in this body. That there is something to conquer on this plane of existence, and ultimately, it is to wake up to the true knowledge of self. That you are God. The universe awakening. Nothing is wrong. Everything is as it should be. The lessons you are learning are the lessons you’re supposed to be learning right now. There are no mistakes, and everything is connected in a circle that never ends. All pain is an illusion you chose to identify with. You choose to call it pain even. Pain is simply a change that pushes your human animal body outside it’s physical, mental, and emotional comfort zone. The higher self already knows the changes end in growth, so are ultimately more positive than negative. The pain we perceive is not bad, but simply a side effect of spiritual and emotional growth.

 

Through this death, like the phoenix; eternal, you will rise from the ashes of your old being. Like a sapling from the wildfire, you will spring new growth. New wisdom and understanding. A new level of control of self and consciousness. Control over your emotional state, and more power to conquer the obstacles that arise in this physical reality. This is the beginning of mastery.

 

 

Once this mastery occurs. The universe becomes awake and majestic. Openly in communication. Wanting to reach out and touch you. Every step of your journey becomes illuminated. Even the darkest path. Once that light is with you, it becomes you, and nothing can blind you. This is the mastery required to face your death. The fact that nothing in this physical reality can light your fire. Nothing can fill the void. And in death, you let go of all your hopes for this life filling you, and you look at that inner place always. Then life will unfold for you. Your path will be that of your dreams. Your manifestations will come to light, and you will become the master of your fate. The pain is truly your path to mastery.

***

About the Author:

Alexiel Raynes is a shaman, philosopher, and musician from Louisville, Ky. He has studied religion and science for over 20 years. His spiritual path focuses on self realization, the liberation of the constraints of the mind on consciousness. He also studies plant medicines and their use in indigenous cultures world wide. He is fascinated with exploring the world beyond the veil of mainstream western science, and postulates at what lies beyond general consensus reality. He, together with his business partner Hallie Walker are the owners of Saol Bandia, a holistic herbal apothecary based in their hometown. They are also very active in raising pagan awareness in their community, and helping give witches the courage to stand up to a world that has forgotten our ways.

 

You can visit their store at Saolbandia.com

For contact visit Facebook.com/AlexielRaynes2020

Or email [email protected]

Alexiel Raynes is a shaman, philosopher, and musician from Louisville, Ky. He has studied religion and science for over 20 years. His spiritual path focuses on self realization, the liberation of the constraints of the mind on consciousness. He also studies plant medicines and their use in indigenous cultures world wide. He is fascinated with exploring the world beyond the veil of mainstream western science, and postulates at what lies beyond general consensus reality. He, together with his business partner Hallie Walker are the owners of Saol Bandia, a holistic herbal apothecary based in their hometown. They are also very active in raising pagan awareness in their community, and helping give witches the courage to stand up to a world that has forgotten our ways. You can visit their store at Saolbandia.com For contact visit Facebook.com/AlexielRaynes2020 Or email [email protected]