“A great, shimmering hall, roofed by the stars. The floor is chequerboard, black and white. In niches on the walls are statues of the Gods. There is a crowd around the room. They appear to be here to witness, but not partake. The meditation group find themselves arranged around a central table upon which stands a single candlestick. The candle flickers, there is a crash as the table overturns. The crowd disperse…” Running Elk, Shamanic Paths
I met the Bear in an online esoteric forum some years ago, though at that time he looked more like Tigger. There was always the shadow of the Bear in the background somehow. I even drew a very wonky bear with him in mind, not knowing anything… and went on, all unknowing at that point, to draw many of the animals he had met in his shamanic journeys. The arrival in my inbox of an “OMG!” became a regular occurrence for a while as I posted pictures. It was a time when many of the strands that have led through the maze to this point in life seem to have been laid down. In spite of anonymous avatars and screen names, there is an instant attraction, almost a recognition, when you bump into one of those pivotal people online.
At first, it was the comments on each other’s posts… the similarity in essential viewpoint beyond the individual and differing path and approach. It wasn’t just the Bear either. There was a Swan, A Druid, a tender of the Flame and a Holy Man and a Star Child… of course, I’m talking about avatars here, though they are images that sit well with the people I came to know.
I joined a small meditation group with the forum. I had worked with international, remote groups before, particularly for healing, as I felt my way forward. Surprisingly for one who had lacked any kind of confidence, I had ended up leading several groups in regular meetings with startling results. It seemed that once a group was established, there was a core group who, regardless of tradition or approach, seemed to send in written ‘reports’ that shared a commonality of vision and symbolism.
Once the group was established and we embarked on the meditative journey, it was no real surprise that it started happening again. What was a surprise was to find out, much, much later, after I had left the forum to care for my son, that behind the anonymity of the onscreen personas, across two continents and four countries, there were some odd connections. Two, with an ocean in between were related by marriage… two, in separate countries, had met as children… one lived close to my old home…Nothing ‘much’, but it is curious nonetheless when these things become a recurring theme and relationships online are established before these details are known and some deep and lasting friendships formed.
Our little group began to build a rapport as we meditated, still knowing little of each other’s everyday lives, and a journey began to unfold in vision that contained common elements every time we ‘met’ until it seemed we were almost watching the same ‘movie’ through different coloured lenses. I came across the transcripts a few months ago and was astonished at how appropriate they are for where we all seem to find ourselves. As if what had played out symbolically for us six years ago had foreshadowed the events to come.
There comes a point in any true Work within the Mysteries where there seems little distinction, except time, between reality and ‘imagination’, as what is seen on one level reflects on others. Imagination becomes a plane of causation, foreshadowing changes in manifested reality. Indeed, psychology and the Mysteries share that approach, for mind and imagination are powerful tools, and the controlled and directed imagination is capable of achieving astonishing things. Just as fear can create monsters in the imagination that can cripple action, leaving you sweating, shaking and terrified outside the dentist or in the flight lounge, so can imagination fuel courage and action, creating positive change and growth.
Yesterday the Bear posted an article that brought it all back and addressed the question of reality. His closing comments say it all and shadow something that all those who work within any branch of the Mysteries have encountered and will understand:
“We like the comfort of believing that the world in which we stub our toe, it hurts, it bruises, is “reality”. The world in which we fly above the clouds, leap mountains, save the maiden in the tower, is nothing but the imagination of “children”.
When these two worlds collide and appear to affect each other directly, then the comfort of certainty falls away; yet the possibilities, ah, the possibilities, they are endless…” Running Elk.