Life goes by quickly, yet every moment we live is eternity as well. So, here we’re dealing with these enormous paradoxes. I believe that it is through the creative act that one informs one’s consciousness, and I’ve tried to live my life through act. Anything I know doesn’t come from academia. It comes from experience.
To experience time and eternity beyond perception in our being, to me is a thrill. I’m very happy to be here, even given the madness of the 20th century. I feel it’s a privilege to have this breath of life. I feel it’s a grace.
on the edge of no turning back, of calling all angels, of wishing for a million stars….
inquiry for today~ when did you lose heart? and how did you get it back? what did your pilgrimage to soul look like?
A pilgrimage is a special kind of journey, one taken to a holy place with the hope for an encounter with the sacred and the intention of being changed by what happens there and along the way. We don’t go on pilgrimages to return the same person.
“If your journey is indeed a pilgrimage, a soulful journey, it will be rigorous. Ancient wisdom suggests if you aren’t trembling as you approach the sacred, it isn’t the real thing. The sacred, in its various guises as holy ground, art, or knowledge, evokes emotion and commotion,” writes Phil Cousineau, in his book The Art of Pilgrimage.
I believe, along with psychologist Carl Jung, that the stories of our ancestors run through our blood and the unhealed wounds and unfulfilled longings continue to propel us forward or keep us stuck in old patterns. The stories of our grandmothers and grandfathers are our stories and we can help to heal the wounds of the past and in the process heal ourselves by telling those stories again, giving voice to the voiceless, unnamed secrets and to the celebrations, insights, and wisdom gathered over time.
Jung introduced us to the concept of the collective unconscious, that vast pool of ancestral memory within each of us. It is a kind of deposit of ancestral experience. He believed it comprises the psychic life of our ancestors right back to the earliest beginnings. Nothing is lost; all of the stories, struggles, and wisdom are available to us. Each of us is an unconscious carrier of this ancestral experience and part of our journey is to bring this to consciousness in our lives. “I became aware of the fateful links between me and my ancestors. I feel very strongly that I am under the influence of things or questions which were left incomplete or unanswered by my parents and grandparents and more distant ancestors,” he wrote.
Consider making a pilgrimage to walk in the footsteps of your own ancestors, those everyday saints who struggled with life’s heartaches and suffering. Spend time in the places that shaped their imaginations and their dreams; speak the language with which they whispered their most private secrets to one another, the words they used to express their aching sorrow and profound joy. It doesn’t matter if you know nothing of the details. Walking, being, listening, and noticing the impact of trees, rivers, mountains, and sky on your own spirit is enough.
~Christine Valters Paintner