In other times and places, the person in transition left the village and went into an unfamiliar stretch of forest or desert. There the person would remain for a time, removed from the old identities, and stripped of the old reality. This was a time “between dreams” in which fundamental chaos of the world’s beginnings welled up and obliterated all forms. It was a place without a name- an empty space in the world and the lifetime where a new sense of self could gestate.
One of the difficulties of being in transition in the modern world is that we have lost our appreciation for this gap in the continuity of existence. For us, “emptiness” represents only the absence of something. So when what’s missing is something as important as relatedness and purpose and reality, we try to find ways of replacing these missing elements as quickly as possible.
Things look different from this neutral zone, for one of the things you let go of in the ending process is the need to see the past in a particular way, and in doing that you let go of the need to think of the future in the way you always have.
Possibilities begin to open up.
Since a life transition is a kind of buried rite of passage to begin with, your life will take on, willy-nilly, symbolic overtones. The value of reflecting on the symbolism and making up little private rituals is not for the sake of ceremony but simply to become more aware of the shape of the natural transition process.
Dying, the neutral zone, and rebirth are not ideas that we bring to life; they are phenomena that we find in life. The only trick is to see them by looking beyond the reflected light of the familiar surface of things and seeing what is really there working in the depths.
The neutral zone- the time between the old life and the new- is a particularly rich time for such insight.
may you allow the fallow ground, the subtle sadness to feed your heart in new ways….
inquiry for today~ your rebirth is essential to dying well……what will you let go of, so that you may be born with clarity and a genuine smile?
I have a certain faith in our ability to find the wisdom we need to co-create necessary change, if we are willing to sit with what is hard and the vastness of what we do not know.
Sometimes the darkness is a place of rest. And sometimes it is a place where we gather wisdom and strength to deepen our participation in the world.
~Oriah Mountain Dreamer