|The Intuitive Hand|
These drawings and sculptures represent the abstract images that flow from my hands when I allow them to move without thinking. Pastels and clay are my favorite media because I like the feel of the chalk and the wet earth in my hands. As I allow a drawing or sculpture to come, impressions form about the message it has to offer.
When complete, I reflect on their meaning and journal thoughts they evoke. The titles capture the essence of their meaning. As with my poems, photos and travel, the meanings evolve through time. These insights have a profound impact on my perception of self.
My personal growth seems to arise from the challenges of primary relationships. My dawning awareness of this reality expressed itself as two clasped hands raised high to celebrate the joined opposites of pain and bliss in relationship.
My strongest emotional pains have come from a perceived betrayal in any but especially a primary relationship. I've found my most potent changes follow when the pain of betrayal yields first to insight and then to psychological growth.
For a new dimension of Self to emerge, some part of my old self must die to make room for the growth. My most valuable insights seem to be characterized by dueling yet complementary opposites: to live anew, I must die to the old.
The strongest drive in life seems to be the search for meaning. Rather than choosing right over wrong, new understanding flows from the reconciliation of opposites. The resulting gestalt is the launching pad for further confrontation and reconciliation.
The unsolved riddle of life challenges the "Shaman Self" to seek broader and deeper understanding. The resolution of one puzzle unveils a new level of complexity that can only be resolved by a more inclusive level of meaning.
The altar of life supports the layers of a fearful self, the greater Self and the Other. The three exist in dynamic tension with the fearful self defending it's shell of isolation. But the Other seeks to break through the fear to call the greater Self forth.
The Womb of life courts the Self with the seed of knowing. And the Self embraces the seductress to receive the seed. But the fearful self tries every trick in the book to discredit the "whore." When the little self succeeds, atrophy overcomes the promise of Self.
The smaller self reacts to the fire of disapproval with a protective shield that hides the shadow. These jailer's bars condemn the self to the status quo. An opportunity is lost to accept the grain of truth in criticism as an impetus for growth in the Self.
When the Self listens to criticism, a fragment hidden in the shadow has an opportunity to emerge. Integrating a new side of self, adds a facet to the diamond luster of the Self. Condemnation and Resurrection evoke wholeness.
The fire of life crucifies images of self importance. Fragments of the self that put others down are exposed to the reality of individual differences. As the Self realizes each of us has strengths and weaknesses, the idea of being better than others may be put aside.
Although each person harbors the stains of inhumanity, deep within the beacon of Self hopes to transcend those limitations. As the inner beacon shines ever more brightly, shadows of self importance disappear in the revealing light of personal uniqueness.
On the bridge from fragmentation to wholeness, an avatar lives to ease the pain of crossing from the known to the unknown. When growth calls the self to the other side, the avatar descends to ease the way from darkness to the light of Self knowledge.
Wholly embracing the gift of growth penetrates the self. The embrace releases an avalanche of thanksgiving when the heart breaks open. And a song of thanksgiving celebrates the joy of being in the now as the Self manifests in the world.
The pilgrim's quest of the Meditator in the World is rewarded with the gift of insight. Struggles between self and Self slowly reach resolution. The prayers of thanksgiving for the joys of being alive release streamers of light in celebration of the Self.
The Avatars of the universe are many and varied. Guides for both the light and dark skinned peoples of the earth all reflect the golden light of Truth. But these reflections are mere intimations of the greater reality which the mind cannot fully grasp.
The fragmentary truth of the Self garnered from the unknowable Truth of the infinite must be sheltered. The cobra guards these fragments least they be swept away by the demands of narrow fundamentalist interests that constrict the expression of Self.
Even more than photographs, these perceptions do not have literal meanings. Rather they offer glimpses of a greater reality beyond knowledge of the self. I have found two books that offer insight into the power of plumbing the depths of human knowing.
Robert Masters and Jean Houston in Varieties of Psychedelic Experience (Inner Traditions, 2000) and Aldous Huxley in Doors of Perception (Harper Collins, 2004) have carefully documented depth explorations of the human psyche.