Mystic Fusion or Magical Differentiation? Tea with a Druid 34
Sex and relationship therapist Juliet Grayson, in her book Landscapes of the Heart, talks about the way we all experience two competing drives: one for bonded intimacy, the other for autonomy. When we get the balance right, we can feel close and connected to our partner yet at the same time autonomous individuals in our own right.
There’s a very simple group activity I often use at the beginning of a workshop. We stand in a circle and tune in to our uniqueness, our individuality, as we stand upright, embodied in the world. Eyes closed, we then reach out to either side of us to hold hands with the person to the right and left of us. It feels different. We are still unique individuals, and yet we also experience a sense of the group – that we are ‘One Tribe’, ‘One People’. Language neatly reinforces this feeling: ‘I am One’ can mean that I am feeling unique and whole, but it can also mean that I feel ‘at one’ with something more than myself. And with this exercise I can become aware of the fact that both meanings can apply at the same time. I can sense a ‘Oneness’ that includes both a sense of my wholeness and uniqueness AND a sense of Oneness, ultimately, with all beings, all of life.
This simple exercise grew out of experiencing these two feelings whenever I stood in a ritual circle and held hands, and I can see now how one level of explanation for these two feelings could be that in this instance we are expressing our drives towards both autonomy and ‘bonded connection’, as Juliet calls it.
I’ve interviewed Juliet about her work and I’ll put the interview up on this site soon, but in this Tea Session we explore what it means to be a creature who experiences these two drives. When they are operating harmoniously, we are self-sufficient AND emotionally connected to others. When we are having problems with them, we can experience debilitating fears of being abandoned or smothered.
Now here’s an interesting thought: perhaps the mystic tendency within us, the Mystic sub-personality if you will, is responding to the drive towards fusion with another. After all, what is the mystic’s aim if not to fuse, to be lost in the embrace of the Beloved, to become one with the Great Mother/Father? What then of the magician within, the Magician sub-personality? She or he wants not to return to the Source, but to go out into the world of Creation, of form, to create and co-create – to be of use and influence in the world. Does this make sense to you? If this triggers any thoughts, I’d love to hear from you!
Great topic this week. It seems an eternal struggle, that of our need to exist and commune with others, to be seen and heard and understood, but also to be seperate so as not to loose ourselves. Some, like myself also need a corresponding time alone to draw back into ourselves after connecting with others to re-fuel.
Really enjoyed this week’s meditation too and found it hard to return.
Tja!- reflects the possibility we are on the ‘L’ which differentiates the words ‘ALL-ONE’ from ‘ALONE’- whatever that slip of the ‘L’ might mean to anyone of us concerned enough to ponder…
Or, as recently seen elsewhere, just sitting upon the equals sign of E=MC2…… and going nowhere at warp speed in a state of illumined bliss?
Love this! Can’t help but notice that it’s Noel (French for Christmas, as I’m sure you know) that takes us from all one to alone.
Yes…The task for the magician. I am a Storyteller. Living a solitary life but reaching out in performances. Your message did give me comfort. Its not “crazy” to choose a life being on your own, trees as friends and animal company and appreciating form this way. I do good. I tell fantasy stories and mix them with stories about the life of a human today. I often say that my task is to make the veil thinner between the worlds. By doing so my deepest belief is that only then, can we take care of the Earth. Only when we experience and feel life and love in other dimensions we can take care of our Mother. Life is a mystical magic journey. My contribution is to give the other beings a voice.
Thank you for this comfort Philip. Sometimes I feel very lost in this world but I love being here and having this beautiful form we call body. Smelling the flowers and be able to listen to the thunder and feel the rain on my skin. A life I solitude makes this possible. I connect and now I feel my connection is for a good task. The task of a magician. Blessed Be and a hug from the deep forests in Sweden / Elisabeth Red Owl
Lovely to hear Elisabeth! Maybe something to consider to come out of the forest for next year: https://www.druidcampsweden.com/