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Solve et Coagula: Reflections on the Spiritual Path

December 15th, 2013

page1-453px-12th_Street_Rag.pdfSolve et Coagula: Reflections on the Spiritual Path

A spiritual way needs to hold and guide you, and open and free you. Sometimes these can appear to be contradictory functions, but when they work, there is a dance between the two processes that helps you to reach your goals: which a Druid might sense as the illuminations of wisdom, creativity and love.

When either dynamic moves to its extreme, it challenges you to identify your boundaries and claim your power. In other words, when a spiritual way seems to be confining you, restricting you, the gift hidden in this experience lies in the opportunity it offers to identify what you really need and to move towards this, rather than being submissive or ‘obedient’.

But here’s the subtlety that needs to be appreciated: some limitation is necessary. Restriction serves its purpose in the scheme of things, and so you must be attentive to not being reactive, and simply acting out ‘the rebel’. Instead of prematurely rejecting the limitation of a system, idea, practice, doctrine or group, it is worth exploring the way in which the perceived constriction may actually be a valuable part of your journey.

Likewise the sense of ‘lostness’, of lack of boundaries, of yearning for definition and guidance, brings its own gifts of an opening-out-to-the-new, of transformation in the face of the Mystery, of Not-Knowing,

Again, rather than acting out of fear, and going for premature ‘containment’ by following external prescriptions, it is helpful (when one can) to allow the process to occur. Like the movement of the tides, after a while one’s psyche will naturally be drawn back to the other pole and will find containment and direction.

In this way we can both follow traditional spiritual paths and be open to the Spirit, can learn from the ideas and practices of teachers and teachings, and can be empowered individuals who follow their own star too.

12 Responses to “Solve et Coagula: Reflections on the Spiritual Path”

  1. Thank you, Philip. We live in a world of duality for a reason. There is an exquisite tension between limitation and freedom–like the intentional constraint of a poetic form–that calls to respond in our deepest way possible.

  2. Agreed. Many times our stagnation occurs when we try to over compensate or control our direction in which we feel what it should be, rather than allowing our spirituality and growth to just happen. Observing the universe to happen and being a part of that. #Eckhart Tolle Awesome article Philip, thank you!

  3. Philip you have made an astute observation. Many times our spiritual path gets sidetracked into the false dichotomies of trust versus mistrust, dependence versus independence, freedom versus discipline, renewal versus habit etc. Whereas what is really needed is to learn the predominant lesson that we are being presented with – always a big ask. Krishnamurti said early on that there is no development from one position to another, such ideas are illusory. Becoming who we really are does not involve anything like that. We have dormant powers of magic, creativity, manifestation – these powers are awakened by our willingness to love ourselves deeply enough to remain open, transparent, receptive, especially when it feels like a bad idea!

  4. Thank you for sharing this topic and your thoughts. It has been on my mind/ heart lately, and I value what I experienced from it. It is good to hear how others have handled this, too. Thank you!

  5. This is the essence of the “gnosis” of Hermes, the Tao of Lao Tzu, the Love of Sufism, extremely important in the days before the birth of the New sun in our shared world and in our hearts! Thank you, Philip

  6. Like a network of rope bridges over a fast running river…you can choose which path to take, and also whether or not to use the handrails…or else to take the watery route….

  7. Just to say that I reflect on what you have written even if I have not a response other than thinking and reading. Perhaps it is nice to know that people read what we share so thought I’d comment and say thank you 🙂

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