If an ancient Greek saw a man who had Zeus energy, he would never say, ‘That man is Zeus.’ His mythology distinguished the layers. Now that mythology has collapsed, contemporary men again and again confuse a living woman with the Woman Who Has Golden Hair. A living woman with stomach, small intestine, and a disturbed childhood is not the woman of light. A person who discreetly farts in an elevator is not a divine being, and a man needs to know this.
What does it mean when a man falls in love with a radiant face across the room? It may mean that he has some soul work to do. His soul is the issue. Instead of pursuing the woman and trying to get alone, away from her husband, he needs to go alone himself, perhaps to a mountain cabin, for three months, write poetry, canoe down a river, and dream. That would save some women a lot of trouble.”
Robert Bly, Iron John: A Book About Men
What ye need to mend,
When all that breaks
from “Fractal Healing”
Along the constellations pouring light unto my hands from the arcing skies of her thighs, I found Her and learned to make prayers through her sighs. There was no driftwood in my touches: I was perusing the most ennobling scripture; electrified by vivacious poetry; and the fact that she knew this made for an ecstatic reflection that further charged our states. But she just had to walk into the room, into my view, and I was already touching and being touched, for my perception of her beauty never seemed to discover limits, which made fertile ground for fancy, and problems for wisdom of planted feet. If she smiled (which is her wondrous constancy), I soared and would be unawares that my wings had been melted by the sun. Such was my response to her loveliness that even pain by burning was kept at the farthest distance. As resilient healer and ecstatic artist, my wings were big, complex developments and it took time for them to breakdown their ability to fly. I didn’t notice the initial loss of acuity as more of my wing power was compromised, even as I slammed into mountains, clumsily, was unable to avoid storm fronts as before, and, finally and most dangerously, and was unable to land properly, or even at all, as hot pressure systems would turn my glidings into helpless hoverings. But I didn’t mind. The view was always so lovely.
Those limits would be needed and possibly salvaged by the wrestle of wrinkles and sabotaging moods that are revealed gradually, as the incipient bashfulness of intimacy wears into revelations of routine. Lovemaking itself of the tantric inclination whose pursuit is expansion of feelings would inevitably come to smack against wounding walls. Surely, I witnessed them and forgave them all, instantly. I’m still trying to understand the fault in that. Such is the bane of the mystic: the escapism of earth is so subtle in the longing for the divine. We forget about the yoga—the yoking of Earth and Heaven.
Mr. Bly helps. He helps me address that the robust ardour that explodes open my heart and sings life into me when I meet a woman whom I find adoring resonance is something sourced not in a personal romantic inclination but an impersonal act of deep human longing for greater, divine connection. It’s a passion prayer, in fact, for the eternal whose beauty comes hand in hand with truth, as the poet John Keats mused: “”Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’ – that is all ye know on Earth and all ye need to know.” Indeed, all men and women know it: the arrested awareness, a timelessness that covers all impermanence like a glorious film; the secret magic of magnetism, is animated beyond droll textbook explanation of physics into lived bombast. The love that takes flight is a prayer for we are struck by something awesome, beyond us, that we barely have the capacity to behold (most of us do not) and we are helpless not to be engulfed and seek to worship it. But this prayer is not for her, but Her.
The confusion is commonplace: we’re bereft of mythological maps which traditionally help channel ecstatic feelings of the entire emotional spectrum into healthy blooms and growth into interconnection and cooperation with the multitudinous networks that compose our psyche. When we feel courage gasp in us for life in the face of adversity, there are no images of great warriors seeded from the conditioning of our contemporary culture to help us truly know how to nurture, express and fulfill it. When we are oppressed by chaos in our lives and require the ordering of the King, we find no inspiration in the corrupt personas of our modern day leaders who seem more wanting to encourage disorder and worse. When we feel big love, we do not have a troubadour poem to bring to heart-mind to nurture it rightly into consecrated rapture.
Myths are abundantly diverse to reflect the same creative flourishing in the quantum mechanics of the human condition, that is a perpetual flow from archetypal expression to another. They keep us pliable, flexible and agile to react rightfully in the multifarious situations of life. Without them, we are starved of connecting to our inner richness and the whole dynamism of our character. Instead, we act from what our culture has given us with its vacuous celebrities, and stolid, banal stereotypes, promulgated in the mass media, infected by an endemic corporate hubris. We are inspired not to be free-flowing, powerfully majestic heroess of creative psyche but dumbed down, sheepish consumers whose vulnerabilities can be exploited for commercial profit. But let me return to love…
Though our tryst was harrowingly rich, I’m here now in heart-break. She could not (as has often been the case) reciprocate the revelry of my heart. Reasons are scarce from her: it just didn’t feel right, in contrast to my splendour of harmony. I try persuasive arguments which only the head can register. The heart only hears babbling, which is not music, so it starts to snore. What is there to do but grieve the death of another love, tuck away a tiny hope that it one day may bloom as if storing away a seed that, even after centuries, may unfold in the right conditions?
Such grieving is grandiose and so my romantic inclination moves from her living body to her dead one and I fondle ghosts with the same yearning. Touches emit howls, not sighs, and my days sing not but waste. It’s morbidly fascinating and perversely comforting. I mistake it for the work of my heart but it’s not: it’s all in the head. My heart has actually been strewn with a garland of thorns in an attempted crucifixion of love’s nature and a heavy fog to dull its sovereign influence as truth-speaker. I choose, rather, falsehood, and the dizzy, doldrums of depression. We’ve all done this. Luckily, my heart, as emperor, wields almighty power and breaks the meagre voodoo of garland and fog effortlessly and even a little angrily. Its light breaks through and hits me with moments of clarity: the sorrow is a choice, that a balance between proper grief and indulgent melancholy is something I can feel and, thus, with some willpower, create; that my head is useless without my heart, is vulnerable to this kind of madness as it’s not purveyor but receiver of truth.
Exhausted, I nestle down unknowingly in the fresh crevice of my heart. I look beneath me and observe that this crack goes very deep. In fact, leagues below within it, I apprehend a radiant glow, as if from lava: fire-water. I understand with profundity that this crack has provided a small gateway to the innermost-sanctum within my heart, which has since time immemorial been a place of esoteric mysticism (the heart of hearts).
I feel strangely warm here too, as opposed to the chilliness of before when I was merely looking on at this crack in the horror of beholding my fragility. But here, in the crevice itself, I have made a gesture of unknowing acceptance (perhaps by the weight of realizations carried by the ever launching light-songs of my heart, bringing me down to healthy ground). And in this acceptance, I have a whole new experience of the crack: the warmth. Indeed, it is like a crack in the Earth which opens passage for molten heat to rise up. In the warmth, in the crack, I am comforted, making for paradox, which is always a wormhole to mystical realms.
I stay for a while and, by the benediction of the warmth, melt the cold of my sorrow. I flow into meditative trance, just as one does sitting before a campfire. In my stillness, I begin to realize things and acknowledge big truths, like the one about Her and loving as an act of impersonal worship, providing balanced understanding of the essence of love’s passion. My frustration softens as I see myself not alone in struggle but in the company of a legion of men and women, made miserable by misuses of ecstasy, and yearning for skillfulness of feeling and ultimate fulfillment. The community of sufferers lessens my grandiosities and, concurrently, cheers me by sobering my self-absorbed psycho-dramas. I realize I can change the channel. I even chuckle at our male folly: who would fault us? At our essence, we are a bastion of reception for the galaxy that is the beauty of woman. We are made to be able to be engulfed by her. We are born to surrender, and yet, to also be awake in the surrender (another paradox) so that we can help her and ourselves contain the forces of ecstasy, and channel them to ever higher, more masterful expression and utility. I am encouraged to continue my training in beingness with more ardent motivation: to serve myself and the women I shall love with more acuity as master of forces--mark of the adept magician.
This crack has become like the one in the stony ground in the cave at Delphi in Ancient Greece that the Oracle would sit over in suspended throne, breathing and becoming intoxicated by the strange, secret gases that rose from deep in the bowels of the Earth, possessing her and inspiring her famous prophecies. I begin to awe, which is ever-balm for the soul. And I see a vision of her suddenly before me, the one I love, in my mind’s eye. She is as beautiful as always and I am taken in her empyrean yet stay aware and rooted this timeless time. We look long into each other’s eyes, entraining, spiralling, deliciously. Her eyes begin to shine. Her smile (a book of psalms itself) lifts open, grows wings, fiery soaring limbs, and ascends from her countenance up into the sky above. My eyes follow and I am taken…exactly where she was trying to take me all along…