You don’t know in any absolute terms what the world is like from the other side. The outside. The far side. You don’t have eyes in other places, ears on other heads, minds in other bodies.
Ours is a subjective experience.
Ours can be an integrating experience.
Ours can be an inclusive experience.
It isn’t an instantaneous thing that the mind will grasp.
It isn’t going to happen overnight and there will be slips.
The human body is a vessel of exploration and a prison for our souls. It is the avenue by which we can experience the full range of the human condition and it’s *immense* potential, and yet we must do it from this vantage. From our physical body and our energetic one. From our limited subjective awareness and our many senses.
To pretend that you can predict another person’s experience with certainty is a failing of subjective. To believe sincerely that you can is an egoic trap often perpetuated by the intellect.
Intellect is many things, but two stand out to me now.
It is the gatekeeper of our awareness. The synthesis of all sense and experience into a conscious and semi conscious understanding of the world. Everything, even the aetheric notions of our astral self and the impossible-to-word whisperings of our intuition move through intellect in order for us to hold them, to feel them.
It is also the center of logic and analysis. The processor of data in a systematic and scientific form. It moves with robotic precision along pathways defined by the genius individuals of our lineage both alive and dead. It is a method of understanding; thought and understood but not embodied.
The embodiment comes from the other parts of us, and this is where the trap lies.
The thing that is responsible for combining everything we consciously perceive is also one of the contributors. The judge has a vote in the game.
Can you see the trap?
If the ego, an evolution of our survival and self-perpetuation instincts, living in the space of conscious self perception, begins to believe that it is most right, most valuable, it can turn the vote. It can over-throw the council of Selves that resides within the temple of your being.
If the intellect decides it has the clearest answer,
All other input becomes a little quieter.
And so I say again,
You simply don’t know.
And you don’t simply know.
You also feel.
You also perceive.
You also sense.
You also intuit.
You also emote.
You also experience.
You also embody.
You also observe.
You are every piece of the Meyers Briggs system standing in a room trying to suss out this crazy world we live in. And it is in fact a crazy, crazy world.
Filled with many cultures and types,
Filled with many versions and interpretations,
Filled with every sort of way, effective and messy,
That you can imagine. And many that you can’t.
And it’s the ones you can’t imagine that are the trickiest, because these are outside of what you know. They’re outside, even, of what you don’t know. They are in the space of the unknown unknown, and you won’t understand them, your intellect won’t grasp their essence, if all you do is try to KNOW.
If you try to guess before asking questions.
If you try to explain before observing motions.
If you try to dismiss before you emote,
Or prescribe before you feel.
If you try to see without perceiving,
If you try to analyze without intuiting.
Your capacity to connect with what’s around you and in front of you is dependent on the maximal optimization of all systems; all parts. Of every layer of your foundational freedom…
When people ask, “Why the Wolf? Why the Raven?”…
When people ask, “How do you know what you know?”…
I tell them what I’ll tell you.
Often I don’t know.
Often I do.
Sometimes I feel first.
Others I feel nothing.
In some experiences my embodiment and my perception are the only torches in the darkness and I must shut off my mind to stay calm.
In others it is precisely my mental capacity that get’s me through the eye of the needle. And in all cases that which I experience does not stabilize and integrate unless I bring the rest in. Sure, I could use sheer force of will and logic to wrangle it into place. But this is a firm holding and not an soft acceptance. And I’ve tried to navigate life with fists clenched. It doesn’t work.
So why the Waves? Why the Juniper tree?
Why all of these totemic notions?
Because in the natural world, in these archetypal essences of what the universe can express as and become, there is a graceful equilibrium. There is a balance in the complexity. The Cougar does not take more than it needs. The Jaguar is not malicious. The Hawk is not only clever.
These entities of the universe we breathe are completely present.
All of their systems are on line.
They may not exhibit all of the parts which make us what we humans are, but they do something that we are constantly relearning:
They balance all of what they have into an entity of formidable totality.
No corner of their essence is left behind.
None die wishing they had been nicer or smarter,
That they’d moved to the city or killed fewer mice.
They live in a state of completion.
Not as something better than us but as something more honest. The Snake is a Snake. The Moon is the Moon. The Fox is a Fox.
You have been gifted with the curse of choice. Choice to embrace your parts or deny them. Choice to prioritize one part over the others if you choose. You have been gifted the ability to become what you want.
Don’t let your ego run that over.
Don’t let your mind silence your soul.
Don’t let the imbalance drive you.
I choose totemic work because the mythography of it, the story telling in the symbolism, brings me towards that which the rest of the Universe exudes without effort:
A profound state of honesty, excellence, and persistence. Deeply embodied momentum towards balance. Willingness to embrace the spectrum, and let go of the intellectual polarity. Completion in the most process-present sense.
You can have that as well.
It’s right in front of you.
Let the mind rest
And simply witness.
Get curious about your reality.
Become willing to let go.
And in that letting go you might find that everything you’re actually craving is already in your hands. That the understanding your mind drives at will come as soon as you let the mind rest.
And so this is my wish for you, that like me, this constantly recurring and ever complexifying process of balance will settle even deeper into your Being this year. That 2020 will be the start to a beautiful reckoning of the your selves. That you will leave this time feeling more complete, more capable, and more whole.
And that like the Crow and the Eagle, you will find peace in the balanced unknowing.