Here are some more thoughts in general, following my previous post.
Journal, 8 December 2015
At death we must be honest. The nearness of death demands honesty. I think of my death, not only metaphysically but about my physical breakdown beforehand, and all the paper and stuff for people to tidy up afterwards. Please God – give me a good six month warning so I can tidy up while I am strong enough! Dying for we humans is precisely timed, yet it feels complex and long drawn out.
“Look at your long life. What did you learn?”
I am naturally selfish, but there are a lot of impulses and incentives going on, which are NOT selfish. Rather like my perennial doubts about my writing, there is a war going on. This is jehad.
It is important nowadays, to understand what jehad truly is, and not to misuse this word ignorantly. I am told that according to Koran, the great jehad is not with enemies or the battlefield. The great jehad is the jehad the Sufi follows – dealing with the inner conflict, which we all have in one form or another. The Sufi is constantly in birth and death: dying to the lower, giving birth to the higher self – dancing with and searching the essence: salaam, peace: moving from one side to the other to do the beautiful, absorb the light, and disappear.
A Sufi moves in this way through anxieties related to the resistance of the material world.
Jehad is the holy war in the soul and in the daily plod. Each of us deals with personal interior jehad of one kind or another, as we grow. If we are not lighthouse keepers, it is about the neighbours.
So is it at all surprising that the interior war coalesces into exterior, international wars? War is a human condition at many different levels, inherited from Earth’s geological aeons of friction through fire and ice, igniting life. Our bodies are at war against viruses. The tendency gets acted out extremely on the stage of religious and political belief and empire. It is the same. It is projectile, it is our Shadow and we need to understand it more fully.
Around the dying of our loved ones, when their bodies begin to break up into nature’s jehad, honesty is traditionally difficult – we shilly and shally. Yet if I was starting to die in earnest, I think it might preoccupy me all the time, and I would want to share it with someone close. I would want it to be recognised – to prepare for Thoth’s scales and feather. Our entire life is condensed into a little vital essence of everything – a sugarlump, a salt cube or a heart – you know, we are physically mostly fluid and space? This at death gets wrung out like a cloth which liquefies back into the ground, and what goes onward is akin to the tiny bit of solidarity when our atoms are compressed together. “What goes onward is an invisible homeopathic compression of the entire package – the sting in the tail of the whole lifetime.”
Goodness me! Is that so?
I write only to dance with my death.
The vessel which carries my raw thoughts is a big schooner ship just now on the high ocean, with all her sails bulging with the wind as she rides the wine dark waves. The hands on deck and up the masts and at the stern and in the hold are teamwork, like the cells which maintain my body. I trust them to get on with it – a horde of dark sailors and jacktars, linked by rope and cloth and oil and winches and the winds.
The problem with having a conversation about death with a soon-to-be-dying person is – he might feel too weak or simply need affection, not deep ideas, which are only words. I arrive with my deep ideas in full sail – oh-dear! – and discover they are not appropriate – there is not an opening for them. I know so little. It is his journey into the Continent: a mystery of birth through apparent ‘endings’. And there is pain before birth, and there are gleams of light. Peace.
Jehad – holy war inside myself, the inner scold at my many stupidities and faux-pas – I saw it this morning for what it is, in a balanced, accepting way. I saw plainly I am not a bad person, I deal with the instruments of opposition and discord within my being, just like everyone else in a multitude of different ways – whatever bothers each of us most. It is the condition through and through: my body at cellular level is at holy war for communal maintenance of my crows-nest conscience among the billowing sails. This again – the crows-nest lookout post – is a cell among the myriad which sustain a divine cosmic Life, part of a Murmuration: and so on.
The crows-nest analogy emerged, and it is beautiful because of Don Juan/Castaneda’s silver crows at death, and turning into a crow; and I put a little Indian crow (or sparrow) in my blog the other day, to look like a starling. Once again the symbols draw together in this way which delights, affirms and refreshes me.
However – long life. What am I learning? What did I learn?
It seems to be about balance and acceptance on the swaying ship. Accepting my inner jehad gives me an understanding of its outer forms and extensions. What about PROFOUND COMPASSION AND ACCEPTANCE with my inner jehad? The main thing I learned as a lighthouse-keeper, and always learn, is that deep transformation in the human race begins in here; in acknowledging, recognition and response. This is heart-connected to the real activity of the Companions of the Light around the earth.
I feel when my cloth is wrung out after I die, what will go onward is a solvent buoyant salt cube – Solomon’s Seal of course.
“Be still and know I am God.”
In fact (conversation with a friend just now) there is no death or end, because life goes on, birth goes on; looking at death or a loved one’s death re-opens this realisation. This musing joins my own about the I’s and the same little flame of the fire which lights innumerable candles, one to the other, without end. Deep, deep depth, and feeling the life of unspoken truth through the words; a private person and how it feels to be himself.
How does it feel to be you?
Seeing clearly, and listening, keep quiet; because the spreading of half baked ideas and clever opinions is gossip and propaganda, and nourishes war on earth.
What a lot to take in and digest all the time. I re-surface just sitting here in this sunny room, feeling quite buoyant. That schooner-ship earlier, is strong in my spine. The Tree of Life is the schooner in full sail towards me, keel well down in Malkuth.
What is silence for? The point of connection: the point from which the pendulum swings; the point which travels along the ocean … a power for the peace.
Aquariel – an angel of the waters and of the air through the woods of life.
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