Saturday, May 31, 2008

Howling At The Moon

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Learning to howl requires that we tap into the deepest recesses of our soul, and that takes courage because what lies that deep is not always pretty or sweet smelling. Else it might as well be out in the open... Anyone who has ever heard a baby howl, knows we are born with it. No social niceties or barriers lie between what baby needs and her expression of that need.

But then things happen... we get hurt, sometimes deeply; or we are told over and over that we do not have what it takes: we are not tall enough, or smart enough, or kind enough; or we are told simply that "this is how it's done". Then, that close union with the One, the source of our spontaneity and creativity, the deep river where we quench our thirst for life, is buried deep and nearly forgotten, becoming a subterranean trickle of muddy water covered with brambles - like the she-wolf's coat at the end of a long hard winter...

But the deep river never dries up. The little insistent voice at the back of our mind, the subtle gnawing feeling in the pit of our stomach will not be smothered. It must be the basic ingredient of our DNA. The ones who don't know of or do not believe in this, resign themselves to live a semi-life, shadows of what could have been. But the one who knows... also knows that no matter how difficult or painful or tedious, the task of calling out, assembling, and then singing over the bones, is worth the effort. Only after the pain of that birth, our second one, can we know the full joy and freedom of being.

As it is said in the book, the job of reassembling the bones of our soul self is lonely; it's done when nobody is looking and for nobody else's sake. To fuse with the One is essentially to become alone, because the One is not two. When you dare to assemble your skeleton and sing it or howl it into life, you know that nobody else will think exactly like you or act exactly like you or feel exactly like you... ever again; although there is some consolation in the fact that you are bound to meet, and attract and be attracted to, those who are only exactly like themselves. And it takes a lot of courage and a lot of hard-working soul search to assume the place that is reserved for you; to dare to be simply who you are, with no artifices and no complications.

The fastest way i know of connecting with the deep river is through meditation. But the fastest path is often also the steepest... and there are as many paths as there are stars in the universe, if not more, and they all lead to the center. We can call it a "path" or a "personal religion", or abstain from naming it; it is something everybody can realise; we are born with that seed, that potential; it is our basic human right. Whether through prayer or dance or poetry or any of the arts, or crafts, or through sitting in a cathedral or mosque or mountain or beach, through any creative techniques or ideas and skills such as raising a child or a puppy, a flower or a bridge between two shores or an agreement between people.

To Estes, one arrives there "through any activity which requires an intense altered consciousness". In my experience, it can be that altered (though often very ordinary) consciousness, which in turn alters our perception of every activity, every movement, thought or feeling, allowing us to see it in its perfect uniqueness. It is the process of deprogramming other people's views or dreams of who we are, and of reassembling the bones or elements of who we really are. It is manifest in our houses, in our web pages, in the friends we choose and, unconsciously, in the families we don't choose.

For those who pay attention, it can be glimpsed in the slightest tossing of wild head, in the way we say "thank you" or "get out of my way". It can be heard in the mightiest, most earth-shattering howl ever let out by a free spirit, in the full moon night of our awakening. It is our essence; our birth right. Deep grunt of lioness, belly howl of wolf or powerful river song of human, expressing - hey. I''m here. I'm whole. I am .

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