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We are the Doorway – Tending the Light

September 19, 2017

I am running the latest round of my Energy Work for Sexual Trauma teleseminar starting next week, details here.

My oldest daughter recently read Mists of Avalon, and while discussing it with her I realized anew the special relevance it has for me right now. In this retelling of the Arthurian legend, the ‘mists’ are a doorway between the feminine spiritual world of Avalon, and Britain, which is in the throes of repressing all non-Christian, nature-based, and feminine spiritual traditions. As the battle between these two forces plays out, Avalon becomes increasingly inaccessible. It becomes harder and harder to find the doorway to it hidden in the mists. Eventually the doorway to Avalon is all but closed, and its wisdom and energy is no longer available to the people of Britain.

This idea that our world can be cut off from certain dimensions of light and spirit is found throughout many of the world’s religious and spiritual traditions, including in teachings on the Kali Yuga within both Buddhism and Hinduism, and in the book of Revelations. Although the details vary, the general idea is that the world’s descent into darkness is a process of humans becoming less and less able to access spiritual planes, and the states of awareness that are associated with them. In the darkest of times, this means a world in which it becomes increasingly difficult – if not impossible – for us to access joy, peace, compassion, magic, wonder, bliss, and love.

This is really the definition of hell or hell worlds – an existence in which beings are trapped in states of fear, anger, despair, loneliness and hatred. In truth, in a typical lifetime here on earth most of us experience glimpses of all of these states on both ends of the spectrum. Part of what defines humanity is our spectrum of awareness – that our experience can range from the darkest anger and despair to the highest joys and love. We are also defined by our social nature, and how contagious these states are – how quickly either fear or courage, hatred or compassion, can spread amongst us when it is shared. What this means, when it comes to the world and its access to light, is this:

 

We are the doorway.

 

The doorways to light and spirit are not ‘out there’ behind the mists. They are within each of us. It is our awareness, as human beings, that opens to these planes and keeps them present in this world. Our chakras, our subtle body, are part of the ‘technology’ of how we are able to do this, regardless of whether someone is working consciously with them or not – the chakras are themselves doorways within us. And the earth itself also has chakras and doorways – places where the mists are thinner and we can travel through. But most of the accessibility and vibration of the planet as we experience it at this point is based on us, what we as a species are doing. As long as there is one person in the world able to experience compassion, love, bliss, joy, or magic, then it is a possibility for us all. The day there is no longer anyone left able to feel these things, the doorways to them are all but closed.

Thinking in this way reminds me of the ancient firekeepers or flametenders– those tasked with keeping sacred fires alive during multi-day rituals or, at some spiritual centers, forever. We are all flametenders, striving to keep the higher aspects of human potential alive and vibrant. This might sound like a very dire way of looking at things, but I find that really it adds clarity of purpose and focus. At a time when the world feels so needy and in crises, it is easy to feel as if you must always be doing more – donate more, give more time, fight harder, become more involved – and of course all of these things are needed and valuable. But the intensity of this can be overwhelming., and drives many people to one of two extremes – weighed down by apocalyptic heaviness, or checked out, choosing to disengage entirely.

Thinking of yourself as a doorway adds another dimension to what it means to be alive on this planet today. It emphasizes how important it is to make the time and space to engage in whatever awakens you to magic, joy, bliss, silliness, peace, love and all things good and lovely. To do so is not selfish, it is essential. Otherwise, what is all the fighting for? We are fighting for a world in which more people can experience safety, material abundance, happiness, and then all of the higher experiences human life has to offer. But if in the fight we lose our ability to feel those things, the world as we know it has been lost anyway, because human life doesn’t offer the potential it once did.

There are many challenges to this, some global, some individual. Here are the ones I find the most relevant:

    • Connectivity. The internet has become a reflection of the awareness matrix we all live in. When so many people in your area, country, or the world are hyper-focused on difficult events – as has happened over and over the last few weeks – it becomes increasingly difficult to unplug yourself and feel higher states. You become a consumer, rather than a creator, of world awareness. So give yourself enough unplugged time within each 24 hour period to disconnect from the anxious and combative energies that often dominate the news cycle and social media.
    • Checking Out. Media also offers an unlimited number of ways to disengage from reality, enabling us to live in fantasy worlds of our favorite television shows, video games, YouTube videos, or even books. Sometimes we need the escape. But if we overdo this, if we really have no idea what is going on in the world or how people are suffering, we can easily lose touch with our heart. If this happens, whatever pleasure our media consumption brings us is astral and disassociative, rather than heart-based. Stay connected to your heart – even if it sometimes hurts. When we shut down our heart, all of the other doorways close.
    • Getting Stuck in Outrage. As Charlottsville victim Heather Heyer’s last Facebook post stated, “If you aren’t outraged, you aren’t paying attention.” I feel this is true right now, but I also feel that if you are ONLY outraged, it can destroy you. You have to make decisions for yourself as to how to act on your anger. We all have limited time, energy and resources – where do you want to put yours? Within the Tibetan Buddhist teaching called ‘Five Buddha Families’, anger is an obstructed expression of the enlightened awareness of mirror-like wisdom. Mirror-like wisdom is a clarity and sharpness of focus dedicated to truth. Anger can play an important role in bringing our focus to a previously unseen truth. But then to act effectively, we must transform that anger to wise action, so that we do not fuel the very negativity we wish to dispel. There is nothing more closed than anger.
    • Compassion Fatigue. This term is usually used to refer to burnout on the part of professionals who regularly work with traumatized or acutely suffering individuals – therapists, counselors, medical professionals, and other healers or emergency responders. When compassion fatigue sets in, we become numb to others’ suffering. We can’t take anymore, and simply shut it out. This is different than checking out however, because we still witness the suffering – we can’t escape it – we just stop feeling anything about it, and/or we engage in ‘blame the victim’ narratives. However, just like with checking out, if we shut down our ability to feel one thing, in this case compassion, we shut the doorways to many other emotions and states as well. An open heart is central to all of the most beautiful states humans can feel. It is the central doorway to light and spirit.
    • Feeling undeserving. With so much suffering in the world – and our ability to witness it firsthand 24/7 – it’s easy to feel that we should deny ourselves joy, pleasure, or light, in solidarity with those who cannot feel these things right now. We might think ‘how can I feel light when there are people homeless, starving, tortured, or discriminated against?’ But on the contrary, you owe it to everyone suffering to keep the doorways to light and spirit alive. Yes, you can fight for change, and yes you can feel both compassion and outrage – but don’t forget to embrace the joys of your own life too. To deny yourself these is to let your flame go out – one less light in the world. Don’t let this happen to you – give yourself permission to be a doorway for light.

There is a lot more I could write about the role of chakras in this post, since that is such a focus of this blog, but I will save that for another time. The most relevant point is that your chakras are each doorways themselves, and to explore these fully, you need to move deeply inward, facing courageously and honestly that within you which blocks them, and bringing forth your light. And all of the above are potential blocks, or distractions, to this healing, empowering, and awakening process.

So unplug, stay present, act wisely, center in your heart, and give yourself permission to feel joy and all things good in the world. Keep the doorways to these within you alive. Embrace your role as a flametender, focused not only on battling what is dark, but also with embodying what is light. Tend those fires of joy, bliss, compassion and magic within you.

Happy equinox, and here are some favorite recent books and blog posts from others that may help you along your way: Pettikin by Abby Smith, Uprooted by Naomi Novik, The Dreamer’s Pool trilogy by Juliet Marillier, and Sky Mind blog’s two posts on ‘The Suffering of Busyness’.

 
[NOTE: At the time of this writing, I was not aware of allegations of sexual abuse against the author of Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley. For more information, please see the comments of this post. May all beings feel empowered to speak their truth, and face their shadows. May the light and compassion in us all prevail. XO – Lisa]

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    September 19, 2017 11:37 pm

    Thank you. What about spirit beings, don’t you think they will offer us access to spirit even if humans fall into darkness? I believe there will always be a way to find the light. Though I hope it doesn’t come to that. Do teachings on the Kali Yuga speak of this?

  2. September 20, 2017 12:40 am

    Hi Anonymous, I believe, as you do, that there is always access to light, and enlightenment, because it is within us. And yes, I believe ‘helper beings’ might always be available too. In my opinion, the teachings on the kali yuga support this too. However, it becomes extremely hard – the veil of darkness can become so heavy, that very few teachings are available, and very few people can even comprehend anything other than what they are experiencing, so even if an enlightened being showed up in front of them (in physical or spirit form), they may not recognize him or her as such. So yes, on one sense you are right in pointing out that the doorways are never completely closed, but they can become so difficult to open that almost no one does, and then there are no lights for anyone else to follow…personally I’m hoping humanity doesn’t choose to test this!

  3. Anonymous permalink
    September 20, 2017 5:48 am

    Truth
    Love
    Light
    Thank You

  4. Linette permalink
    September 20, 2017 12:46 pm

    Fantastic post! And so in alignment with everything I believe. Thank you for putting it all so articulately and offering action steps we can all take to offset the challenges. I’m really happy I read this today. I will be sharing on my own blog!

  5. Linette permalink
    September 20, 2017 12:47 pm

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    Brilliant and articulate post that felt important to share. THis falls in line with my own ideals and message, as well as with my other post this morning.

  6. September 20, 2017 1:04 pm

    Beautiful post and also somewhat ironic given your upcoming seminar for survivors of sexual trauma. I love The Mists of Avalon and much of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s writing, but are you aware of her own ties to childhood sexual abuse from the standpoint of both abuser and enabler? That is a very icky story that just goes to show how people and situations are so rarely black or white. Quite misty, really. I am so glad you’re offering this work for sexual trauma, as it remains one of the key issues in our society, despite how much media and polite conversation try to shove it back in the closet.

    Many blessings on your important work!

  7. September 20, 2017 3:10 pm

    I’m glad you liked it Linette and thank you so much for your reblog.

  8. Linette permalink
    September 20, 2017 3:19 pm

    Absolutely! It’s an important message ❤

  9. September 20, 2017 3:33 pm

    Hi Laura, I was not aware of this at all, thanks for bringing it to my attention. Anyone who would like to learn about it may do so here or Wikipedia is updated as well, including with publisher responses, as to the charities where proceeds from her work are now going. I considered removing the reference to her work from this post, but have decided to let it stand and added a note, as perhaps it is meant to be that someone through the reading the story of her daughter will feel empowered to speak out themselves.
    There are many thoughts this triggers, about our shadows and how they express themselves when we do not face them. The vast majority of sexual abusers were themselves abused, and these kinds of cycles of abuse and pain can only end when we all are willing to stand in truth and face them head on. And as we do so, tending the light within us, as this post addresses, is essential, so that we do not get overwhelmed by the shadows of the world. xo – Lisa

  10. September 20, 2017 10:16 pm

    I read this again today because I needed it to sink in a bit deeper. As soon as I got back to my home from the chaos of Hurricane Irma (I evacuated out of my hometown), everything was a mess. So many people without power/water/wifi and we weren’t in the worst part of the storm in Miami. I took time to fix my property and then reached out to others to help them as well. So many people felt devasted, losing homes and cars and precious plants/trees on their land- some they counted on for sustenance and for a living. It felt really sad. And then some picture of 3 handsome Gainesville cops about to leave for their nightshift of Irma duty emerged that had gone viral and I took the time to enjoy the comments from around the world and laugh for a minute and for the first time ever I understood why it’s not only okay to laugh amidst suffering or chaos but NECESSARY if you can muster it. I so agree with you… if all the lights go out, the portals are gone.

    And the whole Gainesville cop thing was funny because it totally mimicked the macrocosm of the human experience. All these women going cuckoo over the cops only to find out one of them was a hateful neo Nazi and then the comments turned to comments of hate and reproach. Light… dark… light… dark. Twists and turns. The whole of it never ceases to be awe-inspiring for me…

  11. Shalom Mojave permalink
    September 20, 2017 10:29 pm

    Always so beautiful and insightful Lisa…thank you so much for your writing. ✨🌙✨

  12. September 21, 2017 2:51 pm

    Hi Pema, thanks for sharing…it is so true that crises can strip us down and remind us of our interdependence in such a visceral way. It makes me so happy to hear these kinds of stories – there was a great one on NPR last night too from a Reuters reporter caught in the Mexico City earthquake, about all the kindnesses from strangers she received…

  13. September 22, 2017 3:18 am

    Thank you Shalom!

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