The image is the legendary Round Table of King Arthur (from a 15th century manuscript), at which
the Holy Grail appeared in a vision and started the knights on the famous quest. The Grail itself symbolizes inner wholeness for which men have always searched.
A WRINKLE IN TIME
My first lesson in metaphysics came from an unlikely source — a Kiddie Lit class required for Elementary Education Majors at the University of Texas. Before Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Harry Potter, The Matrix, Avatar and Divergent, there was A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L’Engle. Swept along in the fantasy, my young adult view of 3D reality turned a corner and cracked wide open: In the story, "an unearthly stranger appears.... She claims to have been blown off course, and goes on to tell.... There is such a thing as a tesseract, which, if you didn’t know, is a wrinkle in time."
As I read, I remembered that as a child I believed many magical things:The world is huge and I can touch the sky! Animals talk. The wind knows my name. I saw not only with my eyes, but also with my heart. With childlike wonder I fell in love with The Mystery. Then like most of us, I grew up, and forgot; encouraged to forget by a linear, height/width/depth society. When the teacher said, "Quit daydreaming!" I tried to be good, to conform, to forget the magic.
But in spite of honest effort to put away childish wonder, cramming for my college Kiddie Lit exam, squinting to read beneath a pale yellow beam, I woke up and remembered who I am. Since then I’ve never been able to get back to sleep. So I gave up. (You can probably relate.) Now I watch and wait for “the stranger at the door,” a flash of intuition, a moment of clear knowing which separates what was, from what is becoming.
Myths which resonate deep within our imagination become rooted in our psyche as potent guiding truths:
~ If we “choose to accept it,” imagination carries us on boundless voyages into the unknown.
~ Tinker Bell tells us how: “Believe, only believe.”
~ The wardrobe really does open into Narnia.
~ Red pill or blue pill? By individual acts of choice, we decide to live inside The Matrix or out.
King Arthur, Guenivere, Launcelot and the search for the Holy Grail? Wow! Haven't we all been hooked by that one? More than myth, only in adult life have I recognized the grail quest as a metaphysical principle which represents longing for the True Self. Intuition and instinct, coupled with deep longing for home, guide us towards reunion with the spiritual essence of our being. Like a pebble tossed into the center of consciousness, intuitive awareness radiates into ever-widening ripples of soul restoration. If we fish, we will catch all we need to wisely nourish this one and only life.
In December, a few years ago, I was caught in an intuitive homing impulse. When I would normally be at home baking pumpkin bread, instead of checking the pantry for cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, I became obsessed with the idea of traveling to Europe. It made no sense. The timing was wrong, but the idea grabbed hold and would not let me up.
Scrolling through the internet I located a likely tour, which would sort of fit into my Christmas plans of traveling to Upstate NY and Christmas with my family. At least the flight could depart from New York. Although the prescribed travel through Europe would take me through glorious locations in France, England and Scotland while tracing the footsteps of Dan Brown's recently published novel, I wasn't altogether sure this exact tour was the one. Like most everybody in the world I had read Brown's, The Da Vinci Code. And especially resonated with the heretical ideas (according to sacrosanct scriptures canonized at the Council of Nicea in 325AD or CE - the contemporary attribution) that Brown ingeniously presents as fiction.
The Da Vinci tour seemed impelling. But it wasn't quite it. Strangely obsessed as I was with the idea of Europe and Christmas traditions be damned, I really wanted - maybe needed - a wrinkle in time ,life-changing experience. Maybe an edgy pilgrimage like Shirley McClaine experiences in Out On A Limb, which along with Jonathan Livingston Seagull blew my mind and changed my life in the Eighties. Sensibly, I shared with the tour director this Da Vinci venue wasn’t going to work for me. But she said, “You can have whatever experiences you need to have. No one is going to stop you.” I wasn't hard to convince. Besides, I liked her.
And suddenly, I this felt something big. From past inner-world experiences I expected that surely to goodness, something would come of this European adventure...that I was now going on...no matter what. Actually, I did have a clue what my longing might be about.
Years before at an especially difficult but transformative time in my life - divorce, being single, on your own with a new psychotherapy practice and child in college can do that for you - I experienced a magical meditative experience. So strong I always remembered, and felt warm inside every time I thought of it: A glowing sun streaming brilliant beams of light completely fills my inner eye. A silvery moon, smaller than the sun yet no less brilliant, gently eclipses the sun. Radiant beams entwine. A strong inner voice says: When the sun and the moon become one, there will be roses without thorns. At that moment, the luminous sun and moon transform into a circular stained glass window, as a delicate pink rose slips into the center.
Now here I was, two weeks before Christmas, all the way across the Atlantic, stunned motionless before the round Rose Window at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. It was exactly like the one I had seen in my inner world years ago. Hadn't researched. Didn't know where or how the rose window image might actually exist. Voices echoed through the cavernous chamber. I couldn’t move. My heart thumped. I didn’t completely grasp the meaning, but I was here...now...feeling it. I cried and no one saw. I felt invisible. There was only me and this exquisite understanding: The longing which brought me here had begun years ago with the magical image of the sun, moon and rose.
Dr. Carl Jung - whose work you may know since he is the true father of soul psychology - would identify this potent inner world image as a Mandala, a circle drawing, a picture of wholeness, a soul picture. And still, even though we name the experience as transcendent, we seldom immediately integrate the layered wisdom which these big images convey...or understand how they inform our everyday life. Whether our rational mind completely grasps the meaning or not, we can’t help but acknowledge the strength of emotions which let us know that our heart is open and on fire. Feeling a sense of wonder in every cell, we can't help but know that we’ve dropped through a wrinkle in time. And now that have experienced this other side of reality, no doubt, more will definitely be revealed....