Archive for November 13th, 2009


If a GPS device could be metaphorically strapped to the “waist” of our soul’s travels in the noosphere, what would the course of the overall journey look like on a moving map?

Would it be, as is generally presumed in Western thought, a more or less straight line of progression with frequent stops, side trips, obstacles to maneuver around, and an ample mix of retrograde motion?

Or, would we instead find that the geometry of sacred wandering was more like a circle, as it is often depicted, or an ellipse perhaps? Would it be better characterized as a series of parabolic cycles with ramping up time in practice followed by a peak experience, and then a falling back toward the “ordinary-verse” of our usual routine, and the daily hum-drum?

How about a series of S-curves with a rapid stepping up of spiritual energy, then a peaking followed by a refractory plateau phase with an accompanying pursuit of the next S- curve!? So far, the S-curve image feels right as I hold the metaphor up against my own experience.

Thinking about this today a fair bit, I have actually settled, for the moment, on the image of a helical spiral. As we progress along our chosen yellow-brick road, energy generally feels like it’s mostly gently spooling up with occasional spikes up and down.

Assuming a commitment to daily practice, that energy should on average continue to move in spiraling cycles. Carrying the metaphor forward, the helical spiral doubles back toward earlier points but at a different energy level and with a different spiritual signature. We may in the spiraling process stumble upon “old” relics of meditations and ruminations past, yet see them suddenly with new eyes and as if for the first time.

Marcel Proust once wrote: ” The journey of discovery consists not of finding new lands, but having fresh eyes.”

Practically, this means that we need to keep a journal of our daily contemplative experiences, recording what happened, what we saw, what we felt physically, what was familiar, what was new, and what was familiar yet somehow new. This gives us a chance to anchor different vistas that we see from many vantage points as we spiral forward on our winding path.

Those anchor points are profoundly reassuring and remind us, in the dry periods of sameness and boredom, that every movement along the helical spiral is relevant. A seeming back-slide is just a cycle around the back side.

What’s the trajectory and geometry of your journey? How would you diagram your experience?

© Brother Anton and The Harried Mystic, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


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