Archive for December 31st, 2009

Image From The Well at the World's End by William Morris

12/31/2009: New Year’s Eve, U.S.

At midnight, local time worldwide, both a year and a decade come to a close. Like so many years before it, it was a whirlwind of surprising, shocking, exciting, breath-taking and unprecedented happenings. In many ways, I am glad to be rid of it as I am with every year that came before. To let it go is as important a spiritual lesson as to learn from what the year brought by way of teaching. The ending is a time of energy and excitement as it simultaneously serves as the gateway to new possibilities.

The past year is but history now: twelve months on which to think and abstract meaningful moments. As we lift a glass in the spirit of “auld lang syne,” I celebrate the intrinsic completeness of endings. As at the end of a phrase of music, we reach a coda, and we look ahead with a certain thrilling openness to the next verse, or the next movement, or the next symphony assuming a series. In the case of many ongoing issues that spill into the new year, perhaps it is more of a syncopation than a full stop coda.

Generally, endings have a certain purity that beginnings lack. They are definitive. After a point, what was once so pressing and ever-present and all-consuming is wholly replaced by the fresh scents and flavors of now.

Beginnings, however, are more elastic.  There are phases to a launch, and as each phase comes to a close yet another is just beginning. We are children of this rhythm of beginnings and endings framing the melody and harmony that weave across the landscape of our lives.

We are defined more by our endings and how we acknowledge them than by our beginnings. The future is the adventure of unfolding and discovery as yet undisclosed and too soon to celebrate.  We make our plans and express our resolutions though fully aware that odds are that they will surely be dramatically reshaped by coming circumstance.

Meaning is wrapped up in endings and we are known to ourselves and others by what’s been, what we’ve done and not done, said and not said. Grammatically speaking, endings are the periods which make way for the next sentence and paragraph. To end is to make space for the possible and to give meaning to all the wandering that led to this present moment.

Endings are congratulation and invitation. We sum up the past and offer an homage to days now gone by, while boldly stepping into the yet unformed, untraveled, and undiscovered lands of tomorrow. In taking her next step, the hero’s journey is only truly engaged once s/he’s acknowledged what is over.

In doing so, we make space for mystery to self-organize, evolve, and emerge with uncontaminated freshness.

This is our great spiritual paradox. We celebrate what’s been, recognizing what must end, and what we must “unlearn,” while  fully embracing what emerges without jaundice, undo coloration, or prejudiced sense of what seems predestined or constrained by what was.

This paradoxical nature is captured in the archetype of the Christ, or Anointed One: To be fully human, a child of an age, a culture, and temporal circumstances, and a bringer of perpetual hope, a harbinger of renewed and sanctified times, and sign of the approach of the Celestial City outside of space and time.

Our bridge to the divine-somewhere and luminous beginnings, starts with a profound bow to the spirit of history that brought us here, quickly followed by a deep and hearty, full-throated wish and embrace: “Happy New Year!” With arms thrown wide, let us offer a heart-felt and generous kiss to all who will receive it in the same spirit .

May deep and abiding Love and the intimate fire at the Heart of the Cosmos keep you warm on the coldest nights, illuminate your shadow-times, and fill your sails with bold winds on whatever seas the New Year may bring. May the times be sweet and gracious, joyful and deeply meaningful.

© 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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