According to A Course In Miracles, the body was a vehicle for communication. If so, what was I communicating? Was it the same mixed signals I always seemed to give off? Even if it was why did others take it so personally when I was with the cross to bear? I mean it wasn’t like I was doing it on purpose. Still, having to deal with other people’s judgments didn’t make the problem any easier. If anything it only complicated matters. I knew it was all about communicating love, but that was so general and meant so many different things to so many different people as to be almost redundant.

With nowhere else to turn I turned inward and into my heart. Through the pushing and pulling going on in my head I found a moment’s peace and reflected on what was going on. My head felt like something was trying to get in – or even worse out. I didn’t know which. A memory drifted through the dimensions of space and time and fell to the ground like a golden leaf on an autumn day. It spoke of someone waiting at the door. Recognizing it as the picture of Jesus waiting ever so patiently with love and compassion at the door of my being, my heart melted. Yes, I remembered now. All I had to do was open the door and let Him in. It reminded me of a lesson me and the street kids had learned all those years ago when society couldn’t, wouldn’t or didn’t know how to help. It was about asking the Universe for help. It was powerful in its own right to make thing happen, but I took it even further. Rather than just letting the Universe do all the work, I took it upon myself to do my fair share, i.e. ask for the eyes to see and the ears to hear, etc.

Sitting in my heart, I peered upwards to my head and outwards to my crown chakra. Expecting – well something unexpected, I got exactly what I was looking for. Long, bony fingers held my crown in such an iron grip that any attempts to think, move or navigate at all in the mental dimension were impossible.  Knowing the Universe wasn’t out to capture me, I peered downwards towards my root chakra. Once again it was being held in the firm grip of that same or similar bony hand. Cut off from Heaven and Earth, I stayed put hoping to be shown a way out. Instead, long, bony claws wrapped themselves around my body cutting off circulation and breath. With nowhere to go I surrendered, mind, body and soul to what was happening.

Contradictions rose up and fell back down to ground with such force, I could barely move, think and feel. Positive and negative, good and bad, warrior and coward, survivor and pioneer, life and death, nothing and everything and much, much more battled one another oblivious to one overall truth: each served a role in the protection of the self. Unable to move – scared to even try, brought the realization something new was being asked of them. Instead of the incessant squabbling, cursing and blaming they were now being asked to work together. No easy task after a lifetime, if not lifetimes of incessant infighting. And I couldn’t turn to just counseling for answers, especially as it was so spiritually inadequate. Thank God, I still had my sweat lodge to turn to.

Even when the day came I didn’t want to go. Fortunately, if it wasn’t for my commitments as firekeeper I might not have gone, but I did. It was expected of me and I couldn’t let others down. It wasn’t proper and, besides, I did have my own stuff to deal with like feeling like a prisoner of my own being. On the way I saw a coyote in broad daylight. It surprised me, but not as much as the cat it appeared to be turning away from. Why wpuld a coyote turn tail on a seeming plain old puddy cat. I didn’t know and didn’t want tot know either. So, I let them be.

Working as if in a dream state, made the real problem of voicing my truth easier to bear. I knew I was good at telling the truth, but not like this. This felt incredibly different – violatingly so. What was my truth? I didn’t really know other than how I was feeling and the things I couldn’t seem to finish like this book for instance. I mean, how was I supposed to finish something that didn’t have an ending. And what if the ending brought unexpected results like death or worse – love.. Was that it? What if I actually got hat I asked for? The concept was so mind-numbingly foreign that even my heart couldn’t help me deal with what it didn’t know. My whole life I’d fought, struggles, championed and on occasion won, but only because of some great effort on my part. Seek and ye shall find Jesus had said. What if all I had to do was ask and it would be given? Was it really that easy?

The sweat itself went smoothly. Then came the third round.  I laid down on my back on Mother Earth as a sign of trust and acceptance of her loving compassion to support me. Instructed to feel the ancestors and animal spirits around us, I surrendered to the darkness within and with-out. All of a sudden a gigantic, black-haired spider rose up from the depths of the ground. Earth fell as it rose. I shrieked, but managed to hold on. Lifting me on its back I felt myself being carried out of the safety of the lodge. Water on hot rocks sent it dissipating into the nether regions from whence it came.

While obviously the weaver of webs, heart raced to understand its significance. What did it symbolize? Where had it really come from? Where had it gone? Why had it shown itself to me? Why hadn’t it eaten, bitten or stung me? Questions, so many questions. Thank God I felt safe in the lodge or I might’ve run screaming through the woods like I had as a child.

Later research showed it symbolized the need to be careful of the choices I was making in my life. In essence, what webs was I weaving? But one question still haunted me – where had it really come from? I recalled how in a meditation two entities had left my lower being. They’d been there feeding on the energy I couldn’t, wouldn’t or refused to acknowledge as my own. Pride licked its wounds at the realization I wasn’t as in control of myself as I thought. But I also saw how they had every right to make use of what I wasn’t using. While not mine, such were the ways of the Universe.

Continuing my research revealed the cat symbolizing the need to look within our own hearts and minds for the truth of matters. While the coyote was the trickster, shape-shifter or transformer it also represented the cyclical nature life and death. The message that resonated within was to not give in to the fears of the mind, but to turn to heart to remain true to myself.

Yes webs were traps, but they also served as homes, incubators and feeding grounds. They also had incredible strength and resiliency against even the most testing conditions and could be woven over and over again as needed. And rather than weaving whole webs to deceive, ensnare and trap that ‘technology’ could be respectfully incorporated into single strands.

Now, the jigsaw puzzle was more complete: web, spider, fly, egg and feeding strand stood revealed for me to see. In a flash of insight, I saw how judging anyone of them as unnecessary was akin to favoring one foot over some other appendage, sense, feeling or thought. All were necessary vehicles for me to learn my karmic lessons. And now I could choose where, when, how and which was appropriate to use and for what purpose that best suited my spiritual path.

With choice came my moment of truth: shirk responsibility and crawl back into the shadows or go forth and seek new life and new adventures that befitted my heart? Fear still remained, but now I had the wisdom and tools to overcome it. In fact, being a natural part of life, it now had a variety of different feels, tones and textures to it. What if there were other ways, better ways or the best way I wasn’t aware of? What if I let things be and come to me? But from experience I saw how watching and waiting, while tools in their own right, was also the path of the survivor and not the whole picture. Yes the survivor had served me well in the past, but now something new was making itself known. Something that combined surviving, experience and knowledge together. It was the pioneer. And it wanted to go beyond the confines of the construct, to put its mettle to the test and feel alive again.

Whereas the survivor waited for things to happen so it could struggle and feel proud to overcome, the same wasn’t necessarily true for the pioneer. Yes it had fears, struggles and obstacles to face, but it faced them differently, almost willingly for it instinctively knew the lessons it held. And without the need for prideful rewards – even money it was free from the ravages of envy, greed and avarice. But most importantly it had the survivor and its vast storehouse of experiential knowledge to turn to for help when needed. Through mutual respect of each others qualities of what they could and couldn’t do, pioneer and survivor worked together as a team rather than being at odds all the time. As a result, I felt intrinsically whole and stronger and could face life’s challenges with a different set of tools, ethics and values. But one piece was still missing – the captain!

© Michael J. Varma, The Gong Show, 2011 –

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael J. Varma and The Gong Show with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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