I’m writing from our Gazebo, a hand-made, wooden, screened-in Octagon, surrounded by the baby green maple, birch, and oak leaves of early spring. The stream flows below us lending that primordial sound of the womb. A soothing vibration that evokes an exhale. My shoulders drop, my belly softens, I breathe in the promise of spring.
It is lady slipper season in Western Massachusetts and so we’ve come out to the Gazebo to see the expansive field of these flowers. They are almost embarrassing in their Georgia O’Keefe sensuality. Pink, full lips, women’s bodies inviting pleasure, offering birth. My husband Joe has protected them with a transparent fence so that, during snow season, we know where not to trample. Thus they have replicated every year. I’ve just counted 18, the holy number for Life in the mystical language of Hebrew. And isn’t this the classic manifestation of the healthy Masculine? Joe choosing to protect so that the feminine can flourish in all her beauty and glory.
I’m just back from another week of studying the indigenous wisdom of Kabbalah with our holy teacher Rabbi Nadya Gross and her band of spirited mystics. (I am learning, so what I’ll say next about Kabbalah I offer with humility – there is a lifetime of study ahead.) We are tracking for clews from this ancient cosmology as to what Creation is asking of us now. There is a teaching from liturgy; the words are “Sof Ma’aseh b’Makshava T’hilah.” Meaning, “At the end of time, the original thought will be manifest.” And what is that original thought? That the two great lights, the sun and the moon; archetypal metaphors for the masculine and the feminine, for bestowing and receiving, will be equal lights in the Universe sharing one crown. This describes the emergent messianic time. Not when one savior comes back to earth to rescue us all, but when all are in sacred relationship; the feminine and masculine whole and balanced within each of us (both women and men), between us, among us and beyond us.
The metaphor in this teaching tale goes on to share that the sun’s dominance was a mistake that is and will be rectified. The moon is and will rise up to meet the sun in its power and they will share the one crown as co-creative, equal sovereigns. Why does this matter now? We sense that we are out of balance in our own lives and this imbalance is reflected in the damage we are doing to the Earth. Too much drive, domination, power-over, acquisition of materials, consumption of resources. In need of more receptivity, co-creativity, and the sense of spiritual and emotional well-being that allows us to appreciate the abundance that is already ours in each moment. We already are and have enough to flourish.
The river beneath me flows, the lady slippers are multiplying, the brand new birch leaves are swaying in the gentle breeze. And I’m able to type this on my battery-powered PC, while enjoying this bounty outside in our Gazebo that shelters me from May’s tenacious black flies. Mara, my spirit, hiking and writing buddy, types next to me. We hold the space for each other’s creativity to come through our fingers and onto the screen. It is a fecund world; I’m one of its children.
Last week I met another one in David McConville at a gathering for systems thinking and sustainability in Boston. David sports a shaved head covered by a stylish black cap, gold hoop earrings in each ear, and a spark in his eye. Had I met him on the street I might have judged, “Gen-X rapper.” But when David began to speak, connecting cosmology, astronomy, consciousness and climate, I knew I was in the presence of a magnificent brilliant soul. He had brought with him his “GeoDome,” a roughly 18 foot in diameter, inflated black plastic structure sitting on top of a gymnasium floor. It looked like one of those inflatable things that kids bounce on at Birthday parties. Inside, it was pitch black like the night sky and rows of chairs for 23 or so of us were set up. David proceeded to project in full color-- through the miracle of 4-D computer graphics, cutting edge science, and more -- a Hayden Planetarium-quality experience of ourselves and the cosmos. He began on planet Earth and then took us on a journey out in powers of 10 meters beyond our sun, our solar system, our milky way and further. All while doing a live voice-over narrative weaving a tale of the glory of all this.
“Earth is in the Goldi-locks zone -- remember her proverbial porridge, 'not too hot and not too cold,'” David explained, as he highlighted Earth’s orbit around the sun with a bright red band at an orbital distance just closer to the sun and a dark blue band just further out. “In the red zone, the temperature is too hot, water evaporates, and the conditions for life do not exist. In the blue zone, it’s too cold, water freezes and again life is not supported.” He continued to show how these "Goldi-locks” properties exist for us relative to the moon’s orbit around Earth, the Sun’s orbit around the Milky Way and more. It seems that the Universe is conspiring (literally breathing together) to create the one in a zillion conditions for life to thrive here on our home planet. Astronomer’s instruments, just sensitive enough in the past few decades for this observation, are now able to identify scores of planets orbiting around their own suns out there. Not one has Goldi-locks' gifts.
Back to Kabbalah. The interplay of the scientists and the mystics is called for here. Remember how Einstein’s deep dive into the nature of the Universe lead him to the mystic’s path? The grandeur of creation was just too great for him to describe in scientific terms alone. The Kabbalistic theory of Cosmology is this: Originally all was One. Creation then emerged out of the Creator’s longing to know itself. And according to science to date, the only place that the diversity of life is manifest in all its abundance is right here on planet earth. The lady slippers, the birch trees, the stream, my fingers, the consciousness that I have to express this to you, and you have to hear it – all of these exist solely here on our magnificent, blue planet. Our home is where the reflection of the Creator lives.
As the Sufi poet Rumi says, now go out and praise, there are “100s of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”
Kabbalah Cosmology further says that the Divine creating through its yearning to be in relationship is a metaphor and a template for our own unfolding creative pursuits. To the extent that we human beings generate new endeavors out of our longing to be in loving relationship with each other, the fruits of that work will be in harmony and supportive of Life. Conversely when we create from a different place, one of ego and self-aggrandizement, separate from relationship to other, we manifest disharmony, violence and destruction. In every moment we choose.
In the end, the original thought -- the original purpose of Creation – will prevail. An uplifting prophecy of peace, harmony and love on this planet, when life in all its diversity is celebrated as the magnificent reflection of the Divine that it is. This time is near. We have to wake up to it, and we are waking up to it. The masculine and the feminine in co-creative balance. All of us honoring the majesty of Creation in the other. The sun and the moon, the two great lights, each in their own full power, respectfully sharing one crown. Did Goldilocks have a crown? Let’s give her one. And the three bears too.