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#3068 - Wednesday, February 6, 2008 - Editor: Gloria Lee  

Nonduality Highlights -        

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."   - Marcel Proust        


By Ivan M. Granger
(1969 - )

Medusa says –

I was wisdom
black as night.

Now they call me:

So I hide
behind this hissing curtain
of hair.

little ones,
breathe easy;
you are free
to not see.

what is a lonely
old lady to do?

I still wait
for some daughter,
          some son,
so wounded by the world,
to seize these snakes
and part my locks wide.

I still wait
for some bold, tired
          wild child of mine,
determined to die
seeing what’s reflected
in my unblinking eye.

I read a lot of Greek mythology in my childhood. I loved the fantastical adventures, the heroes, the monsters, the convoluted relationships of the gods. I was fascinated that so many common words and phrases have their origins in the names and stories of Greek myths. And I also had the vague, semi-formed idea that there was something deeper being said in these myth stories.

I discovered something a few years back that struck me: Medusa, the quintessential monster of Greek mythology, was originally a much loved Goddess. Her name comes from the Greek word "metis" (similar to the Sanskrit "medha") meaning "wisdom." Her worship is thought to have originated in Northern Africa and been imported into early Greek culture. She was black-skinned, wore wild, matted hair (with, of course, snakes), stood naked, wide-eyed, and embodied the mystery of woman, the wisdom of the night, the truths too profound or terrible to face in the daylight.

Medusa is, in effect, a Mediterranean version of the Hindu Goddess Kali.

Medusa was eventually subsumed into the safer, patriarchal worship of Athena, who carries Medusa’s head upon her shield.

This discovery inspired me to look at the figure of Medusa more deeply, more reverently. What is the wisdom that terrifies? Why the snakes? Why the petrifying open-eyed stare? And how does such a bringer of terrible wisdom feel about being rejected by her children?

So I hide
Behind this hissing curtain
Of hair.

The snakes about Medusa’s head are the awakened Kundalini energy, having risen from the base of the spine to the skull. The Kundalini Shakti is the Goddess energy. Medusa is the Kundalini. She is the Snake Mother.

Yet, She has formed of this living energy a curtain, a veil that hides Her from a world not ready to bear witness to Her. This curtain is Maya, the veil of illusion that creates an artificial sense of separation between the world and the Divine.

And the curtain does indeed hiss. When you are quiet and your thoughts settle, you begin to hear a soft sound seeming to issue from the base of your skull. Initially, it sounds like a creaking or crackling noise, a white noise, a sort of a hissing. The deeper you go into silence, the more the sound resolves itself. Eventually, you recognize it permeating your whole body and all things.

You must pass through this hissing curtain in order to meet the deep truth waiting for you on the other side.

I still wait
For some bold, tired
Wild child of mine,
Determined to die
Seeing what’s reflected
In my unblinking eye.

Medusa’s eye does not blink. This is partly what is so terrifying about her gaze. She stares boldly out and sees Reality as it is. She sees it plainly, fearlessly, and without interruption. There is no pause for interpretation or "filtering." Medusa’s truth is raw. She is the Divine Mother who sees all of Her Creation in every living instant.

Looking in Medusa’s eye, what is it that you see reflected? Yourself, of course. And this truly is shattering, for you see the truth of yourself. You see the falseness, the unreality of your little self, your social self, your ego self. That little self is a phantom, a mental creation only.

Medusa, in her shattering wisdom, does not protect you from this realization. Her love for you will not allow you to struggle on with such a false notion holding you back from your true nature.

Seeing this truth, you die. The little self dies.

But, in dying to the little self, your true nature suddenly shines forth. The real Self, which is one with the Divine, emerges. Every aspect of yourself that felt broken and you labored so long to heal, is suddenly made whole; in fact, you realize nothing was ever broken. That sense of incompleteness was the result of denying the vastness you truly are while clinging to the illusion of the little self.

This is Medusa’s gift to Her children. This is Her terrible wisdom. It is the truth that blesses you through death, and then gives you greater life than you had previously imagined possible.

Poetry Chaikhana Home  

    Less than two weeks after I entered the halfway house, my life changed completely. What follows is a very approximate account.
One morning I woke up. I had been sleeping on the floor as usual. Nothing special had happened the night before; I just opened my eyes. But I was seeing without concepts, without thoughts or an internal story. There was no me. It was as if something else had woken up.

It opened its eyes. It was looking through Katie's eyes. And it was crisp, it was clear, it was new, it had never been here before. Everything was unrecognizable. And it was so delighted! Laughter welled up from the depths and just poured out.
It breathed and was ecstasy. It was intoxicated with joy: totally greedy for everything. There was nothing separate, nothing unacceptable to it. Everything was its very own self. For the first time I — it — experienced the love of its own life. I — it —was amazed!

In trying to be as accurate as possible, I am using the word 'it' for this delighted, loving awareness, in which there was no me or world, and in which everything was included. There just isn't another way to say how completely new and fresh the awareness was.
There was no I observing the "it." There was nothing but the "it." And even the realization of an "it" came later….
Then it stood up, and that was amazing. There was no thinking, no plan. It just stood up and walked to the bathroom. It walked straight to a mirror, and it locked onto the eyes of its own reflection, and it understood.

And that was even deeper than the delight it had known before. It fell in love with that being in the mirror. It was as if the woman and the awareness of the woman had permanently merged.

There were only the eyes, and a sense of absolute vastness, with no knowledge in it. It was as if I — she — had been shot through with electricity.

It was like God giving itself life through the body of the woman — God so loving and bright, so vast — and yet she knew that it was herself. It made such a deep connection with her eyes.

There was no meaning to it, just a nameless recognition that consumed her. Love is the best word I can find for it. It had been split apart, and now it was joined.

There was it moving, and then it in the mirror, and then it joined as quickly as it had separated — it was all eyes. The eyes in the mirror were the eyes of it. And it gave itself back again , as it met again.

And that gave it its identity, which I call love. As it looked in the mirror, the eyes — the depth of them— were all that was real, all that existed — prior to that, nothing. No eyes, no anything; even standing there, there was nothing. And then the eyes come out to give it what it is.

People name things a wall, a ceiling, a foot, a hand. But it had no name for these things, because it's indivisible. And it's invisible. Until the eyes. Until the eyes.

I remember tears of gratitude pouring down the cheeks as it looked at its own reflection. It stood there staring for I don't know how long.

  - Byron Katie

posted to The_Now2

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