“There is a saying that
‘God sleeps in the stones,
dreams in the plants,
stirs in the animals and
awakens in humans.’”
Whenever I see a blade of grass that has pushed its way through an asphalt road I stop and applaud before continuing on my way with renewed hope and inspiration. It is reassuring to know that the power of life will break the bonds of any imposed form.
But where does this creative urge and expressive ability come from? Questions like this have propelled me along many paths of exploration and during one of these cerebral wanderings I stumbled upon the concept of black holes in space. A black hole is an area in space where the forces of gravity are so overwhelming that matter has collapsed upon itself, causing a transdimensional rent in the very fabric of the created universe. Like some giant stellar plug-hole perched on the edge of chaos it beckons, swallows and transports all that comes within its reach to God knows where. It is the gate of Death, for no light can escape its grasp.
However, if we hold that energy can be neither created nor destroyed, then this is definitely not the end of the road for created life. What could lie on the other side of a black hole? While musing on this question I came up with a delightfully unsettling idea—that within the dualistic framework which provides the loom on which the manifested worlds are woven, there must exist a counterpart. This thought quickened my quest and I began the search for the white hole.
The following spring I was preparing to sow some early carrots in my Pineridge garden when a breakthrough occurred. I glanced down at the seeds and became transfixed, filled with an electric tingle of expectancy. In thoughtful consideration for my slow-moving human senses, Mother Nature had halted the flow of time to allow me a more intimate view, and that consistently wise teacher was now showing me the mundane magic of her world.
What I now perceived in the palm of my hand was a cluster of white holes. The seeds were acting as celestial gateways through which new light could pour back into the earth and substantiate the cellular world of form. I felt as if I could actually see the angels carrying the light-filled musings of the Creator, breathing through these portals of birth onto the fields of time and space to create the natural patterns of light we know as trees, shrubs, vegetables and flowers.
I looked at the wonder of nature surrounding me and could not comprehend how on earth it could all be squashed and squeezed into something as minute as a seed. What was the miracle that occurred within that tiny world? My silent questions were answered quite unexpectedly. I found myself, rather like Lewis Carroll’s Alice, rapidly decreasing in size until I landed in the centre of a seed. The following verbal images probably best capture and communicate my ensuing ‘journey.’
I am a seed and within me pulses the will to live and the power to be. I am a fiery messenger of hope in whose atomic heart burns the promise of eternity. Borne on solar winds I have crossed vast stellar fields of night from a starry home where the substance of who I am was woven from devic dreams. Alight with faith, I have entered the seed-bed universe of your Earth, and within its cellular walls I make my home. I am life and I have come to be reborn and revealed: the temporal unfoldment of an eternal truth.
I wait in silent strength buried deep and alone in damp, dark soils of winter, while outside my shell the night-force slowly swallows day until the longest night is come. The darkness of winter is my womb. The solstice is a pivotal point and with the turning of the wheel of seasonal change the stillness of this pregnant pause is pierced by an invisible shaft of light. It enters deep into my heart and I feel the quickening of my pulse and an irresistible pull from above and beyond to leave the black light of matter which is the darkness of un-knowing. I must journey to the sun.
With spring my inner fire increases and my heart sings as the earth gently stirs and awakens from its seasonal slumber. As day and night are poised in equal strength at the vernal equinox, the polarity produces an almost unbearable tension and, reaching a flash-point, the fire of new beginnings is finally released. It shatters my death-mask shell and I am resurrected. There is joy as the spirits and elements of earth work in harmony with my unfolding patterns to build a new body. I send down roots to draw nourishment, and tender shoots to reach up through the soil. As I grow, I am kissed by the freshness of wind, sun and rain as they offer their blessings. Throughout this tender and vulnerable stage I am supported by the love of my earth mother and with each day I feel new confidence as leaves and stalks take shape and swollen buds appear at their tips.
The beckoning sun climbs higher in the sky and reaches its zenith, presiding over the festival of summer when light has its day. Nature celebrates her splendour with a pageant of coloured songs and fragrant whispers. I move with this dance and rejoice at the flowing of my own inner nature as the procession wends its way through the last of summer. The shortening of the days brings a pressure and an urgency to form new seeds as I realise that each moment is the culmination of past experiences and the preparation for new cycles.
I feel the mellow touch of autumn and as Time harvests the fruits of my journey I have a deeper understanding of who I am. This wisdom lives within the seeds that I now drop into the waiting earth for safe-keeping. My love and gratitude go out to the body that has carried me with tenderness to this point and that now awaits re-absorbtion into the earth. The cycle of externalisation has passed and the creative forces gather to a point of stillness within me as I stand poised to re-enter the seed world. I pierce the walls through a refocusing of my love and will, and once more lie within the substantial embrace of matter. I am a seasonal traveler awaiting further passage on the ebb and flow of the tides of light and dark. But as the seed I remain the messenger of hope and the promise of revelation within all life.
These kinds of experiences take time to percolate through the many inner layers of our beings until they become of practical daily use. The gradual realisation that maybe I, too, was a white hole in space through which life could be revealed needed some digestion. The notion of myself as a divine seed awaiting birth was very appealing, but I know that simply running around waving a packet of seeds in the air to prove both my identity and worth is fruitless. The content of the seed is only shown by being sown.
Despite all the lumber and the present knowledge of biocoenosis, it is still impossible for our human ingenuity to reconstruct a living tree from the outside. The natural way of birth for the flora of our planet results from an inside job undertaken by the seed. What if this principle also holds true of our human development? Instead of amassing ideas, techniques and belief systems in an attempt to assemble an identity from the outside, what may be required is an act of individual daring: to place ourselves in the soil of worldly experience with a trust and faith that who we are in essence will unfold from within. In this way our identity can never be lost: it will simply express itself differently according to which cultural soil onto which we fall and what nourishment is available from our milieu.
There is a great difference, however, between growing vegetables and unfolding our own human destiny. As a gardener, I am extremely grateful to the seed companies for printing clear instructions on the packets that tell me how to sow and look after my plants and when best to harvest them. Alas, frequent inspection of my own human cover has failed to reveal the same amount of information. Someone, somewhere, has omitted to label and print the instructions for my care and unfoldment, or to offer a few well-chosen words telling me who I am, where I am best planted and what fruits I have to offer. How do we gain access to this life-giving information? I refuse to believe we have been abandoned on Earth without help. Could it be that we have been looking in the wrong places and using inappropriate tools in our self-exploration?
Our finely hone analytical minds are expert at reducing life to its component parts. We pride ourselves at having split the atom and harnessing the awesome power of the universe, but we still lack an understanding of why life works. It is like trying to find the secret of the flower by cutting the seed in two: we may have access to the material power locked within that world but we are no nearer to comprehending and appreciating the integral beauty and purpose of the flower within the larger scheme. We need to employ other tools that have the ability to transcend the limitations of mechanistic linear thinking. One such faculty now awakening within our human consciousness is intuition, which offers us a way of viewing our participation in life in more holistic terms, and is connected to spherical rather than linear perception.
The field of holographic research has opened up a whole new world in this regard, giving evidence of the esoteric truth that the macrocosm is reflected in the microcosm. If a glass plate imprinted with a holographic image is dropped on the floor and smashed to pieces, it is still possible to pick up any single shard and view the original complete image through that part. This is a discovery, not an invention, and it speaks to me on very personal terms by stating that there is a way home: a path that leads from seeming separation to acknowledged wholeness. It is a reassuring remedy for what I term the ‘God-gap sickness’—the apparent credibility gap between the idealistic and realistic levels of our daily life.
I was first stricken with this dis-ease some years ago after a particularly powerful meditative experience in the Findhorn sanctuary. Having touched a deep part of myself which knew that it was at one with all life, I left the security of the sanctuary and bumped into the very person for whom I had the least love and tolerance, and immediately a flood of unresolved and unredeemed aspects of myself came to the surface. It was a shock to my system. I had to contend with the fact that while on some inner level a state of unity existed, I had yet to build and perfect the earthly vehicle that could express that inherent truth. Bridging that gap is part of the process of birthing the sacred in the same way that the seed containing the eternal image of wholeness enters the field of time and space. Seen from a linear viewing point, the various stages of growth bear no resemblance to the indwelling perfection. I believe that we are whole beings who are simply learning to express and give birth to that reality.
I have yet to discover anything in nature that is superfluous and does not fulfil a useful function. Be it a rock or plant, a bird or tree, or even the bacteria within the micro-life of the soil, everything occupies a vital place in the chain of life. Where do we humans fit in? With our gift of free will and individual choice we appear to be outsiders in the game of creation.
One of the constraints of living in the time-space continuum is that we are required to be somewhere at some time; and many of our worries stem from an inability to know when and where to be. Other life-streams are free from this concern: rocks are simply in place, and plants grow in the climatic regions best suited to their growth. While their seeds may be distributed over a wider area with the help of birds and animals, as well as the wind, the plants themselves cannot pull up their roots and decide to go walk-about. Animals and birds have a greater freedom of movement and yet they seldom stray from the regions where they are an intimate part of the give and take of the ecological balance. We humans, however, with our legs and cars, our planes and ships, are a highly mobile species. Yet of all the life-forms upon the planet, we are still searching for our place in the spiritual ecosystem. What is our role in the implicate order of the universe?
This awakening may well be the birth of self-reflective consciousness that Teilhard de Chardin talks about. His conception of a new body—the noosphere—being built around the Earth is echoed in the teachings of esoteric philosophy, which see the human family as corresponding to the brain cells that comprise the creative mind of the planet. Perhaps the urge to peace and unity welling up within our collective hearts is a way of curing the global schizophrenia that stymies our ability to give to the greater environment. If we are indeed to be the weavers of a new neural web, the mercurial messengers connecting the spheres of divine inspiration with the world of physical possibility, then we need to get our human house in order. To act out our part in the daily drama of life with skill we need both to strengthen and develop our characters in order better to express who owe are, and also to take note of the surrounding multi-levelled scenery, the backdrop that is our cosmic context.
Recently I was working on a jigsaw puzzle with my daughter Elysia. The simple act of taking a box with a picture on the outside and pieces on the inside, and emptying it onto the floor so that a fully-interlocking design could be expressed, triggered off an interesting train of thought. Suppose that in the beginning there lived within the heart and mind of the Creator a clear picture of Identity and a burning desire for this to be revealed. Is it possible that this inner urge built up such a tension that it finally exploded, sending its fractured body of consciousness, like a billion prodigal suns, out on a journey of self-discovery? And are we ourselves those pieces, the divine sparks who entered the temporal zones and took on the material cloth of Earth, and who, freed by that same inner desire, are now slowly making our way home?
I believe that we are the dis-membered body of the Creator and that our task is quite literally to re-member who we are: both an intuitive remembering of our united origins, and a re-membering of the scattered fragments of our humanity so that we may join with the other life-forms and streams upon the Earth to play our part. This is a very personal drama involving all of us, for life is not a spectator sport. What we are involved in is the birthing of the sacred. It is a divinely ordinary event in which we are at the same time the parents, child and mid-wife, for, just as with the seed and the flower, the true child of our spirit is not adopted from the outside but is born from within.
Michael Lindfield has studied and applied the Ageless Wisdom and been involved in Creative Meditation since the late 1960s through an affiliation with Sundial House in England. He is a highly regarded consultant and coach with over 40 years of international experience in helping individuals and organizations unleash the creativity of the human spirit to meet the needs of our times.Michael learned his craft from a broad range of experiences that include: a 14-year residency as a gardener and as Director of Education at the Findhorn Community in Scotland; small-scale organic farming in western Sweden; conducting seminars and presenting at conferences around the world and as a senior organization development consultant with The Boeing Company from 1989-2005. Michael is author of ‘The Dance of Change: an Eco-Spiritual Approach to Transformation’ (Penguin Books 1986) and numerous articles featured in psychology, education and business journals.
He is co-founder of The Science of Group Work initiative and currently serves as Board President of Meditation Groups Inc. (MGI) that is responsible for the welfare of Meditation Mount in Ojai, California. Michael is also a member of the Community of Living Ethics in Umbria, Italy.
Note: This article first appeared in the December 1983/January 1984 issue of the Findhorn One Earth Magazine.