Friday, August 17, 2012

How much is too much?

One of my great teachers used to say that all food is both medicine and poison, depending on the situation, the person ingesting, and the quantity eaten at any given time. This resonates as truth (whatever truth is) at every level.

I don't believe there are foods that are good for everyone, though I do believe there are foods that are bad for everyone. I'm talking about junk food here - over processed, partially hydrogenated, high fructose corn syrup laden, GMO modified food that has been sitting too long in a warehouse or a freezer.

But that's not what I want to write about today. As a result of reading some of Aleister Crowley's writing, after a lifetime of avoiding his work, I'm thinking about how perilous it is to try to connect too deeply to the divine mysteries. He was, as it turns out, incredibly brilliant, and yes indeed he tuned in at a very deep level to that which is just out of reach for most folks. But he went too far into it and it did him no good.

Everyone has access to connection with the divine, life-giving light/mystery. You can be a fundamentalist atheist and yet still experience wonder at a beautiful sunset for instance, or the depth of love you feel for your nearests and dearests. According to my cosmology, this kind of experience is the essence of connection with what I call the divine.

Artists, writers, musicians, athletes and dancers find access through their work. When they connect, they are blissful, in the flow. When they can't access the divine light, they despair. Indeed, divine light is kind of addictive.

Those who bathe too often in divine light inevitably develop physical and mental problems. Mystics are famous for their respiratory problems, for instance. Show me a mystic and I'll show you a person with asthma or respiratory allergies, or other chronic problems. I am among that group, by the way.

This is not meant to be a cautionary post. I'm not suggesting we eschew the divine light. That's not good either. Nor am I saying that we mystics (because I am a mystic) can blame every mental or physical symptom on the divine. That wouldn't be fair!

What I'm saying is that the Tao of Goldilocks applies universally. A pinch of connection to the divine light is a great, vivifying, life giving experience. Questions about the mysteries are great, but if you think you've found the answers, or that you must find the answers, that is not a good sign. Too much of that light and too much certainty can lead to a situation in which people end up running through the streets naked, writing beautiful poetry perhaps, but completely incapable of taking care of themselves, like the famous Indian poet Mirabai.

Or they channel the wisdom of the ancient Egyptians but get so twisted because of the overexposure that they turn out like Aleister Crowley.

For your health and wellbeing, please, just a spoonful of divine light. Dance with the questions, but forget the idea of finding answers.Yes? I say yes.


Poor Uncle Aleister


kbrow said...

Interesting that you are finally getting around to reading Uncle Aleister! I love that photo of him. It really sums up the condition of thinking/interpreting/absorbing too much divinity in one sitting, yeah? Fascinating that you call him Uncle, too, because I have referred to him by that name as well. Did I hear it from you? Or is there some other source? (I mean besides the Well of Consciousness that we all drink from) Anyway, I have always had a hard time reading him, despite my fondness for the Thoth tarot...much prefer Angeles Arrien's guide to that deck, which I think keeps the love alive for me.

I was once in a circle, my CA Reclaiming-flavored women's circle, with a woman who feared to even touch the Thoth deck, saying it was far too negative for her to handle. Oh for crying out loud. It's just pictures and symbols. I know they have power, but it's power we give them or allow ourselves to acknowledge, I think. Still, I guess what was real for her was real.

Reya Mellicker said...

I was one of the people who could not even touch the deck for many years. It wasn't until I became a Feri initiate that I began to work with it. It's a very elemental deck. The people look away from us, and they look all rubbery. I believe this is how we appear to the elements.

Angeles, bless her heart, wrote such a sweet book that does not in any way work for me with the deck. I took a storytelling class with her ages ago. I ink she's a genius but the book is so white light. The Thoth deck is not white lightish!! Good lord!

He really is our uncle. Uncle Gerald and auntie Dionne studied directly with him. I don't know where/when I began calling him uncle aleister, but he is, he really is the crazy old uncle up in the attic.

xx friend. I miss you.

ellen abbott said...

all things in moderation.

Reya Mellicker said...

Oh yeah!