The divine takes over

 

This sequence (the first one, up to 3:20) from The Fountain by Darren Aronofsky illustrates a process that’s getting to be more familiar to me than I – the surface I – wanted.

The conquistador really wants the tree of life and what it offers, and then realizes in terror that it requires everything of him and doesn’t look at all like what he expected. First, he chased the tree, then the process took over and he didn’t have a choice anymore – as if he ever had a choice.

It’s actually very interesting how well that sequence captures the process, or at least one version of the process. First, we chase the divine, we see it’s healing, and when we get a taste of it we want more. We think it’s all we ever wanted. Then the process takes over and it doesn’t look at all like what we expected, and for it to be complete and full it needs to go into the belly and the body. It needs to take over the body. The body – all our stored tensions, traumas, wounds, beliefs and emotions – needs to become soil and mulch for the process. Nothing is left. It takes all of what we are. And it’s not much fun when it happens. Everything human and animal in us resist. I especially enjoy how the process starts from sap entering the wound in the belly, the sprouting happens in the belly and then takes over the whole body, the whole person. Nothing is left. It demands everything.

First, the individual tastes the divine and it’s all it ever wanted. Then the divine takes over, uses the body – stored wounds, traumas, beliefs – as soil and mulch for sprouts, for new life. And this makes it possible for the divine to awaken to itself. It’s not about the human or the individual anymore, as if it ever was.

The body reflects what happens when there is a sense of a separate individual, it stores wounds, tension, traumas and beliefs. This then becomes soil and mulch for a new life, a life that has nothing of the separate individual in it. And this makes it possible for the divine to awaken to itself, out of the dream of a separate individual.

This post is an elaboration of a previous one.

Note: It’s a bit rambling but I’ll leave it as is. When I wrote “it makes it possible for the divine to awaken to itself”, that’s not quite accurate. The divine can awaken to itself at any moment, nothing is really required for that. But for it to fully live through this human self, and for this human self to be deeply and fully aligned with reality, all that’s human need to reorganize, and all wounds from the previous illusion of a separate self needs to become soil and much for a new life. It’s fully possible for the divine awake to itself and live through a human self where this has not happened, but it tends to feel a bit dry and perhaps shallow. When all of the human has become mulch, it’s far wider, deeper, more juicy, more real. In technical language, it’s the difference between transcendence (often first phase) and immanence (when it matures further). And the divine continues to be more clear and the human continues to deepen and become more full.

This is a version of the dark night of the soul, and how it unfolds depends on how much mulching is to be done and how much it’s resisted – perhaps especially how much the resistance itself is resisted.

Just a couple of more things about this movie sequence: He seeks the tree of life (the divine) and finds it. He uses it’s sap to heal his belly wound, and then drinks it. At this point, it’s all going the way he wants and expects. It’s healing, it’s wonderful, and he – the warrior – expects to marry the queen (the internal marriage of masculine and feminine). Just as he thinks he is reaching the climax he is expecting, the process takes over and goes in a completely different direction than he wants and expects. From the sap used to heal his belly wound, and from the sap he drank, new life emerges. His body becomes soil for new life, and it takes over all of what he is.

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