Meredith Monk: Songs of Ascension

I understand why spirituality is sometimes associated with ascension. And yet, the opposite is equally true for me, and one leads to the other.

Here is one way to look at it:

Ascension has to do with whatever we may see as good and desirable in life and ourselves – awakening, clarity, Big Mind/Heart, Christ (and if I am a bit more confused, I may include joy, bliss, passion). Descension has to do with what’s left, and specifically what’s left out of our conscious identity, what in me and life is seen as “not good”, shadow, confusion and beliefs.

One leads to the other. Life invites me to include both in my view and experience of who and what I am. Life invites me to question my beliefs about up and down, and what’s included and excluded from my image of who and what I am. (Some beliefs: Up is better than down. Clarity is better than confusion. Awakening is better than delusion. Comfort is better than discomfort. I am smart/good. I am stupid/bad.) And then there is the question: what already includes both up and down? Am I content of experience, which always shifts? Or am I that which experience happens within and as?

One leads to the other. Going up shifts into down – it brings up anything in me that’s not aligned with Spirit, inviting it to be seen, loved, healed and more consciously aligned with Spirit or reality. And going deep into the shadow and beliefs with some guidance and wisdom (allowing feelings, inquire into beliefs), tends to reveal clarity, peace, love.

Notes:  Who I am, this human self, allow and is both. And what I am, that which any experience happens within/as, also allows and is both.

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draft #3…..

Initially, it may appear this way: Ascension has to do with whatever we initially may see as good and desirable in life and ourselves – awakening, clarity, joy, bliss, passion. Descension has to do with what’s left – confusion, beliefs, discomfort.

Then, it may appear in a slightly modified form: Ascension has to do with awakening, clarity, Big Mind/Big Heart. And descension has to do with what’s left out of conscious identity, what in me and life is seen as “not good”, shadow, confusion and beliefs.
draft #2……

I understand why spirituality is usually associated with ascension. And yet, the opposite is equally true for me, and one leads to the other.

Here is one way to look at it:

Ascension has to do with bliss, joy and ecstasy. Descension has to do with the shadow.

And one leads to the other. Up shifts into down, and down into up. Life invites me to include both in my view and experience of who/what I am, and question my beliefs about up/down and who/what I am.  (Some beliefs: Up is better than down. Happiness (joy, bliss, clarity) is better than sorrow (discomfort, confusion). I am happy (clear, insightful). I am sad (confused).)

What already includes both up and down? Is that what I really am?

Notes:  Who I am, this human self, allow and is both. And what I am, that which any experience happens within/as, also allows and is both.

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draft #1…..

I understand why spirituality is usually seen as leading upward rather than downward. And yet, the opposite is equally true for me, and one leads into the other.

Awakening is descending. It’s a “descending” through and embrace of who and what I am, including shadow, beliefs and confusion. Through that, what’s here is revealed: it’s all awareness, including what appears most “dark”. And what is, what “I” am, is what any experience happens within and as, capacity for the world.

The ascension image may suggest “going above” confusion and beliefs, which of course is possible, although only temporarily. The rest comes up because that too wants to be included, it too wants to align with reality. Going down suggests embracing all of who and what we are, including the shadow, and also going down into beliefs (and their world of confusion, stress, pain), examining them, and finding clarity.

And as I have had many opportunities to notice, going up – ascending – leads down. It brings up anything in me that’s not aligned with Spirit, inviting it to be seen, loved, healed and more consciously aligned with Spirit or reality. And going down into the shadow and beliefs – allowing feelings, inquire into beliefs – shifts into clarity, peace, love. One leads to the other.

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