“Our unique little bit of heaven is installed by the Manufacturer within the product, at the beginning! We are given a span of years to discover it, to choose it, and to live our own destiny to the full. If we do not, our True Self will never be offered again, in our own unique form – which is perhaps why almost all religious traditions present the matter with utterly charged words like “heaven” and “hell”.”
The Dog and Cucumber Seed
They have been looking, but are apparently yet to find, a dog that is self aware. One that looks in a mirror and knows itself as ‘Rover’ and not as ‘dog’. I hope they never find one. I just want the dog to be doing its thing, unburdened by the search for meaning. Cucumber seeds are definitely not self aware but they know what they are doing. If they germinate, and find favourable conditions, they throw out leaves and tendrils and produce flowers and fruit, fulfilling the calling of a cucumber seed.
It also helps us to find favourable conditions when we are small - love, warmth, food, security and affirmation. Otherwise we may spend our whole lives looking for these and never get to grips with the real purpose of our journey, a search for the unique core of ourselves. This is what James Hillman refers to as the ‘daimon’, the distilled essential essence which is the kernel of who we are. Surely this is what the psalmist is revealing when he writes in Psalm 139 ”All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (NIV)
This isn’t faux Saturday night TV
The paradox here (and isn’t there always one of those) is that we have to search our ‘True Self’ out, live it, agree with it and embrace it. It won’t just happen, and it’s a place of risk, loss and failure as well as fulfilment. In fact, isn’t God sometimes absolutely delighted with our failure? Not because He wants to see us hurt, but because we need to move on. Life, crucifixion, death and resurrection, with Jesus the exemplar. This story of transformation is constantly played out around us in the natural world, in the lives of others and in all good stories and myths. Why should it be any different for you or me?
You already know this isn’t a faux, Saturday night TV “tragic back story, live your dream, be all you can be”, kind of thing. (Although aren’t they reaching for something?).This stuff is fundamental to a fulfilled, whole life, and a good death. Yet living in fear that we will miss ‘it’, is as counterproductive to us finding ‘it’, as Rover chasing his tail. This is surely where faith and trust are vital for us. Faith that we are guided, trust that our experiences are never wasted. If we search we will find, even if we often feel lost.