Thursday, March 31, 2011


Seraphine. She lived her life as an innocent. She was simple in her way; she was a washer woman. At night she heard the voices of the angels and they directed her to live a holy life of creative expression.  She was a self taught painter in France.  She was able to do something that filled her life with something more than the drudgery of scrubbing floors and being seen as nothing but a lowly person who could not do more than what she did. People were often dismissive of her, unable or unwilling to sense the holiness in her. That's because when it comes to the church, it often has a false sense of what the divine is all about.  Its much more than what has been thus far conceived. Luckily for most mystics in the church, they were able to couch their transcendent experiences in the right kind of language so that they did not wind up being branded heretics.  Even then, their experiences were often seen with some suspicion, and documents point to questioning just what the content of their experiences pointed to.  I suppose it was because there was a far of the devil entering and trying to deceive, something that has been a central figure in spiritual experience.

Serpahine's work bears the marks of Awakening.  To someone already awakened, the elements are there.  She is dealing with a unified aspect of the feminine and masculine together in much of her work, using the tree or plant life as a metaphor for presenting this element that surrounds her work. The masculine, seen as the strong and supportive trunk of the tree forms a conceptual foundation visually.  it is also like the Hindu shushuma, the central channel that the power of kundalini is said to travel.  We all can feel how this energy moves through us, pouring its bliss into us, a bliss which carries with it a feeling of the sexual energy that is part of the experience, a transformative energy that moves the self into a deeper relation or position with the divine.  The self, both yin and yang, masculine and feminine, finds itself grappling with these parts of itself in order to find harmony so that these energies may move more effortlessly through the changed person.

As this, the masculine forms moves into the feminine (often exaggerated so that they become like pipelines of energy into the flowing form, representing the masculine phallus form element merges into the feminine) which is the flowering portion of the tree, there is an explosion not just of life, but a transformation of it. Flowers resolve into eyes, mouths, openings, of all kinds of color and pattern. The two, now one, shimmer with a life beyond the mere physical, beyond the mere singular self but moves into a higher realm of being, the essence of awakening.  Union is a universal element connected to awakenings, and its mark can be detected through writings, art, and other creations.    

Much of the holiness that the church seeks to understand or be is a false sense of holiness or purity based on not a surrender of self but a suppression of that self, which ultimately blocks the transcendent experience that is the core of the mystical. This one small detail we often get wrong when fishing around for what this holiness is all about. Sometimes we get it, but sometimes it can also be a miss. The deeper truth is that these transcendent experiences transcend the very religion it seems to be housing.  This is because these ARE transcendent in every meaning of the word.  No religion has a lock on this experience because its a human experience and we all contain within us the coding that will bring an Awakening forward.  God and Goddess could really not be bothered whether its this religion  or that religion.  The love for every particle of creation is so absolute it matters not what race, creed or denomination or religion.  That some are determined to put a stamp upon the experience as ONLY possible with one or another religion just goes to show how little is understood of the mystical experience.  This is true through and through even if its not popular with some.  Ask any mystic.  Ask anyone who has had an awakening.  They will tell you just as I am telling you now that no words can contain this, nor any religion created by humans contain this experience.  Its because once you awaken you realize just how futile it is to try and put a label on this or even explain it. Its simply not explainable because of its immensity. Religions do well to support those in the throes of the experience.  Certainly Seraphine was not understood when her own ecstasy moved into higher gear. It was simply seen as though she was off her rocker.

                                                         Arbre rouge, oil on canvas

We go on witch hunts. We denigrate another, we stand in judgment of others. This shifts us away from our own lives, the beams in our own eyes which we are here to work on. This is the danger in punditry, you see, for there arises a sense of righteousness based on a historical record which has suffered the vagaries of tumbling through our world while we proclaim all the while that its the undefiled word of God. Meanwhile we have countless versions of other books which were suppressed or tossed out completely that contain within them the very secrets of this awakening, and these books, some of them, were ordered burned by the early church in the wake of the Nicean

And there she died.

So I would just like to say that stories like these are common, but I think we need to begin to understand that there is a place within that will hear voices, will feel contact with the divine. We need to be careful about how we react. If Seraphine had been in the church when this happened, she would have been heralded as a minor saint who had religious ecstasies. These same ecstasies are the same as kundalini or any other awakening. There is a physiological basis for it, and if we learn how to awaken with it as a helper instead of a hindrance we can follow the tide of these in a more constructive way. If we seek to tie everything to established religion, we will miss the boat for the very fact that thus far religion only seems able to accomodate, but not fully understand what these ecstasies are all about.

Before we judge others, lets not forget the words of those who were kind and compassionate. I once thought a man who went on a rant about what wound up being an Awakening as somehow being a little intense and wondered just what was up with him. It seemed important to him, but I just didn't get it. We can all be this way so keeping this in mind might be a good thing as we go through our day.

                                                         L'arbre du paradis, oil on canvas

Seraphine was a beautiful soul, like every soul upon the planet. She was simple and soulful and creative. In the end, she was put away because she was not understood. Its time that we consider that there is something more, and that by going forwad in love instead of judgment, we soften the hard edges of this world. If we were to become simple like children, things might be a lot better.  And for all the Seraphine's of the world we might learn something from and become more rich from knowing or having had their print placed on our world. 

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