The presence of light dissipates the darkness, but not by force.
Sagitta, the arrow speeding from Apollo, transforms the Cyclops, the single eye representing the narrow viewpoint of materialism in which the physical world is the only source of valid information. From this narrow perspective, the Divine Light of the inner world is shrouded in darkness. Religion(Sagittarius) from the Latin re-ligare = to bind, to reunite in harmony is therefore regarded as superstition.
Early expressions of religiosity in the Axial Age were not theocratic systems requiring belief but instinctual practices requiring action.
Light(wisdom) needs another factor, love, to guide action toward progression of the soul. True Illumination is guided by feeling as well as knowledge. Both left and right brain: wisdom and understanding that results in knowing, from the Latin conciere, to know one another, to be intimate with one another. As in Jewish mysticism, the Tree of Life, where the top three sefirot(energy centers like Chakras in Yoga): Hokmah on the Right representing wisdom, Binah on the Left representing understanding, with Daat in the center of the brain(the third eye Ajna chakra at the brow in Yoga chakra system), representing the union, the knowing, transcending time and seeing inner and outer worlds. This is referred to as the “Crystal Palace” in Chinese Daoism that includes these areas in the brain: pineal gland, hypothalamus, and pituitary.
Instinct has a relationship to intuition, reason and impulse. Only through intuition do we contact the real underlying truth of things.
Think of the Autumn leaves in their colorful display as what is inherent in the leaves when the green chlorophyll is broken down revealing the majestic colors of Autumn. Think of ourselves when we engage in relaxation, meditation, yoga, have a peak experience from listening or seeing great works of art, sensual pleasures, completing an athletic activity. We are able to transcend the ordinary daily ego experience for something more luminous, light, subtle, a sense of connectedness to others and the larger whole.
Autumn is a dialectical turning point in the year for we turn 180 degrees from the outward expanse of Summer to the inner contraction of Autumn as we prepare for the colder and longer nights. It is the beginning of movement into Yin from the full Yang of Summer, a movement toward stillness from activity.
Autumn is the West, the Metal element in Chinese medicine, the Air element in Yoga/Ayurveda. It is about value, meaning, purpose. The Lungs and Large Intestine are the major organs, taking in the pure(oxygen, life’s breath, Qi, light) and eliminating wastes(toxins, negativity, what is no longer useful or possible to have). It can be a time of longing, of fear related to the passage of time, of getting older and closer to death, of sadness or depression related to losses or inability to transition to new life circumstances. But if we keep in mind our connection to the greater whole and realize that we are part of a great flowing experience, it makes things easier and more enjoyable. We simply are present for the experience and cherish it as it unfolds, enjoying the essence of the display in front of us as well as the lunar light behind us, the reflection: the contemplation, the meaning-making of our experience.
The preciousness of the present moment, this sacred time, this sacred space; our consciousness, our body; expanding our awareness, stretching out our ideas, beliefs, perspectives, exploring and manifesting our creativity, connecting with others in a new way…transcending the ego-centeredness toward selflessness or “living the self for the other”.
In response to a question asked of Ram Das after he had his stroke: if he still felt all that all one needed to do on the spiritual path is to “be here now”, he replied:
Yes, I still would say that all we need to do is to “be here now,“but my understanding of what that means has changed over time. I now believe that we must be here now with everything-with all parts of ourselves, our emotions, our unconscious, all the relationships in our lives, with the environmental and political situations that surround us. So yes, I do believe we must simply be here now, but we must be here with everything and everyone.”
Autumn is a time for enjoying the harvest: the 3rd physical harvest of food, the spiritual harvest of the New Year in Judaism and the Celtic World(Samhain-Halloween), and the personal psychospiritual harvest for the seeds planted in your heart in Spring that grew to completion in Summer and now available as subtle essence to nourish your sensibilities for another year, to augment your perspective and add another layer, another ring in the tree of your life. And to keep you warm and connected to the inner light in the cold and dark of Winter.
Spice is the taste of Autumn, the color is White, and the sensory organ is smell.
The vibrant colors of the Autumn season’s leaves
and the warm, golden-purple light of a waning sun
illuminate all things seen and unseen,
a brilliant rainbow everywhere,
vibrational intensity magnifying the essence of the unborn in all things,
crossing boundaries between see-er and seen.
Time jumps out of time to meet the immortal soul.
The wise one in autumn, the seer, finds meaning everywhere one looks,
going about their purpose fulfilled
sharing their bounty of heavenly abundance.
Through the portal, the shining light,
mysteriously unifies the wise one with their Autumn serenade.
A deep peace.
A deep happiness.
A deep bond of love to all of nature.
Like a lantern,
seeing all paths formed and unformed
and helping others find their way.
Just as decaying leaves turn to soil
or burning leaves evaporate into a pleasant, earthy aroma,
the wise one in Autumn does not see death
nor feel loss nor is saddened by change, by aging, by impermanence.
For they know these events are transformations,
opportunities for renewal, rebirth, remembering, and reworking
the garden of the soul:
the seeds planted in the Heart in Spring, coming to fullness in Summer,
harvested in Autumn.
The deep faith in this knowledge keeps one young and healthy,
no longings or cravings,
patiently waiting for decisions and actions to unfold naturally,
enjoying the spiciness of uncertainty,
the crispness of the Autumn air.
View the youtube video below to learn how to do a yogic breathing exercise, ujjayi pranayama, that helps with emotional issues as it stimulates the vagus nerve which has a calming effect on the body.