I was trying to understand…
I was in a large, open, airy room with many other people. Around the edges of the room (and randomly placed within it) there were shelves, cupboards, and bookcases — all crammed full of things. At a glance I could see hundreds of books (of course!), jars of various powders and liquids, rolled scrolls, piles of art supplies, whatever we might need to learn by creating.
It felt like a school but we were our own teachers. We were all sitting in little groups at small tables, but we were not working together. Each one was studying on his or her own. Some were writing in notebooks, others making drawings, diagrams, paintings, or sculpting. Some were reading, and a few were doing combinations of these things. There was an intense silence except for the rustling of pages, the skritch of pens upon paper, and the soft sound of brushes. I had a large pad of paper in front of me together with pens of many colors — bright and subtle, clear and muddy, translucent and opaque, scintillating and dull, through and beyond the rainbow.
I urgently, achingly wanted to understand something about God/dess so I began by drawing the three circles of a Venn diagram. Venn diagrams are fun and sometimes they bring great clarity to things. These didn’t. Each circle became more complex as I wrote within it and studied it. The things within the circles multiplied, as if they were spawning other circles randomly. Things that seemed simple on the surface were full of complicated concepts that often I couldn’t comprehend at all. The harder I tried to understand, the more confusing it was. I got hot and sweaty and frustrated and felt like a failure. My beautiful colored pencil broke because I was pushing so hard. This wasn’t working! I felt driven to do this but was getting nowhere.
A gong rang. Everyone gathered their things up quickly and streamed out into the bright day, chattering . The area we emerged into was mostly paved, but there were occasional benches on little areas of grass with flowers, bushes, and an occasional a lone tree. There were huge numbers of people there, all coming from different buildings and streaming toward … something — I didn’t know what. The people were different ages, nationalities, colors. Some seemed happy, some sad, many perplexed, even some frustrated and overheated like me. We were like the pens I had been working with — no permutation was missing. We were gradually funnelling into a single walkway, with light-colored (kind of tan, kind of gold) walls on both sides. The sun shone brightly on the wall to the right.
As we passed a stylized metal sculpture of god/dess (it was impossible to tell which) hanging on the wall, some people were pausing to pray aloud or to discuss it. I paused too, but didn’t do either of those things. I held out my cupped, upward-turned hands to the god/dess, not knowing if I was offering something or begging. It felt like both. The god/dess’s eyes sparkled as she/he looked at me and he/she grinned.
In that moment…
I got it fully.
No, I can’t explain it. Some things (quite a lot of them, in fact) don’t fit into words. The only way you can put them into words is to chop bits off — which is not something one should (or can) do with god/dess. To do so simply lessens understanding rather than enhancing it.
The people around me fell silent as they saw the god/dess grinning gleefully at me from that formerly neutral, stylized face. I turned away from the pressure of their intent but unspoken demands for explanations that it was not possible to give.
A small, brown, round-faced child suddenly grinned up at me with exactly the same look of glee and joy that god/dess had. He had it! I woke up suddenly and jumped out of bed. Then I just stood there, smiling and smiling for no reason at all. It was like everything that had been jangled inside me was suddenly humming smoothly.
It’s feeling, but it’s much more than feeling. It’s much more than words. It’s that moment of total connections — and something more.
It is what it is.