"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle". — Albert Einstein
My New Year's resolutions began with the acquisition of a new calendar — but not a regular German calendar. It had to be in French, which would help me to practise and improve my language skills while serving as a calendar too. One morning, while ripping off a new page ready for another French lesson, I noticed that there were tiny icons and numbers at the bottom of the paper. They gave the exact time of sunrise and sunset for the day.
I think I had concentrated so much on the new French words that the icons of the sun and moon and the numbers had not previously caught my attention. I stared at them as if I had never seen them before. Curiously I turned to the following pages, and was surprised to see with what regularity the sun rises a little earlier each day and sets a little later. How often had I myself referred to "the days getting longer" without realizing the orderliness of the daily progression of the sun on its course through the year. Now it seemed as if, with this calendar, I had found a new entry to understanding the mysterious rhythm of the solar cycle in which the Earth makes one complete circuit around the Sun. What does the relationship between Sun and Earth and their respective energies mean for us?
Aren't we also made of the same energies and sustained by them? Isn't our body built up of a spectrum of vibrating energies? Clairvoyant people and mystics of all ages have described these energies as different levels and bodies and taught that our identification with a physical body defines our three-dimensional reality. But there are higher realities much more wondrous than the one to which we are accustomed. Expanding the consciousness means raising our awareness of these vibrations and so enabling us to contact these higher vibrational worlds.
We must make an effort to imprint into our minds that our bodies, like the rest of creation, are ever-changing dynamic fields of energy, and that this mysterious energy, sometimes called the creative Universal Life-Force, is spiritual energy and manifests two-fold: as active, outgoing, positive force and as passive, receptive, negative force. From the interchange and play of these forces all forms are created.
From quantum physics we know that matter and energy are interchangeable. It validates what mystics have always said — that matter is condensed spirit energy and that spirit is the fundamental generator of matter. Thus we can view our bodies as manifestations of spirit energy. This spirit-body-continuum can be understood adequately only when we appreciate ourselves as an ever-changing energy system that interacts continuously with the energy surrounding us. We respond to this dance of energies mostly unconsciously. The old adage, "Know your Self and you will know God and the Universe", suddenly rings true when we realise that everything which manifests as substance and force is composed of the same energy.
How does the seasonal flow of energy influence our own energy-field? How do we respond to the waxing and waning of solar energy? What role do the equinoxes and solstices play? Are they significant times in the annual cycle to which we can adapt positively?
When the whole Universe can be defined as one infinite universal energy-field with different degrees of lower and higher vibrational forms, we can no longer legitimately separate matter from spirit, the visible from the invisible. There is no abstract spirit on one side and nature devoid of spirit on the other, but nature permeated with creative spirit energy naturally forming and shaping all into one-ness. From this we can deduce that we are always connected, bathed in this flow of energy within and around us. Nature is singing the great song of creation, responding instinctively to the driving rhythmic power of the creative Cosmic life force. In India this is known as "Shiva's drum", the heartbeat of the Universe.
If we attune to the rhythm of this flow, we benefit in our harmonious development and simultaneously convey impulses of beneficial energy to our immediate environment. The rhythm of this inbreathing and outbreathing of energy defines the annual and daily cycles and stages of all life. Out of winter comes spring, spring turns into summer, summer gives way to autumn, autumn shades into winter, and another round begins. This is the great dance of energy between Sun and Earth, whereby the Sun may be regarded as the positive and active pole and the Earth as the negative and passive pole. Both are equal partners in this Cosmic dance. Their interchanging, harmoniously blending contributions fructify each other and creation arises anew.
Through our modern life-style we have cut ourselves off from these natural cycles. We have forgotten to listen to the Cosmic rhythm of ebb and flow and its inbreath and outbreath of light. The degree in which we are attuned harmoniously to these daily and yearly cycles can be measured in the vitality, health and happiness we manifest in body, soul and mind.
What the lower kingdoms do unconsciously, man, as the synthesis of all creation, is called to do consciously. Our task is the mastery, direction, and harmonization of energy. We do well to remember that there is only one and the same Universal Life Force in everyone and in everything that exists, and that the fabric of creation is activating spirit energy on one side and receptive formative life force on the other side. Their uniting gives rise to all.
The Cosmic rhythm and its influence of inbreathing and outbreathing of energy throughout the year brings into our awareness that there are "power points" at the cusps of the seasons where one season turns into the next. In ancient times people celebrated these points by holding Solar- or Fire-festivals of three days' duration. They understood that the celebration of the festivals at the cusps of the seasons would activate the Earth energies and unite them with the creative spiritual energy from the Cosmos, piercing the power points like spears of light. Thereby the ancients helped the Sun and Earth energies to unite and create light.
In antiquity the main task of priests was the cultivation and ordering of the seasonal festivals. They set the tone for the celebration of these festivals. They gave them their content. In so doing the priests themselves felt this content very deeply and, by their genuine enthusiasm, amplified and distributed the inspiring and invigorating effect of the festivals among the people at large. Thus, in celebrating the Solsticial and Equinoxial festivals, the profundity and meaning of this harmony between man, nature and spirit was experienced in body, soul and mind. The consciousness of the people was attuned with the rhythm of Nature, and participation in a festival permeated with spirit not only what they saw and heard around them but also what they experienced with their whole being. Thus people realised the weaving of the spiritual in the successive changes of outer nature, in growth and decline, in waxing and waning, and they experienced inward harmony with the celestial symphony and lived in close relationship with it.
Man must once more learn to "think" the spiritual rhythm underlying the natural cycles of his life. By accomplishing this, he will know how to live in harmony as a mediator between the spiritual energies of heaven and earth. Then life will awaken to joy for him.
Albert Einstein once expressed similar thoughts:
"A human being is a part of the whole called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts, his feelings, as something separate from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. The delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security and harmony."
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