Tip o’ the Week #99 - The Long and Winding Path
As you probably are aware by now, I am an unrepentant gnostic. Spiritually, I would have been right there with the archetypal Christian Gnostic (capital “G”) St. Thomas, who was unwilling to take Jesus’ resurrection on faith, he wanted to feel the holes in Christ’s hands.
According ABCtales.com, “St.Thomas the Apostle is the patron saint against doubt and of architects, blind people, builders, carpenters, construction workers, Ceylon East Indies, geometricians, India, masons, Pakistan, people in doubt, Sri Lanka, stone masons, stonecutters and theologians.” Notice how many of these terms can be associated with geomancers - architects (see below), builders, carpenters, geometricians, masons, stone masons, stonecutters, and theologians.
“In England on St Thomas day, poor women and children went from door to door 'a-Thomassing'. They would beg for the ingredients or "goodenings for a Christmas feast, such as wheat for frumenty and flour for Yule bread.” Frumenty was a popular dish in Western European medieval cuisine. (It was made primarily from boiled, cracked wheat - hence its name, which derives from the Latin word frumentum, 'grain'.)
"Although July 3rd has been the feast day for St Thomas, for many centuries December 21st was also given as a feast day to Thomas for no significant historical reason through out the Middle Ages undoubtedly to divert attention from the pagan rites associated with the day."
But, might there actually be “significant historical reason” for the choice of this date? Hmmm..... Isn’t December 21st usually the given date for the Winter Solstice - the darkest day of the year? The time just before the rebirth of the Light.
This doubting Thomas is my personal favorites of the Twelve. He wanted direct experience. Right on! Or should I say, "Light on!”
As a gnostic, I’ve been seeking ways to gain this direct experience of the spiritual for a long time. The following is a list of characteristics that I have found can make it easier to have a gnostic experience. As I quote below, the “experts” don’t claim direct connections between these characteristics, but they do see 'subtle relationships.'” So do I.
In past Tips I have explored:
Dowsing - A large number of dowsers see dowsing as a valid tool for exploring the spiritual path (another word for dowsing is “divining”).
Dyslexia - Several years ago, Jill Moss and I developed a totally unscientific test to see if there might be a connection between dowsing and dyslexia. Two-thirds of the dowsers we queried exhibited characteristics of adult dyslexia, and that group was predominantly interested in intangible target (?dare I say “spiritual”?) dowsing, whereas the other third were more interested in physical target dowsing.
Left Handedness - According to the The New York Times, “Handedness clearly runs in families. The 2007 paper by the group at Oxford identified a gene, LRRTM1, that they discovered in the course of studying children with dyslexia, and which turned out to be associated with the development of left-handedness.” (In the West, only 10% or so are left-handed. In the same article, the Times had this interesting factoid: “Four of the last seven US presidents — Ford, the elder Bush, Clinton, and Obama — have been left-handed”!)
These three characteristics have also contributed to my thinking as a geomancer about the things that make it easier to experience the Spiritual Realms, but this past week, I came across another connection.
Schizophrenia - The above-mentioned New York Times article continues, “Dr. Francks, who is now at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands, recalls that the discovery made headlines and attracted a great deal of attention, the more so because this gene (LRRTM1 on chromosome 2p12), was also found disproportionately in people with schizophrenia, even though none of these connections are simple or well understood. “We’re not looking for a gene for handedness or a gene for schizophrenia,” he said. “We’re looking for subtle relationships.”
When I think of schizophrenia in spiritual terms, it has been my understanding that many people who were called shamans (prior to the present burgeoning interest) were identified in their youth, and many of them were schizophrenics (some indigenous shamans today are as well). They worked in sacred space, and it (their psychosis) allowed them to visit the intangible realms more easily than could the vast majority of the population. And they could do it relatively safely because, unlike modern shamanic practitioners, they had the full support of the community they lived in. But shamanism certainly was/is another way to penetrate the veil to the other side.
Finally, I find it fascinating that all of these things that make it easier to experience the spiritual are considered to be handicaps by many in today’s more left-brained/rational society. Oh well, it ain’t easy to make a blind man see...
In 2012, may you find ways of using sacred space to directly and more clearly experience these lands yourself.
Happy Winter Solstice & Doubting Thomas Day!
Don’t Believe Everything You Think!
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