To Your Path To Paradise (2)
That's right, the Abyss represents a very high place indeed. Bob Dylan refers to it as "Desolation Row". It is here that madness and genius meet. You must pick one or the other. But as long as you remain asleep, you fall for your dreams and lose your grasp on reality.
When it all falls apart and you feel completely lost, you have arrived at the outer fringe of your greatest opportunity. No one's answers work for you. Every assumption you have made has proven false. You face utter darkness and powerlessness.
If you courageously face that experience instead of running from it, as Dante does in his masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, you find your way out. You find your way up. As Dante did.
Dante is guided through the Abyss of hopeless despair by Virgil, his model poet. This may suggest the fact that art can lead you through despair, which it can do. The greatest works of art come from individuals who have touched the deepest tragedy in their own lives. Read Oscar Wild's plays of nearly miraculous wit and wisdom. Then read his final work, De Profundus, written while in prison on charges of sodomy. His sentence included the prohibition of him ever having contact with his wife and children again. And Wild was a deeply loving family man. In this final work of his, he describes his encounter with sorrow. His wit and wisdom of the past have been shattered. But he comes to recognize that experiences of sorrow offer more of value than experiences of pleasure.
The astonishing Sri Aurobindo wrote that the shortest way to heaven is through hell. Hell, the Abyss, the Inferno, Desolation Row – it's a place of eternal misery. When you taste it, you see that even when you emerge, the place you left is unending. You see while there that there really is no escape from here. But if you face that experience head on, you find yourself gradually, ever so slowly, rising above it.
Rising above the Abyss, though, does not take you into paradise. It takes you into the 3rd Divine Emanation of the Tree of Life, Binah, which is the source of Saturnine energy. Here is where you continue facing your pain, but with a purpose. You accept your suffering with faith in divine love which rules light and dark. You seek to learn your lessons through the pain of regret, remorse and self-recrimination. You trust that you brought your suffering upon yourself, or, if it is brought to you by the divine, you express genuine gratitude that the divine would bother to do anything to you at all.
This is purgatory, the stage of self-awakening that Isidore Friedman hammered home. We all want to regenerate, liberate the christos within us. We all want what God has. We hope that a mantra or a single realiztion of how stupid fear is will make it happen. But you have to look inside yourself deeply and for a very long time until you see how you create the Inferno, the Abyss for yourself.
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