I am the universe. How could it be (M)other?
As a child, I would look up, into that sky. Infinite and dark, with distant stars, unending space hardly affected by cloud. I would look up and recognize the boundless, darkness of sky. There was a distinct atmosphere to it – the looking up. A felt sense of home, recognition, but also a kind of subtle longing – a sadness.
We lower our eyes and pick up our lives under these endless skies. We cease to question. Perhaps we even stop taking a few moments to feel that atmosphere – the atmosphere of the universe directly above our heads, below our feet, in our lungs, in each waking and sleeping moment. Somewhere, somehow, we learn to believe that we are separate. What’s in here, and down here, is separate from what’s out there, and up there. The universe is everywhere around, but not in me. I am critically alone. How could such a bizarre conclusion have been formed?
Only yesterday, I felt myself collapsing at night time into that holy, vast, sentient energy of the universe that I recognize from the child’s heart on guy fawks night – when we were supposed to be looking at the wondrous display of fireworks and sparkling cartwheels, and when what was actually mysteriously opening was the infinite, unchanging infinity of night beyond. I fell into that energy, dissolving by degrees, and suddenly became conscious that I considered myself separate. “It” was some kind of trip, an experience, even a stranger. “I” was the one alone, climbing through the stages of life in chains of ambition, regret and apology.
Then, the two became one. The universe outside – that sentient energy of universal home – appeared inside, deep inside the womb. Never separate. How did I ever believe that any particle of ‘me’ could be separate from that?
A Psycho-spiritual story
Today, I pondered, how the child’s heart could become so clouded by a belief in being universally ‘sent to Coventry’ – excluded from the great ‘external’ panorama of creation – in all its intimacy, mystery, familiarity, exquisite peace and sense of home. Feeling through it, there came a layer of another kind of home. The psychological home, where the child is in unity with the felt sense of the mother. This unity is critical to survival. Her rhythms, moods, expansions and retractions in energy and feeling literally form the atmospheric back-drop of what it means to be here, in this life, as a human (and survive it).
The terrible choice of the child is often between abandonment and abandonment. To stay with eyes fixed on the infinity of night sky, is to turn from the mother of this incarnation. To stay with heart fixed in the energy of the mother of this incarnation, is to disinherit oneself from the universe. It comes into our primitive mental forms as a binary equation – either-or – with a kind of separation as a consequence of both.
Now, when I see that wonder in my children’s eyes, I strive to wonder outwardly together with them. Our togetherness, and all the felt presence of the family energy can be surrendered into the greater the whole.
Who could every believe it to be ‘other’?