Icelandic Mysteries (02/10/08)

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anna
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Icelandic Mysteries (02/10/08)

Postby anna » February 10th, 2008, 5:54 pm

timeIn retrospect, any one can see a pattern to their life, as well as miraculous intervention if they need it. Looking back, I now see that my life has been full of those times, even before embarking on a conscious pursuit of God, although at the time they occurred, I was blind to them. But Iceland was the cream of the crop!

Iceland is, interestingly enough, the country which Jules Verne chose to use as the source of the Journey to the Center of the Earth, through the mouth of one of Iceland’s many volcanoes. It is not surprising. Iceland has an energy that is extra-ordinary and other-worldy. Not only does it have that energy, the light itself is mysterious and unique. I started seriously painting there, primarily because the light was so seductive that you just had to somehow record it, acknowledge its perfection some way or another.

It was in this mysterious and scintillating country that I established my foundation, my core support for awakening to something other than the mundane and cramped parameters of my body. However, this is not to say that it was a quick transformation – it would take a good 30 years of struggle before I truly began to even grasp the magnitude of the journey. And the country itself may in part be thanked for the ease with which this foundation was built.

Environment does have an effect, I believe, on our state of being. Iceland is full of power and majestic nature, in her beauty and her destructiveness. Having grown up on a volcanic island in Hawaii, I felt at home here, because Iceland had that same substrata, and power, only more so – she was still alive, still evolving, still changing. But Iceland had something else; it had a people that were both childlike in their simplicity, but expansive in their spirit as well. They were Vikings, and Vikings seem to still be in touch with their heritage, in part, perhaps due to their isolation. When we were there in the early 70’s, they were still in many ways protected from the greed and consumerism of the west, though I am told that is no longer quite the case, sadly. Iceland had sulfuric waters that gushed from their faucets that cleared the skin and suffused the body with vigor and strength. It had waters from which you could drink directly, in the center of town, as its streams wended their way through their backyards. Its air was pristine, and the never ending light of summer, was magical and transformative. The dark nights of winter created a perfect time for introspection and inner work. It had mystical people who felt nature in their bones, who read unseen pictures of peoples’ futures, who considered the uncommon to be perfectly acceptable. They lived and breathed magic, and unless you consciously fought it, you had to imbibe it; it had to change your own spirit. It was no accident that we lived there for two years. Indeed, years earlier, S traveled there in an advance team for Nixon’s visit to Iceland, at which time, that blind President upon his arrival, exclaimed “Iceland is a God forsaken country!” Only Nixon could have made such a bald faced irreverent and completely opposite statement about this country. Proof to my thinking that you can put a dead spirit in the middle of heaven, and the dead spirit will only see death. But even then, S wired back to me that he had found “the circle in the square” in this country. A curious thing to have said and a prophetic one.

Iceland was full of psychics, both revered, and some just simple folk who had never been told that psychic phenomena and understanding was delusional, or ridiculous. The wife of the owner of the house which we rented while there, was full of predictions, feelings, senses and hidden understandings. She was an extraordinarily beautiful woman, and yet this was commonplace in Iceland. Perhaps this is in part due to the Viking’s travels abroad and bringing home women on their return to Iceland – no doubt, they picked the most beautiful.

Noted psychics would visit the country, to rounds of applause and appreciation. Painters and artists were revered for their mystical understanding of nature and its expression. It was a perfect place to relinquish what vestiges remained within of hard western skepticism and doubt, and embrace the unknown. (Although I had always been mystical by nature, and my parents considered me “fey” even as a child. Mind you, this comment was not a compliment in their eyes, but was evidence of a great flaw in my character.)

Indeed, it was a visiting psychic that presented the coup de grace we needed to quit the Foreign Service. The U.S. ambassador was not impressed at all by the fact that I had a psychic from England for tea, and S was informed in no uncertain terms that this would not occur again! Well, that was that. It was, as I said, the coup de grace; there was no looking back after that. We chose to leave the Foreign Service rather than adjust our attitude to comply with the attitude of our ambassador. This of course was not truly the reason – we had always longed to live a bit more freer, but we didn’t know how. And because in great part thanks to the freedom of the Icelandic air, sea, and mountains, it got under our skin, and we were “ruined for all time” from ever again submitting ourselves to the arbitrary authority of another. While it was not known to the Ambassador that this was the coup de grace, he only thought I personally was to blame for one of their finest foreign service officers quitting, but he had a great hand in it. As S has always said since, we are incredibly grateful to this man for having been so wooden, because otherwise, we might not have left.

In any case, Iceland was our way out of the world, into a new life. While still working for the Foreign Service, we spent more time with Icelanders, and less with Americans. And somehow, the spirit of Iceland permeated us so much that this place challenged our assumptions, and transformed our consciousness enough that we were inspired to leave the Foreign Service and return to real living, eventually ending up in Maine after returning to the U.S.

While in Iceland, coincidentally, we stumbled upon an Indian Guru by the name of Sri Chinmoy. (Well, you never really stumble upon anything, but at the time you think you have!) This Guru, who is now dead, and who subsequently later in his life fell from his own grace, was important to us at this time, because he required an acknowledgement that we couldn’t do this alone. That we needed guidance. He was a teacher of Bhakti, which is essentially the path of devotion, to God, and practically speaking, through the image of the Guru, who is considered to be an embodiment of God. Of course, what they don’t tell you early on is that if HE is an embodiment of God, so are YOU, and so is everybody. That, interestingly enough, Jesus DID tell his disciples, many times, many ways, but it is no surprise that you seldom hear it repeated in churches. You lose disciples and parishioners that way, don’t you?

A western mind has a great deal of arrogance in its self-sufficiency. We are a nation of can do kind of people, and to relinquish that self-sufficiency to another who is not a partner, but a teacher, in a field which is unknown, is a great step toward self-effacement. Not to suggest here that there wasn’t a struggle, there surely was, throughout our acquaintance with the man. But we take little tiny steps in the beginning; we are hesitant and scared of being something other than what we bring to the table. Who was it that said “We think we are afraid of being less than what we are, but we are really afraid of knowing just how great we actually are!” Or something like that. And to take a step toward what our soul already knows we are destined for, but which the small petty tyrant of an ego will do anything in its power to avoid, is a great step among the many that we all walk. This Guru’s path was an embodiment of that process. In retrospect I see that he appeared in our lives because we needed him to appear. And the genius of consciousness is that so long as we believe in the external world to the exclusion of the internal, and relegate our allegiance to that external world, it will project ‘out there” what is ultimately known and needed within. I have always said, therefore, that God is Gracious, because we get whatever we need in whatever form we desire it, God doesn’t have preferences, God just IS, and we are IN it, in Him/Her, all of it. Indeed, we ARE it, but it takes a very long time to reach that understanding.
Last edited by anna on August 16th, 2008, 5:46 pm, edited 3 times in total.
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers........Wordsworth

jenjulian
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Re: Icelandic Mysteries (02/10/08)

Postby jenjulian » February 11th, 2008, 2:27 am

"Our worst fear is not that we are inadequate,
our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, 'who am I to be so brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?'
Actually, who are we not to be?

You are a child of God: Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some of us,
it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
~Marianne Williamson

Awesome post, Anna
"I am what I am."--Popeye

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anna
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Re: Icelandic Mysteries (02/10/08)

Postby anna » February 13th, 2008, 7:49 pm

Jenjulian:

Thanks so much for the full paragraph - it is so perfectly and brightly stated. And ain't it the truth? I remember years and years of insecurity about what I knew to be true, what I was discovering to be true, and the glory of it all, and certainly the reluctance to immerse myself in it much less stand in its light and declare it to be so, to embrace it. Are we conditioned to be compliant or what?! :mad2:
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers........Wordsworth


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