The local park just up the hill from Home Farm, Great Basin National Park, puts out a magazine called The Midden. They explain to us:
“A midden is a fancy name for a pile of trash, often left by pack rats. Pack rats leave middens near their nests, which may be continuously occupied for hundreds, or even thousands, of years. Each layer of trash contains twigs, seeds, animal bones and other material, which is cemented together by urine. Over time, the midden becomes a treasure trove of information for plant ecologists, climate change scientists and others who want to learn about past climatic conditions and vegetation patterns dating back as far as 25,000 years. Great Basin National Park contains numerous middens.”
In our own inner work we too have to dig into psychic middens. First we encounter our own personal history of hurts, flair ups in the solar plexus, weepings of the heart, and so on, and if one is honest and can keep digging...and digging.... eventually we get thru much of it. But then one hits a new deeper level and we see that even the very substance out of which we are formed is composed of millennia of suffering. Some traditions like Buddhism explain that we are composed of recycled “atoms” and you might even have some of the enlightened atoms of the Buddha in you! Chances are, alas, they are far out-numbered by the atoms of fools, dolts, and common plodders like you and me!
So the midden just goes deeper and back farther. As you work through your own probationary work you discover it is a bottomless well. Does the suffering and stupidity ever end? Not in any foreseeable future. So what does one do?
Spiritual alchemies see the cosmos as a great undifferentiated Light Mind substance, that delights in an endless game of sub-dividing Itself, androgynising, chasing Its own tail, and compressing each little vortex of Light into a packet of matter. Thus the Light gets locked up due to Its own orgy of Self-upon-Self sex, as it were. This involutionary tendency creates the inertia of persistence, the urge to survive. In the psychic realm this means old crap hangs around century after century. The first undifferentiated Light was called a Chaos, meaning it had not taken on form yet; this latter locked up Light is called a Confusion. “Con” meaning together, so Light fused together. Light stuck. Islands in the Tao.
But the other half of the Process is the “evolutionary” or expansive Return, wherein the I AM and Its basic Light Mind acts as a dissolvent on those inbred twists of matter, and slowly releases their yummy matured-in-the-bottle gunas back into the cosmic stew. Hurrah! Release and some happiness are the by-product.
So how does the above philosophical side trip help deal with our own psychic middens?
Because if you persist and dig deep enough into your own pile, you will finally strike gold, find the underlying fountain of Light Mind from which it arose. With this sustaining you, you can now take on the midden of the race psyche. Simultaneously to discovering how much greater the problem of our pollution is, that we are all knee-deep in shit, is finding the Ally of the dissolving Light. When we grudgingly accept that our separateness is only seemingly so, then we are all in this boat together. Hey I’m not saying I want to share a lifeboat with you all, but here we are! Boy is it tough to surrender your separateness, even if it doesn’t really exist!
In his instructions to newbies to the Work, people who were gingerly pulling back the veil on the hidden “peacocks and jackasses” in their psyches, Vitvan advised to avoid getting swamped and overwhelmed. Raise your forces, get ‘em out of those lower centers where you will be stirred by all the flotsam and jetsam out there. But later on, after one had toughened up a bit, and was ready to become a Light-worker, he said you had to turn around and get right back down there in the fight, and untwist that confused Light matter. Take it head on.
I’m finding that the best method is to let your Ally (the dissolving Light) do Its job. It will unravel those Gordian knots of twisted up Light knickers. All we have to do is to stand in the Beingness of that Light. Trust It to do what needs be done. Vitvan mocks (gently) the narrow humanist mindset which humans are needed by the I AM to get things done. Aurobindo says it this way, that all things are done by the Divine, for the purposes of the Divine, without any necessity for humans to approve or understand.
A spiritual school should operate by different principles than human-made corporations. It should walk its talk. Have you seen the bumper sticker: “Want to make God laugh? Tell Him your plans.”
When things heat up, people get stirred up, and their stucknesses pop out like warts. They get resistant. They get nervous as the ground shifts beneath them from the dissolving Light. They want to hang onto old ways, to persist.
We need to find the balance between surviving as a community without getting strangled in committee thinking, and letting the Divine Light do Its Work upon each of us.
“Seek ye FIRST the Kingdom of God, and ...all these things shall be added unto you.”