What IS a mystic, anyway? Someone with an airy attitude? Maybe… or one who digs meditation? That’s one part of it…How about a worldview of oneness? …perceiving interconnectedness of sentience in all creation? And what about water? Mystics from earliest times have treasured water in all its forms. Sacred springs, wells… the Celts were not the only ones who revered the uncanny healing powers of life-giving waters.
Mysteries of the distant past often but not always give way to scientific explanations. Legends linking the underworld to our psyches are often rationalized away as superstition. And yet who among us doesn’t enjoy a juicy mystery or even a treasure hunt, especially if the prize is self-knowledge? Such has been my personal experience of exploring what the medieval mystic, Meister Eckhart, referred allegorically to as the underground river.
It is not my intention to teach on this subject because the mystic experience is not teachable. I only wish to share a few of my own sips of mysticism that correspond to the ancient metaphor of delving inward into self-knowledge….that unknown world of interior space.
To tap into the source of the great celestial river is to enter into the Great I Am. That sounds grandiose and perhaps it is because it is who we are as spiritual beings. I respect the perspectives of others and I expect reciprocal behavior from others who read my blog. For each one of us is unique and greatly loved.
Much has been written on the subject. Yet It is only through correspondences – ratios- analogies, mainly because, ironically, I have found that words get in the way. I am not alone in coming up short in my explanations of intimate experiences. An ‘energetic interference’ steps in when I try to outwardly understand or articulate communications between my heart and speech.
There is a long-standing metaphor of the well that draws from the universal river of life. The well was also used in initiatory practices. But in modern times, we find ourselves cut off from the sacred nature of water. With today’s municipal water district, we are removed from this timeless symbol by taps, tubs, and toilets. Even when we live beside large bodies of water, we remain on the surface of water’s life-giving properties. Sometimes we can drink from an artesian spring that flows from deep below pollutants of surface waters. I feel like that water has a special vitality!
At Lake Travis, west of Austin, Texas, we draw water from a deep well that taps into a massive aquifer called the Edwards Aquifer, which runs beneath the limestone hills. But in my imagination, it seems like another world below… a parallel existence from life on the surface – a reflection of the other hidden celestial river flowing through all creation.
Like the aquifer, the rivers of unseen light emerge on the surface of space in points of light – of stars born of celestial wells. We drink from these sources of light when we stargaze, or pray, or contemplate, or daydream, or wonder, or smile, or love, or commune…. or best of all… attune the heart. Each starry well is merely a visible entry point, a gateway to something beyond mundane existence.
Several times in this life, I have had the fortune to swim, float, tube in an underground river beneath the Mayan lands in Yucatan, Mexico, and Belize. We entered as the Mayans also did, via a hole in the earth’s crust formed by sinkhole – a cenote – where the limestone surface of the earth collapsed below the thin fragile crust. The breakthrough allowed for making a natural entrance to the river and gave access to the parallel world.
It was like the thinning rocks worked like a thinning veil. Without the vulnerability of the barrier, we would possess no awareness that the river flowed beneath us emptying into the ocean, as we climbed Mayan pyramids. It was like a naturally coexisting alternate reality – parallel to our daily lives. To acknowledge the well could be to acknowledge our dependence upon the unseen. If… that is… we respect each unique experience.
Now if this story does not fit your idea of possible, then take it with a grain of salt… For salt can come from these crystal clear rivers too.
Just as the metaphor of the well/star/soul is an expression of the infinite, so each creation, including ourselves, is an expression of the infinite, a facet…of original goodness, worth contemplating.
So, keep an eye out for those fleeting clues of something larger and often unseen, working in our lives. Points of light appear from below the surface of the mundane. But the sip of spiritual nourishment tastes sweet.