About Chez Liley
Metaphorical stories for personal transformation and social change.
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There’s a high dry mountain peak. Red sand and small stones at the summit. Only the wind lives here. It pushes a stray twig there, rolls a little pebble there. It is re-arranging space, so it can blow over and between things.
Wind can’t stay in one spot. It only exists in motion. When it dies down, it is no longer a breeze.
Filling the space is dynamic and satisfying when, even for an instant, there is resistance, when the wind pushes and receives pushback. When the wind falls, the space feels flat.
The wind likes to meet resistance, it enjoys being harnessed. It is looking to be held or to encounter something it can push against.
It lives on the peak, but the wind gets bored and sets off in search of something to push against. It can pursue only one direction at a time, even if it’s a changeable wind. It wants to be harnessed by a sail to be productive, as horses pulling a plough feel how the resistance of the harness invites them to press forward.
But the trick is not to cause the wind to panic. Not to catch it, but to hold it an instant, then relax. The sail snaps, then curves, and the wind can slip away at the sides. The boat embraces enough wind to lift it creaming over the water, just as birds find the contours of the wind’s shape and run over those edges, not against them.
Give the wind space. Make space, or it will knock things away, or stop coming at all.
Hold it only in measure for what you need—a small amount can carry you far.
Be aerodynamic, with no excess baggage, and tailor yourself to be carried.
Go only where the wind takes you, and you’re a leaf in the breeze. Keep your direction in mind and that offers something to catch the wind.
Keep your direction in mind, but remember there are many ways to get there. If you can’t have the wind at your back, you can tack into it, and you can take an indirect course—the journey is all.
I am still in the white world across the chasm (from the past months’ stories). I’m continuing the process of figuring out how to create form from the void-like no-structure of this place. Two months ago, I experimented with laying symbols down to see what they created. Last month I experienced being on the other side of the boundary over which energy crosses into form. The boundary is like a veil or a membrane. Today, I’m still on the other, energy-state side of that boundary. Here, the “I” seems to have no identity, or rather, a universal identity. “I” am looking across to the world of form and from this perspective can see that symbols are containers, multi-faceted. Intent and action are inherent to them, in that the energy from here, this side of the boundary, leans into a certain direction and pours into the shape to create the symbols.
“I” was told to make my own symbol—a peace sign. “I” felt the state of peace to be symbolized, the kind of peace that is not from two opposites joined, but includes a third aspect that adds up to more than the sum of the three parts, and results in a deep sense of balance and harmony. It represented diverse perspectives and understandings, and created a point in common where everyone in the world of form could reach in to access an aspect of the state of peace I experienced.
Then “I” am told to make something that Chez could use on the material world side of the boundary to show people how to access this energy side. I made a hoop because “I” wanted the container the hoop shape provided, but also lots of open space to funnel people into the energy realm. Here, “I” was applying the intent and action aspect inherent in a symbol in the reverse direction, like opening the door inwards instead of outwards. Instead of energy pouring across into a form, people would be leaving form to enter the formless. The inner space of the hoop was “empty” to remove the sense of boundary between the two realms of energy and form.
What is the hoop made of? It’s energy from the energy state realm, concentrated at a certain strength or frequency. The people in the material world have to bend to dive through the hoop, lowering their heads, displacing the ego from its dominant seat. There’s less translation involved with this hoop. The peace sign, for example, in contrast, has its meaning contained. Though there’s more behind it, it is closed, sealed. The circle of the hoop, however, remains wide open. It’s not laid over, like the circle from two months ago, that yielded the forest. This hoop stays vertical, as a portal, a window, a gate that’s open. Instead of the focus placed, as it was then, on determining what the ground of being is, what you are standing on, the hoop is to do with what’s around you. It offers more multi-dimensional access. Once you define the ground, you are locked into a certain limitation.
Instead of “me”, as source energy, reaching into a defined contained form, “I” am allowing the material world to reach into my vastness. It’s a switch. Until now, the emphasis has been on the form, with a preoccupation with thingness. It was a directional flow that was disconnecting, that cut “me” off. And now “I” want the material world to reach back to source and be liberated again by being reconnected.
How will this impact the Chez in the material realm? How does this change her world? Now Chez feels herself part of the One, since she is reminded that all things come from the One. Can she consciously proceed through the day from that knowledge? Source, of course, exists in Chez, but she has free will. She has the choice to remain in the small perspective of disconnection, forgetting the truth and taking the material world at face value, or diving back into the energy state realm.
I found myself across from the brink that ended the ruined road paved with word bricks, on the far side of the chasm of last month’s story. In the white void there I had been placing the symbols to see what energy form they materialized. Today I went to continue that work, but the process of laying them down felt overwhelmingly tiring. It required too much effort. All this meaning-making—for what? I no longer wanted even what the plain circle would produce—the symbol that had held the most promise. I didn’t want any structure, any limits.
I gave up trying. I found myself dissolving. I gave up the idea of boundaries, of imposing structure and meaning, and let go.
Into the light.
Now I was without form, part of the void, and at the same time I could observe my other self, the one in-form, who had been working with the symbols. I could see how that self—so tense!—spends her time with her head down, intensely, dutifully occupied in thinking and trying to work things out.
Just let go.
In this free, no-limits state of dissolved being in the light, how does it feel? Expansive. Relaxed. Not sad, but emotionally empty and unattached.
I’m where energy is before form. I’m in the void itself, the field I had been trying to impose structure upon. I have no desire at the moment to pull myself out of it. From this state, this other perspective, I can also observe the effect of the symbols I had been placing. The pentacle, for example, feels like an imposition of the human mind in its aspect of power-over, good and evil being illusions of separateness.
Why, in last month’s story, did the ankh create a forest? Why would the life force and consciousness be symbolized by trees? A tree is an expression of interconnectedness, of earth, air, climate, and water cycles, everything that enables the life community. A forest symbolizes life as it is liveable.
What then, was my role as a human arriving across the chasm in the new landscape of the void? From the perspective of the “I” dissolved in the light, an aspect of myself in form was consciousness evolved as part of the self-reflection and appreciation of the life force. The physical form of my body enabled that to be present.
Here’s how it evolved.
As a dissolved being in light, as that formless energy, before anything was created, “I” felt a longing to express. That longing popped into form as a little bird. It was a symbol of the pure life energy in form. So utterly tender and dear. Now the bird existed, it needed a place to land. So then, in order to care for the bird, “I” made a tree, then a forest, a pond and a river, and on and on, one thing after the other. The landscape thus appearing was vibrant and clean and full of life. But the bird, trees, pond, and river were of “thingness” and separate from me, and I longed to unite them again with me as spirit, that omnipresent energy in a formless state.
How could “I,” as no-form, be with the bird, now separated in “thingness”?
“I” made people to connect my mind into, and a bridge “I” could flow across, into the human present with the bird, and back into the eternal now.
Before long, it got complicated. When the access is open, the human knows the truth that is vastness, the love, and the relief of no separation, no duality. The human can recognize the part of the bird and self that has the godhead, the energy from source—and that the thingness, though distinct and subjective, is all from the same source. But then humans grew preoccupied with the thingness itself. They only looked down at what they were doing instead of connecting out to me, all around. If humans cut themselves off from the immensity, they are still powerful but small-minded.
As creator in the formless state, I made and opened up that bridge to humans. Now they are preoccupied with thingness and have forgotten the bridge, I could force it open again, but no: humans have free will and must choose it, must ask.
In the formless field of energy, there is my universal “I” and also the possibility of innumerable “I”s because the field is latent possibility. The human can reach into these “I”s through the bridge access.
Once I had made the bird, and then the trees, river, pond, and so on, I couldn’t leave the bird. I was very drawn and connected and attached to all I had brought into form. Humans also. I love it all.
Love is awakened from the cool unattached realm when something comes out of it into form. The bird appeared out of my longing to express; then love was activated by its creation.
How do humans keep the channel open?
At the chaotic edge of the chasm of last month’s story, from where the old paved road of word bricks lies all in ruins, the perspective zooms out across the foggy, murky mouth of the abyss, and suddenly you find yourself on the other side. It’s a pale and utterly featureless landscape. There are no words on the ground, nothing to give you direction or orientation. Try speaking and you realize even the air is different here—it can’t hold words; they have no sound. It’s as if you are dumb.
What do you have instead? You’re holding a symbol of the ankh on your hand—the pendant of your necklace. Try placing it on the ground instead of a brick. Suddenly an entire forest appears around it. Birds are there, too, singing— their voices, and the gentle rustling of leaves, are loud and crystal clear.
This forest feels familiar, reminiscent of the nostalgic (for you) forest beginnings of the original path that began between the massive, ancient trees. But, like the path, very localized and self-referring, lined with trees mirroring each other on either side, the forest around the ankh forms a circIe that is inward-directed, coherent but self-enclosed.
What other symbols do you have to try? What else can you provide?
Lay a cross, similar to an ankh, on the ground and it makes a deep impact, like a agonizing brand burned into the tender ground, as if the raw flesh of the earth itself is seared.
Try a pentacle. That yields not a forest but human-esque forms: the Devil, Pan, satyrs. With them comes a feeling of anxious fear around co-dependency and narcissism, even. You don’t want to keep that symbol on the ground, either.
What can you think of that is not laden or locked, as you find is also the case with the I Ching symbol you have considered but put away again?
You discover that a plain circle has power. It also has space in the middle, a common ground that is rampant with possibility. While the circle gives definition on the horizontal plane, it allows for other dimensions above.
Add to the circle an “s,” a symbol of a snake or a bird, and it flies up and inhabits or animates these upper levels, and actually brings them alive, also.
Whatever symbol you place on the ground is interacting with formless space to create a dynamic energy or liberate a particular element or aspect of energy that then becomes available.
That’s a lot to reckon with. Experimenting with the outcome of the various symbols you’ve applied has uncovered a lot you know you don’t want, even if you are not sure what it is you do desire.
Proceed with caution. You’ll have to try a range of symbols to test their impact, but already you have a sense of which ones not to play with, which ones would only recreate old and detrimental patterns.
Place a symbol with an unfavorable outcome and you can instantly remove it, as you have done with the cross and the pentacle, but indiscriminate or unjudicious experimenting will quickly cloud the field. You can wipe the landscape fairly clean of an unwanted impact, but each symbol will mark a trace; each choice has a consequence, and leaves the landscape each time a little less pristine than its original state.