In Quest of A Vision
By Lynn Seiser
The smell of sage and sweetgrass began to fade. It was getting harder to distinguish the drumbeats from the heartbeat. The body covered itself in its own water of purification. Days of fasting and silent waiting followed years of teaching and anticipation. Time was slowing down and beginning to stand still. Soon everything would go dark and the visions would begin. Visions that would give direction and meaning to life. Visions that would guide life from that moment forward. Visions begin by going inside and seeing the bigger picture outside.
In olden times, everybody went through the same rites of passage. Women remember the visions and pass them on to their daughters. Therefore, the women already knew and no longer needed to search for their visions in such a formal ritualistic manner. For men it was still necessary. Young boys still identified and imitated their fathers. They learned the social rules of what only superficially appears to be the male-dominated society. No matter what their mothers try to teach them, and mothers do have the primary caregiving roles, the boys needed to be reminded of what their forefathers have forgotten.
In olden times, every culture had some rites of passage. Most of these were extremely violent. In those cultures that have kept the rites of passage, times havenít changed much. Other cultures have totally forgotten to let people know when itís time to grow up. There is much confusion in the world.
The first thing forgotten was a sense of self. No longer was the vision simply of the self. If fact, it was seen that there was no real self in the small internal sense of identity. The self, as we think of it, is simply a set of role expectations learned from parents, teachers, and the rest of the community in which one was raised. The small sense of self, separate from others, began to dissolve into a larger sense of common-unity with the family, then a small section of the village or neighborhood. Finally, the entire village of many families and many people became a vision of one village and one people. The self only played its part to help the whole, and the whole did its part to help the self. The two were indivisible and interdependent.
As the vision continued, the separateness of the village from the rest of the countryside also faded. It was hard to tell the village from the forest or streams, the people from the animals. It was one countryside. It was also hard to tell what had always been there, what was old, and what was new. The countryside changed with time, yet it somehow remained the same. The small things changed, the big things didnít. The bigger the vision became the less separateness existed. Visions donít explain things with false truths, or laws, or rules. Visions just show what is. The mind does the rest. If the mind can see the separateness, then it already sees the sameness.
The vision continued past the countryside. It was like seeing the world from the outside, apart from it, while still being a part of it. Like one village and one countryside, it was one world. At first, it all appeared beautiful. The lands and waters formed the opposites and balanced the globe. The blue and the green become one circle. Once thought to be flat, the earth was clearly round. The earth wasnít a perfect sphere in space; it was simply there as it should be. The next moment the entire surface was on fire. All was destroyed. The earth just disappeared. Not a trace of the planet, the land or the seas, the countryside, the animals or the people remained. All the villages were gone. Only the dark sky with beautiful stars shining as if the earth had never existed. The stillness and the silence were all that was left in the emptiness and vastness of the eternal void.
The heartbeat turned back into drumbeats. The smell of sweat turned back into the smell of sage and sweetgrass. The void turned back into the small room just outside the village. He saw his own body as he re-entered it. The young man opened his eyes and looked. Perhaps for the first time, he saw.
As he left his small hut, he looked into the eyes of those who had gone questing for the vision before him. He could tell some of them knew and remembered. Some forgot again. He looked into the eyes of those who would quest for their own visions after him. He could see they already knew, even if they didnít know it yet. From those who knew, young and old, male and female, he was met with subtle smiles and nods. From those who knew but could not let themselves know, their eyes were turned away or simply held questions that were already answered.
Thanks for listening, for the opportunity to be of services, and for sharing the journey.
Lynn Seiser, Ph.D., MFT, is an internationally respected psycho-therapist, author, and founder of AikiSolutions. His office is in Long Beach, and he can be reached at (562) 799-1371.
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