QUINTESSENCE

“When we tire of well-worn ways, we seek for new. This restless craving in the souls of men spurs them to climb, and to seek the mountain view.”

~

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Image 01-30-15

 

I’m having a hard time defining my mood today but if I had to put a word to it I would say that I feel restless. Interestingly, as I scrolled through dozens of pictures to match up with the quote that opened this entry, I ended up with the green pasture above. I was aiming for a mountain vista but the ones I saw looked too isolated and lonely. This photograph has a sense of solitude but comfort associated with it – at least to my perception. Maybe I am just missing the green-ness of the world. We’re about 4 months into the non-green part of the year with at least two and half more months to go. It is a long stretch of non-green outdoors.

 

Admittedly, my mind has been a bit agitated as of late. My practice of meditation has faltered a bit in Angela’s absence and so I am feeling more disconnected and definitely more ADD. I am sure that feeds into the feelings of restlessness. And now I pause and my poor agitated mind is at a loss for words, even while the feelings and emotions swirl around inside of me.

 

An interesting synchronistic note – I was reading a piece last night that Heidi had shared, “The Five Spirit Warriors of the Rising Soul”, and about three paragraphs in, the word quintessential was used. Well, that was the second time I’d come across that word in as many nights. On Wednesday night I sat down and re-watched, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” with Ben Stiller and it (quintessence) was something of a theme in that movie so I thought it was interesting that I’d come across that idea of “quintessential” twice in two days. It is not a word that you hear every day. Let’s see if I can try to tie this together. . .

 

So, from the Five Spirit Warriors article –

 

THE FIVE SPIRIT WARRIORS

By Gary Z. McGee

http://fractalenlightenment.com/33367/spirituality/the-five-spirit-warriors-of-the-rising-soul

 

“The path of the spiritual warrior is not soft and sweet. It is not artificially blissful and pretend forgiving. It is not fearful of divisiveness. It is not afraid of its own shadow. It is not afraid of losing popularity when it speaks its truth. It will not beat around the bush where directness is essential. It has no regard for vested interests that cause suffering. It is benevolent and it is fiery and it is cuttingly honest in its efforts to liberate itself and humanity from the egoic ties that bind. Shunning strong opinions in the name of spirituality is anti-spiritual. Spirituality that is only floaty soft is a recipe for disaster, allowing all manner of manipulation to run amok. Real spirituality is a quest for truth, in all its forms. Sometimes we find the truth on the meditation cushion, and sometimes we find it in the heart of conflict. May all spiritual warriors rise into fullness. This planet is lost without them.” – Jeff Brown

 

To understand what is involved in the individual experience of archetypes, we need to understand that the experience is more than just psychological, it is extremely spiritual and monumentally existential. We are quite literally manifesting the macrocosm within the microcosm of the human experience. It’s a Promethean act if ever there was one. We are audaciously downloading an experience that could be considered “the knowledge of the gods,” and then transforming it into mortal power that we can use practically. We are actualizing the divinity of the cosmos through our own individuation. This kind of experience serves as an extremely powerful link between us and the universe.

 

Each archetype brings forth its own energy, its own quintessence, its own personality, which is simply just an aspect of who we are. Archetypes are both philosophical and spiritual tools we can use to help leverage our unique contributions in an infinite reality. Like Carl Jung said, “Unless we prefer to be made fools of by our illusions, we shall, by carefully analyzing every fascination, extract from it a portion of our personality, like a quintessence, and slowly come to recognize that we meet ourselves time and again in a thousand disguises on the path of life.” A thousand disguises indeed. In this article we will uncover one of them: the Spirit Warrior, which has five basic sub-archetypes – and many more if we are willing to do the inner-work, but these five should suffice to get us started.

 

I should note that a secondary synchronicity in this article arose in the description of one of the warrior types, the Red Warrior, speaking as it did to the concept of vulnerability.  I will be meeting with someone tomorrow to discuss this notion of vulnerability as it has been presented by Brené Brown.

The Red Warrior

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“You haven’t yet opened your heart fully, to life, to each moment. The peaceful warrior’s way is not about invulnerability, but absolute vulnerability–to the world, to life, and to the Presence you felt. All along I’ve shown you by example that a warrior’s life is not about imagined perfection or victory; it is about love. Love is a warrior’s sword; wherever it cuts, it gives life, not death.” – Dan Millman

 

Red Warriors are full of passion and desire for the crucible of life, longing to learn from the heartaches, soul-shocks, and wakeup calls of life. They wear their emotions on their sleeve. They have their heart to the grindstone, sharpening it to the quick, and they are always ready to use it with an Eros of the most high.

 

Should they meet Buddha on their travels, he will be cut. However, their absolute vulnerability is a double-edged sword: on the one side it is wide open and it learns from love; on the other side its openness cuts deep and it learns from pain. Spiritual blood is inevitable. They practice hard love and they seek to perfect the subtle art of sacred anger. Their spiritual appetite is voracious indeed. But don’t confuse their fury and rage with violence and cruelty, their fire is the fire of non-violence and peaceful resistance. They won’t fight back with fists or weapons, but they will not be pacified either, for love does not imply pacifism. They are the courageous David facing down the tyrannical Goliath. And they are willing to die bringing water to the wasteland. (Meditate on the solar plexus and heart chakras)

 

Admittedly I also felt some affinity for the Rainbow Warrior as well. And I have to say, in the accompanying image, the man is holding a paintbrush and I think that is definitely pretty cool as it connotes a kind of creativity associated with this particular Warrior.

 

The Rainbow Warrior

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“When birds fall from the sky and the animals are dying, a new tribe of people shall come unto the Earth from many colors, classes, and creeds. And who by their actions and deeds shall make the Earth green again. They will be known as the Warriors of the Rainbow.” –Hopi Prophecy

 

Rainbow warriors see the big picture through the accumulation of all the different warrior perspectives. With a question mark in their heart and a teacher in their soul, they are walking, talking, breathing Meditations. They have merged their consciousness with cosmic consciousness and they are able to bring forth sacred knowledge.

 

A rare bird indeed; they have moved beyond the lower vibrations of survival and fear to the higher vibrations of forgiveness and love. But this doesn’t mean that they cannot still tap into the lower energies, or become the white, red, black, or green warriors at any given time. They are chameleon warriors, able to assume and subsume most masks and channel most forms of energy.

 

They are the calm in the storm. When the rest of the world is falling apart, they are busy falling into place, in order to be the one who can put things back together again. They realize that love is the basic building block of the universe, and they are architects par excellence. They plant seeds of moderation and love, and the earth responds with healthy ecosystems, and people respond with happiness in their hearts. They are the sustainable change our unsustainable world has been waiting for. (Meditate on the crown chakra)

 

“We all want change and great things in our lives, yet most of us just seek to settle and find a groove, there is enough dust to settle in this world, what we need are more fearless warrior spirits to get out there to shake things up in this realm…so the time has come to REACH for the stars, for the stars will not come down to You!” – Alistar Valadez

 

I hope I have not strayed too far from my intended path. Let me turn now, for a moment, to The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Quite honestly, I found a review of the movie on Amazon.com the other day that I really felt summed up what I was feeling about that movie –

 

Review on Amazon.com

Andrew Ellington – Vine Voice

 

. . . but then ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ comes along and brings something entirely new and different to the table.

I have not read the source material or seen the original film (from the 40’s) but from what I gather this is a completely revamped adaptation and so it does not need to be compared to previous versions. In Stiller’s ‘Mitty’, our protagonist, Walter, works for the ever-changing ‘Life Magazine’. He is a man dedicated to his work and a man with little real life ambitions. He does not seek out the true adventures in life and instead lives his life from a distance where he fantasizes about having the kind of life that other people actually live. He has fallen for the new girl, but lacks the courage to approach her so he stalks her from an internet dating service that is having technical difficulties. When he has a very important photograph placed in his hands, he finds his world beginning to shift. The image is lost, his job is in jeopardy and his spirit soars with excitement as he chases the photography to the ends of the earth looking for the image.

In the heart of adventure, his life is reborn.

The message in ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ is a simple one, dealt with rather simply and because of that it has a deeper impact. Living your life is not truly living if you never really live. Does that make sense? It does when you watch Stiller’s beautifully crafted film. You can feel the energy that is displaced in all the right areas, creating a beautiful presence that pulls the audience along from scene to scene. What I love about this film is that it does not make the film an advocate for literal adventure as much as one for the adventure of life itself. While Mitty has his share of excitement traveling the globe, hiking mountains and swimming with sharks, the real adventure is not being afraid to reach out and grab the things you really want. The real beauty in life is often taken for granted because we are expecting something else, something manufactured, and yet we don’t realize how special the life right in front of us really is.

We are living with eyes wide shut.

Stiller direction is rather impressive. He builds a beautifully languid story and finds ways to heighten our excitement with visuals that arouse interest and a fluidity that never shakes our interest. I was actually blindsided with how effortless the whole film feels. The comedic interludes, the heartfelt themes, the rich development, and subtle yet effective acting; all of it comes together and creates a unified and completely delightful film.

 

Yes, this review nails the message of the movie perfectly for me. It is about being awake to the grand adventure that life itself is. And in his search for finding the elusive photograph, the photograph that depicts the quintessence of Life itself, Walter Mitty discovers that the quintessence of Life is he, himself. It was a grand message, delivered quite sublimely and beautifully. And so maybe that is why the word is coming to me – so that I too will understand that all my searching and seeking and restlessness is for naught because I am the answer. I am the quintessence of my own Life.

 

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quin·tes·sence

ˌkwinˈtesəns/

noun

  1. the most perfect or typical example of a quality or class.

“he was the quintessence of political professionalism”

synonyms: perfect example, exemplarprototypestereotypepictureepitome,embodimentidealapotheosis; More
      • the aspect of something regarded as the intrinsic and central constituent of its character.

“we were all brought up to believe that advertising is the quintessence of marketing”

synonyms: essencesoulspiritnaturecoreheartcruxkernelmarrow,substance; More
  • a refined essence or extract of a substance.

 

It is interesting to see the various synonyms that show up in the definition of the word, Quintessence.  Well, this has certainly be a bit on the rambling side, but I guess it is representative of my state of mind today and I think it did eventually find its way to a point of sorts.

 

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2 Responses to QUINTESSENCE

  1. John, re: your article Quintessence.
    I was struck by your perception of the field photo having both a sense of solitude and comfort. I think the sense of comfort comes from the presence of the fences. Even though the picture evokes solitude, the fences suggest a sense of control, of other people near enough so that the solitude doesn’t feel like a prison.
    I like a lot of solitude, but I like to be able to choose it.
    ****************
    “We meet ourselves time and again in a thousand disguises on the path of life.” Carl Jung was so right. The trick is to recognize those selves, even those selves that dark and unpleasant.
    ****************
    I have not yet seen the film, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, but I did read the James Thurber story, which to my way of thinking is a comic tragedy. I think so many of us are Walter Mitty, some more, some less; the world trains us to be so. From the beginning, we are taught to surrendur to other’s expectations. As children we are taught to obey rules not because they make any sense to us but because our obedience makes life so much easier for others. Our parents encourage us not to follow our dreams, but to get good jobs, marry the right person, and most of all not to embarrass them.
    The review of the movie suggests they gave it a happy ending that I don’t think James Thurber meant. In the story, Walter doesn’t change, he just continues.
    ****************
    I feel very attached to the Red Warrior. I need to risk vulnerability.

  2. nowandzenn says:

    That you followed all of this is validating to me. That you left such a detailed comment, inspiring. Indeed, you inspired my next sharing and I thank you most deeply for that.

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