Episcopal priest Rev. Ed Bacon* recently posted a short poem by Kim Rosen titled “In Impossible Darkness.” It caught both my attention and imagination. Here it is:
In Impossible Darkness
Do you know how
Do you remember
inside a cocoon?
There in the thick black
of your self-spun womb,
void as the moon before waxing,
(as Christ did
for three days in the tomb)
in impossible darkness
the sheer inevitability
I am sure that this has great meaning for many Christian Believers. But I see meaning and importance far beyond its seasonal Christian treatment. I see profound “spiritual” and psychological implication as well. So in the echoes of Passover, Easter and blossoms of springtime, allow me to muse out-loud. You see, to me this is a poem about change, about transcendence.
Change is seldom easy. You almost always have to “liquefy.” What does liquefy mean (to me)? It means you have to come apart, dis-integrate, change your current form and then re-organize into something different (and if to have any true importance), something better. The butterfly has its entire original DNA; it is just reorganized. The butterfly-you and the butterfly-me are the same essential person but our function and capacity are altered. We have wings now—wings that give us freedom and mobility. Unlike a creeping caterpillar bound by the weight of its encumbered life, we can now fly.
The change is seldom instantaneous, there is almost always a “tomb” experience—an experience that is set-apart, and to some degree tumultuous. An experience that is identifiable, if by no other distinction than by its ridiculous disturbance to what we are use to. It could be as simple as a bad-hair day (like one that I had last week) or a more catastrophic event like a divorce or the death of a loved one (like the recent passing of my dear brother-in-law). In my book, I refer to this as the Land of Oz. The Land of Oz is a passageway, an uncharted pit stop where we go to liquefy and change into something more true to our best selves. It is where we fire our fraudulent Wizards; it is where we face our inner Witches (see my blog on Pain Body) and they melt; and, the place where we develop Lion-power, Tin Man-love and Scarecrow-mindfulness.
I once heard of an African-American preacher who gave a sermon for Good Friday (the day that many Christians honor the death of Jesus). The sermon was profound yet elegantly simple. Here is the sermon in its entirety:
It’s Friday . . . but Sunday** is coming.
He just kept repeating that phrase over and over again with increasing crescendo and varying punctuation.
So for those of us going through a tomb experience, who are “liquefied in the darkness;” for those of us who are in the throes of an “Oz” experience, confused and disoriented—take hope. When we go through these experiences with grace (profound love for ourselves) and truth (with full consciousness), there are wings waiting inevitably for us. Please note: this not cute sentimentality; this is good psychology. This is neurology at its best. The change is real. This is how we become more emotionally intelligent. This is how we become our best butterfly selves.
P.S. For those of you who are waiting for Part 2 of my blog on Eckhart Tolle’s Pain Body, it is coming soon.
[*] The Reverend Ed Bacon is the Rector of All Saints Church in Pasadena and a frequent guest on the Oprah Winfrey Network’s Super Soul Sunday. He is the author of 8 Habits of Love: Open Your Heart, Open Your Mind (2012, 2013).
[**] Sunday refers to Easter Sunday, which is when traditional Christians believe that Jesus rose alive from the tomb.