Recently my sister called to check on me and as the conversation unfolded I realize she had some concerns about me. She told me her daughter Amy thought I had lost my Mojo. I was both fascinated and alarmed by the idea that I had left such an impression on my niece.
I thought I should check precisely what Mojo means and found out that the traditional meaning is magical power, a spell or talisman. However in the Cambridge English dictionary it describes Mojo as a quality that attracts people to you and makes you successful and full of energy.
How disconcerting! What had I said to give that impression?
I went to my journal to assess what has been happening in my life at the time of the conversation. To my surprise I had been at my beautiful place in Cortes island and recall feeling particularly joyful and positive at that time. Obviously this had not been translated in my discussion with my niece. My curiosity mounted. What resulted in the impression that she passed on to her mother?
My sister explained that she thought it was connected with a conversation about spirituality and that Amy believed I had lost my belief. A light shone dimly through the fog surrounding my recollection. I recalled sharing with Amy that I had found the simplicity of my earlier beliefs had been transcended by a complexity around holding opposites. I was feeling less clarity and more confusion about my path but I was not concerned as I knew I was in good company. Eminent author and Jungian analyst James Hollis suggests that signs of a spiritual maturity were that, “ The mystery will transcend our desires for clarity and certainty.” The mystery perhaps had become more mysterious after the following transition that occurred last year.
I have just concluded Sapiens by Noah Yuval Harari and I am feeling disturbed. For 25 years I have lived with the belief we are spiritual beings having a human experience and not the other way around. Suddenly this is in question. Previously I had been reading Guns Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond an equally depressing saga of human viciousness and brutality. Where I asked myself, in the bloody, violent, competitive, destructive story of our genus was there any indication of underlying spiritual beings? It was a strange moment to consider letting go of something that had so powerfully influenced the journey of my life and has helped me find meaning in my own experiences. Suddenly like a match extinguishing itself in the dark the light was gone.
Then I asked myself a question. What remains if I let go of this concept of the eternity of a Soul moving from incarnation to incarnation in some mysterious way I did not understand. What would then remain? I went for a walk allowing this confusion and lack of clarity to be absorbed in the exquisite beauty of a Vancouver evening. I noticed no distress I just felt different. I sensed it was yet another evolution of my worldview and there have been many.
I reviewed what remained: I still believed in a guiding force that I call the inner compass in my life. I continue to relate to the concept of the unconscious with all its unseen power over me. I will continue to seek meaning in my life and unravel my own psychology and explore this mystery I am part of it. The driver of this I still choose to call Soul ,for now I give up the need of immortality. I felt a sense of relief.
Then I saw an enormous gift from this transition. It seems to me that the preciousness of this one life expands once one can no longer rely on anything to follow. It creates a sense of responsibility to the collective to support its positive unfolding. I came across a relevant quote from James Hollis that seemed inspiring, “What I long for is an experience of this life that I would not trade for an eternity in those Elysian Fields.”
I have certainly been undergoing a transition in my belief structure. However I always believed continuing change is a positive and not negative. It is as though all the beliefs I have ever held are to some degree like those nesting Russian dolls and the new one both replaces and embraces the old.
I called my niece to ask her what she had meant and she seemed bemused. “Those are mum’s words, not mine”, she said. “I was just sharing our conversation and perhaps not doing a very good job.”
I laughed; it was another lesson in not making assumptions. The good news is my Mojo seems intact and to quote the words of Julian of Norwich “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”
NB I came across this wonderful poem by my friend Ann Ladd who writes beautifully about the sense of deconstruction on the spiritual journey.
My certainty is tattered and torn
shredded beyond recognition
It is frightening, though inevitable
to dismantle the platform
that gave me a view of the world
that allowed surety of
purpose an action