Last week I was asked to respond to a screening of a new(ish) documentary, Journey of the Universe, featuring cosmologist, Brian Swimme. I was honoured to do so, as I consider Brian a mentor, and a person I want to honour along with his work. I know the terrain fairly well, so I didn’t make any notes
As I was being introduced, a young woman came into the auditorium, and interrupted the proceedings, demanding that she be the one to speak. The organizer of the conference asked her who she was, and she said, “I am the universe, I am nameless” and other such things, and then asked for his name. He told her that he organized this conference, and that she was interrupting. Could she keep quiet.
Well, no, she couldn’t keep quiet. A couple of women tried to calm her down.
At first, I thought she was making a feminist point, a kind of radical critique of leadership in a patriarchal culture. But it became clear that she was in a condition of profound emotional and psychological alienation. Finally, she left.
I started in, but not two minutes in, she was back, announcing that what I was saying was meaningless bullshit, that nobody understood, that it was all a head trip. The organizer, frustrated beyond words, then told her to leave or he’d call security.
I spoke directly to her, inviting her to come and have a seat, and listen, and then she’d have a chance to talk. I affirmed some of what she was saying. But it was escalating.
Anyway, this happened a few times. Suffice it to say that I was rattled. The audience was no longer listening. I cut my talk short. All in all, a disturbing experience.
But what I’m interested in is that in the weeks prior to this I was personally undergoing something of a spiritual transition, in that I was feeling like I wanted to find an even truer voice, closer to soul and Spirit. I felt an urgency to be more in my authentic self, and have that reflected in my material. I was entering into a time when I felt that silence was what we being called for. I had been feeling like I was being prepared for something new. And, as I wrote in last week’s post, some voice was saying to me “stop what you are doing and stop what you are becoming”.
At one level, this woman’s choice to interrupt this conference and me in particular was simply a random act. It could have been anyone. I just drew the unlucky straw. But at another level, in the realm where coincidence is otherwise understood as synchronicity, where one’s inner condition manifests in the outer realm. Ironically, the speaker to follow me was a self-declared shaman and an artist, whose art was all about his journeys to the underworld. In the shamanic consciousness what happened was no accident.
Paying attention to the circumstances of our lives as manifestations of our interior psychic condition can be taken too far. We can desperately find meaning in the most random circumstance in a way that verges on ridiculous. But the physicalistic, rationalistic worldview that we all were nursed on refuses to give true synchronicity even a passing consideration. Toward the end of his life, Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung, became increasingly interested in this phenomenon and wrote about a number of them in his own life—the scarab beetle incident comes to mind.
It’s entirely possible that this young woman, for whom we all felt great compassion (except perhaps for the organizer!), was both emotionally disturbed and speaking a truth that came from tapping into my energetic field. What I was keeping to myself, she announced to the world.
I think of the story of the Garasene demoniac. He was clearly “crazy” by conventional standards, and in shamanic language, “possessed” or taken over by darker forces. But in his unconventional way, he was manifesting the soul of a people occupied by a foreign power (Rome). His rantings spoke out loud the interior condition of his tribe. Jesus performed an exorcism which symbolically was a casting out the swine (the occupiers)—both a personal and political healing. I sincerely hope that the young woman receives the love and attention she is so craving, and that she is healed. Was she picking up on and expressing the condition of my soul? I am not certain? But I’m not dismissing the possibility, and I have my eyes, ears, and senses wide open for other “coincidences”.