Let Slip The Past, Free The Now: The Alchemy of Samhaine
Author: Sitara Haye
This is a time of year when we look to the past. We flip through the memory book of our mind and note the faces of those that have come before us. With some, we share the genetic material of the physical body. With others, we share the spiritual genetics of the subtle body and the spirit. Whether it’s blood family or spiritual family doesn’t matter… we carry forward within us a legacy of evolution.
I think of relationships in my life that have passed beyond the Veil. Some of these were relationships with people. Others were relationships with organizations. The relationship itself was an entity and had its season, its period of passage, and its time of mourning. And some of the individuals and organizations themselves have also passed beyond the Veil — though not all have actually died. Sometimes the changes are so great, the path taken veers so wide, that a Veil of lack of understanding and connection comes between you and this Other. Both still exist, however, you cannot share the same space and experience any longer.
Often, these partings can be more sadness-laden than an actual physical death. At least with a “real end”, there’s a sense of finality. We are forced to let go of a physical person because we no longer see them regularly or have their company. We are forced to let go of a physical organization because we no longer meet, pursue goals, or celebrate successes.
But when the Veil drops because someone or something has changed, the suffering can be intense. We long for what “used to be”. We look at photographs and sigh. Or maybe we tell tales of the “glory days”, our identities so wrapped up with “what was” that we fail to connect to “what is”.
This kind of approach automatically sets us up to find the Now — the current moment and all its opportunities and relationships — unsuitable. The new person in your life isn’t like the old person. The new organization or way of doing things isn’t like the old one. We criticize and compare to a memory, idealized and gilded in our minds.
It’s not hard to see why things in the Present come up short. After all, we do not share the Past together. You have your Past, based in your perceptions and recollections. I have my Past, based in my perceptions and recollections. We may have shared an experience, or a moment, or a time, or a relationship together, however, we still end up with two separate Pasts that are impossible to quantify in the Now.
The Past becomes Mist all on its own. Even now, you are reading these words, but it’s already the Past. You cannot do anything to change it. You cannot resurrect the moment of reading these words. You can remember it, however, you will have remembered it through your own field of perception and that still will not accurately recapture the moment into the Now.
Likewise, we cannot recapture people or organizations that have come and gone, no matter how fondly we remember them or remember our times with them. When the people and organizations are still here, it can be tempting to still see them as who they were. The truth is, the only thing constant and unchanging is your perception of what has gone before, and that is only true if you yourself have not changed and grown.
We also cannot recapture people or organizations that have truly demised. Our relationships with those people and groups were created by those involved. Those relationships were created by people who were at a certain point in their life, in their learning, limited by the lessons actually internalized at the time during which paths intersected. As all things change and flow and move and grow (hopefully) , it should be easy to see that we cannot recreate anything. We can only — at best — recreate what we THOUGHT it to be.
This can be a dangerous exercise — recreating what we THINK a relationship or group experience was. After all, whose thought is right? Who is most clear-seeing? Regardless of who thinks they have the best answer, the fact remains that perspective plays its part. It also sets up idealized expectations of the result. And anyone knows that idealized expectations are nothing but a code word for “failure waiting to happen and heartbreak impending”.
We also have to ask ourselves WHY we wish to recreate a failed/ended relationship or a failed/ended group experience. If we are motivated from an internal source, by those fond and frilly memories of the “glory days”, then what does the recreated relationship/group really serve? If memories are anchored in perception and perception is completely anchored in ego and it is our memory that spurs us with feelings of loss or nostalgia to revive something, then isn’t it obvious that the recreated relationship or group experience serves ego, as well?
Life is not a circle. Life is a spiral. We may come back around but with the Gods favor and a bunch of hard work, it’s at a higher level. To delve into the past is like speaking spells over old bones. The bones may get up and dance a jig, you may shake off the dust, but the flesh is gone — and you’ve completely missed the fact that the spirit has never left you.
It’s the way of all things to evolve and move forward. We — you and I — can only have a relationship in the here and now. We only have that which lies within us to draw upon. We only have our current understandings through which to communicate. We only have this moment to share perspectives and jointly decide our course.
But if you’re living in the Past, and I’m living in the Now, we are separated by a Veil too great to cross to create something new. If you see me as I was and not as I am, then the person in this moment does not exist to you. I become not Real in your world, and therefore, how can we journey together? If I see you as I want you to be and not as you are, then the person in this moment does not exist for me. You become not Real in my world, and therefore, how can we journey together?
I have many fond memories with people with whom I have shared past relationships and experiences. But those memories are in the past. Even if the memory isn’t so fond, it holds no bearing on the Now unless I choose to make the Past my Present. However, I have made a vow to walk a path of Power. The only moment in which there is Power is Now.
Resurrecting old relationships just as they were is not a work of Power. Judging others and holding them inside the box of however you have perceived them in the Past is not a work of Power. Summoning old organizations or missions from the grave is not a work of Power. These are all tricks we play upon ourselves to keep ourselves safe, away from the cutting edge where the Work is actually done.
You know the scary place — it’s that line we walk that reminds us that we have no control other than what we carry within us. People can’t and will not and have no Universal obligation to be whom we want or expect. Organizations can’t and will not and have no Universal obligation to be what we want or expect. But how often do we decide to interact or join or become intimate based on these things — how often do we completely bypass acceptance of what Is (i.e. in the NOW) for our expectations of what Should Be (i.e. in the Past of our minds… after all, how do you get to a “should” unless you’ve already played out in your head what the reality is going to look like) ?
This is a time of Death. It means not jumping in the grave with who or what’s gone. We don’t go forward by going back, but we do reach out by going within. If you want a relationship with someone from your Past, you have to be more attached to the person they are NOW than the person they were THEN. If you can’t do that, I am telling you truthfully here YOU ARE GOING TO BURY ANOTHER RELATIONSHIP BECAUSE YOU HAVEN’T GOTTEN OUT OF THE GRAVE WITH THE OLD ONE.
Same thing with an organization. You can’t revive it. You must take the situation in the Now with the people who are in the Now and decide the course for the Now and let it be in the Now. You cannot bury a child you’ve lost (and most groups/organizations are labors of love) and then dig it up years later and swaddle the bones. It won’t matter how you dress it up. The Mother has taken it to her breast. It’s done. If you aren’t careful, you will have every other person entombed with it before long.
Samhaine is about letting go. Take your inner child by the hand and ask them to unclench their fist. Only then will you be ready with an open hand to receive the gifts of the Now — the Present.
Copyright: (c) Sitara Haye, 2009.