Death, destruction and decomposition.

Posted by Justin on 6th October 2016 in Articles

One of the things I like to contemplate often is the part of the cycle of life that is death, destruction and decomposition.

I was initiated into this in a very mini way during the healers A+P training at Barbara Brennan school. We’d been learning about the white blood cells and immune system, the lysis and engulfment of bacteria and so on.

Just after the class I saw, for the first time live, a spider that had caught a fly and was wrapping it in silk.

In that moment I knew the spider and its destructive/predatory act as an agent of Shiva, a weaver and dancer of the death that is part of the cycle of life.

And in the next moment I understood the white blood cells in the body to be, at a micro scale, agents of Shiva too, dancing the dance of death and destruction within the body as part of the ecosphere of a healthy human organism.

I’m not afraid of moulding or rotting food (of course, I respect it, and wouldn’t want to get sick). I find the process fascinating.

But just by contemplating – giving my attention and daydreaming to – moulding and decomposition, that gives me an idea, an observation to bring to my life, my experience of 18 years or so on the spiritual scene absorbing the spiritual lessons and ways and means that are around.

My idea is this:

We go about the healing of completion in the wrong way. All of the feelings, beliefs and so on that we try to move on from, we mostly do it by distancing ourselves from it, freeing ourselves from it, ejecting it, releasing it, something like that. As if it (the feeling or belief) was not part of us.

And I suppose it isn’t, at a deeper soul level,
But at the level of the human psyche that it exists at, it certainly is part of that same psyche.

So what can we do instead? Maybe we can look to nature for inspiration..!

We can decompose our old thoughts and feelings. We can compost them, metaphorically speaking. We can let them erode and crack and melt (to use more geological metaphors). We can let some variation of the process of ripening or rotting, phases in the cycle of life, to have its way with us (and the parts of us that we are bringing to healing).

For me, that means something usually quite simple – sitting with, breathing into, and other ways of being with that which has hitherto been warred against and kept in separation.

Ending the separation and reuniting with that part in awareness is, in my experience, often enough to start that process in motion.
(especially if its in the setting of a group, where there’s more energy available!)

For the bigger things that are hard to shift, nature provides an answer to: carrion beings and decomposers. Whether it’s tiny fungi or worms or beetles, or bacteria, or bigger animals such as jackals or vultures, the larger ecosystem that we are all part of has means and ways of helping us out! It’s true on the spiritual planes as well as on the physical planes. When carrion beings first started coming out in group journeys that I was giving my little human mind freaked out a bit, but my deeper self that was in surrender to the process understood (without conscious knowing) what the purpose of this was for.
It’s for cleaning and clearing: recycling the old to make way for the new.

This kind of process, even if it sounds like it has a similar result to other popular methods of releasing emotion and energy, has a very different alchemy within it, and so a very different end results.
For one thing, it’s feeding life. Spiritual life, granted! But it doesn’t bleed off energy into space; it’s an act of relationship, of mutuality and symbiosis with the life that lives off our dying parts.

That exchange isn’t just a transaction, it’s also a teaching for us; our being learns what it is to let go, and learns something about how we have created what it is within us that is now being devoured.

That doesn’t appear to be the case when the release is ‘mechanical’, an energetic reflex induced by a technique or method.

In a world where people the obvious and default spiritual allies are beings such as bear, wolf, eagle and owl (if not unicorn or Pleidean ;-)), the totem of my work – at least, how it’s been the past year and is now – is the humble earthworm.

Here’s to more exploration of the mystical exploration of ordinary life! :-)