Numinous and Concrete
The Material Is Spiritual
That was a key moment for me—an epiphany on the cold grey trading floor lit by glowing green screens—that realization that we purposefully dis-integrate ourselves, and therefore dis-integrate all of the systems that we build, ending up feeling separate from our environment, from our monetary and political systems, and from each other. In that moment part of me realized this: we had forgotten that spirit and matter are one being. We had forgotten that we could be whole.
I thought of this while sending a shipment of rain ponchos to Occupy Wall Street last week. The people on the streets see imbalance and are trying to speak to it. The ponchos were asked for, and needed, yet I have no idea how they were made. Were they made by people working in dreadful conditions somewhere? This is likely. Does my action in sending them do more harm, or more good? I do not know. Every action requires a willingness to risk. There is a light and corresponding shadow everywhere. Nothing is clear, and clean, and in a little compartment. Life is messy and intertwined. Light and shadow are not discrete beings, but bound to one another. Within us, they can make friends, and we can learn to see things in a different way.
The Occupy movement is a movement about material things: jobs, food, housing, money. For me, this makes the Occupy movement about spiritual things. There is spirit in the movement, and the spirit moves through bodies of flesh in a world of matter: concrete, grass, buildings. There is no separation between the spirit and the matter, only our minds make it so.
I see large patterns at play on this planet as in country after country, people rise up. Perhaps it is all random, but it doesn't feel that way to me. Nor does anything feel fated. Change is in our hearts and hands. Change is in my heart and hands. Change is in us all.
Can we come together?
Changing culture is up to us. This week I will march with Occupy San Francisco as an act of solidarity and hope, and as a sign that my lot is thrown in with my brothers and sisters. I do not think for a moment that my marching will change our systems overnight, but I do think it is one small action toward that end. I teach and write in order to help change culture and I change myself first, to facilitate this work. Marching tomorrow is a symbol that what I hope to help bring together is so much larger than I can ever do on my own. It takes us all, each of us, to look inside and say, "Where can I begin?"
T. Thorn Coyle is an internationally respected visionary and teacher of the magical and esoteric arts. The author of Kissing the Limitless and Evolutionary Witchcraft, she hosts the Elemental Castings podcast series, writes the blog Know Thyself, and has produced several CDs of sacred music. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook!