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Letters Sent to Us from the Public

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Articles by Margaret Wendt

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The Promise of the Past by Betty J. Kovács, Ph.D.

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Death is the Greatest Mystery of Life because it offers us  an initiation into the unknown, the invisible, the source of all being.  It is a mystery that can break our hearts,  but it can also open us to a vast and loving universe.  When we experience the death of someone we  love, we are convinced that we are being destroyed, that nothing will ever, can  ever, be the same.  And this is true.   Nothing is ever the same again: our focus on the known, visible forms of  life is shifted to the invisible essence of the one we love.  This shift is the initial stage of the  Mystery: the power of the broken heart pulls us to the one we love, to another  dimension, another language, and an entirely other way of life. 

But it is here that many of us lose our way because we live  in a culture that not only has lost the map to this invisible dimension of  being but insists that it does not even exist. When we look around the world  today at the unbearable sorrow, indifference, depression, addiction, violence,  and fanaticism, we are looking at a world that has lost its connection to this  invisible source of being.  Even the two major religions of the West have  forgotten their original knowledge of this Mystery and have fallen into  doctrines that limit our own direct inner experience with this source.  Yet it is the birthright of every single  human being to communicate directly with this invisible source of life.  We are all being called to rediscover—and to  reclaim—this birthright.  Our survival  depends on this sacred reclamation.

The Earth herself appears to be playing a role in this  healing process by leading us to just the right places to find the buried  secrets of our past.  It is now known  that around 35,000 BCE there occurred a spontaneous evolution of human  consciousness that blasted forth around the world in the form of symbols,  myths, art, spiritual traditions, and culture.   Although this was clearly a worldwide phenomenon, the major areas of  evidence are the rock paintings and engravings in more than 300 caves in Europe  and the 20,000 painted and engraved rock shelters in Africa.  Since this breakthrough did not involve an  anatomical change, scholars could not figure out what had caused this  evolution.  It now appears that this leap  of consciousness emerged out of the shamanic experience with invisible worlds.  In  other words, we evolved into modern conscious beings through communication with  the unknown, invisible dimension of reality.

It is now known that this consciousness survived in Europe  for thousands of years because the same symbols and artistic traditions reemerged  around 7,000 BCE in a magnificent artistic flowering in the early farming  communities.  UCLA archaeologist Marija  Gimbutas deserves recognition for her ability to see the continuity of this  early symbolic system from 35,000 BCE to and throughout the agricultural period  and even into our own time as a powerful symbolic undercurrent.

This symbolic system reflects a deep respect for the laws of  Nature; all life was experienced as divine and sacred.  The Great Mysteries were celebrated—the  Mysteries of birth and death and the renewal of all life: human, animal, the  Earth, and the cosmos. The unknown, the invisible, the source of life was as  real to them as the visible world, and nothing was more important than living  in harmony with this unseen source.  Here again were cultures, an entire way of  life, rooted in communication with the unknown, invisible dimension of reality.

Their artistic images reflect the divinity of the female as  well as the male.  In fact, there are no  images of male domination, warfare, or violence, and it appears that these  cultures did indeed enjoy long periods of peace.  This way of life was destroyed as waves of  invading tribes swept across southeastern Europe between 4,300 and 2,800 BCE,  and out of the chaos emerged what we have come to think of as Western culture.

It is strange for the Western mind to come to terms with the  idea that the very roots of its own consciousness reach back 35,000 years into  the forgotten shamanic cultures of Europe.   Many questions arise.  How had we  lost this profound interrelated worldview?   Had the chaos and destruction been so pervasive that we were unable to  hold onto this ancient way of life?  Or  had we not wanted to hold onto a culture that valued what cannot be seen or  analyzed by the rational mind?  Hadn’t  we, after all, given the world rationality and science?  And didn’t these gifts demand a logic that  was separated from any other part of the mind that might compromise its  integrity?

Well, maybe not.  More  discoveries emerged and these discoveries turn upside down the very concept of  Western culture that we have been taught to believe in.  In the l990’s British Classical scholar Peter  Kingsley published his research on a powerful shamanic spiritual tradition that  existed around 500 BCE and that stretched from southern Spain to Sicily, Italy,  Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Babylonia, Crete, Turkey, Iran, and all the way to  India and Central Asia.  According to  Kingsley, the Greek Pre-Socratic philosophers, Pythagoras, Empedocles, and  Parmenides, were part of this tradition as master shaman healers who used  powerful techniques to communicate with the invisible dimension of  reality.  In fact, it was actually these  “modern” shamans who created logic, laws, biology, chemistry, medicine, and  physics—the very fields we think of as originating in Western culture.  And, says Kingsley, what is most important is  that all of this knowledge came from  their communication with the invisible dimension of reality. 

Kingsley also tells us that these master shaman healers were  able to bring together the whole mind—the inner and outer worlds, the invisible  and visible dimensions of reality.  They  were practical men who deeply valued both the feminine and masculine dimensions  of the divine, created cultures, gave laws, traveled, wrote poetry, and were  ambassadors and negotiators of peace.   According to Kingsley, Plato really wasn’t the father of Western  philosophy.  The true father was a  shaman.  It was Plato, he says, who took  their knowledge and severed its roots from the shamanic past.  And that is why Western philosophy is a  “rational” discipline that excludes human experience, especially experience of  other dimensions of reality. 

One might think that at least we could have counted on the  two major religions of the West to hold our birthright in sacred trust.  After all, they developed out of the same  soil as the master shaman healers.  Yet  we now know that they too were robbed of their birthright.  In the middle of the last century the Earth  once again released major secrets of our past in the form of ancient texts, The  Qumran texts found near the Dead Sea and The  Nag Hammadi Library found in Egypt. 

These documents  reveal that the Judaic First Temple Tradition was indeed a mystical tradition  of direct communication with the invisible source of all being.  While this tradition was purged by King  Josiah around 62l BCE, it was kept alive by Jewish exiles in Egypt and Babylon,  and reemerged in the early Jewish movement that was later known as  Christianity.  For 200 years people wrote  about the hidden secret tradition taught  by Jesus—a tradition of direct communication with the invisible source of all  life.  Then the Christian Church also  purged itself of this tradition. 

Our history, philosophy, and religion lost the ancient maps  to other dimensions of reality, and we have lost our way.  Those of us who have experienced the death of  someone we love are in a position to play an important role in reconstructing  these maps.  Grief has already shifted  our focus from the known, visible forms of life to the invisible essence of the  one we love.  We have already stepped  into the process of transformation through the Mystery of Death.  With the promise of the past we can summon  the courage to reclaim our birthright.

One evening not long before his death, my husband Istvan and  I were discussing the incredible experiences we were having with our son Pisti  since his death in an automobile accident.   Istvan suddenly paused and looked at me.   It was one of those moments when individual consciousness pauses and the  deep Mind flows through and astonishes both speaker and listener:

“Death is as Divine as Life.
    Hold them in both  hands.
    Play with them.
    Balance them.
    This is the Divine Game.”

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It has been brought to our attention that Margaret is being portrayed as a psychic on $1.99 sites. These sites are doing so without Margaret's permission. Margaret has not claimed she is a psychic. - MW