Since yesterday was Easter Sunday, prompted me to write this. I got an epiphany yesterday while in an email to someone I greatly admire.
I’m sure that most people know the Christian story of Easter and the Resurrection by now. Whether you adhere to this tenet, if it’s a true story or it’s an allegory, is another story of course.
What I want to talk about today is what Easter Sunday and Resurrection means to me from a metaphysical point of view. It goes beyond orthodox Christianity and has meaning for our lives as we are on this prime material plane and our eventual spiritual evolution.
Easter is many things to many people
Easter isn’t just about the Resurrection story. In pagan days, it symbolizes the end of ‘Old Man Winter, to fertility, to privation and want, and yes even to a kind of death to the way we were doing things and finding new ways to doing and seeing things. It’s a kind of metamorphosis.
Persephone, The Goddess of Spring would start her journey from the land of the dead to the land of the living, and plants would once again start to grow, life would start anew. Some say that her “totem” animal is the rabbit or hare, as there are many births in the animal kingdom, and as we know rabbits are very fertile.
People took this time to plant crops and see to the fertility of their animals and their tribe as well, assuming they weren’t already pregnant, of course. And people rejoiced.
Resurrection isn’t just about “Rising from the Dead”
I came upon the realization that there are many ways to have a form of resurrection. We can live a certain way, keep the same habits, the same beliefs, the same viewpoint, but there comes a time when we can no longer be in the same place we have been. We have to change. We have to go from the “doldrums of winter/death” to a new life with new vistas, new ideas new ways that work better for us than the way we were doing things.
We have to keep moving forward, we have to burst out of the cocoon we were living in, were asleep in and sleepwalking through life. But it isn’t easy. You have to fight your way free or you won’t be able to fly free.
When caterpillars spin a cocoon, and attach it, it’s a struggle; a life and death struggle. Failure isn’t an option as a failure to do one or the other means life of death for that caterpillar, and metamorphosis is not possible. And we have to take some time to evaluate and analyze our life, to meditate and “pause and consider”, that is, spin our web of isolation, our cocoon, and attach a grounding so that we can meditate. We have to prepare our minds. We have to sleep for healing our hurts, what things mean to us, if we need to change our mindsets.
In some ways we are going on the “Hero’s Journey”, but that means that we have to bring back what we find to others, our families (if they are willing to listen), friends, followers, or the world at large.
But then comes the waking up. It isn’t easy to come out of that cocoon. We have to have the same life or death struggle to come out of our cocoon. And that’s hard.
For most of my life, I’ve always done things the same, and I kept getting the same results. I had to force myself to slow down, to wait, to pause and consider, but then it was so safe in my cocoon, and I wasn’t making any progress. I had to take the step in accepting my mission, to find out what it even was. And that for me was scary. But I had to accept that I had to accept the mission. I couldn’t stay in my cocoon. It’s been a life and death struggle to even find out what I wanted, let along what I needed to tell the world. “I exist!” But that meant I could no longer be dead, but had to come into a new life.
Resurrection is metamorphosis from what we were to what we can be
Life isn’t being caught in amber like a fly or other insect. We don’t stay the way we were, don’t stay in one place. We don’t know what we could be until we take the first steps toward a new way of life no matter how tough it is, no matter how hard we have to struggle.
For me, I want to move from a life of winter. A life of privation and want to a comfortable life. I won’t stay there, because I think I have something to share with the world. I want to study photography, I want to write, but I have to fight my way out of that cocoon. My first action was to say “No!” to what other people wanted me to be. I want to be the one to decide who I want to be, where I want to go. I have to break free of the old life, the life of death to the life of the living.
We can be resurrected from fear to act to an impulse to act
How many times have you wanted to do something, but were afraid what it would take, if anyone wanted to hear you. You become afraid to move. For me the saying, (I don’t remember who said it), “Hate is not the opposite of love. Fear is. With love or hate you move ahead for good or ill. But when you’re afraid, you become paralyzed into inaction until you are too afraid to stay still. But the good news of resurrection is that you can change. You can become inspired to act. It might take a big shock, an epiphany, but on a particular day, you have to move. Away from that fear, or accepting it and moving in a direction. Any direction. Movement is better than none at all. We don’t have to stay on “the side of the road” waiting anymore. Movement frees you from fear.
I was writing a letter to someone I admire, a mentor, Connie Green, and I realized that resurrection wasn’t just about resurrection from the dead. It was resurrection from fear, from immobility, and Easter can be that for not just me, but for you too. For me, that realization was so blinding and I can’t believe I didn’t see it before, but I guess I wasn’t ready. I feel like a person reborn!
I’m not there yet. I’m just starting my journey and taking the first steps, but I’m starting to realize I can move away from my cocoon of safety; that just because it’s safe, doesn’t mean that it’s safe for my integrity, at least to myself, that it’s safe for my peace of mind, that it’s safe for who and what I want to evolve into. That I don’t have to sacrifice my soul to be what other people want me to be. I can take the first steps and then another, then another. I can resurrect from fear to action. And the first thing I want to do is write and write a lot. I can get out of my cocoon. I believe I’m past the first cocoon.