By Katie Ammon
In a recent class at Earthsong, Michael Strelcheck led a discussion about how we define God, then asked us to imagine what it would feel like to be in a space that is unlimited and, lastly, to reflect on the experience.
It reminded me of another class when he told us it would be beneficial if we were to spend time contemplating our experiences, ideas, beliefs and other circumstances of our lives to put things in perspective.
Since I once had a narrow view of God, spent a lifetime trying to overcome barriers, and rarely took the time to wonder about the purpose of life, I decided now was the time to sit in my rocker and reflect on these questions:
Who or what did I think God was and how had my idea changed over time? Why does the physical world have limits while our spirits reached beyond this world? What possible effect can an experience of limitlessness have on our life here?
First looking back to childhood, I assume God was presented to me as an all-powerful ruler of the world. I thought God was light, as I remembered coming from a place of bright light. I knew my physical body came from my parents but I thought light animated me. As a result, I loved the sun and believed it was God. Like the ancient Egyptians, I was a sun worshipper. Nights made me sad, and often I was awakened by my sisters, Rita, having nightmares or Cecelia, sleepwalking. Being unable to get back to sleep, I would sit by the window staring at the night sky. I took comfort in my belief that God had poked holes in the sky to keep watch over the world. My notion of God began changing when my family spent hours stargazing on clear summer nights. My parents identified the different stars and formations like Ursa Major and Minor, Orion, and the North Star, while explaining the stars were like the sun. Then I began to realize the world was more immense than I could imagine and the God who created the universe must be bigger than I first thought.
In the next part of the class, we were asked to think of being in a place without boundaries, like in infancy before we learned about limits. Instead of limitlessness, my mind kept focusing on the times I had to impose limits and how others tried to keep me constrained. I visualized my one year old son poking his finger in an electric socket and being knocked on his butt. When he got a fork and was aiming to poke it again, I stopped him.
Years later, his two year old daughter walked off the side of the porch and fell in the flowerbed. I reminded her to watch where she was going. I thought of the limits others tried to impose on me because I am female, too old or may be in danger. Realizing I was the one in control of my life, I ignored their advice. Finally I was able to concentrate on the word “free” and I pictured an image of a red tailed hawk soaring high over our wooded area. By the time I was able to feel myself gliding over the landscape, the exercise was over. So, I was only briefly able to experience freedom from my link to the earth.
While pondering on this experience, I realized in the past I had many dreams about flying, even leaving the planet and being on other worlds. Mostly entering into an unaware state is something I would only do at home.
Otherwise, I try to keep my focus on staying grounded. As the energetic and physical shifts of the earth like earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions and other natural disaster continue, I find focusing is difficult to maintain. And I have to work harder to keep my mind clear and my physical body centered on the earth. Now being in the physical rather than taking flights of the imagination helps me remain centered and calm.
Remembering how my definition of God changed, from narrow to infinite, made me see why our exercise was about becoming unlimited. Then as I attempted to be in that space without boundaries, I had to overcome my resistance and found some profound peace in flying. This gave me a broader view of what might be possible in the future. Even though I wondered if the human race would survive without boundaries, perhaps when the storms pass and world settles into less chaos, we may be in a place with less imitations.