Concluding “Finding Your Signs to Hope, Peace and Joy,” Chapter Fourteen, Finis.
Detail of oil painting by Marilyn Wells
This painting detail shows a warm-toned woman wearing a Slavic scarf, symbol of all peoples, and her Crown of Stars, sheltered by a white dove. Personal sign of Hope, Peace, and Joy for the artist.
Now, with a final and concluding Chapter 14, you are led to an open end, Dear Reader, of a long, winding path of overview to help you explore a panorama of Signs. Signs to lead you to Hope, Peace, and Joy. Signs that you might choose. And in choosing to notice these signs, you Behold Meaning you Find in Your Life. In Beholding, you know you are Held by an Infinite, personal, caring Universe – the Infinite One. Meanings that are found in Signs.
We began with Nature. We talked about visitations from Angels, Art works, Visions, Synchronicities, Dream Signs, Active Imagination, Tarot and Oracle Cards, and in the Previous Chapter 13, many Synergistic Signs presented themselves to enrich your life. How? Through both the meaning you ascribe and the meaning that is coming to you from the Infiniite, Personal, Caring All..
Along the way, we also talked about the use of Journals, Sketchbooks, and Notebooks to record your understandings, a record of your own one, wild and precious life. (Mary Oliver – The Summer Day)
“I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
Into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
How to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields
Which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?”
How We Are Concluding “Finding Your Signs to Hope, Peace and Joy”
You are the Captain of your own ship. You are not fated. If you, in your past, had inclinations and tendencies, genetic factors that helped shape your life, you do have the power to begin to change who you are, from the inside out, by the power of noticing and ascribing meaning in the Signs you Behold in Your very own life.
And in doing so, you will also know that you are being Held.
In the last Chapter, I introduced the Richard Rohr (Just This) concept of “Behold and Know You are Being Held”. I return to that theme for my Conclusions now.
“Someone who is truly beholding is, first of all, silenced with the utter gratuity of a thing, a tree, a bird, even an insect. You find yourself giving it voice, allowing it to have an inherent dignity, and you let it give you a leap of joy in the heart and in the eye.” (pg. 99, Just This).
“You feel yourself being addressed more than you addressing something else. This radically changes your situation and perspective.” (ibid., pg. 100)
As human beings, we ascribe meaning to human experience. Perhaps we are the only species to do this. Perhaps others existed 250,000 years ago who also had insights and illuminations to the truth of “Beholding and Knowing You are Held.” We cannot be sure. See: Unknown – Cave of Bones on Netflix.
If you are of the Christian persuasion, consider these thoughts on Spiritual Synergy
The powerful connection between Faith and Meaning-Giving might be termed “Spiritual Synergy”. These are two concepts that go hand in hand, as they both involve a sense of direction and meaning in life.
Paul used the word “synergoi” in 1 Corinthians 3:9. “We are fellow-workers with God.” This is what we are doing.
This verse in the New Testament, specifically in the New International Version (NIV) translation, reads as follows: “For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.”
In Christian theology, “synergism” is the position of those who hold that salvation involves some form of cooperation between Grace and human freedom.
This stands in contrast to “monergism,” which asserts that salvation is solely the work of God’s grace, and human beings play no active role in their salvation.
Magic – “Concluding Finding Your Signs to Hope, Peace and Joy,”
I want to point out that finding your signs to Hope, Peace and Joy for your life is both Magic from within and Magic from a realm that enfolds you. Know that it is for for YOU to be open, to attend and ascribe meaning, insight, and intuition to your signs about YOUR life.
On the other hand, many, if not most, writings on signs ascribe magical results FROM the object alone. To the contrary, that is working only from the outside in. Which is common magic. This does not acknowledge your own Inside – Your Heart and Soul. Therefore, it is wise to attend to how your signs and their meanings come to you from within yourself.
That is to say, when you choose to attend to the signs. In other words, when you CHOOSE to Behold. To leave behind, for this moment, anything else of past or future worries. Then, you may attend to the sign you are Beholding. Be present quietly with the sign, from whatever source it comes.
In short, you have the power to choose what you will focus on, and how you will invite it into your life in a meaningful way. You are invited, with great Courtesy, to do this by the Infinite All. This is your Free Will.
What do YOU see, feel, experience in the Sign that has captured your attention? Consider, listen, then ascribe your own meaning! Thereby, you transcend your old self for your higher self. Your True Self.
Let me say it again. Behold and Know You are Being Held.
Moreover, Richard Rohr underscores the consistency of Practice. Don’t just do it once. Look everyday for Signs that will lead you to Hope, Peace, and Joy. You can literally change the cells of your emotions and become a new person. Not overnight usually, but with time and practice.
The Sign of the Lily in My Garden
“Marilyn’s Kuan Yin and Lilies of Her Garden Up Close”
As I write this, my eyes fall upon a Madonna Lily that has bloomed beautifully this year with the rains and heat. It tells me, right here, right now, that in my Beholding, I am being given the grace of insight to know that I am Held and Watched and Guided in these writings, even as I share them with you. And I am called to see the other lilies in my garden, blooming so prolifically this year, but fading now with the season. To be sure, new signs and wonders will appear. By the same token, it is because I look for them and choose to find meaning in my life.
The image of Wisdom Sophia at the top of this page is a detail from a painting I’ve shared with you before. Indeed, she is a personal sign to me of the utter beauty of transcendence that is possible to enter into us and has for me.
Martin Buber on Redeeming the Sparks, or Meaning in the Signs, that lie waiting for your attending
A saying from Martin Buber in The Legend of the Baal-Shem on “Kavana: Intention.” Kavana is the mystery of a soul directed to a goal. It is not only souls that are everywhere imprisoned but also sparks of souls. No thing is without them. They live in all that is. Each form is their prison…and this is the meaning and mission of kavana: that it is given to men to lift up the fallen and to free the imprisoned…man can work toward the redemption of the world…Just that is kavana: the mystery of the soul that is directed to redeem the world…this is the kavana of receiving: that one redeem the sparks in the surrounding things and the sparks that draw near out of the invisible.
This is the mystery of the Shekinah, the fallen sparks, which is the work we are taking about. This is the meaning embodied in the Wisdom Sophia image. Such is your work when you seek the meaning in the Signs to Hope, Peace and Joy that are given to you.
On Working with Symbology and Meaning
I’ve worked with symbology and the meanings held within them all my life – a lifelong artist, teacher and therapist. Thus have I seen how astonishing the work can be. For the same reason, I use art, dreams, oracle cards and my everyday life to explore what I am seeing and maybe not recognizing. Thereby, I do find out who I am and what I’m supposed to do with my life through exploring personal signs appearing in my life.
Simultaneously, for you this is to live the life only YOU were meant to live.
In light of all this, the signs point to one thing. The secret is Within You. Behold and Know You are Being Held.
“Marilyn’s Kuan Yin and Lilies in her Garden” for Concluding “Find Your Signs to Hope, Peace and Joy”
WHEN YOU WAKE UP, WHEN YOU GO TO SLEEP. Concluding “Finding Your Signs to Hope, Peace and Joy,”
Firstly, whenever you feel discomfort – disease, attune to your body and what is in the presence before you – your life here, now.
Then, be Open to the Silence. “Be Still and Know”.
Thereafter, enjoy and revel in all these things of the Earth and its energy. This is Play and is next to Godliness, the 4th and upper right quadrant of the brain hemispheres. Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor.
Once in awhile, sing the songs. Feel the resonance in your body.
Somewhere along the way, add Meditation, Mantras, and Prayers.
As you can, garden with all your heart.
From time to time, paint a Picture. Find the meaning in the moment. Write about it – poetry, haiku, prose, a journal entry (see previous blog). For yourself. Be still with it. Behold.
In essence, find something to Behold and let it draw you into the meaning hidden in your heart where the eternal spark of God, the Infinite All, the Oneness of All, lies hidden and is eternal. Is it Real? It is all Very Real in the Moment you attend to it. Behold and Know.
Finally, everything points the way to transcendence. Likewise, everything points the way to connection with a knowing, caring Source. As well as concluding these are ways to “Finding Your Signs to Hope, Peace and Joy.”
And so, dear Reader, I leave you with this thought from the old sage, Mark Twain. “I don’t take life seriously. I take serious moments in life seriously.” Let your life be comprised of Serious Seeing of Your Own Personal Signs in the ways described in these blog articles, and find more details in the previous Thirteen blog articles.