Spirit exists all the time: it is we who are blind to it. By going into the darkness of the self we open ourselves to the light.
Rachael Pollack Seventy Eight Degrees of Wisdom.
Suffering: from the Latin suffere, to sustain, which comes from sub in the sense of ‘up from underneath’, and ferre to carry. So the sense of carrying up from underneath.
Extracted from Bach Flower Remedies by Julian Barnard.
My eye cried and woke me
The night was pain
A crisis is a process of change. A spiritual crisis is an experience where we may lose a sense of our knowing, our security and anchor in the material world. There can be an experience of breaking free of a set of boundaries that may have helped us navigate difficult times in the past but now these survival mechanisms hinder us. There can be a pressure that builds up in the mind, as an inner fire rises up and old patterns are broken down as change enters our life. Sometimes there is a series of disasters, it is like nothing seems to happen just once – it reminds me of being in a rough ocean and have to withstand wave after wave, until something in us surrenders, breaks free. A spiritual crisis may occur when through external events, a spiritual opening or powerful mystical experience occurs. This revelation can strike like a lightning bolt, or it comes ‘out of the blue’ challenging the illusions of the material world. These events cause an upheaval in our lives. We are in the midst of loss, physical and/or emotional and spiritual. It is as if the spirit seeks loss itself that often challenges our identity and may cause us to realise that we have been living in an illusion and thus we have a crisis of belief and identity. In disease a crisis occurs as an event, a turning point. The point in the progress of the disease when a change takes place which is decisive of recovery or death.
In the study of alchemy there is a process called calcination. The concept of calcination is when the spirit acts like a fire and burns through us until we reconnect with our true self or using a more biblical term our true vine. The more we resist, the more intense the fire is. Resistance builds the fire that breaks us through and yet suffering also comes from resistance, when struggling to sustain a situation against the weight of what happens in life. Edward Bach saw suffering as a process of transformation and the remedies as a way into this transformative process. It is curious that the set of remedies that he explored particularly for the wellness of the spirit, he created through the boiling method rather than the sun method. Julian Barnes in his book Bach Flower Remedies – Form and Function; suggests that it is the fire that confirms the image of upward growth in the evolution of the soul. Which is connected to the idea of calcination. The energy of the sun is given and received, falling from above. The fire that comes from within the earth burns beneath the essence. He writes about the boiling method “just as the flowers collapse and disintegrate in boiling water, so old patterns are broken down as change enters our life. Resistance to change causes suffering and that suffering is like cooking for the soul.”
In considering how to allow support through a crisis, I thought about the aspect of how we are in the crisis. As we enter into the shadow how to remember that it is a spiritual force that brings us through the darkness. How to remember to look forward and not look back like Orpheus, not to dwell in the past but to be present to what is arising now. It’s a time where it is demanded of us to give space, when may feel that we have no space as event events draw us up. It’s a time to attend to what arises on the periphery. It is not a time to look for meaning when meaning is elusive the insights will spring unbidden. It is not for you to blame others or yourself or sink into regret.
I once had a dream where I found this beautiful rose and I was told it cut it right back which was difficult to do. It was like I was being pruned and I was losing this rose. In the dream I was shown another rose would slowly very come through. After this dream I had a number of very difficult and intense experiences that threw me into grief and crisis. Knowing this dream supported me through what happened. I had to trust in the second rose.
This remedy Blend for Crisis Support was a collaboration between Meggan Young and Leila Lees.
It is a combination of the following remedies: Dogwood, Angelica, Bee, Harekeke, Parapara, Dandelion and Tane Mahuta.
This blend allows one to be in the eye of the storm, there is a sense of being present to what is, not thinking ahead or in the past. Reminding me that I don’t have to do, I can be.
I found, in taking it, my curiosity became acute, for me my dream place came through and I started to particularly observe the negative spaces between things, this gave me a sense of space. Which led me to a more internal observation where I was able to be present to constrictions within the body and slowly, with that observation, they softened.
One aspect in the process of crisis is a feeling of overwhelm or being completely absorbed in what is happening this remedy where appropriate will give a sense of distance from the event, being one remove from it rather than being deeply embedded in it. Staying sober in the event of a spiritual crisis is important and the remedy supports in a way where you are less likely to reach out for your drugs or alcohol thinking this will get you through the crisis.
Often in the breakdown of our boundaries we put in place we may have a sensation of not knowing our own sense of place and the edges of the world we inhabit, Meggan experienced this remedy as tickling these edges. It enables one to feel more solid in oneself, less likely to be swung around by external events.
It enables us to move towards rather than away -so often in the crisis we want to get away from the situation. It may settle feelings of claustrophobia.