Sistine Chapel :
a mystic encounter with the spirit, Christ, and Mother Mary
"I arrived in France and at first was feeling quite carefree and simply basking in the spirit and soul of the land and its people. I was quick to realize, in fact, that, in many ways, France had a very similar feel to India. Perhaps because these countries are two of the rare areas on earth where the culture, and not just nature, is in harmony with the Mother, who is the presiding aspect of the Godhead in both places.
Indeed, you can feel Her in France, in the mood of the city parks, in the ancient statues and architecture, and in the citizenís uninhibited sensuality, which left me thoroughly aghast on my first trip to France, a decade earlier, when I had seen young couples rolling about on the lawn of a city park, unabashedly groping, French-necking, and otherwise doing everything but public coitus with each other, in broad daylight, without a hint of care or concern for the thousands of other park attendees. Nothing like that goes on in North America. Oh, no, better to be properly shaved, dressed, and well-behaved, at all times, despite the primordial needs and desires running amok within each one of us, so as not to let the others know the wild animal lurking manically within.
But in France there is no division between beast, man, and God. All occur without obstruction within each individual. It is a land of cultured barbarians, of urban Pagans, as I came to call them on my second trip there- when I felt the Motherís energy so strongly that I thought I was back in India. Though maybe I was just undergoing a sentient premonition of all that was to follow on my unwitting pilgrimage into the whore of Babylonís underbelly.
Looking back now I realize that my dance with the Dark Mother began long before I had any knowledge of Her, or of the history of Kali in India, or the Black Madonna in France, though this is where I would find myself, caught in Her hallucinatory clutches, broken apart into a thousand unrecognizable pieces, and then reassembled into a wobbling new thing, as I succumbed to the love and violence of Her and Her vicious Son. Had I known, two years prior to this, what eating a chocolate Madonna in a dream might portend, I may have up and quit the whole quest I didnít know I was inexorably launched upon.
But now I was in France, on a train heading into the southern Alps, on my way to visit another Mary- the young Parisian flower whom I had come all the way to France to see, so as to continue our wonderful and yet distant relationship. But it was not to be, for the Mother and Son duo of disaster and delight had other plans, as I came to find out in the throes of the etherical delirium I was soon to enter in upon.
It happened that, having fallen asleep on the train running from Paris to the French Alps, where my mistress awaited, I dreamt that a madman in dreadlocks was chasing after me with a shotgun, shooting and killing me, over and over again, as I fled frantically, was shot, died, got back up, fled, was shot, died, and rose again. The madman was Christ, and I was his game, and when finally I was finished- dead and yet still living- the dream shifted and I had a vision of Christ showing me how to eventually rise out from underneath water, to etherealize, and then to disappear. It was a teaching about the true nature of death and resurrection.
But now I was dead, and I arrived at my loverís house, a little less than fully together, and she must have sensed sublimely that she was now being courted by a cadaver rather than a mountain man- a recognition which soon turned that tender, caring doe into a vicious bear, no longer willing to be eaten, but instead bent on devouring me as carrion. Which is another way of saying that in the energy shift accompanying my spiritual destruction and awaiting rebirth, my mistress had somehow changed from a dream into a nightmare. And it is a horrible day when you are both murdered by Christ and betrayed by your loverís kiss, but that is what happens when the tunnel you are walking through is no longer a part of your path, and the mad chastener arrives to chase you mercilessly the other way.
So I soon left her and the Alps, like a specter dragging his own loveless corpse behind him, and trained back to Paris, and in a frantic attempt to right my floundering ship ÖI began to fast.
Fasting is one of the most demented mortifications I had ever previously undertaken, albeit rarely at that, but fasting in Paris was a step further into insanity and masochism, for soon enough I was a moveable salivary gland wandering about ghoulishly amidst the moveable feast. There is nowhere on earth where food is displayed in markets, shop windows, and cafťs, as temptingly as it is in Paris. And that this had been the chosen venue for my self-inflicted flagellation shows the extent of my contorted inner condition, brought on by Christís brutal attack upon my existence.
I remained four torturous days in Paris, and never ate a thing. Quel idiot!
I was running away from myself, then towards myself, towards, and away, forward and backward, everywhere and none. I was separate and yet not separate, for I was in a tug-of-war between losses, where heaven, hell, and earth met like an improvised patch in the fabric of being, inside my weary, radiant core; as if being torn in all directions by a band of lunatics, I was painfully going nowhere.
On the fifth day I boarded a train for the Riviera, and began eating fruit. I was headed to Rome- a destination which I cannot remember the reasons for choosing, though I know there must have been reasons, for I was in the grip of the Dark Lady and her ruthless Son, and His bullets were still flying after me, and my fate was well described by their invisible hands. I stopped en route to spend the night in Nice, staggered feebly to a hill-top hostel, went to my bed, fell asleep, and awoke next morning so clean, so hollow, and so open and alive, that I could feel the Motherís heart beat within me, with an intimacy and power that I had never felt from that subterranean rhythm before, nor after, for now She had taken me back into her bosom, as a Mother does after the thrashing, and I was in Her, and She was in me, and the whole world throbbed to the beat of Her love, life, and sorrow.
Perhaps this was the Motherís way of comforting me, and so now She and Her Son were playing good-cop, bad-cop with me: one of them laying on the whip and steel, and the other holding me finally to Her chest. Oh, She is a dark consort to the vicious Man at times, but thankfully, as I said, She has in Her what all motherís have in them after the spanking, which is to say- love.
Thus I lay there basking in that thick and engulfing energy and unquestionable connection, sensing that I was completely within Her, as we all are, and that the very pulse of Her heart was my existence. I lay there, receiving the integral energy of that lower communion, and when I was finally calmed I slowly arose out of bed, and, after eating my first breakfast in five days, left the hostel whereupon I instantly met an angel sent to ease my way.
It was a spontaneous encounter, just outside the dorm, where I struck up a conversation with a middle-aged German woman who was also forsaken by love, was also following her dreams- which were truer than reality- was also engaged in an austere diet, and was also in France pursuing a tragic love, although her passion was directed towards a perfume tycoon whom she was certain had been her husband in many previous lives- a fact which he acknowledged after meeting her, though at the time of our meeting she, like I, was also being led about into the hotbed of loss and confusion due to the divine intent, no doubt, to simplify a self-imposed problematic existence.
She and I were perfect mirrors for each other, because All is reflected in all, and, as it is said, whatever comes to you in life is a reflection of what is inside of you.
In the two hours which we spent together we covered every topic or inner issue we could reach, from ancient Egypt- where she claimed to have been Nefertiti- to the Apocalypse. She was a breath of cosmic air blown into my asphyxiated lungs, and I inhaled her vigorously. In fact, I had found such comfort with her that I began to share the spiritual turmoil I had encountered over the last few weeks, including the dream of Christ murdering me and then of Him rising out of the water. To this she nonchalantly remarked- ďThat was your baptism,Ē a statement which did not sound necessarily correct to me, but was corroborated by an ex-minister friend of mine, a month later back in Canada.
But for now I was still drowning in the lower waters, and still unable to rise out and fly.
I parted from the Egyptian Queen a little more at peace, a little more faithful, a little more Ďtogetherí- as the colloquial expression applicably denotes- and then departed for Rome.
South I went into Italy, on an overnight train, out of France, out of the land of cultured barbarians, out of the home of the Dark Mother, and down into Roma- amor- where the Father and Mother still are one.
It was in Rome where I was shown that even though I felt lost and confused, love-sick and weary, and was still wandering about like a husk of chaff devoid of meal, blown about in the arid wind with no possibility of setting root, I was, as ever, being guided and healed.
I noted this as I entered the Sistine Chapel, and looked up at the plates Michelangelo had spent four years prone in the making, and quickly recognized the plate in which God is creating man- the one where Godís and manís fingers are coming together to touch. This was a revelation for me, because at the moment I saw it I was mentally transported back to Canada, where, two months earlier, I had been visiting a buddy in the hospital who had, according to the establishment, lost his mental stability, but who was in fact dwelling in a heavenward realm, all the while spouting gibberish and prophetic insights like the Oracle of Delphi gone mad. Only he wasnít mad, he was in the loving arms of the Lord, and he was spouting the Word, and the Word became flesh, and my buddy reached out his finger towards me, and I reached out mine towards him, and we touched I didnít know why until I stood there in the Sistine Chapel, two mad months later, broken and mended, abandoned and found, destroyed and created in the fantastic, centrifugal vortex of heavenís quickening hurricane."