"You are looking for what is looking."
~ St. Francis of Assisi
Friday, April 24, 2009
Before You Die...........Die Now!
Have you heard of the mythic bird with golden plumage? The story has been told for centuries and the Egyptians called the bird the Phoenix.
As it is told, every five hundred years this magical bird renewed his quest for his true self. The bird knew that to find his true self, he would have to let go of his bad habits, beliefs, and defenses. So he built a pyre of cinnamon and myrrh, sat in the flames, and burned to death.
Out of the ashes, however, he rose as a new being which was a fusion of who he had been before and who he had become. He became a new bird, yet ever more himself, changed, and at the same time the eternal Phoenix.
Elizabeth Lesser, founder of The Omega Institute, and author of the book, Broken Open, uses this ancient story to demonstrate how we humans, like the Phoenix bird, become shattered and broken at times, and our lives ask us to die before we die - to change within and to be reborn. She calls it the Phoenix Process.
Most people carry around an illusion of who they "think" they are and are searching for that generous, wise, loving, compassionate self within. What needs to burn in the ashes are fear, rigidity, blame, and a sense of separateness. By letting go, by turning loose of resistance to whatever comes our way in life, Elizabeth tells us that even the most momentous situation has the power to transform one's life. She says, "It's all in the way we listen for the messages in the flames and dig for the treasure in the ashes."
By dying before you die, the egoic mind disappears in time on its own, for some people it happens instantly, but most people don't notice it happening at all. One day, however, you will notice it has quietly been vanishing behind the scenes. You discover you are not afraid anymore, a gift of openness and empathy for all beings has enveloped you, and you enjoy a more potent experience of being human.