Wisdom Visions  
Wisdom Visions: Gateway to Transformation
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Excerpts from 'THE JEWEL OF PARADOX:


I'm flying. My body is full of intent, but there's no movement in my limbs. I'm gliding aloft on my motionless outstretched arms. No, I hear an engine and realize I'm flying in a single-engine plane. The pilot in the bucket seat in front of me fills the cabin with his burly back encased in a crinkled black leather jacket. He turns to look out a side window and reveals a face like an ancient demon Coal black eyes. A honed curve of nose. Pellets of gold and dark ivory are bared in his wide grimace. He catches my eye, grins knowingly, and nods to guide my glance below. He banks sharply and the side-window scans the view.

"The Ancient Place," he hollers over the engine's roar and the buffeting rush of wind. "The Inch-Square Kingdom," he grimaces again and taps at the center of his forehead.

Some thousands of feet below is an ancient city, some in ruins, of a period and style I don't recognize. Mayan, maybe remnants of another Angor Wot. Rows of streets and buildings organically radiate out around a huge pentagonal shaped temple or shrine, all in ruins.

All at once, a shift. I'm no longer looking down, but am in the center of the Inch-Square Kingdom. I'm standing before the Temple's high, rough hewn walls. Every inch of the salmon-colored stone is carved with the fantastically coiled and twisted signs and symbols I recognize from the Wizard's Omen Book. The wide gables, the tall columns, all of the facade around me writhes with them.

I enter the Temple's high arched entranceway and go through an ample hallway. Its time smoothed walls rise to misty distances overhead. My steps are slow, weighty with intent. The monolithic grandeur of the hallway draws me on, coaxing me to expand to fill its proportions.

I tingle with knowing that my feet are on the path. Rich, stone-cooled air bubbles through me so that the top of my head feels light and open.
"I'm a pilgrim to the heart of the Inch Square Kingdom," I chant with joyful ceremony. Two objects I see leaning against a wall intrigue me, a circle of hammered copper and a polished wooden pole. I realize they are the Disc of the Sun of Truth and the Earth Staff. I hold them high, eyes closed, head back in exaltation. I cross my arms so that the Sun Disc is at my left shoulder and the Staff of Earth Power at my right. I bow and dedicate myself to this quest for the wish-fulfilling Jewel of Paradox, this mystery that lies before me, within me. I make signs with my Sacred Implements of Office, gestures of body and word as if I'd been instructed in them. Their meanings prepare the way. And prepare me. Attuned and readied, I'm drawn to the consummation that calls me, flushed with joy and glory.
The way goes smoother and faster while my legs seem to barely move, as if the very stone floor and vaulted walls sweep me along. Hall joins to hall through wide portals. Deeper and deeper into the Temple's heart, and I find myself say aloud what's whispered in my thoughts.

"I float through doors,
doors that rise and fade before my eyes,
revealing other doors
that rise and fade before my eyes.
Effortlessly I pass them,
effortlessly but bewildered
by my inward revelation
that I am falling."

All at once, I arrive before a huge wooden portal I know to be the last. I set my Implements of Office aside, grasp the two huge handles and pull the doors to me. Beyond opens into an immense space filled with a luminosity that beckons me. I float into the numinous glare and find I'm in a cathedral sized, five-sided central chamber.
At the center of the five sided floor stands a grotesque altar. It looks as though a black fist of lava had spewed up through the white marble floor and jelled midair. In the uppermost crevice of this congealed lava rests a kind of pearl or precious stone. It is difficult to tell because it shimmers so. Gongs and brass bells hanging from the gilded lattice of rafters overhead play like celestial leaves in the wind. Their tinkling murmur is background to a deep resounding invocation of many voices chanting in unison.

"Oh, Jewel of Paradox, praise be, praise be.
In you is summoned and solved
All that is or could be.
Jewel of Paradox, praise be, praise be."

Awe stunned, I stare at this sphere of flickering, molten energy, amazed at what had only been an image, a myth. It radiates the essence of opposites. Matter and antimatter entwined. Shining luminosity merges with ebony black in the gem's hidden emptiness. Whirling round and through each other in the flickering swirl to become each other's opposites They intermeld, blend to become the vibrant shimmering Jewel.

Boundless, edgeless, all containing
in its own tight vortex.
Center and circumference interchanging.
Stillness in the heart
of mind-blurring movement.

Illumined by its aura, I recognize how ephemeral my mind's edges and boundaries are, no more than imaginings and interpretations. Selves of mine they had kept apart and separate are now together. The selves I love and cling to, the selves I hate and deny. Selves of wonder. Selves of despair. Selves of terror. The desperate seeker of holiness. The hater. All together, at once.

So bared and naked to myself, it's evident that what I had hated in others is the hateful, hidden me. What I had sought and disappointedly expected from others is already me and mine. My dearest friend. My total stranger. Beyond resolving, beyond bearing. Parts of me that had not known of each other's existence now rage and fight, while others meld with ecstasy. I'm tormented at my ambivalence tearing apart every thought, feeling and action in my life.
Yes, this is what I'd dreamed of, all my parts being one. But its all too much for my mind to grasp and contain. I'm traumatized by the Jewel, my world blasts apart. Everything burns and roars in me, floods and volcanoes. I whimper with anguish.

My eyes bulge and spin, tongue jutting from my mouth in my silent scream. My face feels blue, breath choked in my throat with this annihilating threat to my sanity.

Is this the "wholeness" I sought? What mad agony! Although the shimmering Jewel assures me, "I am the image of your Fullness," for me, there's no peace in that fullness. My inner wolf and lamb still ravage each other through every cell and fiber of my being.

Now I understand why I created protective shields of anger and numbness, the veils between my shadow and reflection. Without those protections, I'm totally open to my agonizing vulnerability, my fear, my hopelessness.
Now I see the purpose of the my self-fragmenting and denial, in spite of the costs of a constant sense of loss and defeat, always feeling unseen, a misunderstood stranger. Now I see it was to mercifully blind me to this terrible truth about myself.
I've found what I wanted least to find.

"No,' I scream in desperation, "no, I can't survive this wholeness. It's too much! Too much! My mind can't take it. It'll burst apart at the seams."
In a breath I'm lifted away, rising up through the Temple's roof, soaring up through space, the pentagonal-walled town dropping away beneath me, wafted up away from that terrifying confrontation with myself.
I'm back up in the plane. The burly pilot straightens the banked plane, then weirdly spins his head full round to stare at me.

"The Inch Square kingdom," he repeats, demon face in a grimace, and nods knowingly. He taps the center of his forehead again, madness glinting in his obsidian eyes.


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Copyright Nathaniel Schwartz 2003