“if the medicine is bitter, know this bitterness holds the power of healing and when you are tempted to scapegoat don’t forget that you can always become the goat.”
So there you are, you have broken with your family, your order or esteemed group of fellow seekers of whatever pursuit. You have seen your masters falling and your link severed or you have been cast out and exiled from what you held dear and vital to your life.
If you find yourself in this situation you are always left with some soul search to do – and I really mean soul search – because I have not here in mind matters of classic abuse, it be of power, position of desire, in a twain stream. I have in mind the situation itself, void for these forms of disgrace. This usually invites the feeling of another form of abuse, emotional and/or spiritual. No matter the reasons, the Now should be in focus. I am speaking of the condition where you are ‘left out’, no matter the reason and what it causes in the one that was not accepted or the one that was renegade or he or she who left for some reason. I am addressing the feeling of ‘what now’.
Whenever this feeling arises, the causes for your exile being perceived as just or not, you are automatically invited to the crossroad of choice and your first choice is if this condition is of fire or of ice. Should you entertain or should you refrain? The answer is to allow the fire to melt the ice and allow the water dripping down patiently to be your guide. Stay in the crossroad as you see doors and windows closing and highways and tracks opening. See the world spinning around you and find your center. Don’t turn opportunity into disgrace.
Accept the crossroad and accept that what was denied or accepted by you was not of your Fate and allow yourself peace of mind, so you can reflect.
We think the human psyche is immensely intricate and obscure, but usually it is not, we are actually a quite simple organism. It is our never-ending contemplation that generate complications, because the human psyche is really a faculty that receives and gives; the qualities come after contemplation of too many variables. So yes, the psyche or soul gets complicated in this simple premise where Self awareness should be the focus.
But Self is quiet and its tongue is often the Ego and the Ego being our active social presentation will of course protect the Self from hurt. In this field we find action, to do or not to do. And it is here so many pilgrims make a million wrong choices, namely to sustain the bond with what became taboo and forbidden and in incestuous ways keeping this broken bond to pulsate.
Fine, the feeling might be one of scorn and injustice, but these feelings are a part of the defence we make so the Self can remain still and quiet as the Ego is tempted to dress swords and arrows.
But please forget this armour. Self do not need weaponry or defence. It will always be and nurture itself by the fumes of experience.
So, if you find yourself in this condition instead of overburdening yourself in defence take a step back and place yourself in the north of your crossroad and analyse in truth and openness what happened to you.
If you are the odd man, or woman, out or the one out of line that saw exile and horizons closing and are seeking a scapegoat, in this very act of pointing fingers and announcing scapegoats you are also addressing your own lack of judgment - your own lack of discernment – and most of all your intense hubris and inflated ego.
Allow me to take an example. Let’s say you received a Sur Pwen in Vodou and you want more. Let us say that your Bo Houngan and Mambo tells you it is not needed, but yet you insist on getting your Asogwe and they tell you, this will not happen here. A battle between ambition and aspiration is entertained in reflection of what you need and who you are. They might have seen you for what you really are or they can be roadblocks. They can even have been charlatans and liars. It doesn’t matter; they are still waymarks that cast all this responsibility and contemplation in the lap of the pilgrim.
We are speaking of this entire field that embraces the host, it be about the one who invites or the one who is invited. We are speaking of the one who turns into a ghost, a friendly stranger, a guest or family. Either of these categories and more so, is determined by the one finding him or herself in the crossroad. Whenever you find yourself there it announces a new end and a new beginning. It is a call not to hold on to the past with anchors, but with hooks of memory and remembrance.
Pilgrims take too hard on the exile as they take too hard on the denial. The denial of entry, it be partly or full, the exile, being temporarily or forever, still speaks the same message; it addresses your station in the Now.
It is a difficult station, the Now, and even more difficult to find the stillness of Now. But this situation is about this Now and what we do with it.
What we see is that disappointment often takes charge. Disappointment is really about failing the goal, and if you realize it or if you are told that you failed it should not make much difference. It is anyway an error that is realized. Of course the ego is in more pain being addressed its error by someone else, but in the end it doesn’t matter.
Take a step back and try to gain a perspective, there are right turns and wrong turns in the image of truth, because truth is a state, not a condition related to facts. Truth is a mystery whispered that breathes on your heart and in turn speak with the divine. It is about knowing who you are, your Fate or Wyrd, and if you know who you are you will never defile those who brought you to your station, by grace or error, you will see the waymarks they made in your track and you will be grateful as you swallow your bitterness as yet another waymark that points you towards your North.
So if you are there and are broken from your lineage, what is your Now and what is your North?
Certainly to spit in your dish and curse who brought you to where you are will effectively voice a sorcerous break with what you once were a part of. And if you do this, all you have is the Now and your Self, with an Ego trying to defend what you hope to be. A lineage broken but adored from afar will always be bound to you in unique and mysterious ways. It will always take routes of renewed inspiration, where the anchor of steel releases marvels in its uprooting.
A broken lineage always leaves you broken and it is important to realize this fact as you remake yourself. But a broken lineage can still have left virtue within you that can serve as fertilizer for your growth. The demonstration of this virtue rests in a demonstration of you being able to hold it and avoid leaking essence, Self, Ego and virtue in all directions, but rather see the crossroad as a calling of Truth.
But in the end, if what is broken or of what you break, turns hostile the goat is at play and with this I mean ‘the goat’ in all senses, but in particular if the goat you blame is the goat of guilt or, if you are the goat that should be slaughtered next weekend.