People seem to be experiencing spiritual enlightenment left and right, some after years of dedicated meditative practice, others by a single, awe-inspiring transformative experience. It is not a matter of if, but a matter of when. Indeed, we are all riding that evolutionary wave that will inevitably and thankfully wash us to the shore of a new way of being.
No matter where we are in this journey, we have the choice to open more to the process or remain where we are for a while longer (or even close down more, but who would want to do that after experiencing the delight of opening?). If we have the desire to open more fully, to be that proverbial flowering lotus, we often have to challenge ourselves, pull ourselves out of our comfort zone. We have to take a bold leap.
In Teotihuacán, Mexico there is a place where such a leap was literally taken. Teotihuacán (Teo) is known as "The Place Where Humans Become Gods". From about 650 C.E. (Common Era) to about 1200 C.E., the Toltec civilization thrived in Teo, just prior to the Aztecs. The Toltecs were not a single culture. Rather, they were a group of individuals from a variety of tribal groups who achieved a level of spiritual enlightenment.
Most people go to Teo now as tourists to walk amidst the ruins and climb the two largest pyramids in the complex — the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon. A smaller, but no less magnificent, pyramid, the Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl, also resides in the complex. Quetzalcoatl is the Mesoamerican deity that is part snake, part bird, representing the union of matter and spirit, earth and heaven, the "Sovereign Plumed Serpent." His prophetic return (anticipated in our time, according to some) heralds a time of peace and a new spiritual era. This new spiritual era is the result of the unity that Quetzalcoatl represents. It is the honoring of the divine masculine and the divine feminine, logic and reason, science and spirituality. It is an honoring of the Oneness of all things.
Here at the Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl individuals would have the opportunity to expand their awareness and perspective and take a leap of faith. This area has two parts. On one side there is a high platform. On the other side is the Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl itself. In between the platform and the pyramid is a drop off of about 30 feet. The distance between the two is about 15-20 feet. Back in the time of the Toltecs, a spiritual leader would lead a group to this area in the dark of night. He or she would then challenge individuals in the group to make the leap from the platform to the pyramid, leaping into the "mouth" of Quetzalcoatl. Many would be scared and not jump, knowing the distance before them. Some, though, would jump. Unbeknownst to them, the spiritual teacher filled up the chasm with water, allowing those who took their leap of faith to make it safely.
If you are a fan of the movie The Matrix (aren't we all?) there is a perfect equivalent to this concept. Morpheus loads the "jump program" for Neo to take his leap. At this point in the movie, Neo has already awakened into the "real world" and been unplugged. The much more difficult process then begins of disconnecting him mentally.
"You have to let it all go, Neo — fear, doubt and disbelief. Free your mind," Morpheus says to Neo on the rooftop. Morpheus then leaps with ease to the other rooftop 50 feet away. Watching this, Neo is in awe, and he gathers his courage to make his leap. He bravely runs and jumps off the edge of the roof, but of course he falls. As the movie mentions, everyone falls the first time. Why does everyone fall the first time? Because it is so hard to flip that switch! After years, decades of believing we cannot do something, our minds become very attached. It is a very strong structure, and it is a process to dismantle the structure and fully detach. But the lesson is, Neo took the chance and leapt! And eventually, through several additional leaps of faith, Neo awakens on more levels, learns to fully disconnect from the limitations created by his mind, and ultimately creates a world of peace and saves humanity.
Interestingly, this peace transpires only through the unity of the divine feminine and the divine masculine. In the Matrix movies, the Oracle is represented by a motherly, black woman. She is the feminine, the intuitive one, the yin. The Architect, on the other hand, is represented as a white man, with white beard, even a very light-colored suit. He is the masculine, logic and reasoning, the yang. In the end they come together for the sake of harmony.
I had the privilege of going to the sacred land of Teotihuacán on a spiritual "power journey" a few years ago, an experience that forever and beautifully altered my life. Currently, the Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl is set up for tourists with a metal fence around the platform so that you cannot walk (or fall) down to the bottom of the drop off or go crawling on the pyramid. The leaders of our journey brought us to the platform facing the mouth of Quetzalcoatl for us to ask ourselves, had we been with the Toltecs in ancient times, "Would I have taken the leap?" More significantly, "Would I take the leap right now?" without knowing about the water, of course. Would I leap with complete trust and surrender? I looked over the edge, seeing the distance and the hard stones below, just as Neo hesitantly gazed over the edge of the skyscraper prior to his brave jump.
I decided to take the leap, which wasn't literally flying across the chasm, but I challenged myself to open to a new perspective, a new possibility. During this journey at Teo, I had experienced a vision. I could have discounted it as my imagination. I could have gotten stuck in a belief that I was completely loony. I could have kept quiet about it, but I decided to open my mind, heart and mouth to the possibility that it was something to be truly heard and even shared. My vision showed me how I was to play a role in the continued evolution of humanity, starting with a specific ceremony to be conducted with two other people and a very powerful crystal on top of the Pyramid of the Sun. I decided to follow through with my vision and the ceremony was completed as it was shown to me.
Through the ceremony there was an activation of the earth's energetic grid, initiated from the place of Teo and connecting with many other sites around the world. This activation raised the vibration. Surprisingly or not, this happens all over the world each day, as our consciousness is continually shifting and evolving, and people are following through with their intuitions, raising vibration, and opening themselves to assist others in the process of awakening.
So what is our next bold leap? What is our next move to more fully disconnect us from our own limitations and realize our potential? Is it something personal, such as gathering our courage to ask a man or woman that we've long-been attracted to on a date? Is it giving our supervisor at work notice because we know that our job is no longer serving our best interests? Is our next bold move writing a blog posting that reveals our beliefs/experiences even though they may go against the grain of much of society? Is it larger scaled? Is it writing a book for the world? Is it following through with an intuition or vision that involves us and our role to help humanity?
For each of us, if we so choose, our next bold leap is to simply shine, to express ourselves, to exude our brilliant, divine nature. In what specific manner that is expressed is up to you. I am reminded of Marianne Williamson's wise words, from A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles":
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?" Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
We are riding that wave to a new way of being. Or, to use the other metaphor, each one of us stands on the platform facing the Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl. The situation before us looks to be one of great distance, and that is sometimes utterly frightening! "Free your mind." The benefit of taking a bold leap into the mouth of Quetzalcoatl is we get ingested into the knowing of the unity of matter and spirit, of our human aspect and also our divine aspect. We no longer have to fear that we are inadequate. And we no longer have to fear that we are "powerful beyond measure." With this knowing, we experience freedom and so have the opportunity to choose what we want to do next. Perhaps our next bold leap as a unified tribe of humanity will be to create that longed-for world of peace.
Image by bdebaca, courtesy of Creative Commons license.