you and me

The Labyrinth: A Series of Art. {Part Twelve: Apocalypse}

{Photo credit: Kristi Stout}

To take sacred action, we must first learn to recognize the energies at play, because you can’t take any sort of action if you don’t understand what’s going on or how to focus right energy.

While there are many, many, kinds of energy in motion, my next circuit of the labyrinth will cover energy themes, or archetypes, mainly concerning those of a spiritual and emotional nature. 

My intention here is to call attention to and help us recognize, focus on or unveil certain energies at play starting with the apocalypse. Yes, we are in it. But it isn’t what you thought. Remember, from my previous three articles in this series, the mind thinks it knows. But it doesn’t know all truths — that is impossible. It wasn’t designed to do anything but help us process information, very complex information.

The mind is only a sacred tool, capable of both great and terrible things.

Knowing how to wield your sacred tools is half the battle, and most of the problems in the world at large are due to minds not being wielded properly and the abuse of their power. Knowing that your mind doesn’t know everything is the single most humbling and enlightening thing we can accept and embrace as a first step towards right mind.

The word apocalypse, taking it back to its Greek origin, quite literally means to unveil: an uncovering, a disclosure or revelation of knowledge.

It’s not some giant Hollywood-style end-of world scenario with monsters and angels, and a giant sexualized woman riding a crimson beast with 10 horns, holding a goblet of adulterous men, or whatever. Sorry if you were hoping for that, but this version of the apocalypse isn’t scary and crazy, at least not like the book of Revelations depicts the end times, so perhaps this is encouraging?

When you look simply at the meaning of the word at its root, it really is quite harmless, unless of course you have something terrifying you are hiding, in which case an apocalypse for you might indeed mean something scary. But bringing scary things to light more often than not reveals something very benign. Like a child seeing a monster in her room, only to have the light turned on to reveal a dirty pile of laundry.

Something that has only subjectively seemed terrifying is more or less what we are actually dealing with here in the apocalypse. Remember, our minds can play terrifying tricks, but really, it’s all about you — all you, and what you’ve locked away in there.

It’s far more personal than a worldly undoing, though on a worldly scale there is also an undoing of sorts occurring in its own way, like a giant shifting of a worn-out paradigm. But, just like a fast locomotive takes a very long time to slow down and come to a resting or end-times point, so too do paradigms. Slow and gradual. No crimson beasts with 10 horns here, unless you would define your own demon that way.

I can emphasize though that personally going through an apocalypse can feel very disconcerting and horrifying, as it rips you away from everything you thought you knew and shows you a different truth, which can be very ugly and horrific, but mostly to your mind or ego, not to your authentic self. It can feel like a great weighing or a judgment at the gates kind of thing. What did I do wrong? I did everything right!

No matter how much you want to repress what you’re hiding, or try and pretend as though it doesn’t exist, somehow it finds a way to come out and stare you down like a creepy stalker (for me, it was always a man in black trying to kill me, stalking me in my dreams) with the vicious possibility of destroying everything you know (or thought you did).

That’s a scary feeling.

So we’d rather not go there. We’d rather just not rock the boat. Not create any conflict in our life. Keep on the easy path, playing the agreeable, societal game of Life. My daughter poignantly asked me one morning, “Mommy, can we play Life?” To which I answered, “I’m playing that game already, baby, and I think I’m exhausted by it! But sure… let’s play.” I wish sometimes real life could be like the board game.

Facing off against your repression and inner turmoil can also feel invalidating, disconcerting, and in certain cases, humiliating, but only to your mind or ego.

We as humans innately want to feel secure and the apocalypse couldn’t be further from the feeling of being secure. It leaves you naked, vulnerable, open, and easy to destroy. Destruction is most likely what will happen, but not of yourself, but of who you thought you knew yourself to be.

Whatever it is within our human conditioning that is structured has a hard time with change. For whatever reason, change is scary as it separates us from our attachments.

Somehow we think we are defined by our attachments. So, losing something feels like we are, in a sense, losing ourselves — who we are, what we own, what we do. But that’s not the true truth. What is true cannot leave you, nor can you be separated from it.

We are none of the things we think make us Us, yet we need certain things to help us define our existence. In this case, things too are a sacred tool. Attachment is a necessary component to being human. We entwine with certain things to experience an understanding of the world. It’s just how it works.

I think — and I stress think, because I do not know — that if we have a healthy understanding of our attachments, then our fear of separating from them decreases, because we soon learn that we adapt and also re-form –usually stronger and hardier. In this, we begin to trust our ability to transform. Remember, nothing that is true can be taken from you.

We begin to trust our power to make and create, and we also learn to treasure that which is impermanent, and see it as a gift that can kiss us blissful in any given moment.

There is a rhythm to life and nature. Nothing is permanent, yet we are definitely attached to this existence and the hope for permanence. Every living creature also possesses a will to survive and thrive… and live. And if it has this will, then it must understand attachment at some level, its attachment to life. That drive to survive would simply not be if this were not true.

How can something want to survive if it does not know the antithesis to some level? Even if it is instinctual (subconscious). There would not be light without darkness, therefore darkness is attached to the light, it has no choice. That’s how it is here on this level of existence.

One cannot exist without the other, the opposite, that dual antithesis, connected and pulling in a kind of tug of war with the other. Like the moon and the earth constantly pull one another. Like particles attaching and convening to make form.

Instinct — that is what is innate in all of us.

Shifting with the tides, we slowly begin to see that we are malleable, not necessarily breakable, unless of course you’ve conditioned yourself in such a way that you are (in fact) breakable — completely cut off from your instincts. As Darwin so eloquently expressed in his famous theory, stating: “Survival of the fittest is an organism’s ability to adapt to changes in its environment and adjust accordingly over time.”

In other words. If you don’t want to be left behind, you must adapt and change (even plants know this). And sometimes a lasting and higher-octave change involves a coming undone, an unraveling, like an acorn yielding to grow into a mighty oak tree by first disintegrating to thrust forth its true and powerful potential.

{Photo credit: Kristi Stout}

What you are hiding in there, what you are stifling, what you are repressing is most likely keeping you stuck in dis-ease and decay. Not allowing your life-force to push through and into the light is a sin against your nature. The only sin in this world is to go against your Divine nature, and in this manner the Christians had it right.

The world is living in sin… not because we are having too much sex and drinking, cursing a lot, and indulging in debauchery and defamation.

These things — substance abuse, terrorism, debauchery, defamation, perverse, harmful actions — only exist because we have been forced to repress our Divine nature by the demands and control of over-inflated minds or egos and the governing powers that have taken advantage of the ignorance and repression of the collective for millennia.

Most of us too have probably had traumas inflicted because of repressed nature that we either have secretly indulged in or been victimized by. But the only sin that exists, in my opinion, is the shroud that we have been made to hide our souls behind. The light we have inside has had a bushel put over it.

I remember Sunday school songs about, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Hide it under a bushel? No! I’m gonna let it shine!” Funny that the religion that taught this song to its children has also been a culprit in forcing them to keep that light under that bushel. But I’m not here to talk about religion.

I think every religion has its pros and cons. As it should. They too are sacred tools for helping us understand this world we live in. But it’s easy to target religion as it has also been responsible for such a huge horror, and oppressive forces, and atrocities committed, and ironically, paradoxically, ultimate sins against Divinity, our sacred human-ity.

Yet, in spite of this energy of repression in the collective masses, it has also done good in other ways that are powerful and beautiful.

The apocalypse overall is about unveiling ourselves to our true natures and opening up to the kingdom of heaven by opening up vulnerably as your naked self, and allowing our authentic Divinity to shine, seeing how alike and the same we all are, celebrating our differences, because we do have those too, but ultimately, no longer hiding our light.

All of us have a particular brand, color, and hue of light to shine here, and like a wound, when you address the injury and/or the poison, it can be healed.

It can be born again as new skin as our bodies drink in and also put forth the light, they have the miraculous power to heal! But keeping the wound covered and unclean just creates decay, festering, and gangrene. Being naked in front of everyone can feel horrifying. No wonder it earned the name apocalypse.

{Photo credit: Kristi Stout}

This is an ongoing series by Kristi Stout. Tune in weekly for the next chapter in ‘The Labyrinth’.
If her art resonates with you, and you’d like prints, contact her through her website or Facebook.

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Kristi Stout

Kristi Stout

Kristi L. Stout is an artist, mother, and lover. She considers herself a Renaissance woman, in service of Love in its many forms. It is her belief that inside each of us is our own sacred, Wild nature -- a hidden instinct that is not forgotten as much as it is dormant, like leafless trees in winter. It is the part of us that is connected to all things. A knowing without knowing. The part deep inside that understands darkness is necessary for the moon to simmer silver, and recognizes that even if you’re lost in the middle of nowhere you can always find a sacred somewhere -- like an internal compass pointing true north to your heart center. Her passion project, work in progress, is She Is Wild. You can find more of Kristi’s work here or connect with her on Facebook.