Marvels: Letters from an Elder, Part 17
Letter # 11, January 9th, 1949 continued
As you restore the balance within yourself, recognising not only the role of the ego and the non-ego but their more-than-symbiotic relationship with each other, sanity returns. With sanity comes spiritual maturity. No longer will the ego frantically seek ‘explanations’ for everything; no longer will sleep be haunted by fearful or incomprehensible dreams or the imagination be terrorised by fears of the unknown. Once this stage is reached, and only when this stage is reached, then the symbols and messages which dreams potentially contain will begin to become sensible. This will not take the form of ego-centred ‘meaning’, but will resonate far more deeply and profoundly. In other words, for example, instead of a bird in a dream ‘representing’ some event in the day-to-day world — a precise and specific meaning, eagerly sought by the ego— the bird will possess a far more powerful symbolism about the dreamer’s life as a whole.
In effect, at this point, to continue our analogy, you will have begun to learn how to swim. Life will possess neither the frustrating and upsetting mystery which it once did, nor present to you the role of ‘victim’ quite so prominently. You will not necessarily understand in a conscious or logical sense everything that happens to you or around you, but you will feel far less inclined to react to it, to flinch from it, or to protest about it. Just like a swimmer, you will have gained enough knowledge of water and its behaviour to be able to trust it and work with it. Instead of twitching in response to or rebelling against or chewing over the events of the day, you will find that everything is becoming much more relaxed. This is the level-headedness which comes with mellow maturity. Your earlier questions about what occurs to a spirit after death, for example, will recede in importance — they will not vanish entirely, but will become more responsibly phrased and will take their place in a whole tableaux of what might be termed ‘sensible questions’. The panic, the frenzy, the unhinged and occasionally demented feverishness which for much of the time has been the accompanying mood of your life, at least to some degree, will change to a more structured and classical theme.
Already, your egoic voice will probably be attempting to interpret my words in particular ways and perceiving this ‘relaxation’ as an easing of tension in an almost muscular way; a reduction of physical suspense, a restfulness and break from being so nervous. These may be fitting descriptions in one sense, but they fail to capture the full depth of the new situation. What has happened, or begun to happen, is not so much the relaxation of tension as a change of dimensions underlying the personality so that ‘tension’ as a state starts to be seen as the synthetic or temporal or ephemeral condition that it really is.
What we are talking about here is a state of mental and spiritual affairs which is a base normal. Once perceived and experienced, the former mental states begin to be seen for the distortions and weirdnesses which they were. More than that, you begin to understand your role in creating and sustaining these elements of insanity — and you now, having become much more enlightened, cease to play that role. Like a swimmer, you begin to understand the water, to use and play with its buoyancy and currents; like someone who can use water to swim, you see that your earlier efforts were fraught with difficulties mainly because of your incompetence and lack of confidence. And so your real spiritual journey can begin.