Posts Tagged ‘catalyst’

The story of Heracles (Hercules) is a wonderfully twisted tale of gods, demi-gods, madness, murder, infanticide, sin and penance. In the middle is this story, Hercules, an indentured servant serving his sentence under the Mycenaean king, Eurystheus, is ordered to clean out the Augian Stables. According to the tale, Eurystheus had 1000 immortal cattle locked up in this building, doing nothing but eating and pooping for 30 years without anyone thinking to grab pitchfork and a cart to haul off the dung to the compost pile. I am thinking this is a bit of poetic license or else the poets of the day were city boys who had never seen the back end of a cow in their entire life.

More than likely, the Augean Stables did not exist but was an allegory for something else; perhaps the hearts of men, the politics of the royal court, or the chaos of human existence.

Whatever. Hercules had to clean out the stables and he only had one day to do it. His boss, who hated him, meant to teach him humility. Hercules was a lot of things but no one ever accused him of being humble. Instead of grabbing the mighty pitchfork of the gods, he cheats. He diverts two rivers from their course to run them through the stables. OK, already the poetic license is tripping me up. All that work, digging the canals, engineering the sluice gates, and so on, could have been put to work with a pitchfork, to my way of thinking. Only a guy with the soul of an engineer would design a Rube Goldberg contraption to run two rivers through a stable just so he wouldn’t have to smell poop all day.

Nowhere in this tale is there the mention of the minor logistics: Moving the herd to temporary lodging. Sorting out the tools and feed from the piles of dung. Dealing with the downstream pollution. Hercules was something of an ass. It can be assumed he didn’t bother with those details. The bet was to clean the stables in a day. Technically, that’s exactly what he did. He ignored the small details, knowing someone else would sort them out.

There is a name for the guy who thinks up ways not to work hard. We call him an efficiency expert. It was just such an engineering mind that thought up the idea of a remote control because he was too lazy to get up off the couch to change the channel. The Roomba didn’t get invented until 2002 when a man wanted to sweep his floors without actually having to, ya know, sweep. One can only presume he was one of those ‘forever alone’ guys who could never even get a girlfriend to make him a sandwich so therefore had no one to do his laundry or clean his house.

If Heracles had been female, the story would have been different. (For that matter, if King Eurystheus had been female, there would not have been a story at all. No queen in her right mind would have let things get so messy.)

It is the female mind that keeps the universe together, making sure things run like a well oiled machine, because, of course, it is they who are working endlessly behind the machines doing the oiling. It was a woman who first said ‘A stitch in time saves nine’, knowing full well that her plate was already too full, what with cooking and cleaning and doing the laundry and changing baby diapers and wiping snotty noses and teaching the kids reading, writing and arithmetic, all the while keeping herself fit and trim so she could play the seductress to her man every time he came home from the proverbial wars, therefore she had no desire to repair a destroyed seam if a few well placed knots could forestall it.

The female Hercules, being a demi-god, would have been a hearth witch by nature. She would have taken a broom and made a small clean spot in one corner of the stables. Hearth magic would have done the rest.  This is the magic of the female mind. It is the logic of the right brain and can be applied to any mess, no matter how intimidating. It works like this:

The broom is the broom of intention, the intention being not so much to clean the spot but to drive back the chaos and reestablish that spot’s anchor to the Patterning of the Universe. This she does with her will and her love and the purest of intentions. It is also these qualities that allow her to wade through the fetid mess without getting any of the stink on her. The stink does not bother her. The source of her power rises from the fermentation of life in the dark places of the Universal Soul. The stink just tells her that her brew is working.

Back to cleaning up the mess. The one clean spot, now put into order and anchored, causes the adjoining spots to spin around it, igniting change as a catalyst ignites change in a soup of reagents. What follows is a cascade of reactions that alters the whole until the whole is uniform once more. In other words, the change happens until the change can find no other thing to change and then it stops. Time, as is the way with all things in the Universe, is relative. This transformation can be instantaneous, like a flash fire or as slow as stalactites growing on the roof of a cave.

Hercules saw the Augian Stables as one single problem and solved it with catastrophic results. Hercules’s alter ego, in a distaff universe, ignored the big picture and broke the problem down into one manageable bit at a time, knowing full well that before she was through, she would do less work than Hercules and end up with a well ordered stable in which the useful remained and the detritus had been swept away on the tides of the Universe.

One clean spot can make all the difference.


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earth_mother1243016971….and if we are indeed, standing on the shore, looking off into the ocean of the cosmos, listening to the song of the Oneverse as it tugs at the core of our being, as it inflames our imaginations and drives the communal mind of our species to do seemingly incomprehensible things, one then wonders how, exactly, are we going to make it happen, this transformation.

would it not be much like any other birth, any other catalyzed reaction, any other step up the evolutionary awareness ladder? Would not the idea, the awareness, the energy start with one mote, one molecule, one individual in the colony of man? Are not stars born from the tiniest of sparks? The biggest explosions come from a single point of ignition.

But how do we know? How should we act? There are no play books, no instruction manuals for this life we call human. But wait. What is a prophet or a visionary or a dreamer or an artist but an apologist for the species’ transformation? Have they not already painted us a map? It is all there if we are willing to listen. What do they tell us, over and over again? That there is a Gatekeeper who holds the way forward open for us, a Mother who guards us in our vulnerable moments, a vessel in which change must initiate and gestate and birth itself, while safely tucked inside.

Every change needs a point where the Oneverse can walk in. A magical vessel that fills and fills until it bursts open to spill out. From this vessel a river flows that feeds the dormant seeds laying hidden in the parched ground of our malaise and discontent. The river gathers us up in a flood and flushes us through the doorway into the next place.

But the Gatekeeper is not without mercy and the Mother of our evolution does not wish us ill. The duty of the Gatekeeper is to create a bubble on the threshold of transformation. Within the bubble all things exist: Creation, the Oneverse, Nothingness, that which was, that which is, that which will be. It is a bubble in which all possibilities exist but in which there is only one possible outcome. We will walk through that door. That choice has been taken from you. Do not be afraid. The Mother would not toss her baby out into the world, all raw and fragile and tender. No. She holds you within the bubble of the Gate, showing you the past and promising you a future. She lets you dream, clinging to your old life while forging you in the fires that will prepare you for the next. Harsh but necessary. In the end, when the bubble bursts and you are spilled out into the mud of a new world, you will be prepared. A few wobbly steps, a moment of disorientation, but then you will be up and running, excited with the newness and entranced by the possibility of adventure.

Birth, of big things or small, of frogs or babies or stars, is a universal commonality.

Blessed be the Mother who has agreed to gestate this turbulent species called Human, that it might be born into a new day and a new place, with a new direction and a new point of view. It is she who will tell you your purpose, kiss you on your cheek and toss you out of the nest.

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