The Feast of Epiphany, the night star, they followed in spiritu the brightness.
Epiphany from Greek epiphaneia "manifestation, striking appearance"...also "to manifest, display", "to show."
Magi originally "magoi" meaning "bearers of the gift."
"Everyone has a choice of what they give their life to. Maybe this choice has never been known before, or maybe this choice has never been made conscious. Now it is. What's important to you? What are you going to give your soul to? I don't care what choice you make, and God doesn't care what choice you make. But you care, and you are the only one that counts." - Adyashanti, Emptiness Dancing
Dropped out of nothing
it will return
but, in between,
toast the miracle waters
the long sermon
of her deserts,
the green wings
of her jungles,
the pink moths
of her cities,
among the hilltops,
the thick fungus
of her buildings,
the worn brown corduoroy
of her farms,
the walking symphonies
of dappled cells.
- stanza II, Halley's Comet by Diane Ackerman, from Jaguar of Sweet Laughter
For me, the answer to: What am I going to give my soul to? is best articulated by my (living) teacher. (See, I don't always need to be original.)
This birth, this soul, is dedicated to gathering in my arms and celebrating each and every seemingly fragmented broken scattered speck of stardust:
"We cannot storm the gates of heaven. Instead we must allow ourselves to become more and more disarmed. Then the pure consciousness of being becomes brighter and brighter, and we realize who we are. This brightness is what we are.
When it gets very bright, we see that we are this brightness, this radiance, and then we start to realize from our own experience what this human birth is all about. This brightness comes back for all itself, for every bit of confusion, for every bit of its suffering. Everything that the me tried to get away from, the sacred Self will come back for. This bright Self starts to discover its true nature and wants to liberate all of itself, to enjoy itself, and to truly love itself in all of its flavors. The truly sacred is the love of what is, not a love of what could be. This love liberates what is.
The true heart of all human beings is the lover of what is. That's why we cannot escape any part of ourselves. This is not because we are a disaster, but because we are conscious and we are coming back for all of ourselves in this birth. No matter how confused we are, we will come back for every part of ourselves that has been left out of the game. This is the birth of real compassion and love. For too long it has been said by spiritual traditions that you have to slay so much to get to love. But that is a myth. The truth is that it is love that really liberates." - Adyashanti, Emptiness Dancing
To brilliant epiphanies in 2007!
Bonus: Emptiness, ahhh, emptiness. Beautiful inextricably intertwined essay on The Pursuit of Emptiness, by John Perry Barlow. I'll be referencing it again. And soon. But go ahead, read it now. I discovered the essay via a comment left by Austin Hill on the Citizen Agency blog post on well, happiness, the abundance gap, logging off sometimes to just hear yourself think, etc.
It's no accident I first discovered Adyashanti when I was flipping through a cover story on happiness at a bookstore in August 2005 (not a happy time). I'm reading the article cynically (muttering "that's all crap", and probably aloud). That is until I got to the quote by Adya. That moment, and I'd never searched for, nor particularly wanted a teacher, I got the AHA: 'This is your teacher'. I was miserable enough to try anything right then. So when I got home I was curious where in India I needed to go. Turns out he's your average and then again not-so-average born and raised in the Bay Area All-American guy. I guess it is just like Yogananda says (paraphrased): When you are willing to travel to the ends of the earth for truth, you will find your guru in your own backyard. And sometimes, that means it's the roses.
p.s. As I wrote a dear friend earlier this week: "I am very very happy of late. For no apparent reasons even ;-)
I think this is going to be one fantastic touching beatific year for everyone in my life, and heck, I hope that's so for the entire world too."
image Van Gogh's Starry Night