Saint Michael

Here is Saint Michael defeating the Fallen Angels:

Luca Giordano, Michael defeating the fallen angels

And here he is trampling Satan:

What strikes me about both paintings, and other representations of the Archangel, is the gentleness on his face as he tramples and stabs his enemies, God’s enemies. There is no failure of purpose, no regret, no questioning, and no anger or malice. He does what he has to do.

More on Jung later, but whether or not I have the idea of an Archetype right I wish to find that Michael in me, the single purpose. Part of my journey towards it is the karate practice. The tension in the block or the blow only comes in at the end. I should be relaxed while making the movement. It makes it faster and more effective. My thinking and exerting get in the way.

When doing a “Plank”- balance on elbows and toes, head body and legs straight, in order to strengthen the core- muscles around the waist, abdomen and back- I fight to relax, to let my unconscious and my body choose the optimal muscles to do the task. Tensing up merely makes me fight myself, and increase the labour of it.

Though in kumite I need to maintain a strong guard, to prevent it being knocked out of the way. Even then not tense, but ready. Watching the young brown belt dance this morning was so beautiful, I was lumbering after him, it is the strength in the ankles maintaining the movement which gives this lightness. And I need to loosen the hocks behind my knee in order to kick with more power: touch my toes, and stretch them.

I dreamed of a tiger. It had nothing else to eat, so it came for the people: me, and the Natives. (I am politically correct, my dreams are not.) As I was between the tiger and the natives, it would attack me first. I felt Pity for it- it would be a maneater, hunted down. Then I woke up, without the sense of nightmare, and thought of Durga riding on the tiger, and that saying from Thomas. I should eat it. Other races may symbolise the Shadow: these weak, cowering, terrified Natives are mine.

At the Quaker meeting this morning, I looked at Julie, in her pink shawl, pink pedal-pushers, pink sandals, soft brown curls reaching to her shoulders and framing her face, and felt such pain and regret at how I have always felt so wrong and inadequate, not a proper man or a proper woman, something different and less. There is a place for my deep femininity, I am not Wrong.

Peter ministered from Rowan Williams: When you’re lying on the beach something is happening, something that has nothing to do with how you feel or how hard you’re trying. You’re not going to get a better tan by screwing up your eyes and concentrating. You give the time, and that’s it. All you have to do is turn up. And then things change, at their own pace. You simply have to be there where the light can get at you.

Kelley ministered on faith, grace and works from Ephesians 2:8-

8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

I ministered on trusting my human-ness, my Unconscious being, my body, my evolved creature-ness to do what I need to do, with far less conscious monitoring than is my wont. Perhaps that could be expressed as Grace rather than Works. After, Andrew shared his Presbyterian feeling that charitable works should involve some sacrifice, so his time in Botswana was not proper charity as he had loved it too much. But God’s work should be fulfilling for us.

6 thoughts on “Saint Michael

  1. You are not Wrong. I too wish to find the place of being you describe that is free of incessant conscious self-monitoring. (You see, I relate!)

    A favorite quote from Oriah Mountain Dreamer: “WHAT IF the question is not why am I so infrequently the person I really want to be, but why do I so infrequently want to be the person I really am?”

    She goes on to ask “HOW WOULD this change what you think you have to learn?”

    I only sometimes get mere glimpses of answers to her question. Or perhaps it is: I love those moments when there is just the right tilt to a light balance and I see.

    Single purpose… relax the tension… yes. I love the quote about not being able to force a tan! :)

    • I am completely invested in the hunt for a “Real Me”, underneath it all, because I find being transsexual difficult, it is not something I would choose if I were not it. I like your OMD quote, and sometimes I wonder whether there is a “real me”, whether it is not just shifting and changing constantly. I do not want to be the person I really am- Carl Rogers’ theory, which I find persuasive- because I have learned that person is not loveable, not acceptable, so I have to do the work of Acceptance now. And I think it is all good. We are not wrong. I am glad we may struggle together. ♥♥♥

  2. Dear Clare

    What a wonderful post – thank you! Can I pick you up on something you answered…?

    “I do not want to be the person I really am….”

    reminds me of the introduction to “The Power of Now.” Tolle was unhappy, saying, “I cannot live with myself any longer. This was the thought that kept repeating itself in my mind. Then suddenly I became aware what a peculiar thought it was. Am I one or two? If I cannot live with myself there must be two of me: the ‘I’ and the ‘self” that ‘I’ cannot live with. “Maybe” I thought, “only one of them is real”.

    Opaque language may be partly to blame for our confusion. Who we – and you – really are, is love. And how can you not want to be that?

    Bless you! XXXX :)

      • Thich Nhat Hanh: Do not fight against pain; do not fight against irritation or jealousy. Embrace them with great tenderness, as though you were embracing a little baby. Your anger is yourself, and you should not be violent toward it. The same thing goes for all your emotions.

        This is how I may be two people. I feel anger or fear, and then I feel an emotional reaction to my own emotion, anger and fear that I feel anger or fear. My work is to accept the original anger and fear, so that the emotional reaction to it lessens, for it is nothing to fear. But I only realised that in June.

  3. Pingback: When there is nothing to rely on but faith in the process « clearskies, bluewater

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