Before I left for Egypt in February there were demonstrations in Tahrir Square. The media’s focus brought our attention to the Friday demonstrations giving an impression that the country was about to explode. I had a group joining me shortly and I promised them that if I felt any concern I would refund their money. These trusting souls came, all 18 of them, with open hearts and deep commitment to spiritual and personal transformation. Their trust and love was rewarded and met at every turn. The field of unity, a palpable energy of unconditional love that surrounded us throughout our trip, supported and generated immense gifts for them and for the Egyptians who encountered them.
It is hard to describe to people who have never lived fully with open hearts how it feels to let go to a field of unconditional love. We talk about how we want, seek, and hope for it, but as the media feeds the field with fear, it is hard to trust the way of the Open Heart. When I was gifted a trip to Egypt over 20 years ago, I discovered for the first time how to live with my heart fully open and to receive as well as give from that infinite space. The best way I knew to help people experience the field of unconditional love was to take them to Egypt. The countless people who have walked Egyptian soil with me since then and felt the warmth and joy in the land have rewarded me with their love, their trust, and in many cases, their return visits to this incredible country.
This temple sits on the banks of the Nile in Upper Egypt. It is the only temple dedicated to two gods, Horus, the hawk and Sobek, the crocodile. Even though Horus has equal representation, the high priest of the temple had to go through an initiation with the Crocodile God Sobek.
The initiate, who was to become a high priest, was required to swim in underground channels where the enormous Crocodile God Sobek lived. If he managed to swim out, he became the high priest but if he didn’t well then he was devoured by the god. In the channels there was a place where the light shone upwards and there was also a darker place below. Those who went towards the light were eaten, those who went deeper into the shadows found the light and came out the other side.
This is still our journey today. If we keep transcending life to reach the light, we will constantly be forced to face our own shadow never really coming to live in the Light. If, instead, we can face the shadow and walk or swim through it we become that which we seek, a body of Light. When the 18 travelers came with me to Egypt, they had to walk through their fear and other people’s fears, who felt concerned about their making the trip. As they found their own inner guidance and trusted the call to come to Egypt, each and every one of them faced Sobek and stepped into the Light. They didn’t respond to external pressure or fear, but trusted something deeper that gave them the courage to say “yes.” And as one woman described
“I could never have imagined this. I feel like I have welcomed and been welcomed by every partical of the universe.”
Today our crocodiles require a different facing of fear. They can be the bomb that went off at the Boston Marathon, the bombing of the World Trade Center, or a demonstration in Tahrir Square. They are the unknown and come upon us at any time. Being alive is learning how to live with the fact that at any moment, the crocodile can devour us. We have a choice to live in fear never knowing where or when it will strike, or we can learn to accept the crocodile as part of this worldly existence.
Each moment we say “yes” to life and go forth we are conquering our own inner crocodile not allowing ourselves to let the possibility of death or loss keep us from living. When we choose life, we enter life fully. That act of choosing to face the unknown, is the place where the high priest chose to face the crocodile, swim through the dark to live fully in the light. He had learned to trust himself and master those teachings that allowed him to face fear and swim out to the transcendent and become a body of Light. As we learn to trust our own knowing, we gain more freedom and connect to the field of unconditional love, much like the one the 18 felt as they journeyed through Egypt. When the people of Boston attended the Boston Red Sox baseball game after the suspected terrorist was in custody, they were telling the world that the tragedy of the Boston Marathon would not keep them from celebrating life, from coming together in the spirit of their community. It was important to celebrate their own victory over the crocodile.
To live in love is to enter the field of the Open Heart. To do so requires one to face one’s fear and walk through it, either by choice or by circumstance. To do otherwise is to be devoured by our own darkness. The choice is really ours whether we live in fear or chose love and the way of the Open Heart.