Saturday, August 6, 2011

Singing Frogs: the Ace of Cups

I’ve said it for years, but I don’t think I’ve ever understood it from the inside, or at least from as inside as you can get. The Will of the Divine Unmanifest announces itself in Fire. The Not-yet-created leans out to it, to bring it in, full of longing for it. The Ace of Wands. The Ace of Cups. Cups are not just receptivity – real receptivity is not a passive state, it is what the mystic writer Charles Williams called “a passion of patience”. (Are you there, Adriana?)

Understanding the words is a long way from accepting the experience. It is a difficult state to hold. It wants to turn into loneliness, or hunger, or sadness, to put a name on the thing it’s longing for, to turn it from love and longing to desire, and then to try and find the thing identified as the object of desire.

The Cup is designed to hold something. It’s not just formless entropy. It was made to receive, and as its body is a cup, so is its spirit, and it knows it was intended from the beginning to be filled. Being a cup it doesn’t get to go out and find something and fill itself. It simply waits, and then accepts what comes. Because the bottom of the cup is also the centre of the universe, and because the longing can be equated with perfect love, a passionate and perfect acceptance of what is, it may be that by remembering this and being it, one enables the filling of the cup.

This is tricky mathematics, and I’m just working out the formula this morning for the first time.

For some reason my mind flashes on frogs. I have always loved them, maybe more than most other living creatures. A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to be living beside a small river on Vancouver Island. On spring nights the frogs would sing. They didn’t swim and hop about looking for their mate. They sat and sang in what, in frogs, is love and longing. On those spring nights they were defined not by what they were, or what they had, but by what they longed for.

Let is be so. Let me understand this and not fight it. If the frogs can do it, so can I.

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