Have you ever noticed patterns in life? I mean, we can see patterns in every leaf of a tree, in the structure of hair, in snowflakes. Whether it looks intentional like in the buildings humans build, or something seemingly accidental or natural or whatever – we see it everywhere we look. You can find meaning in things like that, or not – either way it’s literally unavoidable. Life is entirely structured. With that in mind, I often notice (and wonder about) patterns in my own life.
They say when it rains, it pours. I really think sometimes life makes a stronger effort to say, “PLEASE look at what I’m showing you. PLEASE understand this lesson!”
All within the last two weeks a good friend’s good friend passed away, a coworker’s father received a pretty grim cancer diagnosis, and I celebrated the death anniversary of my maternal grandfather. WHOA. On a less grim note, during about the same period of time I entered a new phase of my employment (additional responsibilities), I made the choice to reconnect with a path I once thought held very little compatibility with me, and my beloved has reached another annual birth milestone. Life has been giving me a message. Are you able to decipher it?
The structure of life evident everywhere – even in things that seem like coincidence – is something I recognize as Shiva’s Tandava – the dance of creation. It makes me smile, mostly. It used to scare me, but that’s no longer true. There’s something below the surface of that dance, though – something people might not be aware of. Creation is an active process. By its very essence, it requires change: What wasn’t, now is – or is becoming. It’s that easy whether you like it or not. And because energy truly is neither created nor destroyed, we’re left with one basic truth: Everything is made from what came before it.
The implication of that truth is something most struggle with. You see, in order for something to be created from material / energy that came before, recycling of that same “stuff” must occur. You can’t have an aluminum can, make something from that aluminum can, and still retain your aluminum can. The can must necessarily cease to exist if something else, something new (something better?), is to come from it. This change, which is really just the creation process (seeing this primarily as a destructive process is indicative of things most people don’t like to admit to), is something that should be celebrated – as tough as that can be at times.
Naturally, this applies to the human life and the human body. We know our bodies are made from dead stars. It’s literally true and not just about the human body. Star bodies ceased to exist through the course of their own nature and we later were formed from their recycled “stuff.” It follows, naturally, that the same should happen to our own bodies. And we weep.
Most people aren’t a fan of change, and almost no one likes death. It’s one of the very few things in our existence that we apparently have no choice in. Either way, whatever you attribute it to – no one likes losing someone to this part of the dance of creation.
As overused as it might sound, whenever someone “leaves” we should celebrate. As tough as that invariably is for most of us it’s true. Overused or not, it’s true. The same should be said about change in general.
And how do humans often celebrate? By dancing! There’s a strange and sweet kind of parallel to be seen here. The exact same way that the dance of life and creation intermixes with what we perceive as destruction of what we hold dear, when that “destruction” occurs we should recognize this Tandava and similarly allow the Shiv-amsha within to dance, too.
For a number of years – three in a row, as a matter of fact – my family lost loved ones. School and work are shifting for me right now. Religious and spiritual adjustments are happening also. A lot of this gives me pause. Some of it, I’m not yet convinced I like. But I know one thing is true: Dancing is beautiful. And dancing right now, with The All, is about as wonderful as it gets.
Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha