Western Baul Podcast Series

Kneel and Kiss the Ground: The Poetics of Presence and Purpose (Mary Angelon Young)

July 14, 2022

“There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” This is the last line of one of Rumi’s poems. Fear, anxiety and grief are natural responses to the world as-it-is, which is full of poison and full of nectar. There are 3 ways of working with the poison of today’s world: we can reject it, we can gorge ourselves without discrimination, or we can partake in healthy doses through the discernment of a middle path. When at a crossroads, the unknown requires us to be fluid and shapeshift. We can hold the tension between what Jung called the spirit of the depths and the spirit of the times in an alchemical process. If our diets are too pure, we can become rigid and weaken ourselves. If we don’t live with reality, reality will come to live with us. The more we practice being present with reality as-it-is, the greater our capacity for life and the more we become a healing balm for the world. Wonder makes us bigger; it stretches us and puts us in a receptive state, ready to experience the unknown. Six qualities of wonder are openness, curiosity, bewilderment, hope, connection, and admiration or praise. Communitas refers to community taken to a deeper level, typically associated with the presence of the divine. We can be inspired by other people’s strengths. If we want to make sure the path we are on is the right path, then we have to be willing to get lost. What if there’s wisdom in staying with grief, which does the work so that we can see and think and embrace each other differently? Sometimes the only way we will ever kneel and kiss the ground is if we are brought to our knees. Angelon is a workshop leader with a background in Jungian psychology, an editor and author of As It IsUnder the Punnai TreeThe Baul TraditionCaught in the Beloved’s PetticoatsEnlightened Duality (with Lee Lozowick), Krishna’s Heretic Lovers, and The Art of Contemplation.

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