On Friday's hike to Emerald Lake, I snowshoed across the frozen lake-surface and then up the steep slope rising just behind, farther than I ever had before. There was a crust of hard snow in many places, making travel easier than usual. It was cold, but there was absolutely no wind. In fact, the landscape seemed breathless, making the silence and stillness especially palpable. In that silence, I found myself squeezed in between the self-emptying bliss of Mother Earth and Father Sky - of Sophia and the Great Beyond - in their everlasting mutual union, AS their union.
Standing in the snow in all of that silence, I fell into a vision, one that I frequently have on occasions like this. In the vision, I looked toward the boundless horizon (realm of the sacred masculine) and found a mirror there. In that mirror, I saw a beautiful feminine presence walking from the Earth toward the horizon. However, when I turned around and looked toward the Earth in an effort to find her, I saw no one. But there, on the Earth around me (domain of the sacred feminine), I discovered a second mirror, one in which I saw the image of a handsome masculine presence walking from the horizon toward the Earth. But when I turned around and gazed toward the horizon in an effort to find him, I discovered no one!
And this is precisely the ultimate state of our lives: dwelling in between two facing mirrors, with two sets of mirror-images - both masculine Emptiness and feminine Form, alive with vibrant personality, but with NO Originals ever to be found! And we are ever in the middle - as Emerson's "transparent eyeball" able to look in two directions - immersed in silent bliss, the mutual ecstasy of the Self-emptied Two, both now and for eternity. Here we discover that all people, situations, social concerns, species and landscapes are simply expressions of this trinitarian relationship, all of them ONE in the mutual bliss, the in-between space where I found myself that day in a silent, breathless landscape!
Photo: Engelmann Spruce, with Hallett Peak on the left and rocky spires to the right, above Emerald Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO, January 8, 2015
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Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.