Consider the picture of your life for a moment. What images come to mind? How would you describe your life? What words would you use? Would you say your existence is normal and routine, or unusual and extraordinary?
The word routine is of French derivation and means "usual course of action, beaten path." For many of us the picture of our life is just that, routine. It follows a fairly unwavering pattern, beginning with birth, then early development in the home, school, starting a career, seeking a partner or mate, creating a family, working many years saving for retirement, and then settling into the routine of retirement until we die.
Maybe, if we are fortunate, this timeline is sprinkled with a few highlights like travel, perhaps grandchildren, or a beloved hobby. Does this sound at all familiar? If not for you, then perhaps for many you know. Certainly there is nothing wrong with this picture. It surely does offer many great satisfaction and contentment.
But what if there’s more? As the planet and her inhabitants ride the wave of rising consciousness, for many of us, the existence I just described is starting to feel rather hollow, devoid of meaning or purpose. We may feel as though we are just going through the motions, like so many automatons. We can no longer spin on the hamster wheel of life getting nowhere. Something must change.
Many of us are now beginning to sense and experience this readily, as that which we once new to be our security is crumbling beneath us. As old paradigms dissolve, we are waking up and recognizing that there is more to life than this age-old pattern that our parents lived, as did theirs, and theirs before them. As we rise on the tide of expanding consciousness, into the dawn of the New Age, there is a stirring, a restlessness, a quickening within us that is signaling greater potential, the possibility for a more vibrant, passionate existence. Can you sense it? Do you feel it? Do you desire it?
I had the distinct pleasure and good fortune to be a participant in a workshop offered by my guru, Her Holiness Sai Maa Lakshmi Devi, called “Living a Passionate Life.” If you have ever been in Maa’s presence, you would attest that she is nothing less than the quintessence of passion. In every moment she is completely present, vibrant, exuberant, vitally alive, and wholly committed to Being. She is the embodiment of Shakti, or Divine Creative Power.
Throughout the weekend Sai Maa challenged us to look closely at our lives, and ask ourselves how can we be more aware and awake to the experience of our lives, how can we become impassioned creators? How can we consciously, in every moment, fully embody the Divinity that we are?
It is important to distinguish what is meant here by the word passionate. In this case, we are not talking about being filled with heightened emotion, or excitement. And this has nothing to do with sex or sexuality. Let’s consider for a moment a richer meaning, enthusiasm, derived from the Greek enthousiasmos, meaning “divine inspiration,” and enthousiazein, to be rapt, to be in ecstacy”, these words stem from the Greek entheos meaning “inspired or possessed by a god.”
When we are truly living a passionate life, we become a conduit for the flow of Source Energy through us. We breathe in, are inspired by, and are possessed by God. The breath of God animates our entire being. The root anima, is a Latin word, with various meanings: living being, soul, mind, passion, feeling, courage, spirit. Are these descriptors you associate with your self, with the life you are currently living?
Not long ago, I watched the Martin Scorcese film Hugo, based on the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick. Some of you may have seen this multi-Oscar winning film. For those of you who haven’t – “Spoiler Alert!!”
The story is of a boy who lives and winds the clocks in the Paris train station, after the untimely death of his father. Hugo’s father was a master clock maker who also worked in a museum, where he found an extraordinary treasure, an automaton, a mechanical man that was created with a specific purpose. When his father found him abandoned in a storeroom of the museum, he was broken, and before he and Hugo could fully restore him, his father died. Hugo was left with nothing but his father’s notebook of cryptic drawings and calculations, and the passionate desire to fix this broken mechanical man.
After his father’s death, Hugo is left alone and seems equally as broken as his inanimate friend. He manages to get him all but working, using parts he has stolen from a stern old toymaker whose shop is in the station, save one essential piece. The missing piece is a key. The key that will bring this rare treasure back to life is in the shape of a heart.
At one point in the film, Hugo confides in his new friend Isabel and brings her into his lair behind the station walls to reveal his secret friend. Looking at the Automaton he says, “He looks sad. I think he’s just waiting to work again. To do what he’s supposed to do.” He goes on to say, “Everything has a purpose. Clocks tell time, trains take you places. They do what they are meant to do. Maybe that’s why broken machines make me sad. They can’t do what they are meant to do. Maybe it’s the same with people. If you lose your purpose it’s like you are broken.”
So many of us are seemingly broken, automatons stuck in a meaningless routine, going about our lives without any sense of purpose. How do we re-inject meaning into our lives, and create a passionate existence fully conscious of and living out our purpose?
The answer, the essential missing piece, the key to awakening us to out true potential is the Heart. It is always through the Heart that we find our purpose, and that purpose, regardless of who we are, is to be a passionate creator in the service of others.
It just so happens that Hugo’s friend Isabel is the keeper of the key. Her God-Mama Jeanne gave it to her, whose husband is the crotchety old Toy Maker with whom Hugo has already had a very nasty run-in.
When they finally use the key to wind up the Automaton, which holds a pen and appears to be able to write, he eventually scratches out a drawing of a rocket that has flown into the eye of the moon, signing it Georges Melies, whom, we discover, is Isabel’s God Father, the bitter old Toy Maker.
So where is all this leading? What does any of this have to do with creating a passionate life, you might ask? Well, it just so happens that George Melies was, at one time, doing just that. The character is loosely based on the life of an artistic genius, whose work, in the early 20th c., was considered revolutionary, on the vanguard of a fledging film industry. Melies began his early career as a stage magician. He was a creator and master of illusion. He and his wife had a theatre where they performed their act.
After seeing the Lumiere brother’s magic picture making machine at a carnival, he decided he must be part of this new wonder. It was an extraordinary new kind of magic. It could be used to tell stories and had the “power to capture dreams,” and Georges Melies was enthralled with the possibilities of this new invention.
Like Scorcese, the real Melies was an auteur, a filmmaker and director, who exercised complete creative control over his works with a strong personal style and creative vision. He wrote, designed, directed, and acted in hundreds of movies, including the iconic film, “A Trip to The Moon.”
This “new” medium, in fact, wasn’t new at all, in one form or another it has been around since the dawn of creation. Its tools and techniques, fundamentally, are those we all use on a daily basis, however unconsciously, to create the movie of our own lives.
To make a film, at least in Georges Melies era, one required a film camera. Light is allowed through a lens into a box, which houses unexposed film. As the light hits the film, an image of whatever the lens is focused on is captured on the film.
He made all his films in a glass house he created specifically to allow as much natural light as possible into the space. All his creations were emanations of his imagination. And so are ours. His process, and that of all contemporary film-makers, is the same as ours. We, like Melies, are genius creators, constantly producing the movies of our lives; we just don’t require all the high-tech gear.
This is how it works.
Using the ancient teachings of the Tarot we will illustrate how we come to create and experience our own reality. In the Tarot, Card number 1, The Magician, represents our self conscious or lower mind. The Hebrew letter Beth, associated with this card, means house.
We can see Georges Melies’ glass house as a metaphor for the self-conscious mind. All of his thoughts, ideas, and imaginings, the characters, the scenery, the costumes and visual effects, his total vision for each film is housed in his self-conscious mind. When he places his focus and concentration, two other important attributes of the Magician, on these elements; he brings them to life, capturing them on film. He has complete control over what we ultimately see and experience in the movie theatre. He is the ultimate creator of illusion, of the waking dream.
In our lives, we do this every moment. We view the world we live in through the lens of the conscious mind. So whatever the mind conjures is what we will ultimately experience. Consider carefully the script you are using, the words you are laying down to write the screenplay of your life. Are they sketching out a comedy, a tragedy, a tragicomedy, a dramady, or perhaps a farce? Who are your collaborators? Who are the characters with whom you you surround yourself? What is the environment, the settings you find yourself in on a daily basis? What soundtrack underscores your experience?
And of course, The Magician must have an assistant to pull off his illusion. This is the High Priestess. If the Magician is the lens that focuses and lets in light, then she is the film on which the images are captured. The High Priestess is the fertile soil of the sub-conscious in which the seeds of our thoughts are planted.
Just as seeds need to germinate in the dark, the film is housed in the darkened box, until the light of the sun is received through the lens, burning a lasting impression on the film. As the energy of our focus penetrates into the darkness of the sub-conscious mind, the seeds of our thoughts grow.
The essential element here is the Sun. This is the Energy of God, the Light of Pure Consciousness, which pours through the self conscious and sub-conscious mind. This Light, this Energy is really the Source of all we create.
Just like the film, our sub-conscious mind is wholly impressionable. It does not discern. It cannot say, “Oh, I will only allow the pretty images to be burned into my memory.” Whatever seed thought the self-conscious mind plants in it, the sub-conscious accepts. The more the self-conscious mind focuses on a thought, the more indelibly it is etched in the sub-conscious. As we continue to focus on it, it concretizes. The thought form is processed and then fixed, becoming denser and denser, continually lowering in vibration until it manifests.
Once firmly fixed in the sub-conscious mind, a thought must inevitably be played out through the projector, the mechanism of our brain, the optic nerve and our eyes, onto the movie screen of our own experience. We think our lives are happening to us, but in every moment we are creating them. So what kind of movie are you making? Is it a Family Friendly Drama, a Romantic Comedy, a Thriller, a Horror Flick?
Georges Melies was a Magician, and so is each of us. We are the auteurs of our lives. We are the sole creators of what we experience, based wholly on the thoughts we are chronically thinking, the words we are habitually saying, the emotions we are constantly feeling, and the visions we are continually imagining.
The Magician card in the Tarot instructs us how we can change, or influence that picture, through the control and use of the self-conscious mind. The Magician accomplishes this feat with the use of four Magical tools, the wand, the cup, the sword and the pentacle.
These four tools represent the four elements: Fire, Water, Air and Earth, respectively. They also represent the Tetragamaton, the four- letter name of God -Yod- Heh- Vav- Heh, Yahweh, written on the neckline of the Fool’s tunic in the previous card, which symbolizes, the Light of God, or Super-Consciousness.
This 4 letter Hebrew word is not really so much God’s name as it is a formula. When we know how the formula works, we can begin to shape our reality consciously rather than by default.
The Wand represents the will, Fire. On the card, it is the one tool the Magician holds. He grips it at the exact center, implying that there is both a higher and lower will. In raising the wand above his head he indicates that his will, the lower, is in the service of the Higher Will. He has become a channel for Source Energy. You see, for the formula to really work, we must align the lower will with the Higher. There is nothing that is not God; therefore God’s Will must be our own. When we are willing to surrender our limited will of the ego, we are able to call upon the omnipotence of the God Force Energy.
The second variable in the formula is the Chalice or cup, Water, which represents our knowing. The Age of Aquarius is the Age of knowing. We have passed from an age in which we were expected to simply believe, into the New Age, where all understanding shall be predicated on our knowing. Knowing is an active, creative energy. You may have heard someone say, I’ll believe it when I see it. That is so last age!
Let’s change that slightly and say “I’ll see it when I know it.” We constantly use our knowing to establish reality. That knowing is the cup Source Energy flows into. The reality we ultimately create is always perfectly in tune with our knowing. If we truly know something, without doubt, it cannot help but manifest. Unfortunately, most people only manifest their doubt. When what they had hoped for doesn’t come to pass, they have the perfect excuse, “See, I knew it wouldn’t happen. This proves it.” You see life is a self–fulfilling prophesy.
The third variable in our formula is the sword, Air. This represents our daring, our will to act. We have focused our will on our intention, knowing it will manifest, now do we dare act? The sword is also the symbol of the word. We must dare to speak what it is we intend. When our word is fortified by our will and knowing, and in alignment with our intention, it is an unstoppable force. When we truly know that what we are saying must come to pass, then there is nothing that can keep it from manifesting, so long as it is in service of the Higher Will and for the greater good.
The Word holds power. It is the vibration of creation. We can use our words to create, but we can also use them to destroy, so we must choose them wisely.
The final tool or variable in the formula is the Coin representing Earth. This is the most challenging aspect of the formula to master. It is silence. This tool symbolizes ‘letting go’. This is key in any magical or spiritual work. We must let go of our attachment to the outcome. In letting go we create space, a void into which Source Energy must flow to manifest our intent.
The coin is inscribed with a pentacle, a five-pointed star. When pointing up, the top point represents the Magician, the self-conscious mind. The four lower points symbolize his tools: To Will, To Know, To Dare, and To Be Silent. When we know the formula and have control of our mind, we have dominion over these forces, and there is nothing we cannot create.
And now Back to Paris…. In Martin Scorcese’s vision for his film, after a life of such great inspiration and artistic achievement, Georges Melies, an inspired creator, has become, as the character puts it, “a penniless man and a broken wind up toy.” Like his automaton, he has lost the key. He has shut down his heart, which eventually dried up his passion. He lost his enthusiasm, his inspiration. He lost his purpose.
But how did this happen? In the movie, he believed that after having seen the horrors of World War I, no one had time for or appreciated what he had to offer any more. The times had changed and he had not adapted his style quickly enough to meet the changing needs of his audience. He believed he was outmoded, unwanted, useless, unnecessary.
It took a boy with an open heart and a passion to be of some use to the world to reignite the spark of inspiration in this old man, ultimately bringing meaning back to his life. In search of his own purpose, Hugo Cabret, could see the genius that lay dormant in Georges Melies, beneath his rigid armor of pain and suffering. He compassionately recognized this man’s plight as so poignantly a reflection of his own, and in serving him Hugo was healed.
Encouraging Isabel, who was questioning her own purpose, Hugo said, “I’d imagine the whole world was one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured, if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn't be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.”
What is our reason for being here? We are all here for the same reason, to live passionately, in service of others, to be joyful expressions of the Divine, the Source from which we all emanate. The One, the Absolute, God is the Source of All, the Spirit, the Light essential for the creation of this movie we call life. We must open our hearts to allow this Divine Passion to flow through. In serving others, from the heart, we serve God, and our life is thusly blessed.
Consider the picture of your life for a moment. What images come to mind? How would you describe your life? What words would you use? Would you say your existence is normal and routine, or unusual and extraordinary? In this moment, take control, become the auteur, rewrite the screenplay, live the passionately, purposeful life you were meant to. Create the intent with your Will, Know it must come to pass, Dare to speak it, then be Silent and wait on the Will of God.
Katrin Naumann worked for 20 years as a Theatre Artist, both behind the scenes as a Costume and Scenic Designer, and on stage, film and TV, as an Actor. She has been a lifelong adventurer on the path of Self discovery, which has led to her current role as Director of Inner Balance Life Works. Her holistic healing practice focuses on offering pathways toward (R)evolutionary Self Transformation. Katrin serves the community as an Energy Healer, Intuitive Spiritual Guide, Qigong & Yoga Instructor, Author, Public Speaker, and Workshop Creatrix.