Crossing the Abyss

There is a time at the end of one cycle, before the next cycle has begun, when a person can feel so many things.

The cycle might be of a relationship ending or transitioning into something new. It might be a project that is completing or a job that is ending.

It might simply be a week that is coming to a close. Traditionally, that’s been called the Sabbath. Or it might be the Sabbath of the Year. The winter solstice is like that in the northern hemisphere where I live. It is as if the whole year slows. And then, for a magical moment, it stands still. Heaven and earth feel connected in a remarkable way.

For you, as a cycle in your life slows and comes to an end, what do you perceive? Sometimes, the ending of things can be filled with a mix of feelings—blankness, gratitude, sadness, and even profound joy.

In such times, you might also perceive the seeds of tomorrow—the vision and dreams of what will be and a sense of possibility. But seeds are little things to look at. They give only a tiny hint of what they will grow into.

The founder of Attunement, Lloyd Arthur Meeker, addressed the sense of emptiness we can feel when transitioning between cycles. He called it the Abyss of Nothingness. Here is some of what he said about what a person experiences:

He is liable to think that he has lost something. He does not lose anything if he knows the right direction of response. Then he comes to a point where, as it were, he feels suspended in space and feels very uncertain. He feels that no one understands, that there is no one to help, and he does not know quite where he is going to land. While a certain degree of assistance can be given, the passage through this abyss must be made basically on the foundation of what is contained within himself. No one can reach out and pull him across. If he does not look down but looks up and holds steady, he will find his feet on solid ground.

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That abyss of nothingness, that seems so empty of all fulfillment, is always, until one reaches a certain level of consciousness and being, a prelude to fulfillment. I have so often, in times past, given the assurance that the individual who comes to the abyss of nothingness is coming to the door of fulfillment. When the individual begins to feel that abyss of nothingness he should know that he is being prepared, if he will but hold steady, to be born into a new and higher level of life. Each one of you has passed through such an abyss more than once, but the human tendency is to still get disturbed when that abyss appears.

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If we grasp the principle and remember that, when we come face to face with problems in that period, as we all do at times, we will see that the world too is going through the same thing. This is its biggest abyss of nothingness and it is going to last for a while. We are part of the world body, and to the degree that we hold steady it helps the world body carry through the abyss of nothingness. The average person is likely to go all to pieces unless somewhere there is a sustaining vibration. If we look from the standpoint of the outer mind, it will look hopeless. If this world gets through the abyss of nothingness it will depend upon what is in itself.

This is such a time for the Edenvale Community in Abbotsford, British Columbia. It is clear that the forms that appeared in the cycle that is coming to a close are changing. The form of the retreat business we ran will not continue as it was. There are people who have left and some who have plans to leave.

At the same time, the community is thriving. I just visited there, and there was a profound emotional connection between everyone on the property. The vibration of new life rang in the air.

There is fresh interest in being part of what is happening at Edenvale from some amazing people who were there to explore that possibility.

When I have entered a new cycle of Creation, after it has a chance to begin to grow, I can see the antecedents for what is transpiring. I can see how it is growing out of the earth of what went before. I can see how we are standing on the shoulders of our ancestors. But that is only after we have begun to move with the new cycle for a while. Up to that point, it feels more like we are taking a wild leap of faith into the unknown. We are crossing the abyss of nothingness.

Edenvale feels a bit like that at the moment. There is the unavoidable realization that the past is gone and, at the same time, there is the thrill of what is happening now, as undefined and unpredictable as it currently is.

We are moving to another level—not better or worse than before. But along with the rest of the universe, we are evolving.

Lloyd Arthur Meeker pointed out that how a person deals with the abyss of nothingness depends on what is in them. It depends on their ability to respond to the creative opportunity that is before them.

Such a transition also relies on letting go. It depends on our willingness to surrender to the Higher Wisdom that is there for us. And it depends on our opening to the Higher Love that lifts us over the abyss and empowers us to move through it.

I find that there is often work for me to do in a transition. But there is also the stark recognition that I, as a human being, cannot understand or control all the factors of Creation.

This is always true in life. We have human energy to bring to our world, and life goes much better if you let that energy flow through. And yet, even then, where does that energy, will, and effort come from? It comes through us, but ultimately, we as a human being didn’t create that. It comes from a source far larger than us.

There are times when it is so dramatically and poignantly true for us—when the truth that we are being held in something larger than what we are as a human being is blatantly obvious, and we come face-to-face with the imperative to surrender to the flow of Creation. Times like this call for our faith.

That faith, for some, might be buoyed by religion or by a particular spiritual practice or belief. The belief in something to have faith in can help a person. But ultimately, doesn’t it come down to faith in Reality itself? Faith in life itself? Our life? And not just faith in our beliefs about it?

Life is good. Life is kind. This is a creative world we live in. It is all being held in processes that have their own awesome power and creative outcomes. That is the nature of Reality. Ultimately, faith is faith in that. It is letting go to the reality that we, and all of Creation, are being held in something mystical that we do not fully understand, yet which is dependable. We are being held by Divine Presence, the Creator.

The reading below is out of the Christian tradition. It speaks of the higher Reality that holds us as the Lord. It is called Footprints in the Sand.

One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”
He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”

What a poetic, prayerful way of describing something!

Yes, there are times of transition, when we are passing through an abyss of nothingness, when we surrender and are carried by the presence of a Higher Reality. And yet that is true the whole time anyway. In life, Divine Presence is carrying us and the creative cycle we are in.

Divine Presence brings comfort and assurance. It does so from within ourselves. And it does so when it shows up in community. Sometimes in the abyss, we find Divine Presence in each other.

So let it be today.

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Michael Chase
Michael Chase
April 10, 2023 7:48 am

I found resolution in Lloyd Arthur Meeker’s words. Even after coming to the Sea of Nothingness, proclaiming that God is nothing, and denying God any attributes, after all this I finally get back to just nothingness again. Uncertain where I will get another understanding to tide my passion. Yes, meditation into the “one eye” swimming in the sea of the spirit transcends this mental nothingness, but the mental understandings also transcend the “one eye”, or rather give It more clarity. I must be patient. I must be patient. I must be patient to cross this sea.

Laurence Mendes
Laurence Mendes
December 11, 2022 12:19 am

I have been in this place for many days now, and over many years or decades, yet without realising it in this brilliant way. The word “crossing” for me is paramount to going over something or being above it, so my keen emphasis is on that rather than the abyss. Also, as I reflected on my current world, using this reality, I saw that the abyss consisted of many specific aspects, and I crossing them all with altitide and gratitude as glorious Life goes on. Thank you.

Fiona Gawronsky
Fiona Gawronsky
December 10, 2022 10:06 am

For the most part, people have two feet – unless you can’t dance and you have two left ones! Left and right. Two feet give us balance.

We have two hemispheres to our brains, left and right, which rightly work in concert. However, if our thinking and mental function is off-balance, we have a dominant system… and this presents, likewise, into our world.

I have come across Iain McGilchrist recently, Psychiatrist, Neuroscientist, Researcher, Philosopher – yourcan’t get more brainy than that! He speaks out about the imbalance in the world; we have become too linear, driven by technology, power-hungry and self-serving, and, we are facing the abyss in his thinking. The right, intuitive brain with its visioning powers, its receptive qualities, holism, has been overlooked, under-valued.

More anxiety, more depression, more fear? These strangle our creativity. They are man-made fears. Fabricated on lies and drama which are proliferating on media and elsewhere. Perhaps we do have two-left feet!!!! We have forgotten how to dance.

We need two feet. To step, one foot at a time, to cross the abyss of conscious. However deep the gorge appears, there is a way to connect the two places, even if it requires a leap of faith. We must not look down.

Do we tread carefully, do we jump? That is for each of us to discern.

December 9, 2022 2:15 pm

Divine Presence brings comfort and assurance. It does so from within ourselves. And it does so when it shows up in community. Sometimes in the abyss, we find Divine Presence in each other.

This is the great blessing…

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