A couple nights ago I was running on the illustrious sidewalk of Bayshore Boulevard, which hugs the perimeter of Tampa Bay in an unbroken stretch of nearly five miles. The white, columned balustrade looks down upon waves that lap against its barnacled sea wall. Pelicans, dolphins, gulls, stingrays, schools of mullet, and plenty of other marine life can be seen swimming, flying, and splashing around.
While I was running, my attention was mainly transfixed on two women running in tandem ahead of me. They were athletic and trotted along with lovely strides, and I felt more inspired than usual to keep a spring in my step. After about a mile or so, they slowed down to a walking speed, but I kept pushing forward—passing them with a slight twinge of regret.
Scenery cannot be hung onto indefinitely. It changes. The curvature and color disappear sometimes, then maybe it's just straight lines and monochrome for a while. But the mission and technique must be favored over what is encountered along the trajectory of the journey. Otherwise, the mythological sirens may distract us from the end goal.
Yogani once made a metaphor about how the occurrence of miracles is similar to embarking on a trip to a castle. Sometimes we have to wade through lots of treasure to get to the castle, but only when we get inside the castle can we have all the treasure. But if the treasure is sought for its own sake and obsessed over while in transit, we will never make it to the castle. Therefore, we are not to dilly dally or divert for too long, lest we delay our arrival and entry into the grand palace that awaits us.
In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Sir Galahad the Chaste ventures foolishly into Castle Anthrax after seeing a beacon resembling the grail shining from a tower high above. Once inside, he is greeted by a hostess who informs him that there are "8 score young blondes and brunettes...all between 16 and 19-and-a-half" who spend their isolated days "bathing, dressing, undressing, and knitting exciting underwear." After two nurses try to strip him of his clothes under the false pretense of tending to his wounds, he tries to hightail it out of there, only to stumble into another room full of voluptuous, bathing nuns.
The twin sister of the hostess desperately apologizes to the knight and implores him to implement punishment on all of the sisters by vigorously and thoroughly spanking them. Galahad, knowing that he has fallen deeper into the trap, finally escapes the fortress before the maidens are able to swallow him whole in their mire of seduction. Brahmacharya prevails, and the quest for the grail continues.
But what if the divine feminine is actually the holy grail that is being sought?
In his novel The Da Vinci Code, author Dan Brown makes that exact contention. It is the shape of the sacred chalice that symbolically points to the receptive quality of the female reproductive organ. In Brown's book, the real secret is that, for milennia, the male-dominated Catholic Church has been concealing the fact that Jesus actually married Mary Magdalene, who then gave birth to their child. Lo and behold!—there is a royal lineage of Christ's blood flowing through an active heritage in the present day.
What's more is that Brown includes some esoteric, sexual rituals that utilize the feminine body as a portal to God (can we say tantra?). He puts the feminine in a sacred role as a key to unlocking higher dimensions of consciousness.
In AYP, there is much talk about merging inner silence (the masculine) with ecstasy (the feminine). Without this union, the enlightenment equation is incomplete. After all, if inner silence is unchanging, eternal, and beyond form, doesn't that get boring after a while? Without the elements of change, manifestation, and colorful expression, inner silence remains stagnant and unfulfilled. Shiva needs Shakti to awaken him from his meditative slumber. And She delivers, without fail.
Welcome to the New Age.
The higher power is in us.