Matter Magnifying Spirit

Reflections from Bone:Dying into Life by Marion Woodman

Copyrighted photo by D. Bridge

“… I was acutely aware of how deceptive fact can be.” (Woodman, 2000, p. 172)

“… One stray sunflower.… It was a golden mandala. Perfect petals surrounding rows of nuts – brown seeds in perfect symmetry symmetry. Matter magnifying spirit.” (Woodman, 2000, p. 172)

“I have lived and therefore I can die.” (Woodman, 2000, p. 172)

My reflection:

“How deceptive fact can be.”  I tend to watch a lot of detective/lawyer shows on television and through these shows often see how a simple fact can, indeed be deceptive.  Or, in perhaps a more nuanced sense, how a fact, while empirically true, does not necessarily hold the truth.  By the same token, stories such as myths may not be factually, empirically true, and yet hold a truth.  

The golden mandala of a sunflower also adheres to the mathematical golden ratio and can be represented by the mathematical equation r = ∓√Θ  or (This just means that, as you move out from the center, you shift around by an amount proportional to the square of the amount you moved out.) Ok .. so that is my geekiness coming through … but for me this is a wonderful expression of how math, science, beauty, matter, spirit are all interrelated and, as Marion says … “Matter magnifying spirit.”

We begin to die the moment we are conceived.  From the moment we spark into life, we are on a trajectory toward death.  I have sat at the bedside of many people as they live those last moments of their embodied spiritual existence.  Over time, I came to the realization that waiting to prepare for death until it is imminent is to wait too long.  We live in a death avoidant society.  Rather than avoid all the “little” deaths that life presents to us, we need to embrace them along the way.  It is in embracing all parts of living, even the small deaths,  that we truly live.  

It has been my experience in sitting with those facing imminent death that those who felt they had lived life well were the most prepared for the final liberating of spirit from body.

Woodman, M. (2000). Bone: Dying into Life. Penguin Books.

*This reflection was first published in a Facebook Group entitled BodySoul Rhythms – Continuing the Legacy of Marion Woodman

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