Greetings from the Land of Enchantment: The Honey and the Honeycomb

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Honey and the Honeycomb

In the metaphor that is life and spiritual practice, my teacher often describes the formless and the form as honey and honeycomb. The honeycomb (form) can be either empty and dry or full and sweet--it is the honey (the formless) that is the essence, that provides the meaning.

So, too, people can either attach their lives to the honey or the honeycomb. If they attach to the honey, then wherever they go, they bring their own purpose, meaning, and intention to that place and serve that present moment. They are their own home in the world and they bring a sweetness and a lightness to everything they touch. The formless is free to create form, spontaneously, wherever it finds itself.

If however, they attach to the honeycomb, the form, then their relationship to the honey is not stable; they are insecure, shakey--in fact, if they derive their stability from the honeycomb, which is just an illusion (because remember, honey isn't necessarily present in the honeycomb), then they often find themselves in a dry comb, or a catacomb, and every once in a while, through a moment of grace, a place clothed in honey. But because they are relating to the honeycomb and not the honey, they drown. They panic in the presence of the formless. They are so identified with and attached to places and people and things that no longer feed them, they have so lost themselves to a form that doesn't give them what they want, and yet still they can't let go. It's the essence of addiction.

So, in this metaphor, am I lost in the honeycomb or finally becoming the honey? I have spent years attaching to empty honeycombs: dry, empty shapes and forms of things I believed I wanted--all the while thinking that if I believed enough, hoped enough, loved enough, the empty comb would suddenly be filled with honey. While at the same time, I have always known that I am the honey--at home anywhere in the world--because I identify not with a particular form but with the formless, my essence, my identity as sweetness and light--honey--food of the gods.

May the formless
take shape in you
and may you
be you

honey, dense and sweet,
spun into dreams and
of mysterious and
myriad forms

love and light
mutual delight


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