BIRTHING NARCISSUS ~ Poetry Series
copyright ronda larue, 1999
A Reader’s Contemplative Commentary and Critical Analysis
As I sit here enveloped by the deep twilight, worshiping Bacchus as the mystical serpentine rhythm of the Bach fugue weaves in and out of my chakras, I cannot thank Ronda enough for making love with her muse and giving birth to her Narcissus! For reading her little gem is like being initiated into the shamanic mysteries of the Soul, where one treads the labyrinthine paths of the psyche while dreaming the great dream of the mundus archetypus (archetypal world), which in turn attenuates the power of the myopic illusion that death is the end of existence for the human entity. Indeed, her poem induces within me a rhythmic clarity which enables me to embrace the sacred and the profane of my inner anima as the original purity that flows from the inscrutable, inaccessible, and unknowable essence of God.
I look into the cool deep pools
The I that is All
The way in which the poetic magic of the initial stanza puts you instantly under its spell and transports you into Ronda’s mystical and sibylline world is remarkable. For me the phrase “cool deep pools” by no means elicits images of a beautiful youth falling in love with his own reflection in a pool, but rather it evokes images of the ego’s world of sangsaric moments, with all its dreamlike dimensions, multiplicity of transient forms, and intimations of future potentialities, while “The I that is All” unveils the infinite Being cloaked in the dark shrouds of the ego’s sangsaric world. This Being-qua-Being, or Pure Being, which is beyond all thoughts and words, is indeed one living cosmic tapestry wherein the infinite in Life is Time in its creative aspect.
Mother to the Great Spinning
Long before time thought to tick
Ah, this instantly brings to mind some sort of primordial gestalt of gynocentric vortices wherein the manifold universe disappears in the raptures of the Infinite! And where past, present, and future merge into one, becoming the breath of the eternal, all-pervading Spirit. Ronda does such a beautiful job capturing the ousia, or essence, of the Pammeter – the Mother of All – as well as conveying in symbolic form the teeming, spiraling mass of archetypal forces constituting the Collective Unconscious.
Whenever I meditate on the phrase “Mother to the Great Spinning,” it never fails to bring forth illusory phantoms and shadows from the innermost recesses of my soul and transmute them into the pure archetype – the authentic image of the god/goddess – which lies hidden within.
Author of the Eternal Spiral,
Swirling upon and around itself
In Endless free-fall
Of Form meeting Form
This is perhaps my favorite verse, for each time I read it, it’s as if my finite consciousness – the “shell” of my being – is dissolving into its own relativity, and the sangsaric reality which the atrophied faculties of the flat, one-dimensional ego have been infused with is being totally altered and allowed to encompass and reflect deeper, ontological realities arising from the Womb of Nothingness. Moreover, it enables me to envision the mysterious paradox of Being as a spiraling together of creation and destruction, life and death, good and evil, male and female within the All-Embracing Tao.
Interestingly enough, the use of “Eternal Spiral” with “Endless free-fall” calls to mind the esoteric connection between the kenotic spiral, or “self-emptying spiral,” of the chakras and Mahayana Buddhism’s Sunyavada (“Doctrine of the Void/Emptiness”), or otherwise known as the Madhyamika, or “middle way.” The kenotic spiral symbolizes the pristine state the chakras reenter once they’re operating in synchronicity and fully immersed in the shunyata (emptiness) experience of non-duality (advaita).
Here I am reminded of the endless metamorphosis of the collective soul of humanity and the magical essence of existence. The 4th stanza encompasses or embraces all of life: birth, death, pleasure, pain, joy, sadness, ecstasy, anger, fear, beauty, ugliness, wealth, poverty, sex, celibacy, etc. For me it conveys the importance of acceptance and non-attachment.
All This that Is,
Servicing Her languid delights
This verse elicits images of the Anima Mundi (world soul) delighting in what Chopra calls the “quantum soup” – the world of energy, with all its fluidity, dynamism, and unbounded creativity. And yet the phrase “Her languid delights” also reminds me that within the quantum soup there exists a metaphysical listlessness or spiritlessness, so to speak, that is full of magic, mystery, and enchantment in the sense that it simultaneously reveals and conceals the perfect balance of the opposites and the stillness of the field of pure potentiality.
She gazes, incessant
Into these portals of hope
Upon reading this verse I imagined in my mind’s eye Ronda gazing into the ocean of her effulgent being and witnessing its pure consciousness shining forth in all its power and majesty from the portals of hope. For some reason I intuitively sense a connection between this verse and a beautiful passage in her book which reads: “The Lover reaching out to be embraced in the arms of the Beloved, formlessness being kissed by form, the void falling in love with time and space.”
Indeed, from the portals of hope arise the unio mystica between the Lover and the Beloved in which shunyatic formlessness and mayavic form embrace and become the Ecstasy of the immeasurable and infinite Spirit.
Delighting in Herself,
Time and Time eternal,
In these liquid spinning orbs
We call I and Other
The final stanza is so full of mystical and ecstatic energy that nothing about it is static. I love the way the symbolism dynamically interacts with the mind of the cosmos and brings forth its infinite gifts. Indeed, the way Ronda’s muse has weaved its chthonic magic makes each of the “liquid spinning orbs” feel as though it is an eternal dance of Living Presence being absorbed by the Eye of Time and the Eye of Eternity – the two eyes of the Pammeter. As a result, the Pammeter’s delight assumes the form of an ingression of concentric mirrors reflecting a myriad of consciousnesses which pulsate rhythmically and spiral together within the Nirvanic Void.
My sister is indeed correct that Ronda’s poetry is a miraculous gift of the Soul. It embodies the ancient alchemy of the innermost Spirit and enables one to experience the epiphany beyond all dualities which is hidden in the silent contemplation of the heart.
Joseph Taitano, D.D.
Birthing Narcissus photo collage and writing. Copyright ronda larue, 1999