The Desert and Rebirth

spiritual clarity, spiritual rebirth, spiritual renewal
This spiritual story is part of a series. I recommend reading The Desert and the Pit and The Desert and Death at the very least. All of Ruby's stories can be found on this link along with other allegories.

Spiritual Allegories and Stories

Ruby opened her eyes to a golden light.

"Am I dead?"

Blurry golden light coalesced into a form--the kuldne kull.

"You are hurt," the kull said.

Ruby's mind sluggishly remembered her recent experiences and began to process all that had unfolded. She remember her fall, the revelations, the releases, the climb.

"Yes."

"Do you want help?"

"Yes. Please."

The kull pointed to an array of herbs that it had been laid out on ground. The kull instructed Ruby how to use each one.

"Rock climbing." Ruby smiled weakly.

The kull nodded. "What did you find in there?"

"Suffering." 

Ruby gingerly sat up and breathed as her battered body felt more pain, although she felt slightly better after following the kull's instructions. "I had no idea...no idea how much was down there...how much is down there."

She looked into the kull's eyes. "But we never do, do we?"

The kull didn't respond, but Ruby already had her answer.

They gazed silently into each other's eyes. A palpable energy permeated the moment between the two.

"Please show me the path, Teacher."

The kull nodded. "Follow me."

Ruby shook as she slowly got to her feet. Despite the pain, she was determined to follow.

The ensuing days were hard. Yet somehow, they were also more manageable as Ruby followed the kull. The kull directed her towards water and food. Her teacher also found easier paths, some that seemed hidden to Ruby. She realized she never would have found some of these ways on her own or at least not without years of searching.

Under the care of her teacher, she ate what was recommended and applied whatever salve was suggested.

Her body mended. 

The kull said little during their journey, but what was said was practical.

A few weeks passed. The terrain became greener. A mountain range loomed in the distance. She wondered where she was being led.

Finally, she realized that she'd left the desert entirely. The kull landed on a branch overlooking a crystal clear lake.

"Where are we?"

"The Pool of Clarity."

"The Pool of Clarity? I didn't know that it actually existed."

Ruby looked at herself in the clear, untroubled waters. Dirt and smudges of dried blood were on her face and hands. She needed a bath. She pulled off her clothes and surveyed her body. Bruises were all over her thin body. She looked totally abused.

Ruby stepped slowly into the cool waters. A halo of mud rippled out, growing wider and wider as she sank deeper into the lake. Finally, she submerged herself. She let the waters hold her entire body. Despite the chill, she felt profoundly safe. She emerged for air and washed away the dirt. Somehow, a lot of pain washed away with it as well.

Ruby stepped out of the waters and looked at her reflection again, seeing her whole body for the first time in a long time.

The lines and contours of her body were simple and carried nothing extra. Her long hair hung behind her and her eyes--her eyes were so clear. So intense. She could barely meet her own gaze.

"Who am I?"

"Renais." The kuldne kull replied.

"Renais...." Ruby touched her face, ran her fingers along her body. "How? There is so much left."

"This is the start. But you are not who you were."

"No. I'm not," Ruby agreed. "What do I do now?"

"Heal." Then the kull flew off.

Ruby followed the advice. The weeks that followed, Ruby bathed, applied more of the medicines suggested by the kull, and rested. She processed the events of the desert and the pit. She re-considered what she was even still doing after realizing her longing was primarily a quest to find her lost parents' love and escape herself and the life she'd created.

These revelations were still jarring.

"Why am I still doing this?" Ruby asked out loud.

"Why are you?" the kull asked, having quietly reappeared after some weeks of having disappeared.

Ruby opened and closed her mouth. Frowned. "I don't know." She looked into the kull's eyes for answers, but only saw herself.

"I guess what I really want is love." Ruby expected to feel shameful for this admission, but instead she felt clear. "The scorpion showed this to me. He was right too...there are easier paths...." Ruby paused. "Why are you helping me?"

"I'm called to."

"What is a calling?"

"Something that you do for no reward and which you don't have to do."

"Like this path." Ruby looked deeper into the kull's eyes and her own reflection. "I don't have to do this anymore." Saying that, Ruby felt a weight release from her shoulders. "But I can if I choose it."

She touched her face. Again she felt how new her face and body felt, yet it felt more like her than she'd ever felt before.

"Renais," she said. "What happens now...on this path?"

"It gets harder." Then the kull flew away.

Ruby pondered this in light of the trials of the desert. The pit had nearly killed her. Did she really have the strength to handle more?

Ruby spent days circling the Pool of Clarity as she considered everything. She even considered going back to her hometown, Dormir. She could only imagine the adulation and adoration of some of her former students like Maya. If she told them half of what had transpired, they'd turn her into a prophet, an angel, or even a god!

And what of the others? Most would still ignore her. They'd probably enjoy her journey as a mid-afternoon distraction and then continue on in their lives.

"This path is for no one else but me," she said.

"That is always the case," the kull commented, again having reappeared.

"None of them would understand," Ruby remarked, looking at the kull on a maple tree branch. She looked back as her reflection in the Pool of Clarity. Not a drop rippled. Even though the wind blew, the pool remained undisturbed. Her image stared steadfastly back, decided.

"Renais." Ruby reached to touch the water image, and for a moment it was like the image had a cool wet had to hold her own.

She turned back to the kuldne kull.

"I want to continue. Please show me the path."

The kull nodded and turned its gaze away.

Ruby followed the line of sight to see a snow-capped mountain towering in the distance.

It was Mt. Liebe.


Interpretation of the Spiritual Story

As I said in the beginning, this story benefits from having read Ruby's previous stories. I allude to a number of different characters mentioned in past stories, so I encourage you to go to this link if you didn't and read through to this story.

Spiritual Allegories and Stories

Having successfully worked through two major issues in the pit--the grief over the death of her mother and the death of her father--Ruby is in a state of stillness at the end of the last story. She has died--but she has died an ego death, not a physical death.

Facing Your Ego's Death

As she opens her eyes, she is being reborn, but she is not free of all suffering. She is instead now intensely aware of the reality and depth of her suffering.

The process to rebirth was not a smooth one. Her fall into the pit and her climb out of it are marked by a lot of failure and suffering.

This is like someone who has a major breakup but along with that they get themselves fired from work, anger all their friends, and get in a car accident. All this happens in the descent into their pit before they realize that they are the problem and finally address their issues.

Ruby sees the kuldne kull when she opens her eyes, and as usual, this spiritual teacher is immediately practical. The kull sees the state she is in and offers to help. (As a reminder, any words you don't know are probably words from another language. Kuldne kull means golden hawk in Estonian, and gold is an image I'm using to indicate truth and/or a true teacher.)

When Ruby sees a golden blur it is not just an indication of the kull, but also that she is opening her eyes to the truth.

When she accepts the help that is offered, the kull goes to work, and because Ruby has been humbled, she complies.

There is often a humbling process a student must go through before they'll accept a true teacher. Too often, people think they know what they are doing on the spiritual path. They think they can pick and choose what they do and try to do this path on their own. Sometimes, people can, but at best, this leads to a lot longer time of figuring things out that the teacher can already show them now. This is reflected when Ruby is taken on paths that seemed hidden to her, and she notes that it would have been hard for her to have found them without help if she had found them at all.

Before being led out of the desert, Ruby comes to a moment of choosing. Her eye-gazing with the kull is a kind of communion. She is opening to the openness of the teacher. They've having a very deep conversation without words. Then she asks to be a student. The teacher accepts.

Interestingly enough, she is led out of the desert for reasons that other stories will discuss. One of the more obvious reasons is that Ruby needs time to heal.

Healing is often an integral and beginning part of the spiritual path. One reason is that pain and suffering are powerful motivators to get people on the spiritual path. That means a lot of people already need to heal before anything else can be learned or let go of.

Another reason is that people end up engaged with spiritual tools that they don't really understand. They, like Ruby, get into issues that they're not ready to process in a healthy and safe way. This can create more pain and suffering without healing. Fortunately, Ruby new just enough to let go and heal. Still, much of what the kull is doing is facilitating healing and re-stabilization as well as giving her space to process what she's realized.

What has she realized?

One of the biggest realizations is just how many issues and attachments she has inside of her. That realization is at the heart of her ego death. 

The Ruby who thought she knew what she was doing and what was needed has died. She has been replaced by Renais, although that's not really a name. Renais more or less means reborn in French; it's based off the verb renaƮtre. When the kull says, "Renais," the teacher is describing Ruby's current state, not giving her a spiritual name.

Now that she is reborn, the work really begins. Her old ego would have gotten in the way of what she really needed to see within herself. So this particular rebirth is a time of creating a conscious ego.

Let me be clear: the conscious ego at this stage is meant to be temporary. It's completely different from the spiritual ego who is masking deeper issues with beliefs and practices that they believe to be better.  

Beware the Spiritual Ego

The role of the conscious ego is to fully give the person to the dissolution of the ego. The original "Ruby" ego really was just running away from a lot of grief when she went to the desert; this is another of her key realizations.

At the Pool of Clarity, Ruby has time to reflect on herself. She heals and processes, and she starts to understand that she doesn't have to be on this path at all. 

This is a juxtaposition to where she was in The Journey to the Desert. She had what she thought was a clear spiritual longing for freedom, but now she knows some of the things that she was actually longing for. Because she's resolved some of the pain that fueled her longing, she has lost the longing--or at least some of the intensity of it. So she has to make her decision to continue or go back home from a very new place inside of her.

During this, you'll notice that the kull isn't selling her on spirituality. They have quiet, deep talks that lead Ruby towards her own realizations. The kull shows up at key times of reflection to help support and guide Ruby in a direction to make a conscious decision--a decision based on reality. The honesty of a true teacher is also seen when Ruby asks what happens next. The kull says, "It gets harder."

Finally, she commits, and then she is pointed in a new direction. She is pointed towards Mt. Liebe something that she has wanted to visit and which was mentioned in The Desert and Desire.

Why is the teacher pointing her towards a desire?

How will that help her release it instead of getting lost in it?

This is where we'll leave Ruby's story for now. I hope you've enjoyed this part of her tale, and more will come in the future.

Feeling More Like Yourself Than Ever Before

Comments

  1. Just FYI, the past tense of the verb 'to lead' is 'led', not 'lead'.

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  2. I am enjoying these stories! Thank you for writing them. Curious to see what happens at Mt. Liebe…

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    1. Wonderful! Thanks for letting me know, Lindsey.

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  3. Enjoyed this thoroughly..and now really keen to read what comes next!

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    1. Well, there's a lot here to apply in your own practice before worrying about where this story may now go. Part of what I hoped you and others learned was how to become "teachable." That's a big part of Ruby's story. She has to know what teaching is and looks like and how to ask for and receive it. Unfortunately for most people and Ruby, they have to fall down hard before really being open to help.

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