Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Our Life Story: A Book Of Scars by Miguel Marques

Our Life Story: A Book Of Scars

by Miguel Marques

Something happens and we break. We hurt. But life has a hack of moving on. And, one way or another, we start the long and painful process called healing. With luck, we will heal in such a way that no one can pinpoint the experience we just had. Normally, we will have something to remind us of the experience we just went through. A memory. A story. A scar. We call that learning. And we just move on, but this scar continues to be there. 
Life goes on and other experiences will get imprinted. Little by little, the adjustments made to our way of being, to ourselves will take its tool. Slowly, our bodies, our minds and even our personality will start to show the effects of all this learning. The scars to our initial condition will multiply and become more visible. And we start to wonder: “Did we heal properly or could we have done a better job?”

Alchemy of the Soul from the Esoteric Art Collection
A long time ago, I used to defend the possibility of no-memory. The possibility of experiencing everything for the first time, without any of its consequences ending up imprinted in our minds. Imagine a world where every chocolate ice cream you would eat would feel just like the first. Where there wouldn’t exist any bad memories and we could always look at anything with that sense of marvel possessed by the innocent. Of course we might also relive the same bad experiences over and over again, unnecessarily hurting ourselves. However, I didn’t see that as a disadvantage. You see, I had a photographic memory and as such, I would, naively, entertain the possibility of no-memory. This went on for such a long time, that my memory started to deteriorate, something I came to welcome, as I no longer had to remember every single detail of my life.

In time, I came to value experience. And stories. And how those things shaped our lives, for better or worse. Through my own wishes and expectations, I came to understand the power and the use of memory. Again, time passed and I wished for my memory to return again. Slowly, very very slowly, it started to return. Nowadays, I still don’t have the memory I had before, even though it has improved greatly.

This experience, along with some others of the same kind, led me to the conclusion that our bodies/minds/souls can adapt to any type of conditioning we impose on them. And, if the need arises, can also revert to a previous condition.

This came as a surprise as I tend to dismiss the concept of regeneration. Mainly because I seem to see regeneration as a recreation of the original conditions, where adaptability or learning find no place whatsoever. When dealing with these experiences, I would prefer words like “healing”, or “adaptation”. Maybe “evolution”, “transformation” or “change”. I would take the view that every single part of us changes constantly all the time, even when we don’t realize it.

I started to see our lives as stories. Living, mutable stories. Stories which we would write until our last day, with every line influencing everything that came before and that would come next. And I came to understand the power of scars. Of those marks we get from learning to navigate through life. And to value those scars for reminding us of what we had to learn.

Of course some of the events we end up experiencing hurt us in some way. The scars they leave hurt for a very long time, when not forever. But even those, or specially those, have their use. They might probably turn out to be the most important ones, as they allow us the chance to grow, to push our boundaries and when things are long past and dust and forgotten, to remind us of where we came from and of how much we are capable of when we set our minds to it.

Tlazolteotl, an aztec goddess also known as “The Eater of Filth”, rules over midwifes, sin, sex and witchcraft. But she was also known as the goddess of purification and a goddess of childbirth. People devoted to her would most likely become great magicians. Or maybe prostitutes. Their lives would feel like hell, always tossed around like a piece of garbage. However, this exposure to the worst humanity had to offer would make them grow up strong and free from corruption. Just like their patroness, they would lead their lives taking all that’s rotten and dirty and turn it into the purest gold. As living alchemical crucibles.

Naturally, we don’t have to work with such a goddess. In fact, very few people actually can work with her energy. But even so, we can use her example and try to make the most of everything we have lived. To take it and transform it as something useful. Our life story, our very own book of scars, can then be seen as the most complete magickal grimoire we will ever put our hands into. A tale of complete transformation, shaped in blood, pain, happiness and wonder, which describes our personal alchemical operation and where every detail is inscribed in ourselves.

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