Some time ago when I was going through a difficult moment in my life I was fortunate to find myself in New Mexico in the presence of a Jungian analyst who was also a Huichol Shaman.
He asked me if I had heard of the Lindisfarne Gospels. I hadn’t.
“Ah ha!” He cried, shocking me back into my body.
“Here it is!” He opened a book to a picture. It was of a mess of big and small lines of gold and blue and grotesque heads of creatures woven into and around each other with no apparent composition or focus.
“What do you see?” He asked me.
“Chaos,” I said while trying to make sense of what I was seeing and how it was relevant to me being lost and confused in life.
I looked at him for an answer.
He turned the page and showed me another picture. It was a gorgeous illuminated manuscript of a cross.
“Wow, that’s stunning,” I said.
“Isn’t it?” He replied. “The first image of ‘chaos,’ as you called it, is part of this cross. Look closer.”
As I focused in closer, analyzing the details that made up the cross, I began to see the chaos of lines and grotesque creature heads that I had seen in the first image. I looked up surprised and a little embarrassed.
“You see,” he said. “Even though our life doesn’t make sense and seems chaotic in the moment, there is order.
A profound order.
If you focus on how lost you are right now, all you will see is the chaos, but if you step back and trust that the chaos is weaving a picture, the complete picture of your life, then you can get perspective even in the most difficult moments.”
He went on to tell me about myths of the self and how the purpose of life would be defeated if we already knew what the “greater picture” was.
“It is a journey, and the point of the journey is not to have completed your life adequately or in the ‘right way,’ but rather to have participated in life while on your journey.
It is the participation that makes life rich and worth living.”
Since then I have used the image of the Lindisfarne Gospels to help me remember that the chaos in my life has meaning.
I just always have to trust that time will give me insight and the insight will show me the sense and order that was always present in the chaos, even when I didn’t know it.
Author: Samantha Lotti
Samantha Lotti is the founder of Biodynamic Health and creator of Body Compassing. She is a certified and registered Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist (BCST, RCST®), licensed acupuncturist (L.Ac.) and board certified herbalist in Oak Park, Illinois. A personal back injury brought Samantha to biodynamic craniosacral therapy and ignited her interest in a variety of healing modalities.