DOUBT, AND DOUBT SOME MORE, UNTIL YOU DOUBT NO MORE
Ever heard the story of the two twins in a mothers womb talking life, purpose and meaning? Pretty bizarre and amazing story that focuses on at least two ways to see the world and everything in it.
The distance between faith and faithlessness, hope and hopelessness is the space in which we find ourselves living today. There is irony, in-congruence and everything from absurd senselessness on a universal scale to metaphysical meaning that can be found in the utterances of a child which we detail in our story of two twins in a spiritual womb. In Our Greatest Gift, Henri Nouwen tells a fable of faith and hope through two twins in a spiritual womb that I think is amazingly profound. The story is about enlightenment and conscious awareness. It is a spiritual story about spirituality and twins in a womb. He supposes that there are 2 twins talking to each other in their mother’s womb, I have chosen to adapt the fable slightly and name the one twin Spirit and the other Self. Here is how the story goes:
Meet the two twins in a spiritual womb
The one twin, whose name was Spirit exclaimed to the other, “I believe there is life after birth.” Self protested vehemently in response to this, “No, no, this is all there is. This is a dark and cosy place, and we have nothing else to do but to cling to the cord that feeds us.”
Yet the twin named Spirit still insisted, “There must be something more, something else, a place with light where there is freedom to move”? After some silence, Spirit continued hesitantly, “I have something else to say, and I’m afraid you won’t believe that, either, but I think there is a mother!”
“What, a mother!” came the shocked reply. I have never seen a mother, and neither have you. Who put that idea in your head? As I told you, this place is all we have. Why do you always want more? This is not such a bad place, after all. We have all we need, so let’s be content.”
Spirit was quite overwhelmed by this, however after a pause exclaimed “Don’t you feel these squeezes every once in a while? They’re quite unpleasant and sometimes even painful.” “Yes,” Self answered. “What’s special about that?”
“Well,” Spirit said, “I think that these squeezes are there to get us ready for another place, much more beautiful than this, where we will see our mother face-to-face. Don’t you think that’s exciting?” Self didn’t answer. He was fed up with the foolish talk and felt that the best thing would be simply to ignore Spirit and hope that she would leave him alone.
- Adapted from Henri Nouwen, Our Greatest Gift: A Meditation on Dying and Caring (Harper: SanFrancisco, 1994), pp. 19-20.
Believe the two twins in a spiritual womb or don’t. Take the gnawing as a gift or a curse. Both have been set before us, isn’t that remarkable. I always reflect on this when I have to chew over strong remarks from adamant non-believers of the Spiritual universe, who vehemently try and convince me, and especially themselves, that there is nothing more than what meets the eye. Life and death were certainly put before us at so many, many turns in life both great and small we almost forget to recognize its guises at times.
All the same, as you see from the words and ideas before you, the doubts are often as necessary as the hopes, the unawareness as profound as the knowledge we gain and the crooked journey often faster to navigate than the paths that are straight. What we do not have to doubt is that life and all it cohorts in the cosmos are so much bigger than we are, so much more complex than any synapse our minds could ever fire off. The spiritual mysteries of the universe are infinite and timeless, two traits no human has enough of to even come close to its potency and reach. Either way you look at it, we are one of these two twins in a spiritual womb; even if we don’t understand it. All of life from science to religious and spiritual development is all about conscious awareness.
So if you are starting to get the metaphor of the two twins in a spiritual womb, and get into the fat of why the hell we are really here, know for starters that there is much still beyond our wildest dreams, yet dreaming is probably the closest thing to limitless that we have on loan in life. As hosts on this planet we are arguably capable yet unaccomplished, evolved yet primitively savage.
The two twins in a spiritual womb shows us this one thing at the very least! If we are entirely honest about our mortal, flimsy and odd state of being as a human. Man is entirely dependent on God. Psalms 8:4 and others lead to this yet if we can let go of our egos for a minute and contemplate with spirit, we will see that every energy and atom from air, food, water and even conscience is from God. It has His light, His life giving properties, that vibrationaly match the light He planted within you. It is for you, from Him, for a purpose.
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