So yesterday I took my son camping and fishing…and attempted to take him canoeing. We went with his Grandfather who owned the canoe but had only used it twice on a calm reservoir. We ended up camping next to a sizable creek…more on the size of a river by not deeper than my waist in most parts but moving full and steady due to snow melt and plentiful rain fall.
Perhaps against better judgment both my son’s grandfather and I were eager to set the canoe in near the camp sit and ride the creek down all the way down to the reservoir. We could see it well enough from the road and all seemed easy enough to access. I may be fairly skilled in a rubber raft but in a canoe, well, no one was. We ended up not being able to paddle correctly, sticking the nose into the reeds, and spilling over the side into the freezing water…..It had been a while feeling that sort of cold and my son was not happy at all. Everyone had life jackets on and I was able to hold on to my son but several things ended up getting washed down the river and it took a an hour or so to get the canoe back to land…A fun little adventure and “waker up” but all in all nothing too dangerous or that caused anyone any real harm. My son was back to sitting near the river as soon as he got on dry clothes but uhh…didn’t want “to go fishing in the boat anymore”
The more interesting part was talking to my house spirit a day later. He went from commenting on my weekend to going into a lecture about baptism.
-According to my spirit, baptism wasn’t undergone quite the way its done or perceived now a days. He said that during its rise in popularity in the middle east, people and holy men (I assumed he met people like John the Baptist and Jesus himself) didn’t congregate around still pools and eddies along the river but considerable strong current areas. The areas themselves sparked a healthy level of fear in people who did not grow up in a culture where swimming and water sports was a recreational norm…at all. He said that most people then had a general fear of water then in that area and few even knew how to swim let alone cross swift rivers safely. Also becoming “submerged” was more synonymous with drowning and death than it was a test on how long one could hold their breath.
The combination of nearing death and entering into an immediate temperature change as well as sensory surroundings can and does have a particular effect on the human psyche. In the absence of sincere spirituality and devotion it can turn such activities into events for thrill junkies who keep going after a “high”. However under the correct circumstances, such an experience can have a profound affect on the persons will, psyche and life path. Thus baptism back in the day really was an experience of life (death) and rebirth for those daring and faithful enough to brave the “waters of death and rebirth”. The look on some of the faces my spirit showed to me in vision reminded me of my own emotions while going on the “Wild Hunt” and HGA spirit journey I describe in the HGA anthology published by NephilimPress.
I never really focused on “fear” being an element in baptism and a sacrifice of self in order to be reborn in faith. Certainly it would have required great faith to begin with as one by one, you saw people willingly submit themselves to the water and reemerged unscathed. A vision which quite possibly was novel and radical back in the day. my spirit reminded me that these activities were going on when showers and “bathing” was not a very widely practice custom or norm by any meaning of the…concept. I wish that I could recall every word he said and exactly how he said it (I was too busy taking in the lesson rather than writing it down) but the message was clear:
First of all, taking oneself out of the norm and comfort zone in order to seek out the unknown- abandoning safety and the familiar in favor of spiritual connection or enlightenment, is a prominent way of experiencing the divine. This aspect combine with all of the vital and mystical correspondences of water being of the underworld, the astral, the emotion and depth of our existence only compounds a truly mystical experience. Thirdly, the added element of “washing” of purifying body AND mind with the shock of immersion, when undergone with proper intent would truly be a rebirth in no subtle or purely symbolic form. These three aspects aided by a truly heavenly attention and support would yield a veritable and true baptism in every sense of the world. How many of us have actually been baptized in this way?
Were you afraid? Excited? In Awe? Shocked? Or was it just a smooth pleasant and familiar custom which became ingrained in our cultural norm centuries ago? Those of you who know me might guess that I’m after the raw and authentic experience. I strive to know the revelation behind the mystery which is transcendent of repetitious ceremony. I love any opportunity to behold aspects of a mystery which requires exuberant faith, trust, and courage to even approach.
What value without fear, risk, trust and devotion…..What better way to know the expression of love from your heart authentic and unbidden.