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Emergence from the Void


The next phase of the Cosmogonic Cycle is called "Emergence from the Void".  This is the phase of the Hero's Journey that represents the cycle of rebirth that happens in our lives.  For the hero, there is an emergence from the depths to a new way of being, but for each of us, we relive this birth over and over as we are made new and mature through life.  

I was watching the finale of The Mandalorian Season 2 last night.  If you want to watch the show and you have not gotten that far, stop reading now, "there be spoilers ahead"!  Generally, I assume that you have had enough time to catch up though.  At the very end, Luke shows up to take and train the child Grogu.  In the timeline of the movies this is after the Original Trilogy, but before the newest trilogy with Rey.  At this point, Luke has completed his journey, defeated the emperor, and he has emerged as something entirely new.  The winey teenager from the first movie is gone, for that matter, even the confident but reckless Jedi Knight is gone.  In his place is a battle-hardened but calm and centered Jedi Master.  He has not only left behind his youth, but he left behind the recklessness of the hero.  He is centered and calm because he has the wisdom of age and experience.  Luke cuts through an entire platoon of the dark soldiers.  A single dark soldier droid had nearly proved deadly to the Mandalorian, the hero of this series.  Luke didn't even break a sweat as cut through one after another.  He did not seem to struggle at all.  This is Luke portrayed as his best self in all of the Star Wars material.  This is Luke after emerging from the Void.

Jesus' emergence from the void was the resurrection.  We are told that he was almost unrecognizable, as even his closest friends had trouble recognizing him.   There was something in his voice and the way that he spoke that gave him away though.  After traveling with and teaching some of the disciples he broke bread with them and they realized who he was.  As soon as they realized it, he disappeared.  Listen to what they said as they reflected on that encounter:

"When he was at the table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.  They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”  And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together,  saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”  Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread. - Luke 24: 30-35

That's the thing about emerging from the void.  You come out forever changed.  Your friends and family may have trouble reconciling the new you, with their memories of who you used to be. But, when you speak your hard-earned truths, the hearts of your listeners will burn to experience something so real and raw.  This sort of emergence is what is represented in our baptism, as we go under, deep into the void, and return as a new creation.  In truth though, it rarely happens at our baptism, and far more often happens as we go through the life changes found during the second half of life.  Richard Rohr wrote a book exploring these changes.  If you find yourself going through such a transition, I would strongly recommend "Falling Upward" by Richard Rohr.  

God, help us to emerge from the void with the full wisdom we have gained in that place.  Help us to not set aside our hard-earned truths for the sake of fitting back in.  Help us to find community that accepts us as fully integrated beings.  Amen.


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