Reflections on the Month of the Kickstarter!
The last post I made was in the beginning of the month with the launch of my Kickstarter. Now I’m writing at the end of the campaign, having reached my goal!, and I find myself reflecting on the journey it’s been.
When I began this campaign I was determined to have a regimen of devotional self-care because I anticipated that being heavily focused on time and money for a solid month would be quite a doozy for my mental state. I know from experience and from what Swedenborg has written, that as with the eyes in our head, if we’re looking in one direction, we essentially can’t look in another; when I’m focused on outward, earthly things, it’s very easy for my lower-self concerns to take up a large chunk of the bandwidth in my mind and it’s much more difficult to sense or center my identity in my higher mind, in the part of myself connected to heaven and the Lord’s inflow.
So was it difficult? YES! In order to balance my focus, my plan consisted of a commitment to regular journaling, also to staying in touch with close friends for support, getting enough sleep, and doing morning and evening reading of the Word.
I’m grateful I can now reflect on the month in hindsight because going through it in realtime was INTENSE. Looking back, there were two deep waves of my spiritual state over the course of the month. They each followed a pattern of getting progressively more intense until they reached their greatest pitch and then subsided. One was right near the middle of the campaign and the other was just near the end, before I reached my goal.
Overall, through the course of the whole month, as I anticipated, my self-will was just having a heyday with its outer-self concerns! I am glad there were reprieves when I would feel more connected to a spiritual perspective—small ones in the morning when I would do my morning reading and a couple with a lot of depth and connection after the breaking points of the two waves. The last of which I want to share with you.
At the end of the second wave, the spiritual food I was given was reading Isaiah 6 and being reminded of the image of the seraphim that Isaiah witnesses: with two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew.
I flipped back through my journal to what I discovered was nearly exactly a year ago when I was so impacted by this image that I sketched a version of it for myself on the page. It became like a touchstone for me through the year, so it was timely to have it brought to mind again, a year later, the morning before I reached my Kickstarter goal.
Isaiah 6 begins, “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up…” It’s no coincidence that Isaiah’s vision comes on the heels of King Uzziah’s death. I’m ready to see this vision of the Lord when my own sense of self-importance has been humbled, has surrendered, when I’ve been brought to recognize its powerlessness. In that transition state, it’s easy to feel lost, to feel done with one way of operating yet have no clear idea of what another option is. This is when we are gifted with the seraphim. They offer us a new option, a clear way to live and approach our journey.
What is that new option? Here’s the meaning I draw. My eyes and feet, my whole body, is the form of my self-will. When left to its own devices, my self-will is interested in only one thing: itself, or the triad as Swedenborg puts it of its own “honor, reputation, and gain.” In this state, my eyes only see what they want: to be the best. And my feet only know one direction to go: whatever it takes to get what I want. The eyes and feet together are a coupling of purpose and means. I have learned from repeated experience that functioning under this set of purpose and means is no way to live—it is completely cut off from the true source of peace, and ultimately doesn’t serve anyone, including itself. It lives in a constant state of fear and self-concern.
Thankfully, the Lord’s created us in such a way that our identity is not fixed, even within our own minds. The “I” that identifies solely with the concerns of my self-will is just one option. The seraphim offer another.
With wings to cover my face, I can be “blind” to my self-will—not have it call the shots of where to go, but instead have a desire to serve the Lord and do the Lord’s will be what’s at the helm. With wings to cover my feet, my marching orders become simply to do the next right thing. And with wings to fly, I trust in the Lord’s providence, knowing the outcome is in the Lord’s hands, “praying only for a knowledge of God’s will and the power to carry that out.”
The vision of the seraphim is a beautiful image to overlay on my experience of this last month. I can see myself with these three sets of wings, in approaching my album, in having the idea to run a Kickstarter, in doing the preparation and planning, in finally launching it, and living through each day not knowing what the outcome would be. I have eyes, and feet, but I also have wings that can cover them, and wings with which I can fly. Their covering gives me relief from the mind chatter of my self-will. They are an antidote to lostness. They give a new direction to take. Then, like Isaiah, I know and understand my state and the options I have, and am able to say, with wings in position, “HERE I am! Send me!” Knowing the Lord will lead me where I’m meant to go.