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THE HUNCHBACK IN EACH OF US

by

Zane Maser

Pray that you may learn to accept the will of God, knowing that His purposes, although hidden from you at present, are good and wise. Pray that you may learn to accept and do will the will of God. What may seem bitter sorrow to you at first will in due time be revealed as a great opportunity, because through your disappointment [or disability], through your sorrow, the seed of the spiritual harvest will have been sown.
White Eagle

In Victor Hugo's classic novel, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," Quasimodo has a very apparent physical deformity as a hunchback. Our hearts easily go out in compassion to what some would ignorantly label a hideous creature who ought to be hidden from public sight. But how many of us, in one way or another, secretly harbor and suffer from an inward disability that is outwardly invisible? I, for one, have spent more than half of my life, mostly secretly, struggling with a disability that at times has been every bit as crippling and shame-creating as Quasi's hunched back. Mine started not at birth but when I was 20 years old, when "out of the blue," as it is universally described, came my first terrifying panic attack.

In America alone each year, anxiety disorders affect at least 19 million people between the ages of 18 to 54, or 1 out of 7 people, whose lives and happiness become diminished. It is now being called the "No. 1 mental health problem in the United States," according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Imagine how large that number must be worldwide! And a study by the World Health Organization shows that the odds of developing an anxiety disorder have doubled in the past four decades.

In today's hard-driving, achievement-oriented outer world, one's disability, whether physical, mental, or emotional, is seldom seen as that which may perhaps contain the gold of one's uniqueness and gifts. So most of us, left with potential ridicule and rejection and our own shame and guilt, bury the pain of our brokenness in the deep, secreted, darkest places within, what psychoanalyst C. G. Jung called our "shadow." According to White Eagle's wise counsel, "Know yourself as you are; know your failings and your weaknesses, but have courage, for every effort that you put forth is a spark of light." How true it is that often we have to traverse the darkest places in order to find the golden Light. Thus, if thought of creatively rather than negatively, a limitation on one level can be the freedom on another to soar into the heights; to express the fuller, richer qualities of the heart, such as gentleness, kindness, sensitivity, tolerance, and patience.

Often, however, our trials and frustrations will test us to the ends of endurance. And though the valley of darkness seems never-ending as we stumble along, that little beacon of light up ahead is worth every faltering step. White Eagle might describe this as transmuting restriction on the physical plane into becoming conscious of the universal Divine love. He would say, "The real you, the soul which is stirring, awakening, searching, has asked that you may be tested, that all manner of difficulties should fall across your path. Always remember, in the trials that beset you, that your higher consciousness has asked for the light, is seeking initiation." Further, he would encourage us to accept our karma as part of our spiritual unfoldment.

The offsetting grace of any type of disability is to accept that a wise and merciful purpose is being served to strengthen our souls in this particular Saturnian limitation or restriction. As Joan Hodgson wrote, "as soon as the soul strives to rise above resentment at the difficulties of its karma, and to forgive and accept, it begins to feel a heavenly sweetness, the grace of God lightening its lot." When once the lesson is learned, then the soul's freedom and joy is limitless. The harshness of having undergone the discipline of soul crucifixion is softened and sweetened. Heart laughter rings out. Lightness of spirit and boundless energy are available resources and the disabling condition is henceforth experienced only as a golden, Jupiterian gateway into expansion and growth, as well as deep quietness of mind and heart, because any kind of a disability has the two-fold purpose of teaching us patience and acceptance.

Additionally, by recognizing our own fragilities we awaken our hearts to forgiveness and compassion both towards self and others, with mercy and love being the result. By our own example then we can teach others the way of compassion and love—love being "a dynamic force, a creative power, a constructive element." Can't we all hear White Eagle telling us that "Love is the great solvent" of all troubles and problems, for all disturbances and inharmony?

"When your heart is full of love and compassion," as White Eagle affirms, "you are sending out from your own heart centre the light which God has implanted in you as a tiny seed, a seed which is growing all the time." Let us remember that though we each carry our own cross of suffering and soul crucifixion—sometimes visible and often not—may we also remember equally that the circle of God's love surrounds and enfolds us and the fragrant rose of Divine love gently blooms in our hearts. May we each open our whole being in thanksgiving and praise to the glory of the divine Sun for the opportunity of restriction through pain and suffering, in whatever form, for the corresponding balance is the blessing of finding wholeness and unity with our true, eternal Self, with the sisters and brothers who share life's opportunities, and with our Father-Mother God.



©

© Zane Maser 2000.

This article was published in Drumbeat, Journal of the White Eagle Lodge (Canada), Volume 8, No. 3, page 4 (August 2000).

For more information, visit The White Eagle Lodge, Canada

It was also published in Stella Polaris The Journal of the White Eagle Lodge. Volume 50, No. 2, pages 58-60 (2001)

For information about the worldwide work, visit White Eagle Lodge

For information about the White Eagle work in North America, visit White Eagle Lodge

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