Beyond Archetypes

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Bringing it all back home

This course has offered visions of the major bodhisattva figures as guides to an awakening spiritual life. The bodhisattvas provide us with models and approaches, but ultimately we must each find our own constructive way of blossoming in the world. As Bob Dylan sings, "Each of us has our own special gift and you know this was meant to be true, and if you don’t underestimate me I won’t underestimate you."

We all are wonderful, unique creatures, with our own combinations of talents, strengths, and insights. Each of us is a particular expression of the universe, a bright jewel in the vast, holographic network of the world. When we see each other as awakening beings in process, we do not underestimate each other and we can find creative ways to meet and support each other.

Finally, we must go beyond the models and examples that inspire us, beyond all the archetypes, and just fully be ourselves. With so much trouble in the world, it is important that we find ways of working together to sustain our intention. The crucial vow of bodhisattva practice is just to continue to awaken and care for all beings. And that is the story, and the beginning of many new stories, begun once upon a time.