I was late in discovering Angeles Arrien. My first introduction was through a class on her book, The Four -Fold Way. It resonated with me immediately and so I went on a library search recently for lessons I had not yet learned from her.
As I delve into her book on The Second Half of Life, Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdom, I know that I will become richer with new insights as I work my way through it. And since I am a visual person, I have decided to do my lessons in writing so that I can re-discover my lessons when I am feeling a bit wonky about life.
She tells the story of the eight gates in the voice of a gnome. I am listing the gates here and then will begin my journey. Of course, this is dangerous. I may look back and comprehend that I have misconstrued some of the intentions. But “rushing in” is part of my personality. I live with it.
Every gate is described and sets forth a task and then a challenge. Next it tells the gift received from going through the gate and then sets forth reflections and help for practicing what is learned. It doesn’t sound easy – but worth it.
The Silver Gate – the beginning of the adventure
The White Picket Gate – a place of changing
The Clay Gate – entering mystery
The Black and White Gate – dealing in relationships
The Rustic Gate – exploring creativity
The Bone Gate – facing honesty and authenticity
The Natural Gate – finding contentment
The Gold Gate – finding your inner light
But I will follow the gnome’s advice. “As you travel from Silver to Gold, remember that after each gate you must reflect and practice, reflect and practice, and reflect and practice some more.”
And here I go…
The Second Half of Life – Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdom, Sounds True, Copyright 2005, ISBN1-59179-252-5