The movie "Visions" showcases Hildegard as the prototypical Healer who also carries the raw power to operate effectively in this world.
Hildegard was very rare, on several levels.
She had mystical experiences interspersed with events of ordinary life.
That scene of seeing those people from the Church for the darkness behind what they appeared to be. That was her gift of clear perception.
I have had that experience of seeing people’s energy, stripped away from their authority and words. Whether they were deans or deacons, the truth of who they were and what kinds of energies they were channeling became apparent in real perception. In the movie, Hildegard has a clear perception of those judging her trance-like revelations.
Another aspect of Hildegard I found fascinating was her ability to handle worldly matters in a very shrewd way.
Even though she could merge with the inner light, hear the divine within, and channel brilliant poetry, she also was politically astute and skilled in navigating institutions. At various times in history, many mystics with her gifts lived in caves and forests, because their sensitivity was so profound they could not operate in the world. She had a different life purpose. She was called to be very present to the Earth plane notwithstanding her instant connection to other realms.
She also had a job, the tutelage of the other women under her care in the convent. So she had to be grounded, rooted, and able to effortlessly flip between communion with the divine, and attending to finite, focused tasks in this world.
Somehow Hildegard could face down many males who were trying to put limits on her ability to grow. She would bring a fierce power to any situation. Sheer defiance. At least as portrayed in the movie.
She also handled mutiny in the community she had built.
Hildegard did not operate from an office tower. She had the ability to replenish by walking into the forest and reconnecting with herself and with the cosmos in silence. She also lived in a conscious community. Today she would be tele-commuting from a beautiful home in the woods or mountains, within a sacred community, connected to her people. The environment is important to her work.
The other unusual aspect of Hildegard was her interest in science and learning. This put her in the world, where she enjoyed contacting many different kings, poets, musicians, and learned scientists.
There were a lot of references to her being a mother as well as a daughter to various people. She needed those intimate connections to have an emotionally full life. Simply being the great poet channel of God with international fame and a convent to run was not enough. She somehow found a way to be brilliantly in her own separate world, which no one else could access (the closest to her could only be scribes) yet also get her emotional needs met through a few people: Volmar, the monk; her pupil Richardis; and her half-sister Jutta. That gave her the strength and support to be her world self.
Lots to contemplate.
After watching the movie I had many, many dreams. Despite the intent to have a full night’s sleep. In one, I was having a harmonium lesson by some Indian man. He wanted me to hold one note – but the divine channeled a whole song, and I started to play it. The man wanted me just to hold the note. I had to run back to my hotel room to get something, only I couldn’t find the key, or for that matter, the room or the floor.
Part of dream work involves creating the ability to earn sustenance in the world and opportunity while still allowing huge open spaces in which to experience the shamanic parts of my being.
For artistic expression. Hildegard had her writings, but she also played power politics – all in service.
There was something on 60 Minutes last night, right before Hildegard, about Mount Athos – the head monk required 4 different keys to open the vault to Byzantine treasures. That went deep into the unconscious. When you’re attuned, every image can be a message.
Michael H. Cohen is an experienced business law and health care law attorney. He has taught health care law and policy at Harvard University and counseled many different kinds of practitioners and businesses, including:
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