When I looked at it, it struck me that this image captures the nature of our human existence very fittingly. When we come into life we’re pure light, untainted, and when we leave we merge back into this purity. But as we’re living, our life circumstances bleed into us, becoming part of who we are. We are conditioned in so many ways, by our families, the culture around us, the collective human psyche. Trauma and pain cause defensive patterns that become part of our psyche. Our light gets obscured, our shape distorted.
The spiritual search leads us back to where we come from, the purity of our original nature. The question is: how do we understand and live the darker forces, the mess that human life tends to be and create? Knowing that we are indeed goldfinches, how do we respond? By rejecting and trying to escape everything that is not light-filled? By claiming that’s not really us? Or are we open to finding out what this human mess is all about? Are we willing to experience it for what it is, fully, completely, without any disclaimer? What gold could be found in that?
Maybe one of the contributions of Western spiritual teachings is about how to find gold in the distortions and contractions, the pain and discomfort, in the very messiness that we’re usually trying to escape. When spaciousness meets contraction, when light meets darkness, love and compassion arise. In this true meeting, nothing is excluded, all is received as it is. Distortion, purity, light, darkness, even these dualities melt in the loving embrace of Being. We are the goldfinches we are, golden, bled into, distorted. We come in all kinds of shapes, goldfinches no less.