The following is taken from a review of The Unruly Mystic, by my longtime friend, Nicole Barchilon Frank, who was about to embark on her own 10 month spiritual sabbatical in Ireland when I saw her in Boulder, Colorado.
A few days ago I watched my friend Michael Conti’s film, The Unruly Mystic. The film is about his spiritual journey and his exploration of the life of Saint Hildegard of Bingen. I first learned about Hildegard from my botanist friend Jolie Egert Elan of Go Wild Consulting. Jolie is definitely an unruly herbal mystic. I guess I am one also, unruly in all kinds of directions.
It turns out Michael, Jolie and I, we’re in good company.
In today’s era, heeding the call of the Divine, is still thought of as crazy or radical. It’s never really a safe thing to pay attention to the other side, to the call of the wild, the earth, the angels, the Holy (however you conceive of that or connect to it). Once you listen, really listen, there are oceans full of energy, voices, and information. It can actually make you a little “nuts.” Not paying attention though, is truly dangerous. With our world full of mess, suffering, climate change and violence, the only way through into what Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche calls Enlightened Society, is to wake up and listen and start making a connection with the basic essential goodness of who we are. Once we do that we can move towards repair and mending and healing of the world around us. We can embody Tikkun Olam.
So, being called unruly, makes sense, once you are able to hear the call of the Wild and Powerful Divine within, then you have to figure out how to translate that. If your message is true, it will survive naysayers, wars, eons, folks who cannot relate and it will come into the greater world. Hildegard of Bingen was hearing voices, healing, and channeling what she experienced in the Middle Ages.