It’s been nearly two years since I was a New Life Citizen in Damanhur. The experience changed my life. As an older person seeking a new vision, I felt a renewed sense of purpose during my three months in the community. I even considered returning there to live. But instead, I moved across the US, recently relocating from a quiet island in the Pacific Northwest to a progressive city in the Southeast. In Damanhur terms, it was a Game of Life move for sure, shaking myself out of complacency in search of change. So far, it’s been both challenging and inspiring. And not without questions.

Sometimes I wish I had returned to Damanhur instead. Might it have been the better choice? I often wonder that. But then I realize that the question isn’t necessarily where to be at this point, but who to be, and how can I best express my own inner divinity within the greater community of our planet. I don’t have to live in Damanhur in order to participate. Damanhur is alive within me. It’s the creative essence of the place, the ideals, and community of individuals sharing a common purpose that I too share.

When I went to Damanhur, I felt drawn to many aspects of it. Threads of interests, some of which I’d had since childhood, came together into a collection of signs and synchronicities. There’s a writing term called the braided lyrical essay, where you take seemingly unconnected topics and weave them into a poetic story. It can be a combination of fact and fantasy which may or may not have a basic conclusion. But on some other level, the metaphors themselves derive the meaning of the journey. The reader’s imagination is free to fill in the rest, which is perhaps the most important element. It involves a kind of knowing and pervasive sense of mystery. Over time the deeper meaning of the story is revealed, not only to the reader, but to the writer as well.

joyful sharing

Damanhur represents my braided lyrical essay. A greater part of my soul still lives there in the synchronic landscape, weaving among the people and acting on the collective vision. This connection keeps me on my path regardless of how rough and aimless it may seem at times. It embodies the narrative of my story in the world.

I have visited Damanhur once since my time as a New Lifer. I hope to return again someday, perhaps even to live. But for now I share the inspiring vision from where I am. The seeds that sprouted in Damanhur can be planted anywhere, in any situation where the threads of my soul braid into a lyrical tale of significance.

Sometimes it takes a bit of temple-digging. And it’s not about finding a buried treasure, it’s about creating it, step by step, chisel by chisel, or like Leonardo Da Vinci when he spoke of liberating an angel from a block of stone. We humans must dig and create our own temples on faith and effort. We are in essence ascending underground and changing the collective soul by illuminating and creating in the depths and folds of former mysteries.

This is the light that lives within me and that I hope to share with others. I add my own metaphorical twists and poetic flares, translating the experience the best I can. People can enter freely into different parts of the story, sensing perhaps a glint of their own divinity there. I am a storyteller for a better world as I perceive it to be. What I have learned from my experiences of Damanhur is that we are entering a Renaissance of creative consciousness and that I am excited to be a part of it.

Ann Marie Molner

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