The Gaps Between Epiphanies and Manifestation

dsc00846Christine over at Abbey of the Arts is holding one of her poetry parties this week, and the theme? Epiphanies. In her invitation to readers to share their work and favorite quotations, Christine offers this in way of a definition:

Epiphany essentially means a sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something. It is those moments when in a flash we have insight into something we did not see before.

“Manifestation.” This word comes up in many sources describing the significance of today: the traditional Feast of the Epiphany. The twelfth day of Christmas. Little Christmas. Three Kings Day. The night when the Magi follow the star and offer their gifts to the infant in the savior. The day that the news of Christ’s birth comes to the Gentiles. In fact, manifestation and epiphany are presented to be virtually synonymous.

Funny how dictionary definitions and sacred meanings of terms tend to develop different connotations when they end up in daily use.

When the title of this blog came to me, “epiphany” certainly had no religious meaning. Like Christine above, I think of epiphanies as those little lightning bolts that allow what was once obscure into come into phenomenal focus.

And we use “manifest” all the time when we are talking about shaping our dreams into reality. (Christine Kane is a big advocate.)

Even as Miriam-Webster links these two words, in my world, there often is a great divide between the epiphanies I have and the actual manifestations of these stunning revelations.

Like I said, epiphanies often come as lightning bolts – brilliant to behold, but gone as soon as you can blink. You only know they ever cut across the stormy sky if there is a split tree or a growing fire at the point of connection with the earth. Electric moments of searing realization cut across the landscape, but so few strike a likely target. Brilliant epiphanies tear across the mindscape, and yet so few find an opening to truly manifest.

How many great insights have seemed to dawn like a never setting sun and suddenly vanished when “real life” stormed in? Are such moments really epiphanies at all or just sweet “ah-ha!” moments to temporarily savor but soon forget?

img_0749Obviously the birth of Christ was a true epiphany. Look where we are 2,000 years later – Christianity has manifested like no other faith. There’s no need to have epiphanies to the scale that you are founding you own faith tradition, but what can you do to make you own epiphanies take flesh more effectively?

When you can open your eyes with true awareness, it becomes the clear the messages are flying at you even faster than you can read them. Epiphanies are aching to find you with every step. How can you create the openings in your life so that those flashes of insight become a lived reality?

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2 thoughts on “The Gaps Between Epiphanies and Manifestation

  1. Lisa January 7, 2009 / 10:33 am

    Getting out in nature – by myself – helps to open the space for epiphanies to appear. It’s when I get out of my head and soak in the world around me – often just feeling the rhythm of my feet on the ground and the air of my breath – that they come.

    Last week, on a cold but bright sunny day, as I walked through a local cemetery, I had two profound truths come to mind.

    1. No one is immune. (Truth be told, anything could happen to any one of us at any time. We may think “oh, that will never happen to me!” or “I would NEVER do THAT!” – but no one is immune to anything. This, therefore, releases all judgment.)

    2. We all end up dead. (It happened to be a Jewish cemetery through which I was walking – and I am not Jewish. As I studied the graves I realized I probably had more in common with each person there than those things that may have separated us because of our religious heritage. And some day, just like each one of them, I will end up in a grave and my family and friends will mourn, just like theirs.)

    Thank you for this post – and for encouraging us to seek/manifest more of these moments in our lives.

  2. Sherry January 3, 2011 / 7:43 pm

    This is beautiful!

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