Fireflies, even

 

fireflies

Fireflies, a musical accompaniment for this blog, was written by Adam R. Young, and performed beautifully by Owl City.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psuRGfAaju4

I have dithered about whether I should publish this blog or not, but after ‘collecting’ the above performance from YouTube, and first seeing that it had nearly 340,000,000 views which is a wow number, I then noticed that it was put online on 15 December 2009. I am a sucker for time collisions especially those that score a ten!

On 13 December 2019, I posted a photo of a sunset on WhatsApp. That sunset, as I walked out of our backdoor, instantly took my breath away and filled me with a foreboding sense that the world was on fire. The next morning a year-old memory revealed that I had posted an identical experience on FB on the same day last year, 13 December 2018. Little did I know last year of what lay ahead for me personally. My beautiful, kind, endlessly intriguing Mad Hatter of a brother, who self-identified with what was truthful in the world, and for whom Jesus and Shiva shone brightly, going through his own existential psychotic crisis that appeared to be based in how he was going to take best care of himself into his future, amongst other personal deep routed battles. He will never be forgotten.

Synchronicity has been a friend to me throughout my life, and while all I say and write is born of my own mind, I also fully accept that I may get things wrong sometimes, but not intentionally.

In my view, we, all people living today, are in the midst of a societal existential crisis between good and evil. Whatever you call the struggle I don’t think one can deny it exists. This feels clear to me. We have ‘killed God’ and Nietzsche’s words ring in my ears. Without our gods, our souls have starved from a lack of true Love. And without love, all ethics and morality become bendable and expendable—we do not fear the ultimate recrimination from a higher source.

I cannot believe that Boris Johnson, Gove, Reese-Mogg and their acolytes can change the spots they were born with because, for some reason, they are not able to see beyond themselves—the mental condition we refer to as Narcissism comes to mind, again. In my view, they are representative of a group of sinister people gaining traction and power throughout our world. The connection to their souls has been lost, revealed by the regular smirks they struggle to keep hidden when speaking of what they do know not to be true, in order to get the support they need to swing the result in their direction. Where I hope we find ourselves is on the cusp of the ‘grand reveal’, and the alignments and support given to the Republican Party in the US and the Conservative Party in the UK couldn’t be lit brighter. But I think things will get worse before they get better. What we see now reveals our slippage down a muddy slope as we edge closer to the evils as delivered to us by great literature like George Orwell’s 1984 (the dangers that come from all extremism), and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (how evil can be hidden within a political movement disguised in the clothes of piety and morality and then sold to the people a something they should fight for). The Cabal of Evil sits centre stage in much of the world of politics today.  Will the much-talked-about awakening of our souls happen in time to save us all from terrible atrocities, and a devastated landscape as the lights go out on our planet? I can hear it said that why would people who also have families put us and the planet in harm’s way. This is because the members of the cabal, having lost connection with their hearts, and therefore devoid of compassion, cannot see the logical outcome of their plan as they continue to reap the benefits in the here and now. But as our Prime Minister’s family move away from him, it is equally likely that his children may not see eye-to-eye with him either. There will always be hope.

But it is hard to hold onto that hope when I fear dangers where others see only conspiracy theories. Evil is already reaching down deep into our society—governments who want to over-regulate the way we live our lives, who also want to regulate/control our World Wide Web, Black Ops, private armies, ‘pharmas’, weapon industries, chemical weapons, mass vaccinations, and who don’t care that thousands are dying from war and starvation, the depletion of our planet’s mineral reserves, the trashing of our oceans, massive extinctions of plants and animals, and finally, one of the most scary future landscapes, the rapid development of ‘machines of war’ (AI—I can’t help noting also that I watched the original Matrix again a few nights ago.). What use does the power machine have for the masses in the coming decades? They don’t need them to slave away for their benefit anymore. The fact that the great danger facing the world today is over population leads me to wonder why it is not being discussed by the media. I can remember how high this debate was on the world’s agenda in the 70’s. Then the global population was 3.68 billion, and today it has virtually doubled. Their predictions must have been surpassed. Now there is silence. And so too is there a silence regarding the 50% drop in male sperm and motility counts in the West over the last 60 years, and there is not a consensus from the world’s best scientists on why this is.

I am a proud to be a conspiracy theorist, but I am also discerning. Conspiracies can be good or bad according to available supporting data. No-one can deny that they dwell within the same rules that govern all else on this planet. Nothing functions outside of our world’s and our own dual natures. If we don’t challenge ourselves, our knowledge petrifies, and we die without progressing to become better versions of humankind. A trashed incarnation. To open our hearts and dig around in our psyches is the very least that the great and wise universe asks of us simple souls. I hope to be around for the emergence of The Alliance for Good.

Evil, like any earthly system, requires that people give their permission to those seeking to take control of power—something that has been understand forever on a religious and philosophical level. We saw this at work in the US where Trump was able to swing the vote against the Democrats by gaining the support of the poorest in the nation, the ‘Blue-collar workers’, normally referred to as the ‘working class’ in the UK. In many countries around the world the poorest communities believe that the Far Right and Nationalism, having almost given up on socialism, will give them a fair share of their country’s wealth and safeguard the workers’ rights, and there are always people ready and waiting to claim any ground to meet their addictions to power. Extremism has never worked out well for the people, whether you look left or right. Honestly, I will say that there is a lack of vision—that is, no depth contemplation, a form of naivety—on both sides of the divide, even though there are always many still-beating good hearts on all sides—but they rarely crave power in the same destructive way. The question begs to be heard—are ‘isms’ ever the answer? I can’t help feeling that we tribes need to give up all allegiances and concentrate on being better human beings. This way perhaps we could keep away from the seats of power begging to be filled. Perhaps then only will human beings have something longer than a few days’ lifecycle, like the 4th stage of the Firefly, on this 4.5 billion-year-old planet called Earth.

Brother Greg, a reluctant shaman, whose reticence taught me so much.

carlotheman_flower_of_life_symbol_clip_art_16823

 

It is a long time since my last blog, and a lot has changed in a summer overtaken by unforeseen circumstances, and it is only after almost a year of lurching around that I feel the onset of space and time to think and write. I enjoy my moments of researching and writing for my blog space. I can dig a bit deeper and write a little braver than I would for a social space like FB.

As an explanation of the unusual choice of the word lurching I offer the following:  Earlier this year, I had another visit of my occasional mental carousel as I move from sleep through semi-lucidity to being fully awake, that uttered continuously, ‘things are going to lurch around for a while’. It will go away as soon as I take conscious note of it. I reported this as I always do to Peter and noted it in my journal. As I said to Peter, ‘lurch’ is not a word that I choose to use in normal daily conversation, and therefore it encouraged me to take its appearance seriously. This is very much how I work with myself these days. There needs to be the effect of the dual for me to take special note from an experience.

I have pondered and questioned a few other ideas that have come to me lately. And this one carries a recurring theme focus.  Occasionally I have been tempted to express my visions of the afterlife but when I do words fail me or it comes out garbled and sounds delusional—not a good look! I have noted over the years that when this happens on occasions it is because I am trying to speak of something that I should not attempt to voice. I am also learning that I should stay away from imaginings and drawing conclusions on matters that are outside of this my earthly life. This diverts my attention away from gaining the full impact of learning in this our 3D experience of life. Yet again I have learnt a lot from someone I loved purely and deeply, and the main theme of what I have learnt is the silent and unforgiving power of consequences in all our lives as we have exercised the limited free will that we have been given.

My hero, Leonard Cohen, taught me a lot about the importance of being rather than telling—a perfect message but not an easy one to follow. While his reticence to declare his thoughts on his personal spiritual beliefs frustrated me, I do understand that he realised a long time ago that to demystify his personal ‘logos’ would be to deny others the opportunity of embarking on a true self-driven journey of discovery around the Word and the Path.  In a similar way, if an artist explains a piece of work, as they are so often asked to do, the magic has gone from it—nothing to imagine and question because the story has been told. While I longed for some of LC’s ‘fruits of the loom’ knowledge that he had gained over his lifetime, and I would have given almost anything to have a conversation with him, I do realise he is, and was, right.  I can now find the information pertinent to my place of being, and to my questions, in the great body of work of work he has left us, and it all remains beautifully alive even though he has left our plane.

And getting back to consequences, I had a clear vision the other day which has lingered in my mind. It was that I was floating above a ‘map’ looking down at the path my life has taken. Rather than life being all down to fate that is imbedded randomly at birth, I understood that I was negotiating it for myself. But there is an element of Fate involved because the map had every option available to me already marked up, and it was just my choice as to which one I went for. I think of the Flower of Life as being that map, and the points of intersection are the decisions I make that affect the next trajectory. Deciding what is for supper doesn’t figure as Free Will. But in choosing an outcome to a major decision there are consequences that are pre-set until I find myself at a place where the next ethical or moral decision will come up, as displayed by the intersecting lines. At this point I have the opportunity to learn from recent consequences to either move back in the direction of the source of light, or not to learn from them, and continue my journey away from the light again. The further I end up taking myself away from the light predisposes me to having to always travel a tough journey back in order to less choppy waters of discomfort, discontent and ill will. Continuing to make choices that lead me away from the light puts me in danger of losing my soul altogether.

With regard to my newly discovered map that suits me for now, I note that on leaving the ‘source’ at its centre at birth, we have six directions that continue our trajectory away from source and four that keep us circling it while two deliver us back to source—a lot to think about, and then we are into the realm of multiples. I shall have to look deeper into the meaning of twelve! I have a suspicion though that I shall need to make the circle boundary into darkness a little larger, or I may find I have fallen off the edge of my own map!

The Fruit of the Rose

rose and pond

He who laughs last laughs loudest.  It is either not a particularly compassionate saying, or it concerns the gawky one who needs extra time to get the joke.  The proverb originated in Tudor England, but for once, not from Shakespeare’s quill.  Apparently it comes from a play first performed in 1608 and goes like this:  Laugh on laugh on my freind. Hee laugheth best that laugheth to the end.  While sometimes there may be some justice in having the last laugh, there usually is more than a whiff of schadenfreude about it too—taking rather too much pleasure from another’s pain. The English word is ‘to gloat’, but it doesn’t quite reach the poetic heights of schadenfreude.

So I will not be rushing to have the last laugh myself, aware that arrogance is one of the worst sins in the world. Along with ignorance, almost all bad behaviour falls into line behind it.   But that would not be the only reason.  The fact that not one of us can be sufficiently sure of what we believe no matter how many out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences, or direct contact with spirit entities we have had, there will always be doubt.  We may feel that we have received enough knowledge that alters our internal system of verification from faith to knowledge, but in the end it remains subjective and therefore  it can only qualify as personal Truths.  Naturally the same would apply to the belief in atheism for the same reason.  When one understands this fully one can equally call into question facts—they rarely stand up outside of our memories, excluding naturally that the sun, whether we can see it or not, rises each day, and once a month we get a full moon, and the such like.  All of us appreciate the ability of the brain to create hallucinations and false memories, mostly due to chemical inducements, whether natural or as added stimulants. Many of us have experienced those who appear to have left reality, not aware of who they are, perhaps because of dementia destroying their brain, or talking to spirits and ghosts, fearful of unseen dangers, or those who just enjoyed a temporary refrain from reality like the time I experienced a LSD trip where Gulliver’s ‘little people’ were getting on with their lives around me, oblivious of my presence.  It is the inability of my being able to say with 100% certainty that what I see, and what I believe I know, is The Truth, and that doesn’t exclude what I remember.  It is this that keeps me humble.  And yes, I know that it is easier to say this than to live in humility and gratitude, and the brain is not very good at showing us the way.  I have been practicing taking myself into my heart lately, and trying on these big ideas and theories, but still it is a work in progress although already there have been some interesting results.

But…well…hell…oh shit…just the one time!!  No, seriously, the following has constituted an epiphany for me, but what I love about this particular one is that it would have been massive if it had come to me all at once.  It has been more of a slow pot roast—a growing realisation as the different ingredients revealed themselves to me.   I am almost afraid to carry on writing.  I want so badly to do this thinking justice.  And I do hope that all my ramblings come together in the end.

As of about a couple of months ago, not long before my blog on lemons, I started paying more attention to what had really been a glib comment from me to begin with.  I was in awe of the fact that the whole universe, our greater world, our planet, and our small individual lives, are strewn with clues. Everything I see as a dot I now think of as a clue—a clue on the map that I would call the Ultimate Treasure Map.  And so I have moved on from the plan of my life to the plan of life of which I am a part.

A clue that has been jumping up and down saying, ‘look my way, look my way’, is revealed to us particularly in physics from Einstein and his contemporaries onwards.  I think the first half of the 20th Century could be seen as a second Renaissance in the West.  People like Freud, Jung, Tesla, Nietschze (just made it onto the list), Einstein and Wolfgang Pauli, the modern artists including Picasso, Marcel Duchamp and Frida Kahlo, great writers including John Steinbeck and Lawrence Durrell, musicians including Mahler and Ella Fitzgerald, politicians like Jan Smuts, Georges Clemenceau and Theodore Roosevelt, and so the list of film makers, actors, the suffragettes, nursing pioneers and inventors goes on and on, and I am sorry for any sub-group I may have missed.

I know the following is a long quote from Albert Einstein, but it is highly relevant to this piece:

“Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind, and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world.  In our endeavour to understand reality we are somewhat like a man trying to understand the mechanism of a closed watch.  He sees the face and the moving hands, even hears its ticking, but he has no way of opening the case.  If he is ingenious he may form some picture of a mechanism which could be responsible for all the things he observes, but he may never be quite sure his picture is the only one which could explain his observations.  He will never be able to compare his picture with the real mechanism and he cannot even imagine the possibility or the meaning of such a comparison.  But he certainly believes that, as his knowledge increases, his picture of reality will become simpler and simpler and will explain a wider and wider range of his sensuous impressions.  He may also believe in the existence of the ideal limit of knowledge and that it is approached by the human mind.  He may call this ideal limit the objective truth.”

Albert Einstein and Leopold Infeld, The Evolution of Physics, 1938.

I am not sure when scientific experiments switched from proving the existence of something because the ‘something’ has now been directly observed, to proving something exists because the wake it leaves proves the theory.  Phew, I think I shall have to find a better way of saying that, although I believe that Einstein foresaw exactly this problem in the above quote.  I particularly love the role played in his analogy of being able to hear the ticking of Time!  This could stand as a clue for me.

A case in point is contained in this quote from Nassim Haramein:

“Neutrinos are sub-atomic particles that carry no charge and are so tiny that, when traveling through space, can pass right through the Earth undetected and not interact at all with the atoms that make up the Earth!  Neutrinos are so hard to detect at all that scientists have had to build elaborate devices to try and find direct evidence of them at all.”

A brief explanation of the discovery, a Nobel Prize winning journey for two scientists, can be read on this site:

https://io9.gizmodo.com/how-did-scientists-discover-the-neutrino-when-it-has-no-1725369059

But what is most interesting is that a neutrino itself will probably never be directly observed.  Their existence was proved by the confirmation of a mathematical equation that told scientists they should give off light five milliseconds apart, and this is how their existence was proved.  And again this keeps the physicists humble because it relies on faith.  While physics on the large scale, the Cosmos, and on the sub-atomic scale are not fully synchronised yet, although Haramein may disagree, they both seem to play out along similar lines.  We have learnt to accept that clues can form proof of existence of a world that we find hard to pin down.  But there also seems to be a feeling that the deeper and further we go, the more the road opens up before us.  But on another level, the answers that we are starting to form are getting simpler.  I think it should be getting clear by now that I am using physics as an analogy for faith knowledge.

In a recent Ted Talk where the astrophysicist, Prof. Sheperd Doeleman, talked of the recently received image of a black hole, I am reminded of Einstein’s analogy of the closed watch.  Here I mention something that really took my understanding of the universe to a new level.  Our understanding of gravity has moved on a lot since my days studying physics at school.  The sun’s mass is great, and impacts or curves the web/grid that is spacetime, and this then causes our planet to ‘fall’ into the curve that keeps us directed to a revolving path around the sun.  I know that there are still almost as many ‘unknowns’ with regard to gravity as ‘knowns’, but it is a start.

On this point I need to refer back to Indra’s Web/Net/Jewels or Pearls.  It was first noted in the Avatamsaka Sutra in the third century, and later is again described in the Huayan school of Chinese Buddhism:

Far away in the heavenly abode of the great god Indra, there is a wonderful net which has been hung by some cunning artificer in such a manner that it stretches out infinitely in all directions. In accordance with the extravagant tastes of deities, the artificer has hung a single glittering jewel in each ‘eye’ of the net, and since the net itself is infinite in dimension, the jewels are infinite in number. There hang the jewels, glittering like stars in the first magnitude, a wonderful sight to behold. If we now arbitrarily select one of these jewels for inspection and look closely at it, we will discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number. Not only that, but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewel is also reflecting all the other jewels, so that there is an infinite reflecting process occurring.

Why I brought up this wondrous event of being able to view an image for the first time of a black hole in the greater universe is also because Prof Doeleman makes the comment that ‘the universe was trying to tell us all along what to do’.  It was because of how the mathematics, translated to the chosen object, kept on working out in their favour—clues and more clues.  He also goes on to say, “Black holes are the great mystery of our age.  That is where the quantum world and the gravitational world come together.  What’s inside is the singularity.” The singularity concept strikes me as the great holy grail of physics, and makes for some really interesting theories.  He later goes on to say, “That is because gravity is finally strong enough to compete with all the other forces.  But the universe has cloaked it in the ultimate invisibility cloak.” Again these words take me back to the idea of the closed watch.

I love the idea that in the not too distant future, and via the same process, we should get to see the black hole at the centre of our own Milky Way, and the image should be of equal quality.  While this first ever image is of a black hole from a different galaxy, it is a thousand times larger than ours, but it is also coincidently a thousand times further away!  But the words that struck me were ‘at the centre of our universe’. It turns out that most galaxies, perhaps all of any stature, have a supermassive black hole at their centre. Many physicists believe that they provide the gravitational pull that galaxies need to hold themselves together in the early stages of their creation.

Another thought, and while I know there is nothing original about it, but it fits in so poetically with all of the above.  The only reason we see anything is because of the photons (light) that bounce off all matter, and enter our eyes to leave data upside down on our retina, and then our brain interprets it so that we know what all matter looks like.  It gains its form within our cerebral experience of it.  Our eyes could be viewed as something of black holes with our irises providing the event horizons.  And another rogue thought—we will never be able truly to see into a black hole because no light can escape from one.  Einstein’s theory of general relativity predicted their existence, and slowly over time astronomers pieced bits of information together until finally X-ray emissions have now helped to pin-point black holes, and today we have the wondrous image of a highly energetic donut with something very mysterious at its centre.

Briefly, and returning to the name of my story, and the great but slowly forming epiphany that changed again my way of reading life and myself—The Fruit of the Rose—I have experienced today what I believe is one of my greater synchronistic experiences that pertains particularly to my getting to know more of who I am, and why I am.

A reminder of synchronicity:  When two wholly disconnected events clearly come together, and in their union they carry a significant meaning that each did not, or could not, on its own.

I am watching a new series called Time of the Sixth Sun, and early on someone describes the moment when his life changed. He believes that he experienced a profound realisation, an awakening, that opens up a whole new way of being, or the beginning of making that journey inwards that alters the focus of your life for ever.  It is a moment that in shamanic terms is called The Fruit of the Rose.  For me it instantly collided with a strong memory of how I connected to the mysterious and discreet Fruit of the Loom image that seemed to be on everyone’s t-shirts in my youth.  I can honestly say that it was  years later I saw them offered for sale in our shops.  I remember trying to fathom what it was about, and eventually I saw that the label inside also said Fruit of the Loom, and that therefore it was the brand name of a manufacturer, and I never thought about it again until this moment.  It seemed to disappear from my life as mysteriously as it appeared—one could say because it is only a clue—snooze you lose.  Apparently the original company was based in Bowling Alley, Kentucky, and a town where the high street is filled with skittles bearing the image of Fruit of the Loom pops into my mind.  It must surely be one of the most mysterious of brandings ever.  I can’t help being amused by the allusion to a connection between clues and skittles.

Look at some of the synonyms and definitions of the word ‘loom’.

Synonyms:  emerge, appear, become visible, come into view, take shape, materialise, reveal itself, appear indistinctly, come to light, take on a threatening shape

Definitions:  (n) for weaving tapestry, a textile machine for weaving yarn into a textile, (v) appear very large or occupy a commanding position

According to the documentary I am watching, The Fruit of the Rose represents:

What you planted in your own consciousness long before you ever came to earth…a reminder when the time was right, that you would awaken.

And it turns out that The Fruit of the Loom is my Fruit of the Rose—that is to say, my trigger.  Sweet!  Roses have always held a strong significance for my family and me, and there is nothing unusual in that, when you take a look at the mythologies and events that are represented by the rose.  Even more especially, Elle spent hours contemplating and meditating on the rose, and incorporated it into so much of her artwork and her notebooks.  More often it was a rose she picked from the beautiful Iceberg whitish yellow rose variety that I had chosen for our courtyard and around the fish pond in the home where we all spent our last happy years together. She tried on a few occasions to encourage me to do the same, but my head and my heart were not in union in those days, and I was definitely not ‘awake’—more like sleep walking towards the end of my days.  Stagnant could also describe those years.

I was drawn to this further quote from Einstein, and I can’t think of a better way to close off this piece.

“…It gave me great pleasure to tell you about the mysteries with which physics confronts us. As a human being, one has been endowed with just enough intelligence to be able to see clearly how utterly inadequate that intelligence is when confronted with what exists. If such humility could be conveyed to everybody, the world of human activities would be more appealing.” 

— Albert Einstein

Indra's Web

Lemons Anyone?

Brushstroke

How did being given a lemon come to be considered a gift of a dud?  I was sitting looking at our amazingly fecund and quietly patient lemon tree the other day. It is standing there full of shiny and ripe fruit, not saying much, but just hanging onto its lemons for that glorious day when I decide I need one.  I realised something interesting about lemon trees.  They hold onto their ripe lemons forever, perhaps years, unlike the orange tree that continues to ripen its fruit—if they are left long enough they will rot and fall off the tree.  My lemon tree has one or two rotten lemons lying beneath its boughs, and they have been there a long time.  Under my orange tree lie putrid oranges that I regularly play ball with, although my dogs don’t see it as fun in the same way I do.

It got me thinking…if life gives you a lemon, make lemonade.  Where did that idea come from?  Why should a gift of a lemon make one feel that you have been given something that makes your life harder?  So I did what I do—I looked it up.  It turns out that the first known time this phrase took shape was in a 1915 obituary for a highly opportunistic man called Marshall Pinckney Wilder, born to a relatively well-to-do family in New York.  He soon became famous as a great storyteller and as a clairvoyant, going on to become a popular after dinner speaker. He was a generous tipper and did not play for cheap laughs, and turned down P. T. Barnum’s offer of making big money as an attraction.  In describing his monologues a local newspaper wrote the following:  “His pathos, his humor, his indescribable droll and uplifting optimism keeps bubbling forth all through the evening”. He was born with both a hunchback and dwarfism.  He would sign his books “Merrily yours”, and they all had the word ‘smile’ somewhere in their title. His obituary said, “He was a walking refutation of that dogmatic statement, mens sana in corpore sano.  His was a sound mind in an unsound body.  He proved the eternal paradox of things.  He cashed in on his disabilities.  He picked up the lemons that Fate had sent him and started a lemonade-stand.”

I now view the lemon most differently.  And we all know that too many sweet oranges are not good for us, especially for those who suffer from migraines and arthritis—they increase the acidity of the body.  But lemons, we are told, are better as they increase the body’s alkalinity. I still find it hard to get my head around this but I am assured this is so.

I love all the little clues that lie scattered around our world and its universe, just waiting to wink at us.  This one tells me that because something is sour and hard to enjoy, it is almost more likely to be where your salvation lies.  Don’t read a book by its cover!  The harder the medicine is to swallow the better it may be for us in the long run.  Answers to the big questions cannot come easily.  They may be where we least expect to find them.  We need to respect them, or they will be too easily forgotten. And so my digging in the dirt of life, around dark corners and way up above my head, keeps on yielding wonderful surprises.  Long may that be.

And as an aside–it gives me such pleasure that I found a green pip in a lemon that I cut open on the eve of Elle’s second death day.  It was green because it had aspirations to grow.  I planted it straight away in a little pot, and the next morning it was poking its head a centimetre above the soil.  I hope to see it grow into somewhat of a tree!

On Knowing Anger

elle cave painted

There is a pocket in my heart that will always be the House of Anger.

I allow myself this.

It suits me better than self-pity.

It is almost poetic if it wasn’t so forlorn that it now stands for all the angers that I never experienced prior to her death.

This anger goes much deeper and is much wider than any anger I could ever have raised or imagined.

I don’t and won’t live in conjunction with this anger, but I feel the hea(r)t from its flame and I let it draw me close as some unexpected trigger sets off a chain reaction.

I am not ever going to attempt to put out this fire.  It fuels me when my energy slips away.

It serves me well as a receptacle for my pain, and I need to know it is within my grasp forever and ever,

Amen.

A Bug’s Life

Go to the ant thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.

Bible, Proverbs 6:6

 

Even the wishes of a small ant reach heaven.

Japanese saying

 

 Bugs & insects—what’s that about?

Elle

I am feeling more comfortable, so I thought I would stick my head up out of my flower bower for a moment or two.  Christmas and New Year are receding into the past, and I can feel that the ground is getting firmer under foot.  Here in my bower I can leave my courage at the threshold, drop my smile in the umbrella stand, kick off these boots that are made for walking, and give myself over to my memories.  I can forget my usefulness, estrange myself from kindnesses—but only until my guardian angel calls in to ask how long I intend to keep this up!

The smallest bug I have ever noticed just walked across my laptop screen.  It may well be my guardian angel.  There’s a thought.  Where has it come from and what might it be searching for?  I can’t imagine what it feeds on? How does something so small manage to live long enough to reproduce?  It paraded across my screen twice and now has disappeared.  It doesn’t know that I saw it!  I love the role bugs have come to play in my life ever since I answered Elle’s bug haiku.

That is an example of just the sort of slap to the back of the head I get when I spend too much time with that ever beguiling spirit, Self-pity!  Another thought—it is bugs who are apparently to blame for so much that goes wrong with us. That nasty cold you caught a while back, apparently that was a bug.  And isn’t it bugs who sneak into our computer programmes and cause all sorts of problems? For me, I shall always think of bugs as friendly and helpful little creatures who work hard to keep things on the straight and narrow for us humans, who offer us endless examples of the benefits of working together, and some might even say—without them humans will not survive.  And they never get any thanks for it either.  We are constantly looking for new ways to exterminate them.

Actually, I also popped up to say that one of my current favourites to listen to on YouTube is Terence McKenna.  You may think this is probably the final nail in the coffin of my sanity, and drives any chance of credibility straight out of the window.  But I find his enthusiasm and expansive thinking, his brilliant mind and mastery of language, exciting and thought provoking—definitely keen to find me some of that DMT! It is sad to think that we have left the most important jobs in our countries to the most boring and inadequate of human beings that we could find.  I doubt whether a Benjamin Franklin would get past the selection process today because of him being a polymath, and heaven forbid he should tower above the crowd! I find McKenna’s use of language mesmerising and utterly convincing, and his ideas to be extremely logical.  In my view, there is more logic in them than the list-ticking version of the reductionist scientists who would have us think that the universe and human life is a wonderful and extraordinary accident, although statistically, ironically, it doesn’t look at all possible.

He helps my mind create new pathways of thinking, to see new colours that help me read life in sharper focus. He gives me a new sense of feeling life rather than only perceiving it.  The best time to weigh in on him is always in the stillness of the nights I find.  In fact I have come to look forward to the possibilities of the night generally, whether in complete darkness or accompanied by the moonlight.  What will be revealed tonight, and where might I go in the hours of darkness that lie ahead? I have decided that it is time for me to come out of the closet.  It is not a massive closet—just my wee one. I have always had something of a secret ‘secret life’ that mostly revolved around thoughts and understandings that I thought better not to share.  Something Leonard Cohen and I have in common apparently, going by his song of that name. I didn’t need to make things any more difficult for myself than they already were.  I was a girl, with no completed higher education, no profession and what’s more, no desire for one either, and not too sure about whom I was, or where I was going, therefore best not to get too bold with philosophies on Life!  I think, with hindsight, that what I was doing quite well though was going some way towards learning the art of the yogi:  mindfulness—I found it relatively easy to empty my head for a period of time—and to be in the moment.  The number of times, as a young person, I was asked what on earth I was thinking about, still makes me chuckle.  People genuinely seemed to assume that I was deep in thought. I used to throw off moodily, “Oh, nothing really”, when in actual fact that is exactly what was going on—nothing! Eventually though I did start to do some deeper thinking, and learnt quite soon that much of what occupied my thoughts would be best kept to myself!  As my children grew into adults that filter seemed to lose its robustness, and soon I found myself sharing some of my unusual thinking with both of them.  Even though I have some regrets, I do wonder whether I was only doing what was required of me.  One of my main refrains in life is that there are to be no regrets—even swamps and perceived mires have their own unique and fruitful purpose.

The other day I was doing some research on Rene Descartes, a name I was familiar with but that was it.  I had a sense of what Cartesian thinking was, and it got to a point that I needed to find out more about him because of how often his name was coming up.  Descartes is often regarded as the first thinker to emphasise the use of reason and measurement to develop the natural sciences.

In a lecture that I had been listening to it was pointed out that a revelation came to him through three dreams that were delivered by an angel.  I couldn’t help thinking that it was somewhat ironic that out of a dream was born all future reductionist thinking.  Descartes was born a long time ago in 1596.  He was a deeply thoughtful man of faith, and I am sure he would be horrified to think that, along with Nietzsche, the two of them, almost singlehandedly, had ‘killed God’, although, in both cases, this would be a wrong assessment of their intent.  The revelation that was revealed to Descartes was that ‘the mastery of nature is to be achieved through numbers and measures’—and this has come to be the basis of all rational scientific investigation that has held to the present day, although its grip is beginning to slip.

Later, and following up on another lead—I think I had been reading about the awaking of the base chakra, or Kundalini—and I saw something that nearly had me laughing in the aisles—EHS, or exploding head syndrome.  It was finally named in 1988 but has been documented since 1876.  It tied in very neatly with Rene Descartes.  It is thought that, instead of a vision, it is most likely that his was a case of EHS.  The desire to adhere to what is rational, and to snuff out as delusional superstition all that cannot be reasoned or measured, repeatedly has become the bedrock of society today.  If not rational then not real!  We should view EHS as something pretty interesting, but instead it is described as a ‘sensory parasomnia’, or simply put, a sleep problem.  (I have included a description of EHS at the bottom of this piece.)

Another one of these ‘simple sleep problems’ is one I experience, called Proctalgia Fugax, or, as a doctor told me quite casually after my first episode, an anal panic attack.  I now assume that it was something he, too, had experienced because of the speed of the diagnosis.  Most people, including doctors I have mentioned it to, have never heard of it.  It is interesting because I remember thinking this doctor had something of the surfer dude hippy about him, giving me a sense that perhaps he had a more open mind.  Doctors and open minds, like lawyers, don’t often go together, and I can understand why.  I had my first attack about two years before Elle died, and perhaps had one or two more during that two-year period, but I have had many more since she died.  This is how Healthline describes it:

Proctalgia fugax is anal pain that doesn’t have a specific cause. This pain is usually caused by intense muscle spasms in or around the canal of the anus. It’s similar to another type of anal pain called levator ani syndrome. The pain is slightly different in levator ani syndrome, and may last days instead of minutes.

Anyone can experience proctalgia fugax. However, it doesn’t usually affect anyone prior to the start of puberty and seems to affect more women than men. It’s unclear why this is, or if it’s due to more women reporting the issue, as many people don’t do so.

It goes on to say, and I can confirm this, that it only ever happens at night.  Along with other experiences I have at night, I have come to look upon it as something of a painful guiding light albeit it at the back end, if you get my drift.  I now understand that my base chakra is awakening, and without much expectation, I am grateful for any help received!  As you can imagine, my nights have become a lot more animated, entertaining and informative, and as long as the periods without sleep don’t make my day times hard to get through, I shall continue to enjoy whatever they throw up, from carousels with words instead of horses on poles, to dreams and visions, and a voice that now and again intrudes on my thinking.  I have ways of requesting a cessation, or rest for myself.  Peter is going through his own night-time thought processes, and so whoever is first awakened quietly shuffles off to find another bed.

A preceding nightly accompaniment is what I have always called my ‘hot ones’.  For years now I have thought that they were the vestiges of the menopause, but the confusing part was that none of the doctors I questioned about them seemed to recognise what they were.  The way it goes is that I awaken for no apparent reason, and truly wide awake, and about two or three minutes later a heat starts rising up my spine and up into my head.  The heat is always strong and sometimes even feels unbearable.  Sometimes my brain seems to flicker or vibrate. My body is not hot to the touch, and I would describe what I experience as an electrical heat.  These days though the events are much more about shimmers and vibrations. When I tried to find out more about what I was experiencing always the doctors’ faces turn to disbelief.  I would quickly add that my mother had these in the last fifteen years of her life.  I have a vivid memory of the little bowl of flannels she kept on her bedside table.  I can see her now as she squeezed out their excess water, fold and place one behind her neck, and another would be for her forehead.  Perhaps it is hormonal, which is all her doctors and mine could come up with, but again these never happened to her, or to me, during the day—a bit like the inexplicable anal pain.  Perhaps her throat chakra was opening and her chi, prana or some eternal energy was beginning to flow.  My mother was certainly a changed person as she approached the last years of her life, and less the fearful servant to authority than she was as a younger woman.  She found me difficult to like as a child and a young person.  My thinking scared her because it strayed so far from the conventional—a place where she preferred to reside.  But we made up for it later when the need for the mother/child relationship had slipped away.  Perhaps it never felt normal to be my mother—one of those peculiarities of life of which another example exists.  Only when a moment comes up that connects, even remotely, Heather, my sister, and Kate, my daughter, I find myself calling whoever of the two is with me by the other’s name. It is a standing joke amongst us that only the Gods understand why this happens, but my theory, as usual, is that I am meant to look at the deeper meaning that this represents.  I have a few theories naturally!

The reason I have decided to write about all these nocturnal goings-on that spill over into my daytime creativity is because perhaps someone else may still be in the confused state that I was in two years ago.  In my case it took a catastrophic event to break open this egg.  I doubt whether I will be able to put all the pieces back together again, but I will do my very best at trying to at least see how this might work out. Elle, in the most gentle of ways, kept prompting me to turn away from my time wasting activities and negative energy, in other words, my stasis or stagnation, and to open myself again to more fruitful ways of engaging with the world, and hence the path that I am here to tread.   She would encourage me to find ways of meditating, and the one I remember best, and I can easily see her with a newly picked rose in her hand, would be to observe or even draw it. I am vigilant to unexpected and unconnected thoughts that arrive from nowhere in my mind.  I see that it is important to engage gently with the process of observing my awakening mind.  Too much haste could lead to an unhinging!  The more patient and still we are, the more likely we will catch the right end of the stick.  Where on earth does that saying come from?

A total aside, and never to miss a trick—I have been collecting sayings recently, and that one has now been added to my growing list.  Perhaps a good way of looking at this particular saying is that it illuminates the duality that holds our version of the world together.  A stick always has two ends.  If something doesn’t feel quite right when ‘caught’ then look to its opposite where perhaps you will find something more comfortable and easier to hold onto.  Ha—duality is the glue of life that stops its fragmentation by Time that is its energy or life force. How is that for a definition!  If we don’t have a yesterday, we have nowhere to put what has already happened, and without a tomorrow we have no way of knowing where we are heading towards today. 

And back to my reason for popping up from my bower.  In late 1999, McKenna described his thoughts concerning his impending death to an interviewer, Erik Davis:

“I always thought death would come on the freeway in a few horrifying moments, so you’d have no time to sort it out. Having months and months to look at it and think about it and talk to people and hear what they have to say, it’s a kind of blessing. It’s certainly an opportunity to grow up and get a grip and sort it all out. Just being told by an unsmiling guy in a white coat that you’re going to be dead in four months definitely turns on the lights. … It makes life rich and poignant. When it first happened, and I got these diagnoses, I could see the light of eternity, à la William Blake, shining through every leaf. I mean, a bug walking across the ground moved me to tears.”

I shall forever hold Terence McKenna in one of the many newly-discovered pockets in my heart for also noticing and loving bugs as Elle and I do.  Terence McKenna died on April 3, 2000, at the age of 53. I am sure his ethereal bower is one of endless amazement, lit up by colours way beyond the range of the seven we are familiar with, surrounded by beautiful young things all with flowers in their hair and twinkles in their eyes.  Definitely a place where bugs would feel most welcome.

 

EHS:  Individuals with exploding head syndrome hear or experience loud imagined noises as they are falling asleep or waking up, have a strong, often frightened emotional reaction to the sound, and do not report significant pain; around 10% of people also experience visual disturbances like perceiving visual static, lightning, or flashes of light. Some people may also experience heat, strange feelings in their torso, or a feeling of electrical tingling that ascends to the head before the auditory hallucinations occur. With the heightened arousal, people experience distress, confusion, myoclonic jerks, tachycardia, sweating, and the sensation that feels as if they have stopped breathing and have to make a deliberate effort to breathe again.

The pattern of the auditory hallucinations is variable. Some people report having a total of two or four attacks followed by a prolonged or total remission, having attacks over the course of a few weeks or months before the attacks spontaneously disappear, or the attacks may even recur irregularly every few days, weeks, or months for much of a lifetime.

Some individuals mistakenly believe that EHS episodes are not natural events, but are the effects of directed energy weapons that create an auditory effect. Thus, EHS has been worked into conspiracy theories, but there is no scientific evidence that EHS has non-natural origins.

Should I Stay or Should I Go…

“…the people at the top have no idea what is going on.  They need men with pony tails to come in every morning just to switch on the machines.  They are so in our hands.” 

Terence McKenna, mystic

Ah, the great Brexit divide!  There certainly are some ‘leavers’ that I can identify with because I like them. But that is as far as the communion goes—at the end of the day the majority of leavers are not seeing the bigger picture, and they yearn for simpler, safer and quieter times that can never return. Life will never again be warmly familiar as they would like a return to.  Many don’t see any upside for them in the new ways of the world, and they can’t get to grips with all the rapid and sometimes ruthless changes that seem to be happening all over the estranged land of their birth.  I see this too, but I can accept that it is an impossible mission to attempt to turn back the tide.  And when we do reminisce we tend to do this while looking through rose coloured spectacles.  I am not saying that those are the only reasons but I do think it is the greater swathe.  We also know that there are people on the far right with their own ignorant, ruthless and selfish agendas, while some see opportunities to seize more power and wealth for themselves and some unscrupulous compatriots.  Staying in, or remaining, may not be the clever option but it is certainly safer and a better one.  And we would do well to also remember that once we are over sixty years old the world is no longer ours to direct although we are perfectly entitled to continue to enjoy the fruits of our labours. We may even have earned the position of wise older citizen meaning that our opinion and leadership would be welcomed.  How can we ever forgive David Cameron, his advisers and trouble makers in the Conservative party for dropping the country into one of the worst crises ever? They have so much to answer for.

There is a lot wrong within the British queendom, but the problems go way beyond the UK borders—these are world-wide problems now. We have got ourselves lost in the darkness, and we are hurting because the only societal system we have ever known is breaking down—it has lost its ability to self-organise, the pendulum is out of sync, the patterns have lost their symmetry. Mostly this is sensed rather than understood, and fear causes us to turn away from others who have less than us, and therefore need to share our dwindling dinners and homes—immigration and free movement. But also when the person in front of us leads us into a swamp with lots of scary creatures lurking in the water we lose trust, and start flailing and thrashing in the hope that one of our feet (where the souls reside mostly) will find some solid ground, and we can get away from clear and present danger— distrust of politicians and experts.

It is a fact that may be difficult to swallow but true that an above-average number of the ‘remainers’ understand more of the world’s problems, are more comfortable reaching out around the globe to look for answers to our many problems, and also know that the more we get to know those in far flung places the more likely that we shall be able to hold onto a fragile peace. The rest of the remainers are the future generation who want to be part of the greater world family. They are happy to learn new languages and are quick to appreciate how much we can all gain by reaching out instead of erecting barriers to keep others out.

It is careless to throw the baby out with the bath water, and there has been plenty of that going on over the years since the Second World War. The education system is a good example of that but a different story. That is just what appears to be happening again in this whole Brexit debacle.  So let’s get working on ourselves. We can do this consciousness-raising thing that so many are talking about. If it works who knows what heights we could achieve.  I would love to think that the days of people living rough on the streets would be over. Surely this doesn’t need to happen in this day and age, and it is a problem that is getting bigger with every year that goes by. But throwing stones at the enemy, or burning down their homes, and turning our backs on those suffering more than us, never did achieve much in the long run.  Perhaps if we were more deeply knowledgeable of our histories we would be making better choices. Twelve thousand years of the modern era, and barely ready for high school!  We definitely haven’t been reading the right books.  Too much time spent at the fair ground on Love Island, it seems?

But I like to think that we already have The Knowledge somewhere deep in the recesses of the temple of our minds, probably in those side chapels in the cathedrals that I always preferred to the main space.  Is it just a case of pealing back the layers until we reach the kernel? Does The System really want to reveal itself to us as some mystics say? I believe that to be so.

Long live Gaia, our spirit host—if she dies we die, but that is not as likely as her giving up on us all, and then we are definitely lost.  So long as we keep asking the bigger questions, then tilt our heads slightly to more clearly hear the answers, we can keep stagnation, destruction and rot at bay. We have no excuses not to, and nothing to lose by at least trying to.  The worldwide web has brought us together, and together is how we can make a difference, and it can lead us to answers, sometimes too many, in fractions of seconds, and answers build knowledge and lead us to the next level of questions.

Let’s not be afraid of that second referendum but raise our voices in confidence to demand one from both sides.  Someone has to be big enough to sort out this problem. Confident that we surely now know how better to sift through the bullshit and the sustenance.  Then leave it to the under sixties to make the decision. And for God’s sake to trust that democracy is not so fragile that good sense can’t lead the way.  It won’t be easy, and there is likely to be trouble, but let’s garner some real self-belief for a change.  Under these circumstances I would accept the will of the people, because I would feel that everyone has had the opportunity to have the truths and lies flagged for them.  If this is to be the end of civilisation so be it.

My Secret Life

black hole

I love this image I found of a black hole.  A cubbyhole that is almost as familiar as home these days.  I am learning not to be afraid of it, which is why this image of flowery abundance works so well for me.  It can be a safe space, or even act as a conduit to another world, something like ‘worm holes’ at the macro level of the cosmos, or ‘strings’ at the micro level of our subatomic support system.   But you do have to learn to trust the darkness, the unknown.  I am finding that I can maintain hope when sailing without a rudder, or unable to see the movement of the ground in front of my feet. It is not a particularly colourful world, naturally, but I remind myself of the vibrancy of colours quite easily using my imagination.  I am not sure how long I will be hiding my secret self in this black hole, but hopefully as Christmas passes so I will emerge into the light again.  Christmas seems to bring to sharp relief Elle’s absence.  It feels impossibly hard to get over this.  While I am sure with time our grandchildren will bring a new magic to this time marker because they do not carry the sorrow of the loss of Elle inside them, for now Christmas brings its own brand of darkness.  That does not sit well with the spirit of the season though which heralds the arrival of new life; a baby whose reappearance year after year is simply and purely to remind us of the ever present opportunity for rebirth, of how to cleanse ourselves of the old and soiled ideas, and where to find hope for a future that is full of light, peace and love.  In order to make a massive difference to this world all that is required is for us to try a little harder to be more honest, more discerning in what we support by what we say, to reject judging others, trust more, worry about ourselves a little less and care about others a little more. In my secret life all is so clear, and good will prevail, but as soon as I switch on the news everything is fractured and broken.

I love it when a plan comes together.  I did not consciously set out to juxtapose birth and death in the same piece but hey, life got in the way, as it usually does.  That is when I am reminded that all is not yet broken but is as it is meant to be.  It is consciousness that truly is key – I understand this fully now, and by bringing up our own level of consciousness we can draw many others into the ripples of our wake.  So perhaps I am wrong to say ‘worry a little less about ourselves’. It is all about our selves.

In My Secret Life

In my secret life
In my secret life
In my secret life
In my secret life

I saw you this morning
You were moving so fast
Can’t seem to loosen my grip
On the past
And I miss you so much
There’s no one in sight
And we’re still making love
In my secret life
In my secret life

I smile when I’m angry
I cheat and I lie
I do what I have to do
To get by
But I know what is wrong
And I know what is right
And I’d die for the truth
In my secret life
In my secret life

Hold on, hold on, my brother
My sister, hold on tight
I finally got my orders
I’ll be marching through the morning
Marching through the night
Moving cross the borders
Of my secret life

Looked through the paper
Makes you wanna cry
Nobody cares if the people
Live or die
And the dealer wants you thinking
That it’s either black or white
Thank God it’s not that simple
In my secret life

I bite my lip
I buy what I’m told
From the latest hit
To the wisdom of old
But I’m always alone
And my heart is like ice
And it’s crowded and cold
In my secret life

Songwriters: Leonard Cohen / Sharon Robinson

In My Secret Life lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

 

Time Ghost

LC photo

I am working and, once again, listening to the Universe.  I got a common response at 1am in the morning.  A few days ago I wrote my first poem.  It doesn’t matter whether it is a brilliant poem or not.  What matters more is that I create.  It is in creating that I exist.  It is only our earthly projection that requires that we ‘shut up’ if our creations are found lacking.  If I exist then I can do living.  My poem came into existence on 7 November, and as I did some tweaking this morning, I realised that I wrote it on the second anniversary of his death.  He is the man I longed to touch when Elle died – my friend who never knew me – Leonard Cohen.  I will never stop showing up again.  The Zeitgeist is where we who live belong.

 

ATLAS SHRUGGED, FINALLY

Atlas shrugged, and Earth crashed.

So tired of our empty ways.

Who will blame him?

All has crumpled as if Nothing.

Now I bend, blindly

I sift and shift, but only rubble.

Wish that it were just a thousand kisses deep.

Where is my beating heart?

What is left of my mind?

What meanings?

Meanings!

There are no meanings.

Words fail me as tyrants rise again,

Our rags of light torn to shreds by the Nothing.

And the sun slinks away,

Light dimming as he goes.

Where’s the glory

As Time turns up empty handed?

Hope bows her head in despair.

My eyes ache to turn inward

And my ears seek the warmth of his voice.

Are you there my old friend?

I love to speak with Leonard

Ah tis sad, but he has left the House.

 

Added later:

A little while before publishing my post a message arrived in Messenger from a fellow traveller, but I only saw it later.  Kurt Vonnegut is definitely on my shelf of favourite authors.  I loved his insightful thinking and quirky plot construction.

This is a good example of the weird and wonderful conversation I have going on with the uni-verse, a single poem of my own making gets its reward:

“… The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”

Faith vs UFOs

Let it be still, and it will all gradually become clear.

Lao Tzu

Who doesn’t recall having had light-hearted conversations around dinner tables and campfires over the years, discussing the likelihood of the existence of UFOs aliens?  Most of us would be quick to say that we have no problem believing that life exists somewhere out in the great cosmos.  It is highly unlikely that in the infinite universe we are the only living beings who are self-aware.  The odds on that being the case are infinitely small!  When faced with the usual question, ‘but why would governments hide this fact from the public’, I would give my usual answer:  “They daren’t validate the claims because it would shatter the foundations of our civilisation. We depend on history staying the same, and it being ours only, in order to keep moving forward in an orderly march on the future.”  Something along those lines anyway.  It seemed pretty obvious to me.   I could see how evidence of aliens from other planets would create fatal cracks in the world’s religions. Was our God theirs too?  And, if we were created in his image, how come there seemed to be ETs in other ‘images’?  What is God doing with all these other children? Aren’t we enough for him?  Are we really no more than one big experiment of many others?  I can see how it would cause a new and devastating fear to set into the hearts and minds of the world’s people, one that would easily outshine the fear of nuclear war. But somehow, at the time, I personally didn’t feel conflicted.  It was a different time in my life.  I wasn’t truly absorbing what I was saying – after all it was mere speculation.  There is so much we think we know until we really feel the weight of its knowledge.

Oh for the comforting half-ignorance that existed for me until today!  Over recent months I started to become aware that people I take seriously were supporting some of the claims that I had considered more outlandish with regard to our world.  Ideas like UFOs and extra-terrestrial settlements have already been established on our planet, or under our oceans, and even within the depths of the Earth.  Eh, I thought, a little too weird for me.

Yesterday, and through Greg, my brother, mentioning a talk by Graham Hancock without him knowing who he was, I made the effort to go out in the on-going inclement weather to hear him and Gregory Sams speak.  It was the last day of the Amorevore Food and Arts Festival at Casa Maca, here in Ibiza.  We went together and I was so grateful at Brother Greg’s timely little push.  I even did something I don’t usually do – I sat in the front row!  I had listened to many of Hancock’s talks and lectures on YouTube so it wasn’t that I was hearing anything for the first time, but there was something comforting in his ‘familiar’ presence. I got a real sense of his commitment to the subject of not only engaging or experiencing spirit entities as a result of hallucinogenic substances like LSD and DMT, but equally, experiencing his comfortable demeanour when talking about extra-terrestrial activities.  I particularly enjoy the format of two people sitting talking to each other about what they have learnt over many years, while sharing the discussion with an audience.  Greg Sams, once I had looked into who he was before going to the talk, was also an interesting speaker who had earned his stripes over the years, at the fringes of ‘new age’ thinking.  I shared his enthusiasm for the consciousness that exists in all things, and particularly his awareness of the sun as more than just simply another star on the cosmos – it is our star and it communicates with us.  Like him, I too have anarchistic tendencies when it comes to the effectiveness of the state in taking care of all the needs of all its people. He and Hancock believe we, the people, have the ability to self-organise, and would do a far better job of caring for our communities than any state government could do.  National borders may have served their purpose in the past but with our movement towards globalisation they are unfit for purpose.  He has written books about both these subjects.  But I imagine that we are stuck with the current structure for a while to come yet. I recalled with Sams, after the talk, a twice-experienced moment with a setting sun in a remote region not far from Montagu, in the Western Cape.  As I stared at the setting sun, something one can only safely do during these late-in-the-day moments, I was taken so far backwards in time, that I physically experienced the planet before humankind walked the Earth.  I know it will sound a little bizarre, but not to me – I know what I felt, and it was more a powerful sensation than a vision.

Last night, back home with Peter, and about to start cooking, I heard mention of UFOs as Peter looked for something he wanted to watch on TV.  I called out to him to record the programme for us to watch after supper.  Little did I know that I was about to set in motion the opening up of a can of worms!  It was a serious programme, and incorporated footage of a press conference that took place on 9 May 2001.  It had been put together by someone called Dr Steven Greer, at the Press Club in Washington DC.  These days, with so much fake news about, I like to do a crosscheck, so first I checked that the news conference had actually taken place, and yes, it can be found on YouTube. Then I checked the name, Dr Steven Greer, and I was surprised to find that as soon as I put into Google ‘Dr Ste…’ up popped his name at the top of the list, so that gives you an idea of how many people are Googling him.

Almost all the people sitting on the panel were high up officials in Central Intelligence, the army, the navy and the air force, air traffic controllers, airline pilots, and members of other similar organisations. They all testified to the fact that there had been substantial sightings and experiences of UFOs and even extra-terrestrials.  They kept their testimonies short, undramatic and precise.  It didn’t seem to have much impact on the news at the time, but there again, it was only a few months later when the world’s heads were caused to swing around violently to face a much greater and immediate problem – that of the Islamic fundamentalist threat.  There was even talk of the bodies of aliens at the Roswell site following an alleged 1947 crash of an alien craft or two, and it all started to feel ‘stomach-churningly’ real. Recently I learnt that The Pentagon had been, or continues to, run a secret multi-million dollar programme to investigate UFOs, which has been reported quite widely, and in The New York Times.  Now I find that my foundations have been shattered!

Why I am so troubled is that it is only in the last week or so that I have felt that I am beginning to get an understanding of how consciousness works as part of a unified   matrix, a mathematical algorithm of great beauty, by which we understand, and are part of, the living world and the universe beyond.  There was something so sweet about it.  The pieces of the puzzle seemed to be flying into position, and the picture that is emerging is ethereal, quite literally, and how it can all be explained through numbers.  It is fascinating to look at how the ancient philosophers interpreted life and the cosmos in terms of numbers.  Plato came up with a single number of everything, the ‘nuptial number’, and most interpreters argue that the value of Plato’s number is 216 because it is the cube of 6, i.e. 63= 216, which is remarkable for being also a sum of the cubes for the Pythagorean triple, i.e. (3, 4, 5): 33+ 43+ 53= 63.  The number hits my sweet spot in every way.  Numerology speaking 216 adds up to 9 that is three lots of three, 33 – this has been a very important figure of numbers for me ever since a dream I had in my early twenties.  He even has a Tyrant’s Number.  There may be nothing to his numbers but he certainly understood thousands of years ago that answers to the universe could be found in mathematics, as did the great thinkers of many ancient civilisations.  Why would they have known this?  Interesting stuff, and I am just beginning my explorations of the ancient and modern philosophers and mystics.  Suddenly my picture has gone grey and very blurry.  I now know the question I couldn’t think of yesterday at the talk, and the one I desperately would love to have heard them answer.

“I have a question for you both.  How do you square away your faith in spiritual entities with your belief in extra-terrestrials who appear to be studying and observing us as if we are no more than fish in a glass bowl?  Faith speaks of A Oneness, a world in which we matter as we ‘polish’ our reflective facets and ascend the ladder of divinity, while the other is as if we are nothing more than a simulation, a living version of someone else’s algorithm, or something akin to an experiment for reasons unknown to us.”

I am now going to have to see whether I can answer this question for myself.  It is going to take some work, but I will get there.  I have no idea whether I will like the answer, and perhaps I will have to settle on a compromise again.  Something I did before Elle, my younger daughter, died when I told her that I had settled a few things in my mind, and that I no longer felt compelled to trade scientific knowledge for faith.  I was going to accept the unanswerable nature of those questions I couldn’t answer for myself.  More lately it felt like I was slaying science. It had become an flimsy obstacle to my burgeoning faith, but this – this following so soon afterwards – this felt like a fatal blow!  Perhaps I had been asking to be tripped up.  Take courage though, Jennie. See how the universe laid a plan for me to go to the talk, and remember the coincidence of the programme on TV. Perhaps there is method somewhere in this madness.

For now, from this icy crevasse into which I have slipped, I look up at the immense cloud evolutions happening above me.  They, more than anything else, have become a great source of release of existential dis-ease for me these days.  I shall let go of my worrying thoughts for now.  They do me no good!  There is really little that is more satisfying than the natural world.  I am glad I still have so much more to learn, or perhaps I should think rather in terms of unlearning…now that gives me something new to think about.

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