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Sight

Human eye, big close-up 2

Sight

This week I’d a bit of a wee shock as I began to ‘see’ a large fly swarming around me. After trying to swap it unsuccessfully my dear wife Zan reassured me that there was nothing there. However, I remained unconvinced as the pesky blighter refused to leave my sight!

Anyway to cut a long story short, my optometrist, after a hastily arranged and panic driven appointment, informed me that a large piece of the vitreous gel in my eyeball had unexpectedly broken off and was merrily swimming around my eyeball. A bit of a shock but also a reassurance that my retina was still attached and no urgent operation required!

My newly adopted floater ‘fly’ friend has now morphed into a cobweb of sorts that hangs around my left-eye vision, also inviting in the daily flashes of lightning to my peripheral sight. So now I’m looking to the trickery of my interpretive brain to help me adjust and get on with my lockdown routine without my tendency to jump into the gripping arms of hypochondria.

This little incident and its aftermath have got me thinking about sight! The eye is a most amazing piece of body kit, one that some argue cannot evolve over vast periods of time. However, I guess that’s a whole other discussion for another day.

The eye transmits sensations from our outer space-time world and fires them into the brain for translation that will form a narrative as to what we are apparently seeing. However, as we all know, the mind, or more accurately the brain, can play tricks in presenting its visual conclusions. In fact, it would appear that all of its interpretations are just that, interpretations! Is the sky really blue or does the brain merely interpret the particular wavelength of light reflected into our eye’s retina sensors as blue?

Every one of us has come across the ambiguous sketch whereby some of us see a beautiful young woman why others an old ‘witch-like’ hag! Perception is a gift of the brain and not the eyes! In other words, what we understand as sight is actually the final verdict of the brain’s jury.

As in the joint spheres of biology and neurology, so also in the realm of spiritual perception. Most of us perceive a God hole or a whole God. Some even remain in the agnostic camp, not getting a clear focus of what they see in the swirling mists of unknowing. A number of New Age and Esoteric teachers often refer to the ‘Third Eye” – an inner analogy as to how we can perceive the Divine. To be honest, that doesn’t really do much for me – such a purported inner reality may only be a thing of myth, one used to explain our sudden and unexpected awakening to psychological and spiritual realities that have been there all along.

Often, such moments of enlightenment occur when we have just suffered a devastating transpersonal crisis, a trauma related to our social or personal identification. When we finally ‘see the Light’ it’s usually when we’re at the end of our rope, on the brink of falling into the blackest of abysses, the undoing of all our life props, or at least the highly significant ones.

To see Ultimate Reality doesn’t come naturally through the often-cracked lens of the human psyche. Paradoxically it takes an in breaking of sorts from the One beyond perception, the One from the realm where all is both fully seen and known. Such an unexpected overload of our sensory field changes our brain’s reality settings for good. That’s why many mystics of the past and present have experienced powerful sensations of heat pulsing through their bodies. Others have been enveloped in a great Light, while some claim to have audibly heard the Voice of God. It would appear that Divine Transcendence has a way of overwhelming our normal perceptions when required, a spiritual whirlwind that blows away the cobwebs of ego control and takes up residence within the sensory world of our central nervous system.

A liberation of these sensory faculties of clay, a transformation of them into expressions of a greater Reality that remains with us until we die, albeit in a more regulated and less dramatic form. No longer will our eyes wander around the Vanity Fair of human indulgences; instead it will be singly focused on a more encompassing and authentic reality – the Light upon which no human soul can gaze without being consumed by its insatiable Fire of Love.

May the Light both shine in and through us as we continue to walk the dark recessed paths of Shadow Valley in these troubling but ultimately empowering times.

Dylan’s Author Page ~ https://goo.gl/7BJ8JR

 

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Who To Trust In a Storm

Who Can We Trust In The Storm?

Well, here we are 5 weeks into the once in a lifetime lockdown! I’ve been pondering whether we’re finally getting the message that is being sent to us by Divine Love, namely that we not as self-reliant and invincible as we imagine in our Tower of Babylon, cultural mindset.

Sadly, I don’t think that we are – certainly not the significant percentage of us, both young and old, who are frantically clinging to our addictive desire for ‘normality’ – the previous status quo existence during which we can go where we please, and indeed do as we please! This dependency on our way and no other way, is fast becoming all too apparent as the ever- pressing pressure of lockdown continues.

Two facts have been reiterated to me during this somewhat unique isolation. They are as follows:

1) Most of our leaders, no matter what brand we’ve inherited , don’t really know which way to turn.

2) Human nature with its ego-centric skewness is definitely in need of outside help!

Firstly, let me more fully explain my thoughts on leaders, whether political, scientific, religious or whatever.

Most of these dear ladies and gentlemen have been pseudo-deified at times by their band of ardent followers – that is how they got to the top of their particular leadership ladder. In normal times they can get away with it by sticking to the normal script, and at other times by winging an answer to a particularly difficult question or circumstance. Yet, when a real storm comes, one not controlled by the power brokers of the staus quo, and with a seeming mind of its own, the cracks rapidly begin to appear. Our leaders are shown up to be flawed folk like us – with all too apparent feet of clay – that don’t know which direction to take. The egos of self-promotion and spun persona appear to melt in the heat of the blazing, crisis-sun. Sadly, trial and error attempts to fix things and keep us all happy only makes the shocking revelation worse. A case of the Emperor’s New Clothes fit for the 21st century methinks.

No, these dear folk do not have all the answers – in some extreme cases not even any! For the first time in our lives we can begin to see through the hierarchical games that have been played on the chessboard of our adoring minds. The realisation that we, together with our leaders, are all the same and pretty clueless in times like these, is paradoxically, a deeply upsetting as well as a potentially liberating one for those with eyes to see. If we are to find Wisdom it must come from somewhere else, from Someone beyond the confines of human consciousness. I’ll let you identify that One for yourself!

Secondly, we are being presented with the opportunity to observe the egoic survival programming of our human species in its reticence to take instruction from anyone in order to protect the common good . Denial, selfishness and a disturbing lack of awareness of others, particularly their personal space, and the world around us is becoming all to apparent. The human wiring that refuses to obey is laid bare for all to see. Of course, many great acts of selflessness and love have also occurred during the last number of weeks – sacrifices that stem from the profound depths of love within individuals. Yet, in general we all tend to put ourselves first in the great survival ‘hunger games’ of Covid-19, hankering after the return to normality like a drug-deprived junkie missing their daily fix.

Could this disregard for the safety of others, evidenced as it is by unashamed rule breaking, not the dysfunction within that the Nazarene laid bare for all to see. A revelation that got Him murdered along with all the other past ‘seers’ of human psychology. No, there is definitely something amiss within us that needs straightened out – a level of dysfunction that we can no longer deny amidst the enormity of the present threat. When the human species – us – is under great pressure, we automatically think of number one. When facing a tiger alone in some distant jungle, that is totally understandable, and an authentic function of our fight or flight response – best flight methinks! Yet, in an inter-connected social setting, one where we work, live and breathe the same air as others, perhaps not.

So what is to be done? Well. may I humbly and respectfully suggest that we let go of our unquestioning trust in leaders of all shades, as well as allowing our inner selfves to be realigned by regular times of silent contact with Divine Love. Discovering that a greater Wisdom is available to us all, a wisdom not springing from the need to be right, nor indeed  from the desire to maintain  a position of power, is a blessed relief, particulary as we stagger around in a 24 hour blitz of media-hyped fear. No, all we require in order to be ourselves, even in the midst of a viral storm, lies deep within us and Beyond. The Voice that comes to us, comes from the One who rides the storm clouds in an all-pervasive state of Divine Peace. Simply put, this is the One to be trusted!

As regards our shadow and often wayward self, best to let go and let Divine Love defuse our inner bombs of egocentricity. Once made ‘safe’, a compassion and power rushes in to fill our inner vacuum, making us channels of both confidence and humility, those with a greater and more Spirit-like awareness of others.

When we awaken to both these opportunites, the storm, though terrifyingly threatening to our temporal existence, will have resulted in a painful new birth of sorts, a practical experience of the One who leads us into Life via Shadow Valley.

Dylan’s Author Page ~ https://goo.gl/7BJ8JR

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Age Of The Cave

CAVE (1)

Age Of The Cave

Well folks, it’s been a while since I posted here on my blog, but today the Divine gave me a wee nudge to get writing again when one of my neighbours asked me if I was writing much this weather! So here goes – I’ve entitled this wee post ‘The Age Of The Cave’.

Caves are strange geological features – some of us love them and some of us hate them. My good wife Zan, can’t stand them as she suffers from a measure of claustrophobia! I’m no different! Who wants to end up trapped in a dark, damp cave, gasping for what could be one’s last  breath? I’ve never been a fan of big, mysterious holes in the ground or on mountainsides!

Yet, here we are presently stuck in this metaphorical cave of self isolation  as instructed by those who claim to know better than us. The ‘experts’, scientific of course, tell us that it’s either the cave or the possibility of being laid six foot under, in a velvet-lined casket! But that’s a whole story in itself, one best kept for another day I reckon.

Anyway, here we are, with our freedom of movement curtailed, apart from a short daily walk, well away from others and a batch of Netflix movies to watch! Has life been reduced to this? What happened the joys of the free society, one where anything, well almost anything, goes and we partake of the multitude of little pleasures that the fast moving global marketplace provides? Suddenly, we are no longer spoilt for choice, having only the big questions in life come to visit us in our newly assigned cave.

Life in the cave is simple – the basics of food and drink have suddenly become much more important to us. Our planned vacations to exotic, or not so exotic. far away places have vanished like the clouds that pass by the window of our cheap travel jet! Our minor concerns re the comfortable nature of our lifestyle seem as nothing compared with the big questions! ‘Will I survive, and if I do, will I have any cash?’ Ego, so used to the previous easy life where we are spoilt for choice, goes into meltdown. It doesn’t like this stripping away, nay, this yanking away of all the little securities upon which we have trusted without even realising it? Like a childhood tantrum, ego thrashes around for someone to blame and makes a pretty good job of it for the possibilities are endless.

Yet, when we lie exhausted and burnt out, there is nothing we can do but lie in an emotional heap and listen. Listen to what you may ask – the daily news fuelled by fear for dramatic effect, churning out it’s convincing collage of expert advise and warnings. No, the listening we are being called to is two-fold.

Firstly, listening to our internal voices, those that demand to be heard in the cauldron of this once in a life-time lockdown. Our fears, anger, self-pity, confusion, despair all need to be given a measure of aitime by our Self. One can learn lots about what has lain under the surface consciousness of ‘normal life’ for so long – probably since the occasion of our last traumatic experiences, those repressed and pushed to the bottom of our fractured psyche for a measure of pseudo-healing. Best listen to these, perhaps one at a time, to find out more about the collective of our Shadow self. Taking note of past incidents that flash into our consciousness we will learn much about why we are the way we are.

More importantly though, is to sit in stillness once these little voices have had their say. By showering them with compassion and respect we are now in the place to listen to another, altogther different Voice – the utterances of our Source via the channel of our deep seated spirit. As we wait, the whispers of something, or rather Someone, beyond will begin to draw near – a word, a phrase, even a whole sentence will wash over us with an Otherness, that we know is not from this world of space-time. It is the Voice, cascading with compassion and reassurance that we are not facing this storm alone, that something deep within us cannot be affected, by the fear of the invisible virus, fuelled by our survival based ego.

These present times, and more than likely the times still to come, may not be easy, but in the midst of this global storm, our naked and deeply human psyche-soul, may for the first time find solace, and indeed Wisdom, from the One we so easily dismissed in the good times.

May Divine mercy visit us all, shocking us into Reality – that meeting place of God and humankind in the darkness of our present cave.

Dylan’s Author Page ~ https://goo.gl/7BJ8JR

 

 

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Laws 36

Please Keep Off The Grass

Laws are weird little constructs, populating human society and keeping the lid on all things destructive. You either love them or hate them, believing them to be essential for the smooth running of a moral society or chains restricting the desires of the human spirit. Either way they are band-aids at best.

Being raised as a young Presbyterian lad in 60s Northern Ireland I never really questioned the laws that held together the conservative mix of my milieu. One had great respect for policemen, well maybe more accurately a fear of the big men in black. Riding one’s bike on a pavement was a no-no, for if caught by an eagle-eyed constable, a good telling off was the least of one’s worries. If reported to my law-abiding parents, a good clip on the ear may have been an even worse fate.

No, laws or rules as they were sometimes termed, were the bastions of our moral order, the nuts and bolts of the moral order that keep everything societal running along smoothly. Of course that all started to crumble when the infamous ‘Troubles’ broke out in 1969, which led to massive ‘law breaking’ on both sides of the religio-political divide. The human heart and all its inherent violence was unleashed like a tribal twister, scarring the communal landscape of Northern Irish normality. But that’s another story altogether, one for another day perhaps.

Now, as an aging 62 year-old baby boomer, I reckon that laws, our imposed limits on human activity, are fast crumbling against the tide of imitative desire contagion that has been unleashed since the mid to late twentieth century. Our old laws have been replaced by more ‘understanding’ ones, only to discover that they too are now being bypassed by our collective maverick ego. The ‘we’ upon which society operates smoothly has been replaced by the ‘me’ generation, one that believes itself to be at the cutting edge of human evolution.

So where does the Divine stand in this mix of ‘law v liberty’? Well, I reckon that the Divine stands outside the philosophical mind games of society and the human heart. I’d better explain!

The Edenic myth reveals an Innocence of mind and heart that was the designed blueprint for humankind and inter-communal living. An experiential communion with the Divine was all that was required to keep the garden paradise a safe haven for animal kind and human alike. A little metaphor of what society can be like. Of course the introduction of the knowledge or awareness of ‘good and evil’ changed all that. Instead of looking upward mankind began to focus upon the ‘other’, automatically laying upon them the misjudgement of rivalry, one that quickly led to the prototypal ‘murder’ of Abel.

As desire birthed an ‘us v them’ battle for acquisition and security, all hell broke loose among the expanding human tribe, one threatening the very survival of our ancient ancestors. Out of the melee of warring loyalties and internal conflict, the rapidly accelerating embryo of human culture came up with the idea of laws – the initial institutionalization of the god-like ‘knowledge of good and evil’. And so, ever since time immemorial, culture and society have set up their values and laws as the very foundation of the human collective. A semi-effective means of keeping the lid on the violent tendencies of the human dynamic.

Once understood we can begin to understand why law quickly became the guiding principle of the evolving religious movements that bedded in with societal order and security. To be religious was to observe ‘God’s laws’. Not to was to be consigned to the ‘evil’ camp, one destined for a punitive, sticky end. And so, throughout human history, law and religious belief have been accommodating bed-fellows in the push for a pseudo-‘normalization’ of the human heart.

Of course, the trouble is that it simply doesn’t work, at least not in the long-term! Just watch someone defiantly walking onto a well-manicured park lawn, contrary to the attending large sign that boldly declares ‘KEEP OFF THE GRASS’. The mystic Jesus preacher Saul of Tarsus, (aka St. Paul) was spot on in his observation of the human heart. We appear to be wired to kick against the goad of requirement and expectation, whether divine or societal. Laws can be set in stone and invoked but our egos tend to over-ride them given time.

Effective enforcement is a must if laws are to play their partial role in keeping society orderly. The tendency however within many Western nations is to turn a blind eye to violations of minor laws while pursuing those who break the really big ones. The trouble with this approach is that over time we get high on our little misdemeanors, giving us a thirst for more serious law breaking. Once our lawless genie is out of the lamp, it can conjure up all sorts of destructive behavior on both a personal and communal level.

Those of us who follow the Nazarene ought to share his blunt diagnosis of the human condition – a waywardness within the human heart, one birthed by skewed desire. Yet, while useful as a stopgap measure, the use of law to keep us in check isn’t the ultimate answer to our predicament. Rather, an internal awakening and realignment with Source, is the key to defusing our delinquent tendencies -an encounter with Divine Love, a Transcendence that won’t stand for our excuses and ego tricks, yet One that freely forgives and changes us with a fiery passion.

Dylan’s Author Page ~ https://goo.gl/7BJ8JR

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Sun

The Sun

Sun

 

I reckon that the Sun with its accompanying rays is perhaps the greatest gift enjoyed by humankind. The source of all our Earthly existence and bounteous lifeforms, this blazing ball of burning gases was worshiped from earliest times. I’m not surprised. Our tribal ancestors knew more than we give them credit for, tapping into their body sensors to inform them what deserved worship. When the sun was out they felt good and able to hunt down their next meal; when it retreated back into its dark shell, the only thing to do was to retire and have a good, albeit sometimes cold, night’s sleep. This icon of the heavens was vital in all sorts of ways to ancient man, and yet perhaps the most telling was the benefit of a psychological high, when it brought with its warmth and vital vitamin D.

Today we 21st century dwellers fancy ourselves as a much more sophisticated bunch than our superstitious forebears. Technically addicted whizzkids, we daily dash our way along acquisition highway, frantically trying to obtain our next fix in the search for contentment and happiness. Of course, it never arrives, leaving us a burnt-out wreck of an excuse for a human being. Perhaps it’s time for us to get back to basics and ride the rhythms of the natural world. Time to stop and bathe in the ever-giving splendor of our great energy source – the Sun. Closing our eyes and allowing its warmth to melt our frozen soul, allows us to go back in time, to the era of simplicity and survival, when very few things really mattered.

Standing here in the city centre of Lincoln, England, my weary eyes slowly scan all around me – the concrete, the cars, and the rush and bustle of ridiculously early, pre-Christmas mania. The University with its seats of learning and new- found financial clout, stretch out far below the Medieval Anglican Cathedral majestically perched high on top of Lincoln’s only hill. The ecclesiastical ancient towers pointing towards a serene and cloudless November sky, an intermediary between the world of man and the highest heavens. And there, in all its glory shines the Sun, pouring its welcome but weakened rays on the scurrying crowds below. Time to look up and reconnect with Nature’s golden gift, the beacon of hope for all who walk in darkness. Time to feel the energizing power of its arriving space-travelled beams.

My wistful mind suddenly unearths a distant memory from my boyhood days – a Star Trek episode from the original Gene Roddenberry series. One James T Kirk, Spock and all the gang are visiting an alternative ‘Earth’, one on which the Roman Empire never fell, with ‘Sun’ worshipers forced into bloody combat in the gladiatorial arena of a modern TV studio. Of course, as always the good Captain has the last word before triumphantly beaming back up to the Enterprise. Standing on the outskirts of the city our heroes notice that there are not one but two suns in the sky, unlike the Earth of home. It’s only then that the penny finally drops. The enslaved combatants weren’t ‘Sun’ worshippers after all but ‘Son’ worshippers. Kirk and Spock stand in awe and stare.

So too me as I gaze up at our beloved Brother Sun. For, ‘A Light has come into the world and we comprehended it not.’ Enough said.

Dylan’s Author Page ~ https://goo.gl/7BJ8JR

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Time Flies

Time Flies

I don’t know about you, but from where I sit, time is an ever-increasing, delusory flow. Years feel more like months, months like days and days like hours. What on earth is going on. Am I awakening at last to the timeless Reality, that lies behind the mists of time. Anyway, its got me wondering regarding our future death-bed experience, that great unknown that awaits us all, once our allotted time has run its course. Perhaps this somewhat dreaded moment in our lives is the only truly authentic one that we encounter in our lifetime. Could it be that rather than a ‘sleeping with our ancestors’ we are in fact awakening to the delusion of our past and the eternal present of our Being. I guess time will tell, if you’ll excuse the pun.

John Wesley, the founding father of Methodism, claimed that the distinguishing mark of early Methodists was that they ‘died well’, not raging against their upcoming passing, but embracing it with a deep joy and assured contentment.

I guess that’s where the proverbial s**t really hits the fan. When all our religious beliefs and spiritual practices are really tested and shown to be pure gold or worthless dross, burned up by the fear of death.

As we age, our sense of time changes. Life, whatever it is, appears to pass ever more quickly. We reminisce about the long balmy days of our childhood summers, when time seemed to stand still, helping our youthful innocence to get a hold, albeit it a limited one, on life and reality. Now our summers pass without us even realizing it as seasons lose their illusory effect and our aging consciousness appears to opt out of the time game.

Are we being weaned off our time-dependent anchor, one that ego loves to hold us by? Regrets of the past, together with fears regarding the future are the weapons in its devious, yet effective psychological arsenal; those fashioned to lock us into a permanent state of angst. Perhaps this sense of ever speeding time is one to be embraced rather than something to be concerned by, a liberator to pull back the veil of delusion. Beyond the virtual reality games of time lies a greater Reality, one unconstricted by the laws of physics, whether Newton’s or Einstein’s. A state of affairs where we can forever enjoy the exhilarating moment of awe and wonder, the return to Source and its eternal embrace.

Now surely that’s something worth thinking about as 2017 accelerates its hallucinatory way into the seemingly sequential mists of the years ahead.

Dylan’s Author Page ~ https://goo.gl/7BJ8JR

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Purpose (1)

Purpose And Our Inner Voice

Boy, don’t the days fly by. And not only the days, but the months and years as well. If life is just an accident, one conjured up by mindless chemicals floating around in a mindless Cosmos soup, then we’ve been had; a not so funny, sick joke has been played on us by our CPU brains. A reasonless existence, one permeated with the darkest of all humours, a pointless exercise that will eventually dissolve before our very eyes.

Those whom we love will pass away into mere memory and if lucky a gravestone that seems to taunt us as we mourn and remember. It would appear that our lot here on Planet Earth is pointless, an absurdity that cannot be disguised by neither morality nor desire-driven hedonism. Maybe, ‘eat drink and be merry’ is the best advice after all for after all we do die. Best fall into our freshly dug six foot hole, obese, drunk, but with a smile on our face.

And yet, in the midst of this seemingly meaningless madness called life, we can’t shift two ever-present elements in the mix. A Voice that keeps returning and a sense that, even in spite of the surrounding evidence, that everything is for a Higher, if undefined, purpose. Even the most convinced atheist can’t quite manage to shake off these dual hauntings, no matter how dogmatic their cherished anti-faith. This Batman & Robin duo of our psyche-souls, keep turning up when we reckon we’ve got it all figured out, trying to find some solace, albeit temporarily, in our adopted agnosticism or atheism.

The Voice keeps calling us; one that can’t be easily ignored. Like a Mother’s mealtime call to her child who’s playing in the yard, it doggedly requires a response, this invitation to come Home and see what Love has prepared. Of course this niggling sense that we’re on a journey Home is either a delusion or the very secret of life itself. Yet, I reckon that the Voice, firm but compassionate, comes to whisper through the cracks of our rigid, day to day consciousness to touch the very heart of who we are. At times of great crises It tends to grow louder and more direct, though always in a deeply respectful way that desires to lead us into a course correction, one that brings us ever closer to the Way. In the midst of our chattering sensory bombardment world, learning to listen to this Voice is the very key to Wisdom and all that may lie ahead for us both in and out of space-time.

Now, purpose tends to hide itself among the desire-driven reflexes of daily life. It’s always there but tends to only reveal itself, one glimpse at a time when all our ego efforts for acquisition and pseudo-love come crashing down. It appears happy to wait until we have exhausted ourselves chasing after the trinkets that promise much but ultimately rust to dust. Not surprisingly, many of us only begin to get a picture of our own purpose as we leave behind the hormone-fuelled explorative years of youth and the false securities of middle-age. It takes many turbulent decades for us to finally realise that all we’ve previously experienced has been unknowingly leading us back to the Path, the narrowing Track Home.

So, in winding up may I respectfully suggest that our Purpose is simply to receive Divine Love in all its unbounded, unconditional generosity, and pass it on as the Voice instructs. As we co-operate, albeit in our all-too obvious human frailty kind of way, our assigned Batman and Robin will send our Joker ego and its dark, despairing nihilism packing. Only then will Love manifest Itself more fully in the shadowy landscape of our own inner Gotham City. That is until the day Death’s door opens and All will be revealed in our consummated Home coming.

Dylan’s Author Page ~ http://amzn.to/1LRfKMC

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Ego Escape

Portal

Ego Escape

Just when things appear to settle down we’re often struck by a totally unexpected storm, one whipped up and promoted by ego. As the hyper-defensive element of our earth-bound self, it doesn’t take much to set off a frenzied response to an often exagerated threat. For ego is a restless wee beastie, one unable to lead us into the pasturelands of peace, into the cool caverns of contentment.

Of course at times ego’s second-sight is spot on. We may in fact be under attack from the ego of another, one as dysfunctional as our own, one prone to defend personal space and pseudo-integrity at the slightest hint of danger.

So what hope is there for us in the storm-tossed sea that we call life, the space-time conundrum of ego warfare? Well, thankfully we’re not all ego, for the fragmented and wounded psyche is only the tip of our Being iceberg. Ego likes to tell us that it is identical to Self. Yet it lies., for deep within us, under our trauma-scarred layers of soul skin , lies our Core Self, the tender implant of Divine Love. It’s name, spirit – the paradoxically transcendent/ immanent otherness that permeates all things.

Thankfully such a Presence is available to us once we’ve awakened from ego’s propaganda dream, one in which it promotes itself as, not only our little helper, but that of Source Itself. Shocked out of our numbing slumbers by a crisis that ego can’t handle, we mercifully fall into the therapeutic arms Presence, viz. spirit, that inner spark from the Divine Fire.

From then on in, we can live in one of two ways. Plugged into the stress inducing, constant alert settings of ego or the peace stream that freely flows from spirit. This radical change in the daily options open to us, dramatically helps us ride the waves of adversity as they come our way. Indeed, walking in the Spirit, as the mystic Paul so aptly put it, can defuse such explosive threats before they even reach us. Ego, on the other hand loves to precipitate such debilitating events as a justification n for its existence, its means of feeling wanted and more importantly needed.

No, awakening to who we truly are, is the only lasting road to peace, a peace that bypasses the never-ending ego data of the wounded psyche-soul, a peace gifted to us via the portal of spirit.

In practice we tend to move in and out of two dissimilar world’s, viz. the jungle of ego encounters, and the realm beyond, the Spirit Ocean of Divine Love. Self -compassion and forgiveness comprise the doorway to the latter, a doorway through which we can walk at will. Of course one world is more Real than the other, but its exploration is one that takes a lifetime. Such is the purpose of life.

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Rain Clouds Of The Soul

 

Soul 3

Rain Clouds Of The Soul

 

I’m sitting here in the dreary Lincolnshire rain, waiting for my wee doggie Suki to get groomed. The overpowering sense of greyness has loosened my muse to roam as it pleases. The raindrops damp dance on the roof of my car conspire with the cloud-filled skies to remind me of our psyche-soul and its past, and sometimes present, sojourn through the nothingness of depression and melancholy.

 

Saturated by a multitude of fears, our hyper-sensitive psyche closes its doors to the Unknown, the very place where Divine Love dwells to woo the spirit of humankind. The dull survival based setting of nothingness promises much; a technique to keep us safe, albeit deeply miserable as we await normality to return and send us on our way.

 

Yet here, under the de-energizing darkness of the soul, is an opportunity to discover what is Real and what is not. The myriad of little sub-personalities who claim our attention, like Job’s well-meaning comforters, reveal themselves and their fear-driven agendas. Each promises us safety and a report of the state of play within our world. Yet, each is misleading, catching only a mere glimpse of the spectrum of Truth. Their take on our emotional and spiritual equilibrium is an exaggeration and a big one at that, leading us deeper into to the toxic mix of depression, anxiety and a lot more voices, each promising to be our savior.

 

So where does balance come from as we await the passing of the clouds of despondency. Well, in that very fact – that this too will pass. The transience of ‘the blues’ is as certain as the passing of our highest epiphany. We are creatures made to sail the seven seas of life, surviving the storms and enjoying the rewards of welcomed calm.

 

Once we realize that our psyche-soul is a sensuous ship that sails Life’s ever-changing ocean then we can accept our journey with all its highs and lows. For in seeing that part of us for what it is, we gain perspective, one that enables us to look further into our sense of Being. The reward of such an outlook is the discovery of our Core Self, that timeless ingredient of our identity that lies beyond the rain clouds and sunshine of life; a constant spark of the Divine Fire that knows it Source and the direction of Home. A still, ever-burning flame that cannot be quenched, the love-child of Divine Love, placed at the very centre of Self, the preserving anchor of our sanity when the troubled rains of life fall.

 

Once realized and encountered, albeit briefly, we can no longer be swept into the pit of despair and left for dead. For even there, the rays of the Divine Sun will warm our troubled hearts and reveal the Elysian Fields that are to come.

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Cry For Love

Love 8

Cry For Love

 

The world of humankind is one long wail. A heart piercing scream that flows from its dysfunctional, broken soul; a symptom of a break long gone, when we walked away from Source looking for who knows what. We run around like a scavenging dog looking for others’ discarded morsels of pleasure and reassurance. It lasts for a while, until we are mercifully jolted out of our stupor by One who tracks us down. A Hound of Heaven that’s had our scent from before time immemorial.

So how does it happen? Well, usually through a transpersonal crisis and a big one at that; an unexpected, irresistible turn of events that hits us for six. Health, relationships, finances, even sanity itself all lie within its varied but effective armoury. Floored, with our ego defenses lying shattered on the cold ground of Earth, we enter into a Darkness, one in which we shall paradoxically come to see the Light.

It appears that we are descending into the very essence of Hell itself as ego screams for all its worth. Yet, in Reality we are rising upwards to a Heaven of liberating Love, one that knows exactly what it’s doing. Stripped to the bare bones of our Core Self, we appear helpless, not knowing which way to turn, as yet unaware that we are now free to reconnect with a Love without price.

This return, this drawing back to Source and its timeless Being, is the reason we are here; a surrender to the very starting point of our very consciousness. A prodigal’s return to where it all began. The Grace that launched a zillion stars as the backdrop for a timeless story of Love spurned and Love rediscovered.

So as we head into our daily routine, let’s not forget the bigger picture, the inner drama being played out in every waking second of our time on the Stage called life. Shakespeare has nothing on the Mind that conjured up such a passionate tale of existence and Beyond.

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Frozen Faith

frozen-faith

Frozen Faith

When I cast the occasional look back over my old spiritual and religious haunts, I’m frankly astounded. For what I see is a frozen version of what was birthed in radicalism and unconformity. What began as a somewhat idealistic, yet deeply genuine search for God and all things divine appears to have morphed into a rigid belief system, one that doesn’t allow for honest questioning and experiential change. In my book, ‘Way Beyond The Blue’ I wrote a little parable to describe this settling process. In it the waters of Spirit were placed in religious and esoteric buckets and told to flow no more. God was taken in for care, like an ageing relative who could no longer be trusted to do their own thing.

 

In my early pilgrimage everything was taught and learned through the specs of scriptural texts. If a Biblical story couldn’t be found to back up our experience of God then I’m afraid it was immediately suspect. Revisiting the social media sites of my past religious contacts I see nothing has really changed. Sermons are still preached on David and Goliath, Paul’s letters to his Roman converts, and of course the scariest of all, ‘The Book of Revelation’. The menu hasn’t changed that much over the past 40 years, apart from a few trendy added extras to disguise the taste. The same trite, well-worn insights are wheeled out, Sunday by Sunday, to keep those in attendance committed to the cause, rather than exploring the boundless prairies of Divine Love.

 

Many of my old friends, after years of faithful service, have been promoted to the position of ‘elder’ or wise Christian guardian of all things church, allowing them to preach the odd sermon now and again when the pastor is away on vacation. What a settled and predictable life, one that resists Spirit in It’s dogged atempts at blowing things apart, at turning our beloeved belief systems upside-down. I guess, having been shaken to the core by the tragic storms of life, I can no longer hold to this sure and steadfast mindset, one that has maintained every jot and title of my friends’ adolescent faith.

 

It appears that my old spiritual nurseries still foster a semi-infantile view of all things God. Just turn up every Sunday morning, sing a few songs, give a few dollars, and listen to the same old sermons and all will be well. Of course, it doesn’t really work out like that as life buffets us for our good. Suffering, it would appear, is part of the deal, not a major part , though an unavoidable and highly significant one. The iconic Nazarene Himself could have quite easily slipped into the religious mindset of his day and been a good Torah believing, synagogue-attending Jewish boy. Yet He didn’t. For, something was stirring deeply in his psyche-soul, a spiritual energy that led him into the minefield of reformist and prophetical life. A path that eventually ended (at least within space-time) as a tortured, hanging victim of a second-rate Roman execution squad.

 

Of course many of my old friends suspect that I have fallen away from my early faith, my first love to use the evangelical vernacular. They may well be right, but I reckon that like Alice of Wonderland fame I’ve tumbled down a rabbit-hole more in touch with the Reality of which the Nazarene spoke. A ravenously loving God, one running wild outside the concept-based, formal paddocks of religious conservatism. Now, before any of my former comrades raise the old chestnut of one having ‘a root of bitterness’ lurking deep within, may I respectfully save them time and effort by stating that thankfully that particular trait melted away a long time ago. No, what presently lies with spiritual gut is rather a potent cocktail of sadness and bewilderment. A sadness that grieves the lack of risk taking present in my old faith communities, and a bewilderment at the level of toxic stoicism that has infiltrated the unquestioning and often subservient followers of Jesus.

The religious life is a funny old thing.

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life-5

The Hamster Wheel Of Life

I’ve just visited our local pet shop, observing all the little life forms that manifest the vivid imagination of Creator Source. Anyway, my eyes were serendipitously drawn to a little hamster doing his morning exercises on his wheel, furiously running nowhere fast. I’d been thinking about the routines of life in the last day or so, and suddenly my little furry friend has focused my various thoughts.

We human beings love routine. In fact, in its simplest form it beneficial to our mental and spiritual health. Nature is filled with the rhythms of life, the times to grow and the times to die, the times to work and the times to rest. All are wired into the nature of our space-time experience and rightly so.

Such routine as designed by Source, allows time for contemplation and communion, those moments that keep us sane.

Yet, we humans with our wounded psyches are prone to delusions and none worse than the hamster wheel of life. Trapped by an ever encroaching and competitive world our wounded psyches are prone to permanently living life in top gear. The rev counter goes off the scale as we attempt to prove to ourselves and others that we have value and deserve to be loved. A frantic race for acceptance that chases the approval of significant others and those not so significant.

Much of our pseudo-identity comes from how hard we run on our personalised wheels of illusion. “If only I could………” becomes our mantra of choice as we step up our egoistic efforts to finally make it. Of course society, as our self-appointed l life coach, cheers us on our way, driving us to ever more draining levels of exertion. A tired individual is one that’s easily manipulated and kept in their self-obsessed box, no threat to the powers that be, those who profit from our energy depletions. As we look to the side we see others running the same frenzied race and redouble our efforts in case we get left behind. To do so would be tantamount to failure, the loss of identity and self worth.

So what hope is there for us as we drive forward, with the sweat of our endeavours ever dripping down our furrowed brows? Well thankfully, destiny, providence or Source conspire to knock us off our spinning wheels when the time is right. Every time something goes wrong in our fear-fuelled race for meaning, is an opportunity for escape and reflection. Sadly, our worried psyches try and get us back on ASAP in order to ease our inner angst. Yet, it is an angst that must be squarely faced and experienced if we are to awaken to the madness of our present running track, a wheel that takes us absolutely nowhere.

Burn out is painful, the all too often end of the road for our hamster like efforts. The penny finally drops that all our expended energies have been for nought. We are where we started, wounded souls that can’t do anything to save themselves. As we lie disillusioned and exhausted, the life force almost drained our of us, we surrender to we know not what. Such a yielding isn’t in vain, for in our darkest hour something of Light reveals itself to us in the whispers of the night. “You are my beloved. You always have been and you always will be.” The treasure that we have been chasing for all those years of ego sprints on the hamster wheel of life.

Time perhaps to ditch the wheel?

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Wasted Energy!

wasted-energy

Wasted Energy

When all is said and done, rivalry and inter-personal warfare are a tragic case of wasted energy and wasted lives. Following ego’s diktats to show the other what we’re made of is a descent into the abyss, that dark spiral of reciprocal attacks and character assassination. The demonisation of the other in an attempt to protect our sense of personal integrity and personhood promises much but is a psycho-spiritual cul-de-sac. For as we launch our first or second strikes of verbal or physical animosity our true Self only retreats back into the mists of ego, as we await the expected counter-attack.

 Such games of destructive ping-pong only exhaust the limited supplies of energy that lie within our fragile psyche. At the end of it all we both lie exhausted in the wastelands of our our making. Two insecure and deeply unhappy souls who have nothing left to give. The reciprocal antagonism has taken its toll as darkness appears to win the day.

 Thankfully though there is another way. We can protect our Selves from damage in three simple steps.

 Firstly, we can realise that we are not our ego’s. There is much more to us than our shadow self, who masquerades as our be all and end all. No, we have a Self that flows from Source, the child of God within us that is fashioned for freedom and Divine connection. A timeless jewel, that lies behind the conscious mind, one that defines our very being and is beyond the reach of other. All wounding in inter-personal scuffles takes place on the sensitive plains of psyche, our space-time self. That’s where we feel the pain. But in spirit never.

 Secondly, we can walk away. There is no need to wage war on the battlefields of ego. By detaching from the fight and simply withdrawing from the frenzied fury of other, we give ourselves space to refocus and reconnect with what’s really important, namely our core Self. In the heightened energies of the fray it’s almost impossible to stay free from ego’s reflex response. It’s part of our animal wiring. No, best to disconnect with all that being flung at us and find our Self in the depths Solitude, for it is there that we are loved unconditionally by Source. For some of us that may mean withdrawing physically from the scene of battle, or the ever-increasing acrimonious conversation that has ensued. Communication usually needs to be temporarily put on hold, if not permanently. In doing so we are doing our ‘opponent’ a favour by breaking the cycle of vicious engagement. They too, on our departure, will have the opportunity to reconnect with who they really are.

 Thirdly, once we have settled into the calm of spirit Self, we can take the Divine option, namely to forgive our fellow combatant. To forgive is not to deny the hurt that their ego has caused us, but to supersede it by speaking words of release to their Higher Self, the divine spark within. For we are all dysfunctional, one no better than the other, yet ones with the same Spark within. To hold forgiveness back is to keep ourselves chained to the realm of ego and its deep angst, the pain of words spoken and actions received. In forgiving we are not letting the other off the hook, but letting our Self off the hook of victimhood, the moral high-ground that only results in continuing pain. No. in forgiving the other we are detaching at the level of wounded psyche and showing our Self great compassion. Once done, the Divine healing powers can begin to seal the cuts and bruises of our past piercings.

 Knowing and living with other folk isn’t easy, particularly when we attempt to relate on the level of ego. It’s well nigh impossible. It’s on the heights of spirit that we can give and receive love, that therapeutic energy that flows from Source.

So let’s give up the fighting, no matter what the cause.

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The Silly Season

models-and-ideologies

When, as individuals, communities or nations, we come under great pressure ,we often enter what I term ‘the Silly Season’. As cracks begin to show within our psyche/soul or within the collective of humanity, we tend to go into a tailspin, looking for an anchor to hold us in the storm, the more solid looking the better.

In times like this we tend to choose a charismatic Model to show us the way and impart some of their perceived strength into our shaky self-belief. Unfortunately this only makes things worse for as we swop something of our individuality for a piece of their action, we are entering a volatile world of transmitted desire, one that promises much but will eventually end in tears. For those we worship today we disdain tomorrow, once the imitative enchantment is broken. In the meantime we set our rational thinking aside as we receive the spin of our Model with quasi-religious devotion, basking in their glory and their public stance on issues dear to our heart.

 Now don’t get me wrong. Leaders, particularly charismatic ones have a role to play as we search for answers. It’s just that they themselves are not the answer. A leader worth their salt, no matter how appealing will always send us back into our inner world, one stripped of all but Self and Source.

 At other times, in our semi-fragile state, we seek solace in an ideology or belief system, a way of thinking that claims truth, one apart from all the other mind-game perceptions on offer. Like a hungry dog we gobble it up it like a piece of discarded meat, in an attempt to satisfy our pangs of inner turmoil. Again, it tends to be a case of all or nothing as we adopt the political, religious or philosophical creed with great gusto, elevating it to the dizzy heights of Truth.

As an ideological convert we crusade for the cause with blind devotion and disregard for those of the ‘other’ camp. But let’s be honest though – thought systems can never unite us, not even the ones that proclaim our inherent unity. For in adopting an ideology we automatically disregard others, most of which will contain a slither of truth. As soon as the shutters come up and the others demonized, we have only entered into a mirage of freedom, one based on rivalry and a falsely perceived purity. No, in attempting to heal our inner angst with the unquestioning adoption of an established thought system we are only entering the us-and-them contagion of the mob, albeit one dressed in the deceptive garments of morality.

 Ideologies tend to the heightened caricatures of valid perceptions that tend to separate rather than unite. Even the no-ideology tribe, those of us who adopt supposedly free thinking trains of thought aren’t really that free, for in adopting such a belief we tend to demonise those who do not, looking down upon them with a smug superiority.

 So where does that leave us? Is there no solution to our internal our outer insecurities? No Model or Ideological crutch upon which to lay our restless angst? Well there is an answer and thankfully It’s not a crutch – a Light which only dwells in the Darkness of our brokenness and brutal honesty. A place where ego and its frantic search for justification finally surrender to pure Being. Burnt up in the Fires of Divine Love the addictive desire for Model heroes and/or one-size-fits-all belief systems no longer haunts our waking hours. We have come Home and all is well.

The Silly Season is over.

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Mind Control

mind-control

Mind Control

Who’s really in control of our minds? Most of us are programmed into thinking that we are, that we’re autonomous creatures will a cast iron free will. Yet, I’ve never really subscribed to this somewhat naive take on who really pulls our strings.

Nowhere is this more clear than in the field of advertising, where zillions of dollars are spent on bombarding us with the latest must-have product. If we our minds were rock solid fortresses then the cash is splashed to no avail No, it works, even if it takes time. I’m living proof of it as I sit here typing on my MacBook Pro. Capitalism, if you think about it, is built on the practice of mind control. We are convinced that we need something when we really do not, thus making a big buck for the manufacturer and cents for the Chinese worker.

But how does this mind control work? Well, it’s all about association and desire. We have an internal craving to be the best that we can be and this is mistakenly channeled in the direction of a Model, one who oozes coolness and a form of transcendence. The root problem of course is that we don’t see ourselves as images of the Divine, for if we did we’d detach from the magnetic field of the other and just enjoy being ourselves. The Divine spark within is smothered by ego’s desire to absorb another’s essence, especially one who appears to have it all together, way beyond our own tawdry limits.

Models, those transmitting desire and availability are all around us. Entertainment, Sport, Politics, Religion and dare I say it, even Spirituality, have their iconic individuals who shine the light of their Being into our inadequacy-packed darkness. The flow of desire and its subtle nuances operates under the radar of the conscious mind. We don’t pick up on what’s really happening. Our rationality is superceded by deeper forces at work. Once hooked though, the conscious mind reboots, creating a phony narrative to cover over our entrapment. It assures us that we are still individuals, ones with mere preferences. Yet, our actions reveal otherwise, revealing a control that emanates from another in the guise of influence.

So here we are sitting in a swirling matrix of desire transmissions, with all and sundry selling their selves to our starving psyches that seek to recover their sense of divinity. What can we do to escape this mesmeric contagion that so easily infects our sense of self. Well, thankfully our Models tend to eventually burn out, like some distant Dark Star that’s had its day. When the light of their self-projection fades we tend to see them as they really are, broken folk like ourselves. Their promised empowerment runs dry like a well that been visited once too often. The blinkers fall away giving us a chance to recover a glance of our own being, albeit often a momentary one. For on the conveyor belt of desire a new shining, all-singing dancing Model quickly appears to replace their predecessor, promising us an ever closer experience of our long sought personal utopia.

After a number of Model infatuations and disillusionments, we finally get the message. Recognising the sea of seductive desire transmissions in which we swim, we finally look within. Past the hook marks of previous fixations, to the very core of our Being, where desire finally finds its true Home: our spirit Self and the One who gives it birth. A realignment that only has eyes for the Wonder that lies both within and without.

So let’s not judge the cynics among us, those who may be closer to Divine Source than we imagine, those who through bitter experience have seen the desire game for what it truly is. These doubting Thomases may be only one step away from the resurrected Other and personal enlightenment. Minds that awaken must first walk through the valley of disillusionment. Darkness followed by Light seems to be the order of the day.

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