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“Every age has its greatest discovery. The greatest of all is inside of us.”
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“Go beyond time”
Edward Saugstad on homestead upgrades Don Saugstad on homestead upgrades Linda Saugstad on “Happy Springtime 2019!… Don Saugstad on “Happy Springtime 2019!… Edward Saugstad on 40 Year Challenge Linda Saugstad on 40 Year Challenge Doina Mira Dascalu on 40 Year Challenge Don Saugstad on I Left My Heart In the Centre… Don Saugstad on 2019: the year of Inner P… Diana Rothenberg on Neil Young, Van Morrison, thou…
“the Force use you should”
“the Great Story is just beginning, Mr. Frodo”
Me at Twitter …
speak ‘friend’, and enter
no ghosts in my brain, thanks anyway!
Category Archives: courageImage
We’re about to enter the decade that history books will remember as the one that ushered in the END OF KALI YUGA, the Age of Darkness.
As we find ourselves moving more and more beyond duality we will soon discover all the precious treasures in ourselves and others.
So, HO-HO-HO! HOLD on to your hat and enjoy the sleigh ride 🛷
HAPPY NEW AGE! 😁 (Optimism is contagious 😉)
Lots of love💗
Edward and Brigitte
Year 2020 will be the last one of the age of materialism…
✨“The biggest and grandest alignment comes on December 21, 2020 when Jupiter joins Saturn in what’s referred to as the great conjunction. “✨
✨“These grand conjunctions come every 20 years, but this meeting has extra gravitas. It marks the end of a 200-year cycle of unions in earth signs that’s brought the age of materialism, banking, capitalism and corporations.”✨
✨“December 2020 kicks off a new 200-year cycle of unions in air signs. What that will bring isn’t entirely clear yet, but early indications are that thought, philosophy and truth will prevail. This is going to be a big shift.”✨
Unlike the highly acclaimed new Joker movie, The King’s Speech depicts the struggle from childhood trauma up into the noble realms of bravery, compassion and liberation. (With 12 Oscar nominations, it is among the most nominated films of all time.) Decadent Gotham City and megalomanic Nazi Germany rise up darkly as universal threats to the shattered child, as does the wanton destruction of our biosphere and essential moral integrity today.
As a victim of deep childhood trauma that has taken decades for me to transcend, I find it tremendously compelling and inspiring. How many of us can indeed be born again like a phoenix from the ashes of our past?
He started feeling again like he was in some kind of fairy tale, where good was setting out to defeat evil. The furry edges of all the bustling silhouettes started glowing in the increasing light of a fierce bonfire as they neared their destination. The air was filled with the sounds of stomping feet in sand, grunts and panting, powerful ocean waves, the crackling of a huge fire, and the distant cawing of many crow-type birds. All the animal, jungle and beach smells were stunningly wild. The sky was almost dark overhead, where billions of watching stars had begun to twinkle. It was a night that would forever stretch, with its colorful events from the roots of history, up into the minds of the human race throughout all generations to come.
As little kids back in the sixties in suburban West Coast Canada, my best buddy and I would spend a lot of our classroom time drawing war scenes on pieces of paper. Our depictions were filled with fun explosions and gunfire. Traditionally, the good guys always defeated the bad guys. That was less than twenty-five years after World War Two, which meant Americans against Nazi Germans. (“Achtung! Schweinehund!”) Sargent Rock and Sargent Fury were two of the action comic books that I’d sometimes read under my blankets at home when I was supposed to be sleeping. The world seemed so clearly laid out in black and white, and we were the triumphant heroes. Could I have imagined back then that I would marry and move to Europe decades later, and live a pleasant life in enemy territory?
In 2003 my wife inherited a cottage and property on a creek in the Vienna Woods from a deceased friend of her grandmother (these women had survived two world wars in Vienna, losing all their material wellbeing twice in one lifetime) in a small valley with seven hills that had established inns for travellers (twelve in its heyday!) and farms from way back in the twelfth century AD. Ten years later we received a surprise visit here by an old man who’s father had built the one room structure out of hand-sawn wooden beams, bricks and improvised mortar, and dug the six meter well, back in 1934. They had received the property because the father was employed on the railroad that ran through the village. This is where our visitor had happily grown up as a child. But then Hitler rose to power and all hell broke loose. At the end of the devastating war they moved to Vienna. But young Kurt experienced the relief from oppression of the evil regime here in his rural corner of Austria. When news of the fall came, in the one desperate night before the Russians swarmed in, the impoverished villagers broke into the Nazi headquarters and SS officer training centre* (that existed on an ancient country estate then, just a few blocks from the house where we now live in the village of ‘Eichgraben’, Oak Gully) and stole everything they could carry away. Apparently some homes in the area still have oak floorboards that were made off with that night from the Herrenhof. Even cobblestones from the new Autobahn (freeway/motorway) that was commissioned by Hitler nearby were stolen. A teenage friend of Kurt was caught with an unlicensed motorcycle by the police that were later assigned to come and inspect the village and it’s inhabitants. The boy was worried that they would confiscate it, but the friendly officer simply took a hammer and whacked a dent into it, declaring that it looked broken and that he could keep it! (They still use the old wartime civil-defence siren system here to alert the volunteer fire department members in cases of emergency, giving the haunting impression every time that bombs are about to fall.)
*(The dreaded SS had many secretive training centres throughout the Vienna Woods, where young men were brain-washed into becoming cold, calculating killing machines. Young ladies from the nearby farms and villages would sometimes be invited for dance evenings at the Herrenhof to pump the egos of the budding officers.)
It took a long time for me in Austria (where I arrived in 1986 to marry my sweet Viennese Fräulein … whom I had met in India!) to realize that every war memorial statue and roll of honour here praised the so-called bad guys killed in action. The fact really came home to me one day when I helped fill a scene full of SS officers as an extra in an American Broadcast Corporation television series called War and Remembrance. I was in Vienna’s Rathaus Keller (City Hall cellar) at a make-believe banquet, dressed as a Nazi (they paid me extra to have my blond hair shaven down to a crew cut) with two hundred other scary looking men, and a Hitler look-alike raving up on the podium. (What a jerk!) This was daily life here not long ago, and it’s been equally brutal in many other countries since.
In 1989 I spent a few weeks working in a one-hundred-and-fifty year old family-run shop in the heart of Frankfurt. My boss, like his parents and grandparents before him, did exclusive picture framing work. They had also all been Nazi supporters. So many times I had to listen to his assertions that the Allies did worse things than Hitler’s well-meaning assistants. Some evenings on the bus ride home I couldn’t help crying, so intense was the physical pain in my heart from those tangible, torturing vibrations.
My father-in-law, a very kind and intelligent, now retired, government official, was spared the fate that met most of the servants of das Dritte Reich. When, as a teenager in 1941, he was drafted and forced to quickly chose between serving as a Luftwaffe gunner or an aircraft warning observer, he was able to choose the safe position. His guardian angel placed him in an observation tower** outside of Paris where he saw no fighting. (His comrade fired some shots towards the ground one night, only to discover the next morning that it had been cows moving around down there in the dark.) Then, on the way to Hamburg to deliver a package, he put his hand through a train compartment window when their car jerked, and was declared unfit for battle because of a stiff thumb. He still remembers the moaning of wounded soldiers from the Soviet front in that Hamburg military hospital where he lay until his mother, undertaking the long journey from Vienna, rescued him and took him home. (It was about this time that my Dad lost his brother, Cliff, as the plane carrying him and other young recruits disappeared from the radar screens — see letter below.) She had organized his transfer through an important doctor that she knew. After his convalescence he was allowed to continue his studies, and heard about the end of the war over the radio in a friend’s apartment in Vienna’s fourth district on the eighth day of May, 1945 (where he was staying because the Allied Forces had been carpet bombing his neighbourhood near the main train station — my first home in Europe from 1986 till 1999). If the Germans had developed their radar technology sooner, or if that train hadn’t made a sudden stop, my wife may never had been born, as her father would certainly have been sent to battle and been killed, or died slowly as a prisoner-of-war in Russia, like his father.
**(By the time of the Battle of Britain in mid-1940, the Royal Air Force had fully integrated radar as part of the national air defence. By contrast, the German Funkmessgerät was neglected, partly due to Adolf Hitler’s prejudice against defensive measures, and failings by the Luftwaffe in coherently incorporating the new technology.)
Papa went on to serve his country for three decades as head of the Regional Land Use Commission, receiving the national Decoration of Honour in recognition of his outstanding integrity and dedication, from the Chancellor, when he retired in 1987.
We might not experience all-encompassing war in Europe again*** (if the Western neocons don’t provoke Russia into further defensive measures) but a similar firestorm is brewing in Asia and the Middle East as I write these words. May mankind soon choose enlightenment and benevolence over baser motivations. Surely we have been deeply prepared for that higher destiny.
***(Almost one-and-a-half centuries before the last world war, here in Eichgraben, some of Napolean’s troops — actually Bavarian soldiers, speaking German like the locals — bullied one of the innkeepers, stealing his goods and insulting him. Seven of them were murdered in their drunken sleep by a few pitchfork wielding farmers, but one escaped to report back to his commanding officer in nearby Purkersdorf. A squadron came here to punish the locals with brutality and a high fine, which was mostly paid by a Viennese merchant who lived in this area.) (A couple hundred years before that, Europe was filled for thirty years with terrorist armies and mercenaries that raped, pillaged and murdered each other and innocent women and children in the name of Jesus Christ, mostly Protestants against Catholics, but even some who were on the same side — France against the, mostly Austrian, Holy Roman Empire. The terror is carried forward genetically to countless suffering ascendants, even today.) (… And who knows what the Romans and Celts, and the occasional barbarian from north of the Danube, got up to here one-and-a-half millennia before that!)
(viewable on computers)
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”
― Kahlil Gibran
“Nowhere in the world is presented a government of so much liberty and equality. To the humblest and poorest amongst us are held out the highest privileges and positions. The present moment finds me at the White House, yet there is as good a chance for your children as there was for my father’s.”
—Abraham Lincoln, 31 August 1864
I’ve been following, via social networks, an unprecedented awakening in America for the past few months. (Anyone who relies on corporate media for their news will, of course, have been missing it)
It feels like plugging one’s soul into a current, and being amazed at the intensity of the electric enthusiasm. It seems that sensitive, honest, common-sense people — millions of them — lived their daily lives despairing at the corruption and greed that has infiltrated the ruling class of their great land, the land of the people, land of the free. And then comes along a sincere leader who has spent his life tirelessly fighting for the wellbeing of the citizens, and they propel him to national (and international!) significance with their heartfelt support. Suddenly, all those worthy citizens find themselves up on the stage of historic change together, rising swiftly higher towards the great halls of power, elated by the transparency of their collective success that promises to benefit all … except for those who abused their authority at the cost of the people.
Everywhere, in these times of universal communication and global family chumminess among diverse women and men, girls and boys, like you and me, life on Earth is becoming an open book for everyone to read. The old darkness of mass-manipulation and ignorance is fading fast in the light of understanding and, yes, love.
I’m a Canadian living in Austria, but I am deeply moved by the hope that’s swelling like an ocean tide over in the USA. It is bound to send benevolent ripples out around the planet for generations to come.
I’m considering applying for the job of playing James Bond in the upcoming movies. What do you think my chances are of being accepted for the position? Too old? Too tall? Too non-violent? Too silly? Too Canadian? ….
The name’s Blond, Ed Blond….
Will we learn to use the Force
(that’s actually already in us)
in time? ….
When I asked the I Ching now about 2015, it answered with hexagram 47, K’un / Oppression (Exhaustion). This, for me, seemed to sum up the situation that most of us are living in today.
There seems to be a very powerful whirlpool sucking all time and money down a fat drainpipe somewhere. Someone may accuse me of leaning towards conspiracy theories, but what I’m referring to is in fact quickly becoming common knowledge (see my recent Facebook post below).
This overwhelming lack of benevolence from the top down (in our society, quite different than the spiritual system inherent inside of us!*) seems to have penetrated our very cells and psyche. Physics shows clearly that everything is energy.
There’s a province here in Austria that was long ruled by the nazi-leaning party, and driving through it always brought on a headache. After they lost control of that area, the atmosphere became much lighter. Benevolence attracts benevolence, malevolence attracts malevolence. Simple law of nature.
I met a woman who spent Her life tirelessly dedicated to uplifting the hearts and minds of generations of human beings. One easily got the impression that She was surrounded by peace-giving angels and soothing light. Another time I worked on the set of a Hollywood production about Hitler here in Vienna. It was a realistic World War II setting, a hall packed with two hundred SS officers, in which I was dressed as one of them (the agency paid me 50 schillings extra for allowing them to shave my blond hair down to a formal military cut). Although I found it all quite amusing, I physically felt like vomiting the whole time. Afterwards, the poor chap portraying Hitler, eyes popping out of his face like one possessed, stabbed his elbow into my chest as he passed me (probably didn’t like my sweetness and light). It didn’t hurt much, although I felt a distinct pang of sympathy for him. This was all make-believe, but the appropriate negative vibrations had been collected for the show. (Not really of much significance here, but when the 200 nazi officers’ voices and right hands rose up violently to salute Der Fuhrer on the podium, I shouted ‘God save the Queen’ instead of ‘Heil Hilter’ … and what’s more, lived to talk about it!)
My wife and I have been creating and selling art for over a quarter century. In that time we’ve witnessed the tragic decline in buying-power of the common person. Most people are more stressed and worried about survival, and less able to enjoy life and many of it’s simple pleasures, like beauty. Even in Harrods in downtown London the other day, the longtime salesperson in the exquisite Italian porcelain department told us that normal people don’t make purchases there anymore (back in the nineties, we used to buy some of those items directly from the manufacturer near Milan, they were lovely people, for our Vienna shop) — the staff have to wait now for the occasional wealthy patron to come through and support this dying craft. Most small, family-owned shops have disappeared in the cities, replaced by mega-stores. Long ago, simple farmers were the wealthiest citizens. Now, with our casino-economy, the sophisticated gamblers and their political minions seem to be the only winners. We can’t even send a large package overseas without it getting sidelined and delayed (or even lost, as in the current case of a Ganesha statue by my wife, supposed to be on it’s way to the USA) because in the machine of corporate miserliness, every cent is being counted and ever-more drastic measures mechanically taken to increase profit at any cost.
An old friend of ours works at an Austrian bank. She tells that everyone there is stressed to the limit due to pressure from the top to bring money in: suck in new clients, sell old clients ‘products‘ they don’t need, anything to keep the company from going belly up. They’re struggling to keep their jobs by offering illusions to gullible people in the form of impressive products. A great writer once said, Try explaining insurance to a child.
Quality is fast fading from daily life in modern society, and dissatisfaction grows everywhere like an inescapable fungus….
Did I say inescapable? Actually, according to my experience, everything happens for a reason. If we are ruled by superficial, antibiotic forces, it’s because we have attracted that tendency in our own attitudes. After a furious world war, there comes international brotherhood, hope and kindness. What will come after we get absolutely fed up with speed and shallow attractions and more, more, more? There’s a growing thirst for deep, nurturing realness. This will come — indeed, is coming — from within, and it’s collective manifestations will be historically breathtaking.
The I Ching explained that times of difficulty force a person of higher integrity to become more cheerful, and in so doing, able to bend and improve to overcome life’s hardest obstacles. Also, that in the spine of each person resides the energy (the same thing that C.G. Jung referred to as ‘kundalini’, and is in fact a completely benevolent, motherly power) that can lift us beyond disturbance, into the state of equilibrium and rejuvenating stillness. It’s the right and duty of each individual on this planet to reach inside and discover the personal empowering treasure waiting there.
I’ve experienced pretty much the worst and best in life (utter despair leading to the cliff of suicide; and simple, shining, healing holiness in children and Mother Nature that uplifts beyond description) and nothing can be more crystal clear than the fact that it’s up to you/me to manifest the unlimited goodness available from our real nature. It’s an easy matter of tapping into that abundant asset. Achieving this individually and together will be the dawn of change that will scatter all the shadows of corruption. It’s already happening.
(*And, after decades of personal introspection and widespread investigation, this would be my personal recommendation for facilitating that: http://www.freemeditation.com/online-meditation/self-realization-workshop-kundalini-awakening/ )
From my Facebook timeline:
Comment from an Indian citizen, about the AAP being voted in by the corruption-weary population of Delhi (even before hearing the facts about the international Swiss banking scandal) :
“These are State Assembly Elections of Delhi, our capital city. I live in Mumbai which is in Maharashtra, so I could not vote here. Actually, our PM Modi made it a personal battle and stooped so low in his rally speeches to make personal attacks on AAP’s leaders , especially on Arvind Kejriwal, that I feel he put the last nail in the coffin of BJP. BJP’s electoral campaign was based on personality attacks and total negativity, whereas AAP’s campaign was positive, issue based, and they had a 70 point agenda and blueprint for the city. Ultimately, people used their discrimination to see through fraud and facade and give their complete mandate to those who had integrity and honesty on their side.”
(This trend is apparent in other parts of the world as well, indicated, for example, by the increase in supporters for the Green Party in various countries, who want to put power over wellbeing back into the hands and voices of the people.)
And here’s an official banking outlook stated already almost a decade ago, showing complete lack of disinterest in benefiting the common man, woman and child:
>Here are some quotations about the strategies of the super rich (in this case, Citibank) already from 2006 and 2007 when they were still a bit more open. There is a most dangerous “revolution” of the arrogant rich threatening the whole world. (The TTIP is a real danger.)
>Oct 16, 2005
– The World is dividing into two blocs – the Plutonomy and the rest. The U.S., UK, and Canada are the key Plutonomies – economies powered by the wealthy. Continental Europe (ex-Italy) and Japan are in the egalitarian bloc.
– Equity risk premium embedded in “global imbalances” are unwarranted. In plutonomies the rich absorb a disproportionate chunk of the economy and have a massive impact on reported aggregate numbers like savings rates, current account deficits, consumption levels, etc.
This imbalance in inequality expresses itself in the standard scary “global imbalances”. We worry less.
– There is no “average consumer” in a Plutonomy.
Indeed, traditional thinking is likely to have issues with most of it. We will posit that:
the world is dividing into two blocs – the plutonomies, where economic growth is powered by and largely consumed by the wealthy few, and the rest.
Plutonomies have occurred before in sixteenth century Spain, in seventeenth century Holland, the Gilded Age and the Roaring Twenties in the U.S.
What are the common drivers of Plutonomy?
Disruptive technology-driven productivity gains,
creative financial innovation,
capitalist-friendly cooperative governments,
an international dimension of immigrants and
overseas conquests invigorating wealth creation,
the rule of law, and
Often these wealth waves involve great complexity, exploited best by the rich and educated of the time.
We project that the plutonomies (the U.S., UK, and Canada) will likely see even more income inequality, disproportionately feeding off a further rise in the profit share in their economies, capitalist-friendly governments, more technology-driven productivity, and globalization.
In a plutonomy there is no such animal as “the U.S. consumer” or “the UK consumer”, or indeed the “Russian consumer”.
There are rich consumers, few in number, but disproportionate in the gigantic slice of income and consumption they take. There are the rest, the “non-rich”, the multitudinous many, but only accounting for surprisingly small bites of the national pie. […] i.e., focus on the “average” consumer are flawed from the start.”
“Citigroup Plutonomy Report Part 2
Mar 5 2006
RISKS — WHAT COULD GO WRONG?
Our whole plutonomy thesis is based on the idea that the rich will keep getting richer. This thesis is not without its risks. For example, a policy error leading to asset deflation, would likely damage plutonomy. Furthermore, the rising wealth gap between the rich and poor will probably at some point lead to a political backlash. Whilst the rich are getting a greater share of the wealth, and the poor a lesser share, political enfranchisement remains as was — one person, one vote (in the plutonomies). At some point it is likely that labor will fight back against the rising profit share of the rich and there will be a political backlash against the rising wealth of the rich. This could be felt through higher taxation on the rich (or indirectly though higher corporate taxes/regulation) or through trying to protect indigenous [home-grown] laborers, in a push-back on globalization — either anti-immigration, or protectionism. We don’t see this happening yet, though there are signs of rising political tensions. However we are keeping a close eye on developments.”
By Robert Frank, Wall Street Journal – Jan 8, 2007
It’s well known that the rich have an outsized influence on the economy.
The nation’s top 1% of households own more than half the nation’s stocks, according to the Federal Reserve. They also control more than $16 trillion in wealth — more than the bottom 90%.
Yet a new body of research from Citigroup suggests that the rich have other, more-surprising impacts on the economy.
“The Plutonomy is here, is going to get stronger, its membership swelling” he wrote in one research note. “Toys for the wealthy have pricing power, and staying power.”
Of course, Kapur says there are risks to the Plutonomy, including war, inflation, financial crises, the end of the technological revolution and populist political pressure. Yet he maintains that the “the rich are likely to keep getting even richer, and enjoy an even greater share of the wealth pie over the coming years.”
All of which means that, like it or not, inequality isn’t going away and may become even more pronounced in the coming years. The best way for companies and businesspeople to survive in Plutonomies, Kapur implies, is to disregard the “mass” consumer and focus on the increasingly rich market of the rich.
A tough message — but one worth considering.”
‘Names listed over black money same as AAP had revealed, party stands vindicated: Kejriwal
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said that the party stood vindicated as the names it had revealed in connection with black money earlier is present in the HSBC bank’s Geneva branch list naming 60 Indians and entities involved.’
Minnesota’s Governor raised the minimum wage, signed an equal pay act, and raised taxes on the rich to fund K-12 schools and higher education. Minnesota now has the 5th highest job growth in the nation and median income is $8,000 higher than the national average. By contrast, Governor Walker in the neighboring state of Wisconsin did the opposite: he gave the rich $2.1 billion in tax breaks, busted unions, and cut school funding more than any governor. Wisconsin now ranks 37th for job growth, median income is $800 below the national average, and the budget deficit is so large Walker has stopped making payments. Share this for every conservative who says raising taxes on the rich will destroy the economy. Cure them of their ignorance.
As mentioned in the last two posts, a dear friend of ours from France has been poised to triumph in the national TV singing contest there. Well …
The actual events and interviews speak for themselves.
WHAT A GREAT FEELING!
Permanent link to all translated videos of The Voice 2013, France:
(here, the Finals — allow a few minutes for video streaming)
Here’s an article in “Le Parisien” (major French newspaper):
Vincennes’ mayor put posters “Vote Yoann” on the walls of the town, on the walls of the schools, and organized a support evening! (before the contest finals)
~click on Yoann~
In another newspaper interview (before the finals) Yoann explained that he’s not sure why he won over his old friend and teacher, Emmanuel Djob, but that the people voted that way, and maybe because he (Yoann) gave love from his heart, and maybe because coaches Jenifer and Florent Pagny were also supporting him; and that he does not get stressed or nervous because he practices meditation regularly, and music is an extension of his self, making no difference if he sings alone or in front of thousands, and seeking to perfect, not just the skills, but to go deeper to reach the true self; and this approach to singing is not restricted to one culture or religion, but can express all aspects of spirituality; and he will continue to sing, and someday hopefully create a music school in Paris. (In one more article, it’s mentioned that he meditated with other contestants, helping to calm their stress.)
a few months later,
Yoann’s first single:
A short video-compilation, ‘Love/Courage/Innocence’:
This is for you, if you’re not looking forward to another year on Earth.
For what it’s worth, you are loved.
I’ve just returned from three-and-a-half months in the shadow lands. (Sorry for the lack of blog posts, but my literary lights were dimmed.) At the beginning of September, after weeks of amazing emotional revelations ranging from euphoria to utter despair, I got physically sick and didn’t really recover until now, four days before Christmas 2012, and the very day that the Mayan calendar runs out — whatever that historic milestone may prove to imply. There were three or four days (and intensely dark, suffocating nights) in which I was convinced that my time on Earth was almost over, and that I had reached a humiliating and unexpectedly sudden demise. After three decades of daily yoga meditation I never get sick any more, but it seems I still had some deeper, traumatic issues to work out before the unprecedented personal and collective events of 2013.
In the ancient language of Sanskrit, Maya means illusion. Not only has mankind marched steadily into the most morally confused time of our evolution, but the point of highest spiritual opportunity as well. Somewhere behind all the mumbo-jumbo about cosmic cataclysm and last chances, there lies the simple truth that we have all been on a very long journey, and it’s high time to harvest the fruits of that struggle.
Not long ago there were two buddies who used to get together in a Cambridge pub once a week to discuss life and literature. One was a booming evangelist, the other a more soft-spoken Christian. It seems that they both had a subtle, inner connection to reality that expressed itself very differently through each. J.R.R. Tolkien considered the bible the greatest epic tale ever told, but chose to only hint at the image of Jesus Christ — archetype of the greatest of kings who fell and rose again in supreme benevolence — in his now classic novel series, The Lord of the Rings. C.S. Lewis on the other hand (often to Tolkien’s displeasure) would shout his admiration for the Son of God from the rooftops, especially after his kundalini suddenly rose up his spine while he rode a Cambridge public bus to work one morning, causing him to write Surprised by Joy. He also praised the Divine, albeit without naming names, in his (also now classic) children’s series, The Chronicles of Narnia.
The other morning I woke up after hearing myself say, in a dream, “I wonder how well Narnian vegetables would sell in our local market”. (This was a few days after I woke up to a Voice that softly reassured me that, “His love for you is unlimited. It just flows,” which I understood to refer to Jesus … or Aslan?) C.S. Lewis had an uncanny knack of being able to accurately describe the attributes and effects of divinity and the shadowy lack of it, which we sometimes call evil. Bearing that in mind, I’ve come to pay special interest to the end of the adventures in Narnia, when paradise is overrun by destructive shadow, and a magical door appears in the midst of danger and chaos, leading to a new, somehow better, more colorful, wider, higher Narnia.
It was the unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling. He stamped his right fore-hoof on the ground and neighed and then cried:
“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this. Come farther up, come farther in!”
… “The farther up and the farther in you go, the bigger everything gets. The inside is larger than the outside.”
Lucy looked hard at the garden and saw that it was not really a garden at all but a whole world, with its own rivers and woods and sea and mountains. But they were not strange: she knew them all.
“I see,” she said. “This is still Narnia, and, more real and more beautiful than the Narnia down below, just as it was more real and more beautiful than the Narnia outside the Stable door! I see … world within world, Narnia within Narnia …”
“Yes,” said Mr. Tumnus, “like an onion: except that as you go in and in, each circle is larger than the last.”
And Lucy looked this way and that and soon found that a new and beautiful thing had happened to her. Whatever she looked at, however far away it might be, once she had fixed her eyes steadily on it, became quite clear and close as if she were looking through a telescope. She could see the whole southern desert and beyond it the great city of Tashbaan: to eastward she could see castle Cair Paravel on the edge of the sea and the very window of the room that had once been her own. And far out to sea she could discover the islands, island after island to the end of the world, and, beyond the end, the huge mountain which they had called Aslan’s country. But now she saw that it was part of a great chain of mountains which ringed round the whole world. In front of her it seemed to come quite close. Then she looked to her left and saw what she took to be a great bank of brightly-colored cloud, cut off from them by a gap. But she looked harder and saw that it was not a cloud at all but a real land. And when she had fixed her eyes on one particular spot of it, she at once cried out, “Peter! Edmund! Come and look! Come quickly.” And they came and looked, for their eyes also had become like hers.
“Why!” exclaimed Peter. “It’s England. And that’s the house itself — Professor Kirk’s old home in the country where all our adventures began!”
“I thought that house had been destroyed,” said Edmund.
“So it was,” said Tumnus the Faun. “But you are now looking at the England within England, the real England just as this is the real Narnia. And in that inner England no good thing is destroyed.” (The Last Battle, by C.S. Lewis)
It has now been clinically proven that the state of alert mental silence produces an ideal equilibrium throughout the human organism. This state is so powerful that it can naturally correct any healable ailment in us, and remove causes such as anxiety. The effects on society are not yet documented, but it’s easy to foresee a harmonious collective environment free from the violence and suffering that has come to be synonymous with so-called civilization. Anyone who has clearly experienced this state may have noticed the light, soothing flow of energy (kundalini) that passes up the spine and out through the limbic area of the brain, referred to long ago in Sanskrit as the Sahasrara Chakra, or the thousand-petal portal to the Kingdom of Heaven. This integrating connection was called yoga, meaning union.
There’s a lot of talk at the moment about divine councils and portals and what-not, that tend to turn most of us off to the possibility that each of us is able to reach a transcendent state of deep peace and understanding about our existence. Actually, meditation is the least complicated of all things we can reach and benefit from, needing no explanation and thought-producing concepts. I would just like to express my feeling here that our jolly old Cambridge professor may have unconsciously been describing the transformation of human consciousness with his magical door to a better world — a liberating passageway that allows us to see and feel life as it really is: beautiful and fulfilling. A very real state that enables us to perpetually improve ourselves and our planet, instead of destroying them.
I took the liberty this morning of consulting the I Ching about the spiritual state of mankind in 2013. It said that examples should be set by those who are wise and brave, revealing the deepest spiritual connection (meditation) that can be shared by all:
‘Thus a hidden spiritual power emanates from them, influencing others without their being aware of how it happens.’
The hexagram Kuan represents an observation tower. Those who sit on top of it can see far and be seen by all. Amazingly, the individual line that was selected for detailed reference was the top one — that very position of highest perception:
‘Contemplation of his life. The superior man is without blame. Here in the highest place everything that is personal, related to the ego, is excluded. The picture is that of a sage who stands outside the affairs of the world. Liberated from his ego, he contemplates the laws of life and so realizes that knowing how to become free of blame is the highest good.’ ‘He has not yet forgotten the world and is therefore still concerned with its affairs.’
(It has been said that the ultimate time of Judgement is when every human being will have the clear inner perception to look within and judge — understand and correct — themselves.)
The I Ching then pointed out, with hexagram Pi / Holding Together, that just as water will always flow to a collective meeting place, human beings will gather with like human beings.
‘Holding together calls for a central figure around whom other persons may unite. To become a center of influence holding people together is a grave matter and fraught with great responsibility. It requires greatness of spirit, consistency and strength. Therefore let one who wishes to gather others together ask whether he/she is equal to the undertaking, for anyone attempting the task without a real calling for it only makes confusion worse than if no union at all had taken place. But when there is a real rallying point, those who at first are hesitant or uncertain gradually come in of their own accord. Late-comers must suffer the consequences, for in holding together the question of the right time is also important. Relationships are formed and firmly established according to definite inner laws. Common experience strengthen these ties, and one who comes too late to share in these basic (inner) experiences must suffer for it if, as a straggler, he/she finds the door locked. If one has recognized the necessity for union and does not feel strong enough to function as the center, it is one’s duty to become a member of some other organic fellowship.’ (I Ching ~ The Book of Changes, translated by Richard Wilhelm and Cary F. Baynes)
This may sound quite black-and-white, but the inner evolution of each of us is determined simply by our desires. It’s not unimaginable that the nature of that stream of wishes will ultimately carry us toward the opportunity to attain a higher, lighter state of wellbeing; or into a meaningless dead-end. We’ve been blessed with freedom to choose our way and our destination. No one can be forced to strive for liberating collective consciousness.
May the delicious, enlightening vegetables and fruits of the new Narnia nourish us in the upcoming Harvest.
Wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas and joyous New (kind of) Year,
In a mother’s belly there were two babies. One asks the other:
“Do you believe in life after birth?”
“Of course! Something must exist after birth. Maybe we are here because we need to prepare for what we will become later.”
“Ridiculous! There is no life after birth! How do you think this life would be?”
“I don’t know, but surely there will be more light than there is here. Maybe we will walk on our own two feet and we can feed ourselves through our mouths!”
“That is absurd! Walking is impossible. And eat through our mouths? How ridiculous! The umbilical chord is how we are fed. Let me tell you something: There can’t be life after birth. The umbilical chord is too short.”
“Well I believe there must be something. And it could be just a little bit different than what we are used to here.”
“But nobody has ever returned from the other side after birth. Birth is the end of life. All in all, life is nothing more than a stressful existence in the dark that does not lead to anything.”
“Well, I don’t know how it will exactly be after birth, but surely we will see Mother and she will take care of us.”
“Mother? You believe in Mother? And where do you think she is?”
“Where? All around us! We live inside her and through her. Without her this whole world would not exist!”
“Well I don’t believe it! I have never seen Mother so, logically, she does not exist.”
“Yes but sometimes when we are very silent, we can hear her singing or feel how she caresses our world. You know, I think there is a real life waiting for us, and that right now we are just preparing ourselves for it.”
Here was an evening of outstanding creativity and inspiration,
a moment of surprising light
in dark times …
Every age has its greatest discovery.
The greatest of all is inside of us.