A friend who had never been to one of our workshops asked me recently, “But what’s it really like doing that sort of stuff, is it just make-believe and good company or is there something deeper?”
Much deeper, I was thinking, but you have to say that gently; you have to paint a picture with words and gesture and listen to what’s being said through you, letting the inner speak for itself into that moment. It’s a learned thing, and one whose adoption can be cultured through such things as a gradual reduction in props over the course of year’s talks to the good people of Glastonbury!
“So, tell me again, what happens?” my friend asked, politely. She is the scientific type, though very fond of poetry. “You dress up in Egyptian costumes,” she winked. “I can see the attraction of that . . . and then you read from a script, playing a part for the whole weekend?”
We were talking about the Silent Eye’s forthcoming workshop, ‘The River of the Sun‘ to be held in the beautiful Derbyshire village of Great Hucklow, on the weekend of the 24-26 April this year. This will be the third such event we have run under our own banner, but two others of similar ilk preceded these in our former esoteric lives, both dedicated to the subject of Alchemy.
“Well, yes,” I replied to her well-intentioned question. “But what really happens is that a group of people begin to work together, and that work is very different from normal work. This work is about something that happens between those people as the invisible links between them begin to develop. Those links are intelligent in their own right, as though we are stepping behind a curtain on the stage we build to find that there is a whole inner cast of directors and producers feeding wonderful emotions and insights to the players . . . It’s hard to describe because it doesn’t belong to the realm of words – it’s a type of doing, of action, that doesn’t originate in the brain, and much of the supposed doing is simply stepping aside for something from another realm to have its say.”
“But, if it’s scripted, aren’t you taking away the chance for it to be spontaneous?”
It was an entirely reasonable question, and impossible to answer in a single go. How can you put across the sheer magic of a container designed with love and respect for the laws of manifestation being filled from a different world? But I had to try to give a flavour of that.
“It’s a bit like an engineer designing a system of pipes through which water will flow in a certain way,” I said, seeing her nod and sip her coffee, thoughtfully. “The script is the pipe, it has to be strong enough to hold the flow of water – which can be considerable, especially as the workshop comes to its emotionally tense point on the Saturday night.”
“And then you just leave it hanging?” She said it with a wicked grin. Some times I think people think I’m a touch devious.
“No,” I said, smiling back at her with the same grin. “Then we go to the pub next door . . .”
“Pub? Isn’t that the opposite of the sacred thing you’re trying to engender?”
“Not at all . . .” I sipped my own coffee, enjoying how much she was engaging with the idea of this. “The Silent Eye specifically values the fun side of life. We believe it’s essential to have both. You won’t find any zealots in our ranks – the red wine would kill them off!”
She liked that. I left the silence to flow between us. I could tell she was deep in a consideration of how it would feel to be a creative part of such a workshop – she was used to leading complex situations, particularly management ones.
She thought for a while before speaking again. She is not a dismissive person – skeptical, yes, but open to ideas. Then she asked, “But don’t you feel exposed? Isn’t there a dreadful fear that it might all fall flat on its face, the moment you are all costumed up and it begins?”
I thought carefully before answering that one. Way back, when we began doing these weekends, there had been a fear, an unknowing, but not now. It wasn’t that the fear had disappeared; and the unknowing we had learned to recognise as the presence of Being. All that was needed was to remove the power of the fear and step into the moment, the now.
I wanted to balance the picture she was building. “It’s only half ritual drama,” I said. “The other half is what we call exploration. We talk, and share our human experiences. Usually, these are led by a presentation, but increasingly, we just let the flow take it . . .” I smiled into her furrowed brow. She came, as I did, from the buttoned-up world of managing complex things. It’s a shock to discover that the best results come from utterly spontaneous moments – that inner certainty that the now has all the intelligence we could ever need to ‘deal’ with it. This begs a deeper question but I wasn’t going there. She was being deluged as it was. I wanted a sentiment to close on.
“Think of it like this,” I said. “Imagine you’re in a management meeting with a room full of well-intentioned folk, and you all want to solve the same problem but the words aren’t working and everyone is tired.”
“Yes,” she said thoughtfully, blowing her breath over just warm coffee that didn’t need it. “I’ve been in lots of those.”
“And you decided that you were just going to get them all in a huddle and have a great big hug . . .”
“It’s nice idea, but . . .”
“No buts. Imagine that, just for once, they laughed and genuinely wanted to do it, to remove themselves from the negativity and be in a new, shared space – and for something a million miles from the commercial.”
I could see her wishing that would actually happen more often. She said nothing but nodded.
“Well that’s what a Silent Eye workshop feels like,” I said.
“How much did you say the weekend costs?” she asked, smiling at my ‘close’.
“About the same as your company spends on a posh corporate lunch for four people . . .” I knew that would be true, but I knew that the contrast between a little over two hundred pounds spent that way with the effects of a whole weekend of magical and shared participation would get to her.
“And you take people new to all this?”
“We love having people new to all this, they bring their own freshness – and we’ve never had anyone leave disappointed . . .”
“What were the dates, again?” She asked, softly . . .
The Silent Eye’s 2015 esoteric weekend takes place on the weekend of 24-26 April. You can download a full pdf brochure, including booking form by clicking below: