Are we there yet?… Sue Vincent

This week, I will be sharing again a little about the people behind the Silent Eye…

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My grandfather gave me his annotated copy of the Mystical Qabalah by Dion Fortune when I was fifteen. “This is the only magical book that you will ever need,” he told me. “But you’ll fill a good many bookshelves before you get there.” He was right. It was all in that first book; but learning is a spiral and you have to come back to the same point over and over again, bringing new knowledge and understanding each time before you can really see what lies in your hand.

I was born in Yorkshire into a family that was about as spiritually eclectic as you can get. The various members were Jewish / Buddhist / Methodist (but High Church for special occasions), with one grandfather who taught me very early about the Qabalistic Tree of Life, the other a Spiritualist minister and one grandmother a noted psychic, like her mother before her. I attended the Zion Baptist Sunday School with my Hindu and Moslem friends and that pretty much completed the picture. So, throughout my childhood, a lot of things were thrown into the melting pot.

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Everyone, it seemed, celebrated the convergences rather than the differences between their chosen paths and everything was treated as possible. I grew up simply accepting the spiritual journey, encouraged to find my own path forward, not encountering religious or spiritual prejudice until I was much older. There was never any question of there not being a greater reality, it simply was. So was the journey; that meant growing up in the understanding that you hold responsibility for every thought, word and action… not in fear of some celestial tally-keeper; you, your Self hold the scales… and when you look through the eyes of the soul, there is nowhere to hide… it is between your soul and the One.

In outward respects, life was perfectly normal, with me getting into as many scrapes, as much mischief and making at least as many mistakes as any other youngster. Little has changed there, then, except the age… There was nothing, as far as I knew, any different; my family was the same as any other, it was only in much later years I saw how incredibly lucky I had been to have that particular education; educing rather than dictating, letting me stub my toes and learn through experience how I could grow and what I could believe. Nothing was imposed, nothing dismissed with contempt or disbelief; ideas were greeted with an open mind and the acceptance of possibility. I was given a rich education in mythology, folklore and symbolism… and that too I simply accepted at the time as ‘normal’.

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I delved into ‘low magic’… divination, numerology and such through my teens… in fact, all the fragmentary systems you could ‘do’ rather than ‘be’, with the overconfident abandon and incomprehension of youth, while reading all I could find on the Tree of Life, the Qabalah and the magical path. Even now I marvel at the quality of the material available in my family at a time when such books were very hard to find. Then I went back to the Mystical Qabalah and read it again. This time, the dots began to join up. I put aside the ‘doing’, stopped playing with spirituality and started to learn.

For the next ten years, I studied alone, trying to apply the learning to my life. I learned as much from meditation and dreams as from waking. I moved to France, married a musician who had been raised a Catholic and was a member of AMORC, a Rosicrucian order; over the years I added some of their perspective to the store. My mother-in-law was a Martinist and from her I learned about esoteric Christianity. There was the intellectual accumulation of knowledge and a philosophical intent to put it all into practice, but knowing how, finding the keys, would only come with time and living.

In my late twenties, I had what I can only describe here as a life-changing experience that brought the reality of the inner world to vivid life for me. About that time too, I had planned on joining an esoteric school, feeling the need for structure and discipline as well as spiritual companionship, but was clearly shown I should wait, learning to live in the world first. A chapter in one of Dion Fortune’s books, The Training and Work of an Initiate, speaks of serving the Hearthfire; I read it, wept, and resolved to wait.

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We had moved back to England and, although the outer life revolved around the family, the inner life had become very intense too. It was a period of deep commitment, for want of a better phrase and the two separate halves of my life seemed to meld until I realised there was no separation. There never had been, but I had been too blind to see.

It was some fifteen years later when my sons were grown, that I decided once again to apply to a school. Browsing the internet, I read an address by the Director of Studies of the Servants of the Light, Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki. The article was called, “To Serve the Light” and in an echo of that day fifteen years earlier, I sat with tears streaming but this time felt I had come home. I commend that lecture to any seeker, no matter what Path you follow.

My years with the Servants of the Light were both a personal joy and a steep learning curve. Much of the theory I had already found in my own studies and meditations, but the discipline, structure and camaraderie were as new as the perspectives and techniques that bring the teachings to life. I felt the connection to others within the school, and to that greater family of those who serve the Light. I knew without a doubt I was in the right place at that time.

Many threads fan out from that moment. It was at a SOL gathering I first met Steve Tanham, albeit briefly. At that same gathering several things happened that would change the expected course of my life and I met a woman who became both a sister of the soul and a teacher who walked with me on a path she herself had taken long ago.

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In 2012 it became plain that my place was with the new school, the Silent Eye… and the rest, as they say, is history. But, of course, the journey continues.

“Are we there yet?”

Well, no. I don’t think we ever are. The longer you walk the path of the seeker, the more you see that there is to unfold, until one day you realise that ‘there’ was already ‘here’… waiting for you to open your eyes and heart. And then off you go again, exploring another curve of the spiral of life, armed with perhaps a little more knowledge, a little more understanding… just enough to highlight the wider horizon that is waiting to be Known.

28 thoughts on “Are we there yet?… Sue Vincent

  1. You had a very interesting childhood, Sue. My mother was brought up an Anglican and my father a Catholic. I attended a convent for a piece of my schooling years. I never felt as if I found any spiritual comfort during those years or through the teachings of either of these churches. It is great that you have found spiritual meaning in your life.

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    1. I learned a lot from the various faiths of my family, but it was never mainstream religion that sang to my heart…and that, I think, is what we have find before we feel we have found a spiritual home.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love hearing about your spiritually eclectic childhood that “celebrated the convergences rather than the differences.” I was fortunate to grow up in a similarly diverse circle of beliefs. Spiritual journeys are fascinating when we look back at how they evolved into the present. Lovely post, Sue.

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  3. Thank you for this very interesting and powerful motivating post, Sue! You found the way, to go. So many people are seekers, like me.Studying Catholic theology brought me a lot of knowledge, but – honestly said to me by third parties before – a very different sight. Canon law and secular law then left me in comparison with each other, and in very questionable application of canon law, doubted the spirituality to be found here.

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    1. I think we are all seekers, whether we realise it or not… but when there are so many paths to explore, finding the one that calls to you is not always easy. I was lucky to have the early guidance from my family, even though I was free to choose my own way.

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  4. Mrs Widds and I joking ask each other ‘Are we there yet?’ during times of tribulations, and we answer each other, ‘No.’ … and feel a bit calmer afterward. 🙂

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  5. So wonderful to read various milestones/teachers/works that came up during your journey – was once more reminded, “the Magic of What IS, can be found anywhere, in many places’ and is not constrained to just one path, idea, theology, etc. :). Let us hope that this becomes the standard, once more, as I too, didn’t encounter prejudices on this topic until I was in my teens – it just wasn’t a part of my early childhood –

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  6. I’m immersed in your musings here, Sue. I love learning how you were raised (with such eclectic faiths and philosophies) and yet how, through your own study and observation (inner and outer) you reached your own spiritual path. With help now, also, from a space/place like The Silent Eye. I hope to continue my journey in my own way (brought up Episcopalian but even as a young child, searched for spirituality that ‘spoke’ to me). I have had some amazing personal spiritual experiences that help me know that “I’m not there yet” but the journey is a fascinating ride.

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    1. Regardless of how we are raised, Pamela, I believe we all still have to find our own path and the answers that sing to the heart. Even if we do not consider ourselves as spiritual seekers, we all have life’s journey to navigate… and it is always an adventure 🙂

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  7. I grew up in an era when things were a little different, at least in my home. My mother and father were not really part of any religion and to my knowledge, except for marriages and baptisms, neither were any of my family. They were not declared atheists; they just did not attend church or have even a Bible or other religious reading in the home. Neither of them went through high school though, so I don’t really know what they really believed or didn’t. I do know that they told me and my younger brother that we could attend any church we wanted to with friends or on our own, but that we should not join a church until we got married. So we did investigate many different types of churches and spiritual followings, and we did as our parents told us, only joining churches when we got married. For me, that was a huge mistake, but then the early marriage, when I was still a teen (not because of pregnancy), was a huge mistake.

    Over the years, I could not continue to follow any of the churches or spiritual organizations or gatherings I attended and I fell away from all of it, focusing instead on other things like a formal education, career, and looking for love in all the wrong places.

    So today, when I began to study with The Silent Eye Mystery School, I found it very compatible and helpful to me in so many different directions. I had to step away for a bit, for life’s challenges were calling me in ways I could not ignore. But I have been able to sit back and relax about not trying to play so many different roles and to refocus on my own growth and transformation. I am looking forward to restarting where I left off. I really miss my studies and the people involved with the school. Thank you one and all.

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  8. Happy Mother’s Day Sue!
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading about how your mind works.
    I’m a SIBYL myself and haven’t yet found anywhere were I fit in.

    Lots of Love
    SIBYL X

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      1. You’ve used the word ‘we’ Sue?
        I suspect that you, like me, are a sociable person and can fit in with everybody. Each person’s journey is personal, but not everybody has experienced Spiritual Enlightenment that is at odds with orthodoxy.
        Since Phenomenon happened to me I’ve had to keep my own counsel because of the fear of sounding mad…
        I know the messages are really important and relevant to our Life here XXX

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