Spreading wings

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The hill was a verdant emerald rising into a sapphire sky that sparkled with motes of light… so high and clear. My companion walked behind, following at a far more sedate pace as I ran headlong to the summit, an uncompromising, absolute joy within that seemed to inundate every fibre of being. The white path led me higher and higher until I could see the curvature of the earth and felt I could reach out my arms and embrace the whole world and gather it to my breast…

My dreams have been vivid of late. They always are but even more so than usual, with the clarity and reality I knew as a child. I recall the flying dreams with the rollercoaster feeling in the stomach… I cannot have been more than eight years old and every night I would soar. Far too young to have any knowledge or interest in aerodynamics, lift or thrust, I can yet remember the minute adjustments needed to stay in the air and direct my flight. I seem to remember them in my flesh even though it was just a dream. I can feel even now the memory of physical sensation as my body swooped and banked through the air, learning to ride the wind, seeking the air-currents and updraughts, like a small fish playing in water, darting and diving through sunbeams. It was sheer joy. Every night as I closed my eyes I would wait for that first moment of flight with happy anticipation.

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It felt utterly real… the sensation of rise and fall in the gut, the air on my face, the wind in my hair. So real that my waking self would stand on my bed beneath the window, certain I would not fall but would fly if I launched myself from there… yet knowing also that it was supposed to be impossible. Wasn’t it? There was always that doubt in the mind, even though the body felt it knew just what to do.

So real was the experience for that young mind that it was, in those moments by the window, impossible to distinguish dream from reality. It was as if I was perfectly poised between two realities, each equally valid by their own rules and in their own world… which I believe they are. Yet I was in neither… I was apart from both, a third reality, if you will, where I was subject to neither of the others but could see and judge with yet another part of me what fragment of experience should fit where.

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I had always been aware of the existence of that higher part of being that we call the soul, the essence… and many other names. It was simply something I grew up with, that awareness. Yet this was the first time I remember feeling conscious of its reality. Not because I could see or feel it specifically, but the observation of the two realities by the third… and the fact that on yet another level I was somehow ‘seeing’ that observer… So what was seeing it? And was anything watching that? And where did ‘I’ end and Something Else begin?  This seemed to ‘click’ and I understood somehow in a way for which I am still not sure I have words.

To the eight year old mind that was something of a revelation. To us now, as adults, it is an illustration of infinite regress, a concept we explored at the first of the Silent Eye’s Glastonbury talks some years ago, yet it took a while before I made that connection. One of the inner ‘observers’ finds that highly amusing, that the conscious mind should take the best part of half a century to really realise a gift given so young.

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However that is often the way of things and we are adept at accepting what we know and believe, filing them in the cabinet of facts by which we live and not revisiting them with the added experience and understanding of years. As we grow and learn our store of facts expands, but we seldom take out the old ones and update them. We can, indeed, get very protective of them and refuse to even consider that we may have misunderstood, or been plainly wrong, through lack of a salient piece of information.

Over the past few years, as I have examined more and more the entrenched beliefs to which I have clung, I have found myself being obliged to discard and update many of them. I have also revisited many ideas I discarded as facile when I was much younger, realising that with the knowledge and experience I can now bring to them, they are richer by far that I imagined when I first dismissed them. The adventures with Stuart and our books have made me re-evaluate many things, while the School has seen me set aside the framework of many decades and begin to look at the essence of those beliefs from a different perspective.

When, some years ago, a friend and renowned author who had walked a similar path, told me he had spent half a lifetime building the inner Qabalistic Tree of Life… and the rest steadily dismantling it, I was surprised and recoiled from the very idea… now I know what he meant.

The ideas we cling to limit us. We do not seek beyond their bounds… why would we if they satisfy us? They are our beliefs and they ‘work’ for us. Yet, should we step across those self-imposed boundaries, prepared to risk seeing what might lie beyond, a whole world of possibility may open before us. It is worth a thought. Who knows… some part of us may even learn to fly.

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22 thoughts on “Spreading wings

      1. The other day, 3 paragliders were soaring above my house. They found a thermal and soared just like buzzards, or red kites. They then flew a little way (it looked a little way from where I watched, but probably wasn’t, up there) to another thermal where they soared and wheeled again. It looked so wonderful, and everything was quiet, even on the ground.
        My son tells me there are now red kites in Sussex. I’m waiting to see one, but haven’t been on the Downs recently. They are beautiful birds, and I’m excited to look out for them.

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        1. Yes, I watch and wonder how it would feel…
          As to the kites, there are so many in this area that it is rare to look up and not see them, even over the towns. They are quite unmistakeable, both for the ‘V’ in their tail feathers and the way they fly, owning the air.

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  1. I experienced EXACLTY what you describe as a child, flying. I was too young to know that I “couldn’t” fly. I’d be in a half awake state, enjoying the experience, until my mom came in the room and caught me standing on the bed, ready to zoom off. She insisted that I had NOT flown and that I COULD NOT fly and to GO TO BED. No matter how much I tried to explain (in 3 year old language) that I absolutely had flown, no words could convince anyone in my family. Eventually, I gave it up. But oh, how I have loved the dreams of flying I’ve had when an adult. Never enough of them. And most times I fly standing up straight with a ‘guide’ – another human just like me who is well-versed in flying. Move a shoulder one way, and I turn, Move it another way, and I descend. I get upset with myself because I fly so seldom in my dreams. Is it because my mind is so entrenched in “what we’re told IS” instead of “what REALLY is”? All I know is that I envy the birds I watch every day in flight… and they seem to know it.

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    1. I was luckier than I realised at the time that my ‘grown-ups’ understood and were aware of the idea of astral projection, so were able to give me some food for thought without denying my experiences.

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  2. I haven’t had a flying dream in years, Sue. But I remember them vividly – the sensory details and how I understood how to “be” in the wind. I love that thought of “dismantling” what we have accepted as truth. This post feels like a challenge. Thank you.

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    1. I can still feel it 🙂
      It is always good to ‘spring clean’ our beliefs and question their usefulness or validity… our perspectives change so much as we grow and yet we tend to hold on to the familiar, even when we have outgrown it.

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  3. I think creatives are better at crossing that boundary, Sue. We are brainwashed into seeing the world as our leaderships wants us to see it from birth. The whole of society guides us in the same direction.

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    1. Society moulds its children into a commmon likeness, I think, because from an evolutionary perspective, that should keep them safe. But is is rare that change and progress comes from safe ground…we need the free thinkers, the wild imaginations, the rebels…

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  4. My son is reporting to me more vivid dreams that he awakes to feel ‘disorientated’ to this world – all while I find myself not dreaming as vividly, rather escaping to ‘nothingness’ more and more – although – I am sleeping deeper and more soundly recently that I have in the past – I wonder – even after all these years of studying, learning, observing, lucid dreaming for myself, etc., I have to say – what is going on and is this a reflection on how I’m choosing to deal with things? Or is it just an observation on phases for each of us? At this point, I’m okay with ‘the not knowing’ of it – but I’m also ‘walking across worlds’ often, too, even during daylight hours – and I’ve never been one who did naps well for a 20 min – 1 hour break – and yet – not much interferes with it – and I can now do while sitting up – and I’m lucidly aware that I can no longer feel my body – at all – and yet, realize I’m still aware – – sigh – so much to contemplate as these things shift – no answers for myself, just yet – but for the first time, in a long time, I’m okay with NOT KNOWING – :D. so for now, I’m considering this phase a ‘move forward’ – to what, I have no clue – LOL

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      1. It has been interesting to be aware of my body totally melting away all while also walking through the mist of nothingness – definitely a brand new experience for me that I haven’t quite yet fully adjusted to – 😀

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