Growing emotional…

It is the end of a long day; one of those days when many small things have seemed to go wrong and a few bigger things cast dark shadows on your horizon. You are tired…not the pleasant kind of snuggle-up-in-bed-with-a-book tired either, but the kind that begins to question and ask ‘why does it have to be like this?’

It comes to most of us at some point; that emotional bone-weariness. Chances are, you are too tired to even begin looking for answers and past thinking about them if you fell over them. But you are going to find things that look like answers wandering through your mind just the same.

Under stress, they will probably be the wrong ones. Anxiety and fatigue cloud thinking, and what may appear to be a perfectly logical train of thought can begin from a single skewed idea, from a slight misapprehension or misunderstanding. Pursue them and you could end up very far from the truth and casting blame in all the wrong directions, even, perhaps, where there is no blame at all. Life just throws things our way sometimes.

Why does it have to be that way? The most likely answer is that this is a path we have chosen for ourselves. Not, perhaps, with any conscious volition, but through the gradual shaping of our worlds over a lifetime, allowing it to become what it is today. Some events may be beyond our control; there may be no choice in whatever it is we are facing at any given moment. But how we react to it is a choice and one we may have been unconsciously making for a long time.

Our very earliest interactions with the world around us begin to shape how we will react throughout our lives. The nurture or lack of it that we receive as we grow, the people in our lives, our circumstances, all combine with the raw materials of who we might become to make us who we are. Our reactions to any given event are born from this accumulated and integrated input of experience. Our character and the way we walk through life devolves and evolves from the life we have lived so far and therefore we shape many facets of our own lives in what has been called a mechanical fashion.

That is a cold way of expressing it. We could equally and simply say that our reactions are determined by who we have become. It may sound like a negative assessment, yet it is not necessarily so. Reactions that lash out at the world in hurt or anger stem from here, but it is also from here that the means to express the generous impulse is born; the act of kindness and empathy, the outstretched arms… We all know someone who is, or perhaps hope we are, that person who instinctively reaches out to others when they are hurt or in need. What is that if not reaction?

 

For those who seek to understand a little more of how they themselves have come into being there are many systems, beliefs and paths available. Within the Silent Eye we use the enneagram, placing upon it archetypal figures that express the basic ways in which we function… the chief impellers of our choices. These are not cold caricatures…they cannot be, for all we do stems from emotion. Whatever is behind our public face, whether we are creatures of laughter and tears or intellectually focussed, emotion is the prime mover at the root of all we are.

Imagine working backwards from the very tip of a branch, retracing the intersections from the finest twig, back to the bough and eventually to the heartwood of the tree. The deeper we consider what moves us to be who we are, the fewer possibilities we are left with. The closer we get to the source, the more I am convinced that even from a purely psychological standpoint, love can be seen as the root of all we are. Whether we know it or lack it, feel it or feel its absence and a yearning towards it, whether we feel it must be earned or deserved, or run from it in fear of the demands it might make… whether we clothe it as a need for admiration and respect… even whether or not we feel love for ourselves…Whichever way you look at it, love seems to be the central fact of our existence.

From a spiritual perspective, many have never doubted that this is so. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin once wrote, “The truth is, indeed, that love is the threshold of another universe.” When you see that the Source of all Being, and the source of our being as one and the same, it changes the way you see the world, yourself and your fellow man… and leads you towards a threshold of understanding that surpasses knowledge. And perhaps it is here we will find our answers.

Preparations…

Derbyshire is beautiful as summer comes to the moors. Every road is bordered with wildflowers… swathes of lacy cow parsley and meadowsweet and drifts of yellow loosestrife make the blue of cranesbill almost luminous. Here and there, deep purple thistles and lavender pools of wild thyme add yet another colour to a palette that begins to light the brown sea of heather that will soon paint the hills.

It was just a shame about the weather. Torrential rain waited until we stopped the car and seemed determined to prevent us getting to work on the September workshop, but somehow, we managed to dodge the deluge. In the clear spaces between showers, we were able to visit several of the sites we will be including in the weekend and decide how best to use them.

The process is a curious one, as we let the land itself suggest how to proceed, learning its stories, history and legends, before fitting them to the ideas we wish to share. This time, we will be looking at how an emotion such as fear, which is usually seen as a negative feeling, can give birth to some of the most selfless and beautiful human actions… and how, in our own lives, we might find a key to turn such darkness into light.

With the stories of the land, both historical and legendary, the ancient places we visited over the weekend opened a window into the human heart and soul, allowing us a small glimpse of the grandeur that waits within the shadows that can touch us all throughout our lives. Join us in Derbyshire this September to learn more…

The Silent Eye hosts a number of events each year, from our annual Weekend Workshop in Derbyshire to our informal ‘Living Land’ and ‘Walk and Talk’ gatherings. All events are open to non-members and Companions of the School and they are a great way to meet like-minded people, explore the ideas we share and spend time with fellow travellers.

The weekends are informal, no previous knowledge or experience is required. We ask only that you bring your own presence and thoughts to the moment…

Rites of Passage: Seeing beyond Fear
Tideswell, Derbyshire,

Friday 13th – Sunday 15th September 2019

We are all afraid of something.

There are the fears of the everyday world, from arachnophobia to a fear of the dark, and the deeper fears of the personality, that play upon the mind and heart. What purpose might such fears serve, beyond protecting us from potentially harmful situations? How have our ancestors addressed such fears across the centuries? Can we learn from the past a way to see beyond our fears to a future lit by serenity and hope?

Join us on Friday the thirteenth of September, 2019, in the ancient landscape of Derbyshire as we explore how to lay our personal gremlins to rest. Based in the landscape around Tideswell, Bakewell and beyond, this weekend will entail some relatively easy walking on moorland paths.

The weekend runs from Friday afternoon to early Sunday afternoon, and costs £50 per person. Meals and accomodation are not included and should be booked separately by all attendees. Meals are often taken together at a convenient pub or cafe.

Click below to
Download our Events Booking Form – pdf

For further details or to reserve your place: rivingtide@gmail.com


The Keys of Heaven

Whitby, North Yorkshire,

December 6th- 8th, 2019

It is the year AD 664. The coastal town of Whitby and its Abbey, under the control of the abbess who became St Hilda, are the setting for a Christian Synod – a court of doctrine established, on the face of it, to unify how priests cut their religious tonsure and what should be the correct basis of the calculation of Easter.

Trivial things? Perhaps to our distant eyes; but the Synod of 664 had a brutal undertone: its decision would determine a single Christianity for Britain – and would condemn the alternative to a slow but inevitable death.

An outstanding scholar, Bishop Cedd, later St Cedd, had been raised and trained on Lindisfarne, yet his role as ‘facilitator’ could not afford to display bias. Torn in mind, faith and kin, the man who became St Cedd walked a treacherous path within the Synod that was to change everyone’s lives.

It is a story reminiscent of one of Shakespeare’s play, full of character, mystery and treachery; one in which the cleverness of argument came to supplant the lore of the land and the local history of the interwoven Christ.

The weekend runs from Friday afternoon to early Sunday afternoon, and costs £50 per person. Meals and accomodation are not included and should be booked separately by all attendees. meals are often taken together at a convenient pub or cafe.

Click below to
Download our Events Booking Form – pdf

For further details or to reserve your place: rivingtide@gmail.com


Where Beauty Sleeps

Great Hucklow, Derbyshire, 17-19 April, 2020

The Silent Eye Annual Workshop…

There is a lot more to fairytales than the wide eyed child understands, especially in the older versions. The archetypes we meet in these old stories echo many aspects of the human condition and the journey of the soul.

We are born into a magical world, where our childhood is peopled with wonders. We are given gifts and talents yet our soul is held within the body, like the princess in the castle. As we grow to adulthood the magic fades…or more precisely, our awareness of it fades. Like the princess, we fall asleep, lost to the song of the soul as the ‘curse’ takes hold. Alive but slumbering, waiting…

Join us next April to explore the hidden beauty of fairytales… and awaken the beauty that sleeps within.

Fully catered, residential weekend.

Click below to view inclusive prices and
Download a Booking Form – pdf

For further details or to reserve your place: rivingtide@gmail.com

An Alchemical Moment ~ Jordis Fasheh

Jordis Fasheh, a friend and Companion of the School, tells how she found the Silent Eye at a pivotal point in her personal journey. At the moment when the Silent Eye officially came into being, Jordis was the first to step forward and join us…

Jordis as Nephthys, Land of the Exiles, 2014

How it came to be that I joined The Silent Eye, A Modern Mystery School.

It all started when I was ten years old. A child in search of something greater than herself. If I had read an Autobiography of a Yogi at that time things may have turned out differently. But I ran away from home one day, snuck on the subway and rode to the end of the line. Not knowing what it was I was searching for, when I disembarked from the train, the first thing I asked was, “where is the nearest Church.”

If I knew anything, it was that I had to find my voice. I spoke with God often but the weight of the outside world was over powering and I didn’t have the strength nor means to fight it. I became overly compliant and quiet and needed desperately to free myself.

A kind priest took me in and brought me to the Nuns. They fed me a warm tuna sandwich and asked how it came to be that I alighted upon their steps. While I tried to come up with some sort of tale, the priest brought me to the sanctuary and lit a candle.

We sat for a while and I shared that I ran away from home. He then asked if I knew where home was. I didn’t have an answer.

Finally, I said I could show him where I lived and he took me back to my family.

Several tumultuous years passed and my parents did the best they could but I left again at 16 to wonder on a path trying to find my way home.

One day my cousin Sylvia gave me a book written by Carlos Castaneda, “The Journey to Ixtlan,” which changed the course of my life in a positive way.

I read and studied all of his books. I then met a group of explorers who also studied Casteneda. They studied shamanism as well and one summer we met real shamans from Mexico City and we studied with them too.

Again, my life turned, I was becoming more aware and decided to become a paramedic as a way of service. I could probably write a book about those five years that contained a lifetime of experiences.

I studied everything I could get my hands on, every world religion; Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and most philosophers.

During those years, I met two spiritual mentors that were Gnostic Christian. I became enchanted by their knowledge and their mystical practices. They introduced me to ritual theatre and opened up the world of symbolism to me. All of my studies aligned, and it was a huge turning point for me.

It was then that I came across Carl Jung’s “Mysterium Coniunctionis.” While I probably didn’t know a fraction of what he was talking about, I did know that there was truth in its interior and that an alchemical union was what would bridge the separation between me and my soul.

However, and I may have mentioned before that I have two very real sides to my personality. One the pragmatist and doer and the other the creative artist and dreamer.

Well, unlike my mentors, I had to work and earn money to survive. In my mind, a starving artist route would not a heroine make. So I dove into my work during the week and let my spirt explore on the weekends.

However, these conditions did nothing to help bridge the gap. I continued to feel separate and could often hear Bono from U2, belting, “I still haven’t found what I am looking for!”

I think most artists and people that feel, feel deeply and go through ebbs and tides and churning emotions. Not always fun, eh?

In my forties I dove deeper into mystical studies and embarked on several years of healing old wounds and making amends with my family.

Much of the healing work occurred during mystical retreats and playing characters that hit chords on a deep symbolic level.

One day, my mentors asked if I would like to join them in England to participate in a ritual weekend. The theme was “Alchemical Marriage,” and it was there that I met Steve Tanham, Sue Vincent and Stuart France.

Every fiber in my being stood up on end and the kundalini fired from head to toe. “This was it,” I knew it in my core.

 

Meeting Steve, Sue and Stu that weekend was just what the spiritual doctor ordered. They were loving, generous teachers who knew exactly what they were introducing to the world with the birthing of “The Silent Eye, A Modern Mystery School.”

Steve shared about his vision and how essential it is to bridge spiritual work with psychology. He explained that many people who follow a spiritual path often overlook psychological underpinnings that halt their progress to unity and letting go of separation.

I knew that well, as my undergraduate degree was in developmental psychology and wrote a thesis on introducing spiritual practices with psychotherapy.

Additionally, I have seen the phenomenon over and over in myself and in others. It is so prevalent, it has been labelled, “spiritual by pass.” Kind of like, “let’s ignore the elephant in the room and pretend we are one with God.” While we carry on and continue to feel separated from source, we continue to do hurtful things to the ones we love without understanding why. We practice service and kindness yet still feel empty inside.

As Steve spoke, I became more and more intrigued and eagerly joined all of the rituals and meditations during the weekend.

Early one morning, Stuart led a baptism ritual and after thorough preparation, we all knelt one by one as Stuart blessed us with oil and lifted our hearts in blessing. I felt cleansed and purified. Everything was as it is in perfection.

The following year, I attended the official ‘Birthing’ of the School at the Song of the Troubadour weekend. We all sauntered across the road and up a hill to conduct the ritual in the brisk cool air. We were greeted by a small lamb and were delighted as he sprang forth on the tall grass to guide us up the hill. It was around Easter weekend and the symbolism wasn’t lost on any of us. It felt great being greeted by spirit and welcomed by the land.

In another grand ritual Sue, Steve and Stu opened a gateway for the first students to go through. Of course, I was the first to jump up, enter the gateway and declare my intentions.

By the end of the weekend, I signed up for the first degree lessons.

While for me the study has taken longer than prescribed, it is all in good time. As we do work with the inner, our outer often transforms to facilitate a more unified way of being and living.

For me that meant moving a few times, changing jobs, loved ones passing and taking time to correct and adjust.

However, I just completed my second degree studies and have embarked on the third degree this past month.

The first two degrees were geared toward understanding the personality’s mechanisms and the subjects of object relations and polarities.

As I begin the third degree, I am fully present to what is, and completely aligned with spirit. I no longer feel separate, no longer alone, and am ready to engage with real spiritual work in the world.

The best I can describe it is my soul is driving the bus now. Not the other way around. While the personality has its strengths, the soul’s inner wisdom is far superior to anything my mind’s constructs can come up with.

It is a place of trust so pure and true and it took a great deal of work to get to this place of letting go at that level.

Now alive and awake in being, my soul is free to dance….For instance, I close my eyes, look within and am either riding a big wave, or dancing with the stars. The energy is freed up to play with joy.

What may come?

While the personality does not know, it has enough sense at this point to get out of the way.

And with a deep breath I take a wondrous dive into full being.

While transformation cannot be expressed fully in words as it exists on multiple levels, I can try by saying;

A drummer understands the sound of the universe’s heart beat.

A swimmer knows a wave’s zone.

A dancer in flight knows wind molecules,

My soul pirouettes with the divine and I am home.

I could not have gotten here without “The Silent Eye’s,” Founder Steve Tanham and Directors Sue Vincent and Stuart France. Lovely, accomplished, and generous souls.

Steve is my supervisor, a brilliant teacher and visionary. He is always patient and guides with his gentle and loving spirit. He sees through where one is stuck and gives insightful counsel to help you see for yourself.

The teachings blend rational science with ancient spiritual understanding. Steve, Sue and Stu are all very accomplished and knowledgeable yet being with them is as easy as can be. There is no pretence what so ever. However, there is a whole lot of love!

I will miss being with them this April for the Lord of the Deep workshop, as well as all of the companions. Unfortunately, I had lower back surgery this year and not quite healed. While I will not physically be with them in the Derbyshire Hills, I am always with them in heart and soul.


Read more of Jordis’ work and learn more about her at  Jordy’s Streamings


Would you like to know more?

For details of the School and our methods, how to join our Correspondence Course, or to find out more about our Workshops and Events please explore our website or email The Silent Eye at rivingtide@gmail.com

A journey with the Silent Eye ~ Anne Copeland

Anne Copeland, a Companion of the Silent Eye, writes of her journey with the School:

The Little Match Girl by Anne Copeland

I came across The Silent Eye Mystery School quite by accident, if anything can be truly considered an accident. I have studied a lot of psychology, archaeology, history, geography, spirituality, world religions, mythology, and other studies for many years, trying to discover just where I fit in within this world and this universe.  I sought to understand the meaning of the many things I encountered daily in the ways I related to others, or the meanings of things that cannot readily be seen, but which we all are conscious of. Somehow I never seemed to quite find the answers I was seeking.

Have you felt that you are somewhat alone with a world that seems to have so many problems and people doing wrong that it feels out of control?  Do you wonder if you will ever find peace and genuine happiness and understanding of the things of this place, this time of life? Will you ever feel at one with the light of this world? Perhaps most importantly, will you ever encounter the love and respect that you have wished for?

The school studies consist of a combination of contemporary psychological and ancient esoteric teachings that have been carefully selected to take you on a wonderful and magical journey into the light, wonder and color of the universe. As you venture into the guided journeys, you will begin to see how lost we can become as we attempt to relate to many things and people that exist outside of our sacred being. You will steadily find your way home as you have perhaps never known it.

 

This is the start of my second year of the three-year study, and I have never enjoyed any of my many studies as much as this. Not only have I come to know the archaeology, history, religions, mythology and geography of England; I have also come to know myself and to have a sense of how in the past I have reacted to so many aspects of my own life rather than interacting with them in a way that is beneficial to both sides. I have discovered a tremendous amount of personal peace and well-being even when I am surrounded by turmoil and disintegration. This is part of the great alchemy that brings us into a sense of oneness with all that is, all that ever has been, and all that will be.

Founded in 2012 by three amazing, knowledgeable people in England, Steve Tanham, Sue Vincent and Stuart France, The Silent Eye Mystery School is a wonderful correspondence course that is supplemented by in-person workshops and exciting events which are optional for students to attend if they are able. The course is extremely reasonable, and each student is assigned a “supervisor” who will assist you with gaining a deeper understanding of your studies, and who will answer all of your questions along the way.

You can find out more about Anne at her blog, All in a Day’s Breath


Would you like to know more?

For details of the School and our methods, how to join our Correspondence Course, or to find out more about our Workshops and Events please explore our website or email The Silent Eye at rivingtide@gmail.com

Magic and Mystery…

Each year, the Silent Eye holds several events, open to all, where you can come along and meet us, find out what we do and how we work. Our annual Derbyshire workshop is a residential weekend, in which we use the ancient technique of sacred drama as a means to explore spiritual concepts that are relevant to our daily lives in this modern world.

Throughout the year, we also run three informal workshops, visiting historic, ancient and sacred sites in some of the most beautiful corners of the British landscape. The land itself, and the marks mankind has written upon it, can teach us a great deal about who we are and how we can more fully embrace our own chapter in the greater human story.

We have recently announced new events for 2019 and places can now be reserved for all our workshops. The weekends are informal, no previous knowledge or experience is required. We ask only that you bring your own presence and thoughts to the moment. Full details, costs and booking forms are available on our Events page.

castlerigg

Full Circle? – Finding the way home…
Penrith, Cumbria, Friday 7th – Sunday 9th December, 2018

Home. It is an evocative word. The images it conjures are different for each of us, yet few other words touch heart and mind in quite the same way. Birth and death, laughter and love, longing, fear and aspiration… the cycle of human life plays out within its walls.

For many, there is another ‘home’ beyond the physical confines of this world. That too may seem different for each of us and the path it its threshold is shaped by dreams. Few places illustrate this as clearly as Castlerigg, an ancient stone circle ringed by mountains and one of the most spectacular sites in the country.

The people who have walked this world before us have left traces of their lives and belief, written in stone upon the landscape. From church to stone circle, castle to cavern, finding the way home has always been intimately linked with the land. Join us in a winter landscape to explore these hidden pathways of mind and heart.


Lord of the Deep

The Silent Eye Annual Workshop
Great Hucklow, Derbyshire. Fri 26- Sun 28 April, 2019

‘Gilgamesh is among the greatest things that can ever happen to a person.’
– Rainer Maria Rilke.

A workshop based upon the Epic of Gilgamesh, the oldest written story known to man…
What spiritual treasures lie hidden in this, five thousand-year old, Epic?
What can this ancient civilisation teach us about the questions of existence?
Join us on this quest of a life-time, next April, to find out…


The Silent Unicorn
A joint magical workshop between Lodge Unicorn na h’Alba and The Silent Eye.
Grantown-on Spey, Northern Cairngorms. 14-16th June 2019

Join us in the northern Cairngorms where, from mountain to coast, we will explore the magic of Macbeth Country in a triangle from Cawdor Castle to Findhorn Beach, down to Glenlivet. Through the Archetypes of Lord and Lady Macbeth, the Witches, King Duncan and a Unicorn! We will use the writings of The Scottish Play and other media to discover these characters within us…..


Rites of Passage: Seeing beyond Fear
Derbyshire, Friday 13th – Sunday 15th September 2019

We are all afraid of something. There are the fears of the everyday world, from arachnophobia to a fear of the dark, and the deeper fears of the personality, that play upon the mind and heart.

What purpose might such fears serve, beyond protecting us from potentially harmful situations? How have our ancestors addressed such fears across the centuries? Can we learn from the past a way to see beyond our fears to a future lit by serenity and hope?

Come along and join us for the weekend!

The Tyrant of Uruk…

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 “The Eternal City of Uruk…

See how its ramparts gleam like copper in the sun…

Climb the ancient staircases up stone more ancient than mind…

Approach the Temple of Eanna…

Sacred precinct of the Goddess Ishtar…

Her priestesses stand laughing and chatting flushed with joy…

Ready to serve mens’ pleasure for her honour…

Walk the Great Wall of Uruk…

The men-folk dressed in their splendour…

In fine linen and embroidered wool…

Their fringed shawls and wide belts brilliantly coloured…

Follow its leg-wearying course around the city…

Inspect the mighty foundations…

Examine the masonry…

How masterful is its construction…

Wallow in the land it encloses…

Its palm trees and gardens…

Its orchards and lakes…

The glorious palaces and temples…

The shops and market places…

The homesteads and public squares…

Every day is a festival in Uruk where people sing and dance in the streets…

The musicians of Uruk play incessantly on their drums and lyres…

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And in their bed chambers at night…

The young-folk cry themselves to sleep…”

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The Silent Eye’s Spring workshop for 2019

THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH

The Oldest written story known to man…
What spiritual treasures lie hidden in this, five thousand-year old, Epic?
What can this ancient civilisation teach us about the questions of existence?
Join us on this quest of a life-time, next April, to find out…

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‘Gilgamesh is among the greatest things that can ever happen to a person.’
– Rainer Maria Rilke.

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Fully catered weekend package, including room, meals and workshop: £235 – £260

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Click here to download the Booking Form

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For further details or to reserve your place: rivingtide@gmail.com

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Lord of the Deep: The Quest for Immortality

26-28 April, 2019 – Great Hucklow, Derbyshire

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Winter with the Silent Eye…

Full Circle?  – Finding the way home…
Penrith, Cumbria
Friday 7th – Sunday 9th December, 2018

castlerigg

Home. It is an evocative word. The images it conjures are different for each of us, yet few other words touch heart and mind in quite the same way. Birth and death, laughter and love, longing, fear and aspiration… the cycle of human life plays out within its walls.

For many, there is another ‘home’ beyond the physical confines of this world. That too may seem different for each of us and the path to its threshold is shaped by dreams. Few places illustrate this as clearly as Castlerigg, an ancient stone circle ringed by mountains and one of the most spectacular sites in the country.

 

The people who have walked this world before us have left traces of their lives and belief, written in stone upon the landscape. From church to stone circle, castle to cavern, finding the way home has always been intimately linked with the land. Join us in a winter landscape to explore these hidden pathways of mind and heart.

cumbria-castlerigg-22

The Silent Eye hosts a number of events each year, from our annual Weekend Workshop in Derbyshire to our ‘Living land’ and ‘Walk and Talk’ gatherings. All events are open to non-members and Companions of the School and they are a great way to meet us, explore the teachings we share and spend time with fellow travellers. The weekends are relaxed and informal, no previous knowledge or experience is required. We ask only that you bring your own presence and thoughts to the moment.


Workshop costs £50 per person. Meals and accomodation in Penrith are not included and should be booked separately by all attendees. Lunch and dinner are usually shared meals.

Click below to
Download our Events Booking Form – pdf

For further details or to reserve your place: rivingtide@gmail.com


How we are three…

There are three of us who work together to run the Silent Eye. It started with one when Steve took the decision to build the School. I was drafted in soon afterwards and Stuart, who had been working with us from the start, was eventually persuaded to make the position official. Working as we do with the triangle at the heart of the symbol of the enneagram, three was a perfect number. It ensures that there is a constant cross-fertilisation of ideas, as well as echoing the spirit and the form of the equilateral triangle.

One of the things about which we have always been adamant is that we did not want to build a school built around a single personage… the cult of personality is too prevalent in our society and seldom has a happy outcome. On the other hand, the people who run a school such as ours should, we believe, be both approachable and visible. No student should be asked to entrust themselves to a nebulous shadow. Nor should we ask students to look at their own personalities if we are not prepared to share our own.

We all three have our own, personal blogs, where we share and explore our own ideas and beliefs. The Silent Eye subscribes to no single or political viewpoint and both we and our students are free to follow the dictates of heart and conscience. We also share some of our personal perspecives here on the Silent Eye’s blog, in that same spirit of openness.

So, some time ago, I thought it would be a good idea for each of us to tell our stories… and after a little prodding, the gentlemen sent me their tales to which I added mine. Our journeys have been very different, yet our paths have come close to crossing so many times over the years that there is a strange feeling of inevitability about where we now find ourselves. I have a feeling we are exactly where we are supposed to be… The stories were duly filed on the website, somewhere behind the Menu button, and barely saw the light of day again. I thought it might be of interest to share them here…

Steve Tanham

I was born in May 1954. I came into the world (with the help of my mother and a good midwife), in a terraced house belonging to my grandparents in a working-class district of Bolton. I had the good fortune to be born into a Rosicrucian family. My father had come across an advert for AMORC (one of the best-known Rosicrucian Schools) in a magazine he was reading while waiting at a railway station. He was on his way to carry out his basic training at an army camp. Later, he became the spiritual beacon of our family, and my mother married him, largely, she claims, because he was “different” from other men in this respect…

Continue reading Steve’s story here

Stuart France

I grew up in a religiously tolerant family which knew a thing or two about love and faith. Nan left the Catholic Church to marry Gramps and their eldest son, Uncle Geoff, my mum’s little brother eventually rejoined the Catholic Church in order to marry Aunty Cath which meant that when we went to spend holidays with Little Geoff and Janet and Mandy we went to their Church with them which was Catholic and when Little Geoff, Janet and Mandy came to spend the holidays with us they came to our church which was Church of England. It didn’t seem odd to do this and it came as something of a shock to realise that in olden times people had lost their lives for less.

Continue reading Stuart’s story here

Sue Vincent

My grandfather gave me his annotated copy of the Mystical Qabalah by Dion Fortune when I was 15. “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.

Continue reading Sue’s story here

Assassins

We are our own worst enemies. That should go without saying but, although the adage has a solid place in our vocabulary we seldom really stop and think about it. Or at least when it applies to ourselves. We can, quite readily, observe patterns of behaviour in others… the person who is inexorably drawn to the same cycle of mistakes, the same type of person or toxic situation, for example, but it is far more difficult to see when we ourselves are the subject of our scrutiny.

Why? Because, quite possibly, we don’t really want to see. Motivations for our behaviour are complex and very deep rooted and it takes a long and courageous exploration to obey one of the central tenets of the Mysteries and begin to ‘Know Thyself’. It is never a pretty journey and always uncomfortable. It makes us squirm. All sorts of things are lurking in the shadows like assassins waiting for their moment to strike and, like the best assassins, they are masters of disguise.

In the Silent Eye School, one of the things we do in the first year of the correspondence course is to begin to get to know the various aspects of the personality and how it manages to conceal itself in all manner of highly inventive ways. If we were to stop and acknowledge just how good we are at this we would be amazed at our own creative genius. We might also be raising our eyebrows at how blind we can be to our own subterfuge.

Take the person who gives their all to help those in need… the caring person who puts themselves at the bottom of their own to-do list. They are genuinely good and caring people who simply choose to serve, to care, to be helpful, yes? Well, yes, sometimes that is quite true. For others it may be that their need is to serve. That is one possible layer of motivation. They may need to serve because they will feel they are appreciated and they lack the self-belief that would allow them to appreciate themselves… that is another possible layer. They may lack that self-belief because they have never felt ‘good enough’, worthy of love… they serve because they need to be loved and, in their own eyes, feel that they themselves could never be loved. That may be yet another layer…and it can go down a long way once you start looking at ‘why’.

The answer is not that they should stop being a kind, caring person, but to look at the underlying reasoning of the deeper levels.

We con ourselves all the time, finding reasons that are close to excuses for many of the things that we do, because it is safer to stay within our comfort zone, even when it is not the most pleasant of places, just because it is familiar.. The personality is, as a rule, terrified of losing the identity it has built for itself from the bricks and mortar of reactive experience. It may not even be an identity we like or want… but it is all we have with which to face the world and we guard its illusory existence zealously. We have little choice. It is that or begin dissecting it deeply enough to find the root causes and begin to heal old wounds we did not even realise could exist.

The spiritual Enneagram that forms the central symbol used by the School gives us a set of tools to do just this and though the scalpel may be just as sharp as the assassin’s knife it is wielded with love and a different intent, and by the Companion themselves. No-one else can ever see us as truly as we can ourselves when we look through the eyes of the soul, no-one else is qualified to read our innermost hearts, but sometimes it is easier to walk that journey in empathetic company and it is a quest that has very real benefits that soon become apparent.

A behaviour pattern once identified is very much like a ninja assassin wearing neon lights and warning bells… they are no longer hidden in the shadows, they cannot creep up on us unawares and though they may still throw the knife, we can, at least see it coming and perhaps, avoid it. Not always… sometimes we are stuck and cannot move fast enough, sometimes we don’t know how… but we are no longer taken by surprise. Little by little we learn what we need to know in order to get out of the way of the killing blade by changing those underlying beliefs about ourselves that have employed the assassin to begin with. And it does seem rather an odd thing to do to be both employer and target of our own personal assassin.

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