Briony, attending her first workshop with the Silent Eye, graciously and gracefully changed roles at the last minute to fill one of the gaps left by illness. She writes of what came to her after the workshop:
So, what will become of you my child, my mewling infant?
Born of my womb, resting here, blindly knowing your vulnerability, strong with desire, weak in your newly-formed vehicle of consciousness.
The wheels of Time in Mind grind inexorably, twisting your fate, that fragile, tenuous link to your Father.
We made you. The Light entered the Darkness, placing a glimpse of Immortality into the fertile womb of potentiality. That seed found its resting place. Such love! Such joy! The moment of conception.
We loved you!
Your thirst for power, for glory. The fearless invincibility of the Child, revelling in it’s new-found unexplored sensuality. We watched with love as you blindly emptied the coffers of plenty, tore through the gossamer veils of mortality, feasting on the blood of sacrifice, drinking the waters of desire. How we loved you!
The progeny of our astral loins experiencing the abundance of sensual awareness.
And so my child, my mewling infant?
What has become of your light, split into a myriad of colours? Your divinity – born into this world of substance and form?
The seed within lies dormant, millennia pass. Is it destined to return unfulfilled? Relinquishing it’s God given right to unfold, to flourish, to accept the abundant teachings of this Earthly existence?
Our love waits, the wheels of Time in Mind grind ever onwards, Fate and Destiny weave the paths of the Unconscious Soul.
Willow continues her personal account of the Lord of the Deep weekend:
The morning of the first full day of The Silent Eye Workshop had not yet dawned. I had slept well, “If I had dreamt I did not recall” words I would hear more than once that day.
I rose quickly, really looking forward to going into the hills to greet the dawn. We had done this in Cumbria and I had really loved it.
I went downstairs early enough to have a coffee before leaving. After a while the others arrived. Stuart was in the conservatory and announced it was too wet and windy to go up to the hills. I have to admit I was disappointed but Stuart asked us to keep our outdoor clothing on and so recreate being outside. Another lesson in mind over matter.
This morning, the Companions attending the Lord of the Deep workshop, and Companions of The Silent Eye around the world, will join together in a shared meditation. This will take the form of a guided visualisation.. a journey in imagination. We invite you to join with us for a few moments, opening that portal in the heart and mind through which all may pass, that together we may weave a Web of Light.
At this time, when our word is in turmoil, when the bounty of our planet is being stretched beyond endurance and so many of its creatures face extinction, let us add our voice to the Web that is being woven by Seekers of Light of many paths and traditions, all around the earth.
Alone, we can do little, but when hearts come together to work in harmony, we can change the world, even if it is only by changing ourselves.
Wherever the sacredness of the earth is remembered, wherever the ancient places are revered, wherever a single heart turns away from fear and hatred to Love, a point of Light is added to the Web. Let this moment become a shining point in the Web of Light.
If you can, please light a candle and use its flame as a focus. If possible, place three small stones around it in a triangle. Imagine that these stones are seeds that can grow and flower and see them as symbols of your intent.
Read the meditation slowly, leaving plenty of time for the imagination to take flight. Whatever you can imagine is real within the mind and can be brought through into a more concrete reality.
Now, find a place of peace within your hearts… and prepare for meditation. Let us weave the Web of Light together.
Feel your body, rooted in earth. Feel the air as you breathe, in… and out… filling your body with its gift. Your body is a creature of earth. Your soul is not of the earth. It is of a finer substance, your life no more than a chapter in its story. It is eternal… your body a temporary garment that it wears. Let it fly free…
In your mind’s eye, yourself within a Temple amongst friends. Now see the ‘soul’ of the Temple. It too is other than its body. Its pillars are a grove of standing stones in a vast space filled with Light. Its shape mirrors the universe…
A symbol within a circle at your feet maps the evolution of the soul… and above the central point there is a single, brilliant flame that reaches up into the night.
Let your mind follow the path lit by the flame and rise, higher and higher… passing through the roof and out into the darkness of space. Around you, the stars wheel in the heavens, bright points of dancing light against the indigo sky. The land spreads out beneath you, a living shadow that reaches as far as you can see and beyond…
From the central light, silver flame spreads, pulsing, across the earth in a great web of light. Where the threads cross, you know that stones have been set, groves, mounds and pools… places of worship…sacred centres of all paths, faiths and denominations, harmonising the flow of cosmic Life and Light.
You are part of that Web, part of its warp and weft. You are a tender of the Flame.
Feel the life of the earth coursing through its strands… and through you. Give yourself to its glory. See the web blaze bright and clean… burning away all shadows, healing all rifts and lighting the land.
Within you, the flame also burns… Its essence is a steady point of brilliance in your heart, small as a seed, but vast as the universe. You are its guardian.
Now slowly, gently, return your mind to the Inner Temple, carrying the vision of Light within.
Take a moment to think of the earth and its creatures. For the life of the planet that manifests in a myriad ways. For the flowers and trees, for the animals, for the people who suffer. For that which can only speak to a listening heart. For the voiceless.
“I speak for the lonely. Those that think they are separate from the One. I speak for the light to shine upon their hearts and open them to love. I speak for their voices to be heard, and their prayers to lead them onto the lighted path. I speak for the bereft and alone to lift their hearts to love. I ask that they be guided on the path to find the wondrous gate to all that is true. I speak for love, all that is and will ever be.” Jordis Fasheh.
“I will speak for those who seek the Light. I join with you as a seeker of light and of truth, in this, the winter of my years. I see the beauty in all that we are and all that we can become. I reach out to join you in this beautiful dance of life itself with the One. As we continue our incredible journey together, we understand that we are not outside the One, but the One seeing with many eyes and many hearts, and joined in a higher purpose-the alchemy of a life lived fully in concert with all that exists within this universe.” Anne Copeland.
Will you add your voice?
In your own words, speak for them now. Please stand and speak out loud. Let your voice be heard, resonating through the Web, a song in the silence, an affirmation of hope in the darkest night.
When you have spoken, sit quietly for a few moments, then extinguish your candle to end the meditation.
Take the three small stones and keep them with you until you find a place where it feels right to leave one. There, ‘plant’ your ‘seed’ of intent, as a symbol of hope and healing.
We thank you for joining with us at this time.
May the light shine always upon and within you.
“We offer ourselves as vessels, in service to the One. We see Its Perfection in the unfolding of Divine Will in accordance with the Laws of Being. Our lives flow from the Source; we stand in the presence of the All-Knowing, looking beyond the Veil in faith and trust. Through knowledge and experience, we seek Wisdom. From illusion we turn towards Truth. We journey from love to Love. We add our Light to the Web, renewing our dedication to the Light.” The Silent Eye.
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…
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.
The path winds around the embankment of an ancient hillfort… a fairy fort, they are sometimes called, gateways to the Otherworld of myth and legend. There is silence save for the rustle of leaves, the ever present birdsong and the high keen of a red kite overhead. The sounds of the modern world do not intrude here.
The ground is soft beneath my feet, pliant and yielding with a thick carpet of last year’s leaves as I walk through the green tunnel that feels like a track left by some great serpent. The old ones knew of the great beasts; they saw the dragons that slept in the curve of the landscape and they carved their coils into their sacred hills. Hills such as this.
There is a liminal feeling to this place, a ring of earth high above the valley, guarding still the sacred space within, a gold topped tower now at its heart; a younger expression of an ancient power half glimpsed through symbols.
Through the green a portal of light… a window perhaps that shows a glimpse of that Otherworld, a door to another dimension? What will I see if I walk into that light… or will it blind the eyes, leaving other senses to find a way and a meaning? And what is that world… which is the reality, here or there… and can I pass through?
The landscape itself seems to mirror my mood with its path that moves in circles until I see the point at which I can break the endless round and move to a different level. A path that circles a sacred space within, older than years, but as old as being.
The walls of earth enclose, wrapping me in a silent isolation from a greater reality I cannot see with eyes, yet I know it is there, I feel its presence. The landscape beyond is veiled from view by trees that seem to be the ribcage of a serpent through whose belly I must pass, as in the myths of the old ones, day after day, perpetually swallowed and excreted until I can reach that place where the light comes in, that chink in the scales that leads to a place beyond.
And I can find it, that shaft of light. But only if I walk this path, and only from the dimness of the shadows of this place could I see the brightness of where I must be. If I walked within that light, could I see it? Would I recognise it? Could it lead me so clearly onward? A guiding beam must be brighter than the shadows it chases and the shade serves to make visible its path of light.
I walk once more around the wooded hillfort, marvelling at the beauty of this liminal place. A simple walk has become meditation, awe and prayer. Words fail as understanding opens. Words no longer carry meaning. To be here and now allows a glimpse across the threshold of worlds… my own and a greater, the worlds of legend and dream, of faith and aspiration… of Knowing and Being. A glimpse from shadow into the light and the reassurance that even in the deepest shade, because of that deepest shade, there is a bright path waiting to be found to take the traveller’s feet beyond the circled coils.
“I don’t get it,” said my son. “We’re an island… how can we be short of water?” I had been telling him about the shocking state of the Derwent Valley reservoirs. I have seen them very low before, but never this low. The water is no more than a trickle in the lake bed and the villages drowned at their creation are once more feeling the sun on their stones. We discussed desalination, technology and our acceptance of water-on-tap in developed countries. From there, we went on to other countries, where the populace is not so lucky and water may have to be drawn from a dirty well several hours walk from home. My son continued, “I mean, if seventy per cent of the earth’s surface is covered with water, and, if it all comes from the sea to begin with and goes back into the water cycle, how come anyone is short of water?”
“Money.” I thought back to a job I once had, selling water coolers to offices. The company supported a water charity that dug clean wells and brought water to arid villages. I loved being on the road as a salesperson, but I could never reconcile the difference between the luxury of cooled, filtered spring water and children carrying water jars for miles.
It always tickled me too, that the elegant secretaries who convinced their bosses to buy the spring water would, for the most part, have been horrified if I had asked them to drink from a stream… the same streams that supply the now-industrialised springs. But they would happily drink chlorine-laden tap water, because that is clean and safe… even though it may also contain other things they wouldn’t even like to think about.
It is not that I think we should deny ourselves, or feel guilty about, enjoying the benefits of progress or earned luxuries… but we should not forget that we are privileged to be able to do so.
At least the company was putting money into the pot with every sale… but it is a poor set-up when charity is dependant upon profit. I agreed with my son, no one should be without access to clean water in this day and age. Globally, we have the money, the technology and the resources… if we chose to use them.
I was on my soap box. From water, it moved to access to adequate food, housing, education and healthcare… all basic human needs that should also be rights. I have worked in the charity sector and acknowledge both the incredible effort of the staff and volunteers, as well as the impact of the work they do. But why should we need to rely on charity for such basic human needs in a world where corporations and individuals have billions in the bank? It makes no sense to me.
Leaving aside ideas about the distribution of wealth, even the defence budget of a small nation would probably be enough to supply water to a continent… and don’t get me started on the misnomer of ‘defence’…
“But,” interjected my son, attempting to stop me in full flow, “why bother talking about it? What good will it do?” The question was obviously rhetorical, but, with the bit between my teeth, I was going to answer anyway…
Actions spring from ideas, and ideas are born when people talk about things… not when they sweep them under the carpet and can comfortably and conveniently forget that they are there.
Money may have the reputation as being the root of all evil, but I wonder if that is true. Is it not what choices people make that is at the heart of the problem? And how can we make informed choices unless we communicate?
I thought a lot about that on the way home. In this day and age when the internet connects us worldwide, it should be easier to talk… and we do, often about things that may seem quite unimportant… just the small doings of everyday…but by doing so, we keep the lines of communication open, and every so often, something really important filters through. The weight of public opinion can work miracles, changing the face of society…or making one life worth living.
Misunderstandings thrive when people do not talk. Relationships deteriorate when resentments cannot be aired and are allowed to fester. Loneliness and depression deepen when there is no-one to talk with. And whole worlds of possibility open up when we do.
It is the same on a personal level too, as we are talking to ourselves internally all the time. For most of us, there is a commentary on the surface of the mind and yet, we are conscious of other levels of thought running beside it, observing it, sometimes in agreement with our thoughts and actions, at other time raising metaphorical eyebrows.
But, although we are aware of these other levels of thought, observation and information, we seldom take the time to engage them in conversation. Meditation and contemplation are ways of doing so, and those who give some time to these methods reap rich rewards. Both conscience and consciousness reside within, and unless the surface mind is prepared to converse with them, we may be missing out on a large percentage of who we are and who we might become.
I wonder if ‘the root of all evil’, rather than simply blaming inanimate money, stems from the barriers we, and the way we live, erect around the core of our being? Barriers that seek to protect us by preventing us from really hearing what those around us and those inner voices may have to say?
When we let the barriers down and talk to someone openly and without subterfuge, we call it a ‘heart to heart’. Perhaps that is what we are missing… and maybe what we are afraid of in this modern world? The ability and the openness to speak and to listen, allowing our true selves to flow from the heart.
It is the start of the festive season again. The dark nights of winter allow the fairy lights and decorations to sparkle in every town and village and through the windows of homes up and down this little island. People, even those who already look harassed by the work, expense and extra busyness of December, smile at each other for no reason and offer greetings. It seems as if we somehow respond to the colour and light in the darkness in a way that transcends the everyday stresses of modern life… as if the inner child sees the wonder of the sparkling lights and understands their significance.
Midwinter celebrations have always been with us… long before Christianity came on the scene, mankind paused in the dark time of the year, looking to the rebirth of the light. The stories vary with time, place and faith; the Child of Light can wear many names, even the abstract name of enlightenment. But the story is always the same too… in the darkest of times, a light will shine.
Beyond the fairy lights, there is fear and uncertainty abroad in the world. Many feel powerless against the looming presence of darkness. We worry for the future, for our children and grandchildren. Alone, we face a shadow that often seems too overwhelming for one small human being. Yet we should not need to stand alone; we are members of a single human family. Like any other family, we have our problems and they are often thrown into sharp relief at times when we should be coming together to celebrate. Sadly, just like any other family, some of those problems seem irreconcilable. All we can do in the face of such a problem is take responsibility for our own lives, do our best to be who we are and can be, and carry the light within.
Today, a small group of us will visit an ancient site where the movements of the sun were once observed as it sank into darkness. The site is bleak and exposed, looking out over a winter landscape, a perfect symbol for where many now feel that we stand. We, who come from different backgrounds, who hold differing beliefs and follow different paths, will come together there in a quiet visualisation.
Creative visualisation is taught by psychologists, self help groups and esoteric schools as a valuable tool for change. The subconscious mind sees no difference between the real and the imagined, only the conscious mind draws such distinctions. Nothing is created without it first being brought into being within the imagination and it is in the imagination that any change is born. Add the focus of conscious intent to that visualisation and it becomes a powerful creative act.
It is against the blackness of a midwinter midnight that the stars shine their brightest. As we stand on the hilltop, our little group will visualise ourselves as single points of light…part of a vast web of light that extends across the world. Each point of light shines from the heart of another living being, another soul. It is born of the love we give, it grows from compassion and empathy. We may not be able to change the world, but we can add our own light to the greater flame of hope and healing and allow it to change us, little by little, one by one.
For some unknown reason, I was weepy. It had not been a sad day, but a busy one. There was no cause on which I could lay the blame. Granted I had prodded the scars on some old memories, but they are long past and well healed. The dog, if I let her near the keyboard, would tell you that we had been having fun… a ‘mad half hour’ that extended throughout the early evening and ended in a laughing heap of fur and limbs collapsed panting on the floor… both hers and mine… and with a triumphant hound licking my face. The triumph being because she knows she is not supposed to and, as she was sat on me, she had the advantage.
I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself for any reason. I can’t even blame fluctuating hormones as they have come neatly packaged in regular daily doses for years. I had slept longer than usual. There was no reason for it. It was simply something that washed over me out of the blue and didn’t bother warning me or telling me why.
Pretty much everything I read from that point onward reduced me to tears, from beauty to empathy. I decided to watch a film instead. I chose a nice, safe adventure… one I have watched more times than I can remember. I know the book pretty much by heart too and it isn’t particularly sad … yet it had me dripping. Ani, by this time, was getting a bit concerned especially as even her cuddles set me off!
I gave up and went to bed a soggy mess.
The easy response is that there is, as we say in my home county, ‘nowt queerer than folk’ and it is true, we are an odd lot. Emotions can overtake us for many reasons or…apparently… none. But easy answers don’t cut it when you are lying in bed going back over the day.
In that meditative state there is no room for anything but honesty. There is no-one to see, no-one to hear, judge or impugn. Your thoughts are your own and there is nowhere to hide from yourself. So what had set me off? There was obviously something lurking there that needed to be disinterred and examined and, given the path I have chosen with the School, there could be no shying away from that.
The only thing I could think of were the memories I had been retelling. In addition to the instances from my own life upon which I had mused, I serve as a memory for my son for the missing period of his life and those memories are of a traumatic time. Had I touched some unknown sore spot there? I didn’t think so… not particularly… nothing we haven’t discussed before. The fact we can discuss them, given the original prognosis, means that there has been a miraculous resolution that puts past hurt into a completely different perspective that is rooted in thankful joy.
I was no wiser. Then I wondered about the cumulative effect of remembered emotion. There had been a number of instances recalled, moments of pain and loss that had cut deep at the time. You call up a memory and, to remember it in detail, watch it play out vividly on the screen of the mind. With that almost cinematic effect come the emotions you had felt. Maybe that was it, just an overdose of memory? There was something in that, but there had to be more to it.
I dug deeper and finally got there in the end. The memories themselves weren’t the problem, nor their attendant emotions. Unacknowledged fears were at the root of it, and yet, once seen, once examined, they were found to be groundless; laughably empty and without substance. No more than a reaction learned from a flawed understanding by a younger, more fragile self… one who believed that to love something you had to keep it close in case you lost it. And under that cold, damp blanket of false fear, I found what I was looking for.
It wasn’t pain or sadness that had set me off in the first place… it was joy; gratitude for all the wonder and beauty I have known over the past few years. It was the obverse of pain which is why I couldn’t find any; it was the lights at the end of the tunnels, the laughter after tears, the sunny days that follow the dark ones. These are not things you ‘have’ so they cannot be ‘lost’. They are not possessions, but gifts of the moment and all you can do is be open to them when they come… and it is enough that they do. They come into even the darkest times, as fragile and delicately beautiful as butterflies. To try and hold them would be the same as pinning a butterfly to a board. There is no need. They simply light up a life with their presence.
I fell asleep laughing at myself. There are worse ways…
“We were not Gods, but were of God, the strands of our existence
not yet teased apart by Becoming, our function not yet defined.”
So much for a Saturday evening… the night of the week most folk sit relaxing by the hearth or meet with friends. Me? I was taking dictation from a Goddess…or that was what it felt like as I wrote.
I had done plenty of research, burying myself under a small mountain of respectable tomes to remind me of the details of the great story I was working with as I wrote The Osiriad. The names on the spines… Budge, Spence and Frazer, Iamblichus and Herodotus… suggested that ancient Egypt had something to do with the whole process, as would the printed papyri that littered the table. I had been feeding my imagination on tales of Egypt for years.
“There was a time we did not walk the earth.
A time when our nascent essence flowed, undifferentiated, in the Source of Being.”
But research isn’t everything. There are scholarly accounts in abundance out there with an academic weight I could never match. Nor did I intend to try. I hoped to speak to the emotions and imagination instead, so it was enough to get a broad overview of the subject. Having immersed myself in the scholarly works, I set them aside to write, hoping to weave the disjointed myths of Egypt into a single story. Which is where it began to feel as if I was taking dictation… and I wrote non-stop until the book was done.
“We wore flesh like a garment, clothing our immanence…”
It is a curious process when, with the first keystrokes, the tenor of language changes and takes on a flavour all of its own. Even stranger when the character who is speaking in the narrative comes to life under your fingers and starts to ‘dictate’ aand you find yourself typing concepts you were not consciously aware of before writing them down. I think I speak for many who write with this. It is a well-known phenomenon that our heroes and heroines begin to act independently in the imagination and the writer becomes little more than an observer and reporter of events over which, it almost feels, they have no control.
I found as I wrote that tale that I was tapping into areas of understanding that had lain unexplored in mind and memory, shrouded in the cobwebs of neglect. There is far more stored away in our minds than we notice. We tap into it through practices like meditation and the creative process. The two, I think, are more closely aligned than we generally realise. Many who paint slip into another state of mind, very similar to that experienced in meditation. Many who write will go back and find things they barely remember having written, things beyond their usual scope that they hardly recognise as their own. Things that surprise them with their depth or intensity.
Imagination is such a powerful thing. It is at the root of so many aspects of our lives yet we often dismiss it or fail to notice it. We even train our children away from its magic by telling them not to daydream or imagine things, pulling them back to reality. Yet every design, every concept, begins the process of its manifestation within the imagination of its creator. Every object we use began with a ‘what if’, every story was once just the germ of an idea.
It is imagination that fuels our emotions. What would we fear without that mental picture that haunts us? Would we strive to attain a goal without the image of success imprinted upon our mind? Yet it is a two-way process, for imagination feeds on memory and emotion too and they paint a vivid picture for it to work with. Think of the possibilities for change we could have by consciously harnessing these natural gifts we all have in abundance. It is this power of the imagination that is drawn upon by all the methods of positive thinking, and though many of the concepts they present may be flawed by the desire for profit and worldly success, the basic premise, that we can shape our own vision of reality through imagination, is sound.
Mystery Schools, including the Silent Eye, have always taught the power of the controlled imagination. Very often, though, in my experience, the power of the heart is neglected by the student, overlooked in their concentration on study, with the result that the focus becomes purely intellectual and loses the true meaning of such a path, which is to take understanding out into the life of the world and live it. It is by engaging the emotions in full awareness, in conjunction with the imagination, that the inner vision opens to allow exploration of the hidden corners of the mind and the realisations that come in this way can be truly astounding.