Seeking a light…

Rites of Passage: Seeing beyond Fear

A weekend with the Silent Eye

Derbyshire, UK

Friday 13th – Sunday 15th September 2019

Beyond the serene beauty of the Derbyshire Dales, old stories cast shadows across the landscape. From the veiled rites of prehistory to folklore, from legend to history, we listen with a shiver to tales of another time and place… and yet, the fears faced within these stories still echo our own.

Fear gets a bad press. It is almost always portrayed as a negative emotion, an uncontrolled reaction to the events and circumstances of our lives. When we allow fear to rule us, that can be an accurate description. It can be paralysing, preventing us from following our dreams and embracing the possibilities life offers. And yet, fear helps keep us safe and alive; without fear, we would not step away from danger or take our hand away from the flame.

Without fear, how could we know courage? Bravery is not born from the absence of fear, but from acting in spite of fear… learning how to turn a negative to a positive. Without fear, would we be able to make those choices that serve a greater purpose than our own need?

Is there more to this unseen and often unspoken emotion than meets the eye? How have our ancestors addressed such fears across the centuries? Can we learn from the past a way to see beyond our own 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

Lord of the Deep . The Bull of Heaven. ~ Willow Willers

Willow continues her tale of her journey through the story of Gilgamesh at the recent Lord of the Deep workshop weekend:

 

Broken

Unwashed, unkingly

The mighty ego returns

To the city and temple

Unrecognised.

Ritual Four

Again I process into the temple, again it’s a huge leap through time and space.

Gilgamesh distraught at losing his brother finds himself outside the Temple of Ishtar.

Shamhat is there and full of vengeance she mocks him. Calling to him to take her and make her his own.

Gilgamesh is afronted. Why he wonders does she mock him so. The answer is blaring clear to all but the mighty ego.

He has let his brother, her lover, Enkidu, perish in the forest. She despises him. It lifts her to see him so broken. So she hits him where it hurts.

Revenge

So sweet but short lived

Shamhat taunts Gilgamesh

No more than he deserves.

*

Continue reading at willowdot21

Lord of the Deep. Trees and Plants. ~ Willow Willers

Reblogged from Willow, who continues to share her experiences at the Lord of the Deep weekend:

After the second Drama on the Saturday morning of the Silent Eye Workshop we had a break, then a presentation from Lorraine Munn on The Natural World and Man. Lorraine is a Druid and she is a mentor with O B O D and an ordained minister with the One Spirit Interfaith Foundation.
Lorraine spoke to us about how there is so much in Nature that is spiritual and it’s relationship to man.

Lorraine is a warm and knowledgeable woman who made us all stop and think. She suggested that we can learn a lot from plants and trees. Lorraine is very wise about trees she can commune with them.

 

Continue reading at willowdot21

‘A succession of little things’…

With just over two weeks to go before we set off for the north and the start of the April workshop, things are getting a bit weird. On the one hand, everything is pretty much written, prepared, thought out and sorted. On the other, there is the worry of waiting for last minute props and the little odds and ends to be delivered, thought of, made or bought. It feels as if we have entered quiet waters at last and as if life has become suddenly rather manic, all at the same time.

We are over the main hurdle; the workbook that has been in the works for three years is ready… ideas, reading, research and writing have all come together. But that, though it is by far the most important task, is only the beginning.

I have a love-hate relationship with this point of the year. The excitement is mounting and so is the adrenalin; there is everything still to do and yet all the major things are already in place and can no longer be altered. The workbooks are not only written but printed, the roles attributed…’all’ we have to do now is get there with everything we need…and hope everyone else does too!

My biggest concern at the moment is a plant pot. Not just any plant pot… it is the headdress of a Sumerian god. I have tried so many different ways of creating the right effect, and failed miserably. Until now, at almost the last minute, when a child’s toy seems to have provided the solution.

I did offer to provide the gods with handbags too, but the gentlemen declined for some strange reason.

It is not as if I was joking… the Sumerian gods, kings and priests all seem to have carried them. Although, it must be said, they were probably not intended as functional items of fashionable apparel. The most likely interpretation, like many of the apparently mundane items we are packing, is rather more symbolic. The handle represents the arc of the heavens, or the rainbow, while the square ‘bag’ represents the earth…and together they symbolise the unity of the Cosmos.

 

I have barely started packing. I have yet to start rummaging beneath the bed and in the ‘walk in wardrobe’; both are stuffed with bags and boxes, holding the remnants of previous workshops. But the packing list is done… at least, it would be, if I didn’t keep adding to it. There are growing piles of boxes in my bedroom…and yet most of what they contain are very small items.

“The great doesn’t happen through impulse alone, and is a succession of little things that are brought together,” wrote Vincent van Gogh to his brother. A pair of scissors… a pack of drawing pins… a hair tie that won’t be used for hair… It is the little things that can change everything…and those are the easiest things to overlook.

The devil is not in the details… it is in forgetting and overlooking them. From sticky-paper dots to safety pins, our representation of an ancient work of literature will rest on such humble foundations. But is that not always the way?

No matter what we try to achieve, unless we get the simplest, most basic things in place at the beginning, we will hit problems. They may not be insurmountable, but a little attention at the start will make any task easier and more likely to succeed.

King of Kings

Rameses II jpg

I am at an interesting stage in the writing of the Silent Eye’s April workshop. We are not up to production, yet. This early stage is about taking the initial ideas and coalescing them into a workable set of five dramas based on sacred temple principles. Each person attending the workshop plays a part; and the core themes are explored by (scripted) acting, forum discussions and personal exploration in the quiet of the lovely Derbyshire landscape.

One of my favourite themes, and one which always features in these workshops, is the notion of hazard. Our lives are full of hazard and yet we view it as a curse rather than a blessing. My eyes were opened to the constructive power of hazard many years ago, when I came across the works of John Bennett, one of the principle students of both Gurdjieff and Ouspensky in the middle years of the last century. Bennett spent the last twenty years of his life attempting to re-write the language in which the the ‘4th Way’ was couched. He said he did this as much for himself as for those who would follow, believing that time had moved on and that it was vital to encapsulate the vital essence of what Gurdjieff taught in a language that could be used for explanation with ‘modern’ people, from scientists to psychologists, but especially to the everyday women and men prepared to invest a little time in knowing why and how they had a large part to play in the creative flow of the universe and how the gates to that were opened by how they reacted to true hazard.

I was considering this, again, as I often do in January as the mental and emotional engine that powers the workshops needs to be cold-started. At the same time, I came across the use of the Greek word Ozymandias, the classical name for Rameses II, a figure that features in our workshop as the very driver of the ‘hazard’ that the participants need to live through.

The reference reminded me of the poem by the same name by Percy Shelley.  I once learned this by heart for a presentation I was giving. The words are:

I met a traveler from an antique land

Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,

Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,

And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;

And on the pedestal these words appear:

“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away.

 The style is elegant and clever; the message bitterly ironic. The narration moves from the initial use of “I” to the body of the text, which is a description of a vast ruin, told by another traveller ‘from an antique land’. The “I” only comes in, again, at the end, to remark on the ‘lone and level’ fate which befalls all of us at the merciless hands of time.
 Should we seek to endure?  We have a finite body for a reason: we were meant to live and ‘die’. Ours is to ‘seize the day’ and make of it what we can; but, on a higher level, we have the potential to become what we can be; to find ourselves at the centre of a very different world where the universe unfolds around us and for us – as we live for it. It is human nature to clings to things. Rameses proclaims his greatness, and indeed he is viewed as one of the mightiest Kings of Egypt – the term Pharaoh was only introduced much later in Egyptian history. But the legacy of Rameses is stone, whereas the legacy of others has been to pass on a teachings, which, if written in such a way that it acts like a seed in the right ‘soil’, never dies.
It is controversial, but one such candidate for teachings that transcend was the figure of Akhenaten, who lived several generations before Ozymandias. Few ‘stones’ remain from his heretical reign, having been scattered by those who came after and hated his legacy, but in that time he changed Egypt, taking thousands of years of ‘mummified’ history and tradition, and throwing them into a melting pot of pure hazard, stealing in the process the very core of religion and making of it an invisible and ever-living principle called the Aten, the Sun behind the Sun. Much is made of his so-called monotheism, little is said about the much more vital principle of a living spirit that cannot be reduced to form . . .
Akhenaten does not feature in our workshop; but the spirit of that challenge does. It is for each of those attending to see whether this chord of constructive hazard is one that can be struck in their own souls . . .