🐣The unexpected quiet trumpet call that awakens me to the stasis of bliss🕊️
As a boy, I was for a while an avid reader of sci-fi comics. They contained individual short stories. I willingly gave myself up to be lost in them.
I always remember how one particular ‘Alien’ described itself. This being, stranded on our planet Earth, said of itself I am “An Entity without Identity”.
The predicament of this creature from Outer Space has always beckoned to me. Whatever quality, whatever identity was attributed or assigned to it, that was what it instantly became!
A child passed by in the park, found what he said was a ball. On that instant, to his alien chagrin, this voyager from the great beyond became a rubber ball and the child began to play with it.
The child met an older man in the same park, who explained that the interior of a star contains matter at such extreme high density that a ball like the boy was holding could weigh as much as a battleship.
All at once, it was so! Crowds of people flocked to the park to see it and to try to move it.
Luckily for this unhappy stranded cosmic traveller, after several misadventures arising out of mismatched identities, someone with compassion and advanced gifts of logic got it back on its galactic journey again by assigning to it a cleverly constructed sequence of identities.
My fascination with this story was an example of my early attraction to the expression of myself as fluid impermanence, fully filled with and indeed intuitively comprised of the potential of possibilty. It is a concept with which I was later to find stimulating parallels in Zen.
So when someone sees me for example as “full of surprises”, in a trice, this is in truth my core persona…
If I am to some “open, creative and full of life”, all at once this is the truth of me. I do not change. I am what I see is mirrored by those who take me into their momentary gaze.
For the time of being, in an identity made solely of vulnerability, everything is possible. It is all true EveryNow. Nothing is excluded. Until the next trumpet call!
I cannot tell how many hundreds of miles of trackways I have trailed since I seriously began country hiking on my own in about 1978.
Certain photos, such as this spot near Chettle, in north Dorset, remind me of when I was hungry and tired, and my dizzy exhilaration resembles nothing so much as a lover’s trance.
I force myself to pause and compose a shot, to give reverence to this moment. I feel this green place flows with green blood and my urge is to honour the eternal green moment echoing among fertile valleys of timeless green silence.
My body becomes as a planted pin on this map, as deeply rooted, as noiselessly noisy, as long established, as identifiably hairy and branchy as all of the surrounding flora within eyes reach.
Then I move on and I walk out into new places.
There is a complete, all-in-the-round island universe in that image.
In all these mysterious images, I am compelled by the rumble of love that was conceived in my breast to stand breathless and then I press the button. I allow the camera to let in the light. Some elements of the fifth dimension – the green magic – remain in the freeze-frame scenes.
The beauty of it is, that these magics are still here, are as clear to me now, and as familiar, as my first lover’s kiss
“The Customer Is King”! This is an invitation to blind ignorance. This is a thinly disguised invitation to a culpable ignorance which leads straight to intolerance.
There can be no defence which says, for example, it is unnecessary to teach our young how to shop, on the grounds that we all turn a blind eye to what shopkeepers feel when we treat them as an object, as a yielding target for insults, or for unfair, degrading, and even malicious abuse.
I had a rude awakening to the scale of damage caused to society by ignorance and lack of self-critical awareness.
The fact of my waiting on one side of a shop counter to serve people coming to the other side of the counter unburies and releases vile impulses of bullying and physical aggression on the part of a large minority of “ordinary folk”.
When I worked in shops and department stores in Central London, I also found that almost any retail worker can recount gut-wrenching episodes of this behaviour.
If you wish to contribute your accounts of your own suffering in retail and customer service, I think it would be a useful way to open up the debate on this hidden sickness.
People turn a blind eye to such behaviour, or they assume it must be a sad but unavoidable fact of retail life.
What happens to fill the humanity void when we start out in the mornings and continue through our days ignorant of our ignorance, hardly giving a thought to our responsibility to act with awareness, kindness, tolerance and active compassion to the sensitivities of others, playing down or not caring about our duties care?
What happens is that the health of civil society becomes undermined and endangered. The void of untutored ignorance and of willful ignorance is often filled by fear. Fear that breeds a wrong attachment to contempt, and by extension to hatred, in all aspects of human affairs.
In all homes, all families, and every workplace, in all districts, countries and continents, from the earliest age, “schooling” is slated to provide the next generation with the knowledge and equipment to become an acceptable unit of social conformity.
I asked once at secondary school what the difference was in university.
The answer I was given went along these lines. “You learn to do your own research, so you can think for yourself and teach yourself. A university education, regardless of the chosen course of study, should help to create a mind that is disciplined, able to make self-informed choices supported by logic and rational argument. Such skills are highly prized in the world of work.”
We could continue blindly to content ourselves to inculcate acceptance by our young of the old ways of handed down social norms.
If we go on accepting the status quo, then by the time the few are fortunate to become qualified auto-didacts, it becomes far too late for the many.
Too late to become aware of their state of ignorance concerning the depths and breadth of the needs of others we live and interact with in civil society.
And far too late for most of them to recognize and reverse their contribution to the damage to the health of the society we all belong to.
I believe with passion that important improvements in everyday human relations are waiting to be made by devoting time during the years of compulsory education to the subject of awareness training of our individual duty of care towards people in the places and on the occasions we necessarily interact.
I am speaking of everyday skills which are so taken for granted that they are assumed not to be valid subjects of study, and still less subjects for teaching.
I’m speaking of social interactions such as these –
student & teacher;
buyer & shopkeeper;
pedestrian & road user;
passenger & driver;
patient & doctor, nurse, first aid worker, or emergency services worker;
taxpayer & government official;
voter & representative.
Also, at one remove, I’m thinking of –
consumer & factory worker, consumer & farmer,
consumer & financial and legal services provider.
In short, all givers and receivers of the work and service of others.
Uncountable damage has been done to trust and mutual respect in society since the systematic and ruthless application of that dictum, “The Customer is King.”
“The Customer is King”, “The Customer is Always Right” is as outmoded, and as blatantly unjust as it is destructive. I want us to let it loosen its grip on us all, because with education we can come back to reclaim ourselves with self-respect.
We can again, every one of us, reclaim our individual rights as Kings and Queens in our own domains, and not divided unnaturally into customers and servants.
I owe a living to no one other than me. No other person owes me a living. I do not say, “Get a life”. I do my best to live my own, so I know when I meet and truly interact, my own best will be one more light by which to see each other more clearly.
I make no case for unattainable expensive changes to create a vague and fluffy utopia . I say, teach how to see and feel things from the other person’s view initially by simple role-play.
Don’t teach by saying, “How would you like it if someone did [something nasty] ?… “ Offer practical role-play exercises, and say, “Now swap places. Swap roles. See what resources you need to draw on to give. See how different it is to take.”
Discover a whole world in giving and taking. And then tell us how you can change the way you are, at home, in the street, at school, at work, everywhere.
May I remember all of my growth. Growth physical and growth in heart’s love.
I want to remain alive to my heart’s ability to grow in heart love.
May I find the courage to draw on the power with which loving with loving kindness regenerates my heart’s expansion into love’s swaying flower fields and forests of kindness.
Every day let my fearful forward-fixed gaze give me a rest, so I pause and take stock.
Every day I will remember when I open my eyes awake, to let my heart take me by the hand, its own little child, wide-eyed in wonder, and lead me to learn new expanding abilities of loving to live.
At night, let me review this amazing journey of breath and blood, tears and sweat, so I remember why my heart is so rightly full of gratitude.
My heart and I have accepted challenges, made discoveries, assimilated life lessons, received and been blessed by growth.
The ebb and flow of heart’s luminosity assists and stands guard over growth and healing in my body.
In this inevitable plurality of beings, my heart drives me to connect.
My own growth towards recognition, understanding and peaceful acceptance of who I am comes from unconditional, non-judgemental relationships.
Deep maternal love, which is one form of non-attached friendship, released my tiny child into the grassy flower-meadows of my very first summers.
Later on, my heart, strengthened and emboldened by the unmistakable benevolence of the Big Green, began to receive and to give non-judgemental friendship.
Stagnation dissolves and energetic growth returns when my inner child makes itself known to me again. It may be from hints, signs, clues to my senses, to my awareness, that my inner child’s presence peers past the curtains of my darkness, always dancing, always smiling, always beckoning me out to play and to laugh!
It may be my indirect sensation of its presence through my perception of its absence and the terrible pain of that lonely emptiness. Mercifully, this pain is pure illusion.
My inner child wants to be found, it never hides! And so, with a little concentration, I can come to my inner child, playmate, best friend.
Then my inner child holds my hand once more, I am filled up, my heart is filled and my being is refreshed with the giggles of childhood.
My original child’s state of grace, let me remember it!
Let me know it again. You and I are still filled up to the tip-top with the very same innocence and automatic acceptance of our natural and original condition, which is pure love, seen or not, felt or not, understood or misunderstood.
This acceptance is the elixir!
With this we can live in the perfumed fields of happiness exactly as it was, as it always was and will be, for us and for all sentient life to the end of all things
§ The night a compassionate strength, vastly superior to my own, reached into me §
As my family and some few of my friends know, I suffered in my early twenties from periodic intense depressions.
I lost my opportunities, so carefully planned and worked for, for entering higher education. I lost contact with my peers, who were starting university courses, establishing careers and founding nuclear families.
I lost my independence. And to a large extent, I became institutionalised during two long stays in hospitals, such that it later became necessary for me to be taught and to re-learn some of the most elementary routines of self-care.
I passed a couple of years in shadowland, on many medications, and finally here is where this story begins. I am being cared for by a good family friend, at her home with her young adult children.
I had been, for I don’t know how many weeks, living in one small bedroom with my racing thoughts. They weren’t overwhelming or unfriendly thoughts, just an unhappy separation, a disconnect from objective reality.
I surfed stories of mystery and imagination, locating myself like a Robinson Crusoe on the inside of my own island populated by innocent fantasies.
I experienced a phase-change, a transition, which professionals call Spontaneous Remission. I refer to it as my first Epiphany.
It is a documented fact. At around the end of their twenties, some fortunate few patients experience this automatic correction or re-balancing.
I had consistently followed whatever medication regimes I was prescribed. I may well have been taking a broad spectrum of psycho-active drugs which were not relevant to my condition for long periods at a time.
When the correct new medication was found, it was Lithium Carbonate. This is an inorganic molecular compound, related quite closely to that simple inorganic commonly known as Chalk!
I dutifully accepted to take this one as I always had all the others. So much the better for me, as the events that followed were primed to take their course.
My intense experience of this event in 1969 is clear in my memory many tens of years after. It’s a short story in itself.
It happened quite literally overnight.
It coincided with and was induced by a few hours of almost unbearably intense physical pain. There was nothing other-worldly about it. It originated purely from elementary causes in my soma.
During the night-time hours of this traumatic physical trial, I began to pray as hard as I knew how, because it was not like anything else I could remember, not even acute appendicitis twenty years earlier, nor could I understand it.
As the muscle spasms strengthened, it occurred to me I could not survive them at this rate. I began to prepare for when I might pass out and not wake up. I bit down hard on my pillow, because I didn’t want my teeth to smash.
Irrational as it seems to me still today, I also did nothing to alert the others sleeping in the house. This was my time. My time has come.
The prayer I repeated was, “I offer my soul to you, my God. Do with me as you see fit.”
Later I learned that what I was enduring was not life threatening, but in the night hours, and after spending so long out of reach of rational thought, I did think I was most likely going to die.
I am perfectly sure my plea to God for mercy and my offering myself up to God to do with me as He wished was central to my realignment into objective reality.
Even as I grated the prayer through my throat, even though I knew they were the right words and that no other choice of words would do, some part of me felt slightly self-conscious.
Perhaps this is how objective normality, with its attendant banality, was beginning to return?
In the grey light of morning,I woke up. I was pain-free.
I remember it in detail with crystal clarity, I was on my own wavelength again and fully aware of the frames of reference outside of myself. In other words, for the first time in weeks, I felt once more completely in touch with all of myself and with my thoughts, with ‘normality’ and with me in my own quiet undramatic place in it.
I got out of bed for first time in ages and had a wash and a brush up. I even took a pair of nail scissors to my straggly beard and my unkempt hairline.
Then the unshaven hairy guy they had jokingly referred to in front of me as the Wild Man of Borneo, turned up in his dressing gown, to join the others and take his place, a bit sheepishly but with his usual good humour, at breakfast.
Not a word was said out of place. I noticed a few nervous incredulous and amused smiles exchanged around the table.
I never descended into this illness, or anything remotely like it again. I had travelled into, through and out of a series of Manic Depressive, or Bipolar episodes over three years.
Now I swiftly started on my return to the world of work and personal independence.
Mine’s a lifetime of living in gratitude.
Gratitude for the love and trust of my Father and Mother, my family, my friends, those many people who looked after me when I could not.
And I return again and again, with an awed sense of gratitude, to be in the presence of a compassionate strength, vastly superior to my own, which reached out to me, held me, cleansed me through and through on that night of dread and dark all on my own
~ Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life.
[Quotation from Rubeena.AK] Be so individually developed that you love humanity irrespective of beliefs, background, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, traditions, colour, language, nationality, personality or or any other macro/micro differences. The more you are compassionate, peaceful and accepting towards yourself, the more you will be compassionate peaceful and accepting towards others. How we see others is a reflection of how we see our selves. We were born to blend in without giving up our individuality. [Rubeena.AK]
A buzz boomed by with a bee inside it.
When I see and hear a bee in flight, I can frame it in words in my thought as, bee, hive member, honey-gatherer, pollinator, dangerous, pain-bringer, endangered insect.
The way I see the bee without doubt equates to my perception of it through my thought associations.
I tend to exist as a pinball in play exists. My thoughts bounce me. My thinking “I” knocks against thought-pictures, and I’m bouncing off word-imprints from my sensory input all day.
Most of the time I relate to people in my immediate neighbourhood in superficial ways.
When I notice a person passing near, out of habit I am inclined to estimate the identity from a limited range of mainly visual cues, derived from my picture of the me I call myself.
What happens to my impression of the bee when my sensitivity to my own identity is low to vanishing point? What happens when my preconception of the bee, and my decades long memories of bee instances are out of reach, not present at all?
It was like this.
I had started into wakefulness from my slumped pose seated in the summer sunlight in the garden. In the absence of explicit assumptions about the bee, I heard its buzz, I did not see it.
I was on the rim between volcanic fire and magnetic sleep. I was distracted by the sound of a bee. Distracted only as far as to understand the buzz meant no threat to me. I also deduced the bee and its now receeding sound strake were not relevant to me at this moment.
My Bee >/< Me unitary moment occurred when the bee and I tacitly acknowledged each other’s presence in the afternoon.
I became aware of these things.
First, I had woken up and registered the proximity of the bee.
Second, I removed my attention from the bee.
Third, I received with clarity the bee’s thought that I was irrelevant to its determined flight trajectory, exactly as I too had come swiftly to the same conclusion.
The point made by both the bee and I in that instant was that we were both superfluous to each other’s needs.
There is a parallel for people. We often glance in the direction of another person, only to acknowledge, in the briefest non-engaged contact, our mutual disinterest. This is an often repeated instance between strangers of assessment of threat or of potential purpose.
This risk assessment relies on the recognition of multiple commonalities, beginning with the plain fact we are both alive.
I felt a strong common shared sentience on an animal plane with the bee. I was in the presence of sentient life, life with a soul.
As the bee flew by, although I did not see it, I fully recognised it as a sentient being.
I actually received the bee saying, with dignity and self-assuredness, “I must go about my business; you about yours”.
The process of deduction we were simultaneously engaged in, the bee and I, was the equivalent of two humans crossing on a path.
One has business and purpose unrelated to the other, and, in the continuation of their separate paths, they explicitly and implicitly share in an automatic mutual recognition only available between two sentient beings!
It matters not to me, a few days on from my vision, if I am still imprinting my image on the world outside my body or not.
For this briefest of brief union with the mind of a bee, I am blessed beyond all reckoning.
I find a lot of peace rises in me as I begin working in our little patch of green garden.
I am rested.
These days, if I have no physical stress, such as fatigue, my state of inner stillness comes in closer. And I only have to turn my attention inwards to feel that same old Butterflies in the Tummy of being in love!
This was the state of being I entered, during my first experiences of Biodanza, and, with the witness of some shining soulfriends, I underwent an excavation which openly revealed my naked heart to me and to others way back in 2013, a year I call the “Year of my Life”.
I have grown to recognise this feeling of being permanently in love as a state of Grace. I am vaguely curious to find similar people who can “swap notes” about it with me. But I have begun to think that analysis or the naming of objects won’t change anything for me, nor will it show me anything new.
The state I entered into in the Year of My Life was propelled there by a number of emotional shocks or Epiphanies, which I have written up elsewhere on my EveryNow blog.
My emotional landscape is characterised by an illogical sense of continual and continuing newness.
Illogical, because a new awareness or new experience of feelings generally subsides over time, and the outlines decay to take on the perspective of something old, of something like “been there, done that”.
There is nothing old hat about my emotional state whenever I touch into my heart and feel the love. I cannot detect anything I can refer to as, “Oh, yes those finished and tidied away things over there!”
This puzzles me when I think about it. But that’s as far as it goes when I hold it up to examine it.
In fact, the place I have reached inside is like a wide open feeling of shared universal connection when walking a forest trail. Wide open, yes, except it’s “bigger on the inside than the outside”.
With my most sacred space being all filled up, comes a perception of pure energy, disembodied and unrelated to spatial position.
Where good fiction is made believable by a suspension of disbelief, so the sense of being in love in isolation from and absolutely removed from any object for the love, takes on the form of a belief.
Like a participant in an audience at a dramatic presentation, my sensation of this love is high intensity, at high volume, yet peaceful, without forcefulness.
So, on every occasion when I touch into my heart, I acknowledge the presence of it all over again. And of course it feels like it’s here now for the very first time!
Being thus reassured of its presence deeply inside, I put thoughts of questioning aside and get on with things.
I cannot grasp it, because it is not something I need to take or possess. Anyhow, it doesn’t have any attributes of possession.
For most of my adult life, I have navigated some fixed stars, with maxims I created, like:
“Love is the answer to which no question exists”,
“No question; answer is before”
“Summer and winter come and go
See the sense of season
Sleep naked of reason.
Old soil is new soil
In the dark seed’s eye”
What has opened in me links back to one or other of these concepts, and these in turn link back to key events and crossroads in my earlier life.
In turn, I track back along centuries of striving and surviving, trillions of gene iterations, through interstellar dust lanes hustling potential, to the beginning of beginnings.
How do you feel when you’re in love?
Your mind will take you eventually or immediately towards the object of your affection.
What has arrived in me, intense love, quenches every last residue of fear. The awareness of such love is self sustaining. It feels like perpetual motion eternally safe !
This place. This place of perpetuity, where the perception exists of itself, and in sole occupation of the heart of loving!
The only way I have to begin to describe it is to see how it belongs.
It belongs to itself alone.
At the same time, the only other two ways to express it are to sing or scream out loud like a frantic teenager, or to go share the joy, in every possible way I have learned how to, with all those who do have ears and eyes.
I was recently abducted by alien technology transport.
Don’t reach for the off-button! This is still me in my skull. However, everything I knew before my ride has undergone a green-shift.
It was night. The machine I had been invited into reversed quietly on a narrow rough track, but I felt no bumps. We were somewhere in rural Hampshire, where Crop Circles Hardly Happen, .
We engaged onto an English single track country lane. I noticed smooth power. And not a sound.
The Man said, “There is no engine. Under the bonnet is another boot storage space.”
I looked down for a gear shift, or up for an understated gear-paddle.
He said, “No engine. No need for gears.”
In the space left by no gearshift is a Useful Cup Holder and space for personal items.
Power from a bank of batteries in the floor of the vehicle is entirely controlled by computers operating in close harmony with state-of-the-art Global Positioning software. The computers receive firmware and software updates OTA – Over The Air.
A fourteen-by-eight inch central colour display and monitor is addressed by touch.
What are those two buttons on each side? I am bold to ask.
“This one is for the hazard lights. That one opens the glove box.”
I asked the one in the driver’s seat if this car is a hybrid, if it takes petrol, or oil.
“No engine; nothing goes in except electrons.”
It was night, and soon we entered the first motorway.
We were having a discussion about the balls and chains with which corporate petroleum interests still try to shackle advances in battery technology. That was when I noticed three things.
First, the driver-side display showing our car (head lights lit), between two continuous glowing blue lines. I could see radar images of the traffic ahead in our lane.
Second, up to this point on our journey, my driver man had not touched the steering wheel at all. He flicks the indicator and the car accelerates, the steering wheel moves, I watch on the radar display as we overtake a slow lorry, and the car returns to our lane to cruise in a posh but unfamiliar silence-bubble at maximum speed limit. Not a fraction over or under.
Third, not once in the 30 mile trip did the driver touch the brakes! In the rare and frankly unlikely event of a traffic emergency which the computer couldn’t compute, he could hit the brakes to take instant full manual control.
This autonomous vehicle and its batteries, a brainchild of the man with the science-fiction name of Elon Musk, not only attracts zero Road Tax, but under corporation tax rules, HMRC makes a net tax refund for the running of it! The car’s running costs are piffling insignificant compared to any hydrocarbon fuelled vehicle.
On cloud nine, I thanked my alien for the ride of my life, and I got out, still an Earthling, but a changed earthling.
All by itself, the chunky five figure price tag for this autonomous luxury earthship from the Far Future is ample justification for my buying the occasional Lottery ticket.