In a galaxy a long way away, I found a Palace. It was made during millions of years of evolution, and its existence was the urge to grow.
It grew away from the centre of its planet, and was admired by all who had ganglions to admire with.
The empty Palace requires a visitor, for with no witnesses, the structure exists inchoate, incomplete. With or without a witness, it crumples and melts down into the loam of its origin anyway.
It has constructed itself to be an object of desire to beings with legs or wings.
In their absence, it relies on its trillion brethren to display its message and with it to fill every space between fire and ice.
Long ago, it took the form that love takes whenever love has the opportunity to dance with atoms.
Therefore it has no need to say, “Love”.
~ ♡ 🌟 ♡ ~
[This report from an interstellar explorer was rebroadcast to its galaxy far far away, in the hope that the Palaces of Earthly Love may come to be recognised, venerated and given the status of Universal Stellar Protection by all star-system populations for all time]
I took a photo of an unusually coloured striated garden poppy. Later that day, I enhanced it slightly, to post it on Facebook, and then the line came, “In a galaxy a long way away”.
The combined factors involved in the arrival on Earth of such a complex botanical structure are all but impossible comprehend.
My whole life I have struggled to find out how mathematics, geometry, cellular biology, phytochemistry and evolutionary botany, could affect an organism whose purpose of existence is single-pointed, and whose outward form is graceful, coherent simplicity.
A most effective and dramatic perspective I have been using for years is to pretend I have stepped off a Flying Saucer and am taking stock of an endless variety of never-seen, never-imagined Earthly life forms.
What happens when I, a creature from another solar sytem, am walking in a land of non-stop discovery?
In a flash, my perspective broadens by astronomical leaps. I am one being in a Cosmos of beings, all completely different, yet all sharing life.
My restless questions about origins, about shape, form and composition fade into a lower state of urgency. What matters is the universality of life.
My garden poppy is a messenger of life, and the astonishment is clear. Poppy exists throughout the millenia.
The manner of life’s self-assembly, of life’s urge to exist, endure, and replicate have come to me in this one flower – just for me and only at this point in time – via the operation of whole epochs of confusion, destruction and rebirth.
I have no reason to be shy to say this. It represents the result of massive recurring surges of the pure powers of love on our planet.
There is something inexplicable and unfindable in the startling grace displayed in this poppy. The grace does not require analysis or research. It simply asks of me to release all question, and to accept with childlike wonder the blindingly brilliant fact of its existence, here and now, with me
Whenever I hear someone’s story of their 360° round trip on these rivers of tears, I feel a mix of compassionate pain and frustration at their unnecessary journey.
My gut says, “It ain’t necessarily so!”, because it puts me in mind of those circular journeys of solitary despair I knew so well.
I am a soul filled with a joyful heart. I am blessed with this grace because my heart has beat to its own time, while I lived and breathed through suffering.
I must state my position.
Many years I spent with my heart uncomprehendingly engaged in a mood of gloom. I lived close to the edge of the world. I could only grieve for the beautiful security of how things were, because I had lost contact with that most natural of gifts that all sentient beings share – to love to live in the flow of the present moment.
This flow of the lived living moment is the dance of life we can watch on any street corner all the world over, where children play, yell, and enjoy their own company.
The will to live – that resource of legendary power – knows no past or future. If I live in the fullness of this present moment, I know nothing of any “threat” to my existence, because a threat can only exist in the context of the future-in-the-past.
Similarly, if all I am is joy-of-present, I shall have no care for the past. The reality available to innocent babies and to all young sentient living beings is reality both all-encompassing and intensely personal, exactly as the Universe is both personal and vast.
This reality is a self-awareness welded to and bonded with the will to live.
For the new-born, so for our grosser adult selves – we have an imperative to survive. Survival is the expression of our dependence on billions of iterations of our ancient genes in the moment-to-moment.
Mercifully, survival is maintained by autonomous life systems. The “test” – that all-out awful emergency – is rarely handed over to us that we shall be obliged to take full responsibility for our survival.
The continuum between life and death, the fulcrum of existence, is as a magnificence. A magnificence removed from the tick-tock of time, contained in and available to us in the Grace of Present Here-and-Now.
In my late teens, before I ‘dropped out’, I searched for and found a precious union. I cleaved to “haeceity”, to the THISNESS of things. It hardly matters here what association this had to mainstream thought, the important fact is that this understanding of the essential nature of reality remains with me still today.
This found communion with the simplicity of “What is” is my bedrock, my source of strength, healthy well-being, and healing. It is also my ever-available portal to the most sacred space in the heart containing the source of endless peace and love, present in us all and available to us all, from which we come and to which we all return.
The ability to approach and become contiguous with the uncomplicated bliss of “What is” literally saved my sanity and on occasion my life.
After this, in my lost years (20 to 25) I became troubled with abnormal mood fluctuations, and was dependent on pharmaceutical and hospital support. My withdrawal from society caused much anxiety and pain to my family and friends. My parents did all they could to help me, though at times they feared for my safe future.
Arguably there have been several early-life traumas which predisposed me to this. I have been privileged to revisit my Inner Child, and I spent invaluable hours – under direction of my Shamanic Healer here in Bournemouth where I live now – in precious, if at times painful, discovery of the selfless love of that little boy.
The small boy-child I was took it on his own advisement to loyally support me during my early years trauma. I see now I owe a sacred debt of gratitude for his compassionate and unconditional love which ultimately made possible my release from early trauma.
With the dominance of low mood during those years, I lost my former ability to connect to the flow of the present moment. It felt like a bitter-sweetness, a sorry addiction to sorrow, much like a drug. For extended periods of time, probably prolonged by tranquillisers, this was my emotional home.
Mental states at unnatural levels of modulation had determined that I ascribed meaning to both thoughts and situations which in “logical reality” hold no more significance than the superficiality of the fleeting moment.
Here is my understanding of something central to the way we can lose our firm hold on the balance of our mental health.
An enormous burden of energy is required to deal with the trivia of day-to-day living as if they are issues of crucial importance. We maintain a healthy working equilibrium most of the time without much conscious thought.
We can be well served if we can be made to see from an early age the value of living “in the moment”. With the knowledge of these practices (living mindfully) comes the ability to apply personal choice to the management of an individual’s state of mind.
If we have prior understanding about how much importance to give to our thought patterns, we may be equipped to make choices in good time, when we are still inclined to seek help.
The starting-point when a person begins to regard the trivia of day-to-day living and their accompanying thoughts as if they are issues of critical importance, could be a jumping-off point into spiral, nonlinear thinking and decision-making.
From this superposition of the minutia of trivial thoughts on the conscious mind it is not far to go to arrive in the insoluble confusion of the unknown.
Then comes Chaos – a total loss of the ability to assume responsibility for one’s thought and actions.
The problem that got to be crippling for me was that for a time I lost the objective ability to recognise superficiality for the extraordinary gift it is – the delightful sparkling flow of the fleeting moment.
This led to overwhelming feelings of banishment from the world of other people, who I observed as enjoying superficial speech and actions unperturbed by states of hyper self-consciousness.
I now believe that there is a common denominator underlying the pain and helplessness of mental health sufferers. It is a common factor also for those who have tried with all their might to reunite with their sense of belonging in the world.
Without co-ownership of self, and without some sort of recognition of the THISNESS of the existence we all share in common – from the state of being of the humble Lacewing, to the imperturbably powerful outpouring of electromagnetic radiation in the Cosmos – peace of mind, communion with one’s own heart can seem constantly unattainable.
It is a vital life-affirming truth that the only constant is transience.
We all rely on the unconditional acceptance of the flow of the fleeting moment for our conscious awareness to stabilise on a Single-point of unquestioned reference so that we can make moment-to-moment judgements and take necessary decisions at a most elementary level at the prompting of humdrum and fluctuating local circumstances.
Our innate condition is predicated on nothing more than our existence in physical form and our awareness in the Universe of objects and sentience. These are the fundamental reasons we are alive and we remain alive.
Life in us begins without our conscious volition, but we risk everything, the disturbance of our balance, even our sanity, if we continue in life as if life were external to us.
A life fully lived is lived in the passionate and impassioned understanding of life’s array of power and beauty.
Visions of beauty and power are instantly available to those who make the effort to recognise themselves as transient bearers of their portion of brilliance in the array.
Key to the recognition of their own beauty and power is the acceptance of the moment – the EveryNow – as life’s vessel and array.
I coined the word EveryNow in early 2016 to denote a cherished elevated state of being. The word has its roots in the understanding of the illusory nature of clinging to this or that, be it mood, perception, mode of thought, or time itself!
Mine is a story of 50 years of redemption and salvation. No other response than humility and continuous gratitude will do.
I devote much of my time and energy to show how immediate, powerful and freely available is the juicy goodness of the force that some call the life force, others, the will to live, and still more know by words like love, hope, peace, heart, spirit. Alas! So few take the trouble to step over the threshold of words and… love to live!
It is an odd fact, and it still doesn’t ‘reconcile’ with me, that all of the newness which arrived with my awakening opening heart in 2013, the “Year of my Life”, is still arriving unfiltered and continuing new.
Nothing seems to tarnish my outlook. No grey rime of familiarity impairs my vision of those daily events and witnessed insplashings of beauty that impact my five senses.
All is amazing, all is unique. It’s all new, and so I share.
I must share, I can’t help but share. The child on the bus who points out of the window, and says “Oh look at that!” is also helpless, unable to resist making a show, and is propelled into sharing the pleasures of surprise, when surprise overflows.
A colour, shape, pattern (I love patterns), or something I see or hear is absorbed by my senses. It is processed by my brain and my inbuilt precision engineered cogs rev up and so my heart revs up also.
When my Father referred to me at his side as his “kiddie”, I felt diminished, dismissed as less than significant. This happened even when I was a young teenager. He meant nothing by it, but how it made me fume!
Today, sixty years older, I notice I see and hear with the ears and eyes of a kiddie. For this grace of holding hands with the natural world I am wide-eyed with gratitude.
It is a way of envisioning endlessness which never even had a beginning. What happened long ago, is that I had closed my eyes to it and I had placed my obedient heart in deep freeze.
Then, at the beginning of The Year of my Life, in 2013, my hibernating heart was reached, touched directly by the pure love of others.
My excavated heart lay blinking up at me, revealed like a newborn baby, with giggles in place of disbelief!
My heart had remained for so long at my still centre, that two things happened at one and the same time.
I regained the innocent vision of Thisness, the intrinsic quality of ‘what is’. And with it, I became one with the instinctual me I call myself as an indissoluble element of the material world of which the atomic me is composed.
At the onset of such a state of bliss, my human hard-wired rational abilities of processing meaning from received sensory input were bypassed, because all my energy was drawn to my heart, which was beginning all over again to return love for received love.
My heart was like a huge motionless flywheel which had received the first motive input. The extraordinary, surprising thing is that I could see and feel it turning with beautiful gravitas, making its own delicious and unique centrifugal force of love!
That experience of extreme surprise is as real to me at this moment as it was in 2013. I have the grace of Newness never-ending.
Will it ever end?
What has, for its intrinsic quality, endlessness? To many people, the beginning of a ball of string is not visible, and so the mind tells the brain the start of the string is there somewhere. By the time the brain gets this idea, it is far far too late for the person to have come into an intimate relationship with the entirety of the stringiness and ballness of the seen object.
To be able to see endlessness as a sensation sounds far-fetched. But it is not a requirement of endlessness that it be fetched!
Why bother to go fetch what is so near as to be already in me, in you, in everything everywhere, EveryNow?
Meanwhile, listen up! Be lucky! You might just hear the ball of string softly chuckle into its roundness.
EE Cummings tells it in a poem I first read, and which still holds me with its power, from when I was only seventeen –
i thank You God for most this amazing day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today, and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth day of life and love and wings and of the gay great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing breathing any-lifted from the no of all nothing-human merely being doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
Dearest Friend It’s the choice now as it always was and always will be. Choose between fear and love.
This choice works in the easy way we control a car indicator and see it flicking on and off at our command.
Focus on this mental image because it’s worth the effort. It works.
I made this choice to choose love. At first it would have been an unconscious choice from my near death during my birth.
I was fortunate in my toddler years to have recurring flashbacks of my birth trauma.
Much later in life, I have begun to understand how my birth trauma gave me a conscious attachment to the positive aspects of life.
I share the life-view of people who have come close to death and whose outlook is changed from then on, and changed for good.
I believe my traumatic birth put me in touch with the primal urge for self-preservation.
Even before I had bonded with my Mother, her touch, her milk, my blind struggle to stay alive in life as I was born formed in me receptors to the primitive power of what people call the life force.
This is what Dylan Thomas described in his poem, “The force that through the green fuse drives the flower Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees Is my destroyer.”
I have had a handful of epiphany experiences, some in my twenties some within these last five years.
These extreme events brought home to me that I have control over my choices – not simply to live – but to actively seek out, hold on to and clasp every positive event and experience which subsumes my observed self, overtakes and illuminates it from my inside.
In common with many people, I lived through long periods when hope and faith made their complete absence felt in ways that left me feeling imprisoned and only partially alive.
My view in hindsight shows me how my birth was a struggle not to die. And the consequence is that, even in my darkest days, I realise I have been tuned to go towards all those relishable, cherishable, and highly valued life-affirmations.
So now I take care to make choices so that I am in a position in my moment-to-moment living to be alert and aware and accepting of all the light outside that has the potential to turn into light inside me.
I’m 72. Or as one Facebook friend has put it, more than twenty-six thousand days into life.
Consider the stark divergence between what your heart is telling you it is and what it wants for you, on the one hand, and on the other hand, the range of challenges, hardships, trials, burdens, shame, grief, semi-dead guilt, unhealed wounds, and yet more awfulness that appear crisp and clear, rising unbidden in full colour 3-D in the great shop window of your mind.
Consider the divergence from these two realities. There is the reality of the heart’s willing private, intimate conversation of a love so tender it literally flows on out of sight.
And there is the reality of the self-sabotaging, self-destructive, self-deprecating obstacles that the mind is ever ready to remind you are immediate, present, and still sore and unresolved; obstacles which the mind – ever pointlessly malicious – invites you to pick up, full of stabbing poison.
Of these two realities, one can always make itself available, and it comes complete with replayed real life unbearable experiences, haunting unwanted personages, dialogues, scenery and all the trappings of the stage of horrors.
Of these two realities, one is utterly impossible to touch, see, smell, hear or feel. It is in consequence hard to hold in view… But it is possible to choose to sense it at will and it is possible to fully enter into a deep and fulfilling conversation with it at the drop of a hat, whether you are sick or healthy, even in torment, trial or tribulation.
Your eyes, my eyes, our habit of us all is to regard the future quite a lot. Those real time issues and challenges you must face. You do have to face them. Often they are completely inescapable and if we repeatedly junk the opportunity such challenges present, we diminish ourselves repeatedly.
In just such a piecemeal way we can junk our entire lives, future, and past, till nothing in the present has value, nothing seems to matter, except (tragically) the absence or termination of not-caring.
But isn’t it a strange and true fact that a sane mind just cannot openly will itself to deny its present?
The present is the point of balance, the spring where the seed of life, love, and of all that is pure, worthy and regenerating actually resides.
It is the fact of the overarching sheer bigness of the present that makes both the unignitable past and the vapours of the future redeemable.
So try to embrace the challenges with love, not fear. The future is for making choices in. This human nest of love, where like meets like, is key. It is “where it’s at”.
The focus is on this instant, and as powerfully as possible. Concentrate in the same way you unleash your own colours and patterns on your creative tides, big or little.
The achievement of a state of grace is normally via the hardest, twistiest, longest of roads.
It is useful to visualise yourself as a small person on these paths, holding hands with your heart, expecting, not wishing or longing, for the beauty to show itself in the next turn of the way.
There is one special knack to use to help jam the illusory gates to your prison open. Using it will sooner or later dissolve the gates and all barriers, like mist under the summer Sun at dawn.
It is to hold hands with your heart.
Let go. Allow yourself to see and be joyfully recognised by the fantastically beautiful person you are: your heart knows this.
If you smile at and hold hands with the heart of yours, you will hear it tell you exquisite, feverish love stories – all about you!
All your heart ever wants is to tell you it loves you. You are dearly loved EveryNow.
Choose love. In thought word and deed choose to actively deploy and harness the entire dictionary, orchestration and spectrum of love.
I have been quoting this by Julian of Norwich inwardly for four decades, and it is one of my Fixed Stars: “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well” … ❤️
One of the most speedy routes to a grace of reconciliation is touched upon directly here.
How unrelenting is the pain of unresolved love?
How confusing the search for the heart of a lover?
How to keep from tumbling into uncharted emotional waters when our affections are drawn headlong towards another?
The need for certainty in the intentions of the loved person can begin as a rosebud, but it can rapidly grow up on so many different possible pathways that we see only thickets of confusion and painful thorns.
There are, I believe, only a small number of heart to heart meetings which thrive and continue in parallel harmony.
At the first signals of reciprocated affection, the mind leaps to take control of the aroused beating heart.
The mind assigns to the person who has come to the foreground of the heart’s attention a variety of labels, all of them inappropriate and irrelevant.
The person is the object of affection, the person must be targeted as if there is an immediate risk of loss.
The multicoloured spectrum of desires and aspirations, incubated for perhaps years in the closed sanctuary of the heart’s tranquil solitude, are placed like diadem and crowns – for want of any immediate proof to the contrary – like royal clothes, jewels and heavenly anointing perfumes on the shoulders of this beloved person who has appeared in our life.
If I have made peace with my heart, if my first best friend is my heart, I will be taken by surprise, interested, even amused at the way my mind tumbles over itself to take me over and attempts to lead me on this dizzying helter-skelter journey.
But after my awareness of the mind’s antics passes, it’s time to allow my heart to sing its powerful melodies and to fly on its own terms, not outwards in the direction of the other person, but inwards.
Inwards the unchained heart, glowing with love and gratitude, can be freed to soften the cravings of the soul for recognition and for celebration of its purity.
No soul needs to possess another. All souls with no exception are pure. They require a particular essence of peace in which to celebrate their natural joys, their gifts of purity. One soul seen in the mirror of another magnifies and glorifies both!
At last, the heart may trust it will find a mirror where a few of its own qualities, not all, may be reflected in some of the qualities of the heart of another.
I composed it at the beginning of my eclosure after 66 years. It is still my truth. It is a guide which allows me to recognise the journey of others.
It is so thrilling. I try to describe how I balance the way I am the observer of my Journey (my Work, my Endeavour, my Passage, my unselfconscious ritual of the being I call me) against the unending flux of it.
One element of the wonder at this unfolding is the bright newness of it. Nothing is the same. It is newness without end. There is an inclination to want to find stability in a maelstrom of newness.
There is a need for a gathering of myself and of my balance as I walk out into a high gale. Please! Let it pause, and give me time to see what’s happening and where it is I’m going!
The visualisation of my new surroundings, though it may be confusing, is in many ways exactly what it is I am waking and walking into!
There no otherwhere from which to observe.
I am not going anywhere new. I am new. I am new EveryNow.
On the one hand, all that the me I call myself has been before is out of mind and out of date. On the other hand, where I am arriving can be felt by me with such intensity as to be overwhelming.
Overwhelm of beauty, of love, of wonder and gratitude, to name only a few.
That there is only positivity and that there is a perception of the moment as being a continuum of flux of always astonishing beauty is the truth about the journey.
If I take a measure, and hold up scepticism to the words I use, I can always touch into my heart. I see again the familiar orange glow, I hear the silent melodies, and my heart, unerring, redistributes love into balance.
This touching the heart is a way to feel the grace of knowingly being alive, and it is always a flip-flop of divine pleasure. It is the visceral warmth from a glance – my lover’s eyes meeting mine.
I do not give myself imaginings of stories in which I play any part. To do that would lift me outside of the EveryNow. A whole world of paper-thin blown-glass structures would shatter. And I would be nowhere to be seen.
If there is any purpose to my presence, so intensively alight, in the flux of it all, it is to be as translucent as I can be, so these things I write about are not shaded nor occulted in any way by my shining them.
Last, in trying to find imagery that fits, I visualised these icebergs.
Here is a vast planetary ocean where towering huge ice people, lighter than the liquid where they’ve been living, are emerging from the deep.
As they break surface, gigantic glittering waterfalls cascade from their shoulders.
Every enormous brilliantly shining face has mouth open in silent wonder at the sight of the deep from above, the perfect curvature of horizon, the sky, the sun, and the startling beauty of the emergences of others.