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Is this the eve of destruction

When Ever I listened to the sounds of the 60s on Saturday morning Radio, I was entranced by the sense of positive and directed energy that appeared in the lyrics, music and artists of this period…we can do so much more with this legacy

The reason for this is much of what they sang about in protest songs still holds true today.

These lyrics of the ‘eve of destruction’ by PF sloan encapsulate that era as do many other songs, from the Beatles to The Dave Clark 5…

The Eastern World
It is explodin’
Violence flarin’
Bullets loadin’
You’re old enough to kill
But not for votin’
You don’t believe in war
But what’s that gun you’re totin’
And even the Jordan River has bodies floatin’ 

But you tell me over, and over, and over again my friend
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction 

Don’t you understand what I’m tryin’ to say
And can’t you feel the fears I’m feelin’ today
If the button is pushed, there’s no runnin’ away
There’ll be no one to save
With the whole world in a grave
Take a look around you boy,
It’s bound to scare you boy 

And you tell me over, and over, and over again my friend
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction 

Yeah, my blood’s so mad
Feels like coagulatin’
I’m sittin’ here, just contemplatin’
I can’t twist the truth
It knows no regulation
Handful of senators don’t pass legislation
And marches alone can’t bring integration
When human respect is disintegratin’
This whole crazy world
Is just too frustratin’ 

And you tell me over, and over, and over again my friend
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction 

And think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
Ah you may leave here for four days in space
But when you return it’s the same old place
The poundin’ of the drums
The pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace
Hate your next door neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace 

But you tell me over, and over, and over, and over again my friend
You don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction
No, no, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction 

some time ago someone asked me,after I had spoken about what we could do in todays world to try and make it a better place, they spoke about their own sense of powerlessness in the face of war, evil, poverty, greed and suffering. A Tall order but I tried.

From the Kennedys to Martin Luther King and Malcolm X and countless others, these inspirational people who wanted to lead the world in a different direction were killed, like it says in the song The Diggers, “they were dispersed and only the vision lingers on". This song goes on to say:

"You poor take courage, you rich take care
This world was made a common treasury for everyone to share"

and so it is, but the greed goes on because our leaders are frightened to talk about what we might be willing to give up, actually its what they and those at the very top of our moneyed societies might be willing to give up. 

I heard a Sikh speaker the other day, say that bringing simplicity back into our lives may be the only way to save the world. I mean do I really need a dishwasher?

This is the spirit we must carry through, to not let go of the positive energy built in the post war period for a better world. Our present political leaders have moved back to a policy of the 1950s and 60s, exploitative, aggressive and lacking in empathy and understanding. We do have a choice as to how we react to this. Both Locally and globally.

Our attitude to each other, at work and play and in our communities means something. Our attitude to our elected or unelected representatives (remember in most countries now decisions are made in the main about our lives by unelected people…yes even in the US and the the UK).

They keep us busy so we don’t complain, work hours get longer, and we just take it. No wonder family life is stressful if we don’t have time for it. Contact and communication break down all sorts of boundaries, as does thought for others and kindness. 

Where were the things you buy and you wear for you your family and home made, and by whom, did they get a fair price, how much of your taxes goes to subsidising organisations or people already wealthy, while the poor starve across the world. 

Every action we take has an effect somewhere, their are no innocent bystanders, if you work in an industry or commercial enterprise that is directly or indirectly exploitative or leads to the denegration or death of others then you will need to think over about your share in the responsibility.

We need not just to be against things but also be for something, it is not enough to say that we are against war or weapons manufacture, we need to provide alternatives for the people that work in these industries, we also need to offer other ways of governing if the present ideal of democracy is not working.

Death war and destruction are not the answer, we need to think both, why people might want to become terrorists or members of the army, why might someone want to kill for a living or for a cause. 

We talk of spin, but the earliest spin and rebranding was The Ministry of War becoming the Ministry of Defence. But enough of all this moaning, its really just another way of losing the spirit of power that we can see in the short period between 1963 and 1973.

For many of us individually we can change the way we act and react to things around us and we can gather with others to who feel similarly to us, we can also use our votes wisely on election day. If you don’t vote, think about why not and what you might do instead.

I still have a vision and a belief that the world and our relationship to it will and is getting better, I have given up my jaded view, and am trying to put into practice a better way of living, I will make mistakes, will stumble and falter, but will still keep getting up and moving forward. Why because I know I have the power, however ordinary it is to change myself and to help others change, that power is our inheritance, our ability to bring back smiles to peoples faces, to give instead of expecting something and to Love even in the face of others hate.

As George Fox said in the 17th Century
“be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations wherever you come; “

Sport


Brian Clough

Brian Clough

Although he dies some time ago, the influence lives on. The confidence and no nonsense gifted persona of this man was a great influence on my childhood.  He personified the myth of englishness, in his natural skills and confidence and his ability to take the underdog to the heights of footballing success.


“Cloughie: Walking on Water” (Brian Clough)

The fact he was never made England Manager, has created problems that the English FA is still dealing with today, I have heard it said that in his interview for the England job, he was asked what he would do about FIFA, and he replied he’d sack the lot of them and start again.  Fascinating considering all the corruption issues coming to light in FIFA in recent years.

But what I clearly remember of him is his being interviewed on Match of the day and The Big Match, his northern nasal voice, and his apparent belief in himself.

“Well Jimmy, I may not be the best but I am certainly in the top one”

I do wonder with his alchohol problems in later life what this bravado covered…probably a very vulnerable man.  For it was also said that he wanted to be liked and not to send flowers to his funeral, but if you liked him to send them to him whilst he was alive.  He always appeared to me to be a man of old fashioned values, a family man and a socialist, who dealt out summary justice and took none of the nonsense that these jumped up mannequins who call themeselves the footballers of today seem to delight in.

I always remember him wacking some fans who had invaded the pitch and whilst most ordinary people were in agreement with him, he was fined £5000 for bringing the game into disrepute, then on TV he apologised to the fans, and as a gesture of apology told them they has to kiss him, and ….they did.  This to me was the power of the man…what in the UK we call a peoples champion.  Or we sometimes say if he hadn’t lived you couldn’t have made him up.

Brian Clough, thank you.

What exactly are the Ashes

The Ashes series of Crckets “tests” or matches is named after a satirical obituary published in The Sporting Times in 1882 following the match at The Oval in which Australia beat England in England for the first time. 

The obituary stated that “English cricket had died, and the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia.” 

The English media dubbed the next English tour to Australia as the quest to regain “The Ashes.” 

A small terracotta urn was presented to the England captain Ivo Bligh by a group of Melbourne women after England’s victory in that Test series. So Although the terracotta Urn is considered as “The Ashes” the actual term preceded the urn.

The urn is reputed to contain a set of burnt bails symbolising “the ashes of English cricket”. 

The urn is not used as the trophy for the Ashes series, and whichever side “holds” the Ashes, the urn remains in the MCC Museum at Lord’s. Since the 1998/99 Ashes series, a Waterford crystal trophy has been presented to the winners.

Bears


Bears

The bear was regarded as the king of the woods and game, a guardian of the forest spirit as well as the animals that lived in it. The bear did not hunt the game of the forest, he protected it. A bear’s spirit that originated from the heavens was incredibly potent, powerful, possibly dangerous and vengeful. The bear was the forest’s spirit as a whole. It is from this that a bear derives his sacredness.

Naming a bear by its original animal name was one of the greatest cultural taboos, globally in the subarctic and Northern regions. From North America, to Germania, Finnish and Saami, Baltic and Slavic regions, the people referred to bears with euphemistic titles or epithets, circumventing the use of the proper word for “bear” (whatever it is), and instead using a descriptive word or title.

The word Bear itself derives from a geranic word for Brown, Whilst Medved a word for Bears in in Slavic means honey eater, or in Baltic languages Lokys means hairy. The original word for Bear is something like Rktho or Rkto from which we get Ursus and Arktos (latin and greek) and from which the star signs are named (Ursus Minor and Major) and the northern world (Arctic)

Language may not be able to derive the reason for the taboo of the proper word for “bear”, only observe its existence. However,  legends may help us derive the probable reason for it. In subarctic and Germanic myths bear characters can speak and understand human speech and either skinchange into men or are human characters. 

The bear would be a man living by himself in the forest or wilderness in a house or a cave, who sits or sleeps on bear skins (‘brown’ skin), or bear steaks roasting on the fire, staying inside during winter, but leaving his home with spring in search for an absent wife. 

Hunters say if you skin a bear, it actually looks like a man. Bears were believed to be a ‘skinchanged' man wearing bear skin outside of the den, but being a man inside the home, his den. Bears therefore could understand human speech. Hence, people would refer to a bear with euphemistic titles, such as “Lord of the forest/faeries” or “King of the forest”, in order not to provoke it or let it know the intention of hunters.

More about Bears

This article is well worth a read: http://www.armthebears.com/home/2016/9/28/a-gift-for-you-artio-bear-goddess


Thought


You Don’t Seem Yourself

There is a phrase i hate “you don’t seem yourself’.  Ok Ok I take things seriously, too seriously, but that one presses my buttons, ALL of my buttons…ALL my buttons AT THE SAME TIME. 

I have spent years trying to find a way to express my self and not be too grating on others, I have engaged in therapy and offering therapy to others, sometimes i think, perhaps imagine I am really together, everythings cool and then someone says that phrase……arrrggghhh!

May be its that they have spotted that I am just pretending to be myself and I hate to be found out! Is my self so fragile, probably not!

Who you are can be a life long search for something that is staring you in the face, in the end its what you do with it that matters.  I walked away from the conflict with the person that said this, because i trusted myself and the other person. I have learnt from past mistakes that it is better to walk away and ”time-out“….with a little space and recovery time you can find that the self is a lot stronger than you thought and that most arguments are really about nothing much at all, or because you are tired or didn’t say what you wanted or needed in the first place in a way that the other could hear, but hey thats just my experience.


Think of it this way, when Primo levi talked about the man (”If This Is a Man / The Truce“ (Primo Levi)) at Auschwitz who after the first day had buttons on his jacket and wire to hold up his trousers and seemed to have got a shave, he was talking about something important, this man he reckoned was acting like a survivor, looking like a survivor, and therefore he felt was much more likely to survive than many others who just gave up, he was programming him self and others to see him in a particular way.  When Louise hay writes about say ”I approve of myself“ 200 times a day or more or that our thoughts and feelings paint the canvas of our lives, she is talking about a reprogramming.

These two examples show how we can effect others view of ourselves and change our own inner view.  However there is a lot to undo, in a camp where you are marked for death, or in alife where as children we are often programmed with negative phrases handed down through generations, without anyone thinking about it.

For me one of these phrases is ”you don’t appear to be yourself today“, or ” you are not looking yourself“, or ”thats not like you“ and so on, these appear to me to all be simple subtle denials (very often from really concerned/caring people) of your real self.  Its not obvious but it has a drip drip effect.  My experience has been that in the end these statements are really directions on how to deny aspects of yourself that others find uncomfortable.  You are upset….comment oh dear, you really aren’t yourself today, as if you..your self, could not be upset, so it must be someone else, or a part of you that does not belong to the self, that you are therefore not responsible for??

The Emerald Tablet of Hermes - Love

Love

This is a reworking of part of an ancient text and is part of what is known as:

The Emerald Tablet of Hermes

If then you do not make yourself equal to Love, you cannot apprehend Love: for like is known by like. Leap clear of all that is corporeal, and make yourself grow to a like expanse with that greatness which is beyond all measure; rise up above all time and become eternal; then you will apprehend Love.

Think that for you too nothing is impossible;deem that you too are immortal, and that you are able to grasp all things in your thought, to know every craft and science; find yourself home in the haunts of every living creature; make yourself higher than all heights, and lower than all depths; bring together in yourself all opposites of quality, heat and cold, dryness and fluidity; think that you are everywhere at once, on land, at sea, in heaven; think that you are not yet begotten, that you are in the womb, that you are young, that you are old, that you have died, that you are in the world beyond the grave: grasp in your thought all this at once, all times and places, all substances and qualities and magnitudes together; then you can apprehend Love.

But if you shut up your soul in your body and abase yourself and say, ‘I know nothing, I can do nothing, I am afraid of earth and sea, I cannot mount to heaven; I do no know what I was, nor what I shall be’; then what have you to do with Love?Your thought can grasp nothing beautiful or good, if you cleave to the body, and are evil. For it is the height of evil not to know Love; but to be capable of knowing Love, and to wish and hope to know Love, is the road which leads straight to the Good and it is an easy road to travel.

Everywhere Love will come to meet you, everywhere Love will appear to you, at places and times which you look not for it, in your waking hours and in your sleep, when you are journeying by water and land, in the night time and in the day time, when you are speaking and when you are silent: for there is nothing which is not Love. And do you say “Love is invisible’? Speak not so. Who or what is more manifest than Love.

Ways of Seeing - John Berger

Ways of Seeing

I first saw this in a one of repeat of BBC classic series, it was a TV series and a book by John Berger about art and art history but from a radical perspective, the most profound piece for me was when…

In one of the episodes of Ways of Seeing Berger shows us a landscape of a cornfield with birds fliying over it and asks us to look at it for a moment

A Vincent Van Gogh


Then…

He tells us THIS WAS THE LAST PAINTING THAT VAN GOGH PAINTED BEFORE KILLING HIMSELF, and this changes the image, the image becomes an illustration of this sentence in the programme then some music is played and he suggests that the painting changes again.

The effect of this and later reading the book of the same name which had originally accompanied the program, changed my life. I was lucky my mother was an artist and had encouraged this critical eye in me at an early age and I was dragged round exhibitions from Bridget Riley to Turner and Picasso, with her loud ringing tones, saying that this or that painter had probably managed a discount on a job lot of paint that week , which was why all his paintings were blue or red, or whatever.

Seeing this picture again, some while ago now i wrote this

Black Bird Fire

Big Black Bird
Moving out of a burning sun
Big Black Bird
Flying over a burning cornfield
The raging flames of golden grain
The world is crackling
Big Black Bird
Wings unfurled, gulls wings
In a flaming pastel world
Heat Haze, lifting
Thermals drifting
Big Black Bird
Caught between the suns fierce rays
And fields of flame
turning and turning…
No falcon here
No roost that will not roast
Big Black Bird
We must leave you flying
Not drowning but dieing.

Author -Jonathan spencer-

What is interesting from a spiritual and psychological point of view, at the beginning of his book Berger says in a direct counterpoint to In the beginning was the word…”seeing comes before words, the child looks and recognizes before it can speak.”

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Children of the 50s, 60s and 70s - Rose tinted

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Children of the 50s 60s and 70s

Some of this stuff on facebook reminds me however of a line from A Gil Scott Heron Song: “Everyone wants to go back, even if its only as far as last week,…they don’t know if they want to be Matt Dillon or Bob Dylan…” Things were always better in the past, we have lost our desire for the future, look around you at all the retro styling, the stripped pine and victorian fireplaces…but what the heck what do you think or are you too young to remember According to today’s regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 50s, 60s, and 70s probably shouldn’t have survived, because……

…When we rode our bikes, we wore no helmets, just flip flops and fluorescent ‘clackers’ on our wheels.As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.

…We shared one drink with four friends from one bottle or can and no one actually died from this…. We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate live stuff, and although we were told it would happen, we did not have very many eyes out, nor did the live stuff live inside us forever.

This is pretty much plagiarised from something I saw on facebook and originally I saw in an email back in 2004, so if its your work, please tell me. It reminds me however of a line from A Gil Scott Heron Song: “Everyone wants to go back, even if its only as far as last week,…they don’t know if they want to be Matt Dillon or Bob Dylan…” Things were always better in the past, we have lost our desire for the future, look around you at all the retro styling, the stripped pine and victorian fireplaces…but what the heck what do you think or are you too young to remember
According to today’s regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were
kids in the 50s, 60s, and 70s probably shouldn’t have survived,
because……

Our baby cots were covered with brightly coloured lead-based paint
which
was promptly chewed and licked.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, or latches on doors or
cabinets and it was fine to play with pans. When we rode our bikes, we wore no helmets, just flip flops and
fluorescent ‘clackers’ on our wheels.As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the passenger seat was a treat. We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle – tasted
the same.
We ate dripping sandwiches, bread and butter pudding and drank fizzy
pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always
outside playing.

We shared one drink with four friends from one bottle or can and no
one actually died from this.
We would spend hours building go-carts out of scraps and then went
top speed down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After
running into stinging nettles a few times, we learned to solve the problem. We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we
were back before it got dark. No one was able to reach us all day and no
one minded. We did not have Playstations or X-Boxes, no video games at all. No
99channels on TV, no videotape movies, no surround sound, no mobile
phones,no personal computers, no Internet chat rooms. We had friends – we
went outside and found them.
We played street rounders and cricket without helmets and face masks
and sometimes that ball really hurt.
We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth, and there
were no lawsuits. They were accidents. We learnt not to do the same thing
again.
We had fights, punched each other hard and got black and blue – we
learned to get over it.
We walked to friend’s homes. We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate live stuff, and although we were told it would happen, we did not have very many eyes out, nor did the live stuff live inside us forever.
We rode bikes in packs of 7 and wore our coats by only the hood. Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They
actually sided with the law. Imagine that!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem
solvers and inventors, ever.

Some of that stuff is true, but I was just getting to the bit where I thought they’d be writing about how it was always sunny and snowed every winter. Of course those were the days when you get away with molesting children, making parents give up children ‘born out of wedlock’, when a caning by a teacher, did you 'the world of good' and we had National Service. I wouldn’t want to go back, not to this kind of world, anyhow I doubt I would see my way around coz those rose tinted glasses are so damn thick……..

9/11: why allow 19 people to change our world

Why have we allowed 19 murderers to change our world?

The journalist ROBERT FISK said about 9/11…”We should not have allowed 19 murderers to change our world”

I was musing on this on sunday while the septemeber sun, moved behind a beautiful laburnum tree I was looking at and as it did I was transported to the laburnum tree that stood in the front garden Of the E*****K family who had been neighbours of my family in the street where I grew up.

They were an extended family, Grandad E*****K sat on the garden wall and watched the kids play, he spent most of his pension on chocolate bars for them and had a special tin in his little garden workshop filled with penny bars. His love of children, and desire to give were all perfectly innocent and done in the spirit of good family and innocence. Grandma E*****K taught me to play Cards, especially Cribbage and I spent alot of time in the evenings battling my wits against her skills. Mrs E*****K taught me a love of gardening, growing and the earth, her garden was fantastic, and i carry the skills she taught me and this love with me today in my own garden.

My sunday lunch included beans, potatoes, carrots and courgettes all of which i had grown myself.

You can nether fully destroy or create this kind of love, care and neighbourliness by war and violence, I hope and give thanks that will always survive. I have no doubt it survives in the towns of Iraq and Afghanistan, just as it does in the USA, Europe, Russia, Chechenya and elsewhere.

Killing people does not inspire me nor protect this way of life, whether it is the murderous acts of 9/11, the murderous acts of the armies in Iraq, or the school in Ossetia.

I want to give thanks for this for the inspiration the E*****K family gave me and the protection of my innocence.

Giving thanks is one of the most positive and constructive things you can do, what sort of giving thanks is killing??

Can Joy Make War Impossible?


Joy Makes War Impossible

Please don’t forget fun, work, spirituality is meant to bring a smile to our faces, religion, church, temple, synagogue, these are things that are meant to help us focus our celebration of our blessings. Life is meant to be fun, are you enjoying yours? Do you have enough or are you always seeking something else, working for something else, praying for something else, preaching for something else, grabbing something else, do you glory in the things you possess …what you have, or do you celebrate who you are?

13 years ago I spent this week walking around saying to myself, “I am blessed” “I accept all that God/The Universe has to offer me”. And you know what it put a smile on my face, some things just seemed easier….no really they did. Even tonight as I prepared for my kids coming this weekend, by going shopping for things I had already..I mean here I was in this house living the single life again and I am still buying food like I was stocking up for the 7 years of famine, until i stopped criticising myself and realised i just wanted to give my kids a treat

Every single negative has a positive and vice versa, I am going to be careful not to waste whats been given and next time to realise i already have enough.

And this is the point of my entry in the blog, when am i going to realise i am already blessed, I have already been given everything I need, when are you going to realise it for your self too, or may be you are ahead of me and know it already, well tell everyone you see, we have enough for everyone.

Now I reckon I have said all this before, but sometimes the way it comes home to me is in the simple things like grocery shopping, its become a habit to think I don’t have enough and must buy some more. Think about it.

Maybe some people really don’t have enough because we have been greedy or over needy, and taken more than our share, we took two because of our insecurities and they were left with nothing. think about it.

Why No Desire to Be Ordinary?

Ordinary Celebrity

In the past I have found myself in a job which although I enjoy it and is in a creative environment it lacks that element of creativity that is so important. Why did I do this job? because like for many of us it pays the mortgage and I could do it with the minimum of fuss and stress…however its got me thinking about my own humanity and ordinariness and gratitude.  Celebrating the jobs I have had however ordinary or everyday has allowed me to recognise the good things and seek more of them so i have had better jobs and now really enjoy the job I have.

Sometimes we have to deal with the practicalities of life, ones that restrict us no matter how much positive thinking and personal growth/development we engage with. Often these times are seen in a negative way, not as a point of learning and understanding that we need to grasp, but as something which ways us down, leads us from the right path or is a betrayal of our ‘real’ selves. This may well all be true. All of us are made up of many aspects. Therapy, self-help and growth can often create a level of the hyper critical in ourselves as we seek the supraman in our selves, as we attempt to pefect ourselves by reaching for a model that has been formed from a defintion that really is about someone else and not us.

It is said that Jung claimed there were only two types of people that came to see him, the ordinary that wished they were extraordinary and the extraordinary that wished they were ordinary. Me I seem to be both and neither.

Gurdjieff as written about by Ousspensky, claimed there was a fourth way, a sort of way to spiritual enlightenment and personal development through our ordinaryness and with it.

Much of our lives could not go on with out a great many amazing people who work hard to serve society and the public. Not just nurses and doctors but cleaners and carers, refuse collectors and park keepers, civil servants and even tax collectors. I know its a bit patronising, but in a climate where public service has been put down and degraded I would hope that all of us that although our jobs may be ordinary we can celebrate them, that being ordinary is these days something to celebrate…making us the true celebrities

Inspiration


Love thyself

Love thyself , self esteem

Stand in front of your mirror look yourself directly in they eye and say, I love and respect you just the way you are.

You might be surprised at how difficult it is to do this in a straightforward and honest way.  Especially when so many of us have been programmed to think negatively about ourselves.

Stand in front of your mirror naked and say I love my body just the way it is…..

Finding this difficult….then look at yourself and find one thing about your body and one thing about yourself that you can love, however small or seemingly insignificant.  It might be a fingernail or a small patch od smooth skin, or soft hair or the glint in your eye.  It might the fact you have the energy or even courage to read this article or look at yourself in the mirror.

Acquire the courage to believe in yourself. Many of the things
that you have been taught were at one time the radical ideas
of individuals who had the courage to believe what their own
hearts and minds told them was true, rather than accept the
common beliefs of their day.
~ Ching Ning Chu




"The Power Is Within You" (Louise L. Hay)

Try walking around through out the day , saying to yourself, I am perfect whole and complete(or if thats too difficult just “I approve of myself”)….try this for a week, every day saying it 10s or hundreds of times, and see and feel the difference.  Notice if you have a resistance to calling yourself perfect, listen to any voices of criticism that arise in your head…I have one that says “no ones perfect”….well I say its time to delete that tape and replace it with this one.

This is not some egotistical fantasy, but a real statement of belief, we are born perfect, whole and complete, in the right place and time to the right people heading for our destination to fulfil our destiny.

The negative, depression, feeling down has its place, but its time to realise, even if you were born with a disability you are perfect whole and complete.  The only person you can be is you, fulfil your destiny in being the most complete you possible.

Now is your time…stop for a moment and just relax, take a deep breath, feel the relaxation going in and as you breath out the tension leave your mind and body with the outward breath.  Look around, what you see is as it should be….

…perfect, whole and complete, so are you.

De Profundis - Oscar Wilde

De Profundis

So much of what we appreciate about Oscar Wilde tends to come from his witty one-liners, plays and perhaps his downfall after his trial for homosexuality and incarcertion in reading goal
Those of you who have read his fairy stories will know he has a darker side.

De Profundis was not published in his life time I beleive and are his writings whilst in prison.  They point up the shadow side of life and its importance and at one stage he berates himself for being frivolous and always moving toward teh bright light and ignoring this side of his personality and society.


“De Profundis, Ballad of Reading Gaol and Other Writings (Wordsworth Classics)” (Oscar Wilde)

it begins like this:

“. . . Suffering is one very long moment. We cannot divide it by seasons. We can only record its moods, and chronicle their return. With us time itself does not progress. It revolves. It seems to circle round one centre of pain. The paralysing immobility of a life every circumstance of which is regulated after an unchangeable pattern, so that we eat and drink and lie down and pray, or kneel at least for prayer, according to the inflexible laws of an iron formula: this immobile quality, that makes each dreadful day in the very minutest detail like its brother, seems to communicate itself to those external forces the very essence of whose existence is ceaseless change. Of seed-time or harvest, of the reapers bending over the corn, or the grape gatherers threading through the vines, of the grass in the orchard made white with broken blossoms or strewn with fallen fruit: of these we know nothing and can know nothing.”

The rest can be found on line courtesy of the gutenberg project

A Sumerian Invocation

Ziggurat-Ur-Iraq

A Sumerian Invocation

In constant motion I am Stillness.
In darkness I am the Light that does not shine.
I lead the Way I follow the Way
Thru the four quarters of that mind that is the Soul.
In desperation I am the calmness of the Heart of the Labyrinth that
is all Quietness.
I come to you as you approach me.
In gladness is the way to serve.
I am produced not nor do I suffer to toil.
I exist for the existing and my prayer is utter silence.
The World is dark and can not see by any other means.
Only the Heart of the Soul can know me.
I dwell above and beyond the lesser darkness and in Greater darkness
is my abode.
Awaken from your repose and exhalt thee above the clamor to the Palace of Silence,
The true home of all that is.
My secret name cannot be spoken yet though it is knowable.
Approach me by that name and I will know you as myself.

The Dance - Oriah Mountain Dreamer

The Dance
by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

I have sent you my invitation
the note inscribed on the palm of my hand by the fire of living.
Don’t jump up and shout, “Yes, this is what I want! Let’s do it!”
Just stand up quietly and dance with me. 

Show me how you follow your deepest desires,
spiralling down into the ache within the ache.
And I will show you how I reach inward and open outward
to feel the kiss of the Mystery, sweet lips on my own, everyday. 

Don’t tell me you want to hold the whole world in your heart.
Show me how you turn away from making another wrong without abandoning yourself when you are hurt and afraid of being unloved. 

Tell me a story of who you are,
And see who I am in the stories I am living.
And together we will remember that each of us always has a choice. 

Don’t tell me how wonderful things will be . . . some day.
Show me you can risk being completely at peace,
truly OK with the way things are right now in this moment,
and again in the next and the next and the next. . . 

I have heard enough warrior stories of heroic daring.
Tell me how you crumble when you hit the wall,
the place you cannot go beyond by the strength of your own will.
What carries you to the other side of that wall,
to the fragile beauty of your own humanness? 

And after we have shown each other how we have set and kept the clear, healthy boundaries that help us live side by side with each other, let us risk remembering that we never stop silently loving those we once loved out loud. 

Take me to the places on the earth that teach you how to dance, the places where you can risk letting the world break your heart.
And I will take you to the places where the earth beneath my feet and the stars overhead make my heart whole again and again. 

Show me how you take care of business
without letting business determine who you are.
When the children are fed but still the voices within and around us shout that soul’s desires have too high a price,
let us remind each other that it is never about the money. 

Show me how you offer to your people and the world
the stories and the songs you want our children’s children to remember, and I will show you how I struggle
not to change the world, but to love it. 

Sit beside me in long moments of shared solitude,
knowing both our absolute aloneness and our undeniable belonging. Dance with me in the silence and in the sound of small daily words, holding neither against me at the end of the day. 

And when the sound of all the declarations of our sincerest
intentions has died away on the wind, dance with me in the infinite pause before the next great inhale of the breath that is breathing us all into being, not filling the emptiness from the outside or from within. 

Don’t say, “Yes!”
Just take my hand and dance with me.

The Invitation - Oriah Mountain dreamer


The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dreams
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your
fingers and toes without cautioning us to
be careful be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure yours and mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after a night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

~ Author – Oriah Mountain Dreamer ~


“The Invitation” (Oriah Mountain Dreamer)

The Dreamer or The Dreamed?

The dreamers and the dreamed

One night I complained to a friend that since my marriage broke up i wasn’t meeting the right kind of women to date. He said to me what kind do you really want? 

He then remarked that a Native american group had said that there were only two types of people in the world: the dreamers and those they dream!

It puts a different outlook on all those dream catchers they sell in the shops doesn’t it?

Anyhow he suggested that I wrote down a long list of the qualities I was looking for in a partner and read this list through before i went to sleep and worked toward dreaming this person. I hummed and hawed but went ahead and did it remembering his admonition not to take this lightly and carefully think through the qualities.

Next day I got up a little earlier, got a different train to work, started chatting with a woman opposite and ended up having dinner with her and it went from there…..actaully I ended up marrying her...well there you are….who I wonder would you like to dream, and more importantly in whose dreams do you appear?

Understanding each other - Worlds Apart

How can we grasp the ideas of another culture or another person, when the very way we and they define our worlds uses a different context a different language even. How is it possible to cross the divide and come to some comprehension. I think it was Rumi or another Sufi Sheik who said that we could not define or come to an understanding of God in this world because God is not of this world. Yet hes till continued to love God. So …..

how can we exist side by side with individuals with countries with culture that is so different from our own, and not fall out, not feel rejected or abandoned, slighted or put upon. Its very difficult.

We learn from history, there is a Turkish saying “he who is burned by the soup blows on the yogurt” our past experience has been that those who are different from us are our enemies, we wont take on their ideas or bother to understand them. This however is false reasoning.
—UnderThisSeparatorIsLatterHalf—
I only have to look at the food in the supermarket and how it has changed since i was a boy to understand how our tastes have changed and how these tastes have been effected by other countries and cultures. And as I think abut my own personal ideas and ideals how they have changed over the years and been influenced by other people.

However there a few people in the Uk that won’t eat anything with Garlic or whatever the colour of their skin maintain a view of others that is really coloured by race, or whose ideas are so fixed and yet their foundation so unsure that they can’t let anything in, any other idea, thought, ideal, view, because to do so would, as it appears unconsciously to them, destroy their sense of self.

Perhaps we all do it shut out ideas, don’t really listen, and if we have been hurt, its even worse. For me I am aware than having been wounded in love, i would not want to be hurt again, but I refuse to shut myself off, or shut my feelings down. For love whilst it is wounding is also healing. I love ideas, i love people, I love the many cultures and peoples that make up our world. Islam fascinates me as does American Capitalism, both in their best sense and in the way they have been corrupted.

Many of us across the globe have given up on God, because it is as if God exists in a different culture, and is therefore not for us, it is time we changes and worked harder to let the spirit and soul back into our lives, because it is through this we communicate with the ultimate creative spirit in the Universe..(as Quakers say “God or what ever you want to call it”)

It is also a time for us to break the deadlock between one idea and another , one religion or another in their conflicts. We need to think outside the box, with completely new ideas for life, completely new ways of approaching spirituality.

An example of this can be seen in the dogma of science, it having taken over from religion, took on many of its ideals, including the we are the only ones who can show whether a thing is meet and right. Everything that enters the arena the culture of science must first prove itself by the rules of science. Perhaps it is time to change the rules, to look at things differently. as i believe it says somewhere in the bible, a new heaven and a new earth. How to do this means people giving up their worldly power, being less protective of their ideas and ways. Why? Because the way we do it now just doesn’t work…does it.

Sub Saharan Africa ravaged by HIV/Aids and war and poverty, the western world plagued by obesity and heart problems, look around you at the graffiti, the fear we have for each other, the lack of awareness and poverty of education and knowledge, the violence that pervades our world the greed, and then here and there a few people planting the seeds of love.

This rambling piece, is really about my own inability to communicate, to listen, to care, to love, to be true to all of you and to myself, my own powerlessness in the face of war and famine, of poverty and corruption and all the other things that i feel blight my society.

Slowly, slowly I try to do a little, but what I want and what is possible…they are worlds apart.

Success – Bessie Stanley (often attr: RW Emerson)


The following poem often attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, is more likely to be by a woman called Bessie Stanley as it appeared in a book by her, but on the page facing a quote by Emerson…see what you think. Success…what does it mean for you?

what is success, why do we need it, what does it mean to different people, to the materialist or the flower of a spiritual path.

Success

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

Nelson Mandela/Marianne Williamson

This is from Nelson Mandelas inauguration speech but is a quote from a book by Marianne Williamson about the “The Course in Miracles”; its about our deepest fear. 

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Relationships


Leaving The Rat Race

Leaving the rat race!

Ok I am reading yet another article of how this guy leaves the rat race, to be at home, see his children, live a btter life and you know what it reminds me of the WC fields thing, I have only heard this 3rd hand, I think it was in a film

WC Fields – who is looking very successful-: (to Boy) Son when I came to this town, I had nothing but the clothes I had on and the sack on my back.

Boy: Wow, what was in the sack

Fields: About 250,000 dollars!…

And thats it isn’t it these people that leave the rat race after working for years in finance or whatever, usually have been earning 200, 000 a year + bonus and have paid their mortgage, and now just have to do a couple of days of consultancy a week just to keep it ticking over…its crap. I mean what about all those that struggle on the money they are paid and never have time to think about leaving the rat race, because there are bills to pay…I don’t mean bill to pay for the off road 4 X 4, I mean the rent, the mortgage, on the Nissan or whatever, to get a kid through college/University.

What these articles are talking about is a new aristocracy a new upper and upper-middle class, who only have to work for half their lives. And they work in jobs that are part of the process of keeping the rest of us as wage slaves.

Now of course most of us could live lives of greater simplicity, like I hardly use that microwave, but it looks cool, do I really need a new computer/tv/car/lawnmower and so on. 

My Mum didn’t have a quarter of the gadgets I have around the house, when I was a kid, but hell she has now. Who an earth persuaded us that we needed all this crap…probabaly some consultant working 2 days a week for a credit card company who also owns an advertising agency, which is part shares in a TV and Media conglomerate, which owns the finance house s/he worked for originally. 

Words

The Road Not Taken - Robert Frost

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

This haunting verse , needs no other words…click ‘read more’


Untitled

Khalil Gibran - The Forerunner

The Forerunner – Khalil Gibran

You are your own forerunner …

THE FORERUNNER 

You are your own forerunner, …

Rumi - Mystic odes

Mystic odes - Rumi

The drum of the realization of the promise is beating,
we are sweeping the road …

The Horses by Edwin Muir

The Horses by Edwin Muir

A very evocative poem if you love horses, but also anti-war insentiment …

Furry Bear - AA Milne

Furry Bear - Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh and all that…. AA Milne what a genius, I have a tape …

Out Beyond Ideas - Jalaluddin Rumi

Out Beyond ideas - Rumi

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet …

Wild Geese - Mary Oliver

Wild Geese a poem by MARY OLIVER

I first heard this amazing poem at a literary evening and then read …

The Kite - a poem

The Kite

Once when a child
And in love with sunny days
A Kite with a broken string
Fell into our garden



Site Map


The Bear Clan

Christmas


An Alternative Christmas Tale

A Tale of Three trees, an alternative Christmas Tale

Three young trees were dreaming of what they would
become when they were fully …

Social Care - A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

I have always loved this Dickens story in print and film, my favourite being “The Muppet Christmas Carol” with Michael …

Three Wise Men - A poem

Inside me (are three wise men)

by Jonathan Spencer

Inside me are people turned away from

The warmth of the hearth

In the town of their …

The Christmas Recipe book

I thought of many of the articles here in terms of a recipe book, mainly because I was looking for a recipe in a book I only ever use …

Christmas - The Secret

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I recently watched a DVD called the Secret

“The Secret DVD!” (TS Production, LLC)
it really is the only present worth buying for yourself …

The Christmas Tree where Christmas begins

I love Christmas in all its Christian and Pagan Glory, I expect the date the 25th December relates to the winter solstice which has …

Christmas Stress (2008)

Well it was our new daughters first Christmas and I had my older children from my first marriage coming round and staying over Christmas …

Spending at Christmas

Whether in the UK or the US interest rates are fluctuating creating tension in buyers and shoppers

So what are you spending this Christmas,…

Spirtuality


A sayig of the Buddha - Believe Nothing

buddha

A saying of The Buddha

My mother used to say something similar to this over and over, it can lead to cyinicism if distorted, yet with an open mind it means something …

Taliesin

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Taliesin

I first read this words in JOHN AND CAITLIN MATHEWS, book The WesternWay a practical guide to the western mystery tradition, which is a superb book and …

The Lords Prayer…an interesting translation

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The Lords Prayer…The Womens Spiritual Network

This Lords prayer claims a more direct translation form aramaic to English…see what you think…

The Lords’ Prayer

O …

Dreamer or Dreamed

The dreamers and the dreamed.


One night I complained to a friend that since my marriage broke up i wasn't meeting the right kind of women. He asked me a very important …

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