Glass butterflies II

Everywhere you turn in Amsterdam, your eyes feast constantly on panes of glass with colour and quirk and tableaux of life made all the more beguiling for the sense of peering at them through windows. The things I photographed the most were almost always under glass; shop displays, flowers, plants, curiosities…why this human fascination (which I share) with glass boxes, domes and terrariums? Because the transparent wall, the sense of looking into something as though into another world or dimension, helps us to see and appreciate beauty even more than when we can touch or be part of it. Our addiction to a sense of a fragile demarkation between one reality and another feels like it underlies the whole reason for the hemispherical divisions of our own brain; the reason we evolved to have distinctly left and right-brained experiences, which was not always the case. Before such a partition came onto our evolutionary path, we were up to our elbows in everything in this universe, so much so we didn’t know where we ended and “other” began. When we create structures, using the most “logical” aspect of our minds, we see the sublimely illogical, the most unfeasibly beautiful and pointlessly glorious aspects of life all the better. Through the window of our own minds, we allow for some things to just be for the sake of being so life enchantingly beautiful for the eyes and soul, no other reason necessary…and Amsterdam was like a feast of such windows…

Extract from Amsterdam – where left meets right


Glass Butterflies is a growing collection of photographs depicting butterflies in juxtaposition with glass: under frames, next to windows, inside glass houses…a metaphor that has deeply informed my painting, writing and thinking for a number of years. As well as taking me on a journey of deeply personal exploration, these synchronistic experiences have everything to do with releasing the Sacred Feminine from her “box” whilst learning to appreciate how that feminine aspect can be allowed to settle upon a much more equal and balanced relationship with the male-oriented, left-hemispherical “structures” of our three-dimensional reality. In a sense, the butterfly learns to work with “the box” on her terms and in ways that enhance her innate qualities; which is the very marriage of fluidity and form that underpins the art-process, taking “inspiration” through the journey of the creative act to where we have something tangible that we can interface with as a three-dimensional form of expression. As you can tell, the metaphor has many layers and continues to develop as one of the long-running themes of my experience.

Some of the most closely related posts are Year of the Butterfly, Glass Butterflies, Out of the Box, Graceful Journey –  Scandinavian Experience, Released from the JarOut of the Blue, Spilling over the EdgesThe Marriage of Art and SpaceA Pool With No Sides and as above Amsterdam – Where Left Meets Right.

The ever-growing collection of photographs can be viewed by clicking on the image below:

 

Glass butterflies II

Posted in Animal art, Architecture, Art, Art in the living space, Art metaphor, Art purpose, Art technique, Art transformation tool, Consciousness & evolution, Divine feminine, divine masculine, Installation art, Life journey, Menu, metaphor, Personal Development, Photography, Spirituality, Symbolic journeys, Windows in art | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Amsterdam – where left meets right

Being just back from a second trip to Amsterdam, my almost inexplicable love for the place reigns supreme and, whilst I struggled to name this feeling, it was so palpable that I didn’t really want to leave. But then on the way home, in that kind of meditative eye-glaze you sink into as the train pulls away from the platform and you see the place for the last time, I was struck by what it is that this and two other cities with which I have this long-running love-affair have in common.

These three – Amsterdam, Bath, Venice – all had their heyday in the so-called “age of enlightnement” at the very beginning of the seventh wave of our evolution. Their very structure, their geometries, the architecture that still defines the experience you have of them from the moment you arrive, all hails from those days. There are patterns and order and mathematics to be found in the way that tall buildings form meaningful shapes around a more malleable landscape, be that water as in two of them or green areas nestled in a green basin between hills as in Bath; and in that marriage of contrasts I find such overwhelming beauty that my artist’s eye hardly knows where to look next. The era when places like this were built was the hey-day of the scientist and mathematician holding sway upon our environment and there’s a big part of me that loves that, for all I profess to have this uneasy relationship with orderly left-hemispherical perspectives and to prefer to see things through the much-more fluid right-brained spin that informs my artistic bent. But then there’s this; in all three cases, those structures hold shape for that “something much more fluid” to happen, just like a goblet holds wine. Creativity, expression and the most eclectic rule- and gender-defying impulses and urges of humanity seem to swirl and play around the outward expression of order there, like water flows easily and unpredictably around the pillars of a bridge. In all three places, their very vibe seems to emanate from this easy marriage of structure and flow.

There’s something crystalline about places that were formed along strictly organised lines, masterminded by great architects…and then softened by human existence over time in the way that moss grows haphazardly over a wall. It’s not the history of the places that draws me per se but the process of succumbing and melding with something more fluid, after the event of their creation, that beguiles me; it’s where they are at now that appeals. Like a cup overspilling, the colour and creativity of human life that they burst with – now – is like that liquid I refer to, although it’s not; its more energetic in nature, it’s a feeling that manifests as beauty. Which means its non-linear, not tied to time and space, it infuses every part of the whole. Once a vibration touches crystalline structure, it rings out across the whole, which becomes infused with that feeling like a soul signature singing out;  a clear note from a crystal glass, coherent and real. It’s that vibe that seems to radiate from a place (no less a person; for we are becoming crystalline too) when a particular feeling is held for a tipping point duration of time; to be registered by anyone else who comes near. Its the coherent structure of the place that amplifies that vibe so that others tune in, they resonate, get quickly up to speed with it…which is something that Amsterdam seems to do so well amongst all the places I have ever been; or perhaps I just recognise its particular vibe…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALike the last time we visited, butterflies under glass seemed to “speak to me” everywhere we went; there were just so many of them, inspiring my next paintings and many of my thoughts. Unlike last time, I was left mostly appreciating how these were working with my overall theme; for here were all these glass boxes and, inside them, these beautiful, colourful, transient things held for all to see. Last time, my feelings were mixed; I was trying to be the good vegetarian objecting to them being caught to be put on display, seeing them primarily as something held captive and pinned into their frames yet missing the flavour of this fluid thing becoming “more” somehow for being held inside a structure that, in a sense, partners with its beauty, allowing it to be on display, to be seen more clearly by more people, offering them an experience they might otherwise never have. While my head remained undecided about “what to think”, my eyes just wanted to feast and were transported by so much beauty.

In fact, everywhere you turn in Amsterdam, your eyes feast constantly on panes of glass with colour and quirk and tableaux of life made all the more beguiling for the sense of peering at them through windows. The things I photographed the most were almost always under glass; shop displays, flowers, plants, curiosities…why this human fascination (which I share) with glass boxes, domes and terrariums? Because the transparent wall, the sense of looking into something as though into another world or dimension, helps us to see and appreciate beauty even more than when we can touch or be part of it. Our addiction to a sense of a fragile demarkation between one reality and another feels like it underlies the whole reason for the hemispherical divisions of our own brain; the reason we evolved to have distictly left and right-brained experiences, which was not always the case. Before such a partition came onto our evolutionary path, we were up to our elbows in everything in this universe, so much so we didn’t know where we ended and “other” began. When we create structures, using the most “logical” aspect of our minds, we see the sublimely illogical, the most unfeasibly beautiful and pointlessly glorious aspects of life all the better. Through the window of our own minds, we allow for some things to just be for the sake of being so life enchantingly beautiful for the eyes and soul, no other reason necessary…and Amsterdam was like a feast of such windows.

Yet (and perhaps this is why I am so drawn there) it also feels like a place where those demarkation lines are softening, where colour and expression are so brimful that they now spill out onto the streets, with all the lines blurring. A few days there is enough to make me fall back in love with the city-living from which I usually recoil. My dreams of withdrawing to the country always seem to evaporate as I daydream of a life lived like this, in a place where I could be all that I am without compromise and yet still pound pavements day after day, sit in cafés full of chatter, walk streets crowded with people. A well-balanced life feels possible in such a place and if only I could find its equivalent (last time we returned from Amsterdam we seriously considered Bath) I would consider moving there in a moment. Yes, I hope our cities of the future feel like this, not as sterile, orchestrated and drab as they tend to be painted.

An arrival in Amsterdam is nigh-on impossible without first encountering the area around the central train station, the world famous Red Light District, the coffee shops advertising cannabis and the gentle whiff of the same as you walk along the pavements. Akin with so many cities, the sheer diversity of people rushing shoulder-to-shoulder turns streets into a sort of soup of colour and behaviour. Yet…suddenly…you’re on those three main horseshoe-shaped canals that make up the historical centre, built in a sweep of innovation described as being like a giant windscreen wiper of construction (Geert Mak) in a time when architects had a clear vision of order and place, and all that variety is no more than a stream of energy; a rainbow of colours, a symphony of sound. The shouts and hooting of endless hen and stag parties on boats and pedalows sailing by merges with the chatter of children, tourists, shoppers, of cafés and music, bicycles, trams and church bells, houseboats sprouting verdant hairdos of green foliage and flowers. In fact trees and flowers are everywhere, alongside fruit stalls, galleries, high-end stores and hippy shops, families and vagrants, a “working girl” glimpsed through the window of a domestic house, the splash of tangled wisteria growing up the sides of monochrome buildings drawn with a ruler…and everywhere, avenues of elm trees lining the water’s edge, haphazardly snowing clouds of sail-like seed pods onto pavements and water; a sepia confetti for the marriage of the left and right hemispheres expressed as a place.

The bricks of these unfeasibly tall, neat buildings are tiny and pristine, mostly painted in workaday blacks, greys and mochas trimmed with white and yet coloured signs embedded into their fascias hint at a system, an arrangement, when merchants lived in one place, aristocracy in another, working-classes in yet another again. Their highest storeys bear the reminders of when merchants hoisted their wares down to the water below, dangled on pulley ropes over the windows of their increasingly elegant living quarters – you could say, the original home-businesses, both work and pleasure, were accommodated here. These days, they have been replaced with start-ups; in fact, more start-ups per capita than anywhere else in northern Europe, so I read, and you get the feeling of youthful enterprise and fledgling ventures everywhere you go. Those same people, the ideas people that you sense are helping to meld our future, spill out into cafés and bars, sit drinking coffee on flights of steps leading up to doorways or hanging out of open windows; there is such a feel of neighbourliness, congeniality and goodwill, but certainly not pressure or rush, wherever you go. Parks, bikes, English spoken everywhere…its all easy flow in Amsterdam and it seems to move along the narrow streets like a stream (this feeling of wellbeing that is laid back, unstructured and hard to define as the buildings are neatly arranged). Almost like a bee hive, externally fairly pristine with such a sense of busy-ness going on yet overflowing with some sort of softness, a nectar, this vibe that feeds everyone that happens to be there. Is this something of what it looks and feels like, this balanced “place” of hemispherical softening we are heading towards evolutionarily speaking now we are in the ninth wave; not chaotic so much as expressing a sort of eclectic, artistic sense of order that serves everyone in both their independence and in their community? I really hope so.

You can see the full eclectic set of photos from this trip  in my set Amsterdam II

 

Related post: Glass Butterflies

 

 

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A pool without sides

The pool in which I swim is a vast one where I can no longer reach the sides nor can I push up from the bottom with my feet. This is important since it forces me to use other means to find structure in my experience. Synchronicity is the most important of these. Where two or more things cross over, they form buoyancy aids that I hold on to in the sea of relative non-matter that makes up my reality. It means that “what is most important to be known in this moment” comes to me, not the other way around. If I hunt down or pursue it, with my mind as a scientist would, I know it cannot be trusted in the same way since I wanted or expected it to be this thing before it even arose. When I allow information to present to me, I am shown which way to go with my next thoughts and they can be surprising yet the way they arise with perfect timing cuts out so much piffle. Then, only then, will I delve deeper into this thing with the intellect but it is that first intuition that guided me there. It is a whole new way of being, helping me to navigate at every crossroads. When I first started to experience it…for hours, sometimes days at a time in what I labelled the chronic illness of almost a decade ago, it frightened me hugely. It felt as though my intellect was melting away and I kicked my legs, almost drowned myself in the struggle. It was the surrender to it that brought me new means of navigating my reality and which delivered a much broader understanding of my world than I had ever had access to before. Without even having to use my legs and arms in any particular way, I guess you could say I learned how to swim.

This “new” sea of awareness (or, my experience of it…) comes and goes in its breadth and depth but is strongest during times of geomagnetic turbulence caused by a flare from the sun. At these times, I have come to expect the kind of so-called “brain fog” that broadens and deepens the pool of what my mind is experiencing. Having come to know it so well, I now witness this in others, especially those who rely more on their intellect to get by in their everyday lives; my daughter for instance. There was a such a geomagnetic storm in a week when she had an important maths exam. I suspected it would affect her (as it always does) but didn’t even tell her it was happening so what she noticed was entirely her own observation. She came home from school the day before the exam, the day this GM storm came on full and strong, and having spent the afternoon running through practice papers, lamented “I don’t know what happened, its as though I can’t ‘do’ maths anymore. It won’t stick to the sides, I’ve even lost all my common sense when I tackle the questions, like I can’t even use the basics of what I know”. “Don’t worry…”, I said “ just trust that there is a bigger pattern underlying what you know than just the formula, importantly RELAX and allow that a broader knowledge will come in when you need it, more like an instinct. The key is not to panic, not to go into white fear when you think what you have learned has slipped away”. Its true, once you get over that white-fear of what you have learned with the intellect not being there where you so neatly arranged it in all of it’s A-Z filing cabinets, the mind logs onto a vaster information pool that offers all that you need in any situation, assuming you steer with your intention. The need to use language or formula to grasp or frame a particular question – to initiate the left to right hemisphere dialogue – can feel like a stumbling block in such vast pool but that all important state of calm facilitates what is needed. A few hours of study later, she said she felt somehow smarter than usual, like she knew more…and deeper somehow. She was getting the patterns, the rhythms, the instincts of what the question wanted, not relying on the automaton of the formula. She had achieved a hundred per cent in one of her practice papers and was completing them all well within the allotted time; in fact she commented that it felt as though time slowed right down. This is what it feels like to know with the right portion of the brain instead of exclusively with the left; there is an ease and a “cut to the chase” about it once you get over that initial terror of it being less organised than you are used to.

david-cohen-240663The gift is to bring these two sides of the mind together; and for me that occurs once synchroncitiy has shown me where to land with my thoughts. Like a butterfly guided to the “right” flower by a landing beam of ultraviolet calling out to me across a vast sea of flora, I am told where to settle and then I go to work with my consideration. If that initial feeling isn’t there, I flutter on past…no worry that I will have missed something, there will always be more clues. What started as a pool without sides, making me flay and kick my legs, frantic for my own survival, has become more of a case of floating on my back in a sea of calm, knowing that what I need will come to find me when I most need it. Out of a molten sea of unmoving water, I can trust that ripples will form where they are most meaningful once I let go of any particular outcome that I already have in my mind. It’s a whole different way of being; one in which an innate trust that I am supported by a benevolent universe is fundamental to all that I am. The experiences I have access to feel vaster by far since I now cut to the chase of what is relevant, seldom pushing my feet off the bottom of what is not nor hand-walking my way along edges that were put there by others. Those things that make up my “relevance zone” are wilder, quirkier, more personal to me (yet also, somehow, more universal) and more intimately connected with each other than ever before. They are why this blog is so eclectic in its topics, why I seem to dart and weave between just so many unrelated things…but do I really, or are they all part of a vast coherent pattern that my very existence makes sense of. To me, both apply and this is the interconnected world that I have access to and now live in; where specialism and blinkeredness feel like the dead-weights of the past. In other words, while my pool has got infinitely bigger, I am no longer afraid to be in there since it is less about swimming than allowing the flow.

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Is a rise in the Schumann Resonance “real”?

As the alleged increases in the Schumann Resonance have continued, along with much conversation about the same, an expectable backlash has arisen from those who dispute that anything is “happening” and even Heartmath whose data many of us refer to, have issued a statement to an enquirer (see original article, permission given by Heartmath to share) seeming to say this. When someone drew this to my attention and asked what I thought, it (very usefully) forced me to consider why it is that I am not wavering on my my base opinion that something is happening here, that its new since the start of 2017 and in the feeling that it is rising up from “beneath our feet” as such (different to the “Space Weather” that some of us sensitives are accustomed to monitoring with our bodies as it comes “in” at us from above…and perhaps getting to know one has sensitised us to the other; first yang and now yin!) Here’s what I found myself saying.

Perhaps “Schumann Resonance” has become a catch-all label for something that is not only happening but which many of us – and that includes me – are feeling happen in the most powerful, visceral, cellular way that we are scrabbling for a label to apply to it, so we can usefully refer to it and tell others it is happening. Having tracked the rhythms of these new sensations (and I’m not the only one I know to be having them), I can confirm mine coincide with the “ups” in the SR that have been recorded, which in each case is something I have confirmed after the symptoms affect me. I’ve even considered that it is (the ever increasing number of) those having the experience that are “making” the new vibe happen, giving it form and coherence through our bodily experiences then amplifying it through owning (with our senses, our voices) that it is new and occurring, like an evolutionary rolling wave. We always knew we were going to be that wave, didn’t we? Why would we let other people’s opinions shut that down already? Interesting how the common tendency (and I admit to noticing the same “well-behaved” impulse rise in myself…) is to defer to the science when it says “nope, its just not happening”. As soon as I read that article, part of me felt like becoming the naysayer to my own experiences, denying them, saying “how silly, of course not, what was I thinking, I’m not a scientist so clearly I know nothing” before crawling back into my corner and hanging my head…

Another important factor to remember here is that what the counter argument is using to dispute a rise in the SR is “science”, which is something (I think most explorers around these broader topics now concede) that has such a limited and blinkered way at trying to describe what we are seeing unfold here as our next great evolution. Useful, deserving of respect…yes…but far from capable of explaining and putting to bed everything that arises in our experiences. It already has the labelled box held out ready to gather our next-newest experiences and put the lid on them and is trying to squeeze these much broader and far less fathomable expressions of reality into it; from which perspective it is very easy to scoff and say “dont be silly” to what we are viscerally feeling unfold. Science and its terminology aren’t able to contain this “thing” (whatever it is) since it is too new and unknown to conform to what we think we know…and those of us that are feeling it are (in a sense) trying to meet scientists half way by using labels such as Schumann Resonance and the science those people think is so concrete around that topic to describe our experiences. We are trying to play nice by using terms and labels that slot together as the jigsaw puzzle of left and right hemispherical experience; so of course that means playing loose and fancy-free with terms and definitions that arn’t our natural domain. We were just trying to communicate with the natives of “logical land” but perhaps that experiment in communication relied too much on us overstepping the line into territory where we are simply not welcomed and are too often belittled back to cloud-cuckoo-land where we supposedly daydream our lives away wearing crowns of daisies and hugging all the trees!

Perhaps what our next leap forwards as a species calls for is that scientists meet us supersensitives (those of us who know something big is happening with every tingle of our body) half way, conceding that many of us (just SO many of us…growing in numbers) are feeling something going on and are not imagining it…no way…and that those experiences are as valid as anything their monitoring stations happen to record. We are so eager to commission high-cost technology to monitor such things but what about us; what about using our own in-built sensory devices and why are we so persistently distrustful of this method? The jury is out as to how much of what we are feeling could be man-made in its origin; nonetheless, something is going down and our sensitivity to geomagnetic variables makes us the canaries in the coalmine (I’m not suggesting this is to our detriment…but, certainly, we are the harbingers of some necessary changes) of whatever it is. I also find the variance of readings between monitoring stations (according to global location) interesting in light of everything I have come to understand about the 12th degree latitude line that Dr Calleman refers to as dividing the left and right hemispheres of the planet and along which all of our previous evolutions have birthed in a way that history demonstrates amply (“the line separating the two hemispheres is located at 12 degrees longitude east, plus or minus two degrees” – from “The Global Mind and the Rise of Civilization: The Quantum Evolution of Consciousness). Presumably each of these evolutionary “bursts” began as a feeling that some people felt and responded to; others…not so sure to start with and things are likely to get more lively around that geographical location though we can only speculate what form this will take. In fact all of this takes on a new layer of interest in light of the rhythms of the Ninth Wave of evolution – always interesting to track one against the rhythms of the other, and as ever I refer you to Calleman’s books and my various blogs on the topic.

Even Heartmath (who to some extent, I can well imagine, feel responsible for calming down any kind of hysterical response to the SR, especially since their mission is to direct the planet towards a state of increasing calm and coherence, not the opposite) are at the mercy of “not really knowing” what is afoot, as are we all. As they say “there is no doubt that the electromagnetic conditions on our planet are changing” (yes, tell me about it) and that “the SR’s spike from time to time and we feel the effects of this…” So, what if these spikes have always been our wake up call but we weren’t quite ready (until now…some of us…and more and more since the Ninth Wave arrived) to “hear” this call. Just a thought!

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Free press: a synchronistic tale

Living a life where you notice synchronicity at play brings so much more enjoyment, meaning and thrill. Look what they just found at Reading Uni (see video below), now on display in my old hall of residence where I lived for two years…a very funny synchronicity since I just got back from four days in the Amsterdam “Ink Hotel“, eating meals in the Pressroom Restaurant, located in what was once the premises of the historic De Tidj newspaper. Almost every wall there was lined in reproductions newspaper cuttings or  inky drawings by artist Jan Rothuizen and we had to assume that where we slept must have been converted from its earlier use as some part of the process of churning out newspapers during some quite fascinating times in Dutch history.

 

Click to visit the Anne Frank Museum website

Even before (especially while) I was there, I couldn’t help wondering what went on in that building during the German occupation in WWII. From our bed, we could hear the beautiful chime of Westerkerk, just steps away from Anne Frank’s hiding place and, I found myself thinking, a sound she must have lay there listening to all the time during her two years spent living in the so-called secret annex during those occupied years. Wikipedia confirms: “The Westertoren is mentioned frequently in her diary – its clock-face on the tower could be seen from the attic of the Achterhuis and Anne Frank described the chiming of the carillon as a source of comfort”.)  Her diary was one of the first of the countless piles of war-themed biographys and books that I recently spoke about reading as an adolescent (in my post Testament of One) and certainly one which affected me very deeply so to hear those same chimes marking time in our room was very meaningful to me. In fact it was all the more poignant for the fact I was free to leave my own room to enjoy the streets of Amsterdam whenever I liked…

I’ve looked for, yet not found, any details of what happened to De Tidj during the occupation years but can only assume that the words that they printed were no longer “free” during that window. By contrast, the Dutch ran underground newspapers throughout the period 1940-45 (and, by 1943, Professor N.W. Posthumus, the first Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Netherlands State Institute for War Documentation, had already begun to collect Dutch underground newspapers, at great personal risk; growing the collection after the war – you can view more about this on the British Library website). The printed word has become a very symbol of freedom; more particularly, of the freedom to speak our personal truth, whatever politics or other power games happen to be playing out in our world…in fact, even more so, in such circumstances. And it all started with William Caxton, without whom the means to reproduce and distribute one piece of writing many times would never have been possible.

"Pandora" pre-Raphaelite painting JD Bitten

The big reveal – see my post on Pandora’s Box

And so it all comes back to the man whose small fragment of handiwork has just been uncovered in the archives of the university where I studied for my English Literature and Language degree and which (with mind-blowing synchronicity) is now on display in my old hall of residence, now the Museum of English Rural Life, where I laid my head for two very significant years of my life, joining dots with how I just stayed at the Ink Hotel until yesterday. The coincidence is more mind-blowing still since I shared another story of something lost being refound to the historic building that was once my university “digs” (a painting of Pandora of the infamous box…) when I wrote about my reunion there just the other week in my post Out of the Box. In that, I played with themes such as the opening of boxes, the revealing of secrets, the uncovering of what lies hidden, the liberation of what has been suppressed, the releasing – in particular – of the feminine aspect (which is everything to do with expression) that has been kept under lock-and-key for just so very long, historically speaking. Across those locked-away years, we have always had those few individuals (sometimes, but not always, females) who have been prepared to express themselves in spite of how hard their circumstances made it for them to do so and Anne Frank was one such “feminine” impulse; a pre-wave of the coming feminine age as the Eighth Wave of humanity’s evolution started to roll in (search for all my posts about the Nine Waves of Creation for much more on this). Through her determination to put word to paper and “be heard”, she was an early impulse of that coming era in action; a compelled (and compelling) counter force to her own incarceration, using the medium of free speech, quite regardless of whether she personally believed her words would ever be discovered or read so widely as they have now been. Let her determination to express herself anyway be a reminder to all of us who have that impulse to write truth from our heart yet so often lose motivation, thinking there is no point since we believe nobody will ever read what we have to say…

Having so recently seen the almost perpetual queue to visit the Anne Frank museum snaking around the pavements next to Westerkirk once again whilst staying in my Ink-y hotel until yesterday, I had to smile as all this came together with the perfectly-timed press release in my own local newspaper today about the Caxton find (“University of Reading staff find 500-year-old William Caxton print worth £100,000” in Get Reading 9th May 2017). The printed word seems to be shouting out at me from my residences past and present; and maybe I am alone in finding marvellous synchronicity in all of this but to me as the compulsive writer of words (whether I have an audience or no…), the coincidences I have found in this speak absolute volumes!


Final note:

In an age where the femine is recalibrating to come into closer balance with the more masculine impulses that have dominated our world for so long, it can feel as though there is reveal after reveal after reveal of what was always there but which we either failed to notice or give voice to. And so, yet again, a great truism of humanity rings out from the Get Reading article about the Caxton find (which echoes the Pandora find) – it is “astonishing that it has been under our noses for so long”.

 

 

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Fire and water

For my birthday this year (aptly, my solar return!) I really wasn’t sure where to spend the day until, at the eleventh hour, Bath seemed to be the answer; it felt so right in my gut when the idea first came to me. So we booked our favourite veggie restaurant (the Acorn) and made a day-trip of it; a perfectly formed four hours in one of my favourite places on earth.

Bath 2.jpgThe relatively short time focus necessitated concentration of intention…consideration of how to spend that extra couple of hours once lunch was out of the way…and the very first place (as often is for me) was the source of the thermal spring, like I can’t even orient myself in the town until I’ve been there for just a few moments. By this I don’t mean the big, commercial, ever queue-ridden spa destination of thousands of tourists…no…but the unassuming Cross Bath opposite those gleaming glass walls; site of the original hot dipping pool, cure-all and pilgrimage destination even before the Romans made a feature of it. Just to stand there for a moment and pay my respects at the door seems to initiate my best experiences of the place on every visit.

Bath 2.jpgThen it was just a little bit magical to find butterflies “fluttering” inside the vast spaces of the abbey, like a potent metaphor made manifest. Their colour and variety seemed to flutter new life into torpidity, as though the leaden religious narrative of so many quite massive stained glass windows had been exploded into shards then grown wings before hitting the ground; so, not the end of the world, just a fresh new beginning that had required the courage to break with old ways. Their unexpected presence there above my head seemed like a breath of fresh air sweeping OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthrough those unreachable spaces from one arched window to the other, stirring up the dust motes of heavy tradition. The reaching and arching endlessly higher and higher of all those immense gothic ceilings that speak of always striving, never quite getting there, seemed to be brought down to attainable height, their pristine stone made mortal yet in no way trivialised by fragments of coloured paper that could have been cut-out with scissors by a child. It felt like a sacred marriage to witness the two side-by side; both aspects made “better”, somehow more whole and perfect, by the collaboration of art installation and its most ideal space. This is what the masculine does so well; it holds space for the feminine to express herself in ways that are fluid, playful, relatable, earthy and without pretention or the kind of loftiness that alienates. The two work perfectly together; in fact, I  realised I had never seen the space look better than it did on this day.

Outside the abbey, as ever, I paid my respects to Sulis and angled the shot by crouching down; a framing that gained the response I half-expected from one of my American friends this morning who, without knowing what she was looking at, told me how much it moved her to see this composition as she asked what the building was in the background. That vast building made suddenly church-like, I pointed out, is Bath Abbey – huge, influential, steeped in tradition (then and now). What I love about this image is that Sulis (who, in a sense, has been there the longest…) is holding her own, scale wise, relative to the oh so beautiful yet undoubtably male-expressing cathedral…calmly pouring water from a simple jug, knowing that being this flow is all that it takes to be our best god-expressing-as-human selves; no grand gestures of stone, investment or scale required. This is the goddess of the thermal springs, “Sun Goddess” (which I love also for Bath 22.jpgthe reason the sun is so often claimed for the masculine); often associated with Brigid, known for her fiery qualities. There’s an “I may be a woman but don’t mess with me” energy about her and such a sense of quiet, unassuming power. The Roman’s knew this when they came and found her as the established deity in these parts. They even kept her local sun-derived name in front of Minerva, as they also came to know her; “Sulis Minerva”, to whom they wrote requests for assistance when revenge or some-such major task or intervention came up. She was formidable femininity, personified – both fire and water together – and her healing powers were exceptional; which is what made Bath into the healing spa that she is still known as today. Its one of the reasons, I know, I am periodically drawn there like to the end of a rainbow along a road I must follow; not least at some of the times that have turned out to waymarkers and turning points.

In the end, it seems, my spontaneous day turned out to be a lot to do with reconciling the water quality of the feminine with fire; even the (rare for me) dessert I indulged in for lunch firing me up more than I am used to these days. Then, as though to seal the deal, the evening produced a ceaseless dance of sunshine and showers, small rainbows and cloud bursts, darkest black rain clouds juxtaposed with sun-radiant fields and striped with radiant bands of platinum-gold all the way home. Sometimes (we need reminding…) the feminine is called to be active, feisty, controversial and strong; to be assertive in ways that are uniquely hers and know herself for these qualities, stirring up dust motes, bringing fresh air and new modalities into stagnant corners, bright colour into drably conservative space, patches of unexpected iridescence into darkness. I’ll take this as the theme of my coming year!

The current art installation at Bath Abbey is by Anthony Head (click on image to enlarge the description).

 

 

 


Related posts:

Glass Butterflies

Reflection Upon Life

Related photography collections:

Glass Butterflies

Bath

Posted in Art, Art technique, Consciousness & evolution, Divine feminine, Installation art, Life journey, Menu, metaphor, Personal Development, Spirituality, Symbolic journeys | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Out of this world

For those of us on a recovery path from a chronic health condition, “fitting-in” was probably one of the first things we threw off. Over time, we have probably honed a sort of environmentally controlled bubble in which we carefully and mindfully live our own lives, peering though its glass bauble at everybody else. Along the way, we have turned down all the dials on the pace of life and shown that we can exist in a very different place to the rest of the world; whilst seemingly, seamlessly, coexisting with it. We have ear-marked our own dimension and dropped it into the reality of everyone else; only they are subtly out of sync with each other in ways that we clearly perceive and those other people only vaguely suspect (though enough for them to sense we are uncomfortably “different”). With our enhanced diet and our micro-environment made out of subtly different life choices to the throng, we find we can thrive for ever longer periods without being tipped over in that old way. But can we ever ditch the odd-ball lives we’ve built, go back to “normal”, do all the things other people do once our health stabilises without it being the snake-ride back to the start of the game? And (I have to ask as I know that I self-selected this life) what did I expect to gain from coming here in this format, at this time when every personal victory of improvement is so conditional on where I am and the choices I make, moment to moment, mouthful to mouthful, environment to environment? Why live in a time of just so many choices and feel like they are all on display behind a sheet of bullet-proof glass so that I can see but can’t touch them; to have them already filtered and chosen for me by what my biology can cope with before it tips over into pain?

“Fibromyalgia”, after all, is just shorthand code for “not designed for this world”, a label for being a misfit at a very deep biological level; but not because we are faulty but because the world isn’t ready for us yet or, you could say, we arrived early. It’s a bucket title for those who are way too super-sensitive to cope with how things currently are, being calibrated to another time-space, and so we become systemically floored, like fish out of water gasping for breath. Its something we learn to be accepting of, to tolerate, which we manage to do…most of the time though at others it makes us sad, like a deep and innocuous feeling of homesickness. So we adopt the stiff upper lip and we try to get back to the job…our job in this life…whatever that is; yet even a sense of our core purpose in life can flounder at these times.

I’m left with this; perhaps I really am some future version of myself, from a world where I am perfectly calibrated for my environment and the frequency of the people who live there. Perhaps I’m a preview of a future model, with features that don’t yet sync with the way the world is. I am the one I’ve been waiting for, fully calibrated for a future reality and its time I welcomed myself thus. Perhaps my non-compute at the bland reception of all that I am here is the very communication breakdown between two peoples that makes at least one half of that dialogue (me) try so very hard to forge paths of communication that those listening out for a sign might start to hear if I just keep trying to refine my methods of speaking what I know. Perhaps the extent to which I feel the misfit, noting the “rub” between this reality and another one that I perceive being held out there in potential, creates the friction of desire that serves like the tyre on the road; the very thing creating traction to get me and others like me from one reality to another. Perhaps the relentless motivation by impulses that have nothing to do with personal gain and everything to do with making the path easier, quicker and more direct for others is how those like me demonstrate that future reality in action (since, you could say, it is fuelled by love). Perhaps it is the ceaseless desire of those in recovery from chronic health issues to keep moving optimistically towards a more comfortable, heart-centred reality where we biologically thrive, showing others how it is all done by focussing on meeting our own needs, creating our own best environment, making our own most discerning choices at every turn, is one of the ways that we help fuel the evolution of a planet…and this is our contribution, which is enough.

Modified extract from my Out of this world on Living Your Whole Life.

Posted in Consciousness & evolution, Health & wellbeing, Life journey, Lifestyle, Menu, Personal Development, Recovery chronic illness | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Navigating that darkest before the dawn feeling

A friend whose words I treasure shared this morning “There is nearly always a dip, a feeling that all is lost before the revelation of a mystery…” It struck me that this is the very same as the feeling as when we experience the high end of the Beta frequency, which can make us feel that all is chaotic or “lost”, that we are on the verge of destruction and that we are caught in such a state of high adrenalin and overwhelm that we can’t even mastermind our own survival. But just the other side of that is the Gamma range which is quite another story, being the frequency associated with oneness and bliss. The reason this is an interesting connection to make today this is that there is a rumour spinning around social media (see this video) that the Schumann Resonance reached an all time high of 90Hz this week. If its true then it is quite phenomenal since the Schumann is popularly stated to hover around the 7.83Hz mark, though it reached record highs of around 40 earlier this year (see my 5 Feb post on Living Whole).

blake-richard-verdoorn-15549The heartbeat of the planet, as it is commonly known, is something we all tune into, biologically, much like an unborn child calibrates to its mother’s heartbeat and I suspect its both an essential and evolution-focussed connection (just as a mother’s health impacts the unborn child’s developmental progress during gestation). Holding a regular “heartbeat” of 7-ish Hz, this serves as a steadying rhythm that keeps us in the realms of the Alpha waves that maintain a calm but alert state, much of the time. When the Schumann rises up into the realms of Beta frequency, we start to feel the more adrenalised tug of active thought and action, the kind of energy that has us “doing” rather than “being”. When the Schumann takes us as high as it is goes these days we are led way up into the highest realms of Beta where that more-energised state tips into feelings of high-anxiety and feelings of hopelessness.

Its true, in recent weeks I’ve been noticing more and more people comment that they have had days of inexplicable high-anxiety or had thoughts like “what’s the point” or “I can’t cope anymore”. I can’t help suspecting that its a sign we are tuning into each other’s “stuff” more than we ever have before and that the barriers between “his problem” and “my problem” are starting to dissolve. I know from experience that these can be breakthrough emotions as I was living in a place of complete overwhelm at the point when my health collapsed a few years ago. In the aftermath, during the very early stages of my recovery, I spent a lot of time feeling like I had somehow gone through the highly-adrenalised state of overwhelm into some other territory where I felt like I would float suspended in a void for days on end, having the kind of experiences of unity consciousness that – when I came “back down to earth” – became the fuel in the fire of a process of awakening that has been my story of the last half decade. In that state, I started to feel like I understood things better than I ever had done in my life…only not in an intellectual way but far beyond that. I now regard those episodes to have been a taster of what it feels like to experience Gamma brainwaves and they were at once disorienting yet sublime and transformational, helping me to make sense of the whole gamut of my human experiences like never before.

As I’ve said, where the Schumann Resonance seems to be heading is well into the Gamma range, where all is resoundingly well once we learn how to handle being there, which involves unlearning so much of what we think we know about the world. Once we get over that last “darkest before the dawn feeling” there’s nothing left but an experience of unity consciousness and perfection, of all the barriers to our understanding dissolving as we reach a sea of reconciliation with all that there is and that feeling of blissful coherence beckoning us over. Quite a leap…and with quite a contrast at its threshold (from Beta into Gamma), like we have to feel so much much worse just before things start to feel infinitely better. And isn’t that life all over? We are quite the experts at that darkest before the dawn thing…but if we just hang in there a little longer…learn to handle it a new way…open up to new possibilities and perspectives…

I sensed the Schumann Resonance was on the up again even before I read these reports about its new peak…and I certainly felt it last night. My husband and I were lying rigid and sleepless in bed half the night and I knew what we were both experiencing though I opted not to give it substance by saying it outloud. In the  morning, both of us declared that we had been feeling adrenalised and panicky “for no reason” all night; you know, that feeling that “something bad is about to happen” or that you have seriously messed up in some way that is about to come back and haunt you. In that state, the tendency is to feel that everything is going wrong and it is all “our problem” waiting for us to resolve it, whether its on the domestic front or something on the global level; like we have to take a particular action to save the world but we haven’t a clue what that action is. I found myself explaining it like this; its as though we are stood in front of a lost property booth and someone is holding up a tatty old garment, perhaps a hideous old hat that’s been trampled on the floor and has holes in it. “Is this anybody’s hat?” the person shouts out. In that higher Beta state, we are very likely to shoot our hand up without even thinking and declare “its mine”, claiming it whether it is or it isn’t, while inwardly cringing at the awfulness of the hat and that fact we don’t even want to touch it. That’s what high-end Beta can feel like; its as though all the most heinous situations are, at some level, “ours” to own up to or solve, like we are personally responsible or let everyone down and now its time to “wear” this thing for all to see. It’s an overwhelming feeling, one that can spark anger or aggression just as much as meltdown since every instinct in us kicks back at the unfairness of it all. Its like we think we are being called to account for, well, everything that ever happened and its all too much from that human perspective where personal responsibility, action and blame have been placed at the central core of everything.

Then along with Gamma brain waves (more information on the peak performance, connectivity and super-rapid processing speeds that those enable here) comes that sea of unity, like diving into a smooth pool where, quite literally, nothing matters any more since all matter has dissolved into oneness. All barriers to understanding have gone, we can see it all for what it is, our stress dissolves, all blame (of self and of other) dissipates, we see the many perfections in the overview. This is where we are heading and, I suspect, the Schumann Resonance is preparing us for the transition. In the meantime, if we can stay in a place where we don’t try and make this all about the body (which is where our overwhelmed system often tries to carpark unfamiliar feelings, assuming “there must be something wrong with me”, since the physical body is the arena where we are most familiar with handling our problems) then we can make these transitions quickly without turning them into something biological like a flu, or worse. Dealt with in the energy field, we can allow these passing feelings of overwhelm to be transmuted quickly, efficiently and in almost no time at all. We become adept at moving up and down the scale of frequencies with the Schumann Resonance, without stalling because of a learned tendency to think our out-of-control emotions or weird physical symptoms have anything to do with the little dramas in our lives or the broader three-dimension circus going on around us in the world. We don’t know what this next stage in our evolution is going to bring but we can be sure it is happening way beyond all the small stuff of everyday life and it has our back, even if it is beyond our courrent understanding. The best things we can do are stay grounded and positive, observing extreme emotions without engaging, using meditation and a perspective of love to keep in a far broader space as we witness what unfolds. Interesting times….and we are just learning how to navigate them.

Heres a useful article on the Shcumann Resonance from Dr Joe Dispnza


Afterthought added May 14th 2017

Is the rise in the Schumann Resonance “real”?

As the alleged increases in the SR have continued, along with much conversation about the same, an expectable backlash has arisen from those who dispute that anything is “happening” and even  Heartmath, whose data many of us refer to, have issued a statement to an enquirer (see original article, permission given by Hearthmath to share) seeming to say this. When someone drew this to my attention and asked what I thought, it (very usefully) forced me to consider why it is that I am not wavering on my my base opinion that something is happening here, that its new since the start of 2017 and in the feeling that it is rising up from “beneath our feet” as such (different to the “Space Weather” that some of us sensitives are accustomed to monitoring with our bodies as it comes “in” at us from above…and perhaps getting to know one has sensitised us to the other; first yang and now yin!) Here’s what I found myself saying.

Perhaps “Schumann Resonance” has become a catch-all for label for something that is not only happening but which many of us – and that includes me – are feeling happen in the most powerful, visceral, cellular way that we are scrabbling for a label to apply to it, so we can usefully refer to it and tell others it is happening. Having tracked the rhythms of these new sensations (and I’m not the only one I know to be having them), I can confirm mine coincide with the “ups” in the SR that have been recorded, which in each case is something I have confirmed after the symptoms affect me. I’ve even considered that it is (the ever increasing number of) those having the experience that are “making” the new vibe happen, giving it form and coherence through our bodily experiences then amplifying it through owning (with our senses, our voices) that it is new and occuring, like an evolutionary rolling wave. We always knew we were going to be that wave, didn’t we? Why would we let other people’s opinions shut that down already? Interesting how the common tendency (and I admit to noticing the same “well-behaved” impulse rise in myself…) is to defer to the science when it says “nope, its just not happening”. As soon as I read that article, part of me felt like becoming the naysayer to my own experiences, denying them, saying “how silly, of course not, what was I thinking, I’m not a scientist so clearly I know nothing” before crawling back into my corner and hanging my head…

Another important factor to remember here is that what the counter argument is using to dispute a rise in the SR is “science”, which is something (I think most explorers around these broader topics now concede) that has such a limited and blinkered way at trying to describe what we are seeing unfold here as our next great evolution. Useful, deserving of respect…yes…but far from capable of explaining and putting to bed everything that arises in our experiences. It already has the labelled box held out ready to gather our next-newest experiences and put the lid on them and is trying to squeeze these much broader and far less fathomable expressions of reality into it; from which perspective it is very easy to scoff and say “dont be silly” to what we are viscerally feeling unfold. Science and its terminology aren’t able to contain this “thing” (whatever it is) since it is too new and unknown to conform to what we think we know…and those of us that are feeling it are (in a sense) trying to meet scientists half way by using labels such as Schumann Resonance and the science those people think is so concrete around that topic to describe our experiences. We are trying to play nice by using terms and labels that slot together as the jigsaw puzzle of left and right hemispherical experience; so of course that means playing loose and fancy-free with terms and defintions that arn’t our natural domain. We were just trying to communicate with the natives of “logical land” but perhaps that experiment in communication relied too much on us overstepping the line into territory where we are simply not welcomed and are too often belittled back to cloud-cuckoo-land where we supposedly daydream our lives away wearing crowns of daisies and hugging all the trees!

Perhaps what our next leap forwards as a species calls for is that scientists meet us supersensitives (those of us who know something big is happening with every tingle of our body) half way, conceding that many of us (just SO many of us…growing in numbers) are feeling something going on and are not imagining it…no way…and that those experiences are as valid as anything their monitoring stations happen to record. The jury is out as to how much of what we are feeling could be man-made in its origin; nonetheless, something is going down and our sensitivity to geomagnetic variables makes us the canaries in the coalmine of whatever it is. I also find the variance of readings between monitoring stations (according to global location) interesting in light of everything I have come to intuit about the 12th degree longitude line that Dr Calleman refers to in his books…the hemispherical dividing line of the planet; things are likely to get more lively around that geographical location though we can only speculate what form this will take. In fact all of this takes on a new layer of interest in light of the rhythms of the Ninth Wave of evolution – always interesting to track one against the rhythms of the other, and as ever I refer you to Calleman’s books and my various blogs on the topic.

Even Heartmath (who to some extent, I can well imagine, feel responsible for calming down any kind of hysterical response to the SR, especially since their mission is to direct the planet towards a state of increasing calm and coherence, not the opposite) are at the mercy of “not really knowing” what is afoot, as are we all. As they say “there is no doubt that the electromagnetic conditions on our planet are changing” (yes, tell me about it) and that “the SR’s spike from time to time and we feel the effects of this…”  So, what if these spikes have always been our wake up call but we weren’t quite ready (until now…some of us…and more and more since the Ninth Wave arrived) to “hear” this call. Just a thought!

Posted in Books, Consciousness & evolution, Menu, Personal Development, Space weather, Universe | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are you tuning in to the Ninth Wave?

This is a brief post designed to pass on an article by Dr. Carl Calleman which explains more articulately than I could how and why it is important to consciously work at tuning into the Ninth Wave. This is something I realise I have been doing for some time (as shared in my post Using the Nine Waves to Heal Your Life) but then I can also confirm that since reading Dr. Calleman’s book The Nine Waves of Creation, which has enabled me to track the rhythms of the wave (using the Nine Waves Calculator) I have not only been able to notice the way my natural rhythms track the day (peak) and night (trough) phases of the wave but also to work consciously with those trends. As Dr. Calleman so articulately explains, when you know that you are in a daytime phase of the Ninth Wave you can be sure that your “projects towards unity consciousness will have wind on their backs and this is true also if your project is simply yourself and your way of being in the world”.

Yes, in my personal experience, I have found this to be so…also that the night phases can feel like a deep-dive into themes related to lower frequency waves and yet this is not necessarily in a negative way when you know it is likely to occur and opt to work with this trend. In fact, (somewhat like the plunge into the historic themes discussed in my last post Testament of One) it can feel like an opportunity to do some housekeeping where matters related to “the past” (in its broadest sense) could use some creases ironing out or where lessons from that wave could be brought forward to inform the move towards unity consciousness that I am progressing with during the day phases.

To me, the night times can feel exactly like deep diving into the shadowy depths of the ocean to retrieve a pearl from the bottom of the seabed. By consciously shining the torch of the ninth wave perspective onto these “old” themes when they attract my attention (as they invariably do) during the night phases, I then find I can bring back with me what is most important to extract from them, ready for the next daytime phase to begin over again. Each time I take that plunge, it feels a little more like I am cutting to the chase of finding what is most important to retain from any past experience rather than getting lost in the mire of so much (personal or collective) history. In other words, I notice how I am getting far slicker and more adept at diving in to obtain what is most important or useful and then getting out again, before history’s more persistent lower vibe themes get to attach to my leg and tug me back in, as it were. I quite-often write about these themes and revisited experiences as my way of processing through them whilst sharing what feels useful, yet I seldom dwell on them once I feel I have extracted the pearl and this has been quite a learning curve since reading Calleman’s book, which enabled me to appreciate history in this new way.

The transition phase from day to night or even night to day can feel somewhat like turbulence, energetically speaking and yet the interrelationship between one and the other (and ways they work together, like two sides of the same coin) are becoming more and more apparent. Even then, the day phases do feel easier to navigate and more productive in a forward-momentum kind-of way…like opening up the sails of a boat once more, ready to glide across a smooth surface in a much more favourable wind.

I have also found that the very rhythms of my work and the degree of interaction I have with other people varies profoundly between the day and nighttime phases of the wave and so knowing how to play the system, you could say, is something that not only benefits me but those I have interactions with…especially if I am able to have open discussion with them about the Ninth Wave and its 36 day undulations. This is key and so I would say that for anyone in collaboration or any kind of conversation with others about unity consciousness, being agents of change (at any level, be that personal or global), about new paradigm living and the future of this planet, this article is such a useful way to explain how the wave operates and can be harnessed in ways that will ensure everyone involved in these projects is on the same page…in fact, I would say it is essential to gain the forward momentum that conscious evolution requires.

Suffice to say, here is Carl’s excellent article for you to read for yourself: The 36 Day Period of the Ninth Wave – The Purpose of Celebrating April 18, May 24, etc

Posted in Consciousness & evolution, History, Menu, Personal Development | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Testament of One

“I lost a brother in the war and my fiancé….When I held the hand of that German it was their hands too that I was holding, their pain was the same pain, their blood the same blood, our grief the grief of hundreds and thousands of German women and men…Can I find the courage to accept that there might be another way, perhaps their deaths have meaning only if we stand together now and say no…no to killing, no to war, no to the endless cycle of revenge…” (“Testament of Youth” screenplay from the film released 2014.)

As soon as I settled into watching “Testament of Youth” last night, I was keenly aware of how many times I had avoided it; not because I’m some sort of emotional lightweight, avoiding films with too much dark core or because I can’t “do” war as a topic…no, none of these. Actually, because I had already gone there countless times and had told myself I never had to go back there again; had done with raking over the past and had convinced myself that, to move forwards, we needed to put that particular bone down and stop gnawing on it. Then this new film version of one of the most-seminal books of my life came out and I found myself torn; had been torn ever since.

Because here (“Testament of Youth” by Vera Brittain) was one of the books I first read when I was, I don’t know, about fourteen I suppose and it was one that left an indelible mark on me afterwards. It became one of many on a similar topic; in fact, I gorged on them, these novels and autobiographies set in the two world wars, tales of love and loss around the trenches, the holocaust, the death camps of the far east, the falling bombs of London, the resistance movement, the eastern front. When the majority of my age-peers were reading far lighter stuff (or not at all), I gobbled up what must have been hundreds of books on these topics, for years; only halting when my degree in Literature forced my reading attention onto other things.

Why was that (I have often wondered)? It was as though something inherited or brought along with me from another lifetime compelled me to do it; to bring this version of myself (in this lifetime) up to speed with the experiences of a generation “lost” to the kind of wholesale madness we never want to put ourselves through again, like I was cramming for some sort of experience exam as a foundation for what I had in mind for this lifetime. As though I had set myself the task of getting to know the human impact of war…intimately…without having to be there as such. Like I’ve said before (Using the Nine Waves to Heal Your Life), I was resoundingly a child of the Eighth Wave with an in-built “non-compute” when it came to people killing or torturing each other…I just couldn’t understand these behaviours, for any excuse. So it was like I had to try and make my young self see these behaviours at their most extreme and out-of-control; to go deeply, empathically, into the horror-show of humanity in order to be quite clear what we…as a generation…need to be evolving away from now, seeing for myself in detail what we are putting behind us at this point in our evolution and why we must. A century on from the heinous mess that was the first world war, subject of last night’s film, I see how we are still in its hang-over; how its themes and impulses still ring out through the crazy politics of our world, as though we haven’t really moved all that far from it or learned anything at all; but we must and, to do that, we still need to know that it happened (is still) and graphically witness the unholy mess that it was (is) so we can put an end to its cycles of destruction. Perhaps its too early…yet…to act like we are beyond all that but then we need to sense that there is a way out; an alternative and Brittain’s book is all about that very thing, conveyed from the ground level of one who saw war and loss up-close and personal.

Not for the first time, I found myself wondering last night whether my total immersion in books on these themes as an impressionable young girl-into-woman had set in motion some sort of post-traumatic experience that became the illness of the next two decades. After all, it planted deep in me the sense that our world was hopeless, we are hopeless, we concoct bloody and hopeless situations and can’t seem to help ourselves from repeating them. In a generation removed from “all that”, in an era when wars had become smaller again so we could avert our eyes to look at our fashion sense or the TV, my generation growing up in the 70s and 80s weren’t meant to be thinking about war and atrocity like it was “real”; but then my father, who was two decades older than my friends’ parents, had taken part in the second world war as a conscript from ’39, seeing at close-hand the effects of a stray bomb opposite our house and the unimaginable state of things in end-of-war Germany, something he never stopped harping back upon. He would manage to bring it up into the most unlikely conversations (“in the war…” was a regular phrase) and would sit watching war films like other people watch sports matches – regularly, sagely and matter of factly as a regular pastime, speaking out loud his own commentary; all this is what I grew up with. My grandfather, as a career RSM, had been deeply “in it” too; my mother just a young girl like me when he was left stranded on Dunkirk beach waiting to be rescued to fight another day. For most of my peers, this was the domain of rambing grandparents but I still knew the daily austerity of parents who obsessively grew and preserved all their own vegetables, baked all their own bread and hoarded useful things because they so vividly recalled the rations of their earlier adult lives.

So why had I (finally) come back to watching this film of a book I had told myself I had put to bed, that was amongst those that had set in motion the trend of reading and immersion that dictated so many of the preoccupations of my earlier life? Hadn’t I looked at this film when it first came out and thought “no, I don’t need or want to go back into those trenches any more”? Hadn’t I declared to myself there was no need to relive graphic scenes of filthy hospital beds and DIY amputations, of personal loss so gut wrenching it hurts the chest, or unimaginable naivety followed by crashing horror as young men in pristine uniforms optimistically march off in the face of wholesale destruction like a sausage machine of death? To watch a world echoing its stoney silence as young women are left to pick up the pieces of a world almost bereft of the young men they once knew? It was all there in that film last night and with all the graphic attention to detail that we have come to expect of films made in the last two decades.

But then, also, in there was something else and it was like watching the sowing of a seed; was like seeing for myself what I already knew and that is how the seedling of the Eighth Wave of human evolution first got sown in the freshly turned earth of the trenches of the early twentieth century. How it was exactly that horror-show (marking the darkest and most inevitable hour of the Seventh Wave…the outcome of an age so heavily based on “reason” minus heart) that stirred everything up enough for the surviving generation to start to sow the beginnings of something else, evolutionarily speaking. It was the building post-war chorus of voices like that of Vera Brittain, which we hear ring out so clearly against a sea of dissenters in the quote above (those who would have the whole sorry mess feed back into itself and repeat on an ever continuing loop of bitterness, ensuring that when one war supposedly finishes, it is already building the storm clouds of the next war on the horizon…) that would begin to pull in the next wave of our evolution and tap it into the fresh soil, like holding it down with a series of optimistic tent pegs. It was those who, having been knee-deep in the mess of the previous era, called for something quite different to replace it that would make sure that the evolutionary process would start to take shape, that its path was laid and that the next generation would be offered an alternate perspective, like a chasm of light coming through a small fissure in the glass ceiling of an outdated paradigm.

Because it is those who tap those first holes in the glass of one paradigm who enable the next generations to see beyond its almost invisible limitations (so all-consuming can a paradigm be…) so that new light is allowed to enter and a broader perspective obtained. This is the kind of new perspective that Einstein referred to as necessarily “outside” of the current paradigm in order for us to evolve beyond its limitations and repeat behaviours. Light pouring through glass can seem just as real as light outside in the daylight…until the glass itself is shown-up to be what it is; another ceiling, the edge of a box, a particular perspective controlled by someone but not ourselves, a barrier to experiencing something much more whole and direct. Inside a particular paradigm, we experience a version of reality and it only shows us what “it” wants us to see. When we are inside of one paradigm, we can feel as comfortable as a tropical plant in its hothouse, all our needs met by it (if we are so lucky…). All without realising what we are missing, which is the open sky of something that would make it thus for all of us, not just those who are fortunate enough to be living in the most comfortable corners of a botanical experiment operated by those who turn dials to create the artificial heating and water supply that make-up our existence. In a lesser paradigm (an earlier wave of evolution, if you like) there are always those who lose out from its perspective, those who are discriminated against, who become the cannon fodder, the pawns in the game, those who are denied access, whose heads are stepped on by others getting to where they want to be. Someone has always been left out…and we are approaching the time when that is no longer tenable; it is a version of reality that is no longer supported by the universal impulse of this planet. Our time of oneness in the sense that we finally acknowledge and live by the tenet that we are all as-one, thus what we do to “other” we only do to ourselves, is upon us and the last century served as a “darkest before the dawn” moment to herald that new era.

That generation of survivors from the first world war, many of them women, were the ones to start drilling holes in the glass ceiling of a world gone array under the influence of the Seventh Wave and their work is still underway through the momentum of the Eighth Wave (of which they were the vehicles), though this has now given way to the Ninth Wave since 2011…the age of unity consciousness…yet this is still work in progress; we are caught-up in transitional times, which look messy and contradictory at ground level. We can feel like we are freefalling as the edges of what we thought we knew dissolve away. I see how I was gearing myself up for the transitional task in hand, even as a young woman drawn to read particular books. My whole lifetime to date has been about the Eighth Wave coming in…which has had everything to do with emphasising the more feminine, right-hemispherical, heart-oriented perspective that needed so desperately to come into this world. It has been all about communicating….an inherently Eighth Wave impulse, of which Vera Brittain was a prime instrument…and all as a very-necessary trend on the way to the Ninth Wave, which (just one hundred years on from the heinous war that she wrote about) is here for us now. Yet there’s still so very much work to do; our actions, our choices, our intentions, our focus, our words all make this happen.

Now is when we get to put all this together; now is when we see how the two parts of ourselves snap together in the middle like the complementary parts of a whole that people like Brittain (driven by intellect, yes, but also follower of the heart, most certainly) were the earliest embodiment of. She may have fought tooth and nail to gain a place at Oxford (not so easy as a woman from a well-to-do “northern” family in those days when sons mattered more than daughters…) and yet she barely hesitated to surrender that place to do what she could to mop up the mess of the war on the frontline as a nurse; and then to use her intellect to speak out about her vision of a new world for the rest of her life once the war was over. These were the first delicate shoots of optimism growing out an earth ploughed over by mortar and the scattered bodies of so many young men.

So, of course, I knew why I had been drawn to watch this film with its beautifully measured ending (which has Brittain stepping out into the now empty and silent lake, scene of happier times with all the young men now gone) and to revisit one of the most influential reads of my youth thirty five years later. I see now how the message her book conveyed has been an intrinsic part of me, of the journey I have been on and that which our whole evolutionary generation is on together…also a reminder of the creative void of “the unknown” that we are collectively stepping into now, with the opportunity to do things rather differently than previous generations have, thus breaking out of the cycle of self-destruction. Perhaps it also serves as a reminder that making holes in a glass ceiling to let a new paradigm in isn’t always very easy or well-received but is usually very necessary. Being the ones who speak out from the heart, even as “just” writers (as did Brittain – hailed one of the most potent yet controversial writers of her generation), is never easy but, like her, those of us who do it should never underestimate the importance and the privilege of being able to write what we do since this is still not a universal freedom. On the route to embodying the Ninth Wave via the kind of unity consciousness that Brittain so obviously gives nod to in the passage above (“When I held the hand of that German [you could insert any “other”] it was their [loved ones] hands too that I was holding”), the feminine impulse to communicate from the heart is a very-necessary attribute and not one we should undervalue, suppress or get lazy about. When we speak thus, we become part of an almighty collaboration, a unity project that reaches out beyond an individual lifetime or subjective set of experiences; our threads get picked up and run with by others (just as those who produced this film have played their part in conveying the essence of Brittain’s book a century later; doing a delicately handled yet powerful job of conveying the heart of its matter in a way that is respectful of its times yet profoundly relevant to where we are now). It’s why I write what I do irrespective of whether I have an audience of avid followers or just a random handful of people who happen to briefly settle on my words on their way to other places; it matters not since it is in the expressing of new truths that we pull ourselves into a new paradigm, inch by inch, person by person, consciousness by consciousness.

Brittain wrote from experience and always from the heart; two things that she made the very purpose of her existence and damn the popularity points. If I needed to renew my incentive to continue writing from my own heart it was there last night in seeing how far (and not so very far…) we have come in the last century; and being reminded what one generation went through so that they could still be alive, when so many had fallen, using that voice…now many voices, connected (via the internet) like never before. You could say, the scattered testament of just a handful of brave souls, the most outspoken youth of that earlier generation, has now matured into a new testament, “the testament of One”, as countless voices across the globe speak up with the shared voice of common truth, finding so much similarity in both their individual and collective experiences regardless of geography or cultural differences, not to mention their shared vision of an alternate future that leaves no place for war and exploitation. Like “Testament of Youth”, we can’t know what impact our words might have decades, even centuries, from now or what unforeseen effect we could be having on the lives of people we have never met…and this is the power of speaking our truth for truth’s sake (especially in the days of internet) in the knowledge that, like the flapping of a butterfly’s wings that can set a tornado in motion, we all affect far more than we could ever know about in this world.


Vera Brittain (1893 – 1970) published ‘Testament of Youth’, her personal account of the war years and their aftermath based on her diaries, in 1933 after many years paining over the need to present what she had to say in the right tone to keep her audience. These were still painfully sensitive years…another war was already on the horizon, the whole sorry cycle ripe to repeat itself once more. She completed her degree in English Literature at Somerville College Oxford after the war and became an outspoken voice of that generation. In the 1930s, she became involved in the peace movement and became an active pacifist, writing Letters to Peace Lovers from 1939 (a small journal with 2000 subscribers) and Brittaincontributing to the pacifist magazine Peace News. During the war, she also worked as a fire warden and by travelling around the country raising funds for the Peace Pledge Union’s food relief campaign. She was vilified for speaking out against saturation bombing of German cities through her 1944 booklet Massacre by Bombing. After the war, she became a member of the Peace News magazine’s editorial board and wrote articles against apartheid and colonialism and in favour of nuclear disarmament during the 1950s and 60s. Though she married and had children (politician Shirley Williams is her daughter), she never got over the death of her fiancé, poet Roland Leighton (died 1915) and her brother Edward (died 1918) as well as several close friends, all tragic causualties of war. (Primary source of career information: Wikipedia)

~

“Between 1914 and 1919 young men and women, disastrously pure in heart and unsuspicious of elderly self-interest and cynical exploitation, were continually re-dedicating themselves – as I did that morning in Boulogne – to an end that they believed, and went on trying to believe, lofty and ideal.”

― Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth

“…It is impossible,” I concluded, “to find any satisfaction in the thought of 25,000 slaughtered Germans, left to mutilation and decay; the destruction of men as though beasts, whether they be English, French, German or anything else, seems a crime to the whole march of civilization.”

— Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth

“When the sound of victorious guns burst over London at 11 a.m. on November 11th, 1918, the men and women who looked incredulously into each other’s faces did not cry jubilantly: ” We’ve won the war! ” They only said: ” The War is over.”

— Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth

“The pacifist’s task today is to find a method of helping and healing which provides a revolutionary constructive substitute for war.”

— Vera Brittain, 1964


To better understand the Nine Waves of Creation (these are the quantum-evolutionary waves that underlie our shared human history and significantly contribute to an understanding of those collective trends, and where they are leading, at the broader scale), I strongly recommend the book of that title by Prof. Carl Johan Calleman. For more on this topic, you can dip into several blogs I have written including Using the Nine Waves to Heal Your Life.

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