Monthly Archives: November 2011

… bottoms & tyranny of perfection & mirror neurons …

I recently walked through an antiques warehouse looking for a present and kept meeting the same two women. One did the talking, dropping names of capitals from around the world, where she was last week, where she was going to be tomorrow, how she would meet up with so-and-so and what had become of so-and-so. Her friend, slightly less classy, walked a step behind, listening. During my tour of stalls I met the pair three times and each time the globetrotter’s monologue spun on like gerbils do in a wheel – more capitals, more exotic locations, more gossip about affluent associates …

My interest went as far as wondering about the placid listener. Next I stood behind the women in a queue, waiting to pay. There had been a commotion. A crystal (glass) skull had broken into myriads of bits. Surreal, I thought, and became attentive to the scene.

This Crystal Skull can be found in the British Museum, apparent source: Mexico. It’s a fake, though the myth about Crystal Skulls is well alive, with some pertaining they were intended as a form of computer that records energy and vibration that occur around them …

A sales girl vacumed the carpet before the cashpoint. The delay seemed stressful to the classy woman. Her monologue stopped. Instead, she scrutinised the girl doing her cleaning dance, looking her up and down, eyes frequently coming to rest at her bottom, followed by a mien of displeasure and subtle head-shaking as if her sense of aesthetics was offended.

My interest increased. I had disliked my bottom when I was a teen. It turned pear-shaped whereas I wished it to be, oh I don’t know, apple-shaped. My parents didn’t give me this complex. I reasoned later the sudden break in my intensive sport activities eventuated the phase. So I stood there thinking, heck, there is nothing wrong with the girl’s bottom. The classy woman seemed to have very high standards of style, or irrational fears of imperfection. Modern dress sense being what it is I, too, catch myself gasping at wobbly bottoms revealed by leggings. But the bottom of the young woman was firm and unique.

The sales girl went about her job in a graceful and efficient manner. She seemed oblivious to the disapproving stares, though something must have registered, her movements became slightly awkward. And then it happened … she toppled a wire stand and hundreds of cellophane wrapped greeting cards slithered all over the floor. Dissonance – go figure.

Why am I sharing this incident? Apart from the cultural imperative of a perfect shape imposed on women, and perpetuated by women, involuntary labelling tends to shoot down everything that falls short of ideal means we hold up for ourselves, personally or socially. Unconscious mirroring, as useful as it is to the evolution of culture, also fixes attitudes and beliefs, disabling and limiting us.

Without the ability to self-reflect and challenge habitually thoughts, committed brain cells run the show below our awareness, especially when we feel stressed. The term, ‘mirror neurons’ may be new but the concept of reflection is well known, in that we are connected through what we hold in the mirror of our heart. I know, I know, it’s my pet subject. You find it hinted at throughout my site here.

Within the last decades technology produced a global mirror, you are looking into it now. And what a teaching it offers … every thought gains speed in a play of probabilities. Attitudes and beliefs lift beyond our backyard, they go viral at the push of a button, and, significantly, become visible. With awareness, we are not automatically compelled to react. We have a choice not to be hooked into projections, and a choice how to respond. It becomes clear that each one of us has an influence …

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If you are interested in the fascinating subject of mirror neurons, here is a link:

VS Ramachandran … I do love the way he rolls his RRRs



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… tuning into your unique frequency …

Are you ambivalent about spirituality? There are countless paths, tradition, groups and teachers to follow … but since authorities and hierarchies have become suspect, for good reason, spiritual advice, like any other advice, can seem like a cacophony of white noise. There is a collective expansion of consciousness gaining momentum that challenges each of us to come into resonance with our body, and a deeper aspect of our mind, the heart. It is through the heart that we can open the channel to your unique frequency, and receive guidance from the truer Self in us, our eternal witness that connects us to the source.

The rose, a potent symbol for the Self, appears in various transpersonal practices. The visualisation below is a variation of an idea used in Assagioli’s Psychosynthesis and the Sufism of Hazrat Inayat Khan. You can elaborate on the words and guide your own journey silently, or have a friend read it out, or record your voice and listen back to it. The intention behind the practice is to become receptive to the core of you, to tune the heart to the love you are, we all are, in essence. Practising this visualisation opens a channel to your inner guidance that will attract the outer circumstances you need.

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Find a safe place. Close your eyes. Be aware of your body and simply follow and feel your breath until its rhythm settles. After a while, bring your attention to your heart, whose spiritual counterpart exists as your true identity in another sphere. Make a space for thoughts and images that arrive. Don’t reject anything, observe, don’t bother to label, judge or follow links. Instead, face and feel whatever arises, let it pass, and simply return your attention to your breath. You may need to stay with this process of accepting and releasing thoughts and images for a while.

Once your mind and body have calmed and you feel receptive, allow the image of a garden to emerge, your private garden. Visualise this special garden … notice a rose bush with a bud still enveloped by its green sepals. The bud draws you close to witness its opening.

See the shielding green sepals stir and offer you a glimpse of the colour beneath. Now the rose receives the light of your attention, its petals slowly turn outwards and open in a fluid movement, like the arms of a dancer. Observe this opening dance. Sense the same unfolding also happening deep within you. Fully absorb the hues and the tenderness of the rose leaning towards the light, behold its perfect beauty and inhale its delicate scent.

Now allow the rose slowly to expand … until it grows into a transparent rose temple filled with light and large enough to step into. Move directly to the centre and rest there for a while. Become the rose temple. Absorb the gentle atmosphere, the hues, the rhythmic grace, the sound, the fragrance, the splendour and continuous unfolding towards the light. Absorb the sensation completely … be at one with all your multiple selves … at peace within your essence, your wholeness, your true being. You are your own unique lover and your own unique beloved.

Now rise and step away from the centre. Leave the rose temple behind. Turn and behold its magnificence once more, and then adjust its shape to a small rose that fits into the palm of your hand … Place that rose into your heart … Know it resides there, maybe closed, but ready to open whenever you  use your intention to connect to the wonderful feeling of wholeness. All you have to do is remember, and the symbolic power of the rose will evoke the presence of your timeless Self.

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… all time is now …

A day, whether six or seven years ago or whether six thousand years ago, is just as near to the present as yesterday. Why? Because all time is contained in now.

Meister Eckhart

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Time ago I visited Lamorna Cove, an enchanted spot at the Cornish Coast. A friend, who is into solid walking, dashed ahead, while I stopped to contemplate a group of rocks that faced the Atlantic like sentinels.

An impulse inspired me to offer an invocation. That very moment a family with a bunch of kids and their exuberant cacophony of shrieks changed the ambience of the place. I let it be. Home in Surrey, before yielding to sleep, I was reminded of my unfulfilled intention, went back to Lamorna Cove in my mind’s eye, and did my invocation:

 … towards the one, the perfection of love, harmony and beauty, the only being, united with all the illuminated souls who form the embodiment of mastery – the spirit of guidance …

My presence was ‘being there’ descending from another sphere, in synergy with a poignant moment more real than real, in the place rooted in my imagination. Beyond time, even the tiniest thing impressed deeply can be re-embodied in awareness. As in the process of analogue photography, where an image exposed to light is developed to its fullness in the darkroom.

The elements our bodies and the cosmos are composed of mediate and record what was, what is and what will be. I come to this conclusion through my practice of psychotherapy, finding that memories held in body and place easily circle in time and from a wider perspective allow us entry points, so we can adjust misaligned perceptions, as well as project blessings towards wholeness. In other words, we can change the meaning of the past, the now, as well as the future through fresh perception. Maybe this is what resurrection is really about.

I used to think synergy was difficult to achieve in the virtual world, the simulation of the collective psyche made visible through words and images. I changed my mind, it happens through the imagination. Events once fully sensed and experienced can be recalled, invoked and re-created. Why would we otherwise take physical form, we might as well remain angels. Proof me wrong  …

The internet can be overwhelming during phases when we live from the outside in, accumulating and soaking up information, less so during phases when we live from the inside out, creating new mythical realities. At best we do both in some kind of balance. I have come to appreciate the virtual web for staying in contact with friends all over the world. A few days ago, two of them, unknown to each other, were in Hong Kong.

Melanie, adept in the field of astrology  has been my friend for over thirty years. Presently she conducts a lecture/workshop tour through Asia.

Here is an image of Melanie blissed out at Kowloon harbour … fell in love with this beautiful wooden  in boat with red sails … She says she was exhausted. How images attune to perception …

I’m totally enchanted with this image.

A relatively new friend visited Hong Kong at the same time. Quenntis is a writer and dancer I met through the Harper Collins Authonomy website. We collaborated as part of a small group of poets living in all corners of the world towards manifesting the publication of ‘Rambling Poets at Café Cyber.’ I hope Quenntis doesn’t mind that I pinched the tiny feet of his daughter.

He wrote on face book about his visit to Hong Kong … attending my first ever international poetry reading event – over 4 days of constant poetry – pure chaotic bliss – i think my brain is a balloon and it has popped a few times already from over-expansion …

Another bliss, I look forward to these experiences being filtered, embodied and shared here: Dancing with Words:

These are two of my friends, one I hug rarely, and the other I might never hug, unless I travel to Taiwan. But it occurred to me that all my friends, far or near, have individual passions. Individual passions provide a structure wherein the most unique becomes the most universal.

And in that universal sphere all time is now. This inspires …

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The invocation above is my slight adaptation of what constitutes the advent of a universal worship ceremony created by Hazrat Inayat Khan, but can be used to begin any event. If your life includes using prayers go here:


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… the moon has my brains …

Watch out for the moon – born just before its fullness, my brain is in turmoil at least once a month. Two voices in particular get a little edgy with each other. The astral world has strange denizen and intermediaries that are energised by the moon and push the wagon. And since we are part of the elementary fabric of the universe, we must deal with Gaia’s wisdom, held by Elemental Beings of ethereal matter that turn good or bad only when influenced by our will and our so-called superior intelligence.

‘Harmony is boring’, huffs my warrior.

‘It’s lovely,’ says my saint.

‘It puts you to sleep.’

‘Yes, I know all that, but still … ‘

‘You lose your wit.’

‘I’m not always in the mood for wit.’

‘Having a little regression, are we?’

‘Stop messing about, you could do with a rest.’

‘Perhaps, once the battle is won.’

It’s about my writer’s block but I won’t go there. The argument is essentially about energy: fast versus slow, strong versus soft, active versus receptive … and the Elementals do their part, having fun with conflict. Elemental beings are at the root of our mythologies. We re-framed them as psychological patterns. Sadly, most sciences reject that spirits inhabit nature:

… to this day, many people still believe in Elementals – they are those who practice Witchcraft and/or follow nature-based Religions …

By demeaning the oldest denizens in the world, and their ancient language, science is missing something vital, the whole plot.

My saint loves beauty stretched out in space. My warrior loves beauty too, but from the highway, the perspective of speed, where everything appears surreal and exciting. When something has gained a certain momentum it takes time to slow down, while the slow needs a nudge and arousal to speed up.

Difference causes much sadness and suffering but also much joy and celebration, like when anima and animus clasp hands and dance their wild dance together it sure is something to behold.

We have gained a greater understanding of psychic dynamics. Early on different energies take on a psychological mantle, are interpreted through the complex emotional games parents play, the kind of love they exchange, what one or the other value in us or reject, messages deeply absorbed are translated into behaviour that form relationship patterns. The child gives parents enormous power. Too often a desperate effort to belong polarises and splits differing voices inside. Dialogue is cut off. But without difference our creative potential runs in dead circles and consciousness cannot spiral and expand.

The Daimons of the elements – related to earth, air, fire, water and ether are of an ethereal, semi-corporeal essence – these spirits appear in myths, fairy tales, fables or poetry all over the world. They have many names: fairies, devas, djins, sylvans, satyrs, fauns, elves, dwarfs, trolls, kobolds, undines, goblins, banshees, kelpies, giants, dragons, werewolves, vampires, pixies, stone people, genies, angels – and many more. They have been seen, feared, blessed, banned, and invoked in every age.

So beware, Elementals are amoral, neither good nor bad, unless influenced by the human will. They respond to intention, to vibrations and sounds. They are nature’s instinctual intelligence that lives in our blood, cells, bones and all around us. They form clusters and groups of emotional patterns that attract similar. Why do families and tribal groupings fall apart? They resist difference, and radical change. Peace can’t be peace unless it is dynamic. Today we need more sophisticated ways to deal with conflict. Beyond being or not being, life is about becoming.

We talk of being stressed, obsessed and depressed. We talk of projection, transference and countertransference, the law of reflection and mirroring. Let’s hope we learn fast and get the crowd inside us listening to each other, which is not the equivalent of agreeing but a matter of respect. And let’s re-appreciate the instinctual and intuitive intelligence of nature’s elements in us to inform our reason.

Spirit without psyche has no container …

Psyche without spirit has no direction …

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The image, ‘Twilight Gods,  is by Arthur Rackman

I just found this lovely site:

And here the site of an accomplished friend:

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