Finding this photo reminded me of how I kept bloodying my knees on the sharp stones of circumstances, and still do. My hope for a warmer communication with my father was dashed. He revived, and with it a fierce need for control. Lines by Dylan Thomas come to mind:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light …

Humans are mortal, but maybe humanity as a whole is immortal, and particularly its desire to find a meaningful answer to the circus of life.

‘Mein Freund, die Zeiten der Vergangenheit // Sind nur ein Buch mit sieben Siegeln. // Was ihr den Geist der Zeiten heißt, // Das ist im Grund der Herren eigner Geist, // In dem die Zeiten sich bespiegeln.’  –                                                                 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust (I)

Just like the human brain receives and conducts thoughts and ideas (like a radio,) so genes may receive and conduct what a psychic seedpod brings along at conception, that is – familiar patterns drawn to new constellations as through a mathematical time-grid (astrology may not be far off) – so that our realities are really mirrored from other spheres.

Via this psychic seedpod our story seem to arrive with template personality types, whose potentials and constraints determine our genes, not the other way around, at least not until the body’s biochemical traffic assumes a habitual force. With the psychic seedpod comes a pack of shadows – talents, passions, traumas, hurts or humiliation engendered by generations before us. With this pack also come tasks: to tie up loose ends, and to redeem faults not of our making.

From the start out endowment attracts projections, like a magnet, coercing us to oblige the projectors. Forget about being right, about justice. The secret of transforming energy and doing better than those before us lies in responding to situations, even when our habituated cell-traffic unconsciously demands a knee-jerk reaction. Awareness slips easily. Faith by itself does not help the evolution of human qualities. Insight, humility and patience are also needed, but often lost when buried emotions pop up.

My father’s constitutional short fuse with the world at large had over time found creative outlets, but his recent outburst hooked me into early experiences of feeling manipulated and made small by anger that belonged elsewhere. I became his nearest Blitzableiter (lightning conductor.) A personal scar opened. Autsch.

Recovering in Munich last week, the fragment of a poem prodded to be recalled. Back home, I reached for my Richard Wilhelm edition of the I Ging – Das Buch der Wandlungen. Opening a page at random, the fragment I was trying to recall showed up as a footnote. Romantic poets may have lacked irony, but they often touched on a pulse of wisdom … these lines from the last stanza of ‘Die Ideale’ by Friedrich Schiller:

… Beschäftigung, die nie ermattet,
Die langsam schafft, doch nie zerstört,
Die zu dem Bau der Ewigkeiten
Zwar Sandkorn nur für Sandkorn reicht,
Doch von der großen Schuld der Zeiten
Minuten, Tage, Jahre streicht.

The quirky translation is mine …

… Activity that never tires                                                                                                                                       Slowly creates but never wrecks                                                                                                                                      That to the houses of eternity                                                                                                                                  Only sand grain by sand grain gives                                                                                                                             Yet wipes from the great guilt of times                                                                                                                   Minutes, days, years –

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I wish I had the patience and good humour of my little Garden Buddha …

*    *    *

Even ‘Brexit’ and the realisation that the good old UK is really a Divided Kingdom leaves my Buddha smiling.

The deeper problem – a runaway capitalism all over the world, makes people angry. The solution is pretty clear to me – give every citizen a basic wage, so they won’t have to go begging from the state every time they experience hardship or are out of a job.


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14 responses to “

  1. Excellent reflections on the ‘Daimons’ shaping of the exfolding life’s destination- not diminishing the individual but explaining those repeating patterns which seem to have a life of their own and inexorably chase us until we perceive they ARE ourselves. Amazed that you can manage this post today. I feel disorientated, not disappointed, but seeking the good signs that were embodied. The refusal to be conned into fear, the refusal to be bribed with economic advantages, the embryonic sense of responsibility for the future. All these MAY be new collective seed-pods?

    Liked by 2 people

    • During distress, buried emotions pop up all to easily. It’s when I seek rest and reflection on the bridge 🙂
      I’m disappointed by the Brexit outcome, especially for the young, whose future was decided by old sentiments of fears, and the need to lay blame for financial hardships at someone’s door.
      16 yr old young people should’ve been allowed to vote – it’s their future.
      Now it happened, I see more clearly the deeper issue being the divide our runaway capitalism created, not just in the UK.
      My idea of a solution is not new – an unconditional basic wage for every citizen, so people out of a job, or in difficulties, don’t have to go begging from the state, which must make people feel like failures, and in that sense is deeply humiliating. It can be done. It would safe lots of money and paperwork, but, of course, thousands of council workers would be out of a job.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wrote a long reply to this yesterday but it was somehow swallowed up. I do not now know what I feel about Brexit. I had hoped for a realignment of values but right now the blame game is already in full swing. I am not sure it was swung entirely by financial hardship ( or Wales, net beneficiaries, would not have voted out. Nor would the electorate have defied the financial consequences- universally proclaimed) I wonder if there is not a deeper collective sense that the old Global ‘State’ Supranational answers are no longer appropriate and that democracy ( ‘The Best of the worst options’) has to take account of everyone’s contribution.

        I grant that the immigration issue was dominant but could it be that the inflicting of immigrants into those areas least able to support them brought out the indignation and distrust that led to a deep protest at the indifference of the ‘ruling elite’? If you cannot say ‘no’ you have never really said ‘yes’. That I believe has been at the root of resentment. Many would like to say ‘yes’ voluntarily! I considered offering a home to Syrian refugees but the bossy social services and the rules I’d have to adhere to quashed my instinctive impulse.

        I also think that many underestimate the British resistance to threat and coercion. I feel all that scaremongering and punitive budgets achieved what ‘remain’ least wanted. Obama probably was worth half a million votes in the wrong direction.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think you’re right in saying … ‘ I feel all that scaremongering and punitive budgets achieved what ‘remain’ least wanted …’
          I don’t know, Philippa, I think the issue is deeper. Life has changed from 50 years ago. We have the internet and the information we absorb can be overwhelming. Many feel left behind and superfluous.
          However, the challenges are now global, and they need to be addressed and resolved globally, and with the best of the worst systems we have, democracy.
          What do you mean by … ‘ Obama probably was worth half a million votes in the wrong direction.’ ?


          • Merely that by coming to threaten to relegate us to the ‘back of the queue’ if we voted out, he probably added a half million who did!

            I lean towards the temptation to see this as an ephemeral storm in the greater evolutionary journey but your point about so many feeling abandoned in the great tide of information overload, makes the point I made earlier again- that its all or nothing. The individual matters, a diseased cell can infect the body-the resentment brewing in so many ‘cells’ found expression, revolted in a way, contrary to short-term self-interest.(But Corbyn has promised to save them from themselves- the ‘working classes must not bear the brunt of what they asked for!)

            In another dimension Britain did the same to the collective EU, precisely for the same reasons! It is a fascinating (if frightening) dynamic. The reverberations are likely to be more damaging unless absorbing the shock by a new recognition of mutual areas of collaboration take command. It does not look likely. The will to punish for fear of contamination is absurd since contamination (in hopes for greater elasticity) has already happened. A lid always causes a pot to boil quicker! The political classes are so narrowly focused. It could be the start of a new European League. Instead it will probably merely fracture the already outworn one with nothing idealistic left.

            Lemmings we all are!


            • Obama, ah, yes, he tried to be helpful. Ironically, it was the anti authoritarian sentiment that endeared me to the English.
              Seems for one pressing fear or another, the lemming factor rules the world, usually resulting in a delayed wake-up moment. Scary, but that’s how it is.


  2. I can relate to your family trauma. Generations will repeat unless one actively works to change. However, that change can make the older generation even angrier. When my father died I had not talked to him for two years. Here is a view of my family. History can repeat itself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Gwynn, for sharing the link to this poignant writing about your experiences with you family. The clash of generations after the war, your role as buffer between your parents and your brother, and your brother’s intense and dramatic life, are deeply personal, yet also graphically speak to the historic context of the time we grew up in.
      In childhood I would have loved a siblings, a brother 🙂 But since this did not happen I ended up being a buffer between my parents. My father resented the fact that ‘other’ people influenced me.

      I wish every parent would take Kahlil Gibran’s words to heart …

      ‘Your children are not your children.
      They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
      They come through you but not from you.
      You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
      for they have their own thoughts.
      You may house their bodies but not their souls,
      For their souls dwell in the house of to-morrow,
      which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
      You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
      For life does not go backward nor tarries with yesterday.
      You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
      The Archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
      and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
      Let your bending in the Archer’s hand be for gladness;
      For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.’

      Liked by 3 people

      • I LOVE Kahlil Gibran’s words. I enjoy his writing. This poem is so true and it would have angered my father. Our parent’s generation had so many different views of how a family should interact. In my family the various opinions became abusive. It was important to me to BE different and not like them, and it angered them more.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Same here.Opinions ruled the day. I learned later, while running parenting courses based on reflective listening, that many people have never experienced being listened to without reactive comeback, be it judgement or good advice.
          I stopped early on sharing upsets with my mother, for example, because she worried and wanted to solve my problems, which was not helpful.
          Reflective listening is still a fairly new concept.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve oft thought the atoms of humanity, shared with other atoms which go to make up our great earth; have a finite nature. Consequently, as one form ceases living ,those same atoms reform.
    So we are all parts of the greater world.
    We are the the earth, the wind, the sea. Whatever our construct, we celebrate that individual mix which defines “Us”.
    The angry, the foolish, the brilliant and loving, each are part of us all. No one would exist without the other.
    A difficult and generous post Ashen. Thankyou.B

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you Ashen – O golly, I’m so divided on how much of our genes from generations past influence us and to what extent we can break free of them. All I know is that we are conditioned to some extent by culture/history/parents and it is our task to become un-conditioned so that we don’t pass on our unexamined baggage to our own children and other relationships. But our complexes are always tweaked when we least expect them to be and we feel the earlier hurts and wounding, perhaps with a keener eye and softer heart.

    Thank you for Kahlil Gibran’s wise words …

    The Buddha will always smile – may you smile back at him in your beautiful garden.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Golly yes, I guess we just have to go with what we intuit. We know very little, really, and make it up as we go. I do smile at my little Buddha, and at flowers, like peonies, that open their hearts for short times in the year.

      Liked by 1 person

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