Tag Archives: poets

… making peace with my soul’s code …

Rivers of thought swirl by and through me, day and night, changing hourly with impressions, mood, weather, star constellation. The thoughts I attract bring along eddies of fleeting association, a fraction of which create new connections, some bringing solutions and insights worth following. Having learned patience, I let most thoughts flow on and fade, to maybe return.
An overly ordered mind would go mad trying to make sense of every thought, like a simulated AI would short circuit with floods of impressions it cannot contextualize.

What enables most humans to deal with ever turbulent feelings and thought processes; how does one edit out what is irrelevant?

I always liked to assume there is a core vibration each of us brings along, a theme around which passions assemble, and necessities, priorities, things that need doing to stay coherent and in rapport with our environment, family, friends, jobs, projects, and not least manage tasks that serve our survival in this ever more complex world.

Our culture rewards strongly defined social roles, though the drawback can be fossilized minds, made rigid, opinionated, avoiding doubt, and unable to imagine other points of views with a generous attitude. A strong definition of one’s place and function in the world could be likened to an instantly recognizable genre, with a predictable protagonist.

By comparison, be it a simplification, philosophers, artists and poets, dreamers, well, creative people with expansive interests, are a slippery lot. They don’t often fit a clear-cut social role, but tend to hang around in fringe positions, distanced from the gyre, observing and evaluating the system, the market place, and the wheels of politics with a wary eye.

From the fringe it is possible to gain a symbolic understanding of people and events, which can stimulate innovation and even visions that reveal deeper layers of the psyche.

These days people say, ‘I want a simple life,’ an option that is rapidly vanishing. More of us are pushed to the fringe, challenged to embrace the complexities of modern/digital life, having to struggle with doubt and inner conflict. This phenomenon may explain the desperate search for advice. Social platforms are brimming with quotes and aphorisms, which, unfortunately, only spark in a heart that is open at a personally timely moment. Otherwise these wisdom’s just float by like irritating advertising banners.

While pondering such thoughts recently, I was reminded of a book that came out in 1997, ‘The Soul’s Code,’ by James Hillman. He explores the guiding force in a person’s life, in various traditions called daimon, genius or guardian angel. He uses the term ‘acorn theory,’ based on the idea of an initial strong image we bring along that calls our destiny towards us. The book struck a deep chord at the time. I’ll read it again, to soothe my outrage with the world.

Hillman dared us to believe that we are each meant to be here; that we are needed by the world around us.
An interesting mind, as you’ll find in this longish interview. https://scott.london/interviews/hillman.html

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Mystical experiences & J. B Priestley’s Dream

Numerous children, if not all, bring along an openness that allows them a peek through the chinks in the veils that cover ordinary reality. Sudden insights, call them special, spiritual, paranormal, transpersonal, mystical, timeless, ecstasy of oneness … dreams … experiences that make no sense to a rational adult and may evoke fear of the unconscious. Sooner or later children may learn that a vivid imagination, as it is often called, brings no rewards and is of no solid use in a world geared to material respectability and control.

To have one’s experience belittled is humiliating. A child may react with rebellion, remain silent, or learn to deal with contradiction. At worst, the door will be shut against random revelations and curiosity about anything unfamiliar. This is a great pity, since a whole range of dimensions remain untranslated. Fortunately there are those who refuse to have their imagination squashed, who find a medium to hold and share encounters that do not fit prevailing assumptions, concepts of reality or theories of time.

They are truth-seekers – artists, writers, musicians, painters, dancers, physicists, biologists, astronomers, mathematicians, inventors, mystics … people with a passion to re-discover realities beyond appearances from multiple perspectives, including deeply personal ones. In short, anyone adventurous enough to explore the jungle of diverse interests, the way inner and outer truths mysteriously mirror each other and spark mystical consciousness. But since the boundaries between light and darkness are porous, one is always well advised to hold one’s balance, like a skilled martial art practitioner.

Having listened over decades to thousands of client stories, I haven’t yet met anyone who hasn’t shared (often for the first time) a near-forgotten mystical experience. Such experiences are the best kept secret nobody dares to talk about. For fear of ridicule, we let the poets speak for us.

‘To see the world in a grain of sand, and to see heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hands, and eternity in an hour.– William Blake

Take heart, it is possible to find words, like J B Priestley, to convey the indescribable …

Drawing by Douglas Fenton

I dreamt I was standing at the top of a very high tower, alone, looking down upon the myriads of birds flying in one direction; every kind of bird was there, all the birds in the world. It was a noble sight, this vast aerial river of birds.

But now, in some mysterious fashion the gear was changed, and the time speeded up, so that I saw generations of birds, watched them break their shells, flutter into life, mate, weaken, falter and die. Wings grew only to crumble; bodies were sleek and then, in a flash, bled and shrivelled; and death struck everywhere at every second. What was the use of all this blind struggle towards life, this eager trying of wings, this hurried mating, this flight and surge, all this gigantic meaningless biological effort?

As I stared down, seeming to see every creature’s ignoble little history almost at a glance, I felt sick at heart. It would be better if not one of them, if not one of us at all, had been born, if the struggle ceased forever. I stood on my tower, still alone, desperately unhappy.

But now the gear was changed again, and time went faster still, and it was rushing by at such a rate, that the birds could not show any movement, but were like an enormous plain sown with feathers. But, along this plain, flickering through the bodies themselves, there now passed a sort of white flame, trembling, dancing, then hurrying on; as soon as I saw it I knew that this white flame was life itself, the very quintessence of being; and then it came to me, in a rocket-burst of ecstasy, that nothing mattered, nothing could ever matter, because nothing else was real but this quivering and hurrying lambency of beings.

Birds, people or creatures not yet shaped and coloured, all were of no account except so as this flame of life travelled through them. It left nothing to mourn over behind it; what I had thought of as tragedy was mere emptiness or a shadow show; for now all real feeling was caught and purified and danced on ecstatically with the white flame of life. I had never felt before such happiness as I knew at the end of my dream of the tower and the birds, and I have not kept that happiness with me, as an inner atmosphere and a sanctuary for the heart, that is because I am a weak and foolish man who allows this mad world to come in destroying every green shoot of wisdom. Nevertheless, I have not been quite the same man since. A dream had come through a multitude of business. –  J.B. Priestley (Sept 1895 – Aug 1984)

In case you’ve not come across William James, read his ‘The Varieties of Religious Experience.’

And look up a recent sweeping epic that breaks all the rules by Philippa Rees, ‘Involution.’

And, of course, my novel 🙂

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… I mourn the round clock …

P1100988I mourn the round clock

the poetic face of time

gazing into now

 

hands whirling round hours

much like the planets orbit

our cradle of light

 

pulsing in us – too

as heart hub where the Muse dwells

minding her own pace

 

you are the turning

– she hints – laugh and weep with me

create more beauty

 

from her calm domain

she may join freak storms as rain

and make deserts bloom

P1080058 - smaller

poets and children

glimpse how she weaves dream fabrics

to wrap up each now

 

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