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To Begin, Begin

..there's always more

Never, ever think that small children, albeit powerless  to change things,  don’t have awesome powers of perceptions, as they observe the behaviours of adults.  When my eldest son was nine months old (into muttering but not into sentences) he was observing me from his high chair. I knew he was a ‘special’ child but didn’t have the confidence (then) to stand my ground in facing up to some very challenging circumstances: basic survival being the overriding factor. Hindsight is so very annoying when one realises how Things might have been so so very different, had one not kept silent; but, still, all a part of life’s rich tapestry, I guess.

He’d been sucking his thumb but now, took it out (with an attention seeking cough) and said (with a broad Yorkshire accent) “Tha’ll be alreet, Love!”-for all the world as though he was wearing a flat cap, and with a cigarette dangling from his lips. We’d stared at each other, for a long minute, before we’d both burst into tears; and I’d hugged him. It was to be another four months before he  found his own voice, to speak in sentences; and to walk, independently. But he was always ( as I have been) a Thinker, rather than expressing his own Feelings to others.

So I think, a lot, about Jung’s four levels of Consciousness: the Collective Conscious, Unconscious, Personal Consciousness, and Personal Unconsciousness: and how they figure in Trans-formative Experiences: and how our personal inner evolution progresses. The first big step (and it surely ain’t easy) is to reject external forms of authority, and opinions  restricting our own growth; and learn to trust our own Inner Guidance. 

As William Wordsworth said: “To Begin, Begin,” because- if we’ve come to the World to explore Consciousness and, as Sir Oliver Lodge surmised- “The Universe seems, to me to be a great reservoir of Life and Mind. The unseen Universe is a  great reality.This is the region to which we really belong, and to which we shall, one day, return,” there’s no time to waste on Opinions, rather than seeking Knowledge in every which way we may.  

I’d taught myself to read at the age of Three, so I could get to the roots, taking on board quotations from the Illustrious, to give me some support, and a head start, when the going got tough: and the bewilderment from my small perch, as a child, on the differences of Opinions abounding on the smallest of things; never mind the big stuff that had taken us into a Second World War; and the What, Why, When and How of differences in Points of View that emerged. It was an apprenticeship in getting to know my Self, as well as learning to stand in my own truth. So, in this spirit, I have to acknowledge that every challenge strengthened my purpose: and that we get tested on our strengths, rather than our weaknesses.

Every so often, with only my golden thread to guide me, there were Way Stations, offering spiritual refreshment. Being given the opportunity to attend the first Insight seminar, in London, was such a one. Arianna Stassinipolous’s mother, Ellie, had inspired her daughters with the words: “Failure is a stepping stone to success.” When I met her, she had given me a wise look and said: “It takes Time.” And that was before had uttered one word. I guess that was all about Individuation, an harmonising the various components that make a Me:  So, I  have gratitude, for all the ways of being tested-even though I’d rather not have many more to come!

Yes: I know all of this is very personal but, unless, we open up to why we’ve come to the World (and its  Happening Events) and examine our reasons, we’re not going to get to Beginning of what we said we’d do, before we came. To this end, we really (really) have to access our own inner authority; and not be bedevilled by the belief systems of Others,   

There were three of us, standing outside the old coaching Inn, in a northern market town, where  my clairvoyant friend was about to give a Demonstration on The Survival of Spirit.

Actually, this was her second visit since she’d been advised by a psychic acquaintance that she should make the journey, and where she would meet a dark haired woman who’d support her work. Actually, her had once had a hairdressing salon in the town, but had been long gone, before I arrived.

At the time I had seven different jobs, to support the restoration of an old house (built in 1685) after I’d given up on an eighteen year teaching career. One of them was working as  ‘Stringer’ for a local newspaper; and it had been on  a day when I’d gone seeking stories, that I’d met Sue. 

At the end of it, I’d agreed to be her road manager; and that was how I’d come to note the letter, written on behalf of the Mother’s Union, condemning Mediumship, as the work of devils. I recall there’s been  quotation from Leviticus: “Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards to be defiled by them. I am the Lord, thy God.”  

I guess it had been the advertisement  we’d submitted that had alerted the crowd that was now standing before us, Bible in their hands, and hostile expressions on their faces. We had been alerted to their presence by some of the women  seeking a  message from their deceased loved ones, proving they had gone  back Home, and who were now being berated by those regarding it as ‘sinful.’  Others, who’d come for a quiet drink, were rather annoyed that they were being prevented from getting to the Bar. Afterwards, as we’d had a cup of tea and had considered the evening’s events, so bizarre was the combination, that I’d laughed aloud.

This was nothing new to Sue Cunningham but, for me (having observed the good energies of those my mother had visited, when I was very young) it was another eye-opening experience of ‘opinions’ versus ‘knowledge.’ 

It was when Sue had offered some of Jesus’s own words: “In my father’s house are many mansions,” that three men had stepped forward and splashed us with ‘holy’ water. The third woman (on our side, and wary of losing trade) was the owner of the Inn. Later, when I discovered they were the founders of a small fellowship) I’d thought that was a ‘turn up for the books!’

This was a small town in an area which had come under the influence of John Wesley, in 1761, establishing a long lasting influence of Methodism: but it had been George Fox who’d rebelled against the religious and political authorities by listening to his ‘inner voice,’ after finding little common ground among the Clergy; nor the Dissenters: and so he founded The Religious Society of Friends which, in its abbreviated form, was to become The Quakers. All of this, and more, in a town with around four thousand inhabitants, where religious belief systems outnumbered the Pubs! And, yes, there was an active Temperance League.

Afterwards, and rather annoyed that I’d been ‘sprinkled,’ I invited every leader of every faction to my house, to have a chat about what it was that divided them, gratified that every one had accepted, on separate occasions. I wish, now, I’d made a second invitation, where more might have been revealed; but I was ‘on the road’ with Sue, and opening my own psychic doorways.

It was strange experience to meet with one of the men who’d sprinkled us, although there were no signs of a recognition, and with whom I had no doubt was sincere in his beliefs: as was the Baptist, the Pentecostal, the Methodist, the Quaker,and the Roman Catholic -the only one who accepted two glasses of Whisky, and who offered to exorcise the entities haunting my house. The one who seriously disturbed me was the implacable Canon who said: “Unless we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour, we will never enter the kingdom of heaven,” and who had me saying: “What about Islam, Muslim, Bahai, Sufi, Buddhism?” And then thinking I was getting lost in the  Realms of the Superimposed, once again!  

It’s a long journey, and a complex one, that we take on board in discovering who we are and all summed up by Socrates; “Know thy Self: the unexamined life is not worth living.” But, as sure as eggs are eggs, maligning, sabotaging and killing others for the sake of something that (with our limitations) we do not truly comprehend is very, very stupid.

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- MARCUS AURELIUS

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