I’d taught myself to read, aged Three which (when I think about it) was only thirty six months after I’d arrive in the World (this time around) so I worry (quite a lot) about the levels of Illiteracy, in the 21st Century.
In Ancient Greece, young men were taught to ride a horse, to handle a bow; and to speak the Truth. Nowadays, it seems to have metamorphosed (for rather too many) into driving a car, shooting a gun; and to avoid telling what really happened-which (although it’s called ‘Fake News’ nowadays) is Lying.
So, in saving the memories that came to me in the four vivid dreams, at around the same age, I’m guessing I’d gone ‘off message,’ for a variety of things, from four previous lives. In a deep conversation with a Psychic, she had said I’d ‘done the right thing, for the wrong reasons.’ I, still, struggle with what’s the difference with ‘doing the wrong thing, for the right reasons.’ The Big Thing is that, in this almost endless process of Individuation (a continuously developing paradigm) each of Us is going to have to check out the times when we perch on a fulcrum of a truth; and veer away from acknowledging a vested interest.
What I was after, aged Three, was Information, and Confirmation, that there were reasons why I was feeling so homesick for a landscape that I no longer inhabited. I’d been born into the time of a Second World War (thinking hadn’t there been enough, already, and to elderly parents) which-in not feeling any real connection to either- added to my confusion.
What saved me, was being able to ‘go back,’ when I was in that state so well described as “when we are asleep, here, we’re awake, somewhere else.” That ‘somewhere else’ was as vivid as being in a physical body in that I was being reunited with distant school friends, in a higher dimension; and adding to my In-Tuition. This was to cease, when the dreams stopped, at around the age of Seven; but not before I’d stored all of the memories, in a very deep place’ knowing there’d come a time when I’d be having to address each one.
I was sixteen, coming up to seventeen, when I got ‘kicked back into touch,’ one Friday evening, when I was washing my hair. I was using a packet of a powder shampoo that (as it needed a lot of rinsing out) was best handled by lying back in the bath, and disappearing under the water. For some reason, I’d trained my lungs to be able to hold a breath for longer than most. Later, when I was to fully understand one of the most puzzling dreams (which involved escaping from deep water) I’d wondered if I’d carried over that skill into this life. But, right now, I was experiencing the very strange sensation of someone trying to connect with me, checking through various frequencies until they did. When that, quite suddenly, happened it felt as though this distant signaller was as surprised as I was, before the connection was abruptly cancelled.
There’s an old Scottish saying: “What’s for you, won’t pass you by.” Carl Jung put Synchronicity’ into a more metaphysical context when he associated it with the bringing together of different parts of a story, often with an inexplicable appearance. Three days later, a very unexpected invitation came through our letterbox, suggesting that I might like to visit my step-sister, and her family. The letter was written by Harold, my step-brother-in-law, whom I’d never met.
My step-sister, Mary, had made only two visits to us; and each time, made unwelcome by my mother. I know this had upset my father, caught between two different lives that didn’t fit too well. He was a Northerner, my mother a Southerner: and not a good match. He’d come South, seeking work, after serving in the Yorkshire & Lancashire Regiment, in the First World War, and looking for a better life in the subsequent Depression of the 1930’s. He’d kept a promise to his ‘best mate’ in the trenches that, if he was killed, my Dad would take care of his already pregnant girlfriend.And he’d taken care of the child, as best he could, after her mother died.
My mother was an emotionally damaged woman, who’d been jilted by a man who’d gone all the way to Australia, to marry; and had been jilted on her arrival in Freemantle. My father called him “A Rotter.” For far too many times I heard her say she had a ‘wasted life,’ that she wished she’d ‘never been born;’ and that she was (far too many times) going to ‘end it all.’ Somehow or other, out of these incompatible ingredients, I managed to make something stronger of myself. Which was just as well, when the time came for me to be tested!
Now, out of the blue, I was being invited to meet a tenuously connected ‘family.’ only days after another mysterious ‘someone’ had tried to get in touch. Not only this, but I’d been undergoing a sea-change in my life plans. For long enough, I’d thought about going to University, to study English Literature and, perhaps, to become an actress; and then I’d made a friend with a background in farming. I found that I enjoyed seeking out work in the fields, at harvest time, as well as appreciating the older architectural styles of the farmhouses. So, bizarrely (and almost overnight) I changed direction.
For the first time, when I met Harold and Mary and Harold, it seemed as though there was someone who was taking an interest in what I might make of myself; and it was Harold who suggested that I might like to seek work on a farm, in the North. One Friday, returning from his work in Sheffield, he’d brought a copy of an evening newspaper, saying I might find job opportunities in its columns. And this was when a three line advertisement lit up (as though written in gold lettering) for a ‘Young man, aged eighteen, wanted for general farm work, with some milking duties.’ I KNEW it was for me.
Still at school, and in a half term holiday, I’d written a hasty letter asking for an interview and, two days before I was due to travel back, I’d got a reply. It said they were surprised to receive a letter from a young lady but, after consideration there were possibilities of it being a successful venture. There were instructions on how to get to the farm, involving one train, two bus journeys; and a mile and half walk. And so I’d set off, on the next day.
There was enough time (and I was feeling very grown up, by now) on the last leg of the journey to have a cup of tea and a cake in a small cafe: and this was when I felt a jolt of electricity surge through my body- so strong that my cup was rattling in the saucer; and my legs shaking. When the bus came, I was finding it difficult to climb up its steps; and having to jam my knees against the back of the front seat, to quieten them.
At the crossroads, where the bus stopped, and the beginning of long walk on a very warm afternoon, I had to stop myself from running. I’d been told to turn by a spinney and to follow a rough track through two gates. As I closed the first one, I could see someone leaning over the second gate. Thinking it was the farmer whom I’d come to meet, I’d tried to compose myself but, as I got close I could see that this was someone rather too young to be a ‘Boss.’ and whom (this very unexpected) I did not like. Suddenly, everything was feeling too ridiculous for words.What, on earth, was I doing coming all this way – suddenly choosing an uncertain future in agricultural work, being signalled for, feeling that an inappropriate advertisement was meant for me, and following it through?
To add to all of this, this young man was appraising me, in a very uncomfortable way, telling me that he had been ‘told’ to make me a cup of tea, when I arrived (as if it was the last thing he wanted to do) and, probably, thinking I wasn’t a good idea, anyway. I’d followed him into the kitchen, standing awkwardly while he made the tea, thinking I was going to ask for the time of the next bus back, when another very strange thing happened when, as though I was watching a black and white movie, on a screen inside my head, the first dream began to replay its fragments.
It’s dark, and I can sense the electricity in the air (a sign of a coming storm) and the animal that has brought us such a long way is very nervous. I’m sitting in a cart that’s stopped outside a small building on a rough track. Two women have come to the door, and they are not welcoming me. I know that the father of the two sleeping children behind me, in the well of the cart, is hiding behind them. I’m sensing he has another woman with him, and I’m angry that he has deserted me; and that they will not recognise me. The anger is adding to the energy in the night sky and, suddenly, as the storm breaks, the donkey rears, the cart slips sideways, and the three of us fall away, to our deaths. I know I am going to carry a heavy weight of guilt in that I brought them here.
We stand, this young man and me, in front of each other, with me feeling an illogical dislike: and then the Voice that used to guide me, speaks up: “Well, you have a choice here. You can walk away, and you’ll have what passes for a happy life; or, you can stay, and even though you won’t always be happy, you’ll become a better person.”
Although I don’t remember making the choice, I must have chosen the second option, because I immediately fell in love with this man: and that made all the difference. I never spoke of what had brought me to him; and he never spoke of what he had felt when he’d seen me approaching the gate until a few months before he passed back to Spirit. It had been a challenging marriage, with no help from his family, and the two sisters who were actively hostile. At that point (and at the end of my tether after a betrayal, which was one too many) I had let the words come, as I wept. I had spoken of staying in the face of so much adversity, when other would have left-and of the signal. And this was when he had said, after thirty (far too long) years: “I sent the signal.”
In 1978, I had read an article in The Observer, written by Arianna Stassinipoulos. Her subject was about Insight: a Seminar on Transformation, in which she posed the question raised by Alexander Solzhenitzyn: “If you could change the world, which would you change first: the world, or yourself?” I’d written to her, never expecting a reply but, one evening, she had phoned me, offering me a place at the Cafe Royale in London. When I said I was short of cash, she had offered to ‘bank-loan’ me, until I could ( and did) pay.
This invitation had come at a very low point; an answer to an unspoken prayer, as it seemed all of the investment in following my in-tuition was based on a false premise. And my only consolation, that I had brought two fine sons into the world. Actually, those five days were to confirm that I had been on the right road; and that we are tested on our strengths, not our weaknesses! Ir was Arianna’s wise mother who had said, when we were introduced: “It takes Time.” I can vouch for that!
Why it took so long, for that ancient Life to bring a reconciliation, remains a mystery: but that it did. As I stayed behind. this time around, so my late husband (rather too late, in my opinion) has communicated far more than he ever did, when he was alive. I grieved, of course but, in being left with the feeling of more work needing to be done, moved through; and on.
We had lived on the North Yorkshire Moors, in a remote Inn, finding it ‘by chance.’ when I’d read about its departing tenants; again by the words being lit up in gold. My husband was in the middle of a severe nervous breakdown; and it had seemed to be enough of a change to raise his spirits. What it was also to do, was to make other links to two of the other dreams. “What’s for you, will not pass you by.” And had I not been ‘tested,’ I doubt I would have come through the most painful of all the challenges.
What is significant is how the answers come to genuine SOS calls. I’m humbled, awed, and grateful as I recall those that came, so timely; and so compassionately. Nothing is wasted. I had bought a collection of Quotations from John-Roger, one of the founders of the Insight Seminars; most of which were to be profoundly comforting in that worst of times that were to come, later. There was a Moment, at that first Insight, when I might have decided to let go, and leave. Instead, I chose to stay. Rather a lot of It (whatever It was) had some miserable moments but, In choosing what Robert Frost noted as “the road less trodden by,” it has made all the difference to where I am now: and to what makes a Life worth Living