Back in the world again

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAA rag bag of random thoughts, observations and reflections since Monday.

The sky is grey; an orange glow seems to spread amongst the clouds. Autumnal leaves fall and rustle, trees bend ever so slightly, scraps of paper and non-recyclable bags blow about in the wind. There’s not even a breeze in here. Music queues up in my head. A smile gives way to laughter; the world seems ridiculous once more. This amazing planet, with all its beauty, with all its magnificence surely feels like home to everyone passing through.

“Cancer has surpassed heart disease as the No. 1 cause of death in high-income countries.” Tonight (Monday 11th) I’m going to attend a talk given by someone who has dodged the bullet. Can’t wait. Give me any life affirming alternative narrative which has substance, and whenever I can, I’m there. In the company of like-minded people who will not give up. Thank you Nick Parker.

It’s been 12 months now and you have our permission to start a new relationship…

My favourite ever TV series? The Prisoner. And as a consequence, one of my favourite actors, Patrick McGoohan. “His unfashionable ideals could largely be explained by his unusual relationship with adored wife Joan–unusual by the standards of how an actor living and working in the Sixties was supposed to behave, that is. McGoohan was a fierce romantic and his devotion to Joan was legendary. During their 57-year marriage he wrote her love notes every day and it is believed he was always faithful.”

A close friend who is involved with a global initiative (independent of corporate and vested interests and greed) on water recently attended a gathering of those involved in Germany. Apparently the world-famous Mayo Clinic in America has suggested 50% of chronic illnesses can be prevented by the consumption of pure water. This implies that the greatest step you can take concerning your health is to ensure the water you drink is as pure as possible. If this is a problem for you just write the word “love” on any glass bottle you use or on any water filter system you have. And bless it.

We all have our worldview, our “paradigm” if you like, which we seek to reinforce and confirm at every opportunity. And it does the same. Now and again significant things come into our lives which challenge our worldview and we are then left with the choice. Reject the experience or modify or completely change our paradigm. You all know what usually happens. I’m on safe ground by suggesting “big stuff” is what changes us. Loss, betrayal, guilt and shame; and then things that turn these around, e.g. inspiration, beauty and love in every conceivable form, being acknowledged by those we admire, “out of the blue” encounters, and/or encounters that resurrect lost or forgotten dreams.

I’ve written volumes on the need for conscious connection. Connection to the divine, letting go of “separation theology”. How can we do this? Read “Losing my connection (22 ways to get it back)” for starters. There is much more. If you consider the whole planet then all sentient beings are connected by the air they breathe, the food they eat and the water they drink. We are also energy beings, beings of light. We are connected energetically to everything, to everyone. We are able to detect the light in others. We are all made of stardust, we are connected not just to everyone on this planet but everyone in the universe, everything in the universe:

“Everybody here on earth and in other galaxies are all connected.”

Diana, In the Stillness Everything Happens.

Nick Parker, what a fabulous bloke. And inspiration. Diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2015, told chemotherapy and palliative care were the only two options he decided to “reset” his life. Despite the toxic, poisonous (his words) chemotherapy his total mind-body-spirit regime helped him become cancer free after nine months. Today he is not fully recovered but is heading that way relentlessly. His amazing “strapline” hit just about every one of the audience in the solar plexus:

“Remission is not my goal, life is.”

I can learn a lot from Nick and he accepts he can learn a few things from me. A friend and I are going to see him before Christmas. Check him out at https://thecancerjourneyman.co.uk/.

All roads lead to love or fear. The extreme polarisation of these most powerful emotions are rather interesting in the dance of life. I recall the few times when I have felt truly alone. These include living with my parents as a teenager, living in student accommodation whilst at university and on a number of occasions during my three significant relationships. Something tells me I’ve written at length about distractions. The distractions of work, busyness, “doing”, being out with people, fulfilling our life purpose. Of course the latter should never be a distraction, if it is you’ve got it wrong. However as this is our highest calling we can only do it right, we can only be committed to it. And if we’re not 100%, certainly in my case, it doesn’t happen. Cancer (my star sign, not the disease) people are supposed to be home birds. I’ve moved home about 12 times in my life so I find it difficult to ever feel completely settled. The “background noise” as I have referred to it earlier waxes and wanes. In mostly feels like life is permanently transitory, which of course the Buddhists would remind us it is. Like physical pain when we don’t think about it, we don’t feel it. The problem with physical pain is that it’s very difficult not to think about it.

“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”

Paulo Coelho

We enter this world alone, and leave it alone. Yes we all know that one. But what does it mean? If we reach maturity reasonably sound, in good health and with only a few traumas then we’ve done OK. Let us thank those who cared for us. And it may be round the corner unless something is done about it, unless we do something about it, i.e. spending our first nine months of life in an artificial womb, but whatever happens after birth we are dependent on our mothers for this period.

Almost everyone on the planet wants to love and be loved. I know many people, despite the obvious distractions, who are on their own. In this insane age, the term is now “self-partnered”. They are unable to share the psychological and emotional intimacy of experiencing and observing life with a significant other. If self-partnering is for you fine, but it’s not for me. Never has been and never will be. Merely being in dialogue with a significant other makes my heart sing. I’m afraid Eleanor Rigby comes to mind once more:

All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?

When we pass, ideally we are surrounded by our loved ones. I know for some this isn’t possible or it doesn’t happen. Unless you are some kind of psychopath, world “leader”, politician, mad scientist or unhinged suicide bomber then you would want surely to take your last steps to your new life alone? I’m sorry but I don’t think the expression has any validity..

If I could sum up what I seek from this life I suppose it is intimacy. For imitators of Pavlov’s dogs this means physical intimacy. Yes I won’t completely pass on that one. But it is missing the point. Intimacy to me is the ultimate connection here on the earth plane. If you have that, and it transcends completely infatuation, you feel it when you hold hands, hug each other, (as I have already said) share intelligent conversation, observe and share an appreciation of each other’s beauty, of nature’s beauty and life’s beauty. When you are in deep rapport, the lyrical Oneness seemingly reserved for your relationship with God is your reward. Friends can fill in some of these gaps but unless I’m an alien species I would never seek this kind of intimacy with anyone other than a life partner.

To get to the point where these things are possible with the right person requires effort, patience, diligence and commitment. If you are not with the right person it could be derailed at any moment. But with perseverance and insight the person you are with could become the right person.

We are all massive game players. Eric Berne, the originator of Transactional Analysis always maintained we play games (and there are good games) to avoid intimacy (see quote below). Intimacy is threatening. We are conditioned to believe if we get it wrong there is no turning back. So we play games to avoid that catastrophic collapse. And in playing games we may get to know the other person more. Or their shadow. I feel a sporting analogy coming on. Imagine your favourite sport, or if you dislike sport your favourite competition. What is the ultimate prize, the ultimate goal? Can there only ever be one winner, and does that same person win the same competition every year? Or once-in-a-lifetime? How about you being the ultimate prize?

There are other variables operating here. Trust and respect. It is good to get to know someone, the real person, as quickly as possible. But if caution is not applied, it could happen in a way that makes you or them feel devalued; that the prize is not gold or silver but a cardboard replica. Or a meat pie past its sell-by date.

So my friends there is nothing I would wish for you more than to be noticed, to be acknowledged, to be valued, to be loved, to be adored and to have some or all these things in return from at least one other person and in different ways from as many people as you choose to touch.

Bring to mind as many positive character traits as you can. Apply them to yourself, apply them to the person who you seek. Everything carries with it a risk. I know about that.

We enter this world connected and we are always connected. To have that connection enhanced through our six senses with Mr/Ms Right may seem beyond reach. But pursue it anyway. With vigour and expectation.

Blessings to you all, on probably the worst day of the year so far for weather (cold, dark, wet, windy and floods across half the county), but you can always take the weather with you. Jack Stewart, Thursday, 14 November 2019.

A long P.S. this time.

“Game-free intimacy is or should be the most perfect form of human living.

Because there is so little opportunity for intimacy in daily life, and because some forms of intimacy (especially if intense) are psychologically impossible for most people, the bulk of time in serious social life is taken up with playing games. Hence games are both necessary and desirable, and the only problem at issue is whether the games played by an individual offer the best yield for him. In this connection it should be remembered that the essential feature of a game is its culmination, or payoff. The principal function of the preliminary moves is to set up the situation for this payoff, but they are always designed to harvest the maximum permissible satisfaction at each step as a secondary product.

Games are passed on from generation to generation. The favoured game of any individual can be traced back to his parents and grandparents, and forward to his children. Raising children is primarily a matter of teaching them what games to play. Different cultures and different social classes favour different types of games.

Many games are played most intensely by disturbed people, generally speaking, the more disturbed they are, the harder they play. The attainment of autonomy is manifested by the release or recovery of three capacities: awareness, spontaneity and intimacy.

Parents, deliberately or unaware, teach their children from birth how to behave, think and perceive. Liberation from these influences is no easy matter, since they are deeply ingrained.

First, the weight of a whole tribal or family historical tradition has to be lifted. The same must be done with the demands of contemporary society at large, and finally advantages derived from one’s immediate social circle have to be partly or wholly sacrificed. Following this, the individual must attain personal and social control, so that all the classes of behaviour become free choices subject only to his will. He is then ready for game-free relationships.”

Eric Berne

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