Vis Viva – Chapter #8 – In The Shadows.

Power always makes a cubic centimetre of chance available to a Warrior. The Warrior’s art is to be perennially fluid in order to pluck it.

Carlos Castaneda, “The Wheel of Time”, Penguin Books, Middlesex, England. ISBN 0 140 19604 8, page139.

Situations are essentially neutral, says Eric, it is up to us how we choose to perceive them. We can either become all self important and offended by them or see them as great possibilities for learning. In order to do this one has to be fluid and flow with an evolving situation. He reckons that if you let your intuition rather than your thinking guide you, then the flow of the universe conspires with you, in a helpful way. In this Chautauqua then, there has been fate and destiny and so much more already, that is not rational in the traditional sense and perhaps it is time to come back to the present for a while.

Yesterday evening I found myself waiting to have my nuclei flipped so that they could do a magnetic resonance image of my carotid arteries and my brain. They are looking for an explanation about why I lost consciousness in a meeting a few weeks back. Two nice gentle men and a lady ushered me into a lab like environment and asked me a series of questions to find out if I had any metal in my body. Then I lay for around about an hour, in a white plastic tunnel, trying not to move and so very aware of my breathing and, as soon as they advised me about swallowing, the build up of saliva in my mouth. I am quite large framed so the sides of the tunnel were very, very close. I could feel the cool plastic and the air, dry and artificial, being pumped over me. It was a space age meditation bed.

I was Harry Palmer in the Ipcress File as the machine whirred and buzzed all around me. The fields were switching the spin polarisation of my hydrogen nuclei. I wondered how this might be used for torture, specifically for a claustrophobic technophobe. I thought of how I had always hated enclosed spaces, perhaps the genetic legacy of those who come from a mining stock. I remembered how my grandfather had spoken of two feet seams and wondered just how he had managed to get the coal back from the face. How different this must be the clinical white and light, versus the dark dusty black hell he went to every day; and on how far I had come to lie still and not panic in such a space.

When I came out the ghostly spiral staircases of arteries twirled on the screen; that white ephemera was what carries the blood of this organism to my brain. Udon and soba, carrying the life force to my cortex. The operator moved the image around with his mouse rotating the arterial semaphore on the screen, some crazy French sixties art that might hold a clue, for me.

Standing up I was so very conscious of my size and now even today, no longer constrained, I feel in someway larger. Earlier in the day I had taken some of my blood and looked at it under a microscope. I watched the cells gather at the edge of the droplets, line up, elongate and clot. My blood, thicker than normal with a high red blood cell count, seemed to self organise right there on the slide. No power within directing it, they all knew what to do. They lined up as if to close a wound, they elongated and formed a barrier to the outside world and as time went on dried hard and fast. That stuff, there on the slide, is the same stuff as is in the white noodles. That stuff carries the oxygen that drives the factory of this organism.

Two days then to wait. Two days for a man on the other side of the world, to look at the images and let me know if all is OK. Two days to find out whether that dream of tumour has any reality on the physical plane. And, there is nothing that I can do about it, nothing.

So let’s continue with the Chautauqua. Eric and I have been mulling over stories quite a lot recently and he reminds me of the stories that I have told and that a lie told often enough becomes the truth. He says that people like stories, a narrative of a life so that they can make a sense of that life, so that they can bind you to that story. In effect people conspire with each other to build stories and present them to each other. People have his-story or her-story and that these are so much more self limiting than is easily imagined.

These stories tell us what is and isn’t appropriate to behave like within a given context and do not allow us to change. They keep us fixed and by focussing intent on the maintenance of these, they become stronger and more concretised. For example there are many stereo types and perhaps I could be one; a science academic for example, if I don’t behave as you might expect then you might get a little confused or even hoity-toity. Inherent in stereotype are expectations and discrimination. Eric says that we should point out that stereo has a feeling of both or two about it. In that if, because of lack of knowledge about me, you stereotype me as a nutty professor and then I act out the role of nutty professor, then we are acting in stereo. He says that stereotype comes a little way after archetype and both have some use in simplification and metaphor, yet these all limit.

His-story is something that we tell ourselves about our lives and each one has usually a small number of over-arching themes, which act as a synopsis for the outer presentation of a life, in a rather clever trick of self deceit. If I tell you my story often enough, you cannot help but relate to me in the context of that story, we then both conspire in the creating of a myth about a life and our interactions. Eric says that the majority of people get very uncomfortable when they can’t pin you down; at least to some extent and that they will go to massive perceptual lengths to make an interaction fit with the story related data they have on file, even to the extent of not seeing what is actually happening.

He reminds me of the fun we had when I first started eating steak in front of people after being such an evangelical, pain in the ass, vegan. From plastic shoes to medium rare was quite a leap both for me and others.

We all of us invest, sometimes quite heavily, in our personal his-story and continue to do so even when we know, deep down, that the bank is going to crash. We get more elaborate in our guise. As a child people always used to assume that I was shy, so I became shy. It was well practised and to an extent it suited me. It gave people an explanation why I always wanted time on my own. In time though it became a bit of a burden, people started to feel sorry for me. Their story and my story had caught up with me.

Eric points out that I have invested heavily in believing that there is such a thing as the Warrior’s path and this then in itself, is part of my personal history and if I truly practise the technique of not doing then I must not believe there is such a thing and that the whole shenanigan is illusion. The biggest theme of my personal history is that I am a little different from others and that somehow I don’t fit in with the world. This is my “precious”. It is a core story that I tell myself. I think that I first started telling myself this when I was six or seven.

I have tried and tried to fit in, yet I don’t seem to have the same needs and wants as others. Together we joke about the chameleon that blends with the background so as not so do the sore thumb. I did this to such an extent that I had no idea what the hell it was that I wanted or needed or desired. This too then is part of my personal his story; the karma chameleon searching for that ever elusive place where he might actually belong and fit. I thought I had it once.

Then, the seer said to me that I would loose everything that I loved. His perception about what I actually did love is retrospectively a little off the mark, perhaps though he knew at the moment of his utterance and it was what he actually meant when he said it. My apparent world then did fall apart.

Everyone has a precious and if you, in what ever circumstance, no longer share that precious and walk away, you have given yourself a stigma in the eyes of others. They cannot and will not understand your choice. People spend an inordinate amount of time building up a precious and assume that you must be doing the same. When you do the “sand castle” and bring it all down, they find it difficult to forgive you; you become the wastrel prodigal son blessed by gifts which when examined by you seemed hollow and are discarded. Those gifts were perhaps never truly given to you anyway, only loaned for another purpose, no one can really own anything.

In some cases the level of emotional black mail used to hinder one in an action that challenges the fabric of their precious world is high and people will hate you if you don’t buy it. On a recent course I gave for Ph.D. students, there was I, the ex-academic at a famous university, who has packed it all in, and done a Reggie Perrin, well almost. There they were aspiring towards admission into a higher degree of the arcane school of concrete thought. And they, they wanted me to still teach Chemical Kinetics.

My not “buying in” makes me heretic and as I have mentioned these are rarely welcome. The prodigal son is never truly welcome back at the ranch. The expat no longer really fits in when they go home. People can tell all sorts of stories once someone has gone, as long as the subject does not dare to come back and cause them to look closely at the facts by the means of his presence. In absence people can paint a more glorious rôle for them selves than they would dare do otherwise, inventing a new history with all the droit de seigneur of the victor to take advantage over the truth and, in so doing, tarnish it.

Now, I am pretty much away from all outside influences and there is perhaps a chance to not be the chameleon, to find that true authentic self where I do not need to please. For that also is a part of my his story, the one where I need to serve and please, to be a good boy and not upset the boat; though all my life I have in the end done this, upset the boat, even though I profess to the contrary. I have not been reason-able.

Eric reckons that there are two sure fire signs that people are trying to manipulate and that is requests to be helpful and to be reasonable. “Please be reasonable.” In an institutional context is an attempt to get one to buy into the norms of the institution and has behind it the threat of; “Look if you don’t do this you won’t be a part of the gang.” It is asking you to support someone or something else’s precious, to conspire with a personal, group or institutional history which is an outward laundered spin. Someone somewhere is making money, enhancing their reputation or whatever here; the unwashed clothes are kept well out of sight.

Eric reminds me of how I decided to leave the spin out company I co-founded; I threw them a curve ball. When we first started I had shares of a paper value of £2 million. The value of these was eroded through various investment rounds until it came to the last round. All the while various capital firms and people within the company were looking at things from a perspective of how to get as much wealth as possible from the company, and from a basis of fear and greed. I said that I wanted only my original £500 back and that the company had ceased for me to be an affair of the heart.

I said this just prior to a major fund raising, one of the major shareholders, me, had said that these shares had no value for him and that he no longer shared the values of the people running the company. In the end I met with the chairman and I settled for a larger amount. People were unwilling to believe what I did and why I walked away. It was the interaction with these people that was causing me to behave in a way that drained me and dragged me down, by having to watch my back all the time and use tactics similar to them, I was becoming like them and had begun to hate myself for it.

The promise of potential wealth hung over me as a cloud, preventing me from moving forward, that green field of sterling silver always there at the rainbows end as a back stop and I was vulnerable because of it. I let it go. I walked away. I was very unreasonable. It saved my life.

What then if the last vestiges of my precious are the concept that there is such a thing as the Warrior’s path and that for a short time I journeyed with those walking the same path. How much of what I have invested in all those choices would I have to let go of?

What if there is no Warrior’s path?

Eric says that people are very, very scared of asking big questions. The implications of truly big questions are truly big answers that change a whole way of being. People’s preciouses don’t like them to do that so they get the people to rig up all sorts of reasons why they can’t look at the precious. The first line of defence starts with that river in Egypt the Nile, or in other words denial. The precious tells us that we don’t have a precious at all, that we are rational deep thinking human beings.

Every one has a precious and in a strange way it is linked to self image and can act as a cornerstone to a life, an anchor in a sometimes turbulent sea. Even if people don’t really like their precious they cling to it, a familiar precious is so much more comfortable than no precious at all, just ask Gollum.

One of the many semi precious that I had was that people actually cared about me, bringing us sharply back to the 99% rule. I guess it has always been pretty difficult to get a grip on a fluxional person, the karma chameleon. It is a funny thing that I now place the responsibility for this on me. Why is that then?

What then are the big questions for me? I know them well and Eric reckons we should ask the I Ching about facing them.

So, to the I Ching!

“Please comment on facing directly my big questions.”

Chên below and Chên above; hence we have Chên, the arousing (Shock, Thunder).

There are no changing lines.

The commentary adds that the movement is so violent that it arouses terror.

The Judgement

Shock brings success
Shock comes – Oh!Oh!
Laughing words-Ha!Ha!
The shock terrifies for a hundred miles,
And he does not let fall the sacrificial spoon and chalice.

The Image

Thunder repeated: the image of shock
Thus in fear and trembling
The superior man sets his life in order
And examines himself.

I Ching or Book of Changes, Richard Wilhelm Translation, Arkana Penguin Group, Middlesex England, ISBN 0 140 019207 7, page 197.

Thus there is a sense of the superior man keeping calm amidst all of the storms and rage and bowing to the will of Heaven. This has the potential to unzip everything and change my personal history, for ever. I must face those big questions.

Eric Rhosynglas

Vis Viva – A Journey to Sirius Chapters 3&4

Chapter 3 Hodie

Many things we do naturally become difficult only when we try to make them intellectual subjects. It is possible to know so much about a subject that you become totally ignorant.

-Mentat Text Two (dicto)

Frank Herbert “Chapter House Dune “, Gollancz,
The Orion Publishing Group, London.
Page 107 ISBN 0 575 07518 X

I had planned to talk today of the darkness within and my exploration of the feelings behind it, somehow it needs a storm to do this for I can then tune into the wildness of nature and revisit those very, very strange days. The beginning of this descent had its roots in the realisation of my own ignorance so eloquently paraphrased above. But Eric says we will sketch over it for now, because today feels like it is a good time to talk about today, though the resonances to 1995 are clear and the merry-go-round of hospital and doctors appointments is the same. This time though I am not seeking death rather, life.

Eric remembers when he first went into the office and said to Dr Depardieu that he was unwell. He remembers the questions about sleep, sex, food and alcohol. He remembers telling him about his plan to get a large amount of heroin and some syringes from work. He remembers telling him that he knew where he could get this and how he felt that this would be the best way. By touching the ephemera of the memory a tinge of sadness creeps into him. How forlorn and lost he felt then and how the temptation to end it all had been playing like a movie re-run in his mind, flickering black and white on the screen; waiting for the final credits to roll, how there was no Technicolor only black and white. He remembers sitting on that tube train and the veins in his arm screaming at him to go and do it. He knows that he has never really said this to anyone before so he is a little nervous. Dr Depardieu gave him some nice green and white pills and these helped him for a while, they bought him some time. The shame of it was a little hard to bear, he had to tell his university that he was ill and the nature of his illness, bringing in those doctors notes every couple of weeks. He felt then the margins of existence, the twilight of the deranged and the futility of the castrated man. Everything he had tried had failed and he began to cling; it was not pretty.

Enough of this then, we will return to the darkness soon, for there is much in there that is lighter than you can imagine and it needs out too. Today, he went to the hospital on his bike; to check for parking spaces and a place to lock it up. For tomorrow he visits the neurologist, later an MRI scan of his neck and brain and then the orthopaedic surgeons will look at the images of the cervical discs pressing on his spinal column. Eric is pleased with his bike, he has ridden it three times now and some of the confidence in him comes back, twenty years is a long time. He guesses it must be true; the idiom about it being just like riding a bike. He is not allowed to drive any more because he lost consciousness a week or so ago. In a strange way cycling takes him back to the carefree days of his late teen years, when he used the bike to escape the noise, to ride for miles and miles around the North Kent countryside. He knows that the medics don’t yet know what is wrong and that they are investigating; they have mentioned stroke and epilepsy. They haven’t mentioned tumour yet and he wonders if he should tell the neurologist about his dream that said he had cervical spine cancer or wait until the images are back. It is difficult to block out these thoughts as there isn’t enough data yet. He wonders if he should mention all the things that he sees and how he understands the nature of consciousness to be. He remembers that these specialists are trained in the church of reason so it might be better not to mention prescience and lucid dreaming.

Today though is fine. The heavy rains of the last few days have passed and the sun shines on the garden. All is well for now and Eric remembers the entreaty to consider every path carefully and to ask yourself only one question; is this for you a path with heart? For if there is no heart then the path will drag you down and suck away your vitality. And he remembers how many times he has asked that question and how many times he has walked away.

It brings him back to one of the things he wanted to talk about, energy. He doesn’t like that word because it has connotations, co-note-tations elsewhere and the use of it hinders. Eric prefers the word vitality. He says that as the power within grows and develops by acquiring knowledge it imbues both upon itself and the form it inhabits, a vitality and vivaciousness. It lends capacity to the form to operate in ways that it never expected and with an awareness that is sharper than before. This vitality gives a sense of time to things that differs. When beings have this, they can choose the speed at which they perceive things, they can literally speed up or slow down the perception and hence time. This speed then is under their control, it gives intensity and focus. People hunt for this vitality, perhaps the elixir of youthfulness, though it is not that. When the power within has it the eyes of the form glow with an iridescence that can be seen by some, or simply as a sparkle of joie de vivre by others. This sense of vitality is a currency for human interactions.

We can build it up in ourselves and others or we can deplete ourselves and others. People try to steal this thing from each other mistakenly thinking they can and that if they have power over another; they have real power. Whereas this vitality is true power, it is limitless and without bound, it grows as we flow in synchronicity with the universe and our fate. In a very real sense it is more extant than the illusions borne of the form and the mind. It comes from life itself and the vis viva expressing outwards from the void.

Eric says that this thing which he calls forceful manipulation is the very bane of humanity and the basis through which the construct of the world is maintained. He says that because most people live in the realms of the hungry ghosts they cannot yet see the impact of this on both themselves and the world. Ultimately this forceful manipulation is based on some form of insecurity or perception of inadequacy whether expressed through self pity or self importance. It is seen in some quarters as standing up for your rights or skill-full negotiation, yet in many of its guises it is actually quite a lot nastier than that. It is linked to dominion and dominance, man in control of his surroundings and his fate. Its detrimental effects can be seem almost everywhere and perhaps it stems from a deep, deep sense of there never being enough, if you like a hole in being-ness that pervades because mankind has in many cases lost touch with his sense of purpose.

Eric seems to remember that a number of years ago now he wrote poetry feverishly doing some three hundred poems in a couple of years. He burned them all along with all his copious note books. He deleted all his emails and all his notes on esoterica in one ceremony of cleansing the past. There was plenty of that force in him back then, he had learned well at the arcane school. He says that he no longer feels the near religious ecstasy that had driven him then. That it was all gone and it had all been folly and that he must dream now.

He has just come back from his afternoon sleep. Since he began doing dreaming practice over eight years ago now, he has practised dreaming, he describes it as a meditative technique used to open up the doorway to the power within, if you like a channel of communication with his inner being. He learned to let this guide him as it appeared there was purpose to this, it seemed to know what it was doing even if it did make for a somewhat non-linear approach to life.

He tells me before he did this formally; he did martial arts as a sort of walking meditation and is reminded how, when he used to run, timing the slip-slap-slip of his running to his breath was a way of bringing the form more consciously under his control. The martial arts opened something else in him and his body began to behave in a way that was much more economical. Later he developed listening to music as a way of doing meditation, he doesn’t know how he knew how to do it, yet he says if you listen very carefully to music and concentrate only on that; it stills the mind. Further if you open your heart to the music it guides you. When he was recovering from the darkness he let the emotions present in music take him to places he had never thought he could go; making it experiential in ways that were quite special.

He first discovered that he really knew how to dream but only in retrospect after he had stumbled across North American Indian shamanism in a school in Hertfordshire of all places. The cynic in him found some considerable hilarity that a bunch of white people would gather, drum and go on shamanic journeys in search of guidance for their lives. He reckoned they were all making it up. He loved the drumming and to drum, the hypnotic rhythm of the drum beat running with the ebb and flow of his inner tuition taking him deeper and away from the noise and clatter of the mind. Being a bit of a rebel though, he didn’t quite do what he was supposed to do. Rather, he sank into the colour which exists in states of pure calm. He let the colour emerge from the black and the formless, taking shape first as a Rorschach ink blot of colour then slowly filling the whole dreamscape. Out of the colour, images would appear and he would follow them and let them unfold, making notes of what he saw there. He learned he could heal, clear spaces and that ritual was a very power full way of focusing intent.

Later he learned to dream by using yellow roses to focus intention before the dreamscape came. Soon all he needed was a few seconds to enter the colour and hold it firm. What came then was dream after dream after dream. This was new and exciting to him he wanted to share these dreams because that is what it seemed he was meant to do. The people around him chastised him for this. He learned to state the intent of dreaming appropriate for his dreaming class. Then somehow many years later he no longer felt that this intent was right and chose another one.

Last year he went again to a dojo, to try his hand at some judo and perhaps regain some fitness. There was something quite strange about the dojo, it was a sports dojo and had none of the reverence and atmosphere of mutual support he had found at the true dojos of his past. On his second visit they practised ippon seonage his favourite throw and perhaps the most effective of all at giving someone a good whack. Something happened to him and he drove home in a haze of dreaming colour knowing that he had changed. He found that he had herniated discs in his cervical spine; there the discs pressed down on the nerves to the left hand side of his body and directly on the spinal column itself. He could see it in the MRI scans himself. His muscles wasted and it took many months to rebuild them and regain function there.

After that his dreaming took another turn. Instead of controlling the entrance into the colour, he shifted very rapidly into another level of trance. His waking dreams had changed. Now again these last few days something has shifted, he experiences a shimmer of consciousness before entering trance. His pulse rate and metabolism slow and within a matter of a few seconds he is dreaming. Now though, the level of lucidity and awareness that he is dreaming is much less detached, the experience is somehow much deeper. His sleep dreams seem much the same as ever.

Which brings us back to paths and there are many of these and it is these that we dream in for ourselves. As ever it brings us back to the heart and the people we share our lives with. It brings us back sharply to the journey and not the destination, there to flow and to do what our inner tuition guides, there not to try to force things unwelcome on the world.

A little under two years ago I wrote that letter in which I resigned from my post as a senior lecturer at a top university. There I was responsible for the pastoral care of the students and there I had given it my all. In this university and the students there I saw many of the worst excesses of man’s impact upon others, there in a moment of clarity I realised that I was in effect cleaning up other people’s messes and putting a sticking plaster on something which was really quite badly damaged. These fine young minds were studying at the church of reason learning the arcane language and practice of concrete science. They invested all their effort towards good grades and the elusive happiness wrapped up and beckoning in the sort of career that a graduate from there might expect. In so doing perhaps attempting to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of “tennis coach” parents trying to live their lives through their children. How strange that self worth for so many was so directly linked to their apparent capacity to achieve recognition through the exam results at this arcane school. I wonder for many of them if this is a path with heart.

For many, previously at the top of the pecking order in their respective schools, it was an epiphany; now the competition was fierce and the curriculum intense, from the old school of we had it tough, so should they. It was there that many lives are to be sacrificed on the altar of academic success and “we must publish first”, so that we can be top of the premier league. There, where the techniques of politics and manipulation coupled with the weight of a famous institution ensured a good slice of research funding to maintain this status quo. Some people were quite nice but I had begun to realise over many a lunch time conversation that I no longer cared which person was getting whatever chair at which university, or who had done the best work on electro-chromism and got that big adventurous chemistry grant. Despite all the wonderful young people many of my colleagues had become to me cardboard cut outs of people playing a stereotypical game called academia, a game of the mind and most definitely not of the heart. It is however hard to imagine just how difficult it is to let something like this go. All of my adult life I had strived to get the position and now to realise it was hollow was quite a blow. The impact on me the day I sent the letter was immense. I knew in that act I was changing my whole world and irrevocably so.

I resigned, with no job to go to, put my flat on the market and looked on the internet for somewhere to live. I had asked myself when was I most happy and it was simple, those days in the Peak District before I met my first wife, before it all got so very complicated and so messy, before once again I let myself be swayed by someone else and caught up in their drama. As luck would have it this beautiful listed cottage was on the market and, as if it was intended, I am now here, in the bucolic shire writing these words. I can step out of my door and into the countryside once more.

Eric still makes me read Physics World from time to time just to keep in touch and he reminds me that the Warrior’s path is not like any other path; that everything along the way has a purpose and a meaning if only we take the care and the time to look for it. He reminds me not to squander anything I have learned; to be like that blotting paper absorbing the ink of life, for each drop of it inscribes the character and adds to the power within.

Here I am then with doubts about my health and ready to embark upon a new marriage with a woman whom I care for more than I could ever have imagined possible. I have no job. I have some money in the bank and I have this Chautauqua that presses and strains to write. I am conscious that I haven’t really let it rip yet and am warming up. I am perhaps adrift in the sea of life, I most certainly am not lost. I know that everything has a purpose. I am waiting for the power within to show the next step, unhurried, secure and ready to respond in whatever way is needed. Tomorrow is another day.

Chapter 4 A Path with Heart

No diagnosis then from Friday’s visit to the hospital, there are a lot of things that have been ruled out and I am feeling a little reassured. This gives me some quiet time to start to elaborate on what I mean by a path with heart. In a sense any path, although we might see it as achieving a goal or ambition, ultimately leads no where, for we all must die and that part of incarnate awareness which is the totality of us, in the words of the Bard, shuffles off the mortal coil. Our form disintegrates or is burned and the atoms of our vehicle are re-cycled and used by the universe for another purpose, our bits might one day end up being a plastic Tesco’s bag; who knows. In any case once the power within has left, it is not that important. The form then becomes the formless. The formless is then reorganised into something else. It is the vis viva that takes the clay of a human being and through the magic of life re-organises it into something else. If the atoms are incorporated in an organic sense then some other consciousness uses them, eventually.

What then is a path with heart? Eric says that this differs for each of us, yet deep down we all know when we are treading a path with heart and when we are not. That is the simplicity of it all. The trouble is that most people lack the honesty and live lives of denial, because they are fearful of change. It takes a great deal of courage and some considerable measure of practice to learn to listen to the heart. The heart is not all fluffy and warm, roses and sentiment. When operating fully it is powerful beyond imagination and can be quite a demanding master. For in one sense the heart, that is an expression of true feeling, is that part of the total being which is most in sync with what the power within has set us up for. In this context the heart is not the muscle which pumps our blood. It is pure feeling.

Eric says that most people get hooked on romance and idealism and use the mind to try to force this romance on the being, to an extent where after compromising the emanations of the heart for so long, it controls. The mind is the master of what he calls the first ring of power whereas the heart transcends this; it operates on the level where true inner tuition takes place. That tuition of the inner being, whether a work in progress or truly listened to, leads one on the path with heart.

Many paths first appear to be a path with heart, the mind hoping above all hope that a given direction in life will be a path with heart. The being then invests a great deal of effort in following these paths, to the point where it will vigorously defend the “fact” that this is a path with heart. Deep down though, everyone knows when they are bullshitting themselves and even those around them. When such a point is finally admitted the reluctance to change can cause all sorts of problems. The heart never lies. It is a shame that human beings do. In a sense many of us get caught up in a trap of our own making.

Consider each path very carefully and ask yourself only this. Is this for me a path with heart? This is really the only question and it is the 64 million dollar one. Everything else is just so much intellectual masturbation. For opening your heart and listening to it renders all else mundane. Eric says that this then is the bottom line. For as we traverse this, the sea of life, whenever we are faced with what appears to be a dilemma, asking this and answering honestly will enable one to gain sufficient clarity to work out what are the next steps that need to be taken.

Like all paths, it leads exactly no where, what it does though is to provide a journey of quite stupendous novelty, variety and excitement. Esoterically the path with heart is linked to the cabalistic glyph of Tiphareth and is associated with choosing between the old and the new. Every day is nascent at dawn, lived to the maximum, dies at the sunset, rests overnight and life starts the next day, fresh. Knowing full well that each day brings change and the being walking the path with heart will not be the same being on the following day. It takes guts to walk such a path.

Eric says that it might be wise to put in another quotation here.

This one is from M.F. Powers


One night I dreamed a dream. I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to me and one to my Lord.

When the last scene of my life shot before me I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that at times along the path there was only one set of footprints. I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of my life. This always bothered me and I questioned the Lord about my dilemma.

“Lord, you told me that once I decided to follow You, You would walk with me all the way but I noticed that during the most troublesome times of my life there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why, when I needed You most, You would leave me.”

He whispered,

“ My precious child, I love you and would never, never leave you during your times of trial and suffering. When you see only one set of footprints it was then that I carried you. “

This then re-presents a journey through life and in choosing a path with heart, there will be times when the challenges such a choice calls forth can make one feel completely lost and abandoned. If one sticks with it, the power within guides and in a sense carries us, even when the rational mind has packed up, run away and felt very sorry for itself. The power within, leads us to do things which we might not always have the emotional wherewithal to do and makes sure that we make it through to the other side. In doing this it causes us to grow and change. At times we all feel sorry for ourselves and play the martyr.

If we choose to look at our lives for what they really are, hopefully before the last days of our sojourn here, we can always find a purpose for what has happened and if we are lucky the meaning inherent in that purpose. For it is really us, our own power within, which sets up the circumstance for us to learn, blaming others is just stupid and disempowering for everyone concerned.

If we do not take responsibility for ourselves who is going to? Is change then a path with heart?

“Be the change you wish to see in the World.”

Mohandas Gandhi

As far as I can tell most people want some form of change in their lives, yet direct the intention and responsibility for that change towards external sources, hoping that if he (or she) changes, then it would make my life better.

It is a wistful hope that is often forgotten as quickly as it arises, and then so, back to the day to day business of living. Very few people are willing to take responsibility for changing themselves, hoping that someone else will do “it” for them. The changes which they think they seek are perhaps just a tinkering around the edges of life, maybe a better holiday would do the trick…? So here is a question for you are you going to walk this most difficult of paths and see if you can find the extent and wonder of your being-ness by listening to the power within?

True change is not for the fainthearted. It is a matter of bringing the inside out, letting the spirit surface and breathe. The outer form can only present an image of the state of the inner being and true change begins inside. Once a process of change has been initiated it can come at one like a relentless tide, where the sea of change washes before it all that one once held as true.

True change is seldom welcomed with open arms, rather it often comes about because of a moment of clarity when one knows without any doubt that a way of thinking and of being is no longer tenable; that living as one has been, has in some strange way ceased to be an affair of the heart. Such moments can be initiatory of change or alternatively spark a journey of denial in an over expressed need to be right. That over expression of just how great the form side of life is must constantly be verbalised and re-enforced by others to mask the flight which the inner person much deeper down, knows that they are doing. This has consequences.

True change starts slowly as a way of being and behaving is gradually and sometimes painfully eroded. Then the shape and the constituents of a life, are stripped away, allowing a space for a new person to emerge from the chrysalis. What that being is, may bear little or no resemblance to the caterpillar it once thought it was, avariciously feeding on the substance of life and taking from all around.

True change can be said to be transmutative, transformative and perhaps transfigurational. The expense of change is a former life, the gift, a new one, heralding untold wonders of what it is to be alive; bringing with it a new found sense of purpose and meaning. Somehow, setting one apart from the crowd, who may look at you blankly because such a change is beyond the scope of their experience and as such, so very much a part of the unknown and perhaps, because of an unwillingness to change, the unknowable.

In this respect if one really does change, no one may ever notice. Because of the 99% rule which says that 99% of people think only of themselves 99% of the time, many will miss what has been an act of magic, worked at over a great many years.

Eric says that there is only one way to go and that is to walk as gently on the earth as possible, trying to not impose petty wants and desires upon others and taking from the world only what it is that is truly needed. And that life is a journey of learning and of approaching, leaving as few footprints as possible on the rice-paper world whilst having the best impact one can.

This then is a path with a heart, we do not own the world; we can celebrate our incarnation by making our lives an expression of the emanations of our hearts as we dance the pattern of our existence, hand in hand with the power within.