Who were the Cathars?

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The Cathars (from the Greek katharos meaning ‘unpolluted’ or ‘pure’) were a group of Christian mystics who changed the face of Christianity in Europe. They were at their most popular in the 11th and 12th centuries in the region north-west of Marseilles called Languedoc, near the modern frontier between France and Spain. They also were present in Spain, the Rhineland and Flanders, and Italy.

Their powerful influence came about in the midst of great adversity because they were branded ‘heretics,’ rooted out and exterminated by the dominant Church of Rome. They rejected many of its beliefs, texts and doctrines but they were well-supported by local nobility and popular among peasants and artisans.

One group of Cathars was known as the Albigenses taking their name from the local town of Albi, the scene of a huge massacre between 1209-1220 during which between 9,000 and 20,000 citizens were butchered. This happened because the credentes (Cathars believers) could not be distinguished from the Catholics. It constitutes ‘one of the most conclusive cases of genocide in religious history.’ (Lemkin, R)

Cathar practices probably developed as a consequence of traders coming from Eastern Europe bringing the teachings of the Bogomils, named after their founder the priest Bogomil who denied the Christian conception of the world of matter as a vehicle of grace. In France, they were heavily persecuted until the 13th century when the last group was burned at the stake by the Roman inquisition at the fall of Montségur hilltop Fortress in 1244 where they were hiding. However, those outside France continued to be rooted out and killed as late as the 19th century in Bosnia.

They referred to themselves as Les Bons Hommes, Les Bonne Femmes or Les Bon Chrétiens (the Good Men, the Good Women or the Good Christians). They had no hierarchy or physical church and those who silently knew they were Cathars were divided into 2 groups – the elite or Perfecti, who had mastered all the arduous trainings and travelled around in same-sex pairs as healers and the credentes, or believers who may be at various stages of training and vied for the honour of housing the Perfecti.

The Perfecti lived a life of austerity and extreme poverty and were believed to be the vehicle of the Holy Spirit. They believed they were heirs to the true heritage of Christianity and that the Catholic church had turned its back on Christ’s message in favour of reveling in vast material power and wealth.

Catharism : origin and doctrine.

They were dualists as are most of the followers of the world’s major religions but they were ‘absolute dualists,’ or monistic, their worldview dominated by the opposing principles of Good and Evil, the material world being intrinsically evil and to be overcome. Like Buddhists and Hindus, they considered time was cyclical not linear and so offered infinite opportunities to reincarnate until purification was complete. Also, that all beings were made from the same material substance created by Satan (the evil God or fallen angel) as a rebellion against the ‘Good’ God, but that humans each had a trace of the Divine Light of their origins trapped inside them which would eventually lead them back to God.

Catharism is an ancient faith based on Manichean dualism established by the Babylonian prophet Mani c. 215-216 C.E., which pre-dated Christianity itself. In respect of the Christian Bible, the Cathars’ abhorrence of physical matter was encapsulated by the God of the Old Testament, and the natural goodness of mind or spirit by the message of Jesus Christ of the New Testament, the spiritual Christ, which they lived by.

Persecution of the Cathars
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The Church of Rome hounded the Cathars forcing them to flee and hide in the abandoned hill-top castles of Languedoc. It insisted that provincial rulers use torture to maim them and if they refused they themselves would be punished. Made official by French law in 1229, their property and land were authorized to be confiscated which proved to be a great incentive for greedy state officials.

Pope Innocent III (1160-1216) launched a vicious crusade against the Good Men redirecting his military armies from the Holy Land so determined was he to wipe them out. This was triggered by the assassination of Peter of Castelnau, the papal legate responsible for opposing the Cathars.

During inquisitional interviews, if lay people showed favour in any way to the Cathars, they were often treated as heretics themselves. On 8th September 1308, all 114 inhabitants of the village of Montaillou in Ariege were arrested on heresy charges and found to be of the Cathar persuasion according to the relentless interrogation of Jacques Fournier, the Bishop of Palmiers at the time.

The Cathar Creed

After the extermination of supposedly every remaining Cathar in France in 1244, the Cathar creed of the Church of Love was discovered 700 years later in 1986. It was found using the techniques of dowsing or divination, so it could be argued that there is no actual scientific evidence to support its existence, but it is followed widely today by revivalists. It was left for future Cathars who the Perfecti predicted would be born 700 years later in the mid 20th century and who would continue on their work when the material world was on its knees.

In summary, the Church of Love has no membership or fabric, no hierarchy or structure and there are no rivals because it is not competitive: ‘Those who are, know.’ It has no ambition, seeking only to serve, and recognizes no barriers of any kind. It acknowledges all great teachers of the Truth and their teachings, saluting those who have blazed a path but paid the price for it. However, it professes not to teach but instead to be and by simply being, enrich. It recognizes the whole planet as a Being which humans are not separate from. It proclaims itself only in subtle terms of love, the dedication of each Cathar to the silent loving of their neighbour, the planet and the environment while carrying out their role in society however mundane.

Cathars have no expectations of any reward either in this life or the spiritual world except the ‘ineffable joy of being and loving.’ They never feel fear or shame, they keep no secrets or history or perform any initiations. Only the power of love will allow the world to change and that will come about only if humans change first. The influence of Catharism is still apparent in the south-east corner of France, its revivalist practitioners still working to purify the world of evil.

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The Cathar Influence

The medieval Catholic Church was greatly influenced and still bears those indications today. Inspired by the goodness of the Perfecti, the papacy of the Middle Ages created new orders like the Dominicans and Franciscans which imitated them. As a result of Cathar asceticism, finally celibacy was imposed on the Roman Catholic clergy after centuries of empty talk, and church buildings were greatly simplified – the cathedral at Albi is a spectacular example.

As for gender and the role of women in the church in the Middle Ages, the introduction of devotion to Mary Magdelene could be seen as a way of countering the prominence of women among Cathar Perfecti. In modern days, women are gradually preaching, teaching and administering sacred rites on an equal footing with men in the church. Thus the Cathar prophecy is steadily coming true. Protestantism was also influenced in similar ways.

Images courtesy of Linden Thorp

Becoming Fully Human

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‘Human’ is a process – no longer an animal, no longer a god.

Our appearance in human form is a tiny part of the whole cosmic process, so if we cease to interfere with that process, the ‘means whereby,’ we will be able to move on to the next stage of our spiritual perfection!

We are beings suspended between Heaven and Earth, between ignorance and knowledge, between light and darkness.

Animals are ‘beings.’ Humans are ‘becoming.’ We are yet incomplete, a new species. Only 10% of our potential has been realized.

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We had our chance to be fully-conscious gods of limitless power early on in our evolution, but we chose the cerebral way. We allowed the intellectual mind to interfere and create its own delusional reality known as samsara (a world of suffering and loss, of beginnings and ends).

This has set us back to a position where we are 100% evolved physically, but for the majority of us, only 10% of our potential has been realized. This incongruence creates anxiety, anger and struggle which leads to destruction and discontent.

 

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The Earth and its species have evolved over a 4.5 billion year period: but human DNA is only 200,000 years old at the most. At all costs, we must not be distracted from our precious and special human consciousness because that is our natural process, our earthly way to become and our mission!

We are, so let us simply be!

Nothing more!

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Monument Valley straddling the states of Arizona and Utah in the United States of America, serenely cradles beautiful upthrusts from the Earth’s mantel which are 570 million years old! Their process continues on! No interference from the human mind. Such an inspiration to cease interfering!

Our planet and its nature are already perfect.

 

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Images courtesy of megapixyl.com, Mariko Kinoshita and Linden Thorp.

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Slither out of the dead skin of your past and future

Your past and yourfuture are like unwanted skin!  Rub them away with sharp awareness and slither into reality.  No past = no karma! 

Ego and persona with all their limitations are simply grooves etched by repetition and reaction into the mind  

so that our daily lives become like a laser that habitually falls into the groove and makes it ever deeper.

Awareness is the only virtue.  It is your true power so embody it.

Prowl with every hair into each moment of each waking interval in search of its very centre.

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Such awareness is a narrow bridge leading you out of the groove of necessity you have created into your unbounded True Nature, your absolute sincere heart.

Here and now you mirror each moment exactly as it is, and by doing so, you act and you laugh with relief.

Nothing else is needed.

                         

images courtesy of Mariko Kinoshita, Linden Thorp and megapixyl.com

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Australopithecus: we stood up and chose the wrong route

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The majority of human beings have decided that we will go our own way.  We no longer listen to the natural world, to our origins.  We are suffering and the Earth disintegrating exactly because we have turned our backs on our divine flame and torn ourselves out of reality with manmade concepts and synthetic realities. Only a few of us are struggling to get back!

It is said that this separation started when we stood up from all-fours to widen our view and pick the best fruit from the higher branches of trees and bushes.  We poked our head up into the sky for the first time between 3.9 – 2.9 million years ago. This species, Australopithecus, played a significant part in human evolution because it could stand up straight and possessed a gene which caused increased length and ability of neurons in the brain – the SRGAP2 gene. One of these species eventually became the Homo genus in Africa about 2 million  years ago (e.g. Homo habilis),  and so on to ‘modern’ humans, Homo sapiens sapiens.

 

art work by Mariko Kinoshita
art work by
               Mariko Kinoshita

Our increased cerebral capabilities and physical stature heralded the beginning of a period of human excellence which differed from animal excellence.  Once we could negotiate the world in a new way with our increased memory capacity and other intellectual tools and skills, we naturally were spiritual beings with a sacred intent.  We were still close to our divine origin with a clear mission to express what animals could not express with the tool of language and communication, the pen and the sword. But we were and are essentially mammals, and always will be.

Our species represented the pinnacle of the evolution of mammals, painstakingly nurturing our young inside us with love and handing down our advanced cerebral capabilities. This upright beautiful species would walk the Earth and create an unsurpassed civilization, going ever upwards. But instead of remaining close to the Earth, we have become aliens with synthetic realities who have gradually lost contact with our original reality, with the universe we are a crucial part of.

 

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It seems as if we were led astray by an evil power some would call the devil, but this is a fantasy.  Imagine this moment of choice – to stay with the sacred, or to move away to the secular:  sacred meaning worthy of veneration and respect: secular meaning ‘worldly’ or ‘temporal,’ not connected or separate from those things worthy of respect. The presence of so-called ‘evil’ is a fallacy because we each have that real choice now in modern life.  We can freely choose to either respect and integrate into a whole, or to doubt and find our own way, to become a splinter.  Another way of interpreting this is that we can choose to be positive and stand in full light, or we can withdraw to the shadows and negativity.

 

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So, now our spiritual evolution lags badly behind our physical and cerebral development, and so we have a choice to deviate from what is morally acceptable, from the ‘Middle Way,’ from our innate goodness and natural love. The love we are endowed with when we come into the world often dims or disappears.  The unconditional love of our parents lavished on us from the moment of our conception which we embodied as loving innocent children, turns into an accessory – something we ‘have’ or acquire/purchase.

 

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Instead of embodying our divine inheritance of love and immortality of the spirit, we have chosen to live in a tyranny of fear, greed and envy, clinging white-knuckled to the material world because we have torn ourselves away from the natural path.  We have taken everything into our own hands, respecting little and trusting no-one.   How can we assume our role as custodians of the Earth when our arrogance dictates and controls our hearts.

The real future of the planet Earth lies in the open hands of indigenous peoples who have made the right choice.  They continue to live with a sense of awe and form a partnership with the Great Mother Nature so that all species thrive and they dance to the rhythms of the planet.  Living in traditional life, undisturbed by arrogant consumers like us, they are truly integrated. They devote their entire energy and being to caring for and listening to the planet – their visual responsibility, and the greater invisible – the universe.

 

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Images courtesy of megapixyl.com

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To glimpse aboriginal life please read my book ‘Easy-Happy-Sexy: on the Twelfth Day.’  This is an account of my time living with Australians in traditional life.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UUSPLYM  – kindle link

http://www.amazon.com/Easy-Happy-Sexy-Twelfth-Day-Linden-Thorp/dp/1622129776/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1434547522. –  ISBN link

U tube video link:

http://youtu.be/8Tc7XuC U38k – the author speaks

https://youtu.be/xCZ3FMGc0bs

Media Deluge: I am tortured and torturer

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If we are sucked into the media vacuum, infiltrated by disturbing images of violence and corruption which become natural to us, then little by little we will fail to notice anything good, anything filled with light.

If we are only stimulated by death and demise, by materialistic mystery and gore, then how can we be aware of the real universe, the infinity and eternity we are each vital components of? The natural energy in the wild undisturbed places, flowing and pulsing, is the true nature of the planet, and it is our true nature too. These snapshots and effigies of terror we cram into our eyes, block our true nature as well as damaging the planet at many and various levels.

For the majority of us, in our relaxation time away from work and other responsibilities, we willingly fill ourselves with monsters and demons, with the filth and greed of urban life. Hungry ghosts are howling all around us, their suffering intense and, we say, unimaginable. But there is no question of using the imagination to stand in the shoes of others because we ourselves are deeply suffering beneath the veneer of respectability, the fragile semblance of convenience and fulfilment.

We too are howling in the pits of our spirits – a million suicides, thousands of torture methods, starvation and sensory deprivation – we too are hounded and hided. When we have had enough, we flick away the sordid pictures of evil as someone else’s business, the concern of the powers that be. Then we swallow and get on with creating our own brand of it.

In a string of movies, articles and books widely available, even popular, we can find torture, abuse, greed and ignorance on a grand scale; lust and betrayal, and the fertilising of more and more babies in the name of calming the irrepressible urges.

At each channel change, deadly diseases mutate and aliens target us fixing us as fugitives from our own souls, from our true nature. We run in terror, always in the dark depending on fickle torchlight instead of our own light. We are bewildered and manipulated by others.

In truth, we are rats in a maze of fear entirely synthesised by the mind, so heavily drugged by our own picture shows that we cannot even climb a nearby tree to see the exit.

 

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In just one session of viewing the flashing screen, I am tortured and I torture.

At one moment, the rack stretches me – my victim – until the tendons and ligaments snap. I hold hospital cardiologists at gunpoint because my son will die without a transplant and I am too poor to buy him a heart. I am a politician involved in outsourcing the killing of Moslems in Iraq to mercenaries, paying them billions of dollars to take them out of my hands.

At the next moment, I am a special squad policeman wading the sewers every night, working through suicides and poisonous snakes, bag-snatchers who sell their merchandise for inflated prices so they can buy their cocaine fixes, the possessed who bite and speak in scrambled tongues, a dead baby found in the gutter and a living baby found in the womb of my wife. Human life seems irreversibly doomed. It seems to be a living hell.

 

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The oblivion of orgasms, inebriation and lap dancers are what most people pursue, either openly or in secret. Erotic videos flood the internet which most of us instantly judge and dismiss, and yet we are those egocentric handsome guys masturbating while not losing eye-contact with the camera lens for a second except to see how enormous they have become. And we wait too for our moment of sticky heaven.

We are the circus acts of hard inflamed penises curling and thrusting into mouths and assorted orifices in tandem. We are the insatiable girl writhing repeatedly on a rod-like penis for the camera, blatant, moaning, putting off the moment of explosion masterfully. We writhe. We think we are repeatedly renewed. We mistake love for lust, flooding with hormones we are told are healthy. All this, not just the respectable parts, is us. The world we each see is an exact reflection of our minds.

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Each horror image or footage is a bubble encapsulating the massive wave of imbalance and artificiality. How can we not long for the end of this onslaught, this hell realm? How can we not long to know that our consciousness has expanded to blot it all out, the veil of death has been lifted and that our physical bodies are no longer needed?

This is the present state of the human race. Only our emptiness and detachment will make it stop. Only letting our positive and undistorted light shine out into the invisible world will balance this visible world.

Our compassion and acceptance are the only subduing influence that we can bring to bear on this media deluge which constantly batters the shores of our true nature.

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images courtesy of megapixyl.com : licenses at lindenthorp@gmail.com

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Avoid desires to be touched by the divine.

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It is our countless nagging desires that keep us separated from happiness, from the great truth. But there are 2 principal desires: the first is to avoid death; the second is to avoid living fully.

The intellectual mind conjures up such desires as a distraction from the free flow of our energy.  Our divine origins have led us to the manifestation of our unique energy in the world of form, and from that moment on we must undergo a huge battery of tests until the for we are tenants in deteriorates and vanishes like dust in the air.   The tests are mostly about attachment.

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Our energy flows.  It must do because the prime reason for the existence of energy is movement. But we have bounded that energy in a human form and we must carry the weight of thousands of years of conditioning, of the desires of our nation, our community, our family and our ancestors. Most people under such weight abdicate responsibility for their energy, and even forget it completely.

Can we sustain the weight while also keeping the flow of our energy and life force moving.  Or will we become static and passive, and start to live a lie, ignoring our most basic energic urges?

If we can detach form the forms and material temptations, and allow our selves to flow naturally, then there are no fears, no negativities.  Just a vital pulsing river of all life.  This is the glory of our human consciousness.

Energy is the only thing we possess.  It is dynamic is we allow it to be.

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images courtesy of megapixyi.com

Divine Thread: from the gallery

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Most of us live in a world in which the past dominates us. It seems to have such a strong influence, magnetizing us to always look into another time and making comparisons with the present. It is as if we sit in a high gallery strapped into a chair, our necks braced into position forcing us to look down on a dream which we are taught makes our reality. However, this is true conditioning, a kind of indoctrination.

The past is not in any way dynamic because it is produced by the mind as something which we amount to, something we can either regret or revel in. But above all, it is something we know, especially our personal past. We are separate from it but we can look at it whenever we like – the subject and the object.

 

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In fact, this manmade concept of ‘time’ has been created exactly because of our doubts and fears of the unknown. Time is a synthetic reality in which we can create many desires and then go about realizing them. But such activity is only a distraction from the reality of the unknown. To find true liberation we must embrace what is unknown courageously.

Desires are eternally repetitious in the dream of the past and projected into the dream of the future. The pattern is always the same, circular, a circle which keeps us captive. And the mind just goes on creating this pattern and ingraining it so we can live blindfolded, effortlessly. So that we feel safe because we think we know!

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After thousands of repetitions, particular experiences become more and more weighty, artificially significant. Then, ‘reality’ seems so convincingly real that we relegate everything else to the realm of dreams.

However, if we are living on auto-pilot, repeating everything, again and again, we are not in any way aware. Dynamism only comes into play when our full awareness is activated. Most of us prefer to be deeply asleep with auto-pilot engaged to the inconvenience of awareness. Why not allow the mind to work automatically, taking over every moment of our existence so that we can sleep.

If we sleep, we will never know Oneness with the Universe. We will never know the vast field of consciousness and the joy of each moment of the unknown. Wee will never embody the creature we are, stepping into every moment for the very first time.

We will never ‘know’ that we are composed of pure energy and that the only thing that energy does is to move eternally, flowing on in the wide river of all life.

 

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One day, someone told me that they owed me an apology. I was surprised saying that I was unaware of any mistake or offence they had created. They tried to apologize again. My response was that I would tell the person they offended when I met them and that it was not me because I am in no way the same even from moment to moment, let alone from day to day.

 

 

Images courtesy of Megapixl.com: see licenses at lindenthorp@gmail.com

To read more about ‘going beyond all dualities,’ our Divine Thread, and Oneness, please visit my web site at http://www.divinethread.wordpress.com

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True Nature: the Beginning

 

This new site – ‘TRUE NATURE: Our Supreme Inheritance’ – is dedicated to writing and perfecting a book with the same title. Another way of saying this is that I am adopting a currently very fashionable approach to writing and publishing which is to write a book in short episodes published live on the internet. 

I like this idea very much because I often get lonely and lose objectivity if I am working on a large project with little feedback over a long period. I love the prospect of having my followers, my audience, accompanying me and making me notice flaws or inconsistencies in what I’m writing as I go along.

I also love being challenged about my ideas and way of seeing human existence, so I’m really hoping you will feel free to post questions or comments. Please freely contact me and interact in this place of reflection.

Of course, the scheme and concepts for this book have been well-planned so it’s not as if I’m writing completely off the cuff. However, I anticipate that as I write, as usually happens, I will be moved in directions completely different to what I had planned once the narrative comes tumbling out of me.

So, getting this book out will be exactly like taking a long journey. There may be unexpected adventures or changes in route, but basically I think I know where we will end up.

I’ve finished packing and got all my travel accessories ready. Above me is the rocket ship we’re going to travel in! Hope you’re ready for a rocket-ship ride? Perhaps not what you had in mind.

I am also looking forward to talking directly to you, to wooing you with my view of the world. What is my motivation, I can hear you asking? Well, I am a writer/creator of many different things, but the crucial thing about my passion for the written word and for the beautiful language of English, is the challenge to touch my readers.

And it so happens that I am someone who has always had a fascination for the spiritual, the mystical, and belief in the basic goodness of human beings even though they often behave badly. That’s another thing I’m curious about. Why do people behave so badly sometimes and get so scared of life, and death? And after a lifetime of questing and tireless spiritual training, I think I’ve got some ideas about that.

So, basically I’m hoping that you can join me a couple of times a week for the next few months so I can reveal my insights to you in short easy-to-read episodes full of images, as well as get your feedback, good or bad! If you miss a visit, or are lacking in time to read me, I promise to make a little summary of the points I have made so you can easily catch up. I will put them in a special place so you can easily see them, and call them ‘travel notes.’

I like to use images to make my points clearer and to break up the text a little, but it is my intention not to clutter up this site with advertisements for other sites or works in process. I hope this TRUE NATURE site will be like a sacred corner in our lives – quiet and peaceful, a place where you can retreat from the gravitational force of life out in life. If I could, I would light a candle and burn some fragrant incense there, and open the window a crack so that the air flows nicely and we can feel the closeness of the universe and see my favourite tree and Moon plant in the garden.

So, I’ll get started and summarize what’s going to happen with each episode. You’ll soon get the swing of it. There are 5 episodes so far, so please come and visit me. Episode 1 asks, “What exactly is true nature?”

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Somnambulation: how many seconds can we really stay awake?

Most of us spend most of our lives asleep!  We fall into routines often by choice exactly so that we can sleep. We walk down a busy road in a dream staring into the wide-open sleeping eyes of passersby. We try to get our obligations fulfilled, our daily chores and duties finished quickly so that we can get back to sleep. We let most of our lives fritter away while sleeping.

You may be able to stay fully awake for a few seconds while something takes your attention, for example, the incredible curves, points and texture of these ice mountains, but then you drift off into your slumbers again.  And increasingly, it is only the visually sensational that holds your attention, so we are completely unaware of so many other invisible dimensions. 

If you close your physical eyes and hold back the constant stream of images and words which flood by, then perhaps you can count 3 or 4 of your own breaths before you are distracted again by the flooding. But this place of stillness and near-silence is REALITY! – the place where your spiritual eyes open wide. 

It is remarkable that human beings so rarely directly experience the full force of our natural and intended condition.


So, please remember to wake up for tiny periods during the day ahead. Take a moment to count your breaths deepening them as you go, or close you eyes and count from 1 to 10 without being distracted. This wide silent focus is reality, is being fully human! It is being entirely integrated and not separate from the Universe!

For me, this reality is heaven! And I go there whenever I can.

          

                                                       

                                                                        TRUE NATURE : Our Supreme Inhertance


Song: the perfect antidote to the banal

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‘There is a room around this song.’

Shocked, she wondered who thought of that? She asked who put this room in this library of other rooms to hold all the songs? It is called a ‘college of music,’ but an original college was a partnership, like the word ‘colleague’ today, not a huge institution with a whole unique ethos, surging forward, attracting fame and sponsorship, competing with other such urban necessities. Walls within walls, never still.

First everything is encased, captured. Then we must build a wall around it to hold it still, to make it stay so we can perpetuate it. Even the strings of this magical instrument ‘the piano’ that I am permitted to caress only the black and white teeth of are secreted away beneath designed wood, constructed, boxed. Must I play with these limits? Must I be held back? But wait! Questions are also constructed, their answers filed away in drawers.

Then suddenly amidst all this obsessive division, we will begin the song.

I have seen your face once or twice appearing and disappearing through doors and mirrors, your wine red lips, the hushed eyes of others with voice, the mutterings of your reputation, your talent. The light of you switches off and on again as you perambulate through the banal between songs, eating and drinking of necessity, speaking if spoken to, but saying as little as possible. You have always known that speaking the mundane is the poison, and you have found the perfect antidote in song.

You appear in this room indicating with your paper mantras – your score, as a talking point to get started, holding on to it scarcely with singing fingers. My mantras stand upright on the music desk only touched at the edges, but yours are cradled against the opaque skin of your forearms. Both are heavily marked, pencil, scratches, another kind of mantra made with numbers and symbols in Italian.

Before we start, oh how I long to get started, must there be this kind of foreplay? We both know that the poison is slowly killing us. Should we prolong the suffering for the sake of others? Should we stay to be like those who have not taken the antidote? Comfort in numbers, not to stand out for fear of being condemned as arrogant, or different?

The poison of containment behind walls and below roof tugs hopelessly at the fixed anchor of time. The tyranny of the visible, the prolongation of object permanence well into adulthood. Close the door, the drawer, the coffin lid, and now it’s gone. And the demented denial of the invisible, the inaudible, the untouchable, all the time the clammy jacket of space squeezing us tightly, holding us still until we are certain we really exist.

They do not realize that the poison of our ignorance and blindness hold us back, confine us, suffocating because we monopolize oxygen and are terrified that it will run out.

But once the learned conventions have been delivered, we can concentrate on the mirrors, polishing them up, breathing on them, rubbing, and they soon start to reflect. No decision to make about which of these miraculous antidotes to apply because they all work. The pages of scores are vague references, tacit, of no more concern so tossed aside.

We begin. We breathe as one in gratitude for the loan of just this one breath, and then the next, one at a time: gratitude and breath are key conditions that will make the antidote work.

I will start the song with breath-placed bent fingers perched on the cool ivory. Their tips are singing and they are calmed by air which convinces them that their nails should not tear away the wooden confines boxing in the gorgeous strings.

Seated beneath you, I am thrilled to be the soft underbelly of our union. My legs and feet drive the pedals, operate the dampers, quickly ‘on’ and ‘off,’ to promote the resonance or stop it summarily. I must be master of the used air in this song’s room because breath is required between strings and dampers, one for each key, an airiness which keeps the vibrations regular, oxygenation of the felt pads. Breath is also necessary for the highest treble strings, fine, taught, connected to the heavens; and the lowest bass, thick, loose, connected to earth which I never need to dampen with my foot pressure.

The convention of vocal song says that the accompanying instrument will start to set the mood. But I fail to notice the start because the antidote is already working. I am no longer conscious. ‘I’ has disappeared, leaving behind only poised fingers and forearms to weight them down. Fingertips and joints ripple and pivot, merging with you even before you let out a sound. There can be no human insubordination now.

The ethereal kiss is a delusion in the showcase of romance. The poison of possession, of fixing each appointed victim completely still with lips and arms, of pressing body weight, of the burn of skin friction and static. Crude, abstract, a stab in the dark, mirrors filthied by the poison and no antidote in sight.

Separate humans jammed together, confined, last-ditch, crammed in drawers and behind doors.

Conversely, this airy kiss of fingertips on strings is the perfect reflection of yours on lips like wild geese. Air and sound are only an apparition in the visible.