Magical 2014: Self Discipline, the illusion of time and the trials of initiation. Test? Rest. Blessed!

Magical 2014

Test? Rest. Blessed!

2014 has been one of the most magical years I’ve had for a while, but also one of the most testing. I am appreciating self discipline. Moving to London, staying with my mum, facing the dentist, turning down sweets, turning down zoots. Still having loads of fun, only go to the rave I’m performing at and stay relatively sober but I’ll still dance all night and share cuddle puddles with the loveliest (and hottest) while witnessing yet more magical cascading coincidences in prettier places. But more discipline means better health and more money and those things are useful. Life doesn’t have to be hard, we can manifest all sorts of beauty and magic into our lives and you don’t have to live the standard template set out by society. But most hero stories, most tales of great avatars, they have the their dark times, they face their shadows. These are just stories. But great babas did not just do yoga in warm health spas, or meditate in cosy buddhist centres, they did yoga by camp fires and their vippassnas were in caves. I am not criticising, I intend to do more yoga in warm cosy rooms and I wonder if I will ever have the bravery and inclination for vipassna. One of Steiner’s more cosmic books Knowledge of Higher Worlds talks about Initiation, spiritual growth through the tests life throws at you. Initiation in trials by fire, water and air. It’s some deep knowledge of the ancients he’s going into but even that is just another story, it’s a perspective. You have had testing days. You do not necessarily choose what happens to you but you get to choose how you react to it. That’s a lesson Paradox taught well with the poem Attitude Kings and is echoed in Maxi Rai’s song Dear Sweet Universe {see both below}. How you react to it is what we are discussing. Sleeping in long barrow burial chambers on a solstice is easy, it’s easy if you have enough blankets, enough awesome people and enough instruments to keep you entertained. Light is information and sunlight is information and the solstice sun is a different form of information (some might say a higher form). But I can probably never quantify the value of witnessing that light or prove the value of sharing vibration with the DnA of the other people in those long barrows (like I have). Sleeping under giant trees is easy if not for the mosquitoes and the constant threat of loggers and police coming to evict you, but you can learn a lot from the trees (like I have). But I can probably never explain the communication that you can have with an ancient tree, maybe it’s entirely scientific, microbial mycelium in the winds, vibrational frequencies of my heart resonating. Maybe it’s all my imagination. Meditating in buddhist centres is easy, (easier than a forest with mosquitoes around your ears), but I learned more from getting cheated on, I learned more from sleeping next to lover for months who wasn’t ready to have sex with me, I learned more from living with a mother who had completely different values to me (she wanted me to be a lawyer, I wanted to be a revolutionary and a rapper and ended up being a dirty hippy squatter, now I’d rather be a clean hippy teacher so we’re meeting in the middle.) I learned more about myself by facing the dentist and realising that every dentist is different, as every experience is different and the experiences I had with the dentist as a child is a unique one never to be repeated in exactly the same way again. I learn these lessons and I try to communicate them because I’d rather other people did not have to learn the hard way. That is my part of my path, part of my service, not an obligation but a preference. I want to be understood. But most people will never understand me. For while I am so over-sensitive that my emotions are often painfully adversely affected by the opinions of others, I am that stubborn, determined and proud that I very rarely allow my actions to be affected by the opinions of others. I am usually guided, inspired, and led by what I will think of my own actions on my own deathbed and beyond. I don’t always think in those terms specifically, but I simply try to do what feels right. But sometimes I have to take a moment to stop thinking and make sure I am not being guided by fear or desire, cos if you live in the now it can seem like the greatest benefit is eating sweets that make you happy now and not going to the dentist that brings up childhood phobias now. One of the most powerful books I have ever read is The Power of Now. But if I had children I may have appreciated the importance of future, and therefore the importance of discipline sooner. I teach children now, because past, present and future may all be illusions but while the illusion is as persistent as Einstein said it was I choose to enjoy my present while enjoying the company of beings who have not had the life sucked out of them by ‘society’ because my past has taught me that it is likely to be mutually beneficial for our future. But the past is just a story and the future is infinite possibility so essentially all we have is the illusion of now. Ha, and I want to be understood! When the point you are making relies on something as fleeting to both physicists and philosophers as the illusion of time it is time to change the subject slightly. I’m sure Craig won’t mind me quoting him before I quote myself, best advice for the day was – “you just go and enjoy relaxing in the chair, and rest for everyone that will never be able to see a dentist.” BOOM. Perspective shift. “…this year, studying to be a Steiner school teacher and all that is me putting off some fun things now to be happier in the future and that’s a new approach for me.” me, earlier today. “…facing the dentist and staying with my mum has led to more emotional (and therefore spiritual) growth than meditating on mountains, sleeping under giant trees or waking up in long barrow burial chambers…” me, earlier today. But more specifically, in my chat with Craig yesterday, “none of that cosmic shit did as much to make me a better person unless they gave me a moment to rest, a moment to appreciate the non existent now, or a {beautiful} memory to appreciate… the cosmic stuff had it’s place for sure, definitely showed me there’s more to life than meets the eye.” So I feel beyond words. Literally (but I’m still gonna use words to try!) I mean I feel pretty terrible and pretty awesome at the same time. My tooth hurts, I owe the dentist loads of money, I’m terrified that I’m too sensitive for London, and I’m terrified that even a short stay with my mum will erode my self esteem but I’m proud of myself for taking steps in difficult directions for positive reasons, excited at the size and depth of my hometown, excited at the thought of me and my mother growing to know each other better, excited at the jobs I’m being offered in London and the projects in Glastonbury, and volunteering at the Steiner school in Frome – and I’m supporting Top Cat, General Levy and Kenny Ken tomorrow. “Junglists are you ready?” Not bad for a freelance philosopher. Today’s essay was brought to you by local anaesthetic and insomnia. Bung.