This is all you need to know (about yourself)

Just when I am not expecting anything, in those moments where distracted by routine into a nothing space in my head, I let go of my thoughts and something happens, something gets in. Normally my thoughts run wildly fast, creating a convenient barrier between me and the world, like an electron in an atom (some travel up to 90% of the speed of light) that in empty space creates rock hard material. My thoughts are like a smoke screen that stops the movement of vision from ‘in’ to ‘out’ and ‘out’ to ‘in’.

In 2014 there was a moment when my brain stopped making thoughts.

They say that when you enter the temple, the divine is present and sometimes it is not. It was not the first time that I cycled down the narrow path between the white washed Greek buildings to my little home. It was not the first time that I flew absentmindedly over the crazy paving cracks painted white, it was not the first time I ever felt lost…it was not the first time I was unconsciously in a zen state…but it was the first time that I felt an atomic bomb of an idea go off: we are killing ourselves from the inside out.

Back then I was in art school and we were reading ‘Odyseus’ by Homer. I read about Telemachus, his son, walking down the beach trying to decide what to do with his life. There was a choice: face the huge leap into the dark void of the unknown, face the start of his own epic hero journey even though his knees wanted to buckle under the weight of the fear of leaving all that is known, loved, comfortable, to enter into almost certain suffering, disorientation, constant unknown challenge (that he may not overcome) or stay home with Mom. In his state he calls out to Athena. Athena is the goddess of War, of Courage, of Wisdom. Bejesus he needed it.

Athena

Days later I am walking along a similar beach only thousands of years later, mulling over it. The words ‘God’ or ‘Gods’ these days create so much pre-judgemental tension that they are more like arms of mass destruction – and not without cause. Personally I was brought up in the Catholic system, and though I managed to ‘get out’ by the age of fifteen realising that (for myself) this was not a valid path, this was not an authentic path, and that even the parish priest didn’t seem to be able to bridge any of the dogma with actual life (either outside in the material world or inside in the ‘spiritual’/energetic/psychic world) it took me decades to break through my anger, through the illusion of being deceived, through my hatred. I wasn’t able to walk into a church without feeling alarm bells going off and wanting to graffiti the angst in my heart all over the stain glass windows, let alone begin to believe, or think, of ‘God’. Fuck that.

It took walking the ‘Camino de Santiago’ to get me into a little chapel. They were so numerous, so many little shrines dotted along the path that it was irritating. They were getting in the way of my walk within myself. So after about three weeks of waking up, breakfasting, walking, lunching, walking, dining, sleeping, waking up, walking etc I felt the need to feel the experience of going into a church after more than a two decades of rejection, spite and repulsion. To say the least.

My heart felt like it was going to burst through my chest. My vision went white around the edges. I was immersed in an inner soundtrack of a war film. I left.

Next chapel the same but less.

A couple of days later I tried again.

I mean I could go through all of the chapels but needless to say behavioural-cognitive theory does have its place. After I while I started to break down my automatic response systems.

I stood eventually in a chapel and was able – in relative stillness of mind – to realise that nothing is happening. I am not being forced to do anything. I am not being forced to believe anything. This is just a building, that is, actually, rather pleasant. Good acoustics. I tried out a Beatles song.

But many people have not broken through the word God. Or Gods. I’ve felt that atomic bomb go off in my face too many times.

So much so that when I wrote a book about all this I felt it wise to change the strap line from, ‘On Intimacy: Bringing back the Gods’ to ‘On Intimacy: A Forgotten Art’. I prefer the first, it sums up better for me what I was trying to achieve, but there again I am not still angry at the word God, and most of the people I know are.

I mean we can call it ‘Higher presence’, or ‘Higher self’, or ‘the One’ or ‘Oneness’ or ‘That which is more than us’. Your choice whether to use capitals. But over the years of sitting course after course of Vipassana meditation, of exploring the world through forty-two countries, living in seven, of being a serial consumer of workshop courses, of studying a masters of Jungian Psychology and Psychoanalysis, of having a string of partners all of whom I found to be loving and deep and glad to move away from once we had learnt what we needed from each other, I cannot in my heart of hearts say that there is not something more than ‘I’; I cannot say there isn’t anything more than my own sense of self, of who I am.

Telemachus taught me about the gods. About Greek gods at least. I am mortal, completely mortal, and though I have not died yet and find it hard to even imagine myself not being healthy, I know – though can’t really accept – that I will sooner or later clock it. But there is something in me that is Eternal. I know it. Emotions for one.

Presumably (because I wasn’t there) the Troglodytes felt happiness. Presumably the Chinese people inventing ink felt happiness once it worked. Presumably the Ancient Greeks felt happiness because from my modern perspective I have read about it. Happiness is Eternal. As is Joy, Truth, Peace, Beauty, Desire and all those archetypal states. I mean you only need to go to Wikipedia and scan and scan and scan down to see how many Greek Gods there are, each representing something Eternal. And there is Death and War and Madness too that are eternal. Consciousness holds everything.

In a Jungian analysis there was a patient who had a dream. It went like this. There is a flock of birds. They are all flying in the sky. He sees a bird being birthed in the sky, in the stream of their flow. He sees dead birds drop leaving their collective flight. Then he sees that through the birds there is a continual stream of light. Each bird is like an electron in a stream of light. Each bird is needed to let the light pass through it and onwards. When the bird dies, another one takes its place. Nothing is wasted. We are all needed.

Happiness can flow within any person, between any people. We have all experienced this Eternal feeling. Maybe we all feel it differently. Maybe we distort it in our own individual warped-upness, but happiness is Eternal.

Athena, the goddess of war and courage and wisdom visits Telemachus as he walks along the Greek island beach. He was in fear. He was bewildered. He didn’t know what to do. Then he called on Her, within himself, he called on courage, and opening to her, surrendering to Her, he began to feel it (Her) flow through his veins. He was full of courage. He set off. He went.

 

So spoke the goddess, flashing-eyed Athena, and departed, flying upward as a bird; and in his heart she put strength and courage.

THE ODYSSEY – BOOK 1.

 

Eternity is not this great thing. Perhaps a god is simply that which is eternal.

And cycling down that white washed street in an emotional crisis in the middle of an economic crisis it hit me, like Athena hit Telemachus, that we are killing our gods. We are killing what is eternal within us. Killing? Well, no not really: it is impossible to kill the Eternal, but we are disconnecting, not allowing it flow, we are not allowing it pass. Do not pass go, go straight to jail. We are not allowing time to let in the eternal.

I thought of my friends, of the Greeks, of the people working in shops, all with drawn faces. All working through the terror of not being able to survive. People didn’t have enough to eat. There were collections for the most vulnerable kids in the primary school to be able to give them at least one meal a day. People had cars but couldn’t get them out of the garage, petrol was too much of a stretch. People were working double, being paid half. People were feeding on worry.

Terror, is also Eternal. So is Death and War and Madness each with their own Greek God. We do not harness them either as a drive, but let them immobilise us. On that bike home I felt like we are killing all the creativity within us, the courage to live, and letting fear and terror destroy us rather than make us. In this world climate it feels that, if we actually manage to feel authentic emotions, if we manage to allow an e-motion to move us, it is in destruction, in fear, leading us down the garden path to become more haggard, less nourished, to block any ability to thrive. Perhaps it is the age old, eternal battle of the light and the dark. And we are losing.

By Athena Ellis (I know it’s sideways, I like it like that.)

I think if we knew how to, we would all naturally choose to fight for the Light. Or rather would like to relax into love. I personally would like to shed fear. I would like to connect with others and create something between us that is more than each one of us. I want to believe in creativity rather than buying in to short term solutions.

So over the last two years I wrote and published a book called, ‘On Intimacy: A Forgotten Art’ because maybe, just maybe, if we were to find deeper ways to nourish ourselves rather than trying to buy and sell ourselves, if we were able to find meaningful peace within ourselves and with others, perhaps we will change the world as we bring back the smile of the ‘gods’. Perhaps we will allow more light to stream through ourselves and our societies? Perhaps we will thrive…

And as I wrote the book, the book wrote me. As I delved into the fields of what intimacy may mean, I realised that the adage, ‘The Truth lies in the simple for it is where most overlook’ is absolutely true. It took me 450 pages to realise a very easy thing that changes worlds within; that if we were all to accept this truth – but it’s hard because it’s so simple – we could possibly god-damn-it can change the entire blasted world for the better, for our better, for the better of everyone and everything.

But what is this truth? I hear you ask. It is so simple that is as difficult to accept as the knowledge that one day we will die, and it is this: YOU are good enough as you are.

It’s all we need to know. That’s it.

You are good enough.

Child’s play.

And child’s play is so easy. It is just so darned hard to get to. To allow. To enter up into.

I mean you can buy the book, read the journey of philosophy and depth psychology, of polyamory, of dance and it could nudge you in the right direction inside, (three friends have said that they literally couldn’t put it down, it was life changing) but essentially this is what it says: you are good enough.

Because you are.

I don’t know how to write it any simpler, any more accessible-ly.

You are.

Though I would love you to, you don’t need to read the book. Deep down you already know.

It’s our responsibility to bring back the Gods. Just remember.

www.on-intimacy.com

SUBSCRIBE AND REMIND YOURSELF REGULARLY – YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH AS YOU ARE RIGHT NOW:

 

 

 

Humans can bear so little of the Truth

‘Be, be who you are, sing it out!’ tweeted the little bird, warbling its sweet song, ‘For we are all nearly dead.’

That is what caught my attention.

‘ Enjoy,’ it sang on, ‘of life, of being alive, of enjoying life as it comes.’

It comes along, this that I wasn’t expecting, couldn’t have imagine. It came along and I had to learn to accept. That was the rub. Though I could try not to, could grumble, could crumble into tears, could shout loudly for it to go away, could even fall to the hard ground, cutting my knees and plead, plead to the skies. But no – this, this thing called life will not go away.

‘But I have imagined it so differently,’ I moan to the little bird, shitting from above on high. I imagined myself so long ago into this life. It was not this and it was controlled, easy. It was after the ‘and they lived happily ever after’, that was where I was heading to. I am the story, but I yearn for after the end.

‘But how can you be so naïve you humans?’ asked my feathered friend, ‘How can you be so blind to the Truth?’

The Truth of What?

‘Of happening, of arising, of passing away? Humankind can bear so little…’

I imagine a life, an age, a year, a season, a month, a week, a day, a second, a billionth of a second, 13 billionths of a second, an exploding universe, an imploding star.

‘Life is what Life is!’ tweeted the little bird, ‘Not what you imagine it to be,’ and then flew away.

Letting go

Shoulder to shoulder
in the field of straw
in the middle of the rain
I burn the wrist band
– our funny little symbol
that you laughed I should
carry around as
a romantic memory
of our first ever argument:
each of us hovering
on opposite sides
of different needs
as loud flashing lights
of an electrifying concert
blur our vision.

I remember wanting to control;
I remember feeling controlled.
I remember back now and laugh
– how absurd it all seems
to want to control love,
how it would have turned out
so much easier
if I had only been
strong enough
to trust.

And yet here I am
ME holding this little wrist band
ME lighting it
in an idea I have had.

You watch me
as I hold ceremony
and then scream
– not hysterical
more a muffled shock –
as the toxic band
spits onto my finger
and sticks as it burns.

‘I’ll take over…’
you say gently
and through the pain
I agree
and realise
this is not just me
and my own toxicity
but us, and you and yours
and this growing thing
between us
that we want
to be healthy and strong.

When the toxic band
gets too small
for fingers and fire
you drop it to the grass
where in the middle of the
wind and rain
I worry it will not all burn
and we will be doomed forever

and yet,
despite the downpour,
it burns on
and on
and on…

We stand amazed,
two little flames now
on each side
burning through
what is no longer needed,
uncontrolled
unaided
unperturbed
until nothing is left –
at all…

gone.

And I realise
in that deep stillness
of the aftermath
I could have dropped it all
a long time ago
without anything
getting in the way
like arguments
and burnt fingers
or residual pain.

Last night with you:

Eventually we got the fire warm
and in the blaze
you lay back
on the most comfortable bench
in the caravan
as if it were a billowing magical divan
and turned on your ears.
I felt you do so
and it gave me courage
– cor –
it gave me heart
– cor –
isn’t that also god?
to carry on
and describe my scenes to you
sweet hearted godlike you
with eyes that hold currents
that want to swim out in your love to me
– if only I will let you –
my barbaric life guard still on day duty
as the last flickers of the outside flame
sink beneath us
and yet even he,
trained to protect,
dropped his guard
and let me jump in
– dive even –
into the depths of me
and bring out for you
a few of the diamonds I keep down there
– treasuring –
for you to see
and even, if this flowing
from fathoms below
I can paint in words well enough
to feel
to be moved by
to ride with me on e-motions.
‘Are you still listening?’
I ask, landing for a pit-stop.
Sometimes your eyes are closed
as if dozing
yet you nod
‘Yes,’ soft warms tones by the hearth
‘it’s fascinating,’
and I believe him
and marvel
wondering where he is taking this,
what he does when this that is mine
becomes his.

Out of infinite possibilities

Don’t you think
it is amazing
that there is a whole entire world
full of everything you can imagine
and more than you can’t

waterfalls, cages for gas cylinders in late night petrol stations, raves with hundreds and thousands of hands moving in the light spectrumed air, sun shining through dense tropical leaves seen by no human, murky brown rivers, cake shops with old ladies who don’t take off their hats, early morning bakery workers covered in a fine white dust, casinos full of one-armed bandit addicts, school buses full of young worlds opening, thousands of couples right now saying ‘I do’ in churches and mosques and temples and beaches, a hospital ward and a person racked with sobs holding onto a still warm dead hand, a new girlfriend daring a new recipe off the internet, the scream of a baby girl coming into the world, a difficult decision between two almost identical products, millions of phones bleeping right now across the globe,

and you and me here

right here, breathing into the same space
with no-one else around
no-one

you
me
and these thin walls
flickering out of
candle shadows

you
me
in this caravan
in a forgotten field
listening to the current
chorusing down a riverbed.

just you and me
while the rest of the world moves on

you and me and the soft silence that furs the air
then a crinkle of the chocolate gluten free cake
its wrapping crunching as your knife searches
for a not so small a slither to slice
and your voice saying
‘How I’d like a whisky now!’
and me saying reminescently
‘It’s because the cake is so sweet,’
and you look at me and repeat,
‘Como me gustaria un whisky.’

you and me
here in this laboratory of two
with only this one time
and this one place.

don’t you think that’s magical?
don’t you think that’s a miracle?

Buy the Original

 

With all the original juicy bits, this Original version with the Purple Cover will titilate your mind, touch your heart and move your body. Not a book to be told what to do, but a book to allow to settle in like dew on morning grass. Allow yourself to reach your own conclusions, your own ideas, allow yourself to slip away into who you really are.

Shiva’s Lightsaber Blog

Fabi preparing a delicious lunch in not so delicious ambiance

After crafting word weaving for 10 years, do you want a taste of some of the favourite posts on Shiva’s Lightsaber blog?

Here’s a whole range of musings wondering through the fascinating forests of depth psychology, symbology, myths and what was goes on in our lives sometimes without us even noticing.

Get a bash at Honeymoon: Ready for any Eventuality a blog written in the first days of a new relationship where nothing could have been worse, that is on the outside and yet while lying on a slightly damp, slightly smelly bed as rainwater flows down the inside walls (an ‘attractive water feature’), through bugs and mosquitos and toilets that don’t work, living month to month on the little that we had, we realised that it could not, by any stretch of the imagination, be that we were together for glamour, fame or fortune – but because we wanted to be. Else there was no way we’d ever have stuck it out!

Another faves are: Being Oneself in a Relationship, Arising and Passing Away , Tricking the Mind out of the Negative and When he drives you Mad: Narcissitic Personality Disorder.

If you want to be in the know with new blogs, use the sign up box on the right hand side of the blog’s screen.

 

Shiva’s Lightsaber Blog

 

 

 

Shiva’s Lightsaber celebrates 10 years of being in existence! Words weaving in and out of deep themes, light themes, silly themes. Myths, depth psychology, and just what has been happening to me in my life.

As the blog page’s blurb says: In the interplay of shadows and light it´s not what you look at, but what you see.

As for the name Shiva – one of the Supreme Beings of Hinduism the creator and destroyer of all things – uses his sharp sword to cut through the crap and penetrate into what is real. I like the merge with the Luke Skywalker and his lightsaber: I think it brings the idea of the sword of reality (occidentally) home. “Saber” in Spanish is ‘to know’ and also ‘to taste’ or ‘to savour’. A ‘sabio’ is a wise one who savours the Truth.

Light needs dark matter to discover itself by contrasting in the empty mirror.