Looking back over 'temptation'

I've now almost finished uploading this blog of inner guidance which I received between 1991-7. I started the uploading as a result of a beautiful experience when I was alone in the Tuscan hills in August 05 - and it came to me that it was now time to make these inner experiences public. I decided that I would do it by revisiting the 'messages' (from my subconscious or whereverelse you think they originate) & studying their relevance for me now, 15 years later. In the intervening 9 months I've generally managed to upload 1 or 2 a day, and I've been stunned by their beauty, conciseness and apposition to my present life.

Broadly, they came to me on first waking, & I would write them down without questioning or editing, during a time that I was led throu a sequence of very difficult changes. In the opening period, I was a freelance composer, writer & broadcaster. But by 1990 I was searching for a way to integrate a deeper musical /spiritual reality than the one which I could easily access within the lifestyle & mindset I had acquired to date. In 1991 I felt led to 'walk off the edge of the world' that I then knew, by resigning from the Junior Royal College of Music where I had taught part-time for 17 years & by accepting that my broadcasting career was over. [The Birtian reforms had meant that my niche in BBCr3 Features was abolished.]

I felt impelled by the appearance of Sai Baba in a dream in 1987, when I had never even heard his name. This had created a dynamic in my life where I had reached a point where I knew I had to trust that the experiences which seemed to be propelling me towards professional annihilation would actually provide a bridge over the abyss that appeared to beckon - albeit a flimsy wooden one without a handrail. I had to cast off into the void in order to allow what was to come next to manifest itself.

And so it came to pass. What followed was (pardon the mixture of metaphors, but it's appropriate in a dream-related scenario) a white-knuckle roller-coaster ride that involved a magazine publishing enterprise called CataList that ran for a year and a half before crashing due to circumstances for which I was not responsible, and which it was very hard to accept because it seemed that failure was the very opposite of what I believed would happen as a result fo trusting my guidance. Yet in that abject humiliation came, for me, the greatest jewel of all – a profound integration where I could really accept Dylan Thomas's line 'good & bad, two ways of going about our death by the grinding sea.

Like director John Huston's teenage experience of surviving being swept throu a sluice, I real-ised that there really is a power which supports those who surrender to it. The gift of Job's experience was that stript of everything (which I wasn't) he came 'face to face' with that presence which is the fount & origin of all matter – & we begin to understand how the raw metaphysics of universe differ from our anthropomorphic projections – how in fact there is no incompatibility between the power of love & the power of evolution, how both are natural forms of growth in which the self-centred emotional vocabulary of humans cannot (yet) see a connection.

If history is written by victors, then stories of testing in adversity can only be written by 'overcomers'. But I didn't want that. I knew that, even if noonelse was interested, the real story was that I already knew the ending. I knew that everything was fine – even tho it felt like torture & everyonelse thought I was a lunatic. As I dangled over the void I experienced complete freedom in my relationship with 'that of god within' – ok, not freedom as in 'feeling ok freedom', but a more profound freedom - that it was perfectly alright not to feel ok. All our physical & cultural programming teaches us to avoid pain – but once you can see pain as 'simply another way of being' it draws a huge amount of the sting. You can see beyond your immediate physical senses – and then a bigger picture forms.

What we can't bear about the disturbance of our bourgeois patterns of consciousness is the unending, open-endedness nature of mental illness or addiction. It threatens our orientation around periodic forms. Thus'The World' doesn't want to hear about (news) stories that have no ending, because it arouses in us an unresolved anguish. And this was very much my own position. Yet, I knew it was important not to surrender to the angst of the situation, but to keep focused on the goal of wholeness. In the same way, to return to my earlier metaphor of the flimsy bridge, that I had to keep looking ahead to the other side of the chasm, not downwards into the bottomles abyss.
Perhaps this over-dramatises things? A lot of people who have known me over the last 20 years wouldnt've seen that much disturbance on the surface of my life? Despite some very tight corners I still have the support of my wife, Clancy, & my children don't (obviously) hate me – as is the case with many who have allowed themselves the indulgence of falling into the crucible of their own subconscious. I think /hope that even if/when I was unbearable I never lost a sense of proportion – which came from knowing that this wasn't really happening to me. Sure, it was something I had to go throu (why, I didn't know) but the reality was that I already knew the answers: this was simply the way to get at them.

A lot of the time I felt utterly useless. Nothing I did seemed to work. But even allowing myself to enter that profound sense of worthlessness was a valuable experience – & I could allow myself this since I knew that I was exceptionally able & had repeatedly proved this in the earlier part of my career. The fact that people didn't value what I was now articulating was a reflexion of the limitations of their standpoint, not of the authenticity of my vision.
Psychic isolation is one of the most acute forms of suffering. We have in ourselves the residual instincts of herd living or tribal awareness. Not to real-ise this aspect of ourselves is not to real-ise our full humanity. But we live in an age that is only just emerging from the beau idéal of nuclear individualism & my branch of the human species has not yet (re-)discovered how to create belongingness in a nuclear age. The search for a value-system that values us for more than our economic value is perhaps the most important search we undertake. I have found an answer that works for me, and I endeavour to real-ise in the lifestyle choices I make - for instance my involvement with the Big Green Gathering or my ColourMuse teaching method.

I called this post Looking back over 'temptation' because I wanted to capture the essence of that line in The Lord's Prayer whose original meaning has been rendered opaque by time. I think it means 'lead us not into temptation' of despair. For if you lose /let go of your ability to cognise duality (the distinction between what I am now experiencing & an alternative reality) you then lose the essential characteristic that distinguishes homo sapiens from other life forms. That's one it's almost impossibly hard to come back from.

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