BGG Ethics/Spirituality/Philosophy Field Resignation

I've come to the conclusion it's time to turn my badge in for reasons
unconnected with the recent turmoil. For the past month I've been trying to
find someone who would be willing to take over the
Ethics/Spirituality/Philosophy Field - so far without success.

My reasons are 1) that this summer I intend to rebuild my studio (with
turf roof & local stone) & only have a two month window in the summer to get
this done, so would not be available if the BGG runs: 2)
http://www.colourmuse.com/index.php is nearly ready to go live - in which
I've invested a lorra money & a lorra lorra time, & I really have to focus
on making this a success because my teaching method is a mission to liberate
children from the horrors of exam-mania (as well as a pension, I wish): 3)
I've embarked on a large-scale composition project which will take me half a
year & mentally is simply not compatible with the amount of fiddly
administrative detail that Area Coordination demands.

Beyond this, I do also have to say that as the serious points I've made
do not appear to have been engaged with, let alone responded to, I have
little confidence that the BGG directors understand the issues of resource
& human management any better than the record shows they did formerly. I
would therefore find it hard to engage in planning a future event with any
faith that further misjudgments would not occur.

I am very torn in making this decision, because the BGG has been a large
part of my life during this decade. I want to pay tribute to EVERYone who
has been involved in making it happen, and happen so beautifully. I cannot
begin to express all that I've learnt from being permitted to be part of it.
Due to my anomalous background, I've never felt I belonged in any other
social grouping. Yet the BGG has felt more like home /family to me, & I've
taken fire from the sparks which I feel other kindling all around me.

Perhaps in the human condition we are all wayfarers huddling together
around a midwinter fire telling each other songs and jokes to keep the
darkness at bay, and therefore in the physical circumstances of each
Gathering we meet together in a uniquely honest way on the ground as human
beings, as well as on the ground of our common humanity?

Yet at the same time we are spirit, and we have the power to be other
than our physical surroundings - we HAVE the power to create the dawn, and
ultimately to BE our own high summer. And the Gathering is a forum where
others can experience that power.

We all know this is what the BGG is about, and it's why I'm sad that -as
so often in the history of the world- a bunch of visionaries have been
caught out by their failure to keep track of the mundane nittygritty. We're
not the first bunch of stargazers to land up to their necks in mud.

The art of successful tightrope walking demands constant readjustment to
keep one's balance. In cosmic terms, the greater the light, the greater the
shadow. This is where we fell down: we luxuriated in the light, and did not
wish to see /engage with the shadow. Having a rather devious scorpionic
mind, to which I owe my survival in a fairly harem-scarem life, I have on
several occasions seen the drop coming, where others have partied on into
oblivion. (Call it e.s.p. if you want!) But my warnings about what was
'unsustainable' here fell on deaf ears.

It's an un/fortunate feature of terrestrial life that that which aspires
to raise the condition of humankind is subjected to higher moral standards &
more arduous testing that that which has no aspiration. All wisdom
traditions agree that anyone who takes this path has to expect it - 'As gold
is tested in the fire, so those who are chosen are tested in the furnace of
humiliation' says the Book of Wisdom in the Bible. Or to put in the
vernacular 'if you aim to raise the common consciousness you can expect to
have the shit kicked out of you.'

Why? Because we cannot change anything effectively in our external
circumstances without first being willing to be changed ourselves, and then
that dynamic imparts itself to those around us - and so the psychic ripple
passes throu the 99 monkeys till it reaches the one who tips the balance.
Much that is ineffective in revolutionary politics stems from people using
campaigning for external change when they have not engaged with their own
inner process & motivation.

My great concern is that we who constitute the core of the BGG had
become lazy about maintaining that central dynamic. Our steering group
meetings tended to be mostly inward about ways & means, with very little
about external vision & strategy.

Maybe that will change, now that minds are focussed on the bullet loaded
in the rifle? I hope so. It's the mother of all wakeup calls.

The hardest thing for me to let go are the relationships, especially that of
the wonderful ESPf crew - a number of whom have been coming from Ireland at
their own expense each year. Not of course that I AM letting go of them
altogether, but my decision means that as the bonds loosen some
relationships will disintegrate.

I think the thing that has been the supreme achevement of the BGG thus
far has been to demonstrate to the world that human beings can and do
collaborate naturally without the need for rules and rigid structures to
force them to do it. From the afar you might think that when you're
collaborating in building a visionary community all would happen according
to some ideal: for me the grounding discovery has been that the personality
traits & communication glitches are as much part of 'paradise' as they are
of the quotidian world. What differs is the motiviation to expand our
psychic awareness of interdependence.

Nowherelse have I experienced a social event where the fertile or green
values of Eros (the intuitive /subjective) so successfully outweigh Logos
(the rational /objective) - which is what makes the BGG such a great
counter-balance to the toxically yang energy in society as a whole. Yet I do
believe that its very success is what has led to a corresponding IMbalance
in the BGG itself. And that is what I have endeavoured to draw attention to.

Here we manifest most clearly the interesting phenomenon that whatever
we do not resolve in our own lives we visit as a shadow on others. [Yes, I
own myself in this.] If we are private individuals this doesn't matter so
much, but when we have positions of governance it matters a hellova lot.
Whatever is unresolved in ourselves becomes the blind spot we manifest in
the judgments we make on behalf of our 'constituency'. [Think Bush /Blair:
war on Muslims]

IMO, what MUST happen now for the sake of the BGG's regeneration is to
find a working balance between a competent professional manager, paid a
respectful wage, and a board led by a chair who has the self-confidence not
try to act the MD as well. It's a tough call, but it's one that's got to be
made. If the flow of meddling and bad /muddled decisions that I've seen
during my involvement with the BGG is not eliminated, I don't see a future.

Knowing that I would resign, trying to find someone to take over, and
working out what to say to enthuse that person at such an uncertain time,
has been a weight on my mind. I do believe that the BGG has a great future
if it can struggle to resolve its collective shadow by engaging with, and
embracing, what it fears.

Accountancy & professional management are NOT the enemy of spontaneity,
if the right accountant and manager are chosen. Everything in the world
changes, and if we want to keep the freedom of the cultural renaissance of
the 1960s alive (& my life & art are dedicated to this) then we have to
accept that different times sometimes demand different means to generate the
former answers. Nothing stays the same. As the zeros get longer the system
of financial management has to come of age.

The quality and longevity of an organisation are best demonstrated in
its capacity to train the next generation to assume leadership, which
requires an exceptional degree of forebearance and generosity. My heartfelt
wish is that we, the BGG, should earn the trust and engagement of our kids.
For the future of our planet depends on passing on to them what we have
learnt in a form that is meaningful to them. Finding the forms which the
rising generation finds meaningful is not a straightforward matter, but we
collectively know more about it than most organisations.

We, the BGG, have a head & shoulders advantage over other 'institutions'
- don't blow it up in smoke. Be real, be grounded - we ARE stardust.

I shall of course collaborate with whatever decisions are made about the
ESP Field to ensure the best outcome for everyone.
Best wishes


The link between the Moslem & Christian worlds

Sometimes you wait for years for an elucidation of certain mysteries. Corpus Alchemicum Arabicum: Book of the Explanation of the Symbols 'Kitab Hall Ar-Rumuz' by Muhammad Ibn Umail with Psychological Commentary by Marie-Louise Von Franz, translated & published by Theodor Abt, is that book.

I had always been convinced that there must be a link between the Sufism, the sacred geometry of the early gothic cathedrals, mediaeval alchemy the troubador movement and the enduring legend of the Holy Grail. The encyclopaedic mind of Marie-Louise von Franz alone had the wisdom & authority to demonstrate where the common factors lie.

I shall write more about this anon, but for now let this extract stand as an example of the link she traces between the pursuit of the alchemical transformation of matter /the self, and the Jungian ideas of the anima/animus as each person's transexual inner otherness.
From 9thC ascetic Ahmad ibn Abu al-Hawari: "In a dream I saw a maiden of the most perfect beauty, whose countenance shone with celestial splendour. To my asking 'whence comes that brilliance on thy face?' she replied 'dost thou remember that night spent in weeping (& devotion)?', I answered, and she said 'I took those tears of thine and with them anointed my face, since then it has shone in brilliance.'