Life is But A Dream

I recall singing that song when I was a small child and wondering what did it mean? – Life is just a dream?

Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.

But where did this come from and who wrote it? A bit of research suggests that the earliest printing of it was in 1852 but who wrote it and why seems lost in the mists of time. If anyone knows, please let me know…

I thought life a dream when I was a child or rather, I thought it a game that I controlled. It was a sort of virtual reality (as it would be called now) and I was sat in a box connected to a machine that gave me vision and senses. So to be honest, I didn’t puzzle too much over the idea that life might be a dream. I rather accepted that it was.

I have lost so much as I have grown and yet I have gained so much. My imagination as a child was beyond equal. I could create other worlds right there in my head and my dreams and my waking life seemed interconnected and one. I could fly back then. Magic – physical magic was real and so were elves. There was a girl I loved so much trapped on an island of towering cliffs looked after by her wicked witch of an Aunt that I dreamed about over and over again. One dream ran into the next even weeks apart until I finally rescued my love and the wicked witch met her destiny.

There may have unlimited imagination as a child but there was no experience of life. In the Mystical Hexagram, I talk about the hardened horny matter that is built up by life. We talk about the burning away – the transformation through fire – of life’s experience. The breaking down of this hardened horny material that we build up through life.

It’s as if we build ourselves a prison.

It starts early with our parents who, knowing no better, burden us with some of the hardened life material. Next, its other kids (peer pressure) and our teachers (culture, way of seeing things etc.). We lose our ability to just imagine and it is replaced with the straight jacket that is normality and acceptance. We no longer ‘row the boat, gently down the stream’ but rather fight the currents going in God knows which direction and to what end? Oblivion?

Life loses its innocence, its gaiety, it’s merriness. It’s no longer a dream but a nightmare.

That is until you remember how to imagine. How to center yourself and imagine. Learn how to dream again. How to cast off the horny matter and transform the experiences – no matter what they are – into something of eternal value and meaning. Something spiritual and energizing. The combination of childish imagination skills and the adult’s experiences of life to at first remember to row, gently DOWN the stream (with the current – Just as Asteroth said ‘don’t fight, go with the flow merrily understanding, it is YOUR dream and you can create your own reality.

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Originally posted on Asteroth’s Domain.

Best Laid Plans – FREE on Kindle for Five Days

Starting tomorrow Best Laid Plans and Other Strange Tails will be FREE on Kindle at all Amazon sites.

Best Laid Plans is my fifth collection of poetry and comprises over 30 new poems about life and reality.  It includes the following poems;

  • The Story
  • Enough
  • Okay
  • Rumors of War
  • Talk, Talk
  • Sixes and Sevens
  • Debt
  • The Question Song
  • Love is All it Takes
  • Divine Mind
  • Fame Seeker
  • Atomic Antics
  • Hexagrams
  • Young Love
  • Theology
  • Texas Summer Sun
  • ABC
  • Dogma
  • Sunday Afternoon
  • Lazarus
  • Painting with Words
  • Conformity
  • Big Man
  • Summer
  • Eternally Divine
  • Best Laid Plans
  • Deeper
  • Reality Defining
  • The Plot
  • Mistaken Priorities
  • Other Strange Tails

Get it while its free on Kindle and if you like it, buy the paperback.

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Inner Dreaming – World Blog Hop

Sue Vincent passed on the baton of the World Blog Hop to me as it moves from writer to writer across the blogosphere. Apparently, I am to describe my personal writing process and then pass on the assignment to another writer and blogger. Sue and I wrote a book together a while ago but it was all done by email – sort of writing by correspondence! I think it worked though and the book stands as testimony to that process.

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Just recently, I have done a few interviews and there is always a question or two about the writing process as if it were formulaic. Perhaps for some it is. For me, there isn’t so much as a process as a frame of mind. Firstly, I need to feel the urge to write and secondarily I need to raise the vibratory level a notch or two and tune into another part of my self. I can achieve that through meditation or music both of which seem to calm my inner space and raise my awareness somewhere beyond me. From that lofty and serene position words flow like streams and rivers towards the sea. Where they will flow I often don’t really know to be honest but flow they do and I bob along following the inner currents where they take me.

The result of this process can be a blog article, a poem (I now have 5 poetry collections published) or indeed, a book. My novel The Last Observer was written in that state of mind and I enjoyed the writing process because the twists and turns in the plot were equally a surprise to me to be honest. The stream of consciousness flowed through some very twisty canyons writing that one!

So, I would love to make it all seem more complex and more high brow than it really is and tell you I did research, edited and edited and rewrote and all the other things that the craft of writing is supposed to entail. Instead, I will tell you the truth. To me writing is like painting. I throw words at a canvas and see what looks good. I do it in a higher mental state. I very rarely do any research and although I do edit progressively, my intention isn’t to be perfect nor win awards for my prose. Nope, its to tell a story and tell it well and that’s it. There is far too much high brow nonsense in writing – a sort of snobbery – its designed to intimidate people who want to write. Well, this is the punk era of writing – anyone can do it and should do it. That’s my view anyway.

Before me
A blank piece of paper
I paint with words
Swirling deep vowel hues
Pictures emerge
With every word I choose

It’s a thrill
To slap those words around
Messy fun with letters
Alliterations
Descriptive nouns
Verbal variations

Masterpiece
Letters joined together
Similar sounding sounds
Discordant vibes
A mixed vocal pallet used by
Artistic scribes

(Painting with Words from my Moon Whispers collection)

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To be honest, I write for a living. I am a commodity markets technology analyst and I write blog articles, ghost written magazine articles, white papers, research reports and so on. You can check out some of this on CTRMCenter - our firm’s professional portal. My first book was Inner Journeys: Explorations of the Soul and it was a sort of autobiographical account of growing up psychic and then studying with a school of esoteric science and how that impacted me as a person. I must have got the bug because shortly afterwards, I published my first collection of poetry – Weird Tales. My latest efforts are my novel – The Last Observer – and a couple more poetry collections in Moon Whispers and the brand spanking new – Best Laid Plans. I am sure there will be many more. I like writing and I like sharing it with people too. Surely, thats all the reason I need right there?

The Last Observer was published by Roundfire Books and through the publisher, I have been united with a whole host of other wonderful and marvelous people and writers. Roundfire is an imprint of John Hunt Publishing and it is there I find the writer that I will pass on the baton to in Daniela Norris. Her book, On Dragonfly Wings: a skeptic’s journey to mediumship, was published earlier this year and she has another due out soon called Collecting Feathers: tales from The Other Side. She also blogs over at her site. She is a former Israeli diplomat, turned writer and her stories, articles and essays have been published in numerous newspapers and magazines, and first collection of short stories, titled ‘The Year Spring Turned into Winter’ was out in December 2008. Crossing Qalandiya – Exchanges Across the Israeli Palestinian Divide, co-authored with Shireen Anabtawi, was published in the UK in May 2010.

 

Patterns in the Rain

I have always loved rain. Somehow rain always gives me a sense of cleansing and renewal and to walk in rain calms me. Throw in a bit of lightening and ripple of thunder and I am child again in awe of nature.

The magical power of water is often forgotten but alluded to in the rites of baptism and ritual cleansing. That cold crystal liquid, a mixture of two gases in liquid form, can be used magically in so many ways either with physical water or with imagined water. Water can be charged with thoughts, emotions and with intent as with holy water and because of this property, it can be used in a myriad of ways to cleanse and renew.

When water falls from the sky, it cleanses our atmosphere and it cleans the accumulated dust and dirt moving it all to the lowest spot where it reorganizes and redeposits the muck in layers of reformulated Earth where eventually plants will grow extracting the goodness and vitality from the cleansed Earth. Rain waters eventually form streams and rivers that move towards the sea; that salty body of water that is influenced by the Moon and has a feminine quality to it. The sea from which life first emerged crawling onto land and learning how to breath pure air. The sea that churns and moves back and forth with currents and tides constantly redistributing and sorting sediments.

If we observe these movements and motions; these natural properties of water (and the other elements), then we can also understand how to use the elements in a magical manner applying their properties to our psyche in magical ways to cleanse, regenerate, reorganize and redistribute our own selves.

Walking in the rain to me is magical in of itself. The soft sounds of the rain drops falling and the waters streaming. The grey and pregnant sky obscuring momentarily the Sun. The dampness and wetness of the air and the rain dribbling down your body washing and cleansing the soul.

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To be a Fool

If I were God I think I would be devastated by the acts of humanity.

But maybe thats the wrong way to think about things?

Maybe I would look upon my creation with a parents’ love and understanding and perhaps I would see the good things rather than the bad? Perhaps I would chose to look upon the little acts of kindness, the attempts to understand another’s point of view and the innocence and wonderful imagination of children and marvel that such kindness, such beauty could exist at all.

Perhaps I would puzzle over why people seem so deeply burdened when in fact they have life, choice and freedom of expression. Perhaps I would understand that sometimes it is difficult to see the light in the darkness if you have never been shown what the light actually looks like. Do most people really live in darkness?

In many meditations over the years, the Fool was often something that came to mind. When we think of the Fool, we tend to think of someone foolish – stupid and I suppose few of us would aspire to be foolish or stupid. However, the Fool is innocent, wide-eyed, curious having no preconceived conceptions about anything. The Fool is joyful dancing, humming and singing silly songs as he makes his way through life. Having no preconceptions means also that the Fool does what seems to be natural without worrying about what others might think, he goes places where others might fear to tread for he does not know nor understand fear as an emotion. The Fool looks foolishly at everything seeing what is really there without some preconceived notion of what to expect. The Fool sees what is really there.

Perhaps God is a Fool too rejoicing in diversity and seeing the good, the beauty and the truth even in the darkest of hearts?

Given the state of the world – let’s hope so.

Tempter Fool by Albrecht Durer.

Tempter Fool by Albrecht Durer.

Divide et impera

What is the definition of divide and conquer? A strategy for achieving political or military control (my italics).

There are a lot of ways to divide and conquer but the three that most easily come to mind are as follows;

1. Nationality
2. Religion
3. Race

Politicians use all three of these and many others on an almost daily basis to gain what they want for their personal power. They pit us against one another by playing to our sense of injustice. The us and them statements designed to obtain an emotional response because if we surely thought about what we are being said we would recognise it as BS it really is.

I’m English and a yorkshireman apparently. Why? Because by accident of birth I was born there. Nothing more. But, as I grew up I was constantly told how I should think and behave by those around me. It’s normal for that to be the case. I left though – Yorkshire at age 18 and England at age 28. I have not returned and now I see what utter bullshit I was told to think about being a yorkshireman and being English. I am also British, European but most importantly I am a human being and I poop and pee and worry about stuff just like the rest of you. We have in common much more than what divides us but those devious Divide et impera politicians do not want us to remember this. Oh no, for without division how could they achieve their vision?

Meditating, studying the esoteric and observing has told me that we create our own reality. So, to take a current debate as an example, if I am Scots I have been likely raised being told a bunch of BS about the English (or the protestants/catholics – if I am west coast Scots). I emotionally yearn for yesteryear when Scotland was a Kingdom in its own right free from southern control and when Mel Gibson covered in blue daub beat the crap of out them and even stole the King of Englands queen’s heart… oh wait, no that was a movie right? and historically that queen hadn’t been born before Gibson’s character met his death…. well, what does it matter, we’d be better off without them anyway. Stand back a minute and think about that. Being Scots is an accident of birth and then being programmed by the local society. As is being English. It’s all one big fairy story perpetrated to keep you angry, jealous and ready to fight people just like you.

I know some people are still trapped in that paradigm and will not get it. They adore being Scots, English, Russian, Ukrainian or whatever it is and they will argue and fight for their own – their clan. Fine. I won’t because it is bullshit and its anti-human.

We focus on what divides us don’t we as opposed to what unites us. To finish using the same current debate. If the Scots were determined to make the UK work, it would and they would be building a different reality to the one in which they want independence. We create our own reality – its that simple.

I don’t really have an axe to grind and whatever happens I wish the Scots and the English and the Welsh well but I do hope that one of these days people will wake up and realize they are being manipulated. They are allowing their reality to be created by someone else. So, when you get that reality that you ceded to someone else please, quit moaning.

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Reminiscing About Summer

As I look out of my office window, I see a steady stream of drizzle. It is dark enough to have the lights on and if the truth be told, cold enough to put on the heating. It’s also august 27th and it has been like this for much of August. What happened to summer this year? From time to time some strange golden ball does appear in the sky emitting something that passes for heat but it is a pale washed out version of those seen in previous summers. If I hadn’t spent 12-days on Kos, I would swear summer was yet to arrive this year.

I guess I shouldn’t moan too much. Maybe I simply betraying my English upbringing with my weather obsession?

I remember as a small child we used to holiday each year in Cornwall or south Wales. I remember it perhaps with the rose tinted glasses of childhood but I swear those were long, hot summers for the most otherwise, how could I be swimming in the sea? Back then, Cornwall was a mysterious place full of small single track tree-lined lanes and small villages. Huge piles of kaolin soil littered the area like white pyramids. We camped and I also remember laying at night in agony from sunburn. Back then, you just stripped off and ran about and then lived with the consequences which invariably was a few nights of discomfort until the skin turned brown. I do not recall the sea feeling cold either. To me, it was simply an amazing time in an amazing place.

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The trip down to Newquay took a long time. There were few, if any motorways in the beginning and getting away from Hull was quite difficult. It was amazingly isolated in the 60’s. The drive would take all of one evening and much of the next day down the A1 and through places with amazing and improbable names. We knew we were getting close when you saw those piles of kaolin standing erect like guardians of holiday land. I also recall how the roadside Cafes were better in those days. They were interesting places with big old jukeboxes serving beans on toast and piping hot tea.

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We were really lucky kids. Back to school in September and I would tell friends about two-weeks in Cornwall and they would look at me rather like people do now if you tell them you had three-weeks in Aruba! Most of my school pals had been to Scarboro, Bridlington, Hornsea or somewhere equally exotic – if anywhere at all.

Yep – they were the days!