“And then there are the moments when the white hot blade of separation comes into your life, and everything changes. In the presence of such instantaneous power, you realise that the human view of transformation is impoverished by a lack of true experience at the edge, while your former life is separated from the now with a cut of such precision that it is as though the past was a dream… In such moments it is so very important to be fully conscious of what happens next; of what the universe fills that void with. If the deep and gentle breathing of true consciousness can overcome the panic and fear of sudden change, there are keys dropped into a life, then, that are of incalculable value…”
I wrote that, many years ago, lying on a floor, curled up on a Persian rug pulled by friction around my knees and thighs within the near foetal position I had taken in the middle of a moment of black and total grief. The old writing pad on which it was transcribed in tearful letters was, fortuitously, lying nearby, along with a pencil. For months it was pinned over my desk in the room that serves as my home office and place of writing. I looked at it so often it became burned into my memory. It has no claim to good writing – it is just what I found at the bottom of the old well that was me…
And now, reproduced in pencil on the pad given me by the departed Yellow Eyes, it stares me in the face each morning, as I make myself repeat it, like a mantra, while shaving over the old enamelled sink.
I cannot change my external circumstances–I am a prisoner, a fact brutally reinforced by the clinical and degrading encounter with the Governor in the shower block. I can only examine, as honestly as possible, how I am reacting to this fact.
I have a tendency to intellectualise things–we all have a makeup that is driven by such facets of our deeper selves. For some of us, it’s the emotions that power us, for others, the instinctive hungers are dominant. For me, it’s thinking; and that, while it has its upside, can be a dreadful curse when you’re locked in a gloomy remand cell for most of the day and night…
The only cure for the encroaching madness that the newly unveiled Governor and his well-qualified team would love me to embrace is to reject thinking, feeling and lusting; and harmonise a distillation of them all into something the ancients called Being…
Being is easy to say and rather more difficult for the personality to approach. Those who have touched it long for its return. Those whose understanding has matured are swallowed into its glory, swapping the realities of becoming for those of an ever changing face of an intelligent and loving eternity. I know the words…now would be great time to translate knowing into understanding… and beyond.
What stops us stepping naturally into Being is a dirty set of glasses…very powerful glasses, with lenses forged in the process of egoic learning that is our lives.
But Being is our home…and deep within us we feel that loss, bitterly, and search for the marks of others who understood that. The ancients who carved the now reinstated Saxon cross knew that…and, reading the landscape as carefully as they had carved the stone, they knew where the stone should stand in order to fulfil its purpose.
To see this world we need to take off those glasses of the personality – or, at least give them a substantial wash… This washing is not a trivial affair, but it is all that is required.
After that there is only seeing, for which we simply need our Selves.
Don and Wen: among the most significant names in my life… Two of my best friends, taken from me by an act of ‘armed vandalism’ on my part–if the words of Dr Grey in my latest interview, combined as a double blow after the Governor’s ‘visit’ – are to be taken seriously. The Governor carefully gave me the barest facts at my recent meeting with his committee. He’s an astute one. He knows his psychology – there’s nothing as acidic to the mind as part-knowing something.
But the good Doctor Grey has reassured me that I will be having a daily ‘interview’ to talk about my mental state. He thinks this may help my conditions here in Bakewell Gaol. It’s a clever use of language–he knows I will read it as ‘condition’ rather than ‘conditions’, and it will reassure me that, under the fist of the no-nonsense Governor, my interference with their own agenda will soon be at an end…
When your mind has eighteen hours a day to do nothing but think, it imagines… The blade of imagination has two edges… One of them is a very good friend to the human consciousness; the other…
Are my friends, Don and Wen locked up somewhere, too? Can the reach of the Knights of Severity be that strong? See, I’m imagining, again. The Governor didn’t say they’d been caught, not exactly. He took great delight in naming them and telling me that they were being pursued, and by two of his golfing buddy’s best police officers… And I know Don and Wen well; they’re not best equipped to escape the police for long… unless some unseen agency is flying low over their heads and leading their way through the dimensions of the possible. Equally, they might simply and sensibly be enjoying that trip to Scotland they were planning before the white hot blade struck me, again. The Governor and his police friends might simply have their first names and nothing more?
I reach for the pad, which has only a few pages left, and rip out one of the remaining, precious sheets.
I like triangles.
In our world – the world of physical consciousness, things happen in triangles. Old adages like ‘things come in threes’ have much wisdom behind them; but they’re partial. I know a deeper version, and its use begins with writing down what you know in a certain way.
I sit on my bed and think… this is good thinking – aimed at a specific problem whose elements are clearly identified. After several minutes, I close my eyes and imagine a clock face on which I project my triangle. Then, emptying my mind, I wait and breathe, shutting down the intellect as best I can.
It works. Five minutes later I’m standing at my sink with a new drawing pinned to the ancient cork-board that sits above the sink and mirror. To anyone else, the drawing would be a simple arrangement of names. To me, and to Don and Wen had they been here, the arrangement is of great significance in describing the driving forces of the now.
We are all of us arrows, and just at this moment, I wish I hadn’t been the arrow that Wen and Don fired… But the white hot blade of separation doesn’t have to be received passively. It can be wielded in defence, too… It can be used to carve the now…
<See index below for other parts of this story>
———————————————————–< to be continued-
Ben’s Bit is a continuing first-person narrative of the character created by Stuart France and Sue Vincent, which may bear some relation to the author of this story, Steve Tanham, their fellow director of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness. In the latest of their books, Scions of Albion, Ben is arrested for his overly enthusiastic part in a mad escapade, and the other two are nowhere to be seen . . . For more, enjoy their Doomsday series of books, and the new series (Lands of Exile) beginning soon. Click here for details.
Index to Ben’s Bits:
The Silent Eye School of Consciousness – a modern mystery school.