I felt a bit like a nine-year old boy, swallowing hard, facing the Great Wide and Wonderful and wondering whether he’ll make it.
I made my first trip away from home for a long time, travelling to East Cornwall to stay with an old friend – we’ve known each other for four decades. I caught the train back – it’s necessary to take a punt on its not getting too crowded. The last two miles as the train comes into Penzance must be one of the better stretches of train journey in this country, as the mythic St Michael’s Mount appears and the train cruises above the Long Rock shoreline. A very fresh air and seagull welcome greets you when you get out at the last town in Britain.
Penny, my trusty helper, picked me up, taking me home to the farm. She had spring-cleaned my cabin while I was away, bless her. I spent the evening detoxing from the mobile-phone radiation I had picked up in transit, letting the brain-screeching, embattled agitation and sharply-piercing headaches of electrosensitivity die down slowly – it takes about 36 hours. Still alive, still here.
Going away changes my perspective, and I had a lot to mull over. In a way I’m starting again. The traveller in me, locked down for the last few years, managed to get an airing – and in making the trip I was testing out my capacity to handle it. Because, all things being well, and when I can afford the ruinous post-Brexit health insurance for a cancer patient and the expense of taking a minder with me, I might one day even find myself once again sitting in an aircraft seat and heading off somewhere.
The four likely destinations, in order of doability, are Sweden (where I once lived and have family and friends), the ancient Minoan island of Kalymnos in Greece and the even more ancient town of Bethlehem in Palestine, where bits of my heart still reside, and, least likely, Tinzibitane in Mali, the village of the Tuareg tribe I’ve been helping for some years. It would be great to meet the village chief, who is my age and a brother of the soul, before either of us passes on. Though perhaps we might meet over on the other side instead – you never know. I wonder if the Tuareg version of heaven is similar to that of a European like me? I might find out before long.
Making plans – a very Western preoccupation. I’m making some provisional plans. They must be provisional because I could have a choking fit or a sudden downturn and keel over tomorrow – I had a downturn and lucky scrape only in February. But I could also live for five years more. For a person like me, held up by strength of spirit more than by medical probability, there’s a mysterious factor too, because I have an uncanny tendency to bounce back from the deepest of crises, and this makes things a bit less predictable.
So I’ve decided to do something I’m good at: put myself on the parapet, push the river in a direction cancer patients like me usually shouldn’t take, and create a few miracles before I go. My two strong points lie in pulling together groups to do some magic pressure-cooking and close encounters, and humanitarian work in embattled places. These are more connected than it appears, actually.
I’m going to try to pull off a few things, using my weakness and despair as strengths and the insight that wizzened mortality and beat-up experience have brought. I’d like to create some magic moments for people I’ll soon be leaving behind. Or perhaps I want to reaffirm a heartlink with sisters and brothers far and wide, to strengthen our network of light so that it comes back to life in other realms and other times. Because the work is not yet done.
When I was twenty, standing atop a mountain in Snowdonia, north Wales, I had a life-changing vision of the coming battle for the hearts and minds of humanity. I saw the beauty of nature and the dark clouds on the horizon. I discovered what Weltschmerz felt like – German for the pain of the world. Fresh from a failed student revolution at the LSE in London, burned out and trying to process it, I had a soul-shaking revelation of the kind you sometimes get at the tops of mountains. I made a deep commitment to doing what I could to transform the world into a safe and friendly place.
Well, in the ensuing decades I did what I could, and now, as curtains time approaches, I feel the job is distinctly incomplete. This is deep because I feel I came into this life not to help bring about that change, but to attend to what needs to happen after it when, having crossed the hump, humanity is faced with the big question of what to do next. This mission is as yet unfulfilled – it must be commuted to my next life. Inshallah, if that is what it is to be. So if sometime in the future you see some kid in a baby buggy staring right at you and twiggling your sonars, it might be me.
But there’s still stuff to do. In my latest book about prehistoric sites in West Penwith, Shining Land, I suggest that the esoteric technology of the people of the neolithic and bronze ages in Britain is pertinent to us now because, once we’ve sorted out basic sustainability, social and ecological issues, by the end of the century we will come to the matter of working with the subtler energy-fields of nature and the planet, to bring about the next level of planetary restoration and repair. This is what I mean by ‘after the change’. It concerns not only ecological-climatic repair but social, psycho-spiritual and civilisational repair, deep and on a global scale. The book will come out sometime but, currently, there’s a technical problem: its typesetter, Jonathan, who has done two of my previous books, happens also to be the Green mayor of Penzance, and he’s a tad busy!
This is what being on Planet Earth is all about: there’s an excruciating gap between vision and actuality, and it often takes longer than we’d like. This is a key part of the learning and soul-honing that coming to this planet involves – it’s what we chose when we volunteered for the mission. It’s so easy to forget that. I do. Some things take a lifetime, and changing the course of history takes longer. For those of us in the business of planetary repair, we need to remember this. True and full change takes seven generations. So look after your grandchildren.
I can’t visit my grandchildren, but each of them I regularly hold in light, giving each of them deep attention and being there as a kind of guardian angel. I have an ancestor, a well-known healer in Pontypridd, South Wales, in the mid-1800s, who seems to have been watching over me. Apparently he was a stroppy, difficult man, but a brilliant herbalist and healer to whom doctors would send patients when they had given up on them. Sometimes he’d disappear off into the mountains, forsaking people and collecting herbs, and people responded with a mixture of relief and hope that, being a community protector, he’d return. Perhaps we’re a bit similar.
I’ve been learning a big lesson for a man, yet again: the taproot of our strength as men lies in our weakness, vulnerability and apparent lack of agency. In weakness we can either become its victim or we can use it to pull out all the stops, to break rules and probabilities. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. During this winter I’ve been alone, going into deep, desolate places in my heart, and realising that, though I’m immuno-compromised on cancer drugs, I don’t want to sit around at home waiting for the chop. I’m a Mars in Scorpio sort of guy who dies in action and rarely surrenders. Well, metaphorically speaking.
This said, I’ve had quite a few chances to die and I’m still here, so God only knows how this saga will actually end. I guess my friends upstairs will hold me up and keep me here until they transfer me to another department. Fuckit, these are the facts of life for a pathological rainbow warrior leaning heavily on his sticks, trying desperately to pull off a few earthly thrills before he deposits his clogs into the recycling bin of forgotten time. Us Virgos, we do tend to want to make ourselves useful.
So, I propose doing a few events, with a little (actually quite a lot of) help from my friends. To some groups it will be armchair talks or afternoon workshops, and in some it will be special group phenomena and close encounters of a ninth kind – inspiring, empowering and memorable, I hope. With the latter, perhaps they’re not for people who prefer to paddle rather than swim. They’ll be one-offs only, because there will come a time when I can’t do it any more.
So if you’re good at organising and you feel drawn to the prospect of doing an event in your area with old Paldywan, please contact me and we can work something out. I can’t do many of these, a minder will be bringing me, it must be phones off and not in a city, and please treat me as if I were ninety. Energy-management: if it all works, it could be a memorable event and a blessing. Cornwall and Glastonbury area are likely locations, but if there’s a caucus of interested people in your area or your network, let’s discuss it.
If you can’t make it, then I’ll be blogging and podding till I no longer can, possibly longer, so all is not lost. Then there are the psychic airwaves: it’s not specifically me that you’re tuning into, but the network I’m a part of, and those of you who get a buzz of recognition with me are getting a buzz from the network, and you’re getting it because you’re already part of it and perhaps need reminding or help with reconnecting. You see, I’m a strange one from a faraway place, and some of you pick up the frequency because you know it. I’m interested in reconnecting with those souls while I still can, and sharing a shot in the arm with you from the folks back home, if you’d like that. It’s pretty much all I can do with my life now. So do come and have a cup of tea with friends old and new, wherever I turn up.
Concerning psychic airwaves… there’s plenty of spam, phishing and malware out there in the ethers, and keep your commonsense filters up. If in doubt, give it time and form judgements slowly. It all depends on the frequencies you tune into and anchor to. If you are as clear as you can be in motivation and perspective, that is your protection – a whole person has fewer weak-points and we’re challenging as entities to level with. Be cautious with anyone who in some way, often well concealed, advocates division or prejudice, since it is the unified resonance of humanity that will ultimately carry us through – just as the solidarity of Ukrainians is carrying them through today. Remember to know and judge people by their works more than their words – and that includes enchanters like me. In the psychic world the actual content and value of information is far more important than the claimed status of the source. The most valuable sources are not so loud and they don’t make big claims – they tend not to come from our local area in our galaxy or from neighbouring dimensions either. With exceptions. As you do with humans, treat each one individually and follow your intuitions as to how to interact with them.
But now, it’s back to mundanities. It’s another hospital outpatient visit concerning the osteo-necrosis in my chin, followed by a visit from the nurse to shoot me up with my monthly hit of cancer drugs. And team-building after the destruction I went through a few months ago, completing building the Meyn Mamvro Archive (it has taken two years), getting my book out, staggering over clifftops and through woods, and carrying out that strange activity called staying alive. For someone in my situation, that takes more effort than for most.
The 18th Century philosopher Edmund Burke once said something that has always guided me: For the triumph of evil it is necessary only that good people do nothing. This is the story of our time: in this world we don’t have a problem of evil, but we do have a problem with playing safe and keeping our heads down so that evil can prevail. This is why psycho-spiritual transformation is a necessary and central part of repairing all else.
I met a young Berliner in the Sinai Desert one hot, shimmering day. We were specks on each other’s horizon until eventually we met, there in the resounding desert silence, hiding in the shade under a rock, and he taught me something I seem to have repeated quite a few times on this blog: It’s always okay in the end, and if it’s not okay, it’s not the end. The implications of this expand in every direction, the more you consider it.
Hm, while finishing this blog, I kept saying to myself ‘Eat your breakfast, Palden’ – it was ready. Or so I thought. I looked at it and discovered I’d already eaten it. Ah, that’s presumably why I forgot. I might sound lucid in a blog or do a video interview, but actually I’m pretty useless in many functional things nowadays. Chemo-brain. I don’t have brain-fog, I have brain-lag. Which is why I sometimes need a minder, and I can’t organise events any more (that was 30-40 years ago). Nowadays I must studiously avoid getting sucked into complexity because I get lost and screw up. And sometimes, once we get to the car, it’s great to be driven home again, to my little cabin in the far beyond.
Here’s a big hug to all of you who’ve read thus far! Bless you – and thanks for being with.
Site: www.palden.co.uk | Podcasts: www.palden.co.uk/podcasts.html
Some music I’m enjoying right now, Eric Mouquet (Deep Forest) and friends in Brazil: https://youtu.be/-nAwQoM3eS8
Here’s my granddaughter Idun in Lappland, singing in two languages, demonstrating the magic of the coming generation and busy discovering her starborn side (get a tissue): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Dv_6IiHWLw
The Jokkmokk Market in February, in northern Sweden, goes back generations – formerly the Sami and the Swedes met up to trade, though now it is mainly a kind of ethnic festival lasting a few days.