A deep rumble shook my cabin. Six in the morning. Tuesday. Heavy atmosphere. The rumbling came from the south, over the sea. I got up, made tea.
One of those expectant, crackly intensities was in the air, where the clouds take on an ethereal, colourful irridescence. Suddenly, an enormous crash close-by. A flash crackles out of the phone socket and the lights go off.
Hm, just as well I had made tea first. The power was restored in an hour or so but, while the landline worked, the internet didn’t – an engineer’s visit would be necessary, according to the friendly Yorkshirewoman on the helpline. Ah, I was to get an unforeseen break from being online. Actually, that was a bit of a relief. Even so, in the afternoon I wrote this blog, ready for uploading when I could. But the engineer came on Thursday and found that the fault would take longer. So I’m over at Penny’s, doing my online stuff.
In recent weeks I’ve had a lot of solitude. A big question has been this: if I need to hit the red button, who do I turn to? Who will check me out and do something? At present I can rely on only one person – my helper Penny, a real trooper, though she can’t cover everything, always. She’s often busy with other clients or the rigours of life, though she does down tools and come if it’s an emergency. A person in my situation needs to be able to rely on that. Suddenly offline, I decided to see who would ring up that day. In the end it was just Penny and my son Tulki – he’s good like that.
Unconsciously, I create this situation myself. I give off a positive vibe, my tolerance levels are high, I seem to take things in my stride, and everyone therefore assumes I’m alright. Often I am, and sometimes I’m not, and that’s the tricky bit. Forty years ago in a men’s group we did an exercise: we were stuck in a boat in the middle of the ocean, and one of us had to jump out to save the others. Reckoning I could handle it better than any of them, they chose me. That’s the pattern. I vowed then to release and change it, but life doesn’t quite work out like that. Our patterns remain and they are what we are. What can change is the way we handle them. Sometimes life takes us back to square one, to get us down to the pattern’s roots. And one problem with addressing shadows is that we can convince ourselves we’re worse persons than we actually are.
When I’m not alright I naturally go quiet and often no one checks me out. There’s a societal issue here: everyone is so busy. NHS staff are run off their feet. People tell me to ring if I need help but most times it hasn’t actually worked. Back in December I was really ill and it took five days and twentyish phone calls to get nowhere. So I have a problem, I haven’t cracked it, and it’s also bigger than me.
In a week’s time I’m sallying forth from furthest Cornwall. But first, on Wednesday this week a nurse came along to shoot me up with Dara and Dex, my cancer drugs. That gives me time to get over the ensuing problems and go through the most immuno-suppressed part of my monthly maintenance cycle of cancer treatment. Well, at least the drugs are free, legal and prescribed!
I’m really looking forward to meeting some people, at last! Loads of you! Penny, her delightful daughter Ruby and I are first going to the Oak Dragon camp near Glastonbury. It’s a case of ‘the old founder returns, thirty years on’, and rather a heart-gladdening honour, actually. Though my bones will probably ache and it could wear me out, camping is a blessing I’m reluctant to let go of. But, you never know, this might be the last time.
On Tuesday 2nd August I’ll dip out of the camp for a day to do the first, now fully booked ‘magic circle’ in Glastonbury. I’ve spoken publicly, broadcast, written and taught for decades but, after some years’ break, and acquiring cancer along the way, a lot has changed. A new approach has emerged, consistent with everything I’ve done before but now coming from a different, deeper place. Cancer and hard truths such as the grief of loss do hone your soul, yielding gifts of light. I might be experiencing battlefield-madness but, somehow, in my current weakness, a certain cards-on-the-table openness has come about, prompted by having reduced options and a limited time left. So, while I can, it’s time to share a few of the insights and secrets that have grown out of this – and spend some time with those of you who are able to come.
When the camp ends at the weekend, I’ll either find someone to spend time with or go back home to Cornwall for the week (I’m kidnappable).
Then comes the magic circle in Avebury on Saturday 13th August – right next to the stone circle. If you couldn’t join the Glastonbury event, try this. Of all three magic circles I’m doing this summer, this could be the most ET-related. I have a feeling the Devon magic circle on Saturday 24th September could be more ancient-oriented and soul-familyish. The Glastonbury one, well, that’s Glastonbury, and what comes up is what comes up, and that’s the wonder of the place. For local Glastonbury friends old and new, later on I’m doing a talk in the Assembly Rooms on Friday 9th September called ‘The Tipping of the Scales’, and that’s for you.
What will happen at the magic circles? A mixture of me doing my thing with some inner processes and group sharing, but there’s a hidden Factor X here. What I call my ‘friends upstairs’ will also be quietly beavering away – well, that’s the way I see things, though you don’t have to. If we get things right, a background override can set in and something deep arises. You see, I don’t work to a script. We get what comes up. I don’t do standard old channelling either – I stay myself and speak for myself, though prompted and jogged by something more. I hope to cover three main themes, with breaks in between. That’s all I really know in advance. Sorry about that. This is why we ask you to come at the beginning and leave only at the end.
If you can’t come and you wish to ‘be there’ with us, send your name to me before 28th July. It will be written down and placed under a motherly rose quartz crystal at the centre of the circle. With her mate, a big hunky quartz, she has sat at the centre of countless such gatherings since 1983. Please keep this simple: I can’t handle complexity – just send in your name. After 28th July you’ll be included in the next circle.
Here’s the first theme. Astronomers want us to believe intelligent life in the universe, if indeed it exists, is yet to be found. I humbly disagree – we already have contact. So you’ll get a taste of the dimensional vastness of the universe and the diversity of its inhabitants, as I understand it. Us lot, we’re one variant, living on, or in, a very unique world. A world is a greater thing than a planet, since it includes the sumtotal of all of the experience happening on a planet, and there are eight billion incarnate humanoids here, all having human experiences, and some really intensely so. A world is an experiential process, and we all came here for a dose of it.
So we’ll look at our place in this rather bizarre world and what we’re here for – from the outside. It concerns not only our personal paths through life, but also helping to fulfil the aims and objectives of the soul-families and the worlds we each originate from and unconsciously work with. Gurdjieff called this partkolg duty (a Russian term), meaning our duty to the universe.
Note that dread word, duty. We, exercising our dubious freedoms, often forget duty. One of the end-of-life hard facts I’ve had to own up to is the multifarious ways in which I have avoided and erred in rising to my own duty – and screwed up and regretted some of it, caused pain and also paid a price. The funny thing is that the ultimate act of free will is to rise to our partkolg duty. If we humans did so, this planet’s problems would get fixed much quicker.
Here’s the second theme: planet-fixing and ‘world work’. My preceding blog on ‘world work’ was a taster. The idea here isn’t to get you to change path and do it the way I do it – it’s to work with the tools you have and the path you follow, perhaps giving them a shift of context and new application. Some of the tricks and experiences I’ll share will be useful and, for some, it might be the start of something new. I take both an activist and a spiritual approach to world work, and I believe combining the two is important.
The third theme is about dying. It’s something imminent for me, but it’s coming to a heart like yours, sooner or later. There’s the small matter of having a ‘good death’, whatever that really means, and there’s also the matter of the life-issues that come into sharp relief toward the end of your life. There’s something of a karmic crescendo to it. What have you been and done, and what have you not been and done? Death is potentially a great resolution of life’s story. Or it can be a crunchy confrontation with all those things we didn’t want to look at. It throws new light on everything and pulls the plug on delusions and lapsed possibilities. We’re powerless to do anything more – life’s deeds are done. The choice available is how we deal with it. We can build a habit of dealing with it in life, or we can do a crash course when dying, and each path has its ins and outs. Inevitably it’s a bit of both.
These magic circles, quite simply, are something I’m moved to do before I go. When you’re in decline there are things you have to accept you can no longer do, and there are certain things you still can do and, for me, this is one. Well, I hope so, but if I die in the process, I died doing things I wanted to do, didn’t I? I don’t get the feeling that’ll happen though. For all of us, the prospect of dying brings up the question of why am I truly here and what am I doing about it? Our society is geared to setting such questions aside in favour of paying bills and staying out of trouble, and yet this is important, and many people have an itching in their hearts over precisely this question. Perhaps it’s not a question of what we want to do, but more one of what we must do. It’s that relentlessly choiceless choice – it keeps coming up at certain times of life.
For the two or more weeks I’m away, new blogs or podcasts will depend on time and circumstance. I won’t be available on mobile phone. If you need to contact me then I might occasionally pick up messages online. For enquiries about magic circles, please contact the respective organisers – all great people I’m really happy working with. By September I might know whether I can do further magic circles in autumn or winter, if wanted – it depends mainly on my cancer, energy, infection avoidance and the viability of travelling. And an organiser or two.
This is my sixtieth blog. That’s rather amazing. Someone suggested I make a book out of it, but four big issues come up: 1. I can’t do the last bit of the story about my passing away and what happens afterwards (I’ll be otherwise occupied); 2. I don’t know what is most enduringly valuable to my readers (someone else will know better); 3. when I’m dying, I can’t do all the publishing business, and, 4. gimme a break – I might be rather a workaholic, but this is ridiculous! So I’ll just carry on writing blogs until I can’t.
So much rests on how we see things. That is a matter for each of us and now it’s going global.
Love you lots. Speaktya soon. Paldywan.
Magic circles info: www.palden.co.uk/magic-circles.html
One thought on “Circles and Circles”
Dear Palden Wish you a good trip to Glastonbury, quite a trek in your condition. Wish you all success and strength to share all you wish to do. Thank you for your many blogs. I do follow your times. With love Pilar
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