It was deeply moving to walk into the Assembly Rooms in Glastonbury to a hall full of amazing people. I had been there so many times over the years, organising things or performing, and now, here we were in 2022, and these people were all waiting to hear whatever I was to come up with.
Whatever, indeed. I had a rough idea of talking points, but my talk didn’t follow that track. It went deeper and further than I thought it might. It’s funny when that happens: something in me suddenly decides to change course or to go deeper or faster, and off we go, plunging into the unknown.
While I’m speaking, I see the faces of people in the audience but my normal way of assessing their responses, watching body-language, is kinda switched off. Something else is doing it. I’m strangely unaware of what I’m saying. At the end of my talk, when I stopped and saw people lit up and clapping, I got a funny feeling of relief, as if it was a surprise. Which, in a way, it was.
There came a moment when my mind interjected on the side, wondering whether the talk was dragging and drooping, but that thought evaporated as fast as it came. Next day, Caroline, whose perceptions I find worth listening to, reported that my talk kept lifting, building and covering a lot of ground. I was glad to hear that, since it’s a bit strange being the person who missed much of what went on.
I didn’t miss everything. I’m aware of the gist of what I’m saying but I’m not following it – it goes past me. This isn’t verbatim channelling – I don’t get words or word-based concepts, and it’s me who does the translation and interpretation of what they’re trying to bring forth. A sub-verbal part of my psyche is busy meta-processing. My brains process the concepts and verbiage. And I need to slip into a rather altered, hyperintuitive state to do it.
Bundles of material are dropped in and it’s for me to unravel and unpack them. There’s also plenty of stuff lodged in my psyche from years of doing this. I’ve got used to the feeling of a dropped-in bundle and what to do with it. I wouldn’t call myself an advanced psychic – it’s just that I’ve chosen to listen, take note, hear and accept what comes up inside as real and valid. Not indiscriminately, since it still goes through my filters, to make sure it makes sense.
Over time, things have evolved. I went through a critical breakthrough at age 42. Up to then, something in my busy intellect was interfering. Something doubted what I was getting, trying to detach from it, check the facts or worry over the improbably crazy yet ultimately quite useful insights I sometimes came up with. Then, one day, I had a deep inner experience. I found myself walking backwards toward an abyss – and walking backwards is something we humans are built to avoid at all costs. I had a moment of panic, followed by a critical moment in which I made an act of trust.
I went over, falling backwards over the edge. Falling, falling, this was an Alice in Wonderland moment, and I didn’t know what would happen. Would I just go splat? Suddenly, in mid-fall, something inside me snapped together, I turned, spread my wings and found myself flying, and a tremendous sense of uplift and a feeling of agency followed. I was flying over a wide landscape, safe on my wings. It became clear that, in the innerworlds, I had to trust my perceptions, natural capacities and ‘inner friends’ like never before. From then on, it all worked better and clearer.
I’ve been public speaking since age 15 – and, before that, would you believe, I was quiet and shy. I became good at notes-free speaking. Up to age 35ish, I did it on thought and preparation, but then something started happening. Two weeks before an event I’d have a clear idea what to speak about and how to do it, but as the time came closer the idea would melt away. This worried me. I was suffering fear of embarassment and of screwing up in public, and I knew it. One day I was nervous and decided, for want of anything better, to entrust myself to it, let go of fear and simply get on stage, take three deep breaths and start with the first thing that entered my head. This worked brilliantly. It became my new approach. But the trade-off was that, after that time, I was no longer fully aware of what I’d said while speaking.
In the last three years cancer has changed my psyche. A combination of the cancer, the chemo drugs, the deep states I entered while ill, the fatigue and long hours alone… these moved the circuitry around, changing my perspective and perceptions. My capacity to deal with facts, names, information, decisions and left-brained issues declined, and my right-brained, creative, insightful, intuitive side grew stronger. I became less concerned about life and its intricacies and more like the Fool on the Hill. Out came my blogs and podcasts, surprising me at what was coming out and the way it was doing so. Something new was starting up.
The fluent side of me is what you see in my talks. But ask me whether I want tea or coffee and I’ll probably look blankly at you. On Glastonbury High St an old friend stopped me. Joseph had changed, and it was at least fifteen years since I’d seen him. I looked blankly at him – a very Aspie response. To him it might look like nothing’s happening but, inside, I’m searching memory banks, piecing together gallons of feeling-tones and associations, often too slowly to give a decent response right then. He must have thought I didn’t recognise him – I did, but I needed five minutes to piece a hundred bits together. Sorry, Joseph.
In spring 2022, something in me started wanting to come out of hiding. I was tired of hanging around at home ‘shielding’ and getting bogged down in risk-aversion. Something new had emerged in my blogs and podcasts and people were appreciating them. I thought of doing events and ‘magic circles’, moved by a sense that I might be popping my clogs before long. I wanted to find a way of seeing many friends in a way I could manage, and pass on some gems before I went. I thought it would do me good. Besides, I had run out of interest in my own company.
It’s funny how life can trick us into things. My late aunt Hilary Bedford was closely involved with Alan Turing at Bletchley Park in 1942-3 and, at the time, they thought they were breaking Hitler’s codes. Well, yes, they were, but the significant thing for which history will more enduringly remember them is that they made big steps in inventing the computer and laying the foundations for artificial intelligence. Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans – and that’s what happened to John Lennon too, after he wrote those words in a song for his son. In turn, when I was planning the magic circles, as a way of meeting people and sharing some insights, I wasn’t aware that something else was going to start happening. But it did.
On my trip upcountry in August 2022, I did two magic circles and attended an Oak Dragon camp. All sorts of things happened in those two weeks. The experience lit me up and a profound healing and breakthrough came with it. Something started emerging that I hadn’t been aware of. Back in May I’d got the message that “There’s something more for you to do…”, but only in August did it start revealing itself.
When you come close to death, as I did last winter, you become acutely aware of what you haven’t done in life. Then, when you die, you have to live with that. Mashallah, it’s done and gone. In my life I’ve made some progress in the matter of consciousness, deep geopolitics, history-redemption and world healing, and I felt a kind of duty to leave some of this knowhow behind – it was a task not done. It took my illness of last winter to wring this realisation out of me, and by summer an initial vision had emerged.
The whole picture came quickly: suddenly one evening I saw how it could work. Well, theoretically. That was the 1% inspiration bit, and now we get to the 99% perspiration bit. It’s time now to mull it over and map it out a bit more. Also I must figure out my capacity to do things, how much active service I have left, what I would need, and how all this fits. Do I have what it takes? Do I need simply to suggest ideas and set a tone, or do I need to put in a few years of active engagement?
How small or big, and how discreet or how public should this be? It would need setting up so that it works well when I’m gone. There’s an extra personal twist: it’s my last chance, and getting things wrong is not really an option. Currently I might have three, five or, at a push, seven years to play with. And the best way to make the gods laugh is to tell them your plans.
On Thursday I was so unwell that I found myself wondering whether the gods indeed were laughing… I was weak, wan, clogged and weighed down, spending much of the day in bed. I wasn’t dealing as well as normal with my cancer drugs, administered on Wednesday. I think it was also a ‘healing crisis’ of sorts. Sometimes an illness comes to help us meta-process big changes in one fell swoop – some downtime and a re-boot are needed. A lot gets sorted out at once, in a kind of controlled burn or a induced churn. It was all about opening up to the future and dealing with the past and the full facts of my situation. But I was on my way back up by Friday.
I’ve gone quickly from a quiet to an active life. Something rather magical seems to be happening. It’s a possible coming together of a new constellation of people, happening rather naturally without deliberate action from me – except that people coming forward all know me or are tweaked by what I’m flagging up. This kind of thing has happened before and I recognise the symptoms.
Caroline urged me to write down my ideas, but I’m not so sure. The prospect of sitting at a computer for hours on end, writing yet another book (my thirteenth), doesn’t really light me up – though something will need recording somehow, and it might be better in audio. I feel more of a need to focus on people-foundations and processes for evolving things since, if this project is to work, it will rest on these. Perhaps I’ll assist energetically from upstairs once I’m gone, but it will be up to the living to do with it what they can and will. That’s fascinating: my obsolescence is built in. I feel rather good about that.
I’m fermenting these questions, waiting for clarity. And giving other people thinking time. It’s important also to do a devil’s advocate job on myself. Why not just hang out in Cornwall and take it easy, walking the cliffs, tinkering around and writing the occasional blog? Or I could go to Sweden or Palestine – even Mali or Kirgyzstan. Or I could be a guest speaker at lots of gigs and supplement my pension talking about cancer and clog-popping. I could even join the grumbling classes and become a pain in the ass for the younger generation.
What will be will be, and it’s not really the goal but the journey that matters. And the next step. In Buckfastleigh in Devon on Saturday (24th Sept 2020) there is my last planned magic circle for a while – until something else happens. These magic circles are evolving each time, and this one will have some live music and perhaps more energy-working than before. We shall see what emerges. You’re welcome to come, though do book in advance. It’s all about soul-networks, channelling our root-source, world healing, remembering the reasons we came, and sharing something rather special.
I cannot organise future events myself, but something will unfold in future, inshallah. In future I’m likely to spend more time visiting places, but I shall stay based in Cornwall because my spiritual roots and inspiration lie here, and without them I am lost. Which wouldn’t be helpful at all. Something is happening, times are changing and all is well.
Lots of love from me. Palden.
Magic Circles: www.palden.co.uk/magic-circles.html
Recording of my Glastonbury talk: www.palden.co.uk/podtalks.html
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