Blessed Be the Assholes

and the light of desolation

Lesingey Round, West Penwith, Cornwall

It’s amazing what we humans do to justify our existences. This is my fiftieth blog entry, would you believe.

It takes a few hours to do a blog but it takes days beforehand, churning through ideas and possibilities… and then, one day, I wake up, forget all that, and just start writing. That’s what happened here. I was refilling my tea mug, having just got up – vanilla tea with a dash of coconut. It came. I had to get it down before it was lost in the side-alleys of lapsed memory. It’s all to do with opening up a space inside where creativity erupts, as if out of nowhere. Though actually it comes from the compost fermented in the preceding few days.

Sometimes, as a writer, you can plan things out, but sometimes you just have to start – start with anything. Well, something interesting. It’s all about having something to say, and creating it using words that draw in readers regardless of what you’re actually saying, and the combination makes for good writing. Plus a shot of inspiration – something sparky that comes out of nowhere, oozing out between the lines. We humans communicate in far more frequencies than words, and gifted writers can say more than words.

This might surprise you, but in my own life it took a long time to find my words. It came in stages – ages 14-16, 20ish, 30ish and 36 – having written five unpublished manuscripts. Before that, as an Aspie with a rather complex brain, I was in a kind of deep, silent confusion. The world was telling me things that didn’t accord with my experience. It told me things about myself I couldn’t identify with. It made me into a ‘strange boy’ who would sit in the corner, while everyone else did normal things. At school, I just didn’t understand what we were there for. I was an autodidact, just waiting to go home to get on with my studies and projects.

The Council Chamber at Bosigran Castle, West Penwith

Why should A + B = C? Will someone explain? Why should children suffer to go unto Jesus? If God is Love, why should we fear Him? (And why use capital letters)? Why do cars pump exhaust at you? Why should God specifically save the Queen? With Jupiter in Pisces and Moon in Gemini, these kinds of questions irked the young me.

I was the boy with glasses who got picked on and beaten up. But around age fourteen something clicked. I remember two things (my memory is shot, so this is remarkable in itself). Feeling inadequate and holding back, I was nevertheless pushed into speaking at the school debating society. Some kids were getting ready to laugh at me. I won hands down, completely forgetting my notes and holding forth fluently. I found my voice and, well, from then on I was good on-stage. But I still had a struggly quandary going on in myself, especially with understanding my personal position in life and how to work relationships.

The other thing was cross-country running. In Liverpool, football was everything, and speccy-foureyes was no good at it. But when we started long-distance running, Mars in Scorpio found his power. I delighted in hanging round mid-field for the first half of the run, and then accelerating just as the big football heroes were flagging – and I’d love passing them, heading for the front, hehe. That was great! It taught me that anything is possible if I have the will. This lesson applies just as much now, going through a cancer-induced endurance test. Out of this come a second strength and miracle possibilities.

Stone of the Hole, Men an Tol, West Penwith

It was LSD that changed everything. Age 16 (it was legal in 1966), I was given some California acid by a Scouse poet and we tripped out on the dockside in Liverpool. Suddenly I slotted into myself. I had a clue – saw the light, the beginnings of a calling. Uranus and Pluto were conjuncting over the Sun in my astrological chart (historic in itself), and my life changed, on that day. It was a ‘turning in the deepest seat of consciousness’. The strange boy went stranger, and something snapped together. It was okay to be me, as I was. From then on I was on a search for truth.

Well, I found some, only some, though it was worth the journey and it continues today, even in late life. Truth is big and deep and wide. So big that you can’t actually fully get it, and there’s no final answer – though we humans have indeed tried. Anyone claiming The Truth is missing something. When I was involved with the Council of Nine, they’d always refer to ‘What you call God’. Yet it’s here within us, a kind of deep knowing, a feeling of alignment, integration, anchoredness and vastness that reveals itself to each and every one of us at certain moments in life. What we do with that – many people reach for the next can of beer or stand in queues at airports – is entirely up to us, and some of us do say Yes. Hello, you.

But even then, over the decades, for me it has been an ongoing battle between saying Yes and saying No – and also I’ve studiously avoided the question, as we all do. It’s criminal, really – the crime of avoiding doing what we’re really here to do. The crime of retraction. It’s kinda easier to ‘settle down’, get a job and get drunk at Christmas – there’s so much pressure to join the Great Turning-Away. We must conform to some extent, even if you’re a weirdo like me, because we’re all here amongst humanity and, unless you close yourself away somewhere, way away in the Siberian taiga, or even attempt a compromise version like me at the far end of Cornwall, our fellow humans are all around us and we live in the civilisation and time of history that we live in. And we chose to come here.

Mulfra Quoit – a neolithic energy-generator, I believe it was deliberately decommissioned

Aspies call our so-called syndrome ‘Wrong Planet Syndrome’. Problem is, it’s tricky looking at the world from the viewpoint of a stranger. Sometimes you even look at your own mother or your lover and think Who is this?. It’s double-tricky, because most people around you think you have a programming error – a mental health issue – when actually it’s simply that an Aspie is programmed up with a different operating system (like Apple and Android). But Aspies are in a minority, and now we’ve been lumped into an autistic spectrum that some wisecracker with a doctorate thought was a nifty way of reclassifying everyone. And other neurotypical thinkers thought, yay, that’s useful, that explains things… and now we’re stuck in a new, more padded, box. Well, fuckit, I’m not having any of it.

I’ve been a victim many times over, yet something in me deeply believes that victimhood doesn’t really exist. Even if I’m ‘mentally ill’ – and that depends on your viewpoint – it’s still my prerogative to rise up. With some success and quite a lot of failures, I’ve made some progress. It’s about fully occupying one’s space and knowing, deep down, that you’re up to it – you embody it, it’s yours and you can do it. Even when you get beaten down, you can rise up, resist, turn the tables, make things good, move forward. Some of the most exemplary people I’ve known have been through the jaws of total disaster. From this viewpoint, Ukraine is now a crucible of accelerated soul evolution.

Though it can be hard, I prefer being unusual than normal, even when I’m misunderstood today and pay a high price, even charged by close loved ones. For loved ones it’s difficult too, and I really recognise that. I’m a strange mixture of a hermit and a public figure – and it’s the bit in between where I screw up, in personal and closer relationships. I fail to meet up with expectations and behavioural norms, or to deal well with some aspects of human guile and complexity.

Psycho-normals see Aspies as complex beings, but to ourselves we’re simple and straight-up and the rest of the world is complex. It becomes more complicated because most neurotypicals regard themselves as normal when they’re far more way-out and human than they allow themselves to be.

Boscawen-un stone circle, from Creeg Tol

It’s like French and English: both peoples think they stand at the centre of reality in comparison to the others over there – and all sorts of trouble arises as a result, even though we’re related. My reality is better than yours. We’re doing this to Russians and Chinese at present, reducing and dehumanising them in order to justify things we do to them – and they do the same back, and look at the mess we’re in.

Yes, I’m a victim, so that entitles me either to droop in self-pity or to strike back hard, and to feel fully justified in either. That’s a really complex syndrome, and it affects individuals, social groups and nations. I’m one of the downtrodden, so let’s fuck the banksters, the toxic males or the rich whiteys because there’s not a single human amongst them, and they deserve it.

But there’s something very, very real to victimhood too, and you definitely feel it when you’re locked up in jail, refused your fortieth job application or looking down the barrel of a gun. We should indeed support victims, and injustice is a key issue in today’s world. But just because we were victims earlier in life, or even in another life, it doesn’t make us victims now.

The ancient power of Boswens menhir and the modern power of a major air traffic control beacon. Where truly lies the power?

Just because I have elements of PTSD from seeing a few too many really bad and wrong things, it doesn’t justify my being hard-hearted toward my friends and loved ones – and I’m so sorry to those who have had this from me. I really mean it. (I’ve been on a Neptune opposition Saturn over the last year, and that’s why this confessional stuff is important just now.)

It’s complex though, and nothing exists in a vacuum. Palestinians often say, ‘Why do Jews give us such a hard time, when it was Europeans who gave them a hard time?’. (Also, a wide-eyed, naive Aspie might ask, why do some Palestinians give Israelis a hard time back?) This is the kind of thing we must resolve, and Ukraine is its current nexus of attention, but there will be more horrors until we stop. Please don’t act shocked and surprised when the next round breaks out. This goes deeper than diplomacy: this concerns mass psycho-spiritual, social and cultural change. We just gotta do it, if we are to survive. As much in our own lives as in war zones.

I have been party to this crap too – I have dirty hands, and I’m not unique. It’s important to feel the responsibility and consequence but not to shut ourselves down with guilt and shame. I did it, yes. It’s time for me to forgive everyone who has done similar to me. The past cannot be undone, and it all hangs around what we learn and what we do from now on. Stepping over the craters to hug our adversaries is a really crucial thing to do. Because we’re all in this mess together.

You might wonder why I’m writing this stuff on a cancer blog. Well, these kinds of thoughts are part of my healing, the resolution of my own story. I’m trying to work on this stuff so that I can be a bit more at peace when I pop my clogs. Hopefully. That’s the idea. Not that this kind of cancer (myeloma) or my disabilities can be undone, but it’s all to do with happiness. Basic happiness is the greatest healer around. If you’re underlyingly happy you can make something good of anything. The happiness of opening up, unburdening, forgiveness, understanding, acceptance. And of having some food in your belly and a roof over your head. And the happiness of togetherness.

Here’s something. I’m cooking up tentative plans – yes, plans, for the first time in nearly three years, since going down with cancer. If I can muster the energy and some people to help set it up, I’m thinking of doing a ‘magic tour’ of a few places in Britain, to create an opportunity to meet up. One might be round Glastonbury. I don’t know if it’ll work yet, but this idea has quickened my heart. I want to bring something to you. It’s early stages, and much hangs around finding a good local organiser in each place. I’m in process of writing a proposal and blurb. So watch this space. One of my podcasts sums it all up: the one called Soul Evolution.

Here in my faraway eyrie, I think of you all – I really do. I’ve been alone, feeling rather desolate, for what feels like a long time, and something has come from it. Since I can welcome guests at my home only in ones or twos, I want to create some temporary magic spaces, perhaps round campfires, for friends and soul-relations elsewhere in larger numbers, for a few hours of time-travel, close encounters and lightbulb moments. Would that interest you? I have a strange gift of frail strength, love and tears to share, and I have a few friends upstairs. But I’ll need a good armchair. And you’ll need to switch off your phones if you want me at my best.

Bless you all, and bless everyone. Bless even the world’s worst assholes. The swallows outside my window have just burst into tuneful twittering, as if to agree. And it’s now lunchtime and I forgot my breakfast and pills, so I’d better stop…

With love, Paldywan.

Podcasts: www.palden.co.uk/podcasts.html
Everything else: www.palden.co.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/palden.jenkins

Carn Les Boel – lift-off place for the far beyond

Loss and Gain

Life never stops throwing stuff at us. Well, until it does.

Paldywan drifting off in his seat

Here you can see photos of a man who is 60-70% dead. Though in another way, I’m very much alive. Let me explain.

In our society we’re addicted to defining death as clinical death, when the heart stops. But actually, dying is a gradual process where the psyche, you or me, leave the body we used for becoming incarnate on Earth and we move into another existence. Most people are only 10-20% dead – that is, mostly on an unconscious level, only a small part of them is in touch with the otherworld. This sense of connection might increase at special moments such as being present at a childbirth or at the death of another person – part of your psyche goes over to the other side with them. Especially if you let it. But when near the end of life, you edge gradually closer into dying, often in stages and down-steps. Social attitudes tend to make this a secret process for many people at the end of their lives – no one wants to talk about it.

The black patch on my beard is a staphilococcal infection – neither hospital nor holistic treatments have worked thus far

You can see it in my eyes – there’s more of a once-removed look in them than there used to be, if you knew me some years ago. It’s because part of me has already gone over. This is partially because I came close to dying two years ago and then came back, and partially because I’m more or less okay about dying, so I’m not blocking myself from slipping into that kind of space and awareness. I had a near-death experience at age 24, which made me more easygoing about dying – and having a Buddhist background helps too.

Since I contracted cancer in late 2019, life has been very much a day-to-day, uphill grind, an effort, where I have had to apply myself to the art of living much more decidedly and in a much more focused and mindful way. It can be wearing at times. In that context, when you’re growing tired of staying alive and you’re dying, whenever and however it comes, it is likely to be a relief. After all, for me I shall be going home, where there will be no more gravitation and bodily constraint to deal with.

For now I’m okay about being alive, for there is something quite remarkable about this end-of-life phase. There’s a certain clarity to it that comes from a simplification process in the psyche – my capacity to handle complexity, or even my interest in it, is reducing, and this simplifies things. Complexity, human guile, head-trips, hidden agendas and evasions become rather irrelevant. There’s a deep realism to it. For me, it’s a time of honesty with myself, in the knowledge that if I don’t process truths now, I’ll have to process them at death. I’ve been thrust into this state by cancer and relative disability, with a fair dose of isolation thrown in, and having had quite a life over the last seven decades, starting my life in a completely different and distant time of history, I have plenty to reflect on. There’s quite a lot of past and not a lot of future left for me, at least in a bodily sense.

Even now I’m having deep, earth-shaking learning experiences, and I talked about what’s been going on for me in a recent podcast, ‘When it all gets too much’. Growth never ends – it isn’t the domain only of the young and able. One tricky issue I’m facing at present is that I’ve been fucking up. Life is proving too complex, I get out of my depth and I’m not functioning with the same intensity as most people – life’s intricacies get to be a bit too much. So I fuck up. This complicates things and I find it difficult to deal with.

I seem to be managing though. I don’t have enough life left to get really tangled up with things as I used to, and complexity boggles me. One of the drugs I’ve been given, the steriod Dexamethasone, seems to have exaggerated my Aspergers tendencies – in one sense an incapacity to deal with human headtrips and manipulations, with complexity, and in another sense a rather inspired genius, creativity and deep seeing – the Aspie blessing that brought us the Theory of Relativity, the computer, the iPhone and the Tesla. Though in my case it concerns ancient sites, geopolitics, astrology and other weird subjects I’ve given my life to. I don’t have time to hang around resisting life as it presents itself and feeding my fears and neuroses. This isn’t an avoidance: it’s more to do with zeroing in on the really important, fundamental, underlying stuff, the tough, abiding truths, and leaving the complexities to sort themselves out by themselves.

The next bit I’ve thought about long and hard. I’m not seeking to make a public discussion about this because it concerns two real people who are fine souls and deserve good treatment. Also because, in writing this blog, I undertook to tell you my cancer-and-life story, and I cannot genuinely omit this development. This isn’t about taking sides or making judgements. It concerns something that can and indeed does sometimes happen for some cancer patients and for those involved closely with us.

The biggest challenge I’ve recently had to face was a big shock when it came – the sudden ending of my relationship with Lynne. She had good reasons – it had been really difficult for her when I tipped into cancer and went through big changes, including in my personality – and then I fucked up in January, really upsetting her, and suddenly it was all over. It all became too much for her, and suddenly it was over. For me, I could both empathise with her situation and pain and also feel my own loss and inner bleakness. The next month or so was a deep and dark struggle, with emotional and health issues merging into a churning journey that seemed to last a thousand years. Later blood tests revealed that a key cancer indicator (paraproteins in my blood) had gone up – not a good sign since they’d gone down over the last year and more. When I mentioned this emotional storm to the haematology specialist she said, “Oh, that won’t affect anything”. No, she’s wrong there. I’m amazed how a doctor can say such a thing and believe it.

Leaving a cancer patient is difficult. It can lead to public judgement and that’s not fair. So I honour Lynne for being brave at this time. It is not right for a person to feel tied to another, by force of circumstance. She has a life to live too, and perhaps she’s done her bit.

Around spring equinox I started rallying and reviving – the warrior in me kicked in. Falling helplessly into the great cosmic plughole isn’t really my style – well, not for long. I’m going to try to make my cancer readings go back down again by working on reintegrating myself and getting my life-energies pulsing better. This might or might not work. If it doesn’t work, the haematologist wants to change my cancer drugs to Lenalidomide (a new word for Thalidomide) which my mother happened to take for ‘morning sickness’ when I was inside her before birth – I was lucky not to be born severely disabled, and I’m nervous about taking this drug now since I anticipate that it could worsen my Aspergers symptoms yet more or it could affect my spirits, my core medicine-source.

I go up and down on different days, getting to grips with this strangely new chapter of life and letting myself feel and experience everything that comes up, so that these experiences may evaporate into the vastness of things that never were and things that are best forgotten. But it’s hard work. As always, I look for the gift I’m being given in life, and undoubtedly, through Lynne and her absence I’m being given a gift of truth and reality. My homoeopath prescribed me Pearl 1M – pearls are created as an outcome of irritation and ‘things going wrong’. Thanks, Helen.

I wish to thank Lynne from deeper than the bottom of my heart for all she has been and done with me. She looked after me and saved my life two years ago, and her kindness and love were exceptional, a life-changer. Not many people would be able to do that, nowadays. We’ve been such good companions, lovers and soulmates. I sincerely hope she too has benefited deeply from what I have offered her. My going down with cancer wasn’t part of our plan and we’d been together only three years by then – she didn’t really get enough of the me that I once was. I wish her well, bless her. She’s been such a shining soul in my life. Also she’s a very gifted astrologer, and I miss our discussions. I’ve been difficult for her and she has been really good to me, in the last two years. It’s funny and also tragic how life goes, and what we humans do to each other, even when we don’t really mean to. So now we are both ‘free’. I sincerely hope life works well for her and miss her enormously.

Now it is time to move on and make good use of the life that I have. It will take time to repair, yet I need to keep moving forward. It’s time to do the best with life as it presents itself, to uncover the TLC within my own heart and to let myself receive what support life will provide, as if being carried in the open palms of the Goddess. After all, our existence is all about two things that aren’t entirely connected: life as it factually presents itself and life as we choose to see, experience and respond to it – and in the latter lies our power. But it’s true also that it’s really strange encountering an experience such as this at my current stage of life.

One thing I’ve learned is that separation and aloneness do not mean I have to close my heart and block off, just because I find myself on my own or in an emotionally barren state. Love is something that resides in our hearts, in the core of our being – it generates its own warmth and inclusion without having to be dependent on the closeness or the absence of another soul. Though, this said, I must admit that I have to really work on that, and it really is nice being enwrapped in love! Talking to and caring just for myself isn’t quite the same. After all, even as a crippled cancer patient I still love looking after others to the extent I can.

And I still welcome hassle-free, relaxed visitors, and bring your knitting – I serve really good springwater tea.

Life is all about change. All that starts comes to an end. It really does. This is the nature of life on Earth. The Talking Heads once sang that heaven is a place where nothing ever happens, and there’s some truth in it but not a lot, since life goes on everywhere and the progress of the soul on its long evolutionary journey continues wherever we are. Different forms of existence offer different openings and opportunities. One difference between ‘heaven’ and Earth is that, in ‘heaven’, as in your dreams, you experience what your psyche is capable of tuning into, and it often manifests pretty quickly, while on Earth it’s a lot more complex (and we humans make it even more so) and there’s a much bigger gap between possibility and fulfilment. In heaven you can rebuild the bombed cities of Ukraine in an instant, but on Earth it will take decades and it will involve lots of complications and the future just won’t be the same as the past.

I’ve been thinking about my blogs and podcasts. There will come a point where I can’t continue, so the whole series might not conclude in the same neat way as a fiction story. So in the next few weeks I’m going to write and record a final blog and podcast in advance, for my son Tulki to release when the time comes. The funny thing for him is that I’ll be leaving next to nothing in terms of property and money, but he and his sisters will inherit a load of digital assets instead! The list of passwords and digital details I’m leaving is far longer than my will.

But there’s another question too, that I haven’t resolved. I hope and intend to communicate after I’m gone, at least with folks in my family and inner soul-circle, and I’m wondering who will actually have their receptors open and their antennae up when the time actually comes?

Lots of love from me. Paldywan Kenobi.

You’ll find my podcasts here and my website is here and my forthcoming book is here.

When It All Gets Too Much

My latest podcast

In some of my podcasts I share some very personal things, and this is one of those. 

We’re all going through it – that feeling of OMG, this is all too much –  and it’s gone global. It hits the best of us. 

This is about my own little version of it, which nevertheless is  rather heart-rending for me. With a few insights into the process of  riding with truth – it can propel us along.

It was recorded in the woods below our farm, on a sunny springtime day, and edited and uploaded same day, 24th March.  18 minutes long.

Thanks for listening! Love, Palden. 

Find it on my site at www.palden.co.uk/podcasts.html

or listen on Spotify – and it’s also on Apple and Google Podcasts.

Having Cancer

Here’s my latest podcast

I’ve got cancer and it has me.

It’s full-on and it has been a big life-changer. I have myeloma or bone marrow cancer. I’ve had it over two years and am through the worst stage, I hope, but it’s still hard work.

Every now and then I still get quite ill, not from the cancer but from the secondary issues in my spine and stomach and with infections. You can’t get rid of myeloma – you can only manage it. I probably have a few years left. I’m 71.

So this podcast is for anyone who has cancer or who is involved with someone who has it. It’s about some of the real aspects of keeping your spirits up – the core issue whether you seek to stay alive or to have a good dying process. If you’re feeling kinda okay inside, your whole process will work better, or you’ll handle it better. Failing all else, you’ll be a bit happier.

We have to come to terms with dying, come to peace about it, and about the life we have had, and all its ups and downs. So this is about all that.

Recorded during a howling gale down’ere in Cornwall, Storm Eunice, in late February 2022. The waves are at Portheras Cove in West Penwith, Cornwall, near where I live.

24 mins. One of two podcasts on cancer.

With love, Palden.

Get it on Spotify
Or on Apple Podcasts
Or on Google Podcasts
Or on Palden’s website

Ancestral Passages

Age doesn’t mean the learning stops

Carn Lês Boel

So what happens next? This question hovers around me now. It’s not unique to me: even though I’m spending most of my time alone and rather disconnected from society, the whole world is in a similar state and I’m very tuned into it. But the fascinating thing about living with cancer, at least in my case, is that, while death is a prospect facing all of us and it can come at any moment, it comes closer when you have cancer. So, in the last two months or so, I’ve been wondering whether I’ll get to the end of 2022 or whether I have longer.

This was prompted by a new health crisis that started in late October, prompted not by the cancer itself but by its side-effects and the vulnerabilities it and cancer treatments create. In November and December, at times I felt I was losing strength and spirit, deeply worn out. My spirits hold up well if I’m feeling reasonably clear inside, but if my psyche is befogged by illness I labour through a tiredness of spirit that makes me wonder how much longer I can carry on. It was becoming a question of whether to fight for life or hand myself over.

Well, I’ll be wherever is best and wherever I’m most needed. The time and manner of our passing is not in our gift to control. Even so, many of the more awakened souls I know who are currently leaving Earth seem mostly not to have a long illness and a slow decline – their angels pull them out with a quick heart attack or an accident, or they die in their sleep or their armchair and, whoosh, they’re gone.

I’ve had a number of near-death experiences and I know that, when I ‘let go and let God‘, I have, thus far, quite quickly bounced back. It’s not a genuine let-go to do this in order to bounce back, because that’s all about setting conditions, and that doesn’t work with death. The releasing needs to be wholehearted and complete. You just gotta be willing to pass through that door. This permits something else to take over. It takes things deeper onto a soul or a ‘causal’ level, which then can then override the rules and norms of body and psyche, and decisions are made that lie far beyond what we humans are aware of. But, us humans, we struggle for control. We’re addicted to life and, in the modern West, we’ve even persuaded ourselves that being alive in a body is the only reality there is – so we have a bias against dying.

The problem with this is, it’s not like that. And we miss a trick. There’s more to life than this.

A frosty field below the farm, today, at dawn on a magical fullmoon morning

The releasing I went through in late December was in no way dramatic or quick. I just got fed up with holding myself up and keeping going. So I stopped worrying about it and got on with life as it then was – feeling like a 95-year old crock on his last legs. Yet gradually, things picked up and, in early January, I began to see glimmers of a future. Hope tends to keep me going, and somehow my hope had faded. But here, amongst the ashes, something was germinating. Not a roadmap or a sense of how long I have left, but more a sense that there’s something more to do before I go. There’s reason to carry on. As far as I can tell.

It’s funny how the world magically responds to an inner change like this. In the preceding months, Lynne and I had not been able to see each other much – me, because of my immobility and state of ongoing lockdown, and she because of overwork and life-struggles, followed by two months wiped out with Longcovid. She really went through it, last year. By November, both of us were flat out in bed with fatigue and illness, a hundred miles apart. Messaging and phone contact got difficult. But eventually she started reviving and her reappearance was a bit like what it must be like for my eldest daughter Maya and her family, who live north of the polar circle in Swedish Lappland, when the sun first comes up in mid-January after a month or so of darkness. Suddenly life lit up and started looking very different.

That wasn’t all. Maya contacted me to say she was coming over from Sweden – we haven’t seen each other for about six years. Despite Covid restrictions and plane cancellations, and with the help of Tulki, my son, who ferreted out solutions, met her at Heathrow and brought her down here, she came to visit. Wierdly, here in cold, midwinter Britain, the temperature was 20-30 degrees warmer than in Lappland, and on one day we even had sunshine!

On that day we did a clifftop walk from Porthgwarra to Carn Lês Boel, a dramatic headland looking out over the Atlantic, and my favourite pilgrimage place in West Penwith. It’s where, in spirit at least, I’ll probably dance my last dance. I had anticipations about getting back from the Carn to Porthgwarra, nearly two miles, but my spirits were up and antigravity drives were humming, and my legs and sticks teleported me back. Plus the old mountaineer’s trick of avoiding thinking about how far there is yet to go. And the company.

Maya, Tulki and I had some close and meaningful sharings, huddled around the stove while it rained and blew dismally outside. It lifted up my heart, and I think and hope it was the same for them too. Though I have brought together hundreds of people into groups, communities and tribes, I’ve never done well with family and often I’ve been judged as the one at fault in relationships, so this was a healing on a very deep level – or the beginning of one. It felt ancestral as well: I grew up in a dysfunctional nuclear family that was an offshoot of a wider family that had become alienated and atomised in the earlier 20th Century, and it felt to me like this was a cross-generational turning of the tide, a healing of ancestral hurts. Maya’s and Tulki’s generation feel to me as if they’ll bring family back together in a new way.

It’s a new kind of family too: my four grown up ‘children’ are born of three different mothers. In case you think I’m some sort of toxic pervert male, two of those mothers had also had children by multiple fathers, and Lynne has four ‘kids’ by three fathers! So either they are toxic property too, or there’s something new and different going on here. Something transformative and tribal. They and their peers are the founders of the new families, communities and clans that will constitute an answer for the future. As I often say, we’ll only get the the other end of the 21st Century by working together – something my generation made some progress with, but changing the course of human history takes more time than we’d like.

I mention these two events because, late in 2021, I felt there was nothing much to hope for or look forward to. I was feeling leaden, redundant and uncreative – hence that it has been a month since my last blog. Surreptitiously, things changed. Also, I realised that there’s one more writing project to do, which partially I dread (since I’ve sat at so many typewriters and computers for so long that it’s no thrill at all), and partially it gives me a feeling of relief and release, to think of finally getting it out. The added bit is that, at the end of life, I don’t care too much about what others will think – it’s quite liberating for a long-distance author, that. Whether I’ll manage to actually do it, I do not know. I need to write down a good smattering of my inner experiences and extraterrestrial contacts – a story I haven’t told. For the record. And, well, it’s not the first time I’ve broken a cultural taboo or been shat upon for doing it.

As a Virgo I’m rather attached to making a contribution and being useful. Being on Earth hasn’t been a great pleasure, even though I’ve had loads of amazing experiences. It has been a bit like a duty and a mission, a bit like holding your breath underwater while trying to get to the other end of the pool – and it’s further than you thought. So I’ve always had a feeling that, to justify continuing, I must contribute something, to make it worth it. Lots of people have given me lectures about getting over this pathology and about being more realistic and responsible. But from another viewpoint, though such a view conforms to the comfortable groupthink-consensus of our majoritarian society, that’s rather a complacent position. We’re all getting on with our own lives while the world is going down. In the end it’s the reason why we have dictators, hunger, injustice and environmental destruction – we allow it. We’re too busy to worry about it. For some reason, throughout life I’ve felt a strange need to do something about this, driven by Edmund Burke’s enduring statement: for the triumph of evil it is necessary only that good people do nothing. This presents dilemmas that hit anyone with a conscience.

Six months ago I learned that one factor affecting many or even all cancer patients is that we have spent our lives tuned in to the needs and emotions of others. Cancer comes to pull us back to ourselves. This is true: I’ve had to draw new boundaries and look after myself like never before. But the funny thing is, my soul is still oriented toward service, even as a crippled old cancer-freak. Problem is, this service has benefited others but not my close family. My mother was like this too: at her funeral she was much loved and honoured for all she had done in public, but for me and my brother, while she did her best in a 1940s-50s way, she wasn’t a good mother. If I was hungry she would tell me to go away and play because it wasn’t teatime yet. Thanks. Looking back, I wonder whether she, like me, had Asperger’s Syndrome, with its attendant relationship issues. She channelled her feelings and love into public service, and so do I. To the cost of some and the benefit of others.

Lynne is admirable in this regard. She just about manages to bridge the contradictions here. I’m a very loving man, and I do try, but I don’t and can’t do many of the things in relationship that most ‘neurotypical’ people apparently do. I don’t see and judge life in the same way. I’m programmed up differently, very much in my own bubble-world, and while I’m locked away on a remote farm having cancer treatment, she’s out there in the world, doing battle with its swirling challenges and very much experiencing the ‘too busy’ syndrome that so much plagues our society. As a counsellor and life-wisdom teacher she needs to maintain inner clarity, but mortgage-paying and modernity’s complex pressures pull the other way, and this is a struggle even for the best of souls.

That’s where I was at two decades ago and, bizarrely, as a pensioner and cancer patient, for the first time I have a consistent though modest income, and am more or less released from all that grind. Well, sort of – I’m doing a different kind of grind instead. So Lynne and I have to bridge that wide gap at present, and she also has to deal with the weird Aspie in me, and the possibility that I might pop my clogs any day, and she deserves a medal for all that. All I can give her is delightful chocolate-and rose flavoured tea lovingly brewed in springwater from up the hill – well, I have some pleasant quirks.

Lynne and Maya have made me aware how, through relationships and family, I have unconsciously tried to bridge a gaping chasm between two parts of myself – the mad-professor hermit and the former philosopher-king with no kingdom. I have not succeeded. The only consolation is that there have been benefits in other ways. Nelson Mandela had this problem: a conflict between his allegiance to his family and to his people that he never quite resolved. But in the end it was better for everyone that he did what he did, and perhaps he was supporting his great-grandchildren better than his own children. And life takes many strange turns.

I don’t know how long I shall live. Every estimate of how I shall be tomorrow, in a month’s time or next year is provisional and guesswork. Should I buy a new winter coat or put the money into financing my funeral? Well, there’s only one answer: live day to day, do my best and find out. And be grateful for small things.

The big event yesterday was a hobble down the old trackway into the valley, turning right into the field, balancing my way through a muddy, tractor-ripped gateway and down to where Paget, Andrew and Jon were digging out the old pool by the woods in the low afternoon sun. This will create a revived habitat for pond and stream plants, geese and waders, dragonflies and allsorts. It was great to see, even if at this stage it’s mainly mud and unfinished fencing to keep the cattle out. But then, it’s January, and the right time for it. Capricorn: a time for carrying on regardless and getting on with the digging. And the tax returns. And the daily grind. But underneath, hidden away, something is moving, taking shape.

The corvids are massing and krarking around in the clear, cold sky above the farm, ready for bedding down in the trees down below. They’ve been out and about around Penwith and they gather together to sleep in the woods. The geese will come in soon, settling on the lake shores down the valley. I think it’s time to finish this blog and post it. Time to light the stove and get some dinner on. Thank you to Teri in Australia for prompting me to write this. And bless you all for being you.

Love, Paldywan Kenobi.

Down’ere in Cornwall, right at the far end
www.palden.co.uk

St Michael’s Mount, as seen from the iron age courtyard house on the hill on our farm – probably eight miles away

Heaven Forfend

Stumbling on the Path

I wasn’t ready for it. The crows in the woods below the farm were on form. Each morning they wake up just before dawn and chatter in hundreds, working themselves up and suddenly taking to the air together, swooping around over the fields, doing crazy tribal manoeuvres, crarking and grating, settling and then swooping again as a mass before landing on the rooftops and trees of the farm and the big house next door, to sit there awhile and begin their day as individual crows, each with a life to live.

It shows the power of synergy, when they interlock minds to fly as one being, with no visible leadership, making a deep rumbling as hundreds of wings thrash the air in harmony. Meanwhile, waking up in pain and feeling unwell, I had missed an opportunity to sound-record one of the best dawn crow displays of late (for my next podcast). Oh well. That’s what happens when your life is humiliatingly falling apart and all your well-learned human capabilities start failing you.

Plus some dilemmas. On Thursday afternoon I landed up sitting there crying my eyes out, unable to get help after four days of trying, following a stream of unreturned calls, answering machines, referrals to other numbers, and promises unkept. Yet again I was landing up at the end of the day having got nowhere. I was in pain and going down. The dilemma is that, when I do get someone at the other end, they’re really good – but somehow, the system just isn’t working, and a clock was ticking on me.

Come Saturday morning, I got through to an emergency number and the nurse was really helpful and attentive, assuring me she would ring back within an hour – and she did. “I hate to do this to you, Palden, but I must refer you to yet another service”. OMG. Eventually, by afternoon I was down in the Urgent Care Unit at West Cornwall Hospital in Penzance. By evening I was at last fixed with the medication I had been promised five days before. Penny, busy helping another of her care clients move house, came to pick me up in an enormous van and dropped me home. Staggering around on autodrive, I lit the woodstove, made tea and then had what my mother in her later years used to call ‘a good sit down’. Thus ended a nightmare week during which I had squared with a few rather hard things.

Medically, my prospects are not good – I’m doing alright with the cancer but not with its side-effects, and the prospects are ‘risky’. I’m at a choice-point. It all boils down to a matter of will-to-live. A decision in my soul, in my bones, not my head. Will this crisis be followed by an upswing or a downward slide? This isn’t just about health conditions. Getting through each day has become more difficult and I’ve started getting tired of it, wondering how much it’s worth struggling on.

It’s a bit like climate change: a question of mitigation (trying to solve the problem) or adaptation (getting used to the idea that you can’t). Do I have what it takes to break medical expectations? Or shall I let myself decline in peace, perhaps during the coming year? If I revive, for what and for whom? I am on my own almost all of the time and, recently with diminished creative inspiration, there isn’t a lot to do except talk to myself and deal with a succession of difficulties in a muddle-through kind of way.

Yes, that’s honing to the soul, and there’s always something to learn. But fighting to stay alive is not all there is to life, and there comes a point where it gets a bit stupid resisting a tide that currently seems to want to carry me back home. I’m leaving the question open for now, but it’s sitting with me.

‘Heaven…’, sang Talking Heads a few decades ago, ‘Heaven is a place, where nothing, nothing ever happens…’. I don’t agree. That’s an earthbound perspective arising from the forgetting process we went through around birth and in early life. Forgetting who we are and why we came. So going back to where we came from becomes a scary issue that few wish to face, because it involves remembering who we are, or were, or could be, and why we came. But the rub is, everyone will face it. And things do happen after death, and there’s more to life than what we’ve experienced thus far.

Astrologers amongst you will probably recognise the symptoms: I’m on a Neptune opposition Saturn. I’ve been given cancer to give my life a new focus. The last two years have been like ten. Struggles have changed me a lot, for better and worse, but there comes a point where a new hurdle hoves into view: letting be, letting go and ‘letting God’.

We get these let-gos throughout life, and the more experience of them that we gain, the more we position ourselves well for the final one. But there are some biggies to get to grips with – particularly regrets. Things we did, or didn’t do, that we could have done differently.

If we’ve done something with our lives, if we have at least tried, other things come around too, to show us where we got things more or less right. For me, as I slowly pull out of my temporal life-slot, things are coming to pass that I got used to accepting as unchangeable. World transformation is not an easy thing, and we’re in a painful period, but things are starting to wrench themselves out of their stuckness – also known as ‘normality’. The mechanism by which change is happening is not one that anyone could have forecast. It’s getting us from behind and underneath.

It started with Covid and its cascading consequences, and we’re heading for the next big wave. Again, it will be something that few visualised or expected. It’s a raking-out of all and everything, very thorough, corroding and eroding many things, all separately, and building up into an enormous slow, drawn-out quake, an avalanche of issues that will come to a scrunch-point – and then something else starts happening.

We’re not used to insecurity and uncertainty but we’re being forced to get used to it. Covid, with its consequential effects, was just the start. There’s more (see here). In the end, all will be well, but it’s really difficult now – my 25ish futile telephone calls of the last week were a minuscule example of the cumulative systems breakdown that is coagulating at present. The exception has become the rule, and relative chaos is becoming the new order.

After a life of going against the grain, I’ll be leaving a world where the logjams are at last beginning to free up. In a way, it’s a time of tribulation, but in another way it’s a time of solutions and breakthroughs, goaded by crisis and necessity. But if we truly want a new world, we must truly let go of the old one – and that’s what the coming decades are about.

Hence we see such daunting attempts at social control today. Humanity has started sliding down a ski-slope and it’s shit scared of losing control. Stamp out the virus, rescue the economy, maintain normality, control the future, blame it all on others. Change whatever you like as long as it doesn’t affect me.

This is not all that there is to life. Even fighting against it is not all there is to life. There’s more. Humanity is struggling to figure out why we are here, and what exactly for. It’s an endless process. It’s the Universe trying to find out who it is, by scraping the accumulated experience of billions of struggling humans into an enormous databank of universal experience, fiddling with models and algorithms to find out what it’s here for. And whether the telling of the story really was worth it. Or whether, as my Tibetan teacher HH Gyalwa Karmapa XVI once put it, it was all simply a fart in the void.

Meanwhile, now on medication, I’m beginning to feel ‘better’ and out of danger, but I’ve been knocked down a rung, and this is a different place. Another fullmoon has passed. Here’s sending a hug to those who will be alone at Christmas, and best wishes to all of you, whatever you are or aren’t celebrating, with a reminder and a smile: it’s all okay in the end, and if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.

Love, Palden.


A new podcast is coming soon when my production team (me) gets its act together. Meanwhile, an optional extra: some music, Pink Floyd’s On the Turning Away

Being in the World

And out of it too

Carn Gloose and, behind, Kilgooth Ust or Cape Cornwall

I’m lucky to be a writer. With my cancer-derived disabilities I can still more or less carry on with my work. If I were a farmer, work would be mostly impossible and my life would fall apart. There’s another side to this though: I get fed up with sitting at the computer – being nerdy and scholastic, I’ve done a lot of that over the last fifty years! My major hurdle at present is fatigue, though even that has its compensations because the rest and the floating-off that fatigue induces gives me space to cogitate things more than I’ve ever done before.

So my current book is taking time, but I’m now on the finishing touches – checking footnotes, indexing and sorting out pictures and maps – ready to send to a printer and publisher I do not yet have. That’s the next hurdle. Fatigue means I have to take things one thing at a time – handling complexity, arrangements and details is distinctly difficult. But I’m really pleased with the book.

The ‘council circle’ at Bosigran cliff sanctuary

In some respects it’s rather obscure – about the ancient sites of West Penwith, here in Cornwall, and what they show us about ‘megalithic geoengineering’ – but in other respects I’ve never been able to give a book so much thought and consideration. It might be one of my best (it’s my eleventh). There has always been a rush to meet a deadline or before other things start happening. But I don’t have a lot happening, and I’m no longer striving to be a successful author – I’m seeking simply to pass on my knowledge to whomever will benefit from it, before I go.

A dear soul-sister, Sophia, suddenly went recently. She was about to stage a big exhibition of her remarkable art and ceramics when she died quietly in her sleep, in her early seventies. It’s one of those deaths that was a surprise – she was in good enough health and spirits, with good prospects. Yet there’s a feeling it was not actually wrong that she passed away there and then. Sophia is a deep and sensitive lady who has done consistent spiritual practice (Subud Latihan) for a long time. We worked together on local and world healing in the 1980s, with an occultist called Gareth Knight and others. Her angels clearly, cleanly and calmly took her out at what they consider exactly the right time.

It’s stirring, when someone suddenly blips out like that. But we’ll probably meet in heaven when I blip out too. It doesn’t bother me the way it seems to bother a lot of people who, in their confusion over death, seem to experience such loss and regret when a person dies. Some people judge that I don’t care when I say this, but they misunderstand me. Yes, there’s an enormous gap, a silence, and it raises big questions about life, bringing up mysterious feelings, and the person is no longer physically present, but why do people stop talking to a person when they die, as if they no longer exist? I’ve sat at funerals where the departed soul says to me, “But can’t anyone see I’m here?“, so I talk to them. Then they, and the attendant angels and beings, seem to wonder why I am not running the funeral myself.

At times in the past I have done so, encouraging the living, standing around the grave, to address the person directly in their thoughts and words. We’d do a talking-stick circle where everyone could say their bit and recount their chunk of the life-story of the walked-out person and their abiding impressions. I’d encourage everyone, silently to themselves, to say all they needed to say to the person, to round out their relationship, and to hear the departed person’s truth, and thank them for their presence and for whatever, knowingly or not, they taught us while they were alive.

Anyway, Sophia is now very much at peace and in good hands, and she is going home, and the quiet manner of her departing was true to form, for her. A death like hers leaves the rest of us in an altered state because part of us goes with her, drawing attention to the wider and deeper meaning of life and what we are doing about it. This leads me to my latest podcast about Soul Education – recorded in early September. It’s not about death but about life. My starting premise is that we as souls did not begin our evolutionary journeys here on Earth, and that we come here for two primary reasons: to learn and to make a contribution.

Carn Euny iron age village, 2,000 years old

Cancer has been something of a gift because it gave me an indefinite though possibly imminent death sentence, which has brought forward this question of the contribution I have made and still make. It sharpens me up, in my constrained and slightly helpless state. Soon after getting diagnosed, in mid-November two years ago, on my back fighting for my life and amidst my pain, I was moved to write down all I knew about prehistoric culture – something I had not properly done before. This knowledge would be lost and wasted if I didn’t get it down. It gave me a focus through the next two years, and now it is virtually complete and ready to ‘put to bed’.

I now face a new question. My life might (or might not) be longer than the few years I expected. But I do not know what will happen, especially since, just two weeks ago, I was again not far from death’s door. I need to face the world and to supplement my income, since my pension and allowances no longer cover all my needs and costs and I have nothing to fall back on. But I cannot make arrangements, keep timetables, remember details and deal with the intricacies and obligations of conducting business – I don’t even know what state I’ll be in next Thursday, next month or next year, so making promises and agreements is just not realistic.

Working for a living (such as editing books or doing astrological sessions) is not easy now, even though I’m a solid workaholic. You see, when I fall ill, I cannot sit at the computer renegotiating arrangements with multiple people and giving them a reliable answer when they ask when I’ll be better and back to normal! If I died suddenly, lots of threads could be left untied. My recent health encounter took three weeks and I’m worn out, running on three cylinders. I’m destined to fail in dealing with the details of working for a living, and I know it, and I’ve had instances already where I have let people down or forgotten something, because I’m in an altered state with chemo-brain and fatigue. Or they’re in more of a hurry than I can keep up with.

I’m just not ‘up to speed’ or ‘in the loop’, and neither should I be. I’m still shielding. But I’m a Virgo with an inbuilt need to do my bit. I need to focus on what actually I can do, such as writing this cancer blog until I no longer can, or churning out podcasts and my forthcoming book, or doing psychic work and playing a part in the lives of people close by and far away. I do these not just for self-entertainment, though they do keep me occupied, but because I believe they bring some value.

Neolithic Chun Quoit as seen from bronze age Boswens menhir

Last week Lynne picked me up and I went to stay in Devon with her. That worked well, and the change and being with her after a too-long pause was good. But while I was there I encountered another issue: electrosensitivity. It has increased since I got cancer. It’s a blood cancer, and iron-rich blood is electronic and magnetic. Lynne is herself electrosensitive, so this is not what otherwise could be a difficult issue between us. But it affects my and our social life a lot.

Most people don’t understand radiation, and many think they are exempt from its effects when this is incorrect. Problem is, it takes me just three seconds of close exposure to mobile phone or wi-fi radiation to set me off for 36 hours. I go through a sequence of cumulative symptoms, depending on the amount of exposure. It starts with an agitated, embattled, uncentred, inarticulate, locked-in kind of feeling, progressing to a high-pitched whine in the centre of my skull, then some sharp, pulsing, show-stopping headaches, then a thumping, irregular heartbeat, then distinct feelings of flu-like illness lasting about 24 hours after exposure has stopped. This is upsetting, especially when it’s friends, loved ones and interesting people killing you. No one understands what they’re doing because it is not recognised as a problem.

From my own perspective, I think that EM and nuclear radiation probably account for at least 20% of the environmental damage, climate change, social stresses and health problems happening right now, globally. The world doesn’t want to know. Many people groan when I come up with things like this, and I have been criticised many times for awkward utterances, only to watch them come true in the longterm. I’m not right every time, but I’m correct enough times for it to matter. It’s the price of being a seer and choosing to live ahead of our time – I’m sure a lot of you know that one.

I turned vegetarian-vegan in 1971, but now is it no longer regarded as a deficiency or weakness, but that took 40-50 years. Twenty years ago I was involved with ‘talking to terrorists’ (Hamas) at a time when it was risky and taboo. But now, British soldiers tell us we should have talked more to the Taliban in Afghanistan – ahem, yes, precisely. It’s painful, living with this wilful blindness and watching the wider costs and hardships rise so high. This is the case now with the question of EM radiation – it is nicely invisible and deniable, and mobiles and wi-fi are so useful, but it’s harming us and our world. Even Extinction Rebellion and the Green Party have a blockage over this issue, and I do wonder why.

Caer Bran, the possible bronze age parliament site for Penwith, as seen from Grumbla in the valley below

It’s past lunchtime and time to go to bed. Fatigue is funny: when it comes, it’s like pushing through treacle. The law of gravity gets switched up, my mind dulls out and it’s like being muffled in wool. It can arrive quite suddenly, often in the afternoon or following a lot of activity. The secret is to accept it and not grind myself up feeling guilty or inadequate. I’ve pushed energy writing this blog, and now I need to put my body-mind system into freewheel for a recharge. Besides, it’s a grotty, rainy, grey, blustery day, and bed is the best place to be. With a cuppa, a few munchies, music by Brian Eno, and a good case of metaversal megaflop.

Thanks for being with. This time you get a podcast too, introduced by a nightingale.

With love from me, Palden.

www.palden.co.uk/podcasts.html – for the latest podcast from the far beyond
www.palden.co.uk/shiningland/ – about my book Shining Land
www.facebook.com/palden.jenkins – my Facebook page

And the pics here are made for but not included in my book.

Treading the Edge

New podcast: illness, and hovering on life’s periphery

In my blogs and podcasts I seek to leave a record of the kind of experiences a person like me with cancer goes through, and of course this will include down moments.

There are times when I struggle. Here’s one. It isn’t an easy listen, and perhaps it’s not for everyone. Or if you’re new to these podcasts, listen to another one first, perhaps.

It might be valuable for anyone being touched by death or illness in any way, or thinking about it, because it might give some clues about what it feels like coming close to it – from the inside. It gives a taste of the kind of space you can go into – especially during the dark hours before dawn.

My brains were operating really slowly here, and I was going moment to moment – though I managed to get to the end! I don’t prepare what I’m going to say: I just dwell on it for a while, the moment to start comes, I switch on my recorder and off we go. I have done a lot of radio and public speaking before though, so I’m not unpracticed at this.

Afterwards I clean up the recording a little – I remove some of the ums and ahs, longer pauses, coughs or errors. Then I edit in the intro and outro, with added nature recordings, and that’s it.

I talk about death quite a lot. It’s an area of attention that’s relevant for me, and people like me, at this time. Cancer patients get it. It’s something we all need to face, and society needs to talk more about it. So I’m articulating my perspectives on it. I’ve had a few near-death experiences earlier in life, and I’m a bony old esoteric weirdo too, so I’m a wee bit more prepared for this than many people!

After my health crisis of a week ago, when this podcast was recorded, I’m getting better and ‘coming back’ gradually day by day. I visit hospital again on Monday for a checkup and review.

Unless there’s a change, the next podcast is about soul education. There’s more to come, inshallah.

This is a notion we Westerners need to add to our language for common usage: if it is for the greatest good – usually translated as, ‘if it is the will of God’. Life is something we cannot just impose upon, since it has a way of imposing on us too. You notice this more in late life than in earlier life.

palden.co.uk/podcasts.html

Thanks for being with.

Palden.

Emergences

So what about dying, then? Living too.

Whatever lifts you up – bumble bee paradise, in this case.

Sometimes a comment spontaneously written in an online discussion can say it in ways it’s difficult to think up most of the time, and this morning I had one of those. I was commenting on a FB post by a fellow Myeloma patient who had just had shocking diagnosis news, and she was reeling from it – her fears were overwhelming her. So I wrote this to her, and it sums up a lot for me, as a cancer patient. Might be useful to a few of you….

You will pass away when your heart and soul feel the need to give up, or when your angels decide to take you out, or when it’s time and it is good and okay. You’ll have your own way of seeing and defining this.

But this kind of idea brings more control back to you, and it places an emphasis on keeping your heart and spirits up, as a primary focus. In this sense there is a perverse gift in cancer: it prompts us to monitor, be aware of and look after ourselves like never before, and to look at some of the more fundamental life questions that previously we avoided. It’s even arguable that some of those avoidances can be seen as a psycho-spiritual cause of cancer.

Without cancer we are nevertheless prompted by life to learn and grow, but with it the stakes and the issues are amplified. One of the big lessons that has come to me since diagnosis has been this: if it lifts me up, I need to do it, and if it weighs me down, I need either not to do it or I need to reassess. Psychological de-burdening.

Amongst other things it is an opportunity to redesign our lives to make them work better, for us and those around us, prompted by the tightened parameters, disabilities, fears and challenges myeloma brings.

It’s still not easy though.

Joe Biden Syndrome

It’s all about the ins and outs of coming out into the world again.

Mayon Cliff Cairn

I haven’t written a blog recently. Some of you might be wondering what’s happening. Well, it’s classic for a cancer patient, and also it’s happening for some in connection with Covid. It’s all about the ins and outs of coming out into the world again.

I’ve been getting busy. Sometimes a bit too busy, and then I collapse. My brains are less befogged than last year and I’m less fatigued, and also there comes a point where I get fed up with resting and intense self-care. One problem is, people start thinking I’m ‘better’ – no, I’m more good and less bad.

Also I have lifelong hyper-proactive patterns and a dose of Joe Biden Syndrome – the knowledge that this is your last chance and you need to dance your last dance before you go. That’s quite a motivator. I can understand the struggles teenagers and young adults go through when they look at the world and think, OMG, what kind of a mess is this that I’m walking into?. Well, at the other end it goes, What kind of a mess am I leaving behind?

So my book is being edited and produced (hopefully for publication in September), and I’ve started doing podcasts, and I’m doing some online talks on astrology, prehistorics and geopolitics, and I’m getting a few more visitors… and thus far I’m managing to keep it together, but I have to work hard on training people to understand I’m not ‘up to speed’ and cannot match their timetables, lists, agendas, complexities and demands, and helping people solve their problems is not as easy as before. Though sometimes magic happens anyway. My memory is poor, my capacity to multitask is near-zero. After 4pm my energy droops a lot – and that’s when many people come online and want to talk.

On the plus side, the effect of a death sentence, chemo treatment and longterm isolation have given certain advantages. I’m seeing things differently, a level deeper. This can be uncomfortable for some, and I’m getting some crit for it. That’s a bit off-putting but it’s part of the game if you stick your head over the parapet.

It sounds terrible to say this but, in a way, I don’t care any more. This is a part of Joe Biden Syndrome. I don’t care so much about what people think or whether my output earns me brownie-points, fame or money, and this frees up loads of things. Though bizarrely, I’m more sensitive and permeable than ever before, and this part of me really cares.

The ‘council space’ at Bosigran Castle

I really appreciate insightful feedback, though when it is reactive, prejudicial and poorly thought through, it sometimes hurts. Often it’s powered by projected frustration. That’s difficult, because I’ve spent my life working to raise the level of people’s understanding, and this small matter seems to have gone backwards in recent years.

Some people might feel my writings can be harsh or scathing. They might be right. This might perhaps be an issue about understanding Aspies though (Greta Thunberg, Elon Musk and Bill Gates can be seen this way too – kinda suspect). But there’s one thing that’s important to me: I never insist on readers believing me or doing what I say. Or if I do, I don’t mean to. I add things to the pool for your consideration and I might be right or wrong, and seeing this and my own process might perhaps help you in your own process. That’s my approach.

So, in the end, I get over crit and am committed to avoiding the censorship of public judgement. Which might even be a worse censorship than the one people usually moan about.

I did write a blog a week ago about ‘weltschmerz‘ – the pain of the world. I got a bit stuck on it though, precisely over this crit. But I’ve kept it and might work it over again. I’ve moved on for now, giving more attention to the G7 summit that’s happening this weekend a few miles away from me, here in Cornwall.

This represents an interesting twist to the geopolitical consciousness work I’ve been doing over the years (with my friends – see below), usually from quite isolated and insulated places. Well, although distance is no object in the innerworlds, this time they’re coming to me, haha!

Actually, I think the real big guy who’s coming to the G7 is Mutti Merkel. One can disagree with things she’s done, but she has done really well – an examplary politician in a difficult political arena, and a sensible and well-informed hand on the tiller. Now she’s retiring, and that’s right too – times move on, and she knows it. Good luck to her. As Mikhael Gorbachev found, politicians and public figures are dispensible, and history eats them for breakfast.

Carn Euny iron age fogou

I’ve been facing some stuff. I found out that my back problem is likely to become a slow physical degeneration – an increasing incapacity to hold myself up. Myeloma slowly eats away at my bones and they’re already rather thinned out. I click my back into place about once every hour or two, and if a stranger hears it they find it a bit frightening! This degeneration issue has been a big thing to confront and accept. It confronts my get-over-it kind of character.

It’s a test of a key philosophy of mine: to look for the gift in all things. That’s what cancer and similar ailments are: a soul-driven test of our psycho-spiritual resilience and openness, a test of our capacity to actually do it, and not just to believe it, or to hope unproductively.

I’m still on chemo but it’s getting milder. The nurse came yesterday to take my bloods and shoot me up with Velcade and Dara, and I took Dex and two other things too, as pills. It’s weird, and Dex gives me stomach issues and a difficult steroid-driven feeling for two days, but the myeloma itself is in retreat and I’m ‘coming back’. The killer will either be toxicity from the stomach problems or bone degeneration – side-effects of myeloma (they vary for different people).

This brings up a further issue and challenge. I have decided to die by decision and when the time is right – or perhaps when my ‘angels’ choose to take me out. They have helped me so much through the cancer process and, in a way, I’m dependent on them, as well as on doctors and other humans, near and far.

I’ve recently made a re-commitment to a certain kind of work I’ve done in the past. It came to me a few weeks ago and gave a new sense of purpose I didn’t know was there. It’s a renewed contract with those ‘angels’ and I guess that, if I get things right, whatever that means, they’ll keep me going until it’s complete. A contract is a two-way agreement, and each party needs to know they have a reasonable chance of fulfilling it.

Hella Point at Tol Pedn Penwith (Gwennap Head)

This re-commitment feels right, but we’re feeling it out before starting. Besides, I need to get Shining Land published and a few other things done and clarified first. That’s my reality, and they have theirs too.

People sometimes ask me whether I believe in God. I say, “No”. Then I say, “In another way, Yes”. Muslims give Allah 99 names and they leave the last one open – good idea. Belief is simply a guideline, a choice of a way to construct our reality, a direction to head in. It’s more a matter of knowing, not believing in, ‘God’. Or, as my old soul-friend Sig Lonegren might say, gnowing. We’re challenged to really gnow. In order to grow, we need to gnow. This is what brings a turning in the deepest seat of consciousness. Believing takes you only a certain distance. And Goddess bless you Sig, because you’re facing these same end-of-life questions.

So that’s where things stand right now, and the story unfolds. I got up at 6am with a sudden urge to write a blog, and now it’s time for breakfast and to take my second dose of Dex. Was I hearing someone out there, in my circle of soul-relatives, wondering what was happening with old Paldywan? I’m still here. And there you are too. Gratitude for that.

Thanks for being with. Love from me. Palden.


Geopolitical innerwork: www.flyingsquad.org.uk
An article about consciousness work, 27 years old and even more relevan today: www.palden.co.uk/consciousness-work.html
Podcasts: www.palden.co.uk/podcasts.html