I’ll be doing the meditation this evening as usual at 7-7.30pm GMT and, if it feels right, you’re welcome to do the same.
Some of you might want to do your normal practice, whatever that is. Some might just wish to be still for a while, to get some space inside. Some might be called to focus on the earthquake and the people affected by it. Do whatever is right for you. This is a half-hour open space.
It’s about making a choiceless choice to pursue a pathless path through a gateless gate. That’s a Zen saying.
The main thing that connects us is that we’re doing it at the same time, with an underlyingly shared intent of positive wishes for humanity and Earth.
If you want the full lowdown on it, read this – the first page is the short, need-to-know one, and the rest give additional thoughts.
If you live in another timezone, than adjust the time to your location. If in doubt, just google ‘time now in GMT’ and work it out.
There’s something interesting about doing it at the same time each week. Often we might do meditation at varying times when we feel right for it. But doing it at a fixed time means that we do it regardless of our current state and situation.
It becomes a kind of reality-check. What is the is-ness and the beingness of you at 7pm GMT each Sunday?
Some weeks it might even be a bit of a struggle, other weeks it can be inspiring and other weeks it can be just a tick-over thing, nothing special. And that’s the beauty of it.
At present, as you might have noticed, I’ve been rather in the thick of it and, believe me, it stirs me up. I’m being tested and beaten into shape. But the great thing with a meditation at a fixed time is that if I do it regardless of anything, whatever’s happening or wherever I am, it kinda highlights the way in which my inner life and my outer life are both connected and also somewhat independent and unconnected.
Some of the most amazing meditations I’ve had over the years have been in busy or dodgy circumstances – in one, there was distant gunfire going on, but somehow the gunfire prompted me to focus on the heart of the matter. Or there might be loud music next door, or I might be meditating in a busy car park, or I might simply be in a rather stirred-up state. The nature of the meditation, as it unfolds, is often not what was anticipated shortly before.
So in the meditation today I personally shall be offering up all that has happened to me recently, with a wish that it is all for the best, leading to good outcomes. Otherwise I’ll be leaving it open. Perhaps I need a bit of a rest too.
No big deal. If you don’t have time-space this week, that’s okay – just join whenever it works to do so. We’ll be there anyway, whether or not it’s announced online. If you’re happy joining every week, of all the habits we can develop during our lives on Earth, it’s not a bad one, is it?
Here’s a new podcast and also an update on recent developments with the ‘operation’ I reported recently.
The podcast is about World Healing.
It’s a notion that can at times be rather lightly taken, but it’s really important, this. Especially if you feel a need to make a contribution to the world’s future, increasingly shaky as it is becoming.
There are different ways of doing world healing innerwork, and this is what Palden has learned along the way, especially from the Council of Nine, and through gaining experience by running the Hundredth Monkey Camps in the mid-1990s and being part of the Flying Squad thereafter.
There are many applications of this general method of working, in relation to world events as they arise, and particularly to the underlying issues and deep learning experiences that lie beneath and behind them.
This podcast looks into a few of the issues around healing the world. Recorded down in the woods on our farm on Monday 28th November 2022. 30 mins. It’s here:
The ‘operation’ is kinda progressing, a bit edgy, but getting there. The latest crisis is that child Phyllis, 3, has just contracted cholera. The children’s daycare centre in whose care we left her was not the best (it was urgent, though Phyllis thus avoided the car crash), and we need to bring her and Felicia back together – they need each other.
So we’re going to retrieve Phyllis tonight (it’s a five hour drive each way) so that she’s under the care of the doctor I’m working with, who is a 100% good Christian man, and we’re getting on well. The taxi-driver who saved the lives of Phyllis and the agent, bringing them to hospital, I gave the job of fetching Phyllis – he’s another really good man, and I’m going to try to give him work over time, to reward him for his efforts.
Felicia is conscious and steadying, and agent no 2 is in intensive care under the doctor. Agent no 1 is still in captivity somewhere, though I’m not focused on him much, except holding him psychically (as things calm down, I’ll be able to focus on him a bit more – see if I can get some clues).
New funds are coming thru today or tmrw – that’s a relief. Corporations and their accounts depts can be annoyingly slow when you’re in the middle of a metaphorical gun battle. How is it that Paldywan suddenly finds himself working for a transnational bank? I was supposed to be retired and frittering away practicing independent self-care and watching TV. Or moaning about the government…
Anyway, if you are able, please surround child Phyllis, 3, with love and healing, and we hope she will be back on Tuesday so she can be treated by the doctor. Without really knowing it, with her mum Phyllis has been a heroine. I get a feeling this is a formative experience for a potentially formidable lady, in coming times.
My prayer is that Felicia and Phyllis will emerge from this in a positive way. Under great pressure, Felicia has acted very sanely and effectively, hanging in there through a traumatic time, and I would have no difficulty recommending her to an NGO or similar for a good job.
All is well enough with me: this is challenging but I’m holding up, and there are some occasionally really rewarding moments. I’m not at it all the time – it comes in bursts through the day, but they can be full-on when it happens.
One thing my parents gave me, for which I am eternally grateful, is a gift of diplomacy. I’m not sure where I got patience and perseverance from, but thanks for that anyway! Erk.
With some pics from the Buckfastleigh Magic Circle, Sept 2022
We’re going through a really scrangly time at present, and I’m hearing of a number of people going through it, and I am too. There’s an astrological transit, Saturn square Uranus, which is turning out to be sharp-edged, hard and grating – a conflict between ideas-perceptions-expectations and evolving hard, factual reality. It’s all crunching hard in the public sphere and in our personal worlds. This seems to be a gritty threshold point on an evolving process.
A Saturn square Uranus would normally have quite a strong effect on events and atmospheres, but it wouldn’t be earth-shattering. However, at present the world is tense, insecure, ill at ease and loaded with hazard. It’s the kind of thing where the death of one woman can cause an uprising in a place like Iran – the Arab revolutions ten years ago started like that too. Social wildfires break out. It’s all to do with bottled-up, high-pressure underlying feelings in humanity that are so loaded and volatile that a ripple of energy can set things off. This Saturn square Uranus is a bit like that. Its influence is pumped up by eight billion people going through an intense time.
But there’s more to this too, and it’s longer term. We are in times of historic, planetary change, and the stakes are high. I’d break down the various intensities into three.
One is the bottled-up energy left over from around 2009-2012: this was an opportunity for change but little really happened, and the genie was more or less stuffed back into the bottle. In 2012 the future turned into the present, and everyone was forced to realise things were getting really serious. This bottled-up feeling means that there’s a big glob of unprocessed frustration, regret, loss, injustice and need for change that is sitting there in the collective unconscious, simmering and waiting to explode. The heat needs to rise only a little to start the fizzing – and there’s an uprising every few months somewhere in the world now. So it doesn’t necessarily need a major astrological configuration to spark off major events, in conditions like this. There’s a lot of pent-up energy left over from previous big configurations where fundamental issues failed to be processed – the current war in Ukraine, for example, arises from issues not sorted out around the Uranus-Neptune conjunction of 1993.
The second is a tidal shift that’s going on now and by 2024, when Pluto moves into Aquarius for twenty years until 2044. Twenty years of Aquarian issues. We’ve been through a period since the 1980s where Capricorn has been strong – money, law, technology, governments, corporates, tradition, hierarchies, resources – and now it’s going to change. Briefly put, this is about the wisdom and the madness of crowds – the world public. Do the people serve the system or does the system serve the people, and how much of which? It also concerns social control, mass beliefs and behaviours, the rights of individuals and of collectivities, inclusion and exclusion, the competing interests of nations and the world, the battle of new against old ideas, the forces of polarisation and solidarity, and human issues in the social context. This shift of themes is beginning to gain momentum, but it will take two years more.
When the economy rises, society falls, and when the economy sinks, society rises. The seesaw is tipping over to a new direction right now, especially for the rich world. Here’s another issue too: we cannot really resolve the ecological and climatic issues before us unless society itself goes through a fundamental shift – because it is society, humanity, which has to do the resolving. To do this we need to agree sufficiently on what we are trying to do and work together to pull off a miracle.
The third is a case where the future can exert a causative influence on the present. In the late 2020s, around 2025-28, it’s all going to be going like the clappers. So right now it’s a bit like the low-tide, eerie silence of an impending tsunami – the future is sucking us toward it. The bad news is that it’s going to prove to be all too much for everyone and, the way the world is, some people will get scrunched. The good news is that this avalanche of events and changes will loosen up many stuck, interrelated issues, and it will also bring a rush of solutions. It’s an acceleration.
The key issues of the time will be social priorities (Pluto in Aquarius), new and changing ideas and perspectives (Uranus in Gemini) and leadership and power issues (Neptune in Aries). These three will form a triangle, or an energy-thrum, which actually will be very positive, a florescence under duress. But, since we have so many unresolved issues in the world, unatrtended to in recent decades, things could get difficult. If we had started the necessary changes fifty years ago, this would likely have been a very productive time.
But it will perhaps not be as nasty and depressing as we saw in the 2010s. There we had bad stuff with few solutions, while in the late 2020s we’ll get bad stuff with lots of solutions – if, that is, we treat them that way. Things are likely to start rushing so fast that fundamental changes will need to start happening, urgently and pragmatically, simply to deal with the onrush of events and cascading outcomes arising from them. The gift in the situation is that, at last, things will be loosening up and accelerating. The Millennial generation will also be stepping into positions of influence.
So we’re in a time of tension where there are forces pulling in a variety of directions, and the future is currently like a coin spinning in the air. There’s a sense that something is coming, and there’s fear and anticipation around it in the collective psyche of humanity. There’s also a lot of frustration and disagreement about what to do about it. Questions we have been avoiding for decades are all suddenly crowding in, and this will continue. There’s a feeling of jaded disappointment and disaffection in the collective psyche, after a trail of horrendous scenes in recent decades – atrocities, wars, refugees, hunger, disasters – and this adds to the bottled-up, stuck feeling of our time, a feeling that, no matter what we do, nothing will change. Energies of growth are being held down by the weight of accumulated past decisions, habits and procedures, and by the manic busyness of a coffee-driven modern culture that is running so fast it has forgotten where it’s running to and why everyone is running so fast in the first place. There’s a lot of opposition, division, diversion, distraction and blocking going on.
So that’s why it’s rather intense at present. It’s going on for me too – it feels like I’m processing too many issues to be able to be clear any of them properly, and all of them depend on something else. I’ve been missing loved ones, particularly one of them, and fed up with my own patterns and with being single, and groaningly facing the fact that I might have to write another book, and dreading winter, and fed up with tribal politics, and feeling overloaded with things to pay attention to, and all sorts of stuff like that. The usual grinding stuff in which I sometimes get lost. Which I did today – I got quite down about it.
So I went to bed this afternoon to go inside myself, rumbling around in the netherworlds, then to surface and eventually reach above the clouds. One result was that it came upon me to get up and write this blog. It was Caroline in Glastonbury who had jogged me to do it this morning – she has a way of constructively jogging me – so thanks, Caroline. But I had resisted – the thought of sitting at my keyboard didn’t light me up. When she or others give me the elbow, I do sometimes resist at first, but that’s just an Aspie thing – I ruminate over such prompts once they’ve gone and eventually come to the rightness of what they tried to say. If, that is, it was right, and if it was not quite right, it helped me work things out and was a gift anyway. So this blog came out eventually, and I hope it gave some useful clues.
I’m not a lightworker or a conventional prayer-circle type. But I believe we need to take a multi-pronged approach to ‘world work’ – meditative, religious, psychic and process work to assist the world. I’m esoterically more activist and gutsy – it’s born out of a political background, humanitarian experience and an aged-hippy approach to life.
If you do psychic work over a period of time, in conjunction with inner friends or ‘guides’, then you’ll tend to develop an operating style between you – and that’s what happened to me. It’s not that I’m an advanced psychic. It’s more that I’ve been at it for a long time, with formative and defining inner experiences along the way.
An example: when I was 41, in an inner process I found myself walking backwards toward the abyss – a vulnerability we humans just aren’t happy with. I had tremors of fear but just had to go over the edge anyway. Tipping backwards, I fell into the void, falling, falling… until an instinct made me turn, spread my arms like wings and fly… Since that moment, I’ve been able to set my mind more free, and my busy brains don’t interfere so much.
One bizarre benefit of cancer has been the inner experiences that have come with it. Forced to spend time in bed, I went on adventures. It gave me a sense of usefulness at a time when I was wondering whether it was all worth it. But no, the management clearly said “Don’t ring us – we’ll ring you“. Well, you do get some comedy sometimes!
I’m of the opinion that, if you give a flower to an asshole or shower them with light, it will likely be a turn-off and inappropriate, with the opposite effect to what was intended. Billionaires and terrorists don’t change just because you want them to, and you wouldn’t either. You have to get in there, make friends, gain trust and work it out, as if there, relating to a real person – albeit perhaps to their wiser, more feelingful self.
Sometimes I’ll give a backrub to a mountain jihadi, or sympathise with the rigours of a politician’s life, or make an etheric cup of tea for an old lady – ‘confidence building measures’. It goes on from there. Dialogue with them as a guest in their space. When someone can see it’s in their own best interests to change, they’ll change (though not always). Typically for stroppy humans, if you push them around, they’ll resist.
If you want to penetrate a computer, work with climate issues, deal with a natural disaster, do longterm work with ‘megatrends’ (like population growth or deforestation), it’s a question of getting right inside the matter, stepping into people’s shoes, seeing what life looks like to them, getting into the back office, ferreting through the datachips or feeding helpful ideas to people in need.
One key thing is social attitudes and particularly the freeing up of groupthink, cover-ups and polarised positions. These can involve societal resistance or oligarchies who like to believe they’re in control. Changes in attitudes form the basis of world change. A valid notion here is unconcealment, the exposure of things people should know of and think about – whether withheld, or people don’t want to know, or it is simply thitherto not known.
This is not about steering things in ways we want to see things go: it’s about helping humanity accelerate its evolution. Humanity’s group soul knows what it’s doing even if we humans don’t. Sometimes the ‘wrong’ thing seems to have to happen in order to catalyse a wholesome and fundamental change. This concerns defining moments – events embodying big issues and forcing critical shifts or decisions. By this means the collective unconscious and force majeure leak into real life.
In 1995 a circle of eighty or so of us worked with Bosnia – a powerful and moving session lasting some six hours. We heard later that, while in session, some drunken Serbs had bombed a marketplace in Sarajevo, killing 60. This was sobering, shocking – definitely not our intention. What had gone wrong? Yet, a week or so later, this defining event made NATO go in, ending the war within a short time. Something ‘bad’ led to something ‘good’ – though we couldn’t and wouldn’t have designed it that way. We can’t say we made NATO go in, and that wasn’t our thought, but the synchronicities, considering the war had gone on for three years, were too close. We must assume some involvement, even if but to oil the works or connect some dots.
One of the big lessons here is: carefully consider what you pray for. Also, only take on doable challenges, and be willing to follow them through later on.
The main idea is to help foster forwardness and a sense of progress – it’s like midwifery. We cannot force progress but we can do our best to facilitate it. Deep change doesn’t happen overnight, and sometimes we must work at it over time. Humanity’s problem is that it feels blocked, jaded and discouraged, as if nothing will make any difference. So the key issue is to help people gain a sense of relief and momentum – get a taste of the benefits of accelerating evolution.
It’s a matter of getting our politics, cultural judgements, ideologies, values and comfort-zones out of the way. This isn’t easy. It helps to have travelled outside the rich world to see things from another angle. Be aware of the way the media and your education shape your thinking, and listen more closely to events than to what people say. Study a little history, background and smallprint. Step over your beliefs and conditioning, using sensitivity, imagination and intuition to experience things from the inside, to see the dynamics going on underneath. It’s a challenge to set ourselves aside – though just for half an hour or so.
There are many ways to do world work, and if you resonate with what’s written here, then give attention to feeling your way forward, developing your own path. Use the inner tricks, tools and background you already have.
Here’s a crucial, human bit: we need to connect our own issues, pain and challenges into this, to power it up emotionally. We know what our own pain is like, and plenty of people round the world are in similar or worse situations. So they can act as a psychic entry-point. You can see life through their eyes. In recent months I’ve experienced heartbreak, and plenty of people in Ukraine, or Palestine and Yemen (the two main places I regularly focus on), have heartbreak too, and we all need a bit of there-there, and thus we can serve each other well.
With cancer, I tune into cancer patients, because it means something personal to me and I know what it’s like. The feeling-tones around this gives the work more grace, astuteness and firepower. If you’re a nurse, a truck-driver, a gardener or a pensioner, tune in through your own situation and its problems and joys and use this empathically to connect with others.
There are holistic and surgical/pharma treatments for disease. In this context, disease can encompass riots, volcanoes, storms, wars, famines, insecurity, collapses and ‘black swans’ – events no one expected. Holistic treatment works best for building conditions for good health and immunity, while surgery and pharma are best when it’s too late or too serious. This kind of meditation is more surgical, applicable when deep matters of principle are at stake.
But it depends really on whether this is your thing. Or perhaps you might be best continuing with what you already do, with a new slant to it.
There are all sorts of methods and procedures, such as mopping up dead souls after disasters, working to raise the level of the collective mood, inwardly supporting threatened species, love-bombing and truth-mining a conflict zone, or working with whatever comes up in the news that really gets to you. If it’s Ukraine, work with Ukraine because you will also assist other places and situations where similar issues apply. One longterm aim is to remove enough problems from the overall system so that its inherent, homoeostatic self-healing capacity can revive.
Sometimes it’s an A&E and intensive care job, and cutting out a tumour or infected organ can save the whole body, if that is the only option left. That’s how focusing on specific acute issues and crises can help the world as a whole. Don’t forget to support the helpers too: the on-the-ground activists, good-hearted people, dedicated public servants, people who hold society up and do the donkey-work, and people who take brave initiatives. I’ve even found myself sitting with an abandoned dying person in an apartment block in Sian, China, and it was good for both of us. He found a comforting welcome on the other side.
If you do this once a week for a year, out of fifty meditations, ten will be really worth it. When done in a group (three upwards), even if remotely at a chosen time, it powers it up. Stick with it. Don’t seek results – just do it. Give it time. This is a life-long work. It can empower other stuff you’re doing or give meaning to what you might believe to be a meaningless, insignificant life.
Based on earlier experiences in the 1970s-80s, in the 1990s I started a large-group project doing ‘inner aid’, the Hundredth Monkey Project, which pioneered much of this approach, and later a smaller group, the Flying Squad, continued in this work for twenty years. They’re both closed now, but the meditation time-slot, agreed with the Council of Nine thirty years ago, is still open every week on Sundays at 7-7.30 GMT (8-8.30 BST). I’m there, every week, wherever I am, dead or alive, and with a number of others (I know not how many). Tune in on that channel if you wish. If you continue over time the management will give you a direct line.
In my experience there is more personal growth in ‘world work’ than in personal growthwork. You find that out by doing it. The more you do it, the better you get. So just work at it, don’t make a big deal, keep motivation simple and intelligent and, remember, it is for the highest good, for the wide, longterm benefit of humanity, our planet home and all who live in her.
Thanks for reading. We’ll be covering this in my forthcoming ‘magic circles‘.
I was awake at 4.30 this morning, listening to the wind rattling in from the Atlantic and wondering which would be better – stay in bed, lost in hypnopompic wanderings, or get up, light the woodstove and start my day? I got up. I’ve been ill this week with a weird infection. Trouble is, when you’re on cancer immunosuppressants, this is to be expected, and I was due to get something sometime. Still shielding after two years, my immune system hasn’t had much exercise. And I’ve been in bed.
But my immune system, though under test, seems to be in good enough shape – I seem not to be under serious threat. I’m so lucky to be able to lie on a raised, built-in bed from which I can look out of my big windows, even though today I’m watching the wind strafing the trees and the birds getting blustered. I’m on Vit C, antioxidants, homoeopathics and allsorts. I lie there with a porage-head, aching body and swollen glands, though I have a normal temperature. I watch the world outside and at times get a feeling as if the folks back home are using my psyche like a camera to get a look at it.
There’s always something to gain from an illness. In the previous weeks I’d been feeling scrambled, dealing with the intricacies of being semi-disabled and mentally constrained in a busy world that has no time for folks in my state. But this illness has zeroed all those concerns. It took the past and future away, dumping me in the moment. And I’ve been travelling again. After all, I’ve lost my driving licence and I’m rather a traveller-soul, so I’ve substituted wings for wheels.
Someone wrote a while ago, asking me to talk more about my meditation methods. Thanks for that, and I’d love to. But there’s a problem. I don’t follow a method. I just follow my well-worn, habituated ways on a pretty spontaneous basis. I do what comes up. That doesn’t answer the question, but in a way it does.
You see, I started exploring consciousness on acid and other psychedelics in the late 1960s. This was a form of direct access to deeper realms, and that’s where I started. My first experience of meditation was when I was sitting in jail (as a student protester), sharing a cell with three Sikh immigrants. I asked them what they were doing when they were praying and muttering to themselves. They taught me something close to Vipassana, mindfulness. Bless them – I never saw them again. They were probably chucked out of Britain.
Then, by age 25 I was doing Buddhist meditation with the Tibetans. This is far more magical than mindfulness meditation, involving visualising the deity sitting on top of your head (in detail), repeating the mantra and making prayer, then letting the deity dissolve into light, which floods into you, so that you become the deity. Then you stay there, in stillness, being the deity. This trained up my inner sensitivities, and the lamas’ blessings, company and teaching really helped. They healed me after the trauma of being in a failed revolution and being hounded and exiled. I had also had a near-death experience at age 24 which had scrubbed much of my memory and identity, and their protection truly saved me. What memory I have of my life before age 24 is reconstructed, not direct – except, interestingly, for glimpses of spiritual and deeply moving experiences earlier in my life. Those memories seemed to have been stored in a different part of memory.
But then, later, one of the Lamas said I was not here in this life to be a Buddhist. This was a shock but, within a few days, I knew this was one of the greatest gifts they had given me. I had always been eclectic, and my psychedelic past had given me a direct experience of the world of spirit. The Lamas had plucked me from the jaws of disaster, put me back on my feet and sent me forth.
By then I had realised I was quite psychic. This isn’t special – any more than, say, making music or cooking food. There’s a burdensome side to it too. Everyone can do it, but some are brilliant at it. I wouldn’t call myself brilliant, but I’ve made deep choices to pay attention to and increasingly trust my inner promptings, funny feelings and periodic inspirations. The more you listen, the more you get it. But here’s the key bit, and this applies to meditation too. You have to choose to give yourself over to it, to learn how to set yourself aside. You have to give permission to energies and entities bigger than you to participate in your life. You have to learn to trust the capacity of your soul to learn, and trust that all will be well. You have to lose your fear. All this happens bit by bit, as you cross various thresholds. It’s a life’s work.
To get back to the question… at present, therefore, I practice a number of things. I do quiet meditation when needed – it’s important to come home to myself, escape the complex spider’s webs of human concern and see things more as they actually stand. As a cancer patient, I do a healing session with my ‘inner doctors’, once every few weeks. I let them examine me and my energy-bodies, and operate on me. I find it really works.
Sometimes I just sit there with booming brains and a never-ending stream of neuroses – though giving proper space to them can also be healing, to a point. Sometimes I do world-healing work, bringing light and healing to other cancer patients worldwide (what Tibetans call tong-len), or to trouble-spots, or I visit crisis places and surround them in light and protection (similar to lightworking), also working to unblock and unconceal things that bring darkness, pain and obstruction to the world.
Sometimes I do inner aid work, where I carry out more specific humanitarian-type work in crisis zones I’m focused on, or I pay attention to a particular issue – mainly global (I tend not to get involved in British politics with this, because of risk of personal bias). Afghanistan has had my attention recently, but I also pay a lot of attention to ignored places such as Yemen, Syria, Myanmar and the Sahel. I do not take my cues from the mass-media. Before this I do some inner prep to get myself in the right state, and if I’m not right, I don’t do it. Afterwards I try to round it up and review it. We used to have a group doing this together, and we’d send in notes of our experiences, so see what common threads were appearing and to observe our work on it.
Sometimes I practice ‘meditative availability’ – I hand myself over to ‘the management’ to let them use my psyche, to give them access to this planet, and to let them do their business through me. Sometimes I go into a stream-of-consciousness, a kind of channelling where I get occasional ‘downloads’ – a bundle of insight that suddenly comes, that sometimes can take weeks or even years to unpack.
And sometimes I sit or lie there feeling utterly useless and uninspired, but I generally keep on with it, because that’s what happens, and it’s part of the game. And sometimes more is going on underneath than we’re aware of. Either way, over a period of years you start notching up loads of inner experience, which interlocks to an extent with daily life, but also it runs independently of it. And there are paradoxes to it: for example, when I’m ill, I sometimes have particularly rich experiences.
Sometimes I scan the consciousness that lies within incoming Atlantic weather systems – in Cornwall we get them full-on, and they carry messages. Sometimes I become aware of old soul-friends, or I spend time with my family, whom I cannot meet in real life. Sometimes I talk with the ancient spirits of West Penwith, the area where I live – sort of inner research. Sometimes I float off, to have completely unexpected experiences. Yesterday, in my illness-delerium, I found myself pulled out and taken back to my home world. That hasn’t happened for a few years. It chirped me up no end to be with my people again – they’re so far away, in consciousness-reality terms.
These are the kinds of things that go on in my so-called, for want of a better word, ‘meditations’.
There’s something important here. When doing innerwork, it is crucial to avoid imposing biases and preferences on others. It’s important also to ask permission – ‘May I?‘ and ‘Can I?‘. If the answer is ‘No’, or ‘Try another approach’, then take note. This isn’t about projecting our own judgements on situations, and it isn’t about ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. The primary orientation is ‘the greatest good’, and sometimes that can mean difficult stuff. For those of you interested in this question, there are two links below that discuss the issues more fully (stuff I wrote in 1994 and 2002).
It’s time to end and I must return to bed before my energy-batteries run down. I’m quite unwell, but it’s funny how the psychoactive component in some illnesses can churn up interesting things. Besides, lying in bed all day isn’t hyper-interesting, so taking a break from it now and then, to dodder around my home doing basic chores, can be welcome. This morning, at 7am, I managed to sort out all my monthly payments – phew. The worst bit is answering those anxious messages asking why I hadn’t answered the previous message. When you read this blog you might get a different impression, but the true and short answer to the inevitable how-are-you messages is, ‘Half dead, and still alive!’. But I did manage to write a blog.
Bless us all. We need it. Then spread it around. Lots of people need it. Especially the people we don’t think of so often.
I went really deep and I was totally ‘gone’ for perhaps twenty minutes. I was consciously yielding to the drugs and my healing angels, who presumably needed me to hand over control so that they could manage the process. It was one of the deepest inner journeys I’ve had for a few weeks.
I knew everything was going to be okay when I reached reception at the haematology department, gave my details and received a ticket. On it was the number nine. Those of you who know me well will guess what this signals.
Have you ever observed day signs? I’ve been an intel gatherer for yonks and over the years many people have asked me where I get my information. Apart from being a knowledgeable geopolitical and historical big-head with an Aspie’s feel for hidden agendas, one answer is observing day-signs (omens), a magical way of information-gathering. Another is intuition/instinct, another is use of the pendulum and another is horary astrology (doing a chart for the moment when a matter arises or a question is asked). Of course, if I said this to many people I’d lose credibility or get accused of superstition, blasphemy, devil-worship or any other handily available accusation. But attentiveness to day-signs answers otherwise unanswerable questions. I was given a sign and it said ‘Nine’. I knew all would be well.
So there was I, later sitting in the Headland Unit at Treliske hospital. I’d had blood samples taken twice, I’d been ECG’d, weighed, measured, interviewed and briefed, I’d signed the assent form, taken four different pills plus ten of Dex (Dexamethasone), and then I had to wait an hour before they were to shoot me up with Dara (Daratumamab) and Velcade.
Well, at least these drugs are legal – that’s a change. It might sound strange, but I’ve had an issue coming up over this last year and, for me, it’s quite profound. It’s a tiredness with things not changing, even after a long time. One example is the ‘war on drugs’ which, to me as an aged hippy, has meant 55 long years of enforced criminality. Yes, me.
For half a century I’ve been living a very different life to the average Westerner but, despite all the talk nowadays about minority rights, things have not changed fundamentally, after all these years.
When I was 21 I stood on top of a mountain and made a vow to contribute significantly to world change, and while I knew it would take a long time, I so much wanted to see the world tip irreversibly into positive change before I was to die. But it looks like I’ll have to commute that joy and sense of relief to my next life. That’s quite a big let-go, but I made it last year. As I often say, history takes a long time. And we teach best what we ourselves are learning.
Anyway, back to the cancer unit: the journey had begun. It was a bit like the feeling I’d get on one of my humanitarian tours of duty, when the plane would take off from Heathrow on the way to the Middle East – I’d have gone through all the anticipations I could dredge up in the preceding days and weeks, and now it was business and I was dead calm and collected.
Some people think I’m brave, facing cancer treatment in the way I do, but there’s a simple answer to that: I’m not getting bombed or shot at, so cancer treatment is relatively easy when you see things from that viewpoint. Yes, I was getting nuked with EM radiation at Treliske (I’m electrosensitive) and bombarded with pharma-chemicals. And, amazingly, they didn’t even have any gluten-free biscuits or soya milk for my tea in the cancer unit, but this is peanuts.
Get upset with things like that and you’ll be useless getting shot at. This was a real problem in Syria, in the earlier days of the conflict in 2014. You couldn’t tell who was shooting at you or for what reason, because there were then about seven sides to the battle. They could shoot at you from any direction. At least in most wars it’s ‘the other side’ doing it, and you know roughly why and from which direction.
Anyway, that’s not the case here. My life is being saved, and for this I am grateful – without chemo treatment last year I would already be dead. Here I was, installed in an armchair, well out of it on drugs, and it felt okay. The main problem was not the chemo, it was my neurological system and brains squealing with EM radiation. Few people realise how discriminatory, insensitive and oppressive it is when they spray radiation from their mobile phone over an electrosensitive person like me, commonly regarded as an awkward person making an unnecessary fuss over nothing in particular. Yet radiation exposure is a direct cause of the particular cancer I have (myeloma). It’s a bit like being vegan 20-50 years ago – looked on as bloody awkward and deluded, and these people need to get a grip and get a proper job.
The nurses were keeping me in to observe how I reacted to the Dara. Fair enough. But there was just one problem: the doctors and nurses have little experience of people like me and they use ‘normal’ as their standard for judging everything. But I’m not normal. I have the benefit of having had a good diet, a growthful and meaningful life and, as a result, a more robust immune system and attitudes than the majority of people, and I can inwardly supercharge any therapies applied to me with consciousness work. Last year, my chemo treatment was cut from eight to six to five cycles of treatment – I did really well.
Inshallah, perhaps I’ll bring them a few surprises this time round. I had done a lot of inner preparation in the preceding days and, once the Chinese-Filipino male nurse, a nice chap, had shot me up with chemo drugs, I went straight into meditation, cross-legged in my chair, breathing myself down, modulating my energy-field to accommodate to the drugs and calm my heart which, in response to the Dex, an amphetamine, and the radiation, was pumping quite hard.
After doing this I went really deep and I was totally ‘gone’ for perhaps twenty minutes. I was consciously yielding to the drugs and my healing angels, who presumably needed me to hand over control so that they could manage the process. It was one of the deepest inner journeys I’ve had for a few weeks. When eventually I came to, I looked at the other cancer patients sat in their armchairs and hooked up to their drips, and the nurses going around doing their duties… experiencing all this with the perspective of an ET getting a look into this strange world through my eyes.
God bless these cancer patients, busy ingesting chemicals and most of them sitting fiddling with their phones, communicating with anxious daughters and neighbours to fix pickups. They’re all nice people, all facing cancer and reduced life-chances. They must wonder who this old guy dressed in his copper-coloured Arabic jalabiya was – a foreigner or a weirdo? But then, in Cornwall, it’s not like England, and this isn’t so strange, and when they hear I come from West Penwith, stacked full of oddbods and veterans of the revolution, they just nod, aha, okay.
God bless my nurse, who had been so worried about hurting me because I had so little subcutanous fat on my stomach to shove his needles into. No fat – not normal. But then, I’m not getting shot at, only shot up, so it was no worry – he was just being a bit over-conscientious. Later he came by and said, “Have you met the Dalai Lama?”. Yes, I had, though I’d mainly been involved with the Sixteenth Karmapa and his own amazing squad of lamas back in the 1970s. The nurse wanted to talk about the Tibetans, Uighurs, Hong Kong and Taiwan – he’d figured I understood these issues. He was deeply concerned about China – like so many emigrant Chinese, many of whom have lived outside the Middle Kingdom for generations, he still cared deeply about his country and people.
He said that, when I’d gone into meditation I had gone deeply quiet and the whole room had changed. I became aware that, although most of these people will have read and heard about meditation, few will actually have felt the darshan, the vibrational radiation, that can arise. There they were, stuck in their armchairs with nothing to do, while this guy at one side of the room was going somewhere that, on some level deep in their psyches, they knew they needed themselves to visit – faced as they too were the with threat of death.
The nurses were being overcautious with me though. I was supposed to leave by 4pm but someone had come in insisting I be kept there till 6.30, just in case. I told them this would not be necessary. But they could not go against authority. I showed them the places where I had been injected, which weren’t bruised or swelling, and reminded them that I had just hobbled all the way to the surprisingly well-stocked W H Smith’s at the main entrance and back, to get some gluten-free snacks which, astoundingly, they did not have available even in a cancer ward when they dished out refreshments. Eventually they ran out of excuses and I left at 6pm.
When I got to the main corridor, the guard, who had seen me go past on the way to the shop, now decided I couldn’t go that way to the main entrance. “But I’ve just walked 90% of the way there and you allowed me to do that”. “It’s the Covid regs – sorry it’s a pain in the ass”. He was a nice chap. “Well, I understand that, but it’s not a pain in the ass I’ll get but a wet bum, because I’ll need to sit down on the way and, as you can see, it’s raining…”. Nevertheless, old peg-leg had to walk round the hospital to get to the car park to find Lynne, who was going to take me home.
We got home, lit the woodstove, had a cuppa and detoxed from the day’s encounter with modern civilisation and its rules, timetables, regs and electrosmog. I was buzzing on Dex, and Lynne had to tolerate my rattling away for hours with my mind on overdrive until eventually we went to bed. She said she could smell the chemicals in my body. I lay there churning until I drifted off.
But I was alright. I seem to be tolerating the Dara (Daratumamab) well – that’s the new drug I’m on. The Velcade my body recognises, and I had had no problems with it last time. The Dex, meanwhile, though it charges its price in side-effects, does work well, and last winter I could feel that it was one of the most effective drugs I was taking. But it’s a bit like a cross between speed and cocaine in its psychoactive effects, and it heightens my Asperger’s symptoms a lot.
I’m on two other drugs too – an antiviral called Aciclovir and a kidney protector called Allopurinol – but I’m on a lot fewer drugs than last year, and that’s a relief. My body-psyche is more familiar and less shocked by the process than it was last year, and I don’t have the excruciating back pain I had then – so in this second round it is different.
So the anticipations I had had were just that: anticipations. Thus far, it is unfolding well. It’s difficult being on chemo, and writing this blog has been hard work, but it’s not as difficult as I thought it might be, and the Dara is easier on me than the Cyclophosphamide I was taking last year, which felt like being hit by an armoured bulldozer.
For the first time I’ve met my doctor and cancer nurses in person. Last year I had been treated at Torbay hospital in Devon, so the people at Treliske didn’t know me. During Covid lockdown I’ve had only phone and video consultations with one person, Liz, my doctor. So I felt quite on my own through much of 2020, as if held at a rather impersonal arm’s length during the Covid crisis. But now we were up close and personal.
I liked John, a fortysomething CNS (clinical nurse specialist). I think he figured me out quite well and had met people like me before. I get the feeling he’d done his fair share of raves and festivals before he had kids and got a ‘responsible’ job, so I was within his range of experience. This was true also for another nurse who, at a slack moment, came to say she too was a vegetarian – but I could tell she kept it quiet amongst her colleagues, rather like it was the 1980s – and to ask me a few questions about meditation.
And if you’re wondering why the number nine was significant to me as a day-sign, well, The Nine, some high beings for whom I wrote a book in the early 1990s, who jokingly used to call me Paladin Saladin, are at the root of my ‘spiritual genetics’. They’re like meta-grandparents who had placed the order for the weaving and construction of my soul. So, to me, they were signalling that they were with me and it would be alright. And they were, and it was. And so it goes.
This is for people who are alone or feel themselves to be alone. This issue is frequently framed in the terms and perspective of the peopled, while many of the alone tend to be outblasted on this subject by the beliefs of the peopled – the idea that aloneness is something to be rescued from.
Here’s the rub: being alone is not a bad thing. Feeling lonely is difficult, though it also has its gifts. Aloneness and loneliness are two different things: one is a fact and one is a feeling.
Part of me has always been a hermit (the other part public), so I’ve been here, in that aloneness place, many times throughout life, sometimes willingly, sometimes not, and loss has been a big life-issue for me. At present I am alone for about two-thirds of the time and I live in an isolated place, remote from the madding crowd, a place of buzzards, jackdaws and gulls.
Loneliness has various components. One is the feeling of lack of company and closeness – missing people. This is exacerbated when it’s unwilling (as with refugees, people separated by fate or by difficult choices, and the bereaved or alienated). But it can be hard even when chosen. When I moved to the far end of Cornwall I knew that old friends were unlikely to visit me and I miss them, but it was my choice – instead I talk to them in my thoughts or online.
The issue is not just to look at the hard side and judge aloneness in terms of what is lost. Everything in life has its compensations. Sometimes it’s difficult figuring out what we’re gaining from adversity, but it’s important to look at it. A lot of the hardship that we feel involves judgements we impose on ourselves and others’ judgements we take on our shoulders. This has been my story and one consequence is that now, in late life, my backbone has literally given way (as a result of bone marrow cancer) yet this experience has really helped me shed a lot of that psychological load.
I’ve long been an author, editor and online content-creator. To do what I feel called to do, I’ve had to put myself under lockdown many times. When I wrote The Only Planet of Choice in 1992 I was out of sight for 20 months – some people thought I’d moved away! Generally, my self-imposed lockdowns have been regarded as anti-social – as if I’m uninterested in and don’t care about people. But no, if I don’t lock down, how can I do what I’m here for, that people like me for and seem to benefit from? The funny thing is that, writing another book in 2020, suddenly I haven’t been anti-social but doing exactly the right thing! My 2020 lockdown started in October 2019, due to cancer, not Covid.
There’s another aspect to aloneness. Lack of stimulus and interaction can lead to a literal slowing of the psyche. This helps if one needs to unwind from a busy life, but after a longer period it leads to a crisis of energy and orientation. This is happening for many aloners, and it affects the old particularly, and those with long-Covid and fatigue – and prisoners too. I’ve noticed it in myself. I’m pretty creative, and I don’t just sit there, yet I’ve been drying up recently. By degrees. Talking to myself too much.
I overcome this in three main ways: inner journeying, pursuing an interest and going out in nature. Recently I’ve been wading through history books about the Ottomans and the conflicts of the Britons with the Saxons 1,500 years ago – that’s how I get through long hours in bed.
I think inner journeying is important for people who are bedridden or fatigued – and we do it anyway, in our woozy inner meanderings. But it can be done more proactively, and there are methods and ways to encourage it. Make it into a project. You have been given a gift of aloneness that gives you space to do this, and for much of your life you have not had such opportunities. Make a project of your inner musings and wanderings – put it to use.
When you’re alone, it’s really good to get on with activity projects too. I usually have some things that demand thought and focus and some things that are easier or more druderous, some that are creative and some that need some discipline. This is something you can do with your life that has little or nothing to do with other people: it’s yours, and no one can change that.
A solitary time can be the birthplace of something new. All of the big projects I’ve set in motion throughout my life have been conceived when I’m alone. The quiet isolation has given me vision time, inspiration space, healing, resolution, exploration and enrichment of the human in me. This is a choice – a personal one. It’s what Buddhists call a turning in the deepest seat of consciousness.
It often involves coming to peace over many issues. We need to stop beating ourselves up, running ourselves down, diverting ourselves with fear, guilt, shame and self-doubt. These blockers cause us to withhold our talents and gifts. Get this: if you care about this planet and about humanity, then activating your talents and gifts is not a choice but a duty. It’s what you’re here for, to rise to the best of your potential and to make a contribution. Forget should. Do what you can, and creatively, and your way. Whatever that is. That can include things that society or the people around you don’t necessarily deem productive or advisable.
Even if accepting aloneness doesn’t lead to dramatic outcomes, or even if we’re slowly dying, there’s something profound here about coming to peace. We all have regrets, painful memories, shadows from the past. I do too. We need to recognise them, even cherish them, and release them. They do little good, except to teach us what not to do again. Sometimes we can act to redeem these issues with the people concerned and sometimes we cannot.
Even if we cannot, releasing them still, in a funny and mysterious way, relieves the situation with people we no longer even have contact with, or we cannot face, or they might even be dead. In all interactions and conflicts it always, always, takes two to tango, and we can do something about our bit – the emotional tangles within ourselves that have complicated the issue for us and for them. Shed that load. Forgive and be forgiven. Move on.
Then there’s the fear of madness, deep in the Western psyche. Fear that you’re losing the plot, disengaging too much from groupthink and from that safe set of deeply embedded, culturally-defined judgements that were hammered into us as we grew up, about what’s right and wrong. Well, here’s a thought: in my life I have led and been part of hundreds of sharing circles, and it has been clear that many of the most insightful contributions in such circles have come from the quiet ones, the ones who struggle to articulate themselves. The ones who anticipated that they’d be misjudged or they’d say it wrong. But they can bring forth gems that they’ve mulled over very carefully, and sometimes quiet people hold the ace cards.
Quietness and disengagement are not madness, and just because society harps on endlessly about ‘mental health’, it doesn’t mean you ‘have a condition’. You see, society is mad, absolutely insane, and everything is seriously upside-down. Madness simply means that you differ from a mad consensus. You might be on your own with that, except for people who understand you, but that’s not the main issue. The main issue is that our world today is steered by people who are so busy and peopled that they don’t know themselves well enough. They don’t have time and space to look at what’s really going on. There’s something in aloneness that allows us to anchor to deeper verities, and the majority or the dominant consensus in society can be based more in hearsay than in reality. This is a global problem. And rural areas (most of the world) are being governed by people in big city buildings.
There’s more to say on all this, but I’ll stop here (my brains are giving out). But here’s a message from old Paldywan Kenobi to friends and strangers out there who are on their own: be alone well. Do your best with it. Exploit its possibilities. This transforms loneliness into an aloneness that is at peace with itself.
Oh, and one more thing. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Lynne, my partner, and I, are together about one-third of the time (she lives two hours’ drive away), and sometimes we miss each other. Yet, sincethis is so, we have an amazing relationship that works really well. For me, aloneness makes those relationships that I do have so much more meaningful. You can be close to people even when you’re far apart, even when you don’t know where they are and what they’re doing.
Sometimes I find myself thinking of a faraway or long-lost friend, having good inner discussions with them, and then, later, I find out they’re already dead! So, with people you love, even if distant or gone, listen, and talk to them inside yourself, because you are together at that time. If anyone accuses you of being mad, just remember, they’re afraid. Afraid of their aloneness, afraid of getting caught out, exiled to the far-off realms of ‘mental illness’.
For the truth is, together or apart, there are light years between all of us. Yet we’re all here together, and this is it. No one is here by accident, and this is what we came for. So if you find yourself alone nowadays, remember, do it well. There are probably a billion souls on Earth who are alone, whether stuffed away in a high-rise or hidden away up a mountain, so you’re in good company.
Okay, I’ll leave you alone now. Time to put the kettle on. Love, Palden.
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