Pilgrimage

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Jupiter and Saturn have been sailing majestic and low in the sky around midnight. Jupiter is the really bright one – at its brightest right now at the time of the sun’s annual opposition to it – and Saturn is the less bright one about ten moon-widths to the left. During the Jupiter-Pluto-Sun-Saturn period of conjunctions back around January, the whole Covid thing started lifting off, and now we are at a junction point where things could get better or worse, or different for different countries and people. Plus the wider reverberations that arise from all this which, in a way, are more important than Covid itself – there are social quakes coming, as we grasp the full emergent implications of all this.

Later, at winter solstice 2020, we’ll have a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. That’s to say, the process we’re in is going to continue and normality won’t return. Longer term, in a 5-10 year perspective, things are hotting up for major shifts and changes, and we’ve already, since January, seen the starting symptoms of an escalating lanslide of issues that will unfold in the coming decade as things accelerate. This is not just about Covid – which historically is but a catalyst – but it’s about the wider and deeper social-economic-ecological changes afoot.

The issue that drives this, really, is ecological, and the way it is now reaching into human society. Covid is caused by human incursion on nature, and nature is coming back at us. Other things are going on too – just yesterday Lynne and I were down in the field below the farm, and the quietness, the lack of insects on a balmy, warm summer’s day, was noticeable. This is big. And that’s just one thing.

But this ecological starting point then reverberates through the social and economic realms, this time through the agency of Covid, but in future it will be other catalysts. They will be unpredictable even though foreseen – anything from megastorms and droughts to invasive species, extinct species, toxic events, social or political madnesses, or anything. I’ve covered the full range of foreseeable issues in my Possibilities 2050 report. These will impact on us in multifarious and intricate ways, just as Covid has done.

Here I’ve been, locked down in the far beyond, watching. ‘Far beyond’ is the literal meaning of the name ‘Penwith’, where I live. But in another sense I watch from the far beyond, listening closely to things more than people. I watch and listen for the underlying threads, and in my long hours wooning in bed in my fatigued post-chemo stupours, it moves around in my psyche, turning over and, occasionally, out comes a big ‘Aha’. If I had time I would write it down or record it, but my plate is full already, and I’m active and serviceable only 6-8 hours each day.

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This is how you make love with a bronze age menhir

Besides, most of my focus is on finishing the book I’m writing. Home stretch now. I’m being careful with it, trying to make sure everything I write holds up, because I’m saying a lot and it will rattle a few cages. Most of my books are about three books in terms of density of ideas. This book, Shining Land, is both about the ancient sites of West Penwith (which has more per square mile than anywhere in Britain) and it’s also about ‘megalithic geoengineering’ and its relationship with consciousness. I reckon the people of the neolithic and bronze ages knew how to engineer consciousness, how to build it into the mechanisms of their civilisation and how to work with the inner component of nature in ways that we, in coming decades, need to learn more about.

So, I’m making good use of the situation I’m now in – leaving behind some ideas while I’m still here to leave them. Which goes to show, there can be virtues in having cancer – or in anything we customarily regard as adverse. It has been hard over the last month or so: things have been changing but I am not, overall, getting better. I seem to have cracked the myeloma itself, at least for now, but my back and bones are not good, and I have achey, naggy arthritis. At least, I was told it was arthritis, but I am not sure, and no one is giving it attention.

What’s most troubling is that I do not have overall guidance and supervision from any doctor or practitioner who is knowledgeable in both conventional and complementary medicine. Someone to help me understand and assess the whole picture. I have loads of disparate specialists, doctors and practitioners, bless them, each saying their own bit and recommending their own strategies, and some of the things they get excited about are not my most pressing concerns. So I have to think and feel my way through all this very carefully, and I get an interesting conflict sometimes between what I am told and what intuitively I actually feel. Hardly anyone actually touches me, looks in my eyes or listens to my heart – it’s all remote. It’s MRIs, CTs, PETs, or I even have a radionics genius in Canada or another on an E-Lybra machine in Devon.

The paradox is that, throughout life, I’ve had good health, so few doctors and practitioners actually know me. This is tricky because I’m a one-off odd-bod, and I don’t seem to conform to the normal rules of health and medicine. So doctors and healers take a while to figure out how this guy works. I’ve had several instances in recent months where I have healed or responded far faster and easier than was expected. I do seem to have good medicine-buddhas. But I have also paid a high price in after-effects from some of the drugs I’ve imbibed in the last six months. And I’m the sort of person who can’t easily be shoved through the system in the allotted forty minutes.

Tomorrow I’m going to a chiropractor. He knows me from the time before I was diagnosed with cancer, and that’s a great advantage. He’s also very experienced. I’m in such a state skeletally that I’m not sure how much even he can help, but I need to have a new template for my twisted bodily frame to align to. I’m working on my posture and movements but I feel so out of sync that I need re-setting, to have a design or standard to work to. My bones click on an hourly basis, and when I lie down on my back at night (it’s painful at first), I can click myself in four or five places. It’s a relief to do so, but it’s troubling to be so flexible and frail.

So the doctors think my biggest risk is lung cancer, while I think that, if I’m going to kick the bucket anytime soon, it will more likely be from complications arising from broken bones. My bones have been eaten away by the cancer, a blood and bone marrow condition, so I am susceptible to impacts, and I am yet to find out how many such instances I can take before it’s better to check out.

So things are progressing, and also they aren’t progressing, and it’s a labyrinth to stagger though – walking sticks flying as I totter my way through life. Yesterday we made pilgrimage to my favourite place, Carn Les Boel. It was a mile each way and we took it slowly. Pity the poor person who walks with me, but Lynne said yesterday that she’s observing small things in nature that she didn’t give attention to before, because we walk so slowly. This is one of the gifts of doddery old age – you see and bear witness to things others don’t!

I’m not that old – hitting 70 in September – but my body is around 85 and my psyche has had to change to get used to that, to become somewhat like the psyche of a distinctly old man. It’s easy to get annoyed or upset over things I can no longer do, but what’s the point? It just makes life more difficult, for me and for those helping me. The gift here is that being threatened with death makes me very grateful for each day, no matter how low things go. And no one is bombing my house, and a hurricane isn’t on its way: some people have to face stuff like this even when they have cancer, and in this I am lucky. People ask me how I am, and mostly I say, and really mean, “I’m still alive“! Problem is, apart from this, my answer can change hourly, depending on what’s happening right then. Sometimes I’m glowing and sometimes I’m like a lead weight.

palden-carnlesboel-55437Yesterday, at Carn Les Boel, I was glowing. I love looking out over the ocean, and the spirit-beings on the carn are ancient and benign, like old friends, holding me in their upstretched hands. My soul grows and I get stronger in spirit, and this lies at the core of this process. I asked for healing and wholing and offered up my life, to be where I’m most needed and to do what best I can do. I listened to the linguistics of the waves, visited infinity and felt my way round the world, blessing people I know and people I don’t. It was a holy day, and certainly a good change from the rather quiet, shut-in life I’ve been living recently. And God bless Lynne for making this pilgrimage with me – and it’s her pilgrimage too.

Planet Earth is a strange yet beautiful place, and humanity is in such a mess yet so full of promise. I feel so engaged in my heart yet so distant from people and places. I wish I could return to Palestine, to be with old friends there – they are really going through it, both with Covid and with current politics (Palestine’s annexation by Israel and indifferent sabotage by so many countries, including Britain), and their economy is stumbling more than it usually stumbles, and they really don’t deserve this.

palden-carnlesboel-55445I’d love to go to Mali to visit Tinzibitane, the Tuareg village I’ve worked with since 2014. Talking of which, I’m going to try to organise a whip-round to support them soon, so please consider scraping together what you can. In general, the village has been doing well, but Covid has drained their finances. They want to do more to sell their crafts abroad, since tourism in Mali has collapsed. They’re perhaps 70% self-sufficient but when they interact with the wider world they need money. They now have no capital to invest in materials, so I want to try to help them get capitalised so that they can start work on this. More about this soon.

Even here on the farm, far from the madding crowd, there’s a sense of things hotting up around us. The prop planes that take off for the Scilly Isles have been flying in and out. Go out on the roads and the big, black, shiny cars of the English are here. There’s more of a buzzing in the air. But it’s motors, not insects – and one consequence will be fewer birds, like the swallows and bats that swoop around outside my window, who feed on flies.

Bless you all. All will be well. But so much of the secret lies in the way we see things. Life is a problem or life is a gift, and the choice we make about the way we see things is where our free will truly lies – whatever our situation.

Love, Palden

Back down on the Farm

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Recently my emotions have been really close to the surface. I quite easily burst into tears over the slightest thing – a piece of music or even just a feeling of simple gratitude for being alive. Meanwhile, I’m being presented with lists of things to do, while beset with ‘chemo-brain’ and feeling unready to do them – sometimes this feels like an overload bringing up more tears! My immune system, close to zero as part of my cancer treatment, seems to bring an emotional permeability too.

I’m fed up of being unwell, and tired out, of spilling things, missing the toilet when peeing, of early morning aches, being so bloody helpless and dependent. Sometimes I can’t handle it any more and it’s more wet cheeks.

I’ve felt the grief of my parents’ and grandparents’ generations, from two world wars. Grief from the ‘wrong’ deaths I have seen and helped to deal with in the Middle East, in my humanitarian work. Regret over an avoidable incident I was involved with in 2014, killing 200-odd Syrian villagers, that deeply hit my humanitarian instincts. Grief over two previous lives in which I have been a general. Grief remembering my chronologically last life, ending in Austria in WW2 – the memory of an aristocratic altruist in such a ridiculously big humanitarian crisis in war that only small acts of goodness could be done, only some people could be saved, and only some good sense could be inculcated into the madness.

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I’m back home on the farm in Cornwall. It feels safer down here, pandemic-wise – for now. The farm is quite isolated. I was supposed to return to Devon next week for a hospital consultation, blood tests and new medication but I’m staying here – we’ll have to fix things in other ways. The farm is the best place to be: I’m fortunate to be here.

Lynne is at her home in Devon, picking up the pieces after the enormous task of caring for me for the last few months. Bless her: she has saved my life and gone many extra miles for me. I was lucky that someone like her saved me in my time of need. It’s good now to give her space, and for me to sort out the details of living independently – we might not see each other for a while. As an astrologer she has clients and students to deal with, and teenagers at home.

I’m used to a hermit’s life and can look after myself most of the time. I’ll need a local helper for an hour a day, and it will take time for me to build up strength and establish a new normal. With the crowd-funded money you people have kindly donated I am kitting myself up with necessaries: the first items are a fridge, a new work chair and a mattress.

The ‘care crisis’ in Britain and similar countries derives particularly from the death of the community and the extended family. A Palestinian family of forty could take in a person like me with no great change to its routines. Often the old people sit at the centre of the compound, with the kids playing around them and people coming and going, though ‘social distancing’ – something that East Asians and Westerners might find more easy than Arabs – will prove difficult there.

An old friend from Leeds, Sian, is with me for two weeks. She’s heading home on Thursday. We used to work together in the Hundredth Monkey Project in the mid-1990s and the Flying Squad that followed after it.  These geopolitical healing projects used group process, meditation and other pressure-cooking techniques to work with events and trends in the world. It’s good to spend time together again since we and the others in the group spent a lot of time pressure-cooking, and it bonded us as souls even though we’ve now closed the project – we could not find new recruits with sufficient commitment.

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On Saturday we went to Boscawen-un stone circle, which is 4,500 years old. We did the usual things you do, circumambulating, visiting the stones, being quiet, and sitting by the quartz stone drinking tea. After a while a couple came along. We started talking. Before long I was undergong a profound healing given by the woman, who spoke in tongues, looked me straight in the eyes, grasped and shook my hands, bringing through a very strong energy from beings that seemed to be definitely of the not-of-Earth kind. I let them examine me from the inside. They told me that shadows of grief were around me. I felt energy rippling through me – I was being energy-massaged and manipulated. Since then I’ve been leaking tears by the gallon. Thank you Estelle, whoever you are, for bringing a gift of God in a stone circle.

Cancer opens a doorway to karmic clearing, pattern-changing and a sharpening of life-purpose. Amongst cancer people I have met, a proportion seem particularly to be taking on a deep challenge of the soul. In my own case, there are shadows of the past to clear, murky things I have touched, errors I have made and things I could have done better, but this soul-challenge now seems to come more from the future than from the past.

Being dealt a bucketload of uncertainty is one of the ways this inner challenge reveals itself. I don’t know how long I’ll live – it could be just weeks. This issue variously faces everyone, but cancer has a way of bringing it to the surface, reminding us how vulnerable we are as humans. We need to talk about this more, to address a cultural taboo around death: one of coronavirus’ many gifts is a reminder of our mortality and insecurity. We need this.

Ironically, I’m on this vulnerability-trip at a time when the whole world is suddenly wobbling with uncertainty. Whenever this pandemic ends, things will not go back to normal. Values are changing. Everything that was safe is now questionable. We’re being levelled out. The consequences of this shared mass experience are far greater and deeper than anyone can see. Society, community and the human family are on the mend.

Here’s a simple rule that they don’t teach in university: when the economy rises, society falls, and when the economy falls, society rises. The next crisis, or the one after that, will concern ‘sovereign insolvency’ – government bankruptcy. That’ll be a shock – gilt-edged guarantees going belly-up. Our current economic crisis in 2020 is, I reckon, the first of three or four to come.

The good news is this: these are mechanisms by which the global economic system is correcting and adjusting itself. To function, it must reflect the ecological and human needs of the time. It’s overdue. Capitalism is plummeting into transformation, stumbling from a competitive, exploitative model toward a cooperative model of operation. Is the system here to serve the people or are the people here to serve the system? This change will be painful. You might have to clean your ass without toilet paper. But working together and looking after each other is the societal model of the future.

Here we go, into the unknown. Saturn is entering Aquarius, heralding a period lasting until 2043 where the emphasis is on society. Not the economy and markets. Not gizmos. People and society: the social contract, its freedoms, benefits, controls and responsibilities. The capacity of humans to live and work together. Exceptionalism. Solidarity. New politics. Equality. Justice. Many hands make light work. These are important because the other major issues of our time will not progress well if social-political issues fail to progress. It’s all a question of human willingness to do whatever it takes to change the world.

The ill, the old and the infirm have been forgotten and sidelined in recent decades. There’s tragedy to this inasmuch as, now and in future, we might have to accept being culled by circumstances such as coronavirus. In wealthy countries we’ve had the luxury of long lives and medical support for the ill and disabled, and this won’t be as possible in future. The therapy for this is to address the question of dying, and the meaning of life. It’s easier to pass away if you’ve fulfilled at least some of the reason why you came – the contract you signed up to before birth.

For Death is lurking on our streets and fear is the wrong response. Coronavirus brings us a taste of reality. It brings gifts: a chance for society to reconstitute. A new political expediency that cares more for people. A need to cooperate and care. A change of values regarding consumption, production and the true worth of many social and economic activities – is arms production really what we want? Are cruise holidays, throw-away fashions, flashy cars and sumptuous restaurants really necessary? Is it more important to earn money or care for our families? And how will we deal with the subterranean rage that lies in the collective psyche?

If you don’t hear from me again, I’ve probably kicked the bucket. In which case, stay tuned and you’ll hear from me sometime, from Upstairs. If this happens, it releases me to help out on the other side – a humanitarian’s work is never done! I’ll be wherever I’m most useful. If I stay on Earth, I’ll write again in due course and keep you posted. Bless you for being with me on this journey.

May you be safe and well. I wish upon you something that the Palestinians have mastered: making the best out of a bad situation and staying happy under duress. When a Palestinian smiles, it shows that they have not lost and cannot lose the war, for they retain their humanity and live to see another day.

If misfortune strikes, ask yourself ‘Where is the gift?‘ – and therein lie answers and avenues of progress. The world is changing and, amidst the tragedy, good things are unfolding – humanity is coming back after decades of cruel, destructive economism with far more losers than winners. This nightmare is beginning to end. But it will take time and many crunchpoints.

Everything is okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end. We all came here to bring light to a benighted world, and we’ve just been given a big opportunity.

Greetings from West Penwith, Cornwall, the shining land of Belerion.

Love, Paldywan Kenobi.