Cooks, Crooks and Agape, Midwinter 2023. 


  Midwinter family feasting in is a right and proper thing to do, family as in a range of generations, and as extended family.  For lunch, we were two-dozen-and-two compadres – friends, colleagues and kids about this extraordinary place – feasting, pulling crackers, laughing at the silly jokes, applauding the cooks and some few brief speakers, relaxed and happy, with the end of the working year upon us and two weeks of winter holidays ahead.  Gardeners, eco-teamers, builders, administrators, cooks, domestics, not-really-secretaries, a herbalist, an artist/musician, a sparks, some youngish student-volunteers, and a handful of kids.  A third of us had been part of this place for quarter of a century, or longer.

  Having known ups and downs, highs and lows, we talked about everything and nothing, most of all of our good fortune amidst this collapsing world.  Yes, the portraits on the walls were of ancestors, but, despite their magnificent robes, they had been crooks, mostly : bankers, soldiers, mothers, one, a Lord Chief Justice, in and out of the Tower three times during the Interregnum Civil War period.  Anyone who makes a fortune will have been a crook of some sort, self-evidently.  If this seems to offend, think about it. 

  A tradition has grown since last year : after our lunch, those who wish can smoke small cigars together, sitting in front of the dining-room fire.  Two old men, one youth, one young cookie, and a marvellous middle-aged woman.  An old man found the young cookie’s head resting on his shoulder : family, just as it should be.  

  I watched a festive Christmas service from St. Peter’s Church in Maastricht, first televised 11 years ago, with an orchestra and ladies choir, sopranos, tenors, a school-kids choir in red in the organ loft, and a huge all-male choir stacked behind the altar in uniform white suits and red-ribboned medallions, audience in the pews, all packed-in and conducted by the maestro André Rieu.  The setting, and the carols we were taught as kids, beautifully produced, emoted deep devotional feeling, and something else too; I felt uncomfortably challenged.  Because, while I am certain that Jeshua was a perceptive, caring, enlightened man, an exceptionally profound teacher, and I’m a fan, I am equally certain that the stories that bookend the legend, (virgin birth, stable, star, magi, the trials, via dolorosa, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, etc), were paraphernalia attached later, (and to other fables of those days, too), to make the fledgling cult appear the more amazing to the bewildered.  Jes was likely born in 6 BCE, possibly around March-Easter time.  As bizarre as anything was the later Greek adoption of an inappropriate epithet – ‘Christos’, a word meaning ‘Messiah’, meaning earthly political warrior-hero like the brilliant Cyrus the Great – propagandized as a longed-for super-hero to combat the then Roman occupation.  The consequently misleading appellation, ‘Christianity’, later cemented by the wobbly Constantine at the chaotic Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, only compiled the confusion.  There are now tens of thousands of different forms of Christianity.  This misleading quasi-religious mythology is the foundation of our ‘way-up-the-Swanee’ Western Culture.  Gulp ! 

  It’s been a strange and difficult year for many at home and abroad.  Daily earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, wildfires, landslips and floods are the least of it for those unfortunates caught-up in beyond-horrific wars.  It is said that in our so-called advanced country, 300,000 souls will be homeless this Christmas, (more than 600,000 in USA); and double those numbers, hungry.  How could we be so careless ?  And yet, national catastrophes cannot be viewed in isolation; the whole world is connected.  People and nations are seen fragmented by the various self-interests of prejudiced, grey, fear-ridden power-brokers, divorced from Life, Love, and the Universe; divorced from fundamental Agape.  

  Agape – Conscious Human Love and Fellowship – the only Real Currency for people who are true. 

  An extraordinary place.  For more than 40 years, we have sought to help the world change itself from patently wrong ways with a new school for kids; with a family farm and riverside park open to the public [1]; and with this college for adults, majoring in ‘getting honest’ with oneself before anything else, concurrent with what we describe as ‘profound learning’.  

  A healthy measure of trust has grown here through the years via straight-forwardness, friendship and laughter, mutual support, and love; just as it should be; challenging for the crazies who have their beings in the modern madness ‘beyond the trees’, largely unable to trust anyone or anything, being themselves largely untrustworthy.  Sometimes, the wicked and wobbly have found their way here, to try to take advantage, and sometimes we have suffered their insanities, wickedness, and expense [2].  

  Yes, we are a vibrant and happy bunch enjoying our togetherness, and the beauty and clean air surrounding this place.  Tomorrow, we’ll plant a ‘standard’ oak tree in the meadows.

  This mixed midwinter message reflects the times we live in, and our continuing search for The Real amongst the crazies, and craziness.  If I may borrow one of His .  .  .   ‘Ye shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ [3]  

  Agape – Conscious Human Love and Fellowship – the only Real Currency for people who are true. 

  Happy Midwinter.

[1]  Severely prejudiced by corrupt members of the local council.

[2]  Running into many millions of pounds across the estate.

[3]  Gospel of John, chapter 8.

Time and Again, a midwinter ramble.


  “I haven’t had time to .  .  .  ”, generally means whatever hasn’t been gotten around to was a low priority for that someone, and quite possibly may never be ‘got around to’.  I remember a wise woman in childhood telling, “You’ve got to get your priorities straight”, which essentially means one’s Purpose.  My and our Purpose at Gaunts, and in these ‘Reflections’, has been to try to help people ‘Get Straight’, which in this day and age is tricky, as there’s so much accumulated nonsense out there, confusion for all ages, let alone for young bods pulled this way and that by childhood trauma, misleading muck pedalled by ‘interested-parties’, by parents, by hormones, cell ’phone news-crises, and what-have-you.  They have little ‘time’, and usually don’t know how to manage what time they have; true of my grown-up kids, and so many.  Then again, ‘whose Straight’ ?  Only their own, for-real.  Each has to ‘come right’ for themselves, if they can find the courage and will to step-out of the landscape of modern madness, and seek The Real within. 

  We wish for Vision, which tends to come in peaceful times, free of the hydraic distraction of the modern world, its prejudices, chronic myopia, and crises.  ‘Civilization’ – the creation of towns and cities, sinks for greed and over-populations, power-hierarchies, polis, commercialism, and artificial cultures – has been a disaster for humans, and for all life-forms, consequently.  Where are the birds ?  Fundamental to human life is the recognition that we are Human Beings and Spiritual Beings, both, and the need to get our Spiritual Being and Vision right, individually.  And, insofar as it’s possible, we long to feel Free.  The bonds and chains are our own.

  Around two and a half million years ago, a few families of Early Man trundled around doing their thing amongst other animals and creatures, surviving sensibly enough, mainly in Africa, some in what we think of as India and the East.  Around a million years later, possibly in south-east Africa, and likely somewhere in India too, our ‘animal consciousness’ came to realise a revelatory ‘higher consciousness’, higher than any other species : “I am Conscious that I am Conscious”; “I am aware that I am aware” !

  We can ponder whether this transformative step arose from longtime-growing consciousness, or from a gradually awakening realisation of Agape, (Conscious Human Love and Fellowship), or from familiar, possibly shamanic rituals that had taken hold, or from some ‘sudden explosion’ in the mind.  Best guess, a bit of all of them, together. 

  The Genesis story implies a ‘sudden-ish consciousness explosion’, theory.  It tells that ‘Adam and Eve’ are enticed to a sexual ecstasy greater than the animal imperative by a sudden conscious recognition of their genders, (one imagines not thitherto acknowledged), awakening to an Awareness of Consciousness, and in doing so, the story goes, transgressing some imagined theist boundary.  

  ‘And the serpent said unto the woman, “Ye shall not surely die, (if she ate of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil) : for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be of gods, knowing good and evil”’.  Picking the forbidden apple and enticing the other to taste it, is a nice allegory; the role of the serpent, lowly questionable.  

  Confusion between Agape, (Conscious Human Love and Fellowship), Cupid (Romantic Love), and Eros (Mammalian Sex-drive) – and their natural progression – can cause all sorts of upset, sometimes translated as emotional and hormonal imbalance.  The cause is invariably the lack of individual, personal inner-enquiry-searching, and consequent inner instability; the lack too often encouraged by a culture’s religious, or an individual’s acceptance of some prejudicial, or quasi-professional-cum-business-cum-psychological claptrap, which misleading paths have marginalised Parental Love and Care; have characterised so much of the catastrophe that has passed as modern human development.  As our lives have narrowed, and we have become stuck in routine jobs for money, we have blunted our instincts, dimmed our faculty for perception, limited our ‘sixth-sense’, shallowed intuition and our sense of right and wrong, of ‘which way is up’; mislaid our sense of all-embracing intelligent Mind as separate, different, and dominant over robot-Brain. 

  As well as being both Human and Spiritual Beings, our ‘human being’ – corpus and brain – splits physically between the cerebral ‘Limbic’ and ‘Reptilian’ systems; the Reptilian driving our essential life-functions and sex-drive proclivities, which we normally accept as healthy.  

  Males tend to be more rough and ready, hairy or smooth; females, more aware of their appearance and motherhood potential.  Historically, sexual activity is thought to have increased from shamanic rituals, and in towns and cities from concentrated numbers, boredom, and unnatural divorce from real life.  Nowadays we are led by the nose to an over-emphasis on sexy women and shallow sex for commercial purposes, (and violence), particularly in advertising and the movies, especially for perfume.  [And what is perfume, if not to add to a woman’s allure ?]  The genders are equally sexually excitable; women enjoy a mix of male mastery and their sexual power over men.  Adolescent cock and tit-illation exacerbates a different driver, to ‘get one’s rocks off’, a form of liberation from the greyness, stress, and artificiality of our lives.  While young men may feel a need ‘to spread it around’, later more focussed as attachment, women tend to be both more circumspect and more reckless, and not-unnaturally attracted to the beauty, sorority nonsense and wisdom of their own gentler-gender.  They are willing to use, on one hand, powerful gender-emotion, and on another, sexual and perverse fantasies to manipulate men, to achieve their goals.  Women are naturally more hormonal, and can be a little crazy.  Some, of both genders, can adopt a psycho-emotional sexual habit, masquerading as need, but which smacks more of addiction.  The French appear to differentiate Eros as a habitual, natural pastime, seemingly part of their raison d’être; a back-to-front progression – eros, then cupid, then agape – which ignores the fact that sex can get in the way of healthy, loving Agape; to my mind, a different, confused culture, nevertheless, alluring in its open-door, refined gratification.  What is sex other than the fulfilment of a natural urge to blend the this and that seen in another with one’s own, to procreate ?  So much confusion in something so natural.  

  How early in life do we become ‘programmed’ ?  The experiences of one’s early years may be seen to format the child [1]; but that may not always be true, as different traumas, such as dramatic changes around ages 6 and 13, wrong education, sexual molestation, particularly traumas in adolescence and young adulthood, may alter the course of a life.  While leaders in most fields appear to have their heads on ‘back-to-front’, and while the wrong-programming of kids continues, so will the traumas and disasters that characterise our modern world.  Like children, we long to be Free.

  This December morning, I watched three pigeons courting on the bare branches of a plane tree.  ‘Too early’, I beamed to them, but they paid no attention, the urge being too strong.  And, like many over the aeons, I have watched birds at a distance all my life, sought to understand them, and mourn their disappearance.  Perhaps their love of freedom and their playful and communication skills, senses of light and temperature, and freedom of flight, inspired the dreams of Gustav Whitehead [2], who built gliders and an ornithopter, (bird-like flying machine).  With a friend, he made the first ever recorded flight in a steam-driven monoplane, which crashed in a Pittsburgh Park in 1899.   Officially though, the first flight ever, his, was witnessed and recorded by a newspaper proprietor in Connecticut in 1901 [3].   

  From this joyful achievement, just 122 years ago, an industry arose, promising ordinary mortals dreams of flight, escape, and nowadays tourist holidays abroad.  And another phantasmagorical dream, space-flight, technologically extraordinary, with little purpose beyond scientific folderol, other than escape from the madness of planet Earth.  “It is important for the human race to spread out into space for the survival of the species.” [4]

  “To achieve great things, two things are needed : a plan, and not quite enough time” [5].  

  Better to get things right down here on Earth, if it’s not too late.  Whatever happens, humans will continue the madness wherever they take it, unless they first come right in themselves, and come together.  Love isn’t so hard to understand.  We know it in the warmth of children’s hugs, in our loved-ones, and in the warmth of our everyday exchanges.  We know it in the trust we share.  We know it in Agape.

  Agape must triumph in our lives and in our world.

  It seems to me, the Purpose of Humankind is to Learn to Love, to Celebrate Life, to Procreate and Sustain, to Manage & Care, and to Evolve; and that these are our Priorities.

‘ The Way of heaven is to nurture

Endlessly and benevolently.

The Way for Humans is to Love

and love

     And Love. ’  [6]

  As this year’s end approaches, my feeling is that this raft of ‘Reflections’ have run their course.

  If enough people would like to join a series of informal weekends to discuss these ‘Reflections’, and whatever else crops-up, let us know :   We could arrange it, and will let you know.  Country House stays for retreat purposes are available, too.  Please enquire.

  Blessings, Peace, and Agape.

[1]  “Give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the man.”  Aristotle, later echoed by the Jesuits.

[2]  Gustav Weisskopf – he arrived in USA from Bavaria in 1893, after the death of his parents.

[3]  Predating the Wright Brothers.  [NB.  Early American ‘Fake News’, possibly wishing ‘american-born boys’ to have made the world’s first flight – part of the rise of USA.]

[4]  Stephen Hawkins, warning that Life on Earth could soon be wiped out by global warming or nuclear war, June 2006.

[5]  Leonard Bernstein.

[6]  From stanza 81 ‘Tao Teh Ching’, interpretation Louisa Milne, 1996 & 1999.

Language and Meaning                    12-Dec                                                                        

  Good people, bear with me a while  .  .  .   Please understand, there are some basic premises in how I see myself, how I am, how I think, what I write.  Amongst them are these : 

  • That we humans have a higher level of Consciousness than any other species
  • That we humans are a mix of Human/animal being, and Human/Spiritual being.  It might be easier to think of us simply as being both Human and Spiritual beings
  • That the Human in us leads to pondering, to study, to make what we imagine to be the best decisions we can at any time, to dance, to play, to love, and to make love
  • That the Spiritual in us is, as it were, our ‘divine inheritance’ from the Universe.  We call that specialness Soul, and, in having Life for a spell, we share all of it with all of everything, understanding Soul to be the shared generative factor of Universal Intelligence, of the Cosmic Consciousness that lives in every cell of each of us, in the air and in everything; being as awakened as we individually allow.  It becomes us to Listen to that Universal Soul insofar we are able, insofar we have progressed our spirituality 
  • That the Opening of our Mind early in life to common human dilemmas and rarified [1] spiritual essentials creates, along with the impositions of childhood-through-young-adulthood, what we may think of as our Psyche, (which can find itself at odds with our Ego)
  • That Mind is some sort of free, intelligent crucible, welcoming input from all our senses, and from every cell in everything in our ambit [2], very much in tune with Soul, (see above), if we can only listen, and welcome that.  Interpreter of Soul and musecoachman to Brain [3], mediator between internal nexuses and differing cerebral drivers; ultimately, the Real Us  
  • That Psyche (cerebral collective) can be understood as individual formatting from childhood-through-young-adulthood, particularly of positive inputs and encouragement, and from the imprint of confusions and traumas, and emotions, and how we deal with them for our sanity, such that (generally) from around our late-twenties, Psyche governs our everyday Humandimension, (not Spiritual); the everyday mental ‘framework’ for our thoughts and actions; in part the pattern of our nature, and who we may appear to be
  • That Ego (limbic-system based) is essentially our Teacher – in infancy for survival; in childhood as our young ‘personality’; in teenage-hood for finding our way, for better or worse amidst surrounding chaos; in young-adulthood for seeking Who We May Be; in adulthood for coming to terms with a range of temptations.  Ego can become confused emotionally, and disastrously play-act, (persona), which generally serves to damage both oneself and others 
  • That we have but one Right, the Right to Life, which means also to be Free; and in the understanding of this right alone, we may be seen as equals
  • That the ultimate Human Purpose may be to become an Enlightened Species.

  Language is labels, a series of word-labels, and their spelling as in written vocab, and as in the spell a word may cast.  For struggling grey brains, labels will likely lead to convenient ‘definitions’, always limited, shrunken and impossible; a road mistaken, a road to doom !  For more open and creative Minds, ‘labels’ can lead to descriptive poetry that sings to us, opens us to love, truth, beauty, and so on.  This latter path is entirely preferable to the former, as it inspires colours in a pulsing breast, a taste for life, of the real; a path to hope and a positive future. 

  And yet, in seeking to explain in language-words alone, one may need to describe how one uses a word-label : not so much as definition, more as feeling : challenging for those who may have dedicated their Psyche to the mistaken path of grey definition : a daunting, massive chasm can open before them between continuing the panacea of prescribed claptrap, and feeling, and accepting their true nature, which in crisis may seem alien; but it is their earlier adopted ‘nature’ that is likely to be skewed from common-sense, possibly originating in childhood confusions; which challenge may very likely lead to psycho-emotional breakdown; which impending shadow (psychosis) they may feel bound to internally combat, as if for their very lives, until, one early morning, they find the courage to bring themselves to begin to accept the Real. [4]  

  So many words, so many labels; so many used quasi-descriptively, possibly without the speaker or listener quite knowing what is intended to be meant by them, and guessing, or trying-it-on [5].  So many word-labels are used for convenience by so many disaffected folk, leading to disagreements, conflict, compromise.  Confusion upon confusion : the state of humankind.  Future wise-folk may look back on the last c. 300 years as a passing stage in the development of Unreason, an era of extravagant error, and, possibly, a necessary wrong path ? [6]

  Sigismund, known as the father of psychoanalysis, was something of a case himself, indulging in doubtful stimulants and questionable relationships, described in many of his works.  Both he and Carl Gustav [7] used key words differently.  For example, Sigismund describes the Psyche as ‘all parts of the Mind that make up personality’; that the Ego be our sense of self, mediator between the ‘Id’, (desire, sex, etc – more pleasure, less pain), and the ‘Super-ego’, (morality, conscience, being a socially-acceptable ‘good person’); which, in strictly Human-being terms only, can be seen as ‘not that far off’; but he replaced the notion of Spiritual-being with his version of ‘super-ego’, (he was a Jew).  Carl Gustav, father of analytical psychology, saw the Psyche – conscious and unconscious psychic process – differently, but also in three notional key parts, not confined by time and space, being in his terms the Ego, (Conscious Mind); the Personal Unconscious, (memories, dreams, et al); and the Collective Unconscious, (all specie knowledge and experience, leading to synchronous connections).  He saw Soul as ‘a clearly demarcated functional complex best described as partial personality’ [8], (he was raised a Swiss-reformed Christian); and God as “universal, metaphysical being, and superior will” [9].  The point is, these titans used key words differently, as do others, as do I : potential stumbling blocks in communication. 

  The notion of Identity may follow that of Psyche, individually or collectively, but we might wonder if one perceives one’s own psyche as others do; whether a nation perceives its national psyche as other nations perceive it; indeed, whether the pronouncements of one nation can really be understood by another, their cultures and understandings being so variably different [10].  

  Confusion between peoples, businesses, churches, governments, cultures, as to what they understand by word-labels, can easily follow, unless they can agree on certain meanings and background references in common, and on positive intent.  Without that, whether or no there be negative intent, no relationship can survive.

  Historically, we may observe any number of ‘breakdowns’.  With hindsight, we can see that most have concerned some political will in conflict with freedoms and philosophies, or in avarice imposed by governments on their peoples, and by one nation state on another.  Where then were the essentials of Human Being, of Spiritual Being ?  What happened to the fundamental tenet of every religion [11] ?

  Through the centuries, we humans were still reaching out for understanding in a right direction, seeking inner-learning, up until quite recently.  The catastrophe that is War – breakdowns in human integrity and communication, coupled with insane development of ever more terrible killing weapons and machines, promoted by shallow politicians the world over, their political ambition, dishonesty, materialism and commercialism, destroys Life, women and children, homes and hospitals, safety and sanity.  One might wonder how potentially brilliant human beings could ever get into such a state; but it continues ever more terribly even to this day; an exponentially spreading Grand Failure [12].  And we know why : such madness depends on the deflection of one’s ‘better self’, of our Spiritual Being, of our inner-learning, and of right communication by those who seek quasi-authority and power.  Both of these latter can be seen to be hideously Wrong Paths.

  Inner-learning is to be found in Mind, (assisted by Brain), as Mind is our only real arbiter of what is Right, Good, Beautiful and True, (not Brain).  It is with Right Mind that all resolutions are found.  Unfortunately, promoted religions, (notably the Ibrahamic religions [13]), got in the way of human inner-learning and knowing, deliberately preventing our progress, hijacking devotion and our finer instincts; corrupting humans and human progress by insisting on a ‘package-deal’ of their wretchedly promoted belief-systems, fuelled by a desire for crazy power.

  To realise inner-learning, it is necessary to do all the work ourselves for ourselves.  A good teacher can be helpful in the early and ‘medium’ stages.  By ‘good’ is implied honest and open, advanced inner-knowledge, experienced, expressive, empathetic, ‘alive’, caring, good story-teller, and so on.  And it is helpful to be part of a Listening and Learning Circle, and a Satsang and Meditation group.   

  While throughout time, there have been thoughtful people promoting essential values, who too often have been ignored or ‘shot down’ [14], it’s not so hard to weigh the balances of what happened to this species : the endless failures of religions, of politics, of ‘education’, of ‘money’, of justice, of communication, of Soul.  It is surely such very Soul that we need to realise in ourselves, and to  nurture and encourage in others.

  Who nowadays can be seen as an honest intermediary to help lost souls on both sides of any disagreement ?  Who, amongst the dreadful protagonists playing out the many crises confronting our world ?  Must our children and grand-children really endure extreme horrors like the children in Gaza ?  Is that what they have to look forward to ?

  Or the frightful effects of Climate Change escalation ?

  Or another pollution-based, worldwide pandemic ? 

  Or the intrusion into our lives of automated machines and bureaucracies ?

  Is there any chance we humans will ever Stop the Madness, and Get Real ?      

  Hullo  .  .  .   ?

  Is there anyone real out there ?

[1]  Rarified in this day and age because of the accumulated avoidance and poverty of profound address that has characterised human ‘civilization’.

[2]  One’s ‘ambit’ increases as one’s intelligence and openness increase.  [Can be confused with ‘auras’.]

[3]  For ‘Brain’, see ‘Snapshots & Mirrors’, Reflection no. 4.

[4]  We find many variations on this theme, some as graduates and ‘suits’ posturing an entirely mistaken ‘high-view’; and many as mental-health issues.

[5]  If we adopt someone-else’s definition, we may be seeking to parrot and ‘piggy-back’ off them without using our own inner-knowledge, as far as it may have got; thus we would be as ‘dead fish going with the flow’ – of little real ‘use’. 

[6]  Necessary, possibly, because maybe humankind had to go through the ‘valley of the shadow’, and leave it behind, on the way to ‘enlightenment’ ?

[7]  The name given bizarrely to an early (and hopeless) anti-tank guided-missile issued to British infantry in c.1964.

[8]  See also his ‘Anima’, (feminine), ‘soul-life’; and ‘Animus’, (masculine), hostility and violence; both mainly unconscious inner-personality traits found in both genders.

[9]  Interestingly, when asked if he believed in God, Carl Gustav replied, “I don’t need to believe, I know !”  See his 1959 interview with John Freeman of the BBC.

[10]  It is generally accepted that a nation’s culture will largely be founded on that nation’s religion and history; and that religions have invariably adapted to their natural environment.   

[11]  ‘One should never do something to others that one would regard as an injury to one’s own self.  In brief, this is dharma.  Anything else is succumbing to desire.’  Mahābhārata, c. 350BCE.   [‘Dharma’ being synonymous with ‘Tao’, The Way.]

[12]  Grand Failure of all religions, thus cultures, politics, education, etc.

[13]  See ‘Procession of Time’, Reflection no. 2.

[14]  See Jean-Jaques Rousseau’s treatise ‘On Education’, 1762, with reference to children, psychology, philosophy, and politics, which was banned in Paris and Geneva, (his home countries); and his ‘Social Contract’, discussing essential freedoms in relation to ‘the state’, similarly banned, and burned publicly in Geneva.

An Honest Day’s Night.                                                                  1dec23.

  In Conversation, much will depend on one’s sense of who one is, on how far one has got in one’s inner enquiry, how open and honest, how conditioned and prejudiced, how riddled with belief and opinion one is, how funny and friendly, confident or shy, and so on. 

  Sitting in a Conversation Circle, much depends on ‘Where One Is Coming From’ – a little like tacit appraisal at a cocktail party, of oneself; or a stranger arriving on a desert island, and could-be cannibals enquiring, in the nicest possible way, “Where are you from ?”  Which world, what sort of peoples, what they do and don’t do, what they eat, what sort of beliefs, what morals, friendly or up-tight, creative-cool or dull, and so on.

  Advent, meaning approach to Christmas, more realistically to ‘mid-winter’, a time we may imagine to be snatched from horizonless travail for feasting in the warm embrace of one’s friends and loving family, we are told is upon us; part of some earlier indoctrination.  This year, the reality for many will be a testing shortage of funds for food and fuel, coupled with glitzy enticement to overspend; the young glued to cell-’phones, computer-games and TVs; adults exhausted, sightly tipsy, wondering what on earth it’s all about; the Judaeo-Christian-Muslim mythologies having been blown out of the water, and ‘political leaders’ around the world posturing foolishly, mostly out of touch with the peoples’ lives they seek to control.  

  We seem to have become used to the idea of our lives spanning eras of accelerating change and development.  We might as well add population growth, species and resource depletion, burgeoning pollution, etc.  And escalating worldwide financial mayhem, known to some extent by the world populace via feathered media releases; covertly known and avoided, by the ‘men in suits’ whose lives veer between anxiety sickness and wanton extravagance; between fleeting superficial success and dark despair.  We can call it the ‘money culture’, as money, the modern god, dictates and over-rules all else, as directed by those foolish virgins, our ‘political leaders’.  If money is your ‘god’, expect only confusion, personal compromise verging on catastrophe, and unhappiness; a sense of being lost in space.  Happy Christmas ?

  Despite its negative aspects, ‘Political Economic Growth’ has appeared to raise living standards, to increase life expectancy, improve medical care with fewer mothers dying in childbirth, to provide cleaner drinking water, and to result in better-fed populations.  And yet, In the early years of the Industrial Revolution (c.1750-1850), Adam Smith in his extensive volumes and editions of ‘The Wealth of Nations’ decried avarice and injustice, factions and special interest groups be they bankers, corporate, trade-union lobbying, or any like, taxes and tariffs, and the interference of government in people’s affairs.  Around the turn of the nineteenth century, (c. 1800), the writing was already on the wall.  Thomas Malthus predicted over-population, climate and environmental catastrophes, a limit to financial manipulation, and eventual famine.  And in the mid-nineteenth century John Stuart Mill wrote of logic, jurisprudence, and social liberty as justifying the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state and social control.  

  At the University of Kansas in 1968, Robert Kennedy declared that “Gross National Product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play.  It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.  It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile”.  And, “If our colleges and universities do not breed men who riot, who rebel, who attack life with all the youthful vision and vigour, then there is something wrong with our colleges.  The more riots that come out of our college campuses the better the world for tomorrow.” [1]  

  Is the manipulation of money a right way to manage one’s life and the lives of one’s children and colleagues ?  That it has failed hundreds and thousands of millions of people throughout time, destroying so many and so much, and has brought life on earth to the brink of global collapse, is broadly evident.  For centuries, ‘the love of money’ has been called ‘the root of all evil’ [2], which may be translated as the love of wealth, power, status, thus greed, hatred, division, and so on, is obvious even to children.  That it has determined perverse paths of religion, education, politics, and ‘justice’, and that those wrong ways have led inevitably to the downfall of humankind and widespread compromise-cum-destruction of life, is self-evident.  That it has compromised the good nature, honesty, and well-being of so many for so long, cannot be denied.  We can conclude that figments of ‘financial economy’ are not only delusory, but are seen as ‘wrong love’, a wrong way.  It follows that the challenges facing humankind are mainly egoic [3] (‘the root of all evil’), and that that is where we need to look within to sort ourselves out.  Time to think it all out again.  

  Generally speaking, our natures share much the same essentials of Life, Love, and the Uni, which can be seen as foundational.  Similarly, we share many common experiences of modern living, particularly financial challenges.  Modern generations have endured questionable ‘pay-bargaining’ and eras of politically-based strikes over pay and conditions.  Our differences tend to be found in self-interest, questionable beliefs, adoption of misleading propagandas, competition, profiteering, shortages, mistrust – so many elements that push us apart rather than draw us together.  A reasonable person would see that any family or organisation needs to share its aims, ideals, plans, togetherness, support, and rewards, equitably.  Open and honest discussions, with the shared intention of supporting everyone involved, fairly, and without elements of self-interest, could surely pave the way for common solutions ?  We are not yet an entirely failed species. 

  Notions of Wealth demand Ownership, and yet, logically, one cannot ‘own’ anything one cannot carry.  Notions of Ownership are better seen within an understanding of an environmentally based Natural Collective, and one’s belonging therein.  One’s few personal possessions, (clothes, toothbrush, tools, jewellery), may be seen as belonging to the individual, openly yet discreetly.  We move through the rest as we move through life.  Of far greater moment are an individual’s integrity, perception, caring and creative and positive interactions within a family and collective.  Notions of Wealth and personal accumulation can be seen as underlying the problems that have long faced humankind on Earth. 

  Every environmentally based Natural Collective will face challenges of survival and maintenance, of endeavour and organisation, of hierarchy, pecking-order, and motivation.  Natural exchanges will revolve around both individual and collective adherence to integrity, perception, caring and creative and positive interactions in their everydays, and in collective meetings, where every voice will be weighed, and in their celebrations. 

  Sitting in Conversation Circles, one observes simple guidelines for everyone’s benefit – speaking one’s truth from that deep inner place within, expressing oneself carefully, creatively, descriptively, and succinctly, listening to others intently – which can be immensely liberating.  One exchanges from an accepted point-of-view that everyone brings special gifts and intelligence to the table, insofar they are free of inner nasties.  In this form of ‘sharing’, we can listen and learn and ‘welcome the differences’ as they so often enlighten us.  

  So many people are not ready for this sort of Open Conversation.  So many put their own self-interest first.  So many are confused by what they were taught and have believed to be the way for them and their community.  So many continue to ape ‘keeping their heads above water’; so many feel a social need to display something they don’t feel; so many experience hunger, cold, homelessness, particularly the young, (so many contemplating suicide).  They are our young.  How could we be so careless ?  

  How can we ‘come in from the cold’ ?  How can we overtake the ‘professional’ conventions we have been trained to observe ?  How can we become the real people we would love to be ?  So many people are not ready for Open Conversations.  So few have embarked on their profound inner learning, for-real.  So many put their own self-interest first, their heads in the sand.  So many are confused by what they were taught and have believed to be the way for them and their communities; ways that have brought us close to imminent chaos.  So, what is this profound inner-learning all about ? [4]

  Many scientists will deny the existence of soul, that super-special something within that we sometimes seek to return to, that is the Real Us, our connection to Love, Life, and the Uni.  We can applaud the ancient teachings of Vedant in India, of Zarathustra in Persia, (Iran), of the ancient Greek philosophers, of the ancient Chinese mystics, all 2,500 to 3,000 or so years ago.  And we might as well as acknowledge the Ibrahamic Religions for their reaching for biased misunderstandings of the divine in the last 2,500 years; the point being that notions of the divine, creator, prime-mover, can as well be seen as ‘Cosmic Consciousness’, ‘Universal Intelligence’.   

  That our souls share that same immensity, that each human-being’s soul is a part of that, that that ‘Cosmic Consciousness’ is the most fundamental part of who we are; that we can know that in ourselves and in each other, beckons us to a new age.  It takes a while and a hard inner-slog to get anywhere with such understandings, let alone to ‘real knowledge’.  

  Profound Learning is no more than a label for introduction to paths that can help to support each and any individual find their own way.

  Meanwhile, in the United Arab Emirates, at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, (CoP 28), the ‘men in grey suits’ posture and exchange largely meaninglessly.  After 28 years of mostly faf, we have experienced the hottest year ever with environmental and climate emergencies all over.  In Ukraine, Palestine and all over, appalling atrocities, human failures, continue, while the world watches.  What hope ?

  Perhaps, in ‘Profound Conversations’, we can together find simple ways forward for us now and for survivors in the future.  Perhaps, in Conversations, we can together find consensus on some fundamental challenges : how to control human populations in the future, how to exchange and share with each other positively, carefully, and caringly, how to touch on the commonality of our specialness.

  It’s going to take time.  The sooner we lend ourselves to it, the better for our children, for Love, Life, and the Universe, for all. 

  Time to awake to a new dawn.

  Happy Mid-winter !

[1]  See also ‘Kicking our growth addiction is the way out of the climate crisis’. Larry Elliott article for the Guardian, 2022.  

[2]  Saul-Paul to Timothy, (1Timothy 6:10).

[3]  Rivalry, competition, ambition (as opposed to aspiration), avarice, fear, greed, wanting more, and so on.

[4]  See also ‘Gateways’ – Reflection no. 8.



  The not-such-good-news is that the pariahs, those who early in life consciously sold their souls to the devil – the money-speculators, bankers, brokers, agents, priests, politicians, ‘professionals’, conmen, thieves – who would have us believe they are the backbone of modern society, but really predate on their own kind; their way is a consuming cancer.  They seek to draw us into their web, which appears against the sky like scaffolding, but it’s a trap.  They seek to devour what they can of our beings before discarding the remains.  Worse still, they seek to sell their wickedness as a right way for others to follow.  Theirs is the path of damnation, degradation, destruction, devastation.

  The Good News is that there is another way, the Real Way, but we have to shake off the detritus to find it in ourselves.


  “ You have within you a ‘spark’, some call it a ‘divine spark’, some ‘soul’, which are all the same, really.  All very well to suggest such a thing, but how can one know it to be true ?  By finding out !  We will call this finding-out the ‘original search’, for that is what it is; one’s first real search for what one can absolutely know is true, which turns out to be ‘what is true for you’, as the real you is all you have to go on.  The sense of the ‘real you’ is at once both the goal of your original search, your guide, and destiny.

  “ Very many humans avoid this all-the-way-deep soul-searching for shallow excuses, like they’re too busy chasing their fantasy, ‘chasing their tails’, and so forth.  Very many are too attached to what they subscribe to, to what they have been taught, to what they may want to believe in, to the conventions of a world so crazy it is destroying itself.  They know nothing else, no better, nor does anyone else they know, other than some crazies chasing the scent of a dream. 

  “ The door, or ‘Gateway’, to one’s ‘original search’ can be an ‘end-of-tether’ situation of a personal nature.  In other words, humans seem to need a reason – a powerful fed-up-ness, inner desperation, sorrow, ‘nose in the gutter’, end-of-the-line confusion – to bring them to the point of sitting down alone, to work out who in heaven or hell they really are, what life is, whether to live or die.  Sometimes, this moment may come to a young person confused by years of poor parenting, inappropriate ‘education’, social pressures, trauma, and the prospect of an adult lifetime ahead with little object beyond some seemingly prescribed compromise of self.  Sometimes, it can come a little later in life, when the compromises and confusions have become overwhelming and unbearable.  Sometimes, it may come to the aged who have endured a difficult life and would like to live out their days in peace.  Many endure, clinging to what have become the chains that bind them, and never come to it.

  “ There are other ‘gateways’ to profound inner seeking and learning, too.  Imagine a circle over here of the gifted, thems blessed with extraordinary talents, good intentions, well-meaning innocence, bright-eyed trust; and, in that direction over there, another ‘group’ of wind-in-their-hair folk in woods and gardens, on the land with the animals and growing crops, hunting and caring for wildlife and the environment, out sailing, surfing, mountaineering, adventuring, exploring, and the like; and then, over there, the thoughtful and creative, dreamers, poets, artists, sculptors, musicians, singers, writers, wood-carvers, story-tellers, designers, the transformers, creative artisans, and the rest; and again, somewhere else over there, the natural healers, those whose nature or experience leads them to helping and healing others in need, some near-saintly in their provision.  And there are some with a cornucopia of all these elements of human-being, too.

  “ And one must suppose the majority of nowhere people sitting in their nowhere land, not knowing where they’re going, the confused, the cold, homeless and hungry, the weak, the alcoholics and addicts, the down-trodden, and the ‘idiots’ – those addicted to modern materialism and claptraps – might find reason to begin to find their way, somewhat shakily, (perhaps from the rejection of their children); but very few will get far without help.

  “ Any and all of these people can be moved to enquire deeper into the self, towards soul.  Many will have had this or that sort of experience – some of them ‘spiritual’, without really paying much attention – too busy with ego, the false self; others paying too much attention, imagining they are special, much too busy with their wannabe selves.  But then again, some, here and there, may begin to be touched profoundly, imagining they experience a non-event as guidance, as a nudge, a mystery, a puzzle, a challenge.  Then again, one may suffer a series of wonderful, or dreadful, man-made experiences that may or may not have profound meaning.  Are such experiences a test, a consequence, an inspiration, or what?          

  “ So, one might find oneself sitting down alone to embark on one’s ‘original search’.  What then ?  One comes to realise the only way to get anywhere, to get to the bottom of it, is by being honest with oneself; completely, utterly and ruthlessly honest.  Only that way can one progress on the journey.  Anything else misleads.  So, one’s original searching begins in earnest. 

  “ To be ruthlessly honest with oneself demands letting go everything one has ever been taught in order to be able to discover what one really thinks and feels; because that alone is our guide; that alone we can know; and that alone is how we learn who we really are.  Each one of us is potentially important, whatever that might mean.  It’s a battle of right and wrong, of real and unreal, that must be won.  One must let go the ego-nonsense, the wanting, and make-believe; perhaps what one’s parents or school have leaned on; what they may have inflicted on the child; prejudice and conditioning ?  At every turn, there’s challenge, confusion, conflict to be shrugged-off in order to progress to the depths of one’s being, because that is where one is going; to find out who one really is.  

  “ If one is brave enough, sometimes desperate enough, possibly both, one may come to perceive one’s essence, which may appear as the yolk of an egg surrounded by albumen, or a sun surrounded by clouds.  And the realisation may come that this concept of original essence represents one’s Life Spark, one’s ‘Soul’, within and without.  The thing is, this concept of essence within – this soul – is the realised Real You, a silent recognition, but only the very beginning.  We can call this essence your ‘spark’, the source of your spirit-energy; and the realisation of it for-real becomes the one and only first-day of the rest of your Life. [1]


  This will be the way of survivors.


[1]  from ‘Come Sunrise’, chapter two, 2019-20.  Gaunts Publishing.

 Snapshots & Mirrors 

  Conversations about Mind and Awareness, about how we interact with the world of Life, Love and the Uni.  After a night and day of storm rains, the sun shines ’midst clear morning light.  Hullo ! 

  Yesterday took me to Salisbury hospital to see my old sis; she in good spirits, despite a fractured hip.  One of three such enormous hospitals within easy reach, each with many car-parks; Salisbury has maybe 16 ?  We parked improperly in no.8, with several hundred cars, and overflowing.  So, I wondered how many patients there could possibly be in all of Great Britain’s 1,200 or more hospitals, bearing in mind that Salisbury, Bournemouth and Dorchester are not even in the top 20 largest ?  Then, I realised that many of the car-park spaces will have been taken by hospital staff.  Even so, we seem to be a majorly sick nation.  All the staff I met were positive and helpful.  One told me that many patients were suffering from mental-health problems. 

  This old man’s regular State of Mind revolves around three general ‘areas’.  If we imagine, for example, a rainbow of just three stark principal colours, with gradations of less powerful shades inter-mixing between them; my lowest conscious awareness, (‘colour’), is that which checks out my basic being – hot or cold; energised or tired; hungry; physical equilibrium/balance; which largely equate to the functions of the ‘old brain’ and cerebellum.  The next (‘colour’) is my interface with the immediate environment – people, place, ambience, memory, emotion, levels of interest/arousal, learning, etc – consider these the multi-functions of the ‘Limbic System’.  And, for me and my spirit, the key (‘colour’) to it all is the sense of oneness with all that is in heaven and on earth.  Simple stuff, but no one taught me any of it at any point in my life, and I wonder why.

  We need to empower new generations to staff new ‘awake’ educational centres, like Gaunts, and to train young people how to survive ‘The Correction’.  There is a danger that would-be interested ‘Limbic System chickens’ might seek to inflict their ‘wound-up’ brains, (minds avoiding the fundamental key ‘colour’), onto others rather than joining-in to learn right ways, and fully involving their Whole Selves.  We need to be able to perceive what is important and valuable, and what isn’t.  We need to support Minds open to Love, Life, and the Uni; open to their own creative selves, and to Profound Learning – our journeying into The Mysteries. 

  In a world of accelerating ‘time’, some find it quicker and easier to use their ‘brain’ than to consider broadly and do a job properly.  A quick-fix from the Limbic System – an amazing ‘computer’, but only as good as the information fed into it – may appear to offer speedy and/or convenient solutions, rather than taking time to use their Mind : a metaphysical, spatial non-organ offering ‘opening’, journeying, profound listening, weighing things up, to report them thoughtfully and Right.  The point is, modern folk may have attuned their cerebrums to contemporary nonsense, shallow thought, to convenience, commercialism, corruption, and to speedy Wrong ways of thinking and being.

  It is our Mind that only we ourselves can explore and develop in tune with Love, Life, and the Uni insofar we feel inclined and find the time to, and the courage.  There are no short-cuts : the longest way is the shortest, as most short-cuts have to be abandoned in favour of The Way.  

  The five principal western dictates have misled their peoples for centuries, and led to the dysfunctional world we suffer in :

Ibrahamic Religions – it’s time to Get Real.

‘Education’ – foregoing morals, ethics, basic humanities, individual talents and needs, majoring in skewed emphases on ‘brains’, industrial academia, common content and examination, which has long proved an expensive and pejorative waste of time.  

Money – any sense of real Economy has been sold out to international crooks and fudged financial compromises.  Fantasies of ‘economic growth’ have relied on inflation, increasing debt, and bankruptcies.

Politics – based in offensive polemic; military-industrial bases (a fudge on ‘defence’); Money; and an absurd notion of franchise – one vote, once every five years, between two mainly rotten and incompetent ‘parties’, involving corrupt ‘policies’, ignoring the public – is in no way ‘democracy’.  

Justice – has been sold out to political convenience.  Modern Law has little to do with Justice.  No sense of Justice can be relied on in any court; nor from disastrous modern policing.

  No wonder so many suffer from mental-health challenges.  It appears that only a ‘Natural Correction’ can set us back far enough to reconsider these absurdities, and correct the balances.  

  We might ponder where this mess came from ?  We can see that the devils of ambition and greed for status, wealth and power motivated ‘rulers’ in the Fertile Crescent, Levant, and Egypt from around 6,000 years ago, resulting in widespread carnage over and again.  More recently, the endless conflicts between European nations and England over religion, trade, and empire-spread came to a head in the fledgling American Revolutionary War of 1775-1803.  

  Europeans had been exploring the vast tracts of the north and south American continents since around 1495 in search of precious metals and glory.  From around 1521, northern parts of South America, most of Central America, Mexico, Texas, most of north America west of the Mississippi, California, and Florida, (the vast Louisiana territory), became encompassed as ‘New Spain’.  The Mayflower ‘Pilgrims’ arrived in 1620, the settlers surviving the winter thanks to local native ‘Indians’, and subsequently settled the original 13 English seaboard colonies, becoming self-governing with local elections over the next 150 years.  From around 1682, the French claimed a vast area from the north around the Great Lakes and all along the east of the Mississippi, west of the English colonies, down to the Gulf of Mexico, calling it, ‘New France’.  

    In America, the French and Indian war (1754-1763), between Britain and France, was part of a greater conflict, the Seven Years War, involving many European nations, which included the brief Anglo-Spanish war, ending with the Treaty of Paris in 1763 whereby Britain gained from France the part of ‘New France’ east of the Mississippi, and Spain the western part, the vast Louisiana territory.  

  The American Revolutionary War, (War of Independence), that began in 1775, was a reaction by the colonialists to increasingly punitive British interference, and taxation without representation; the settlers being supported by the French and Spanish.  In 1776, Jefferson drafted the ‘Declaration of Independence’ [1].  The war continued until the British surrendered to a French and ‘American’ force at Yorktown in 1781, and a shortage of British funds demanded a conclusion to the war.  Another Treaty of Paris acknowledged American Independence.

  In 1802, Napoleon [2] forced Spain to cede the vast Louisiana territory to France, and in 1803 sold it to the newly formed United States of America; both conveyances promoted by national shortages of funds in the widespread wars and turmoil of the times.  With the ‘Louisiana Purchase’ – 828,000 square miles from the Mississippi to the Rockies, and from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, for $15 million, (3 cents for every 100 acres) – the fledgling United States more than doubled its size.  In the following fifty years, the US added Florida, Texas, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico such that by 1854 the land mass that we think of today as the United States was established, only 170 years ago.  Alaska was added in 1867, and Hawaii in 1898, just 125 years ago.

  1848–1852 brought 300,000 prospectors and entrepreneurs to the Californian Gold Rush; established the city of San Francisco; revitalised the American economy; and all but eradicated the Californian First Nation cultures.  In 1859, Native Indian ‘oil-seeps’ in Pennsylvania were seized, and the first oil well developed for industry.  In 1861, eleven southern states seceded from the Union, and the Civil War began, which ended in 1865 – around 850,000 Americans had killed each other – and, shortly afterwards, President Lincoln was assassinated.      

  From before 1863, Americans had been poisoning and massacring First Nation Indian tribes, and slaughtering buffalo, in their expansion west, building railroads, trampling every agreement made.  In 1868, Custer and federal troops massacred Indians in their reservation.  In 1876, Chief Sitting Bull triumphed at the Battle of Little Bighorn, where the idiot Custer was killed.  The following year, Chief Crazy Horse surrendered, and was bayoneted by guards.  In 1881, Sitting Bull was arrested, and shot in the head.  Reservations were trashed.  In 1890, hundreds of Sioux Indians were killed by US troops in a massacre at Wounded Knee Creek, an appointed reservation.  Largely eradicated in the constant Indian Wars, First Nation peoples had largely disappeared from history by 1924. 

  It’s worth noting that the First Nation peoples, the Real Americans, were far more culturally grounded, sensitive and honourable than the ‘new Americans’ – see George Catlin’s extensive letters and paintings from 1826, published in London in 1841, and 1844; the earliest of their kind.

  In 1881, President James A. Garfield was assassinated.  In 1894, the first commercial moving picture film was released.  In 1901, President William McKinley was assassinated.  In 1906, the San Francisco earthquake left 3,000 dead, and destroyed 4 square miles of the city.  In 1911, Kalem Studios started making moving-picture films in Hollywood.  The movies produced the largest part of the American income for the first part of the 20th. century.  And America became the largest oil producing nation in the world, leading to its rapid economic expansion; much of American expansion guided by Jewish and quasi-Christian interests.  Constant mega-violence, murder, corruption, destruction, and fantasy – a terrifying national history.  

  To my mind, the expansion of fledgling American interests, (it’s such a young nation), majoring in glitz, glamour, greed, corruption and extreme violence, coinciding with global advances in industrial and early technological discoveries; and the post-WW2 American commercial invasions in Europe, Asia and Africa, have deleteriously affected the equilibrium of the world.  We would be wise to couple that thought with the historical madness of European nations, their misguided, greedy and violent ambitions for status, wealth and power; their populations oft perverted by religions and politics; and intelligences dulled for centuries.  

  Despite the United Nations building being in New York, the USA has constantly sought to manipulate and oppose it, ignoring embargos, too often denying common-sense and popular will.  In particular, huge American military, financial, and political support for Israel has long denied any peaceful resolution in Palestine; coupled with bullshit political play-acting.  

  ‘Leaders of the Free World’ ?  I don’t think so; only ‘leaders of idiots’.  American military interference across the globe in my lifetime – their wars in Korea (1950-1953), Bay of Pigs (1961), Vietnam (1965-1975), Gulf War (1990-1991), Iraq (2003-2011), Afghanistan (2001-2021), and very many military ‘interventions’ all over – invariably proved to have been inept and disastrous, inflicting massive casualties on civilian populations, and widespread damage; and controversially inflating the US economy.  Currently, USA suffers from huge internal problems economically, politically, with its infrastructure, and so on, flirting dangerously with a possible second Civil War.  Unfortunately, since WW2, the UK has tended to follow the US subserviently, suffering similar problems.  This, a snapshot from the last hundred-odd years.  Not dissimilar nightmares have occurred in every would-be ‘power-block’ worldwide throughout history.  

  Little wonder there’s so much depression, sickness, so many mental-health issues everywhere, much of it the consequence of insidious American influence across the globe.  Many people suffering from confusion and despair, struggling to survive in increasingly difficult circumstances, may be unaware of this story of modern western madness that lies behind their own difficulties, and behind the current downfall of Life on Earth.

  How do you solve a problem like America ?  ‘Many a thing you know you’d like to tell her; many a thing she ought to understand.  But how do you make her stay, and listen to all you say ?  How do you keep a wave upon the sand ?’ [3]

  We need to look for and find solutions, if not for people living today, for survivors of ‘The Correction’.  As a young Gaunts student said recently, “We need to get real with ourselves and others.  And we need to fall back in love with nature, again.”

  Maybe, survivors will return to the greenwood, to the days and ways of Merry England before she ruled the waves ?  Perhaps, they could learn from First Nation Indian cultures ?

Upon suffering beyond suffering, the Red Nation shall rise again, and it shall be a blessing for a sick world,

a world filled with broken promises, selfishness and separations.  A world longing for light again.

I see a time of Seven Generations when all the colours of mankind will gather under the Sacred Tree of Life

and the whole Earth will become one circle again. 

In that day there will be those among the Lakota who will carry knowledge and understanding

of unity among all living things,

and the young white ones will come to those of my people and ask for this wisdom.

I salute the light within your eyes where the whole Universe dwells.

For when you are at that center within you, and I am that place within me,

We shall be one.” [4]

Copyright © Gaunts Publishing 2023.

[1]   The ‘Declaration of Independence’ (1776) said, “…  We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. … That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. …”  The Declaration did not extend such rights to slaves, African Americans, or First Nation Indians, until later.  

  From 1778 to 1871, and following the ‘Louisiana Purchase’ and the expansion of white settlers into the ‘Wild West’ lands of millennia old First Nation American Indian Tribes, the United States government entered into more than 500 treaties with First Nation tribes.  Every single one of those treaties was violated or broken by the US government.  

[2]   In 1789, caused by national financial poverty, an enlarging gap between rich and poor, and widespread distress, the Storming of the Bastille announced the French Revolution.  The National Assembly enacted various democratic measures, but as a result of the Revolutionary Wars against Britain and European monarchies, and consequent economic depression, the impoverished and desperate mob stormed the Tuileries Palace, arrested the King and Queen, and the reign of terror had begun.  The King and Queen were executed by guillotine in 1793, along with some 40,000 others over the next six years. 

  A young, insecure and ambitious Corsican, Napoleon Buonaparte, brutal and ruthless, supporter of the revolution, republic, and meritocracy, rose swiftly through the military ranks.  In 1799, in the political chaos of the time, following a coup d’état, he and his allies created the ‘French Consulate’, which, after rigging an election, installed him as its leader, he becoming military dictator.  After a series of brilliant military shenanigans across Europe, aping his heroes Alexander and Caesar, he declared himself First Consul of the new Republic.  In 1803, Napoleon, tired of north America, and in need of funds to fight the British, sold the vast French Louisiana territory to the new United States.  In 1804, Napoleon crowned himself Emperor of France.  From 1805, his French armies and navies were repeatedly defeated by the British and British-led coalitions.  Imprisoned on the Island of St. Helena, he died of cancer, in 1821.

[3]  From ‘The Sound of Music’, Rodgers & Hammerstein.

[4]  Chief Crazy Horse, 37 years, Oglala Lakota Sioux, while smoking a pipe with Sitting Bull, four days before he was murdered, 1877. 


An elderly widow telephoned last evening,  “I want to hold your hand”.  She talked of her memories of home in the hills of India, of her father and her husband, and of recent encounters in the town where she lives.  “It was a Beatles’ song”, I told her [1].  In her urgent need for touch and love, she didn’t welcome the quip.  A time of memories, of a lifetime’s experience, of love and laughter, of kindness, of simple pleasures.  “I’m ready to go”, she said, tired of being alone amongst unreal modern folk, “ready to pass”; ready to go to her long-home.   

  This old man’s memories vary between actual and semi-conscious ephemeral ‘movies’, some one cannot place.  ‘Were they real’, or a taste, a mental impression of something, a moment that may have happened ?  Getting off a bus in the middle of nowhere, looking about, wondering.  Standing on a platform, watching a train leave the station, aware of the difference between travellers on the train and thems left behind; of the difference ‘in time’ experience.  

  Childhood memories of steam trains : of great polished engines in great stations, and of local trains at local country stations.  Standing on a railway bridge, looking down the rails at a train coming, puffing black smut and smoke over us as it passed beneath, to our horror-full delight.  Porters of those days, walking up and down a country platform, calling the name of the station for train passengers, lest they missed it.  Running across the rails ‘illegally’, instead of walking across the station bridge; getting ticked-off by friendly, aping-cross railway staff.  In the country, counting the number of a train’s coaches as they rushed past, at a distance; driving under a bridge as a train passed over the top, was considered ‘lucky’.  In those days, we were all ‘Railway Children’, before the political ‘fix’ of trade-unions, cheap Arab oil, and filthy diesel.

  In one’s teens, boarding a Comet 2 airplane, knowing it was suffering from metal fatigue, aware that we may die; that the adventure to a foreign land was worth the peril.  The proximity of death, post-war, added an immediate flavour, made life more real than it is today.  The aroma of wine, whiskey and cigars in an adult’s drawing room the morning after; delicious ! [2]  Nowadays, constant political failures have introduced restrictions to our living that cauterise real experience.  So many have become ‘nowhere people living in a nowhere land, making nowhere plans, for nobody’ [3].

  Or, is it that the multi-colourful recollections of our early lives’ freedoms and imaginations contrast with the stress and grey constraints of modern life ?  Is it that nowadays most people live in towns and cities, like rats in a maze, rather than in the fresh-air and would-be freedoms of the country ?  Whatever, people tend to be more distant than they ever were, somehow more fearful.  Contemporarily confused genders, and ‘wokeness’, disturb our everydays.  I want to hold your hand ?  Fun and friendly relations have become liable to sensational publicity and prosecution.  ‘As bad as these days may seem to us, our kids will remember them as the good old days.’

  The state of our modern minds so often seems to be determined by the pressures we feel ourselves under.  It appears that contemporary pressures have only escalated through the centuries, possibly from a wish for better standards of living, practically and materially different for different levels of society; which notion was grown politically into the dangerous fantasy of eternal ‘economic growth’ [4], packaged and sold to the public, much like religion.  Trouble is, modern commercialism invokes corruption at every level from national politics to local derring-do.  Modern commercialism is invariably Wrong – destructive, dishonest, improper, often illegal; in no-one’s interests except ‘the crooks’, as they can make a ton of money manipulating the greed/fear combo in victims and in other would-be commercial miscreants, at the expense of Joe Public and our world [5] [6].  

  My 80 years have witnessed the extraordinarily swift decline of almost everything that matters, along with the escalation of fear and shallow thinking, extremism, and present dangers on every front.  It is inevitable that elderly folk recall the joys and traumas of childhood, in particular the sense of liberation in what were our coming-of-age years.  Those years for this old man, included a spell in the British Army on the Rhine, and the unique era of freedom-genius in arts and music of the late 1950s through 1960s, into the early 1970s [7]; before those days came to suffer from intrusive grey ‘authorities’, and from over-use of experimental social drugs.  A phenomenal, mystical and wonderful period of peaceful social revolution against the sorry ineptitude of straight-laced political controls, becoming all but stamped out by the ‘grey suits’ of many western governments, spanned our coming-of-age through to the birth of our first children.  

  The young and many rejoiced in the freedoms pioneered by creative genius in many arts, particularly in the music of the day, which reflected their feelings, and enlivened them.  New rhythms, chords, musical emphases introduced new ideas.  Amongst many excellent artists and their passing joys, the Beatles were the most original and most influential worldwide.  Their development from ‘rough-rock’ in Liverpool and Germany to refined and soulful, brilliantly scored songs called to people everywhere, and lifted our spirits.  The release of ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ in May 1967, produced by George Martin, blew everyone’s minds; a psychedelic musical classic for all time.  

  In 1968, a small music festival was held near Ryde in the Isle of Wight.  In 1969, following the Americans landing on the Moon, and shortly after the Peace & Music ‘Woodstock’ festival in New York state, it developed into an astonishing major public event, featuring amongst others, The Moody Blues, King Crimson, Richie Havens combo, the young Joni Mitchell, The Who, Bob Dylan and The Band; both festivals attended by c.400,000 people; the largest peaceful gatherings of all time; and the ‘grey suits’ fear of the potential power of the young seemed to be realised.  In subsequent years, festivals grew even larger, before becoming ‘controlled’, or stamped out [8].  

  The friendships and fun and creative work of those days, along with profound spiritual seeking, made me and contemporaries, Who We Are.  For such experience is the stuff of life, of love, that everyone has a right to; always remembering that we have but one Right, the Right to Life.

  Heady times, heady memories, a trip down Penny Lane and to Strawberry Fields [9].  And we, the ‘flower children’ of those days, have found ourselves obliged to bow to increasing and unworthy pressures inflicted on us by the seemingly inhuman ‘grey suits’, their commercialism and corruption, in their insistent drive to self-destruction, ever denying our Right to Life and Love, to laughter, freedom and joy, and to the silence beyond human understanding.  

  Our kids must wonder if we capitulated to the ‘grey suits’, whether we joined their shabby ranks ?  Yesterday, my niece, a therapist and university lecturer, thanked me sincerely for opening for her a different window on life; so mebbe they do have a taste of it.  I pray so.

  Consciously smile at gloomy strangers in the street, as a gift.  Give a flower to uniformed police and traffic wardens, with a silent meaningful smile.  Hope is pretty much all what we have left; ‘die Hoffnung stirbt zuletzt’ [10].

Here comes the sun, and I say, it’s alright.

Little darlin’, it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter;

little darlin’, it feels like years since it’s been here.

Here comes the sun, and I say, It’s alright.

Little darlin’, the smile’s returning to their faces, little darlin’,

it seems like years since it’s been here.

Here comes the sun, and I say, It’s alright.” [11]

 and, “I want to hold your hand”.  

Copyright © Gaunts Publishing 2023.

[1]  1963.

[2]  The original UK ban on smoking in public was ‘inspired’ officially by a public-health perception, but actually by the notion of saving the NHS money.  Since the original ban, the escalation of public mental-health problems has escalated exponentially, costing the NHS far more.  We can ponder the connection.  Man has ‘smoked’ for somewhere around 500,000 years, possibly since inhaling the smoke of herbs on a fire, finding it calming, socially valuable, and inspirational.

[3]  from Beatles’ song, 1965.

[4]  “People are suffering.  People are dying.  Entire ecosystems are collapsing.  We are in the beginning of a mass extinction.  And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth.  How dare you!”  Greta Thunberg (16 years old) at the UN summit for Climate Action, 2019, after sailing the Atlantic ocean.  She was arrested in London a few days ago for protesting.

[5]  NB. If we must be ruled by money, then ‘Making a Surplus’ is generally sensible; ‘Profiteering’ generally anti-social.  

[6]  “The best things in life are free, But you can keep them for the birds and bees.  Now give me money, That’s what I want.  You’re lovin’ gives me a thrill, But you’re lovin’ don’t pay my bills.  Now give me money, That’s what I want.  Money don’t get everything, it’s true.  What it don’t get, I can’t use.  Now give me money, That’s what I want.”  (cynical song by Berry Gordy and Janie Bradford, recorded by the Beatles in 1963). 

[7]  Coinciding with the catastrophic American entry into the Vietnam War, 1965-1975.

[8]  In 1971, The Isle of Wight County Council banned festivals at the historic and highly successful Ryde site.

[9] “Living is easy with eyes closed.  Misunderstanding all you see.  It’s getting hard to be someone but it all works out.  It doesn’t matter much to me.  Let me take you down, ’cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields.  Nothing is real, nothing to get hung about; Strawberry Fields forever.”  Lennon and McCartney, 1967.

[10]  ‘Hope dies last’.

[11]  George Harrison, 1969.

Procession of Time

  If we imagine that Man, having evolved a higher consciousness, may have some purpose and destiny; then, that the Procession of Time through the ages, was more or less inevitable, possibly to some extent ordained within a parameter of free-will, is almost unavoidable; it follows that Humans had to go through what we may see presently and retrospectively as historical trials and traumas in order to be fashioned, to fashion ourselves and our consciousness towards a sought-for mould, individually and collectively; or self-destruct.  Almost.

Boom !  A lot to ‘take on board’.

Need a drink ?

Mebbe a joint ?  [ Have just re-read Gilbert Shelton’s ‘Fabulous Furry Freak Bros’, after 60 years.  Passing classics, and very funny ].  NB.  Steer clear of all man-made chemical drugs. [1] [2]

We’re talking about a ‘Procession’ not of some 200,000 years, (Homo Sapiens), but of some two and a half million years or so, (Homo Erectus).  OK, if you want to be picky, of some 30 million or so years, (Hominoids). [3]   Sounds far-fetched ?  Take a look around.  Yes, we are some sort of mini-microbes in some vast universal experiment, or destiny, apparently egotistically selfish and destructive, valuable only when we have our minds and beings in a universally positive paradigm.  Almost.

And this notion puts our contemporary terrestrial understanding of Time under a different lens.  It’s as though modern adults exist as toddlers reaching for universal understandings that their parents and teachers deny [4].  ‘Time’ for a child is a wholly different medium to adult Time, (let alone ‘Time’ for an old man).  So much depends on our state of being mentally and physically, much of the latter dependent on the former; much of our mental states consequent on levels of family and community care, love in childhood, and in adulthood.

The suggestion is that humans have purpose, and possibly a universal destiny that we have yet to discover for ourselves.  It likely being of a universal nature, we may imagine it to be of positive benefit to Life and all life-forms, not what we as a species have been pursuing; not the greed, chaos, destruction, warfare [5] and despair, that has continually and presently threatens life on earth, that creative thinkers and writers have bemoaned for centuries.  I wonder, Were one able to take a step back from the planet, to view the state of humans and life on earth from afar, what one would make of it ?

What we appear to have progressed positively over the centuries are our use of fresh water – for cleanliness and hygiene, the faucet, washing-machines, plumbing and drainage, and the creation of canals for agriculture and transport – electricity, (questionable), the creative arts and music, the evolution of writing and the printing press, and sophisticated fashioning of clay and wood.  The rest appear as passing industrial technologies, abandoned as time moves on.  Then there’s the mega question of ‘Civilization’, which has more to do with obscene high-rise cities than the evolution of civilised humankind; not entirely my idea of evolution, and possibly not ‘the gods’’ either ?

Arguably, our psycho-emotional negativities have squandered time and practically everything else.  Time has become constrained, so much is happening so fast, much of it challenging, that mere mortals struggle to keep up. [6]  It seems that the speed of what we have created artificially – ‘the busy-busy’ – cauterises real feeling and human exchange, runs us off our feet, and damages our mental health, whomever we may be.  Optimists imagine we humans can continue in the same mould for years and centuries to come.  Amidst the breakdown and chaos that surround, Time does not appear to be on our side.

Have we complicated ourselves, become more complicated, more confused ?  Do we need to simplify ?  Have we been misled ?  Undoubtedly.  It would appear that our greed and its fellows of a challenging nature have run amok for five or six thousand years – a blink in time – and continue to, to the advantage of a few un-good people, to the detriment of the great majority, up to some contemporary point threatening widespread collapse.

Can we come to our senses in time ?  Can we hope for some divine intervention, in time ?  The suggestion is that the two are connected; that Ibrahamic religions may have misled their followers [7]; that the People of Earth need to work it all out for themselves, individually, to ‘go deep’ and for-real; and to come together to express themselves and to listen to each other profoundly, setting aside their personal stuff.  How currently alive humans respond to the imminent collapse of life as we know it will determine the future for our surviving children and grandchildren.  Almost.

You may like to read our Charter [8].

Copyright © Gaunts Publishing 2023.

[1]  Including mass-produced pharmaceutical drugs, (natural aspirin, OK)

[2]  NB2 for HM Fuzz.  No, neither I nor anyone here indulge in anything illegal.

[3]  See ‘The Wise of Time – What Ever Went Wrong ?’, Gaunts Publishing, 2021-22.

[4]  See ‘the Busy-Busy’ in ‘White Elephants and Rainbows’, Gaunts Publishing, 2007 – “On the way home, Mthunsi tells me they are losing their sense of extended family.  There’s a shedding of local communities.  People are becoming more insular.  Increasingly, they spend less and less time with uncles and aunts.   I ask him why this is so.   He is sad and uncertainly ashamed about it.   It’s because they are becoming ‘busy-busy’, that and the need to earn a crust.    Money seems to have an opposite effect to what is claimed.   It seems to limit their lives rather than add to them.   I ask about ‘busy-busy’.   It’s when they get a car, he says.  It takes up so much time.   I think he means more than cars, telephones and televisions too.  Later on, he braves himself to tell me a secret.   It’s something quite dreadful and deeply worrying.  They are losing their sense of sharing.  The world of total sharing they have known, that is of a value beyond expression, is getting lost.  Their world is shrinking to the single self and immediate family.   In the struggle for better living standards, they are becoming more selfish, which is limiting their existence.  It is very worrying, a deep fear, a deep wrong, he does not know how to cope with.  He watches it happening, and lives in exemplary ways at home and at work.  Nevertheless, it’s like a creeping plague they can do nothing about.” –  Xhosa perceptions.

[5]  Active wars at time of writing : Afghanistan, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia*,  Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Israel, Ivory Coast, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico*, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Palestine, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, and Yemen.  (*Drug Wars).  Minor conflicts not included.

[6]  NB.  Time is not money.

[7]  Jeshua was a fine teacher and healer.  Saul-Paul, known to be a ne’er-do-well, never heard or set eyes on Jeshua, his contemporary.  See ‘Come Sunrise’, Gaunts Publishing, 2019-2020.

[8]  Pls NB.  A list of Gaunts Publishing works is available on request.  The publications can be read at Gaunts, but most are not available for sale or dissemination.

Illusion & the Modern Day.                                             

The ancient concept of illusion has itself become illusory.  The science-cum-hi-tech movie, using money as its life-blood, obsesses politicians and public alike; the realm of philosophical and spiritual thought and feeling touted nowadays as illusory.  And it is this very material outlook that has amazed and blinded western populations for a century or three, to the extent that modern religions (of the last circa 2,500 years) have been found wanting, and/or used to propagandize the unwary into military uniforms for vastly destructive and cruel actions.  And it is the pursuit of this wicked, grand-scale illusion that has obsessed generations of egoic wealth cum status cum power-brokers, broadly degrading life on planet Earth, its air, water courses, soil, forests, natural species, humans too, and so on, destroying so much of Life and Love.  

Failures of family care and nurture, and near-total failures in educational notions and practices have produced rootless ‘authorities’ chasing quasi-orthodox fantasies based on crazy industrial ‘economies’, in particular the military-industrial complexes that lie at the heart of western ‘economies’.  

Commercialism loves a growing population : the more people there are, the greater the prospect of ‘making money’ : the greater the competition and corruption; the greater the pillaging of Earth’s natural resources; the larger the militaries; a self-nourishing madness that only destroys widely and deeply. 

Que faire ?

As any child will tell you, it is addiction to the notion of money and material gain that lies at the root of adult madness.  One can imagine that millenniums ago simple metallic (or other) coinage represented a creative and generally sensible means of exchange.  Modern, digitalized fiat currencies, automatically exchanging themselves in nano-seconds, in corrupt societies, do not, cannot fit the bill; tend to minimize human life experience, to constrain ‘Life, Love and the Universe’ [1] . 

As planet Earth and its inhabitants face increasing wildfires, flooding, widespread pollutions, melting glaciers and polar ice, terrible warfare, increasing wealth-gaps, mass poverties, hunger and homelessness, hopelessly inadequate governances inflict ever-increasing improper ‘controls’ on ever-greyer populations beset with mental-health issues.  We lurch towards inevitable disaster; most likely a conjunction of colliding breakdowns, or a drift into global conflict [2], or some form of natural ‘Correction’.

If such observations are commonplace, solutions appear elusive, as the madness has overtaken Life, globally.  We may imagine that survivors of the ‘Correction’, when they have time from ensuring their families’ and mini-communities’ raw survival, will seek to reconnect with Real Meanings, found in essential feelings of ‘Life, Love and the Universe’, in meaningful spirituality, based in ruthless honesty and openness, in Love and Care, in the essence of Life and Love.   

It is this same that the Good People of Gaunts have pursued these last 35 odd years, and continue to.  You may like to read our Charter.

Copyright © Gaunts Publishing 2023.

[1]  The Institute of International Finance calculated Global Debt in June 2023 at $307 trillion, the highest ever.

[2]  Generally, speaking, the world’s public accept that the Gazean Hamas are Terrorists, said to be in the ISIS mould, as they indiscriminately mutilated and murdered Jewish women, children, old and young, and festival participants, taking around 150 Israeli civilians as hostages, in their three day wanton rampage into Israel on and after Saturday October 7th.  Hamas terrorists are seen as an extremist wing of the same political party that was elected in Gaza in 2006.  However, it must be recognised that the large majority of Gazean Palestinian inhabitants are young, peaceful citizens, suffering under the interminable 15 year-long Israeli blockade of Gaza, and are not part of the Hamas war on Israel.  Thus, the renewed Israeli bombardment of Gaza, and imminent ground, air and sea invasion, which is declared will be the total eradication of Hamas, (Netanyahu), that everyone remaining in northern Gaza, old and young, is likely to suffer extreme prejudice.  “We’ll turn Gaza to dust”, (Jewish soldier), and dust it has become from Israeli bombardment. 

The ’Jewish National Homeland’ issue has troubled the world for a hundred years or so, since before the informal ‘Balfour Declaration’ in 1917 supporting “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people . . .  It being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil or religious rights of non-Jewish communities in Palestine . . .”.   For as long as anyone knows, Jewish people have been widely despised the world over, one can only imagine from individual personal experience.  Presently, there are large Public Protests in favour of the Palestinians in many large cities the world over, embarrassing to Western Nations, who refuse to support the beleaguered Arab Palestinians in the Levant, their natural homeland, (unlike the United Nations and the rest of the world who largely support them), constantly repeating the misleading mantra that ‘Israel has a right to defend itself’.  However, Israel has chosen to desecrate the Palestinian people, their rights and property, improperly and illegally since its brutal occupation of the West Bank following the 1967 Six Day War, ignoring endless UN edicts; and desecrating Gaza and its people too.  As a plumber told me yesterday, “It’s God’s fault for choosing them as his people”. 

At the time of writing, Hezbollah, mainly in Lebanon, are escalating as yet minor offensives across Israel’s northern border, and Iran has threatened retaliation if the US takes an active part.  (The US has sent two carrier groups to the eastern Med; and UK a smaller naval contingent, in support of Israel).  If Israel exceeds any reasonable exercise in Gaza, and if Hezbollah escalates its offensive in the North, the world can expect a hideous multi-nation conflict.

Our life and times sit on a knife edge.

Reaching for the Sky

We may imagine the Old Brain – the Reptilian Complex (brain-stem and mid-brain) at the base of our brains – being the nearest to the earth of our three notional cerebral systems, is the more earth-bound, governing our essential systems from breathing and heartbeat to digestion and sex in all their manifestations.  And we may imagine what used to be called the Limbic System, the apparent next stage of early mammalian awareness, encompassing root cerebral motivations, imitation, emotions and responses, trifling in and out of near-focussed consciousness, dancing with raw survival.  If we imagine the Cerebellum to be the facilitator of rhythm, movement, coordination, uprightness, physical balance and orientation, (attached behind and below the neocortex), that leaves the vastly greater mass of the Neocortex, surrounding and enclosing most of the rest, which we ‘see’ as developing, pioneering, possibly evolving the human species and whatever passes for ‘intelligence’, closest to the sky.

  The giraffe, prized by Bushmen, is the earth’s tallest creature – closest to the sky – grown that way to feed on fruits, leaves and twigs out of reach of others, and to see farther than others; generally passive and protective; its young being vulnerable to shorter-legged feral predators.  Up close in the wild, a male can be nervous of man, appearing to be protective of a mate more than afraid.  When hunted, they can be elusive. 

  And there are those wonderful trees growing ever heavenwards.  Magnificent Oaks, Beeches, Chestnuts, the phenomenal Gum tree autumn spectacular, the ubiquitous Plane trees, dancing Birches, wondrous Wellingtonias, and many others rejoicing worldwide; our wisdom friends, providers and protectors.

  There are the birds, what’s left of them, calling, singing, alarming, playing in the air, flying in the heavens.  Once, sitting on a mid-Himalayan peak, I watched an eagle gliding for more than 20 miles without twitching a feather.  Another time, in southern India, an eagle circled around and around over me while having an outdoor massage under a tamarind tree.  And, I would hope, that all children have rejoiced in dawn choruses, and in wrens and robins in their gardens and will have listened to nightingales in early summers.  Species closer to heaven. 

  And there is us – upright, two-legged humans – long-evolved from the four-leggeds, despite skeletal, joint, and organ challenges, (knees, hips, lower-back, shoulders, elbows), growing skywards; multi-generationally, instinctively, adapting to different environments, and intuitively ‘reaching for the sky’.  Historically, successful hunter-gathering techniques and protection awareness led to cooperative collectives, settlements, and food cultivation; to relationships with dogs and horses; to realised communication; to self-awareness; and to something else : to awareness of a greater intelligence out there somewhere ‘in the sky’, and all around. [1]

  In the great scheme of things, however foolish Man may appear to be nowadays, there is that about some part of most which appears to reach for greater understanding – unfortunately, too often ‘scientifically’, being man’s egocentricity at work, seeking ‘terrestrial knowledge’.  ‘Spiritually’ being an almost undefinable reaching for whatever goes on in the heavens; a seeking for Oneness with wherever we all came from, for understanding meaning and purpose, for which our brains prove to be limited, unable to fathom much, because those cerebral ‘routes’ have been buggered by wrong belief, wrong teaching, wrong mores, confused, and inadequate.   

  Each needs to find that essential additional dimension within (and without) which for now we will call ‘Mind’; that part connected to our soul – our essence – and to the vastness, the Cosmos, to Life and Love.  Many decline the journey from ‘fear of the unknown’, looking for shortcuts, looking for notions of others that seem to chime, anything but settle down to do their own work, perhaps because there is so much else going on in their lives, relationships, sex, children, home, family, friends, diets, exercise, worries, contacts, business contracts, and more recently, sadly, mobile/cell space-invaders, social media, scams great and small, advanced claptrap, and the rest.

  That most forewent seeking the essential; sought alternate, nihilistic ways to justify their existence, quasi-nitro-fertilising their egos, led to millennia of carnage, environmental degradation, and so on; to humankind’s destruction of Life on Earth; to the impending ‘Correction’.  Surely, any clear-thinking person can see that we’ve got it all wrong; clear-thinking meaning someone whose intellect isn’t obfuscated by the manure of ‘false civilization’ ?  Ask a child.

  So, Who Are We ?  Who Am I ?  The generational question haunting every adolescent teenage and young adult ego; and so often nowadays, the child-abused, lost, ecstasy generations.  

  The journey for each is long and challenging; there are no short-cuts; the longest way – the full, concentrated route, with our many detours – turns out to be the shortest; takes many years of inner travel, travail, through the forest of troubles, to reach the river, or impenetrable barrier of life and death of the ego.  First, there arises a self-created opportunity to find one’s way to a yet-to-be-seen vision; thence to ‘view’ and accept the unknown, unique journey ahead.  

  We may already have discovered the falsity of ego; now we begin to perceive our inner essence, our soul, is a part of we’ll call ‘universal soul’; that our amazing brains – a part of the chariot – are there for ‘us’ to use, as directed by ‘mind’, our connection to ‘universal soul’, if only we will ‘listen’; that ego, a naughty element of ‘brain’, is our tester, one of many personal teachers; that all life forms offer us learning, will communicate with us, if only we will be our true selves, listen and learn, and communicate mindfully; that our safe path is to ‘listen’, and follow, and trust.

“ If you cannot trust yourself,

Whom can you trust ?

Who can trust you ? ”

  ‘Westerners’ share not dissimilar notions of age-structured so-called ‘education’ into which they feed their young, conveyor-belt style, guaranteeing a confused uniform-cum-unique product to emerge; ‘the more automatic the system, the less to worry about’.  What are imagined to be ‘Leading Schools’ are often expensive private businesses, making enormous profits, which the mass of also-ran, tread-wheel ‘State Schools’, some impregnated with political prejudice, have to try to keep up with.  Fatuous People Automation, just about sums it up; a theme that runs throughout bureaucracies.  That they all miss the point with 99% of kids is very relevant : humans have continuously cocked-up for centuries.

  The Point ?  Humans consist of two notable parts : we are Human-animal Beings and ‘Spiritual Beings’, both; the lifetime transformation from human-animal to ‘spiritual’ appearing to be ‘the journey’ – The Point.  We are all aware that we never stop learning until the day we die; that ‘learning’ is one of the features common to all humans.  Of all species, only humans are aware that they are aware.  We are conscious that we are ‘Conscious’; that we have a Higher Consciousness than other species.  We may suppose there is a reason for this; that this Higher Consciousness has purpose and destiny.  Egoists imagine that we humans are given the wherewithal to hold mastery over every other species, to rule, to grasp anything we want; hollow pyrrhic victories for ‘the fittest’.  Contrary to the nonsenses pedalled by foolish politicians, our governance has been generally abysmal.  We are facing global catastrophes on every front; a decreasing few will die ‘naturally’.  We may suppose the egoists have got it wrong.

  Planet Earth appears to be a school for learning; we humans appear to be pupils in the arts of Life, Love, and the Universe, for our lifespans.  We like to learn; we learn naturally; but for what ?  Where does it lead ?  What comes after ?  And we wonder what will happen to our pathetic egos when we die.  A while ago, back in those same Himalayan foothills, a wise man told this story  .  .  .

  Let us imagine that every non-stop night rolling around the globe, hundreds of millions of human copulations occur; and that the gods fertilise many with pure Love.  In the heavens, clouds of pure raindrops accumulate until the right time comes, when a hundred million raindrops fall to Earth, each separately here and there, splash !  

  Each raindrop wakes up with a bump and looks around as far as it is able, which isn’t far.  Each, imagining that it will explore, starts to roll a little downhill until it bumps into another, and they become friends.  They continue their bumpy downhill ride until they mix with others and form a tiny rivulet, which in time joins up with another, and they brook together, playing, singing, and dancing, feeling yay !  Onwards downhill our brook merges with another, becoming a stream; later, joining a river of others, rejoicing in sharing Life with fishes, otters, watering birds, swans and their cygnets.  Onwards, ever-growing with new friends joining, until our river has become so large it separates into a delta before joining the Great Ocean.

  The immense Great Ocean travelling here, there, and everywhere, visiting every corner of the globe; a vast, phenomenal togetherness.  And his majesty the sun shines down on this creation, catching the tips of waves and surf.  Some days get hotter, and the heavens decree what we know as evaporation, and some of our raindrops are drawn from the ocean to ascend to the greater Oneness whence they came, to meld once again with heaven, and pure Love.

  So be it.

Copyright © Gaunts Publishing 2023.

[1]  See ‘The Wise of Time’, 2021-2.