If Only…..

These days I find myself reminiscing a lot. Usually its music that takes me back.

A song on the radio, one played while I work or perhaps that tune that suddenly haunts my mind and will not go away. The problem is I have caught myself questioning a lot of things like I would never have imagined myself doing in the past. I have even caught myself thinking it might be nice just to be dead. I wonder, is this what all mid-50’s people think? You get up and you feel the aches and pains and then you look in the mirror and this wrinkled, rumpled, worn out and overweight looking creature stares back and you think – Who the fuck is that? Of course, you know it’s you……. and that it is only going to get worse.

I tend to think about how simple life used to be. No mobile phones, no internet, no need for passwords and vigilance about security. Travel was fun because you really had time to get somewhere and back again. Now its all just a blur of another flight and airport and everyone of them feels and looks the same. I also think about the opportunities I have had, the people I knew and encountered and wonder why I didn’t find the time to keep up with them all. I think about the women I met and the potential for love that I turned down due to some weird misconceptions about sex, love and everything. I wonder why I didn’t take the opportunities that passed me by because I was too afraid to fail, look silly or because I was simply too lazy. I also think about how time used to seem plentiful and abundant whereas now it feels limited and gone in an instant.

I look at the kids as well and I think youth is wasted on them. I know it sounds weird but if I could be their age knowing what I know now….. good God I would take such advantage of all the opportunities they don’t even see. And people everywhere are wrapped up in nonsense thinking it is important when it is not….

It’s not that I wish myself dead or anything. I fully expect to live and live hard a while yet. It’s just this feeling that somehow, somewhere my life slipped like sand grains between my fingers.

I have changed inside as well as outside and here is the problem. My center of being has shifted and the rules I lived by no longer apply. I look back on myself and wonder what would it have been like if I could have known this then?

Recently, I heard myself say to my partner that I am successful at anything I turn my mind to. I expect to be successful and I know I will succeed. I had to catch myself at that moment and contrast it with the 18-year old me that had so little confidence that he wouldn’t say boo to a goose.

For some reason though, rather than spending all my time looking forward to something like I did back then, I now sit on the fulcrum of my life and seem to spend time looking out in both directions wishing I had the power equally to change the past as I know I can change the future. The funny thing is, many of the things I thought mattered do not matter at all and many of the things I took for granted now seem critical. I wonder how I will feel in 30-years time?

Did I have any impact?

Did I make a difference?

Did I work a little inner gold?

Who knows.

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The Fall

The summer that never was has faded away
There is a chill in the air and the sky is clear gray
The leaves begin to slowly turn to autumn shades
Any warmth in our Sun is beginning to fade
The cycle has turned
Preparations afoot
For a long cold winter
Darkness is descending
The nights become unending
Hades peeks out of his cave
Looking for Persephone
To join him

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Disappointed in Humanity

Just in the last few years I have found myself growing quite weary of many things such as politics, religion and so on. After 50-odd years of seeing the same old tired arguments back and forth I have come to the conclusion that frankly, people are gullible, silly or both.  I know how arrogant that sounds but I really don’t know how else to say it. Politicians and religious zealots are very clever and use tried and tested methods to disseminate their divisive and hate-filled rhetoric to a willing audience of people who propagate it without so much as a thought – myself included at times. I haven’t voted in years and I don’t think I will ever bother to do so again. Apathy has set in.

I work in commodity markets analyzing the various software packages and technologies out there. I need to stay up to speed with all the latest in terms of commodities news, trading technologies and entities, regulations and so on. It is an incredibly complex industry but it is one that in recent years as prices have gone up, the politicians have targeted along with various consumer groups. You know, none of us like higher prices for food and energy but some of the stuff I have read about manipulation, speculation, greed and so on is so silly, so utterly devoid of truth, so simplistic and lacking any insight into the business that it makes me ill. Yes, it makes me sick. It is so ridiculous and so counter productive and so pervasive it simply makes me ill thinking about it.

Same thing with this global warming stuff or whatever sophisticated name they are giving it these days. The propaganda issued forth on this topic and the fear and uncertainty and doubt it creates makes me ill too. It has got so bad that it is now routine to hear CO2 called a pollutant in the media and even on the street. This is so upside down and back to front that I cannot, simply cannot fathom why anyone who for a second stopped to think would fall for it? But people do. For some its a religion and a mantra to the point they would rather eliminate humanity to preserve the Earth from us. There is this unrelenting focus on the oil industry or the energy industry and how bad it is and full of greed and … well basically much the same story for commodity markets really. This is an industry that creates jobs – good jobs, pushes science and technology and finds and produces natural resources for not just energy but almost everything we all take for granted. People forget I think that plastics, for example, are an oil product. What would life be without plastic?

Some of the other brain dead arguments are that the science is proven (philosophically impossible), that climate scientists say this is the truth therefore it must be (what is a climate scientist? Do they really understand statistics, archeology or geology? (the answer to that is as follows – no, no and no), where is the so called science we are told exists? (temperature curves are a form of statistics, show me one version and I will show you 10 others with the same data – all different). Where is the logic? If the Earth has had ice ages with CO2 levels 10 times of those today don’t we have a logic problem with the argument that 30ppm extra CO2 today causes an extinction event due to massive warming? I think so.

If you try to engage yourself in constructive debate on any of these topics these days what we get back is abuse. There is no debate to be had anymore so people resort to abuse. In the recent Scottish Independence thing, I discovered something else that made me ill. It was that many Scots, whether they know it or not, are racist – yes, anti-English racists. They have no sense of humour and God help us if an English person pokes fun at Scotland…….Hang on a minute. Why? We are talking about an imaginary man-made border here between people that last time I examined pooped and peed the same way and had the same basic needs and yet, we allow ourselves to be hijacked by people who use hate to divide us. I had one good friend tell me his ancestors were cleared off their land to make way for sheep by the English. I see. Well, so were mine in Yorkshire. I don’t have a chip on my shoulder about it why the hell do you? Did they do this to you then or what? And, who are we talking about anyway – what English? The norman french ones? Utter codswallop. Really. Makes me ill to think people are like this.

I am trying to not read news sites – it is a tad easier when you live in a country with a different language that you are not so proficient in. But it is making me ill. I am trying not to take things too seriously but even people that I know well and respect fall for the most basic of hate-riddled garbage at times… it is hard to avoid. If I didn’t have family I think I would try to find a place to go to get away from it all – a remote place somewhere.

Meanwhile, I have lost faith in humanity. That is not a good thing.

Nationalism

At college I joined the territorial army. The union jack and the national anthem always stirred my emotions. I was deeply proud of being British. I even flirted with nationalist politics but was frankly put off by the other people I met on the right wing fringes of the Tory party. Even then, I liked to buck the trend. It was trendy to be a leftie so I did the very opposite like the contrarian Aquarian that I am.

But I grew up.

Firstly, I traveled a lot. At first inside the UK with three years in the midlands, a year in Leeds, three years in Glasgow, three years in Aberdeen, 3 years in London. To be honest, my parents liked travel too so even by age 16 I had seen almost every region of the UK, France and Switzerland already. The west coats of Scotland was always a big favorite and from age 10 or so to 18 we always spent at least 1-week in and around the Lochs of western Scotland. Later, I moved to Texas and broadened my horizons considerably traveling all around North America and Europe. Seven years ago, I landed in the Czech Republic and I have traveled extensively since in and around this beautiful land. When you travel and observe, when you meet people from different cultures and backgrounds I think you cannot help learn two remarkable things;

1. We are all the same. To put it crudely, we all poop and pee the same way but what I really mean is that we all have the same needs, insecurities, feelings, fears and so on. We are all bound together by the mass of commonalities that far outweigh the differences,

2. Local culture is important and it should be valued. The world is becoming too uniform and cultures are being erased in the process. Local culture should be celebrated in my opinion.

Secondly, meditation and reflection over the last 10-years has completely changed the way I look at the world. I have had experiences in which without a shadow of a doubt, I know all is one. I know that rather than be divided, we should all be trying to work together to improve our lot. No, this doesn’t make me a ‘leftie’ either (another trend in my opinion is pagan and left wing). Rather, it has taught me that we are responsible for ourselves and while charity can be a good thing, people don’t actually grow much when given everything on a plate. No one but me is responsible for my development as a person.

To me, one thing that seems to be on the rise again is nationalism. The idea that by some accident of birth and nationality or identity, people should have different enclaves in order to keep what they have from being shared with others. That is what nationalism is. Its not about preserving local culture. Nationalism means building and creating barriers between peoples. It involves politicians exploiting divisions, grudges and disagreements – real or imagined. Nationalism is ugly, no its obscene.

Humanity needs to come together as one yet it should celebrate our cultures and traditions. This means education, sharing and joining together – uniting – to pit our wits against common threats like ignorance, disease and poverty. It does not need artificial division centered around a sense of superiority or inferiority and intolerance. It does not need nationalism. Not now, not ever.

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Us and Them
Us and Them
Flames
Burning us
Bullets
Tearing us
It’s Us and Them you see
Words
Grinding us
Fists
Beating us
It’s Them to blame if you ask me
Bombs
Ripping us
Feet
Stomping us
Am I doing this to Them or to me?
All is One don’t you see
I am hating and killing me
Them? – Simply shades of me

From Astral Messages by G. Michael Vasey

How are The Stars Aligned?

I seem to be going through a very strange phase at the moment. I’m wondering if it has anything to do with the Moon so if you are an astrologer, let me know would you? I am an Aquarian with Moon in Taurus, Mars and Venus in Capricorn and Mercury also in Aquarius….. just in case you want to offer some advice.

I seem to attract disrespectful or strange behaviour.

This morning, I almost got run down on a pedestrian crossing, also last night. I may as well be invisible on those crossings. When driving, it’s always me that people cut off or wish to pass at 20km/hr faster than the speed limit and so drive 6cm behind me. Around me, people are fighting and in bitter discord with people close to me. I seem to be a sort of catalyst for what I can only term a ‘f**k you’ mentality aimed at me and my family. I am constantly getting audited by the tax people despite the fact I am about the only honest person around so far as I can see  when it comes to declaring everything properly (in two countries I may add) and recently, a real estate company here simply invented a debt in my name and sold it to a debt collector! What on Earth is going on here?

I guess the other thing though is just the general environment is really getting to me. It is all about division, jealousy, envy, nationalism and so on at the moment isn’t it? We just seem to be generally going through a time of upheaval and conflict on all levels. People seem if not angry with each other then certainly selfish. It’s all about me sort of attitude.

I have battened down the hatches and try to let it all wash over me because it really all is nonsense. People need to chill out a bit and be glad for what they have instead of always looking for more. They need to stop looking over the garden fence thinking their neighbors are doing better – in fact, you have no idea how they are doing. We need to be coming together and facing up to the big issues not fighting amongst ourselves.

It’s really not difficult people.

 

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An Adept Among Us

In the book The adept Magician51Uc7ri7mpL._SL250_ by Marten Crawford, we meet through his own words a true adept. A man who followed Bardon’s teachings for 30 odd years and in passing tells us that he can shoot flames from his stomach and water to put out the flames as well change the weather, stop time, split himself in two and many more bizarre things. When you read the words of the man, you believe him. His words are the words of someone who seems to know and who sees little importance in such abilities anyway.

Mr. Crawford writes a very straightforward and well thought through introduction to his interactions with the man he called the Adept Magician. For those who have read any Franz Bardon, some of it will be familiar but you can also tell that Marten knows what he is talking about too. While Bardon’s exercises include blessing food and giving the food properties to be consumed along with the food itself, about how to use the magnetic properties of water and why control over the elements is essential to this form of magic, Crawford adds his own layers to this of hermetic christianity drawing comparisons to the role of transubstantiated bread and wine in the mass on the one hand and to the concept of macrocosm and microcosm on the other.

If one were to follow Bardon’s exercises day in day out for 30-years, I am pretty sure changes will result in that person. To become an Adept however is a different matter altogether. Bardon was an Adept and it appears that this student of Bardon was also such a man. Most of us, and I speak for myself really here, are far too flawed as individuals perhaps to reach those levels in a single lifetime.

Our adept talks of three great transformations and he describes the first. It is perhaps familiar to those who have read about magic and esotericism. The experience was ‘so trying that I lay for three days, part of me in this world and part of me in another place. During those three-days I dreamed the same dream over and over. To this day, I’m not at all sure if it was a dream.’

The Adept talks gently and with understanding about a number of aspects of the work and training of the initiate before announcing in simple but certain terms tells us that he has made the third transformation and is going to transition accordingly along with his wife and wishes everyone a simple but heartfelt goodbye.

To me this is a must read book. It will leave you deeply touched and it may just give you hope…..

Now, Where is that Curse?

There are times when I find myself contemplating a little black magic.

Yep, I have to be honest and say that there really are times when I think about delivering a really good and debilitating curse. Hell, there are times, if I am honest, when my thoughts are less than pristine and I do come very close to issuing a mental curse or hex. For this reason, I will never be a good magician as I must go back continually to the drawing board of ‘know thyself’ and work on that sudden rush of blood to the head that I experience from time to time and that will one day cause my fall. I must let it all be water off a duck’s back as they say.

I recall taking some presentation skills training many years ago. It comprised of presenting for a couple of minutes while being videoed. The result was boring and anemic to say the least. “Imagine the the thing that makes your blood boil – get angry and rant, wave your arms about, go really over the top”, we were told by the instructor. Guess what, the result of the second video made while I felt like if I flapped my arms any more I would take to flight looked… normal. Interesting and normal.

So what did I imagine while making the second presentation? I imagined being cut off by another driver. Yep, I cannot abide people cutting me off, pushing in, not queuing and riding up my backside trying to push me out of the way. This is the moment when I would love to wave a wand and have that other drivers’ car explode right there and then.

There are other examples. People pushing in at the supermarket when lined up for the check out till. People who use words like ‘pollutant’ when talking about CO2. People who think beforeitsnews.com is a legitimate news site. People doing bad things to other people generally. Hull City losing. But, the biggest one of all is people who for some reason simply decide that they have to write bad reviews about my book. I don’t mean by the way a negative review I mean a personal, sarcastic and totally unnecessarily rude review. Why? What on earth did I do to deserve your undying hatred just because I had the sheer audacity to write a book? What then gives you the right to lurk on Amazon marking good reviews as ‘not useful’ and penning under various other names other sarcastic and twisted reviews of my books? I don’t get it really. I never said I was Shakespeare and I don’t force people to buy my books so what was my crime? That I tried to succeed at something? Now that is just sheer petty jealousy isn’t it?

Anyway, these things make my blood boil. Luckily, my temper is instantaneous and then its gone and I am done with it. It’s fiery and explosive but burns out quickly. The fact is I need to work on it and get rid of it. What does it matter? Who cares? I say… I do actually. Damn. See…. I need to work on it I really do and I will I promise.

On the other hand, there are times when, just like in the presentation skills example, a bit of feistiness is needed. There are genuine reasons to be annoyed and to genuine causes to work for and these do need that bit of fire to spark and sustain them don’t they. So, perhaps its not so much a case of getting rid of my anger but learning when anger is appropriate and how to ensure that that anger is used as fuel to a constructive use.

I probably should stay away from the curses and hexes though….. don’t you think?

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Music and Memories

I really have a terrible memory. I cannot remember the details of what I was doing last week never mind last year and I am often surprised to be told what I had done at some particular event that I have no recollection of whatsoever. For example, I came across some old computer files yesterday – hockey statistics for my eldest son from a decade ago. It made interesting reading especially the four games played in a tournament in St. Louis. I could swear I had never been there and yet there was suddenly a glimmer of a memory and boom – I remembered the arch there and it all came flooding back. To my defense, ice hockey rinks all look the same after a while and much of the weekend would have been spent inside the rink. But my memory is poor and getting worse.

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The funny thing is though if I open iTunes and play a track – any track – I am transported immediately to a memory. Yesterday, I played whatever You want by Status Quo (the album not the single) and I was back in my little student digs in Birmingham recalling the people I shared with and some of the events that took place there. I didn’t have to make any effort to recall any of this. The music was like a key that unlocked those memories. It was a Quo day yesterday as I moved on to the Hello Album and immediately I was 14 and in our front room listening to the LP with my french pen friends Jean-Luc. Lots of good memories easily coaxed out of whatever brain cells they reside in or from the ether – I am not sure which.

Music does good things for me and recalling events and places is one of them. There are Bowie tracks that place me in our house in Dallas, Bryan Adams tracks that put me at Wembley with my eldest son just 4-years old for a Bryan Adams concert! He adored Bryan Adams back then. There are Roxy Music tracks that have me back as a scout in the scout hut in Hull. Amazing. One of the best is Hotel California – it puts me back in the south of France as a teenager sitting in cafe in the afternoon heat drinking ice cold coke.

Forgive me for leaving so soon but I am about to go visit Nova Scotia as a Ph.D. student again by playing another Bryan Adams song. I will be back later perhaps….

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The Sea

I think my favorite place to be is by the Sea, which is strange because I live in a land locked country now. But for most of my life, I have lived close to the ocean either in Hull or Houston. Perhaps the Sea is in my blood coming from a fishing port on the east coast of Britain – an island. Whatever it is, the ocean sings to me whether azure blue or broiling grey, the smell, sights and sound of an ocean raises me up.

I think of water as essentially a feminine element influenced by the Moon. A magnetic element that draws you to it. One that cleanses and washes away dirt, tiredness and sin reinvigorating the body and the soul. A body of water is like the mind – rarely still but when it is still, it reflects the heavens or the higher aspect of ourselves and if we think or speak or move, we create ripples that slowly move outwards to the ends of the water body impacting in some small way everything they come into contact with. Those ripples are in fact waves – waves of water and also an example of a waveform that eventually collapses and breaks upon the shore. If we can be still, still like water, our meditations will bear fruit in terms of reflections or/and waves of understanding.

As I stated a few days ago, water has some very magical qualities too and it can be made to carry an intent or a quality – after all, what is holy water but water that has been blessed and purified by intent? Whether you believe in the magical properties of the elements or prefer to think in terms of psychology, imagine the next time you shower or wash that the water is washing away from you some personality trait that you would like to be rid of – see that trait being dissolved by the running water and flowing away into the drain cleansing you and reinvigorating you.

In the book The Mystical Hexagram, you will find more water exercises that can be beneficial.

When I see the ocean, I am calmed. When I see the ocean, my heart stirs. When I see an ocean, I am glad to be alive.

ocean-power

Patterns in the Rain

I have always loved rain. Somehow rain always gives me a sense of cleansing and renewal and to walk in rain calms me. Throw in a bit of lightening and ripple of thunder and I am child again in awe of nature.

The magical power of water is often forgotten but alluded to in the rites of baptism and ritual cleansing. That cold crystal liquid, a mixture of two gases in liquid form, can be used magically in so many ways either with physical water or with imagined water. Water can be charged with thoughts, emotions and with intent as with holy water and because of this property, it can be used in a myriad of ways to cleanse and renew.

When water falls from the sky, it cleanses our atmosphere and it cleans the accumulated dust and dirt moving it all to the lowest spot where it reorganizes and redeposits the muck in layers of reformulated Earth where eventually plants will grow extracting the goodness and vitality from the cleansed Earth. Rain waters eventually form streams and rivers that move towards the sea; that salty body of water that is influenced by the Moon and has a feminine quality to it. The sea from which life first emerged crawling onto land and learning how to breath pure air. The sea that churns and moves back and forth with currents and tides constantly redistributing and sorting sediments.

If we observe these movements and motions; these natural properties of water (and the other elements), then we can also understand how to use the elements in a magical manner applying their properties to our psyche in magical ways to cleanse, regenerate, reorganize and redistribute our own selves.

Walking in the rain to me is magical in of itself. The soft sounds of the rain drops falling and the waters streaming. The grey and pregnant sky obscuring momentarily the Sun. The dampness and wetness of the air and the rain dribbling down your body washing and cleansing the soul.

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