Love and Laughter

I have seen good relationships and bad ones. I have seen good ones turn bad and bad ones turn good. I have seen people pine for a relationship and not know why it doesn’t happen. I have seen people change, as a relationship works upon them. This piece isn’t about how to form a perfect relationship, though it may point in that direction. It’s about how relationships form by themselves. And how the good ones end up having love and laughter at their core.

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When one person does harm to another – at least, something perceived as harm by that party – they both find themselves (whether they realise it or not) in the lower reaches of an octave of a new arising. The one who feels injured stands beneath a denying force consisting of their perceived injury. And the one who caused the injury stands beneath the denying force of the lack of attention that created the opportunity for injury. The reconciling force that can help both of them is the act of forgiveness. By this, I don’t mean that one says “Sorry” but doesn’t mean it, and the other receives the apology with equally false grace but still feels aggrieved. That – of course – is only a sham forgiveness. I mean where apology is seriously given, in knowledge of and compassion for the ‘harm’ and where that compassion is received as a transformation of the perception.

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The word ‘archetype’ derives from Greek and means ‘creating kind’. From the archetype springs a whole family of similar kinds. It is not merely the first (which would be the proto-type) but the generator or pattern. It can also be the result of condensing a family of kinds down to their common or repeating aspects. It is in this last mode that we find archetypes at work in our psyche. Our minds (our brains, really) connect experiences by similarity of features. And each time we retrace those connections, we paint a little more of an archetype. Feelings of security, for example, get associated with enclosure, so we build the archetype of a walled space. Feelings of opportunity and change get associated with the idea of doorways. And so on. But we also build our world based on these archetypes, which has the effect of passing them on to new generations.

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Gun Controls

I don’t often find myself agreeing with right-wing politicians, but on their assertion that restricting access to guns won’t solve the problem of mass shootings, I do have to agree. Well, perhaps a qualified agreement, in that I agree they’ll still happen: just somewhat less often. It’s a little like criminalising drugs: you don’t stop the problems; all you really do is create an incentive for criminal supply. I did note the news item about a woman who saved lives by shooting a gunman. Doubtless that’s being hailed in some quarters as ‘proof’ that ordinary citizens need to be able to defend themselves and others. Well, again I would agree. It surely does make the job of the official police somewhat harder, but it also saves lives.

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Conscious Suffering

As I have written elsewhere, the human state of ‘suffering’ derives from the presence of a negative emotion. Things aren’t the way they should be, or could be, and the constant reminders of this perception cause a degree of stress in our inner world: stress that can cross into the physical body and even make us feel ill. The negative emotion or perception, in turn, arises from an attachment. When we say ‘could be’, we are really internalising that as ‘should be’. The obvious solution is to remove the attachment, but that’s easier said than done. The method proposed by esoteric science – and indeed by modern psychology – is ‘Conscious Suffering’.

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I keep writing about finding the reality of the universe, as if there are people out there who might listen; who won’t just think “Oh, well it may be his reality, but we each find our own; we each find out how to make life work.” I don’t mind if that’s your view: if it’s just curiosity that led you here. I know it was just accident that led me to my path. But it was accident guided by structure: I see that now. All that came before – all that might be called ‘ordinary life’ – provided the material that I needed, to reach the next state. All the material for conscious sacrifice, re-working and transformation. So what was it I needed to sacrifice: to transform?

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Comfortably Numb

In 1979, the UK rock band Pink Floyd released their eleventh album, ‘The Wall’. One track – Comfortably Numb – was included (so the stories go) even though it didn’t fit the theme of the album. Stories have it that it was inspired when David Gilmour had been injured before a show and had been given a powerful pain-killer, so that he could continue. And yes, some of the lyrics seem to be the words of a medic, administering the drug, whilst the others relay Gilmour’s own experience. And yet, the song could also be taken as a comment on life in general, since a great deal of what surrounds us is ‘chosen’ to keep us comfortably numb. Not chosen by evil power-mongers, but selected by our own selves.

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A passionate man will say, “It is a mark of a human being, to feel things strongly: those whose passion flows more as a trickle are suppressing their humanity.” A quiet man will say, “It is a mark of a human being not to be thrown this way or that by his emotions: those whose passion flows as an uncontrolled tide are slaves to their feelings.” But which of these more clearly reflects the purpose of passion? We can, undeniably, be passionate beings, and passion could be said to lie behind our greatest achievements and our finest art. Can passion be controlled and yet flow as a raging tide, lifting us to heights we would not, otherwise achieve?

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Childhood’s End

In 1953, the scientist and fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke wrote a novel with the title “Childhood’s End”. You can read about the plot on Wikipedia but the basic premise was that humanity had finally evolved to be capable of joining a vast, non-material intelligence called “the Overmind”. The catch was that only newly born children – and all newly born children – would do so, leaving the adults to age and die. It was an apocalyptic view of the end of humanity, but there is a sense in which aspects of this story could turn out to be true. Humanity is in a state of childhood, and that state will come to an end.

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Why Bother?

For some people, there comes a time when they look at their life and say to themselves, “Why am I doing all this? I’m not getting what I wanted out of life and I’m just getting older. I’m not even getting what I need out of life: what other people have but won’t share. Why do I put up with all the negative stuff that gets thrown my way? Why bother?” Even the most apparently successful person can hit this point. It’s as if you wake up one day and not only is there no fun left, but you realise that even when you were chasing fun, it was always just dust: a cruel delusion. If that’s you, now, or if you recognise this moment, have a heart! You don’t need to catch religion and you don’t need to ‘check out’. But you do need to reset your inner stories, about yourself and the world.

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