Spiraling through time

Odd how, in the West, we have this idea that time travels in some predictable, linear way, moving inexorably from the remembered past, hovering briefly in the present and flowing into an unknown future.   It’s been suggested that the Eastern idea of time is more a circle – the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth flowing around like the snake biting its tail.  Can I suggest that time doesn’t truly work in either of those ways?  My perception of time – insofar as it exists – is of a spiral.

We are currently participating in a three-dimensional game called life within a matrix of time and space.  Because we’ve been at it for quite a while now, we’re beginning to see where it gets a bit fuzzy at the edges.  Scientists are discovering places, both down the microscope and through the telescope, where it doesn’t follow those 3D rules at all.  Seers and mystics – the genuine ones – have been doing this for generations.  Nevertheless, in our day-to-day lives, we tend to put such things aside, keep an eye on the clock and block out our more inexplicable deja-vu or precognitive experiences.

Personally, I like the fuzzy edges of perception.  I enjoy exploring the synchronicities and portents that take us beyond the mundane.  I think it makes the game more interesting.  That’s why I live in spiral time.

It works like this:  My lifeline has been bent into a spiral.  It may help to think of it like a ride down an old-fashioned helter-skelter.  While I’m on this journey,  something out there in the fairground – the candy-floss stand perhaps will catch my eye every so often.  Every time I complete a turn, that candy-floss stand will flash into view.   I’ll think, “I’ve been in this situation before!  This all seems very familiar.”

However if I look closely, I’ll notice that it doesn’t look exactly the same.  I’m in a different position on the helter-skelter now; I’ve covered more ground.  That means I’m able to perceive it from a slightly different angle.  Maybe I’ll spot details or aspects of it I didn’t notice before.

Life’s like that.  We find ourselves thinking,  “Oh boy – been here before!”  New people or places, perhaps, but they press the same buttons, dredge up the same insecurities and pose the same challenges we faced last time.

If life was a line, we could put it all down to co-incidence.  If it was a circle, we could put it all down to karma.  If it’s a spiral, though, we can look back to the way we dealt with this problem last time and see what we’ve learned from that.  We can also look forwards and see how this situation will look once we’ve found a way to overcome the challenges.  I’ll even dare to suggest that dreams and portents might help out here, once you’re ready to open to them and understand that it’s possible to look forward as well as back…

I’d love to know who else out there is living in spiral time.

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Connecting to NPCs

“Why do some of those people have floaty lights bobbing about over their heads?” I asked my son, as I watched him playing a computer game.

“They’re called NPCs – Non-Player Characters,” he replied patiently, still managing to move his own avatar swiftly through the crowded medieval street.  “They’re there to help you.  Sometimes if you stop and speak to them they give you useful information, like suggesting where you could go to collect more EXP, or sometimes if you follow them, they lead you to a part of the game you haven’t visited.”

I noticed that he wasn’t stopping to speak to any of them, but I dare say he’d fully explored this part of the game several times before.

In our game – Life – those special characters don’t often  have shiny things dancing over their heads.  They have another way of getting our attention.  Usually they do it by getting in our face and making it hard for us to ignore them.  Since we haven’t (or not as far as we remember) played this part of the game before, it would make sense to stop and listen to them, wouldn’t it?  Maybe they’re going to show or teach us something we need to know…

I had an encounter with one yesterday.

I was in Bristol – a busy, bustling city in South West England.  I’d been Christmas shopping and the weather was not great.  In fact, by the time I reached the steep narrow alley that leads from the shopping centre up to the bus station, I was tired, windswept, wet and – above all – cold.  My one thought was that I wanted to get into the shelter as soon as possible and on to my warm, comfortable no. 376 bus.  I’d been skillfully weaving my way through the hordes of pedestrians, with an impressive turn of speed, when I came up against my NPC.

In front of me was this small, wide figure, moving ridiculously slowly.  She had two large bags of shopping in each hand and these were held out to the sides, so that it was almost impossible to get past.  Seeing a small gap, I moved to the left.  With immaculate timing but never a backward glance she veered in that direction, blocking my path.  I headed right.  Instantly she tottered over that way and again I was blocked.  I felt my frustration and anger starting to build.  As I made a final sharp twist to the left, she quite suddenly stopped right in front of me and put the bags down, bending over and gasping for breath.  At this point, she looked back and noticed me.

“Oh, I’m so sorry, dear.  I must be slowing you up.”  She hauled the bags to the side and gestured to me to pass.

Ah, but you see I’d done it now – I’d stopped and listened to her.  And yes, she did have something valuable to teach me.  This encounter moved me beyond my narrow desire to reach my next goal, and expanded my perception a bit.  Now I was seeing this fellow shopper – quite a bit older than me, also cold, wet and tired and struggling to carry four huge and heavy bags up this steep path.

I relaxed, smiled and offered to take a couple of her bags up to the bus station for her.  We carried on – at her pace – chatting as we went.  By the time we’d reached the top of the alley, I knew all about her six grandchildren and the Manchester United pyjamas she’d wanted for one of them and been unable to find anywhere.

As I returned her bags and we parted, I noticed that although the weather remained the same, I no longer felt cold.

Facebook – when is a ‘friend’ a friend?

OK, I’ll admit it, I’m probably the world’s last convert to Facebookism.

For years I’d held out against it.  I’d insisted that ‘liking’ someone or something was an emotional response, not a cute little thumbs-up symbol; that a friend was someone I cared about, related to and interacted with, not someone I’d never met who clicked a button in order to build their virtual popularity.

I was dragged, kicking and screaming almost, into opening a facebook account.  “It’ll help you publicise the book,” the (real) friends told me.  “It will drive sales.”

So I relented.  I joined.  Initially my worst fears materialised. (Fears tend to behave that way, of course, since we create our own reality, but my guard was down – I’d forgotten that!)  I was carpet-bombed with banal posts about the drinking and partying exploits of people I barely knew, I was exposed to the angst-ridden adolescent ramblings of  ex-pupils and I was approached to befriend people I didn’t know from Adam.

Then something quite amazing happened.  A genuine pre-Facebook friend began sending posts.  They were wise, profound, intelligent and thought-provoking.  She invited me to join a group and suddenly I was virtually meeting all manner of people who behaved the way my sort of friends do.  They sent personal messages and we started to get to know each other.  It was beginning to feel like a community … and I understood.

Yes, Facebook is a virtual, 2D version of friendship, but that doesn’t make it any less real.  All experience is real! We respond to this incredible world around us in all manner of ways – face to face is just one of them.  I’ve now found yet another way to interact with it.

So feel free to become my friend – real, virtual or both – and if you’d like to follow me, you’re very, very welcome.  I’ll do my best to lead somewhere worth going.

 

Are you beta testing this game?

The gauntlet had been thrown down.

I stared incredulously at the message that had appeared in my inbox.

“Every person is born with a different level of psychic ability.  Though for some it may be too low to notice, for others it is an amazing ability with limitless potential.  With every generation a higher percentage of the human race is born with the higher levels.  It is possible to increase someone’s level through psychic activities, including using crystals, dowsing rods and other similar items.  Expanding someone’s knowledge of psychic phenomena and related issues also assists in raising their level.  Somebody with an extremely high level could achieve anything.”

It wasn’t – trust me – the kind of email most teachers would receive from a teenage ex-pupil, especially one who had left school aged 16 a year or two earlier with a cluster of mediocre GCSEs and a fairly comprehensive range of ‘special needs’ labels.  His words had not been copied from an article or book he’d read.  This young man didn’t need to read books – he simply ‘knew’.

One sentence stood out for me from all the rest: With every generation a higher percentage of the human race is born with the higher levels.  He was right.  I’d seen it myself.  When I started teaching, back in the mid seventies, there would occasionally be one child in a class who stood out.  Often socially isolated, with a quirky mixture of brilliance and learning difficulties, they held a barely-concealed contempt for the irrelevant and outmoded education system they were forced into.  Frequently, like my young correspondent, they were highly telepathic and empathic.  Most had super-sensitivity – loud noises were painful, rather than distracting; tastes and smells were often overpowering; only certain fabrics could be tolerated next to the skin and so forth.  By the time I left mainstream teaching, five years ago, every class appeared to have at least a couple of these ‘special’ young people.

Recently I told another of these special kids my theory of life being like a computer game, and that there is an upgraded version now being released.

“I get it,” he said, instantly.  “And the people like me, we’re kind of beta-testing this new version.”

Once I’d looked up beta-testing, I saw that he was exactly right.  Many of them are finding it quite a struggle.  There is a whole raft of new aspects to Version 2.0.  But those who hang on in there will be able to guide the rest of us.  Once they’ve got it sorted, we’ll maybe all be able to play the Game of Life as conscious players, creating it as we go along.  The least we can do in the meantime is to support and encourage these special and highly evolved young people.

So why is life like a video game?

The idea that life is a game has been kicking around for centuries.  It’s quite a deep one, when you think about it.  Look at it quickly and it seems to suggest that this isn’t the ‘real thing’ – but something else is…

Look at the idea more slowly and you’ll see it doesn’t suggest that.  Games are perfectly real, but there’s something else beyond them.  That, to me, seems closer to the mark.

A couple of years ago, I was listening to a group of friends sitting around together chatting about this and that.  They were a friendly, pleasant enough bunch of people.  One told us that her 13-year-old stepson was visiting.  She went on to say that he’d spent almost the whole weekend playing a computer game.  I expect you can imagine the way the conversation went.  The others shared her exasperation.  They spoke of how, when they were young, they had played ‘real’ games; gone outside and ridden bikes, climbed trees and so on.  They shook their heads and tutted at the waste of time and energy expended on something so pointless.

So let’s think about this.  These people felt it was limiting for someone to spend his life playing out this role in a two-dimensional environment, when there was a whole three-dimensional experience out there passing him by, because he wouldn’t shift his focus to look at it.  Fair point?

If LIFE is a game, though, maybe – just maybe – we are spending our time playing out our roles in this three-dimensional environment, when there is a whole multi-dimensional experience out there passing us by…

If that idea intrigues you, why not take a look at Life: A Player’s Guide.  Not only does it explain how life works as a virtual computer game; it explains how to begin accessing those other dimensions and expand your experience.  It suggests that not only are you playing the game – you’re creating it!