You the Creator

Algie and his device

Algie and his device

Four or five years back, when I wrote that book about Life, I called the final section Creativity and Creation.  It began thus:

What have you made lately – a model; a cake; a piece of furniture; dinner; a mess…?  I’ll bet you’ve done quite a bit of creating over the last week or so.  And how did you do it?  You got some stuff; you changed it in some way – maybe shaping or cutting, heating or cooling; you probably mixed it with, or joined it to other stuff and carried on changing or modifying it until your creation was complete.

OK, so you might be protesting that all you did was take a ready-meal out of the freezer, pierce the film lid and put it in the microwave, but you still created a hot, steaming meal out of a frozen lump.  You created something by changing stuff.  Hold that idea.  Hold it nice and tight.

I knew – at an intuitive, rather than an intellectual level – that creating ‘stuff’ was important.  Not just important, but vital.  I also knew that it didn’t actually matter what you were creating.  It could be a painting or a compost heap, a symphony or an ad on eBay.  It was the creative process that mattered.

Thimble sized machines

Thimble sized machines

That idea came back to me a few weeks ago, when I was engaged in my latest hobby – creating  miniature Steam Punk characters and their equipment from up-cycled dolls’ house dolls, wire, watch parts and the like.

Bella: 6 inches/15 cm tall

It takes ages.  I completely lose myself in the process and come as close to absolute happiness and satisfaction as is possible when I hit technical problems and find ingenious ways to overcome them.  There’s a kind of excitement bubbling up inside me as the transformations take place.  Yet that’s been tempered by a mocking voice from my rational mind:

“Why waste so much time on something this pointless?  What use are they?  Shouldn’t I be putting my energy into something more ‘worthy’?”

Amelia - before and after

Amelia – before and after

Lars

Lars

So the internal dialogue has been going.  I can’t deny the rational thoughts.  No one needs a 1/12 scale Steam Punk figure.  Yet at some very deep level I have known that the process of creating them – battling with the limitations of the materials and my skills – is hugely important to me.  I have felt the same as I did when renovating my dilapidated cottage – an initial mental image of how I want the finished product to look, a moment of doubt when I compared that idea to the reality of the items strewn around me, an intense fixation on the eventual result, an unshakeable belief that it would all work out perfectly and – finally – jubilation at having created the end product.

Henry: yes, they're very small

Henry: yes, they’re very small

It needed a mind and voice more finely tuned than my own to put the importance of ‘You the Creator’ into its true perspective.  I found these words in The Afterdeath Journal of an American Philosopher:

It is the tension between the search for fulfilment or perfection and the actual performance possible in the physical world that promotes creative acts as they are understood.  For true creativity always destroys limitations and increases the mental, spiritual, psychic or physical areas of expression open to man.

That’s it.  It applies as much to the time warping experiments I’m engaged in with William to the little figures I’m building in my study.  It applies to every creative process you are engaged in, too.

 

I think therefore I am;  I create, therefore I am The Creator – and so are you.

 

A Newly Tiled Roof

Roof, Home, Tile, New, RoofingI remember a time when Time seemed to behave itself almost perfectly.  I went through life, things happened, and once they’d happened they were consigned to a bit of my mind labelled ‘Memories’.  Anything beyond the Now I was in at that moment was labelled ‘Future’, and although I could sometimes have a good guess at some of what was to come, there was never anything fixed or certain about it.

It wasn’t quite perfect, though.  I remember that, too.  There were the glitches.  Most were too brief or indistinct to take much notice of, but a few of them stuck stubbornly in my mind, nagging me to notice them.

You get them too?  Of course you do.  We all do.  Maybe we try to pass them off with a casual, “Oh, what a coincidence…”

You ‘knew’ that friend was going to ring you.  You were just thinking about that person, and there they were, walking round the next corner.  Somehow you knew which song was coming up next on the radio, before it started playing.

Sometimes, though, ‘coincidence’ just won’t do as an explanation.

The day I lay in bed, in that drowsy half-awake-half-asleep state and heard a lady telling me I’d have to move out of my house, would have been easy to pass off as a dream, except that five hours later I was phoned by an estate agent with the same voice, telling me my landlord was selling up and I would have to leave.  I think that was the day I stopped believing Time worked the way it was meant to.

Since that day, I’ve been on the lookout for proof that there’s more to this Time malarkey than might seem apparent.  With the help of a couple of very good friends,  I’ve come as close as I can to a double blind experiment.  See what you make of this:

  • I tell my remote viewing partner that I have no idea where I’ll be at 1 pm six days ahead.  I ask him to view my location at that point.
  • He does a viewing and texts me to say I’ll be somewhere with a row of tall, thin trees, a car park, a statue with something round at its base – maybe containing water, a very strong light source and a rectangular building with a newly tiled roof.
  • In order to avoid consciously hunting out a place that would fit his description, I ask another friend – one who has no connection with him at all – to drive me to a location of her choice on the target day, and at 1 o’clock.  I tell her Will has viewed the place, but nothing of what he has seen.
  • On the day, she has chosen a venue and drives me there, arriving at 12.15, but the place she had chosen has closed down, so she makes the decision to head to a garden centre some miles away.
  • 20161008_125920_resizedWe reach the garden centre at 12.56.
  • I immediately see a row of trees, including two tall poplars.
  • We stop in the car park.
  • We walk into the main building and see a small and peculiarly ugly statue of a cherub/fat child pushing a wheelbarrow, containing a well-watered plant.
  • As we walk out towards the plant area, I notice that the building is lit by huge, industrial halogen lamps.  At exactly 1 pm I am standing directly under one.  I then walk outside and – for the first time in two days – the sun comes out.
  • None of the buildings is tiled – newly or otherwise, but apart from that, the matches seem pretty good.
  • We spend some time in the garden centre, then prepare to leave.  As we come out of the main entrance, a movement beyond the boundary fence of the car park catches my eye.
  • It is a builder climbing a ladder on the roof of a newly built house.  It is covered with black roofing felt, with piles of roof tiles laid out across it.  The man is just beginning to tile the roof.  Next to the house is the one he and his companion had presumably completed during the morning.  It is the only building on this new housing development that has a finished roof.

So where does that leave Time?  William didn’t just see where my location would be six days ahead – a location neither I nor anyone else had decided on; he saw it at the moment in time that I was there.  Six days before, those houses would only have been partially built.  A few hours later, there would have been more than one newly tiled building.  Will only saw one.  Therefore he must have viewed it as it was at 1 pm on that particular day.

I’m not denying the existence of Time.  Obviously, it played a crucial role in our experiment.  What I’m suggesting, though, is that Time is infinitely bendy.  Once we believe that we can move beyond it, dipping in and out where we wish, that can happen.  Certainly I’m incredibly lucky to have William to work with.  He possesses exactly the kind of ‘A-Thought‘ or autistic thinking which allows him to open his mind beyond ‘common sense’ and into realms most of us can only glimpse.  No matter how seemingly crazy the experiments I suggest, he simply responds, “Yes, I’m happy to try that.”

And he succeeds.

 

 

Dying to Understand

Fall, Autumn, Leaf, Brown, Green, Yellow“I hear Daisy has gone now,” I remarked to a friend.
Daisy was elderly and ill. She’d taken to her bed and had been refusing food for some time, so it wasn’t a surprise.
“Yes,” Ali replied, “and boy is she in for a shock!”
I looked up in surprise for a moment, then realised what she meant.
“You mean she didn’t believe there would be anything after life?”
“Exactly,” Ali smiled. “She was adamant that ‘she’ would die along with her body. End of. What must she be thinking now?”

Bison, Cave Of Altamira, Prehistoric ArtIt’s the third time recently that such an idea has been placed in my mind.  The first was when I read a highly praised and undeniably well-researched and well-argued book called The Mind in the Cave.  Its author, David Lewis-Williams, speaks eloquently and convincingly about the world view of our ancient ancestors – those who decorated caves and rocks with incredible images of animals, geometric shapes, figures who appear to be somewhere between animals and humans etc.  It’s a great book, but for me, there is one huge issue I’ll be bold enough to disagree on.  It’s what Professor Lewis-Williams terms ‘the brain/mind problem’.  Here’s the way he resolves it (and, I’d suggest, the reason a book that deals mainly with ‘altered states’ has been so well received in scientific circles):

Two things we do know are, one, that the brain/mind evolved, and two, that consciousness (as distinct from brain) is a notion, or sensation, created by electro-chemical activity in the ‘wiring’ of the brain.

Ngc 3603, Nebula, Space, StarsThe second was a recent BBC documentary following three ageing British astronomers on a journey to recapture some of the finest moments of their younger days, when they had held eminent positions in observatories in the US, in the post Sputnik race-for-space of the mid-twentieth century.  They were lovely guys and all had enjoyed happy and successful lives.  Now, though, one was terminally ill and the others were in, shall we say, the late autumn of their lives.  Unsurprisingly, as they trekked through the mountains, the discussion turned to death.  One, despite his scientific training, clung to the Christian faith.  He admitted he didn’t see much logic in it, but still felt comforted by the God he’d been brought up to believe in and the idea that there would be an afterlife.  He mused, rather sadly though, that there probably wasn’t any need for astronomers in Heaven.  His colleagues seemed to adhere more to Daisy’s view, and that, presumably, of Professor Lewis-Williams.  When their bodies and brains died, so would their consciousness.  That – obviously, in their minds – meant no further existence.  As an 11-year-old I once taught commented, “I don’t think there’s anything after we die; it’s a bit sad really.”

Angel, Cherub, Stone, Angel WingsIt is a bit sad.  Has humanity, throughout its entire existence, had to make an unpleasant choice between, a. trying hard to hold faith in a religion that often seems illogical and unlikely, or b. accepting that our brains are so great, they can almost have us believing, sometimes, that there is something beyond this existence, although they know that not to be true?

What a terribly bleak choice.  When faced with it – many years ago – I didn’t like either of the options.  That’s why I’ve been on this fascinating journey, the one I’ve attempted imperfectly to document in this blog.  I believe now that I have proof that our consciousness exists above and beyond our physical bodies, however complex and impressive the ‘wiring’ of the brain may be.  I believe that there is no need to die in order to understand what is often called ‘God’ and that an ‘afterlife’ is not a possibility, but a given.  More than that, I believe we are here, right now, to explore this very issue, so that we no longer need to be sad or scared, hopeful or doubtful about death.

As Koimul so eloquently puts it: THIS IS THE GREAT EXPERIMENT.  IT IS TO LIVE IN YOUR EARTHLY BODY YET SEE INTO THE ETERNAL.

 

 

The Back Door

20161002_103854_resizedThere was only one way in or out of my cottage when I bought it – the huge, ancient black wooden door that opens from the street into a shared hallway.  At the end are separate doors leading to my home and the one adjoining it.  A lane runs along the side of my back garden, but there was no access to it.  I decided I’d feel safer if there was a second way out, just in case…

‘No,’ said the man from the planning office.  Due to its great age and architectural interest, my cottage is Grade 2 listed, which means the planning office can stop me changing anything in the building or the grounds.
‘Boundary fences must be left as they are,’ he told me.  ‘If they break or fall down they must be replaced by identical fence panels.  Any changes would have to be subject to Full Planning Permission.’
He then told me the cost of Full Planning Permission and I went very quiet.

Door, Old, Scrape, Entrance, AntiqueThere are ways around these things.  I asked a skilled craftsman friend to construct me a lockable gate that, from the outside, is completely indistinguishable from a fence panel, but which opens perfectly from the inside.

Why, you may ask, am I prattling on about my invisible back gate?  It’s because of a wonderful analogy I just discovered in the writings of Jane Roberts.

The book has taken weeks to arrive.  I had to order it in from the US, and it was far from cheap.  The title would be enough to put most people off: The Afterdeath Journal of an American Philosopher: The World View of William James.  I had to have it though.

Angel, Wings, Feather, HeavenYou see, I trust Jane Roberts.  I’ve been to so many talks and workshops where channels stand at the front in long, wafty, pastel-coloured frocks and proclaim something like, ‘The Angel Ganneril is here with us in the room.  He is pouring his pale mauve energy on to each of you.  He is telling you to hold love in your hearts and to care for the animals.  Feel the tingling down your spine as…’ and so forth.

Fine.  Such people speak their truth and reach many, but they don’t reach me.

Jane Roberts is a very different character; hard-drinking, hard-smoking, hard-bitten and as cynical as you like.  Faced with a new situation (in this case, unexpectedly receiving messages from a famous, but dead philosopher) she does what I’d do.  She files it away and ignores it totally, on the grounds that the whole thing seems way too unlikely.  The messages keep coming and Jane feels increasingly uncomfortable, as they don’t fit her world view and she wishes they’d stop.  Finally, she realises that she’d better find out what is going on, and why.  She interrogates the evidence, chats it through with Robert, her husband and eventually asks Seth for guidance.  Only when she is wholly convinced that her world view needs to expand to incorporate this new information, does she decide to write it up and publish.

So anyway, the gate?

Well, I’d had a long and busy day yesterday.  I arrived home after dark, to find the package containing my new book waiting for me.  I grabbed some food and a cup of tea and flicked through a few pages.  The first section was – intriguingly – called Front-Door People, Back-Door People, and World Views.

Her analogy runs thus:

img_20150415_112830_resizedWe all have a conscious mind – what she calls a ‘house of awareness’.  This ‘house’ has a front door, the one we open to the world for normal business and interaction, the one all messages are supposed to come to.  But – she continues – there is a second door, ‘a secret back door from the time of our childhood’.  This is a ‘magic’ entrance, one that opens to other worlds.  Sometimes we can see it; sometimes it’s invisible.  Jane speaks of the half-sensed messengers who sometimes call there and of the strange packages and papers left waiting there for us to find.

It made me smile, as I thought of my physical sometimes-there-sometimes-invisible back gate and what an apt way that is to describe the place where I can receive strange, magical information that comes to me.

The front door of my ‘house of awareness’ was very busy yesterday, but so too, in its quiet yet insistent way, was the back door.  Just as I have all the information in Jane’s book to read and understand, so I have other, more numinous information which has come to me from other sources to sift through and contemplate.  I’ll settle to that now.