Another Look at Reality

In my last post I floated the idea that even if we were able to somehow travel back in time and communicate freely with people from a bygone age, there would only – at best – be certain aspects of shared experience.  This, I argued, is because ‘truth’ or what we term ‘reality’ is a subjective interplay between a person’s mind, brain and the objects and events that form to produce each person’s perceived world.

‘Aha,’ you may say, “If that were the case, how would you and I share a common view of a scene before us?  Even a short discussion would prove that our vision of what lay around us was identical.  We could even take photographs to demonstrate it!’

Well certainly we citizens of the 21st century share a common perception of the objects and events around us.  Perceptive reality has strong links to social cohesion and the ‘training’ we were given in infancy. 

Fantasy, Fairy Tale Forest, Girl, ForestOur culture has a slightly strange take on sharing our World View with new arrivals.  A rich mythic tradition is passed on to our children – Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy, giants, goblins, elves and trolls appear in huge numbers of their storybooks and the bedtime tales we share with them.  Talking animals and fabulous beasts abound.  Then, as the children mature, these wonders are, one by one, consigned to a scrapheap of untruths.  Those stories, they are told, were ‘just pretend’.  Now they are expected to cast away such childish delights and focus on a world that can be seen, prodded and proved to be ‘real’. 

“So are dinosaurs real?” asks the confused child. “What about dragons?  What about Father Christmas…?  Why did you lie to me?”

Parents and carers struggle to justify their actions.  They are doing as their parents did.  They are rearing their young in the way our society dictates.  Once they reach the age of 7 or 8, even the child who knows she once saw fairies in the garden or glimpsed a fiery dragon from her window has put such things aside and conformed to the accepted and shared idea of how reality looks and feels.  Mostly.

Stonehenge, England, Uk, MonumentOf course there are still different perceptions within our common perceptual framework.  If we imagine a hypothetical twenty people standing and regarding Stonehenge in the 2020s, all would probably be in agreement as to the size and bulk of the stones, the green of the grass, the colour of the sky, strength of the wind and sound of the passing traffic on the A303.

One observer, though, might be hugely excited at the sight of a military aircraft flying over the scene – an aspect of the experience missed totally by others.

Another of the people might be high on a hallucinogenic drug or have what is currently called a ‘mental illness’.  That person might be seeing quite different colours strobing and wheeling around the stones and hearing sounds or voices the rest of the observers would not be aware of.

A third might be a synesthete.  He or she might be tasting or smelling the colours and textures in a manner quite alien to the rest.

Perhaps two or three members of the group might have psychic sensitivities which allowed them to see spots of bright light or hazy halos surrounding certain stones or perhaps glowing crystals buried deep beneath the ground.  They might even perceive shadowy figures from other times.

Winter, Snow, Landscape, Trees, SnowfallAs is the custom in our age, more or less all these visitors would take out their phones and photograph the scene before them.  If they then compared the results, all the images would show the grass, the stones, the path and so forth, yet some would include mysterious orbs or thin coloured arcs of light.  Depending on their personal World Views, these would be variously interpreted as aliens, angelic beings, reflections of light from mundane sources or pieces of dust on the camera lens.  Each, of course, would be entirely correct, according to their World View.

I would further suggest that if the group of 20 people were standing around Stonehenge in c2500BC, their perception of what lay before them would be markedly different to that of the 21st century visitors.  Their common take on ‘reality’ would link to their shared prior experience and social conditioning and their society almost certainly perceived the world around them in markedly different ways, with senses responding to stimuli in a manner that we could not grasp.

Clearly, I have no way of demonstrating this.  Those ancient people standing on a wind-blasted plain in southern England left us no written record or clues as to what was going through their minds and how their world looked to them.  They simply, for their own reasons, created a massive structure that survived into our age.

Fortunately for the curious among us, not all World Views are as poorly recorded.  Next time I’d like to take you to a culture that has been meticulously documented by its people, in a language we can read and understand.  In certain ways it is markedly similar to our own, but in others quite, quite incomprehensible.

But Where Was Me?

Grandmothers should be wise.  It’s one of those archetypal attributes of the crone, isn’t it?  So when I fall short in the wisdom department, it bothers me.  

A little over a year ago, my grandson and I were chatting about the first house he lived in – a place he dimly remembered, having moved away when he was a toddler.  His younger sister was confused.  She insisted they had never lived in a house with two huge trees in the garden.  When her brother pointed out that this was before she was born, she became almost hysterical.

Baby, Child, Girl, Pouting“But where was ME?” she demanded, her eyes filling with tears and panic.

That was when I fell short in the wise grandmother stakes.  I knew my answer to the question, but I would have struggled – when put on the spot – to find the words to explain it to a tiny child.  Even if I had managed to leap that hurdle, I was anxious about straying into the sphere of beliefs.  I’ve spent a lifetime as a teacher carefully and meticulously respecting a wealth of different creeds and cultures.  I knew my grandchildren were being brought up with a nominally Christian belief system.  Christianity has plenty to say about an afterlife, but is curiously silent on before life.  It talks vaguely about dust and ashes, which, I felt, wouldn’t help much.  Did I have the right to impose my own beliefs on those they were being brought up with? 

So I failed.  I gave the child lots of comforting cuddles, chatted to her about how excited we’d all been when she was born, and generally distracted her without ever answering her very important question.  And it has bothered me ever since.

When I came to write my children’s novel this year, I decided it would give me the opportunity to revisit the events of that day and to provide Ruby Rose, my fictional toddler heroine, with a fearless crone figure who is more than happy to address her question head on and provide a suitable response.

It was one of those parts of the book that quite happily wrote itself, while I obediently pressed the keys.  Interestingly, Misty often took control of me, as well as the situations in the story, when she appeared in the pages!

Misty waited for the girl to settle down and for the pounding of her heart to slow.  “Now,”  she began, finally.  “That was a very sensible question you asked, my dear.  I’m going to answer it for you, but you will need to listen very hard.  Can you do that?”

Ruby nodded miserably and Stellan sat on the grass at Misty’s feet, because it had never occurred to him that there could be an answer to that question.

“Before you were your mama’s little girl and Stellan’s little sister, Ruby, you were living in the Dreaming Place.”

“What’s the Dreaming Place?” Ruby asked, sitting up.

“It’s a place you know very well.  Why, you go there every night, while your body is in bed, having a rest,” Misty replied.

“You mean when we have dreams?” asked Stellan.

“Exactly.  Haven’t you ever thought how odd it is that your body stays in bed, fast asleep, while you are off doing all sorts of other things?” …

“That is strange,” agreed Stellan, who had never really considered it before.

“So,”  continued Misty, in the same calm, gentle voice, “while we have bodies like these,” she tickled Ruby Rose gently on her arm and the child giggled, “we live in them for most of the time and just put them down to rest at bedtime.  Before we are born, though, and after we have died, we spend all our time in the Dreaming Place.  That’s where you were when Stellan was a little boy and Bella the cat lived with him.”

Both children were silent for a moment, while they considered that.

“Weren’t I lonely without my ma and my pa and my brother?” Ruby wanted to know.

“Not at all,”  Misty replied.  “You were having too much fun!  You see in the Dreaming Place, you can be whatever you want and go anywhere you like.  You might have tried being a fairy or a brave explorer or even a dog or a cat.  What do you think you would have been?”

“A fairy who could fly in the air and do wishes!” Ruby announced.

“Well that would be quite splendid, wouldn’t it?”  Misty smiled.  “But after loads and loads of dreaming, you decided that what would be even more fun would be to become a little girl with a body.  You see, in the Dreaming Place there are things we can’t do.  We can’t feel happiness or pain or full up with delicious food or the softness of an animal’s fur when we stroke it.  You decided to find yourself the most perfect family for your new body to live with.”

“How did she find us?” asked Stellan. 

He couldn’t decide whether this was some kind of made-up tale to calm his sister and cheer her up or whether Misty believed all she was saying.

She smiled at him.  It was a serious smile, not the sort of winking smile grown-ups give when you and they both know they are pretending.

“As I said, in the Dreaming Place, you can go anywhere you want just by thinking about it.  Once Ruby Rose had decided she wanted to slip into a body and find a family in this – Waking Place, she travelled all around the world, deciding which would be the very best family for her to live with.  Eventually, she chose the family she wanted and when your new little sister was born, here she was!”

“I was very clever to choose my nice family, weren’t I, Misty?” Ruby smiled.

My grandson is reading The Glassmaker’s Children at the moment and maybe, when she’s a few years older, his sister will do the same and find a belated answer to her question.  

 

If The Elf Hat Fits

There’s a lot she doesn’t know. Of course there is. But plenty she does.

She knows that, just as her daddy was reading her bedtime stories, the evening after her third birthday, there was a ring at the door. She knows her daddy carried her downstairs and opened the door. She knows three men were there and one of them hit her daddy in the face.

Later, her six year old brother told her the bad men were angry because Daddy had stolen things and hidden them in the house. She didn’t say much about that, because it wasn’t something she could understand.

When the men had come back, even more angry, her mummy said it wasn’t safe at home and they had to go. They left Daddy and left their house. Her brother said Daddy had been naughty.

She was sad and angry and scared and very good at expressing her feelings. She talked a great deal about the bad men but not much about her daddy, and none of us could figure out how to explain in words that would be meaningful to her.

Sometimes, when she saw her daddy she would say, “You stealed things,” and he would agree, sadly, that he had. But that was all that was said.

She spent a lot of time thinking over the spring and summer and autumn.

By the winter, she had a new home and new friends and was going to preschool. The staff there had a funny joke for Christmas time. They said there was a naughty elf who stole things and hid them. She watched as the ladies searched for the items the elf was supposed to have stolen and listened when they told the children how cross they were with him.

She carried on thinking.

As Christmas grew nearer, her mummy asked her what she wanted to buy Daddy for Christmas. “A elf hat,” she announced, solemnly.

So that is what her daddy will get for Christmas. No doubt he’ll think it’s a cute and funny gift. No doubt he will wear it, to please her.

And she has, in her pragmatic and very literal way, found a cap to fit him… for now, at least.

Expanding Consciousness

List of images in Gray's Anatomy: IX. Neurology

“I am everywhere.”

That’s how the film ‘Lucy’ ends.  (Thanks to Atxero for pointing me in its direction.)  It’s a Matrixy kind of a thing – Scarlett Johansson gratuitously destroying anyone who gets in her way, turning ‘life’ to a video game scenario as she develops new and unimaginable neural connections and expands her consciousness until all of her brain is being used, rather than the 10% or so most of us have been settling for.

I was woken up to this expanded consciousness idea some years ago – by Will, the guy I’m currently working with on remote viewing .  He was a little kid then.  He made it impossible for me not to notice that he was seeing things I couldn’t see,  sensing things I couldn’t sense and performing psychic tricks and feats that left me scrabbling to catch up and understand.

English: corpus callosum. Images are from Anat...

English: corpus callosum.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are babies, children, teenagers and young people – even a few older ones – who came into life this time around with expanded consciousness.  In my book I called them the Version 2.0 players in this game of Life.  They are the ones who haven’t fully forgotten what is actually going on here – who they really are.  They’re struggling – many of them – to get along with the everyday details of life: social interaction, school, shopping, going to work… but that’s because they are holding an awesome amount of Light or Memory or Spirit or whatever you’d like to call it, within their consciousness.

One day, some meddling but oddly broad-minded scientist will take a look inside the heads of some of these people and discover something unexpected – extra DNA strand activation?  Something rather interesting around the pineal gland?  Neural pathways way beyond what the textbooks show?  A distorted and expanded corpus callosum?  I have no idea what, but something will appear.  I strongly suspect all of the above, as well as a transition from carbon based to crystal based life, but I’m no scientist, just an interested observer. They’ll probably label it a syndrome or dysfunction anyhow, because scientists tend to like norms and neat bell curves.

The rest of us – those who maybe didn’t come into Life that way, but have been jump-started by our special young people – are catching up.  They are waking us up to a new way of being and experiencing – and it’s wonderful.

“I know I’m obviously biased,” my daughter told me, rather apologetically, the other day, “but there are times when he seems to shine somehow…”
She was talking about her 3 year old son.  I’m biased too, but she’s right.  He does.  I was with the two of them at the weekend.  He was raking a flowerbed for his seeds in the garden.

“This is a good day, Mummy,” he said, quietly and thoughtfully.
She looked at him and smiled, slightly bemused.  “You say that every day,” she pointed out.
He looked into her eyes then and said, very pointedly, “But it IS good.”

I checked with her later,  He really does say it every day?  “Yes,” she insisted, “and we won’t be doing anything special – just walking along the street or eating lunch or something.  Then he’ll tell me it’s a good day.”

What a beautiful lesson that tiny little kid is giving his mother.  She believes she’s just about coping – managing him and his three month old sister and the home; she’s rushed off her feet and always feeling someone is losing out.  But the child sees past that.  He sees the goodness of every day and gives it back to her.

IMG_20150510_085131The next day it was my turn.  We were walking through an orchard.  I was aware that it was a pretty place – just aware.  My focus was elsewhere.  Then he stopped and turned to me.

“This is a Good Day, Grandma,” he said, with the gentlest emphasis on those words.

Suddenly I was able to feel it the way he was experiencing it – the family clustered around us, the crunching gravel under our feet, the azure sky with scudding grey clouds, the apple blossom and buzzing of the bees, the birdsong everywhere,  the utter beauty of nature in an English springtime – and I felt all the deep joy that had bubbled up inside him spilling into me from his deep brown eyes.

I felt, as I always have with Will or the many other Version 2.0s I’ve known, so honoured to be given a glimpse into his consciousness.

He’s one of the special ones.

A Raw Nerve

 

Wasn’t intending at all to write about this today, but here goes…

It’s not my normal style, and I’m not posting this story to gain pity or settle old scores, merely to show that once any system is ruled by fear, it is ruined.  In my very long career in the education system, I watched that happen, and it has continued apace since I left six and a half years ago.

I was just told by a friend on Facebook of a horrible incident from her childhood.  She’d been in an excellent school where all the children were learning well and very happy, yet a sour, vindictive school inspector came in, found the one child with mild learning difficulties, reduced him to jelly and verbally trashed the teacher, who went home and committed suicide.

Inspectors – like all manner of ‘experts’ – are people who swan into a setting for about 20 minutes and believe they have the knowledge and ability to sum the situation up and make life-changing judgements.

They don’t.

Let me tell you my inspector story – mild by comparison, but the raw nerve that was touched by my friend’s memory.

I posted once about a very special and experimental class I taught. The link to the original post is here.  The children were in a mainstream school but between them they had a huge range of problems and life circumstances which would reduce almost anyone to a gibbering mess.  Several had been on the brink of permanent exclusion because their behaviour was so extreme.

Well they made massive progress, and the following year I returned to teaching a ‘normal’ class of 10 and 11 year olds – except that this normal class contained a large proportion of the children I’d been working with the year before.

There was Shaun whose dad had died a year or two back after years of alcoholism, Daniel whose dad had just come out of prison and was now back to running a crack house, Isla who had just been moved from her long-term foster-carers and was being rehoused almost every week, Carly whose dad had terminal cancer, Sam who had suffered severe physical and emotional abuse at the hands of a teenage brother and various step parents… and those are just the ones that spring to mind.

By and large, we got along just fine.  Plenty of learning took place and although I often had to make allowances for these damaged and traumatised kids, who had a shorter fuse than most, with help from my brilliant learning support team, I was able to achieve my targets and they were making progress – in the ways our leaders required, as well as socially and emotionally (which to me was far more important).

Then we discovered that we were to be inspected by an OFSTED team.

An urgent class discussion took place.
“We really need to show these people how far you’ve come,” I told them. “That means while they’re here, it would really help if you could stay in your chairs, not have any arguments with each other or freak out if you feel a bit challenged.  I promise I’ll support you all and it won’t last long.”

Shaun gave an agonised scream.  “Can’t do it Miss,” he bellowed.  “I know I’ll get stressed out just ‘cos they’re here and then I’ll lose it big time and you’ll get in trouble.  I can’t handle it!”

That started an avalanche of worries and tears.  In each case it was the same.  They were terrified that they would let me, the class and the school down.  Day to day living was enough of a challenge for many of them.  This was a step too far.

My wonderful teaching assistants and I reassured them, praised them, reminded them how far they’d come and declared our absolute confidence that they could manage this.

The inspector arrived.  A roundish, well-heeled lady with a posh accent.  As she walked in, the children were immersed in the activity I’d set.  All was calm; all were bright.  True, Sam waited for the first opportunity when her gaze was averted and crawled under his table, where he remained trembling but otherwise immobile for the rest of the lesson, but this went quite unnoticed and no one showed any inclination to draw it to her attention.  The kids covered for him beautifully and kept him well concealed.

Children answered her questions politely and participated with enthusiasm and exemplary behaviour.

The blanket and pillow in the reading corner that doubled as a bed for anyone who hadn't been able to sleep the night before.

The blanket and pillow in the reading corner that doubled as a bed for anyone who hadn’t been able to sleep the night before.

When she’d left, we dusted Sam down and told the children how proud we were of them and how wonderfully they had behaved.  I was bursting with pride when I headed off to lunch that day.

After school, though, I had my feedback session with the inspector.

“Come in dear,” she smiled.  “Yes, a perfectly adequate lesson.  No problems and I could see learning taking place.  But…”  she looked slightly reproachful,  “I mean they’re a very well-behaved, good natured class, aren’t they dear?  I do feel you could have pushed them a bit harder – given them more challenge.”

There was the briefest of pauses where I could have responded.  I considered it.  I think the reason I didn’t was the same as Sam’s or Shaun’s.  The fear and stress and anxiety had been so overwhelming that I didn’t trust myself to say a word, for fear of letting the school, the class and everyone down.  If she believed that my class were well-behaved, then that was all I needed.  Yet I’d be lying if I said that her pronouncement on my lesson – ‘average’ – didn’t sting.

I feel no animosity towards the posh inspector.  She was simply doing her job.  Was she adequate?  Who am I to say?

The next day I told the class how impressed she’d been with their work and behaviour.  That was all they needed to know.  And I began planning my exit from the English state education system.

 

Where wondering leads…

Dream!

Dream! (Photo credit: Melody Campbell)

Be careful what you ask for!

I finished my last post by wondering how ‘real’ a dream had been.

Since then, I’ve been bombarded with messages from all directions – messages ‘reminding’ me (as we all have the truth within us already) how the worlds we dream interact with the world we believe ourselves to be living in.
So huge thanks to Paul and Suzy, Rory and Sarina, Cynthia and Bob and all the others who have unwittingly handed me pieces of the puzzle and helped me to slot it together.

Same Place – Different Frequencies

Radio

This one turns up everywhere – the analogy of self as a radio, able to receive all kinds of messages on different frequencies, depending which part we tune into.

Seth, via Jane Roberts, insisted that we are living many different lives at once but as we’re ‘tuned in’ to this one, we are normally unaware of the others.  Sometimes they come to us as fragments in deja vu, dreams, ‘past’ life regressions and so forth.

As I say, I’ve been receiving many reminders of that over the last few days, so perhaps I’d been ready to start experimenting with twiddling the dial a little more than I usually do: I was willing to take a glance at those other frequencies.

Switching Channels

Last night I was re-reading an amazing channelled response I had from The Council via Cynthia and Bob Dukes on their blog Ask The Council.  It concerned an alternate/past life with a young man I’ve worked with during this lifetime.  Here’s an extract in which the council explain how we worked together to teach telepathy to children in that other life:

ًQuartz Crystals.

“He was a young child who learned very quickly this [telepathic] communication and was a bridge, in the beginning, of her communicating with…the infants. And so they worked together to reach these children and then begin to… surrounded by clear quartz crystals… to magnify their vibration [and] receive the communications with these children. And because they [the children] were so recently departed from what we would consider the spiritual realm, they were very aware of this [communication].” …

“By raising the vibrations in these particular places where they worked with the children… they used crystals, sound, and music to reach the infants… and again we say, because these children were so recently leaving the spirit world, they were very aware of vibration, and spirit contact, and mind communication.”

This all made perfect sense to me.  The young man in question has – in this life – had a deep love of crystals since early childhood, and as a small child in a class of infants with speech and language difficulties, he was able to communicate telepathically with other children and taught me (the teacher) how to use this skill.  I won’t say we developed the levels of expertise outlined above, but I was certainly often able to pick up their thoughts and emotions and respond to them in the same way.

The Council insisted that we’d chosen to work more on those skills during this lifetime and that one of my major life purposes is:

“…helping younger children… teaching them about reaching for the feeling of understanding they are more than this physical body.”

Back to Dreams

Now let me share with you the portions I can remember of the dream I’d been having when I woke up this morning.

Once again I was teaching.  My co-worker was young and male, although I didn’t get a look at his face.  We were doing an important activity with a class of very small children.  It involved working virtually one-to-one with them.  This meant that those who had finished were free to play in a huge sandpit with bright plastic digger trucks and similar toys.

Sand toys

One child seemed unhappy with this.
I heard his companion say, “But we’ve got all these toys.”
“Yes, but I want to do some more of the work,” he complained.

I told my colleague we had to give these kids some attention.  He reminded me how important our ‘work’ was and insisted he was going to continue, so I devised some kind of electronic sheet (the technology – though familiar to me in the dream – has no counterpart in our world) that allowed the children to recap on the one-to-one activity they’d been doing.

I was beginning to wake up at this point – still dreaming but able to recall images and ideas and bring them back with me to this life.
“So where does the energy come from?” I heard my dream-self asking the group.
“Our HEARTS,” they chanted, cheerfully.

I was sufficiently removed from the dream by this point to be able to observe – and be amazed by – the diagram we’d created.  In the centre was a bright red heart.  It was surrounded by a torus of energy lines.
Other, differently-coloured lines flowed out from this into the Earth and in other directions.

Back to Reality?

Then I was awake – here.  I was recalling remarkably similar diagrams produced by the Heart Math Institute.  I was wondering about the technology I’d been using, and whether it related to quartz crystals in some way.  I was thinking how young those children had been, and yet how complex the work they’d been doing with us.

What I wasn’t wondering, though, was whether that was ‘real’.

It was.

On a different frequency, certainly, but just as real, whatever ‘real’ may be!