Monday, 29 September 2014
It's said in some circles that the next stage of human evolution is accelerating. The ego is a construct, a suffering manufactory that can be dropped. There's a contagion of waking up. Illuminated dominoes.
I've reached the final edit of Book 2 in the Waifs of Duldred series. The waifs arrive in a utopia called Nondula. I'll leave the reader to figure out why. Its people have rumbled ego for what it is and kicked its ass. Yesterday I went looking for Nondulans.
Bristol. The glass and gloss of Cabot Circus. House of Fraser, Reiss, Harvey Nicks. There's a fashion show; grim models strut hips first to a thumping beat. The back roads of Bristol. A woman meticulously weeds between cobbles. A grapevine overhangs a wall. Tiny haemorrhoids.
I forgot the house number. Mostly there are clues through the windows: rainbows, chimes, crystals. I push the door. Incense. People are seated; they look long and unseeing at the carpet, quick and seeing at each other. There are always two or three with clear eyes.
Kosi's assistant has these clear eyes. He tells us Kosi likes to begin with a meditation. She will arrive by car. He will go out to meet her. He will be filming, does anyone object? She will leave on time so please ask all questions within the session. The energy in the room can be intense so be prepared.
The cynic reads this as mystique-building. Wait and see.
She arrives smiling, greeting. Warm American voice. Black trousers, white shirt, blue scarf, sensible shoes. Her skin is careless smooth with a sheen. A classic angel, yellow hair, brimming eyes. The cynic lasers for flickers of falsity. Nothing. We meditate. She chants trailing into 'shanti, shanti, shanti'.
Kosi speaks. Advaita. Standard. She invites questions. A woman - black shawl, knotted eyes - goes up. Kosi holds her hand. The woman has had blissful experiences and openings. She cannot come to terms with world suffering. She wakes every day with the pain of it. Kosi peels the onion. The woman sheds. Guided back to her five-year-old self, she lets go.
A young French man goes up. He is angry. He is angry at the angry people who act without thought and harm each other. He wants to fight the fighters. She guides him to the real source of his anger. He lets go.
A woman with snowy hair and a story face takes her turn. She has gained self-realisation through many years of spiritual tourism, daily meditation, and art. These things served to a point. What next?
There's sincerity and commitment. The teacher feels genuine. The clear-eyed ones I guess are already Nondulans.
I'm a way off, still scribbling.
Sunday, 14 September 2014
In Nether Stowey, visiting Coleridge's cottage. Coleridge lived here for two years. In that time he produced all his best work. There's a vial of laudanum on the shelf of his writing room. Out of the bottle swim sacred rivers, ectoplasmic ancient mariners and damsels bright. It feels like the scene in Indiana Jones when the Ark is opened and the winds of spirit are released, the holy and the unholy.
I wander on, beams above, flags underfoot. Here he ate, here he slept and made love. My thoughts fall into rhyme and metre. Invited to scratch an 'I woz here' note with a quill: clumsy, bleeding words.
In the garden I ate his blackberries, his bitter apples. Southey appeared over the garden wall. Coleridge looked into the eyes of Southey over the garden wall.
The well has a cool, plinky magic. A brick-lined tunnel with the mystery of lakes; what lies in the depths? Gibbet-like with its winding rope; death by letting down, not hoisting up.
I leave the cottage and walk his walk, hear his stream, see in his colours. Pass Walford's Gibbet in the high corner of a sloping field. Here a man hung for the murder of his wife. A dying place; his last moments were these, this field, these birds, this air, and thousands gathered to watch. Why? It was eight years before the time of Coleridge. Would he have watched? Would he have written about it?
Eat under a crooked tree among the heather, fern and gorse. Through woods to Bin Combe. Here he wrote 'Nature! Sweet Nurse! O take me in thy lap - And tell me of my Father.'
A poet's mind bathes in the juice of poppies, the milk of paradise. Beware, beware, his flashing eyes, his floating hair. There's danger in the depths of wells.
Or sip tea, visit the National Trust gift shop, stay safe where this is 'nice' and that is 'lovely'.