Its Guy Fawkes Day
Today is Guy Fawkes Day in the UK. For those who don’t know, it celebrates an occasion in 1605 when a Catholic Christian called Guy Fawkes was discovered in a cellar below the old English Parliament as he was preparing to blow up the Parliament just as the Protestant king of England was to open a new session. All the peers of the realm and leading gentry would have been there. Thus a blow would have been struck against the wicked heretics in the name of the one, true faith.
Since then, if not before, Catholics were persecuted in England, as they became the 17th Century equivalent of the Red revolution, about to undermine the integrity of the state and church at every turn. Protestants would burn bonfires in memory of the “Anti-Christ”. Previously they burned images of the Pope, the head of the Catholic church, in the name of independent Englist protestantism, but on Guy Fawkes Day they now burned images of him, a new bete noir.
Today, we don’t think of it as an anti-catholic demonstration, and light fireworks, burn bonfires and hold sparkers in the chill November evening, standing on the newly fallen leaves. Such divisions are long forgotten.
However, the aware person might like to reflect that we some of us have other perceived demons in our midst, as the arrival of the British National Party on our domestic scene might impactfully remind us. Ethnic, social, and religious divisons are not so far beneath the surface, and recession can make them stronger. So, you might like to spare a thought for how our fellow humans may perceive more splits and ways to experience separation from Oneness.
None of that is who we are.
Here’s an article, and some news about some forthcoming workshops. I hope you find it useful in some way.
No quick fix
I was giving a talk about this time last year about creativity and about how we limit ourselves through what we think and feel, when I was asked, “Are there any quick fixes?” I said “No”, and the questioner looked disappointed. He wanted a result now.
My reply was partly true, and partly not. It depends. For example, it is possible to change your mind about something in an instant and get a different result. It will depend on your level of awareness and belief among other things, and your ability to tune into your creative side.
I suspect for most of us, it is a lot slower, since we need to develop our awareness and change how we see ourselves and our world, and that requires doing some work on our selves. At the moment, many don’t want to do that. Many want it now, a quick fix, a pill you take, the latest book, something new, a new trend, an on-line course. Staying in front of the laptop is somehow safer. And people don’t want to face difficult truths, although they may be aware of them.
The trouble is that what you resist, you get. If you are trying to avoid something you fear, for example, you give it an energy, you in a sense draw it to you, you get it. For example, did you have the experience as a child that you wanted to avoid some bully? You’d do everything to disguise things but inside you’d be shaking. And what would happen is that they’d see you, and with the instinct that bullies have, they’d go for you?
I was told recently that bookings for a particular line of workshops were right down, due to “mass psychological uncertainty”. Wow! I thought, that sounds big! And how would he know that anyway? Then as I thought about it, the sense that there is a lot of this uncertainty going on felt true somehow. It’s felt as if things are on hold as people are wondering what’s going to happen.
When we freeze – out of fear – things stop. We shut down.
And give away our power.
I’ve been working with a group seeking to influence government policy. What has come over really strikingly is how obsessed government is with managing risk, like companies at the moment, and “protecting the public”. As if we can’t protect ourselves. As a result the government over the last decade has taken on all sorts of powers, it seems. The usual outcome is that government intervention doesn’t solve the problem but displaces it. We’re not taking responsibility. Fear again.
You may know, the word “fear” is also a useful acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. It’s an illusion. We need to see through it to our truth.
I was talking recently with a friend who’s been reading a book on the Mayan calendar predictions for 2012, when there is supposed to be a mass shift in consciousness. He said the preparation for this was already going on and that people needed to start raising their own levels of awareness. Good time to be doing some personal development training, I thought.
Also, in recessions people get creative. They work on their business and/or themselves and come up with new ideas to take to market. They engage in learning. Lots of people are aware the old paradigm is past its sell-by date. It’s amazing how a big implosion like the banking crisis gets people to question the illusion, the whole pack of cards that the pre-recession economy was based on. And they question the exclusive, small-clique, increasingly authoritarian politics, now that MP’s too are found to be over-doing it with their expenses. Suddenly the world seems different. I was told the other day too, that a whole political grass-roots awakening is under foot, encouraged by the increasing realisation that our climate could change radically for the worse. And when lots of people lose their jobs, they start re-evaluating their lives, exploring new directions. And this is a much more sophisticated workforce, more educated and more questioning. People are seeking. And they are asking about meaning, what’s the meaning of it all, and what do I really want out of my life?
You maybe can get a sense of how things could suddenly start shifting.
So, where are you be in all this? Still stuck in uncertainty? Or will you be joining the increasing numbers who are seeing through the illusion, albeit dimly? Remember what Gandhi said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”. And look at the example he gave.
This time it starts with us. As Christ said, before you try to remove the speck of sawdust from your brother’s eye (he was a carpenter), first remove the plank in your own. We need to raise our own awareness, heal our own divisions, let go of our own fears, discover the beauty of who we are, believe in ourselves, know the joy of our own Self, if we are to authentically lead others to peace, reconciliation and harmony with one another and with nature.