The Wisdom of My Future Self

Tracking Wonder’s Dr.Tina Selig gives the new nudge. I could not begin to address this until I had absorbed last week’s bucketing ride. Still kicked by a mule and reeling but look ma, I’m ready. A bit out of breath!

Your Quest2016 Prompt today:

What advice would your future self a year from now give you today? #FutureSelf

Olderwiser ‘I wondered if you’d show up’
Plumscared  ‘I nearly didn’t. But fire away’
Olderwiser   ‘ You can choose what has been chosen, or run’
Plumscared   ‘What’s been chosen?’
Olderwiser   ‘ You want to lose yourself. You chose that years ago. Still                                   haven’t obeyed it. It’s getting rather impatient.’
Plumscared  ‘That’s certainly true. I was busy.’
Olderwiser   ‘Creative work is the only way. Thinking ‘about’ won’t do it.                              Thinking ‘of’ might.’
Plumscared  ‘But which work? So many options?’
Olderwiser  ‘You have done duty. What’s wrong with pleasurable work? It                            will pleasure you, and may pleasure others’
Plumscared. ‘ I have an idea…’
Olderwiser  ‘ I’d start there, and without delay. Time is not on your side,                              but I may be able to to do something about that. Leave time to me.’
Plumscared  ‘Ta’
Olderwiser   ‘No worries?’
Plumscared. ‘Deal’.

Quest2016 A Synthesis Journey

A JOURNEY AND A DREAM

In a week I have travelled quite a long way. The other night I had a dream in which I was in a barred cage, and contemplated how I might escape it. Outside was sunlit grass, inside a naked floor under a covering cloth of darkness, the darkness of fear and self doubt. I took hold of two bars and found that I could part them with little effort and simply step out: the cage of myself.

Jeffrey’s invitation was to synthesize the common overlap between the three question. My first answer was to listen no longer to my own voice but what others ( and life itself) were telling me. (I am over familiar with the repetitive and bullying injunctions of my thuggish mind.’You ought, you should, and never shall you rest’) The next day I received a letter, a wild dog attack from my eldest daughter’s partner. I will spare you the content but just give the context. I have not had any contact with my daughter for seventeen years, all letters ignored, all overtures rebuffed.I have never met what might have been my grandchildren. I came face to face with the bars of that cage, it was the lingering hope of restoration.

What parted the bars was the end of such hope. The letter revealed such hatred that I had to recognise the past could never be restored, and never would be. Mother was over. I wrote a letter of farewell, and stepped through and into a different future.

Quest Week One

To the second question of how to devote a year committed to one question, I answered with a sense of liberty and time for what might prove rewarding by trying to plumb the answer to Shakespeare’s perennial and unending vitality. I would put into practice what I learnt by finishing a play.

It wasn’t until I answered the third of what would you commit to if you knew it couldn’t fail that the wheel came round full circle. Shakespeare was playing safe, and writing a play that couldn’t fail was terrifying, because it would be devalued by that condition, so it couldn’t really succeed either! I then realised that my cage had been constructed from the fear of other people precisely because my daughters’ rejection had injured self confidence fatally. Regaining it required me to ‘go public’ as an identity, as a writer, but mostly as vulnerable, and nakedly released.

Being a good mother was one thing I believed I had managed. Managing a divorce was predicated on that first and only imperative. Building a home for the united children (4) of two marriages, and having the ex and his new wife to stay frequently was part of that imperative and the generosity of my husband in accepting that demand was also an acceptance of the domination of ‘motherhood’ , although he did it with great generosity, and never distinguished between his and another man’s daughters. To ensure this continued he named my ex husband as his first child’s godfather  should the worst happen to us. We thought we had done it differently, and no harm could come.

What we could not influence happened later and severed us all completely. This week hope died.

What lies in the centre at the intersection, the purple patch?  It may come back to the play, whether for stage or not. Being seen not for a clever idea, but a deeper kind of truth, the dynamic intersection between an individual and the role we clothe ourselves to perform. I shall cast off an outworn motherhood, more than threadbare now, so tattered I wonder how it clothed me for all these years of hope, and turn towards writing what I know personally, maybe a memoir, maybe a portrait of my earlier family that generated the desire to raise lots of loving children (I had no father and no siblings and longed for companions) and within whatever it turns out to be find something universal. At this time of Christmas the ‘Family’ is a heaven, but can equally be a hell. Time to explore.

Quest2016 Penetrating Deeper.

The Self Searching Odyssey.

Debbie Millman’s Prompt on 5th December.

Your Quest2016 Prompt today:

How would you do business as unusual in 2016 if you knew – no matter what you chose – you would not fail?

Superficially this seemed easier but in attempting to answer it I recognised it might have eliminated my answer to Prompt No 2. Would I spend a year cozying up to Shakespeare by writing a play that might help me to understand his genius? That now seems entirely selfish. And safe.

William_Shakespeare_Chandos_Portrait

What today’s prompt elicited was the full confession ( to myself) of my terror in joining a group. #Quest2016 has been the first toe in the group waters. I tasted my fear of other people. I identified its roots in a lifetime of rejection from my father ( before I was two) and ever since, culminating in my daughters, now adult. I am terrified of other people. I have sheltered behind solitude, and having powerful ideas. Ideas rejected equally ( which made them precious friends, we suffered together!). Only ideas have kept me going; writing them has filled my years, reading them has comforted me. The very few who celebrated them are my only friends. I know no others.

Suddenly I feel stripped naked, and very vulnerable. (Old women naked probably all do!) I suspect that I need to discover whether that life might have been different, if I had been available to be liked, instead of retreating behind what I created. I know a fair bit about love; love of music, love of language, love of understanding, nothing about liked. Just ordinary liking. I once knew how to laugh. I have forgotten how to do that. So I get there by starting to like myself? Then see if anyone else shares that? It might show me a whole new world, and since I am assured it cannot fail it seems even better than Shakespeare.

Philippa at46

Finding the Quest2016(ion)?

Your Quest2016 Prompt (2)today: from Jonathan Fields

You wake up to discover a knock at your door. A wealthy uncle you barely knew has passed and left you a fortune. It’s more than enough to live out your days in glorious splendor, but there is a condition. To be eligible to collect, you must commit your full-time working energies to the pursuit of an answer to a single question of your choosing for the next 12 months.

You are welcome to continue that pursuit after the year ends, for years or decades if it warrants, but you must remain fully focused on seeking the answer until the last minute of the 365th day. A minute shorter, the entire inheritance goes to your annoying and equally long lost cousin, Philly.

The Quest2016 (ion)?

Tempting though it might be to assume the position of the long lost cousin Philly and just wait ( since I already have her name and am probably equally annoying) I realise this is a very pointed challenge.
My first answer to the first prompt was to find an aim for an arrow, a true North for the next year. To understand and reapply that understanding creatively.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery to whom would I play page and study in their footsteps? (Getting out from myself, you see)

Question to be answered

Why has Shakespeare never been equalled or surpassed in four hundred years?

(He invented a language? He used the language of drama with its deep roots in Greek theatre ( Tradition) to talk to his contemporaries about everything (Invention)? He trusted himself to make poetry out of the mundane? He managed to tread a careful line between patronage and independence. He gloried in every aspect of life, and mocked its conceits. He was endlessly inventive and able to work to a deadline. He remains anonymous).

Yes I know, as role models go, very ambitious if not presumptuous. How will Shakespeare help me for a twelve month? In a guided adventure?

It brings me back to ‘The Play’s the Thing’. I have a half written play which began a dissection of failure. I am anonymous, so nearly there. Patronage I know nothing of, nor deadlines, but independence is a familiar and talking about everything comes naturally. ‘Something in particular’ is more difficult. Mocking conceit comes like breathing and gets me into trouble. In a theatre you can just drop the curtain. The poetry of the mundane must be honed so it does not end up as mundane poetry.

If playing to one’s strengths is a good idea (and at 75 makes a virtue out of a necessity) I reckon answering that question by writing a play may be no bad answer. It will cover what I know a bit about; the sound of one hand clapping.You never know, I might hear a sound of two hands clapping.  It will do to be getting on with.

(I must attribute the original idea to a very good friend Brian George. I wasn’t listening when he spoke!)

 

 

Tell Yourself? Quest 2016

Life’s Odyssey.

( I have posted on this site which is all about the human odyssey, but derived from my small recapitulation of it.)

I have pledged to take myself to task with ‘Tracking Wonder’. It has become an inflamed need to forge or find a clear path. Not long ago I had an amazing esoteric ‘reading’ ; not of my personality ( all too familiar!) but my soul’s path. William Meader is an extraordinary visionary, whose clarity is compelling. His astrology is not concerned with the surface, relationships, money etc but the driving influences that shape an individual life, and accounts for the repeated patterns within it.

Since I have always believed I have been ‘called out’ to interpret life differently I wanted to determine whether this was a egotistical afflatus that gave my life purpose, or was justified from another perspective, and I really did have a ‘job to do’. Three years ago I published the book that I thought was that ‘job done’. Its conspicuous ‘failure’ is not (I believe) a reflection of its quality ( it has won accolades and prizes) but perhaps a failure of discrimination. It was originally 45 years too early for an alternative science, and now its re-written form as poetic science might have been too late for the sound-bite world of twitter.

So my search is to reconcile either a life mistaken, and misapplied, with little time left to remedy OR to see the perspective entirely differently. The exhaustion might have incubated a little precious time, or brought me to the point when giving up (on that over-long journey) is true maturity?

In answer to Susan Piver’s first prompt ‘What I most need to tell myself in 2016’ I can only at this point offer this ‘To stop rehearsing what once was true, in order to listen to other voices, both inner and outer’ William Meader acknowledged that I was a compulsive pioneer in everything (Aries at a zenith with Jupiter coming up fast) but the danger of Sagittarius as an influence was a tendency to point the arrows in too many directions without taking a fixed and true aim at the most important. I want to be able to see that aim for the arrow. Then I will be able to release it! That is my hope.

The Golden Key- Phi

Phi

Although art is a language this comes close to pure economy of means to express the wealth of harmony, muscle, bone, music, colour and all the natural world, and the mind of man.

Click full screen and sink back

Genius; A Saviour?

Genius: The Challenge to Political Correctness. Opening Our Eyes.

The Composer Alma Deutscher

A man of genius…is a spring in which there is always more behind than flows from it.’  James Froude.

In this day of ‘all must have prizes, and ‘all are equal born’ genius sits uncomfortably; a challenge to everything that the democracy of equality seeks to foster, in education, in law, in ‘human rights’ and in appropriate ‘tolerance’. Part revered, part resented genius has led the human cavalcade in science, in art and music. Yet it remains a kind of orphan of thinking, capricious, unpredictable and therefore without a general or deeper significance. The gift is believed a matter of luck.

For me genius is the single phenomenon that throws a vivid lens on the fallacies in understanding. More than half the world believes in reincarnation, and past life memory, (when dug out from the deeply buried) the gradual ascent through trials and vicissitudes of spiritual advancement. Karma is seen as a deeper democracy, the correction to unequal birth by sampling the smorgasbord of different circumstances, until exhausted by the imprisonment in matter the soul ascends to Elysium. Whatever that might be.

My recent virtual encounter with the extraordinary child that is Alma Deutscher has refocused attention on this whole question.

As an introduction this interview on Zeitgeist  gives a portrait of not only the truth of the quotation from Froude (above) but should be followed by taking the time to watch this ten year old’s opera ‘Cinderella’. Not merely for the music and its orchestration, but the intuitive sense of drama, character, humour and the mind-blowing naturalness of the composer in a shift and bare feet wandering about the stage playing both violin and piano when judged necessary, and generally making sure the performance goes as it should. This is a maestro who knows exactly who she is.

Both Act One and Two are available here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IzTR8qdVLs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsptSA4X9os

This composer has absorbed the idioms of Mozart, Schubert, fragments of Brahms, moments of Beethoven and Bach and, like any new linguist, shapes familiar language to express new ideas. I am sure there will be the destructive critic who will dismiss her work as past its sell-by date ( too melodic, too structured in the past forms- rondos, variations, quartets etc) but perhaps her message lies beyond music altogether. Perhaps she has come to force us to confront the legacy of genius and what it contributes to memory. It remains intact, and those endowed with access to it are a mirror about the nature of reality itself.

Alma Deutscher2

Perhaps genius is the artesian well through which a field, the pressure of consciousness comes to the surface. To refresh our access to the universal memory of which we are, each, a part and far from equal in our access to it.

When I wrote Involution- An Odyssey I included what I knew would raise hackles, the supposition that not only the spiritual Bodhisattva ( who returns voluntarily to raise our collective game) but that the gifted genius arrives with his/her gifts intact. Memory. I went further and leapt for an idea that the gifted genius returns to the world in which that gift is recognised, and fostered. Here is the relevant passage from Canto the Ninth.

In the words of the serpent DNA

If I am the waxen plate,
A palimpsest of lives…
Impressed by narratives I’m told
To match the soul with parentage—

The hybrid of arriving past
I assign to future—
My homespun stripes speak dialects,
Kinship written on calling cards
Each according to their scripture…
The child is father to the man, each ensures
The safeguards to their hungers…
The correction of residual crimes…
The denial of appetites outgrown…
The shaping of their talents
Offers incense to the brazier burning
On the altar of mankind.

Each soul is one immortal whole
(Its energy vibration)
Particulate in its liberty
To choose what has been chosen:
The dynasties within the arts,
The families treading Shakespeare’s boards,
Cremona’s lines of luthiers,
The homing pigeons returning home
To exhaust their passions…

(Ardour is not infectious
Nor art sufficiently paid
To fake a false conviction.
The soul, passionate intrinsically,
Burns steady and sustained)

Precocious early limber child
Seeks guided incarnation;
Leopold Mozart, so reviled,
(As Commendatore immortalized)
Without both his virtues and his vices
(Esteeming the gift but shaving its glitter)
Would Amadeus, born instead to a putz-mädchen,
Have survived? Or offered man a note?
Or too many, in desperation?

I can only say that this encounter ( for which I have to thank Margo’s blog for setting my nose on the track via Amira the extraordinary singer) has revived me from a near bottomless despair. Alma refuses to be Mozart, but it is possible she once was. Given his tragic life and more tragic death I would like to think she has come to finish what he never could. In her own way.

Cover designed by the composer

It begs many questions about everything but I don’t intend to ask those today, just to glory in the confirmation that the collective nature of consciousness might continue its appeal. We are therefore not entirely beyond hope. One child can rescue us. That was the essence of Yeshua, was it not?

4 THOUGHTS ON “GENIUS- THE SAVIOUR?”

  1. Pingback: Genius- The Saviour? | philippareesEdit
  2. Philippa this is a post to be savoured; I will listen when time permits. For the moment to say that this is ‘good’ that there is more behind the spring in you, even when in despair.

    The words of the serpent DNA, are very powerful.

    Strangely, I’m putting up a post tomorrow : An excerpt from The Diary of Anne Frank … again, from the soul of a child …

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is a pleasure to offer you an overwhelming gift. Just listening to, and watching her restores faith in the innate capacity of humanity, and its possible purpose. From here the Universe might have had man ‘in mind’. Not often does one have reason to think that!

      Liked by 2 people

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