Sunday, 16 September 2018

Did Those Feet In Ancient Time...?

Dear Reader,

My past two posts were largely about the ancient origins of the British and about sacred geometry. This week the topic reverts specifically to the history of Britain, but in the context of its ancient spiritual developments and roots of Christianity in Britain and the reason why it's of importance.

In those immortal words of William Blake's 'Jerusalem', reference is made through the words "And Did Those Feet In Ancient Time" to the possible visit of Jesus to Britain, and specifically to Britain's west country, from Glastonbury westwards.

Now for many years I regarded those words of Blake as being perhaps of wishful thinking and not based on anything substantive and not of great importance. Until, that is, I went back to historically research ancient British history a few weeks ago and from which I have lately come across remarkable findings by other investigators over the last 200 years, and which is on-going in a project called The Golden Age Project.

The Golden Age Project website talks a great deal more than what I am referring to which is the part about the possible visit of Jesus to these shores and its ramifications, but I suggest it is worthwhile referring to the Golden Age Project's website for a greater appreciation of their subject matter.

The nature of The Golden Age Project findings might be thought to be too 'way out' or unrealistic, but is this because of how we have been conditioned to think? You see, one of the main issues that now becomes more vivid to me is that over the last 2,000 years we in Britain have been subjected to huge dominating forces in the form of the Romans, the Roman Catholic Church and, finally, the Normans, in that order. We have developed our own way since the Norman invasion, but "our way" has been considerably conditioned by the three dominating forces referred to earlier. What our point of view became - in my view - was essentially a synthesis of those three dominating forces with 'add-ons'. But there was something that was much finer that survived (despite its attempted domination) until the 7th century and which I believe is really worthy of study.

So let us start somewhere about what I am alluding to, and my first point of reference is that the Roman Catholic Church, despite its pretence at being the true representative of Jesus, actually knows that the Christian church was not firstly established (in Europe) in Rome.

Astonishing, isn't it?

It would seem that virtually all the great names of the Roman Catholic tradition in Britain (from the monk Bede and including St. Augustine) admitted that the first church was established at Glastonbury in the 30s AD, probably 35 AD. That the next church was established in Wales in 62 AD and that shortly after there was a great monastery established at Bangor that was a huge influence in British spiritual life until the 7th century. All before St. Augustine came over and - eventually by default after a great battle that happened to clear the way - established the Roman Catholic tradition that seriously influenced our ways in Britain for 1,000 years (supplemented by the Normans). Even Henry VIII did not entirely get rid of Catholicism, and it was not until William of Orange arrived and the Bill of Rights passed in 1688 that we have the state firmly committed to Protestantism.

But let's return to that early Christian church in Britain, and ask how it came to be. And the answer brings us back to William Blake and his poetic assertions about "Those Feet". It would appear that it was none other than Joseph of Arimathea and other close members of Jesus's circle that were responsible for planting that early church, and that Joseph of Arimathea had greater credentials than the Bible would let us believe. But the further amazing realisation is that the teachings that were espoused were esoterically in tune with those of the Druids. And that the Romans made it their main job to persecute Druids and Christians alike, until it came about that Christianity (in a certain form) was established by Constantine as the official Roman religion nearly 300 years after the first European church was established at Glastonbury.

There is a great deal more to dwell on including the assertion that St. Paul was yet another great figure of Christianity that came to these shores and helped to establish the monastery at Bangor. And much, much more besides including the revelation that Emperor Constantine was descended from a British royal family.

I am building up a historical perspective of all this that will (in the not too distant future, hopefully) appear on my website and, perhaps, as a book. I believe the matter to be of supreme importance, and in fact should be of great interest to the Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims that now share our country, and all those who believe in the essential unity in all religious teachings - especially the Unitarians and the Quakers.

Thank you for reading this.

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Sacred Developments In A New Age

Dear Reader,

It is always marvellous to me how a train of thought leads me to something new or magnifies the topic even more. This past week has been a very good example of that.

In my previous post, I alluded to 'sacred geometry'. Now (for those not familiar with the topic) sacred geometry is an extremely ancient system of design that has given rise to the basis of design of virtually all the genuine temples, mosques and cathedrals in the world. Those buildings - as places of worship to the Almighty - are designed in such a way so as to bring to those premises the full powers of the natural energies of the universe, bringing with them uplifting and healing power - particularly of the soul. Chartres Cathedral is just one magnificent example. 

An example of a practitioner in this method has been Professor Keith Critchlow, a great practitioner of sacred geometry for over half a century. He is a polymath, an artist, lecturer, author, and professor of architecture in England and Professor Emeritus at The Prince's School of Traditional Arts in London. He has designed many great buildings, including the great Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital in India, and mosques etc.

It was a friend of Keith Critchlow's - the late John Michell - who highlighted to me the importance of sacred geometry in ancient sites such as Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid through his publications in the 1970s. At that time I did not think it being more than an esoteric yet whimsical notion of little practical purpose in the modern age. But I have been proved to be very wrong.

The topic of sacred geometry has come more and more to the forefront in the last two decades or so. It may not be present in the general public's perception, but it is there, and there is no doubt as to its significance and a pointer to how architecture will develop in the New World that is around the corner.

The 'Flower of Life' geometry - the basis of much.
"What 'New World' is this?", you say.

Only six years ago there was a mild panic when the world became very aware that the Mayan Calendar was to reach its end in December, 2012. People said that it would be the end of the world, but - as always - nothing of that nature occurred. But what did happen is that planet Earth made a spiritual shift of vital importance, and that is taking us - through all the current chaos and crisis - to a New Age. Christians would say this New Age is the second coming of Christ.

In this New Age, man will have a need to reach into a new spiritual dimension and faculties such as sacred geometry will be one of the tools that will bring man into closer alignment with God's creation and the Almighty himself. As it is, in fact, already doing and has been for some time now.

The time is coming closer for us to have to change. And part of that will be to recognise our dependence on Mother Nature - and the whole universe - and we will have to stop treating our world as though it is there for us to play with as we like, which attitude has given rise to all the environmental issues and climate change that is now upon us.

This past week I have suddenly grasped how much has been going on behind the scenes in these last few decades to help us all into this New Age.

I wish everyone well in this venture.

Thank you for reading this.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Picking Bones and Turning Stones...

Dear Reader,

To me, it is a curious condition that we seem to accept that civilised life started less than 7,000 years ago. It is also a curious condition to my mind that we westerners mostly think that the pure teachings of Jesus had not been heard before.

I am constantly learning something new about man's history, and the other day I obtained a history of Britain by its most acclaimed historian: G. M. Trevelyan. In some early pages of this well-written book are references to early people of Britain called 'Iberians'. Now this name (Iberian) hit me like a thunderbolt; Iberia to me has always been the Spanish and Portuguese peninsula, so what on earth would 'Iberians' be doing in Britain?

I donned my research 'hat' once more. I learnt that these peoples (the Iberians) were the same that created Stonehenge and were the main body of people in these islands until the Celts arrived, much later. And it's only since the arrival of the Celts that British history has hitherto been concentrated. The Iberians have been something of an enigma ... except for Stonehenge ...

My research then took me into genetics, and the work of Stephen Oppenheimer, a professor at Oxford University, author of 'The Origins of the British: A Genetic Detective Story' (2006).

Oppenheimer wrote (in a 2006 newspaper article):
I have traced and mapped sources and dates of migration of the male and female gene lines, which had arrived in the British Isles before 1950.
The first and most important discovery I made is that three-quarters of British ancestors arrived as hunter-gatherers between 7,500 and 15,000 years ago, after the melting of the ice caps but before the land broke away from the mainland and divided into islands.
Our subsequent separation from Europe has preserved a genetic time capsule of southwestern Europe during the Ice Age, which we share most closely with the former ice-age refuge in the Basque country. Overall, three-quarters of our modern gene pool (two thirds in England) derives from this early source.
The first settlers were unlikely to have spoken a Celtic language but possibly a tongue related to the unique Basque language.
The curious fact that Oppenheimer states is that the migration of the Iberians into Britain occurred around 10,000 BC (though there is a wide plus or minus I know). I say 'curious' as I do believe (yes, many don't) that Atlantis actually existed but that it disappeared under the waves at about the same time as the Iberian influx. Now surely, some survivors of that cataclysm (accepting - as I do - that Atlantis was located in the Atlantic Ocean) would have reached the Iberian peninsula before some moved further on. And it was not that long after (around 7,000 BC or perhaps even earlier) that the Iberians started building extraordinary mystical sites such as Stonehenge, which went through subsequent re-development.

And I hypothesise that it's the survival of those mystical structures, using a design based on mystical (sacred) geometry, that indicates that the builders were inheritors of a spiritual tradition that goes back aeons, and to Atlantis, where it is believed that an extraordinary civilisation existed. It is further believed (by those who accept the Atlantis notion) that it was a great being of wisdom that took other survivors of Atlantis to Egypt and there built the Giza Pyramids, built using the same sacred geometry as used at Stonehenge. Of course, the official archaeological teaching is that these pyramids were built much later, but that belief is being rapidly eroded. 

So, what has happened since 10,000BC? I follow the theory that says that the Atlantean culture was destroyed because it came to the limit of disobeying natural laws. Hence man was made to start all over again. And what have we done? It seems to me that we are replicating the errors of the Atlanteans and are moving towards an 'End of Time' once more. But I do believe also that on this occasion there will be a brighter outcome, and a future of hope. Why do I say that? Because I believe in the great masters Krishna, the Buddha and Jesus (and others) who showed man that there is a right mode of living - for those that will take heed.

Thank you for reading this.

P.S. Please take a look at my updated website homepage.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Life Can Be Wonderful, If...

Dear Reader,

In recent decades we have heard a good deal about the mantra "you are what you eat". And I would think that a majority of people in the west now take at least some note of that and actually apply the doctrine in everyday life. However, we all like to have a periodic 'day off' from what many see as being a boring path to a healthy lifestyle.

The tragedy is that western eating and sedentary habits have been replicated in eastern countries too over the last few decades and yet it was they that had a better wisdom towards diet! They also are now having to think again.

And in this video of a delightful dialogue between an eminent cardiac surgeon and Sadhguru my feeling is that the argument for a healthy lifestyle (exercise as well as diet) comes over well. And one particular matter took my interest in that Sadhguru referred to the dangers of looking forward to a retired life, arguing that without the challenge of something like a working life, people can stagnate. This point is contentious, though, as many people are employed in unstimulating work and therefore want something else more enjoyable in their later years, but if retirement has to be then let us be prepared to find something in retirement that is a challenge, perhaps in some form of voluntary work, or taking an active interest in local history, or in some other form of activity.

The overwhelming underlying issue, though, is that our bodies are provided to us for careful maintenance and surely we have a duty to keep our body machine in reasonable order. If we were to accept that doctrine then we should see ourselves in a different light, particularly as the sages tell us that if we take care of ourselves then greater possibilities open up for us. We can actually gain by behaving sensibly; it's not just a chore, it can be a delight so long as we have the right (positive) mental attitude.

And - importantly - money has little or nothing to do with our attitude and decision on the matter. It's how we perceive life that is the crux, combined with a sense of duty in not being an unnecessary burden on society. For example, if we take proper care of ourselves then the need for expensive healthcare can be eradicated. In the UK, to avoid that would be a great help to our wonderful health service.

And may I humbly add that reducing one's meat consumption would provide all kinds of benefits, to us individually and also to the world's sustainability. Further, the welfare of animals would be seen to be of greater importance than it now is. Tragically, they are predominantly seen to be there just to sustain our physical needs and are mechanically dealt with. They - as with all forms of creatures - form part of a whole, a unity. Without a healthy unity, we are headed for problems, particularly for our children.

Thank you for reading this.

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Finding Freely-Given Generosity

Dear Reader,

I am increasingly aware that all over the world there has been, sadly, a falling-away of family bonding and unsought-for generosity. Even in the East where their extended families and care towards them was famous, there has been a greater tendency for elders to be placed in care homes in recent decades.

I have become more aware of this as my wife comes from the East and her generation still retain their respect for older members of their extended family. But there is the tendency now for the modern generation to be not so concerned and live more for themselves.

I do not blame the modern generation for everything: far from it. It would appear to me that the seeds for this lack of concern were planted earlier when people started to be more widely educated in the western system, which tends to play more towards looking out for oneself and sticking to straight lines of thinking. That education tended to make many educationally highly-qualified people look down on their less well-endowed relatives.

In this, as I posted last week, there seems now, thankfully, to be a belated but slow change in thinking, more given towards traditional eastern modes of thought. And this approach is vital as we also seek to find ways to towards a more sustainable way of living on a planet of finite resources. We have to re-learn how to love our environment as well as other people.

But the circumstances which we have created, and the need to re-think, has cast my mind back to the late 1950s and the 1960s when life was quite different and people tended to be much more inclusive towards one another. For me, it also meant a time of adventure and the outdoors in those pre-PC days. From Snowdon to Derbyshire, from Birmingham to Stratford, from Dover to Milan, I covered quite a few blades of grass at a time when most ordinary people stuck to their holidays by the English seaside or were beginning to jet away to sunshine beaches.

As time went on I launched myself into hitch-hiking on the continent, mainly through France and North Italy, but also Belgium and Switzerland. Although my hitch-hiking experience was relatively short-lived, I have to say that those trips over three or four years (including one that lasted several months) had a profound effect on my attitude towards life, aided by many wonderful encounters with French (and Italian) nationals who were so generous towards us, I found it quite astonishing. I wonder if the same experiences would be possible now, in this more calculating age?

Probably the most remembered is when a companion and I were given a lift by a van driver and his mate in mid-France. We were stowed in the back of the van (without windows) and went some distance before noticing that we had left the main road and were travelling down a rough road surface. This didn't seem right - particularly as we continued in this fashion for some time! We began to think we were being kidnapped! Eventually, the van stopped. We were let out of the back and were then greeted by the driver's family and neighbours in their remote hilltop village. We were then treated to their local vin and hosted for some time before we continued on our journey! Their hospitality was quite extraordinary; they were just so excited to meet English people!

Another occasion saw me travelling with a van driver over the 200 miles from Marseilles to Lyon, a trip that took 3 or 4 hours. He was so grateful for my company and conversation on the journey that he insisted on giving me money for my lunch when we got there.

Many years later, in the 1980s and 1990s, I experienced the generosity of ordinary people in Malacca, Malaysia, where simple people living on very little would host us in their homes.

The nature of people - if we would remember ourselves correctly - is to be generous, so to be anything different is really contrary to who we are and invariably leads to difficulties.

So let us re-think about who we are and learn to know our (real) selves, as men of wisdom advised long ago, and, as Jesus said, the true way of life rests on two laws. The first is to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and all thy mind. The second is to love thy neighbour as thyself. To forget these two laws (principles) is tantamount to forgetting about how to be human beings.

Thank you for reading this.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

What Can We Do Today For The Sake Of Tomorrow?

Dear Reader,

The need for commonsense leadership has been apparent for some time. How long has it taken for world leaders to agree that climate change is a reality and something to be taken very seriously indeed. There have also been ecological warnings raised by 'think tanks' since the 1970s - apart from more isolated warnings before that - and yet the world's economy goes on thinking that 'more is best'.

The main problem - I suggest - is that our educational system is geared towards the 'more' syndrome, and also to the use of the brain as our sole source of direction. Our education is greatly in need of being re-framed to attune more to commonsense teaching. Even wisdom teaching.

How refreshing it is, therefore, to find that some quite significant western institutions have called 'time' to examine how they should better go about things. It's taken time, but at last there's now some effort towards thinking differently.

In the Youtube library you will find a series of such talks that have taken place very recently at some major institutions, and primarily involving an Indian educationalist cum community worker cum mystic cum yogi who goes by the name of 'Sadhguru':

Here's a selection of the most profound recordings on the topic of how we should think about ourselves and the world around us, in order to bring the world into not just sustainability but harmony:
At the World Bank
At Stanford Business School
At Harvard Medical School
About Medicine... 
and about The Ideal Education
And there are many more fascinating videos that can be viewed on the sidebar at the above links.

How about these thoughts that Sadhguru conveys - amongst many others - that should be challenging us to 'think again':
That if we pursue study in the current educational system over a 15 to 20 years period, then we lose around 70% of our real intelligence.
That if we pursue study in the current educational system over a 15 to 20 years period, then we could find that around 40% of the total population will become schizophrenic in the next 25 to 30 years.
Surely, apart from all the issues of sustainability and climate change, these references should make us sit up and wonder what kind of world are we trying to leave for our children.

Thank you for reading this.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Have A Heart!

The brain is not (nor should not be) the source of our thoughts.
Dear Reader,

Without further ado, please read this quotation from the Bahai Teachings site:
If you’re reading this, you obviously have a beating heart.
In fact, why don’t you take a moment, right now, to sit back and just feel your heartbeat? Touch a finger to your wrist or your neck, and there, right beneath your skin, try to imagine the marvel of that faithful muscle. It beats constantly, without stopping, every minute of every day for your entire life. Try to truly feel your pulse and consider your heart’s job. Approximately the size of your fist—a little muscle that weighs maybe 12 ounces—it powers your entire physical existence, loyally pumping blood starting about three weeks after you begin life in your mother’s womb until your last moment on Earth.
The average human heart beats a hundred thousand times a day.
If you live a normal lifespan, your heart will faithfully beat nearly three billion times. No human organ—with the possible exception of the brain—has a harder or more complex task.
Perhaps that explains why the ancients saw the heart as the seat of life. In the oldest human societies, the heart represented the source of empathy, emotion, consciousness, reason, will, intellect, purpose and even the mind. That expansive, warm wonder of a feeling centered in our chests when we experience love? The heart. That terrible broken pain centered in our chests when love fails us? The heart. That sympathy and connection we feel to others when their emotions peak? The heart.
But modern science has traditionally viewed our hearts as mere mechanistic pumps. Because it sends our blood coursing its way through our arteries and veins, medical science has treated the heart muscle as the most machine-like of our vital organs.
Recently, though, that thinking has begun to change, as extensive scientific research and the new field of neurocardiology has increasingly shown that our hearts actually have a much larger role than simply pumping our lifeblood:
…one of the early pioneers in neurocardiology, Dr. J. Andrew Armour, introduced the concept of a functional “heart brain” in 1991. His work revealed that the heart has a complex intrinsic nervous system that is sufficiently sophisticated to qualify as a “little brain” in its own right. The heart’s brain is an intricate network of several types of neurons, neurotransmitters, proteins and support cells like those found in the brain proper. Its elaborate circuitry enables it to act independently of the cranial brain – to learn, remember, and even feel and sense. (From Neurocardiology, The Brain in the Heart, Heartmath Institute, 2015)
So we have known, for the past quarter-century, that the human heart contains a complex network of neurons that make up an intrinsic nervous system. These neurons transmit the heart’s signals to the brain, and the two organs actually work together. In fact, scientists have discovered neural pathways that allow the heart to inhibit or stimulate the brain’s electrical activity—to actually overrule the mind.
Everyone who has fallen in love understands how that mechanism works.
In fact, when we say our happiest and most spiritual feelings radiate from our hearts, we may be on to something scientifically and biologically real. The heart isn’t just a cardiac pump with its own nervous system—it’s also an endocrine gland, releasing peptides that stimulate the pituitary gland, which in turn releases hormones like oxytocin, commonly referred to as the love or bonding hormone. That expansive feeling of well-being, affection and love you’re experiencing in your chest? Turns out it literally does come from your heart. Maybe the ancients were right after all.
The article goes on to say that humans are "hard-wired, in other words, for attachment, affiliation and unity. We are inherently loving beings. We seek the bonds that only love can bring." Universal spiritual teachings state that every human heart innately and naturally desires connection, devotion and lasting love.

But we do not here talk simply about human inter-connection but about our connection with the entire environment in which we live, which is endless in reality. However, for now let's talk of our immediate (and physical) environment - called Planet Earth.

In the UK, these are some of the main development plans that our Government is pushing ahead with:
  1. Fracking.
  2. Heathrow's 3rd runway.
  3. HS2 (London-Midlands high speed railway), with HS3 to follow.
  4. Nuclear submarine replacement.
  5. Cancellation of a remarkable tide-control project in favour of nuclear power.
The cost and the ramifications of these projects are stellar in proportion and, frankly, hugely dangerous and wasteful in the main - and that's apart from the health issues.

Where is the heart that we allow these decisions to be made with barely a whimper? Since when has government been purely about economics and not inclusive of ethics?

There will be a cost to this: an enormous cost, not just in terms of money but the affect on people and nature itself. And we think that Mother Earth won't answer back?

We need to firstly think through the heart, not the head.

There's more to read - please click on this link.

Thank you for reading this.