Sunday, 4 December 2011

Occupy Leeds, City Square, Leeds

It's about time I blogged on the Occupy Leeds action which has been taking place for last 24 days.
Like most of those involved I have been preoccupied with practical matters, keeping body and soul together, maintaining the focus of the Occupation and so forth.  
An immense amount of effort has been invested in creating the camp, and truly heartwarming donations of time and equipment have shown that this public demonstration against the present system and in favour of a radical rethink of priorities and public behaviour has touched the hearts of many.  I'm in mind of those who appear, only to stuff sixty pounds or a single pound coin into the hand of a participant and then vanish into the crowd.  The people who ask what we need and turn up a short while later brandishing the very item  in their hands, whether it be dustpan and brush, sandbags or gas canister refill.
And then there are those whose only purpose seems to deride the purpose of the camp.  I won't repeat the nihilistic remarks, however the small but persistent minority who engage in this manner have caused me to take pause and consider why they take this position.  On those occasions when I have had the opportunity to enquire further on the reason for their views I have found agreement with our position on corporate / governmental corruption but simply say that it will never change, so what is the point?  
Most telling is the feeling that many would like to see us fail, whatever that means, if only to confirm their opinions.  But there is a veiled and cautious respect, because this is something that gets beneath the armoured shell of their media programmed belief systems.
This is about empowerment  or  acquiescence.  Face your challenge, become empowered through the growth it stimulates, or acquiesce and diminish, knowing in your heart that you gave up without a fight.  It is better  to try and fail than to never try; it is your honour as a free spirit that this is about.
We are at a cutting edge of human culture here.  Our planet is in crisis and we know that our leaders are not making it any better.  They engage in more wars, bankrupt more countries, destroy more ecosystems.  All around the world, thousands of groups have self organised to occupy, or plan to occupy public spaces, to say what?  the media repeat endlessly.
We all know about the demand to separate money from politics, to root out corporate buying and selling of governments the world over, this has been replied so often as to need no repetition.  But, true as this is, and all the additional detail on pensions, tax etc etc, this is about something far more, something deeper.
In the face of a state which has stolen from the people what was theirs, sold us to faceless finance houses with lifelong debt, poisoned our seas, turned our food into garbage, cut down the great forests and filled our lives with meaningless toil and our minds with ceaseless inanity and diversion, this is a statement of the Human Spirit.
This says, 'I Am'.
We are free sovereign beings before the Universe, and we are more than economic slaves and operatives for a an elite who hide behind walls and hide behind desks.  The 99% is about creating a new paradigm of reality which serves everyone, not a paradigm in which everyone serves a few like the feudal nobility.
This heroic struggle is about an evolutionary pulse which is running through the human race.  Are we the pinnacle of three and a half billion years of evolution, a species which is unique on the planet in its capacity for self reflection and adaptive symbolic thought leading to problem solving ability that has enabled us to probe into the very structure of matter itself, or are we the dumbed down drones of a slave society in which 'freedom' is expressed through 'choice' of designer brands and tv shows?
The media doesn't understand what the Occupy movement is about because it can't step outside of its own limiting paradigms.  As Billy Bragg said when he visited the Leeds Occupation, 'This may be an opportunity to go beyond ideology'.  Ideology is simply a straitjacket to evolution and we must break out of it, find new ways to adapt our thought to reality as it presents itself.  We are in new terrain, a continuous flow of corruption scandals have exposed the venality of our political classes; their profiteering from ceaseless wars and the inevitable collapse of the entire system which is happening before our very eyes plays into the hands of the power brokers.
This must be overtaken by an evolutionary movement, which, while it may well challenge the existing paradigm at all opportunities, is more essentially characterised by its spirit of expansion of ideas and behaviour beyond the artificial limitations now imposed.  It is by no means clear what social models will develop as the machine topples, but people will need to develop ones which work better, ones which rely more on human relationships than economic ones.
The Occupy movement is about so much more than the politics, even though that is so big a part of it.  It is the latest wave of the human growth potential movement.  People are growing out of the limits that are expected of them.  Humans are incredible creative beings who are capable of immense originality of thought and feeling, and we deserve so much more than the confinement of debt slavery.
All around in nature, we see species perfectly adapted to their environments.  And yet humans are constantly at odds with it.  Are we to buy into Original Sin? or should we perhaps consider that our societies have developed along maladaptive lines which stifle our adaptive urges?
We have been corralled like herds of cattle to serve as operatives for  the machine which truly serves only the very few.  
Humans are a wild nomadic species, and this is still in our blood.  The challenges of the practical aspects of the Occupation have stimulated our evolutionary memories of how to function in this way.  Erecting tents and organising encampments is something we have done for tens, if not hundreds of thousands of years.  This is the human race starting again.  We are remembering who we are before we go forward.
This small camp is a fragile gathering of souls, pitted against the aloof granite cliff face of a system which sneers at them in the arrogance of its hubris.  Physically we are weak as we stand before the oncoming winter.  But the news media have paid immense attention for such a small tribe, have laughed and joked at us, but always given some hidden, grudging respect.  This gets under their armoured shell, too.
Beneath the media triviality that everything is made into nowadays, there is an integrity in the Occupation that is rare in society today.  People who stand in their truth, are prepared to brave night and day in the face of continuous strangers, the threats of drunk and the unknown night.  This is not people who don't know why they are there, this is people who have the utmost conviction: that our society has come to a point where it needs to change course or else not only the people, but our very planet, is in danger from the wilful rape to which it is being subject by these very faceless corporate plutocrats who enslave us with debt. 
This is heroic.  
To stand alone for your beliefs when there appears to many that there is little or no chance of it making a difference is courageous beyond the understanding of too many in the world.  It is conscience, it cannot be bought or sold like our leaders.  The iron fist is confronted by naked and vulnerable truth.  The Occupiers of Leeds City Square have more honour in them than a cohort of greedy bankers.
This is a creative impulse from the heart of our species.  To many there is little or no chance of it making a difference.  But in a quantum universe, everything affects everything else.  Even to those countless hurrying passers by who don't stop for a thousand reasons or one alone who have seen us and brushed off the thought, we have made a small ripple in the predictability of their worldview. 
It is an irruption into the narrow world of human systems of evolutionary energy in adaptive response to intolerable conditions.  It is a response from the spirit at the heart of every human being to find a greater purpose, to seek to connect with others and find solutions which the sham leaders have so singly failed to produce.  To live in compassion with all and stop making war.
To go forward and endeavour to create a new world.  Whether the Occupations as such achieve measurable goals is not really the issue at question.  It is simply representative of a larger energy of forward movement.  The corrupt elite see themselves as all powerful and invulnerable, but they are built on artificial systems of control a house of cards with no foundation in evolutionary adaptation, a mere deception, illusion.  When the awakening to the enormity of the crimes that have been committed is understood, they will no more be able to stem the tide of change  than the New Orleans levees were able to stop Katrina.

The fragile heroes of the Leeds Occupation and all around the world may soon be gone before the rigours of winter, but the next wave of social awareness and activism will begin in whatever way works.  This is a collective experience for the human race, a Jungian moment which is about defining what we are as a species.  Are we debt slaves, born into a world where we must pay to live?  Is our world no more than a work camp? Or are we free, sovereign children of the planet, capable of out evolving, out thinking, out growing any challenge that we get ourselves into?  

Are we going to believe in ourselves, or are we going to say, it's pointless, there's no use in trying?

The Leeds Occupation speaks for the human spirit.  
We Are Here!  
It is a celebration of our humanity, we will not give in to the machine, we know there is a better way than this sham and falsehood which is passed off to us.  We will find a way.  Life adapts and goes forward.

Friday, 30 September 2011


It’s quite a while since I’ve been to a demonstration.  The last one was the 2009 Leeds Reclaim The Night march, and before that, well, it might have been the 1986(?) Stop The Clause (28) march which filled Woodhouse Lane from the then Polytechnic to the Parkinson Building.  The picture on the front of the old Leeds Other Paper was awesome looking down from Parkinson steps on what must have been several tens of thousands of marchers.  It is sad that it often takes an assault on liberties for communities to stand together.

Last night was a bit different.  I had only heard about Norman Scarth’s intention to picket a location in Moortown some 24 hours or so beforehand and having seen him speak about his recent savage incarceration in Armley gaol the day before it seemed that there might be a newsworthy event about to go down.  Mr Scarth had been sentenced to a swingeing 6 months sentence for the victimless crime of using a mobile recording device in court.  I understand his reservations about court records being always true and accurate.  Most countries these days at least make official video and audio recordings of cases.  Parliament itself has been broadcast for several decades now, but courts are still exempt.  As an amateur sound and video recordist I am committed to the idea that public proceedings should be recorded wherever possible and made available for inspection.

It has been said that those who control the past control the present, as well as the future.  One might well have cause for concern that the text of court proceedings is produced and approved by the people who are in charge of the court.  My own view is that in such important areas as judicial proceedings the more independent recordings that can be made the better as a protection against fraud.  One source on its own can be subject to editing and fabrication.  Multiple sources can be cross referenced and with modern digital recordings the time bases can be compared so as to expose falsification.  Too much important business is discussed off the record by powerful people.  The Privy Council, in which senior ministers of the government have the opportunity to discuss matters with the Queen, is off the public record.  The Bildeberg group which long lurked in the shadows has now been acknowledged to really exist, a group of the most powerful and influential people on the planet meeting in private and discussing the future direction of world policy with no reference to any national government, the UN or public accountability.

Before I arrived at the location I was unclear as to the nature of the protest or who indeed the focus of the picket was to be.  Upon my arrival a few yards from this location I found Mr Scarth who told me that he would be making a representation about Judge Jonathan Rose, the judge who had handed down the sentence upon him.  I believe he referred to him as a ‘vicious sadist’, an appellation I feel is justified when you take into consideration that Norman Scarth is 85 years old.  His record of service to our country is impeccable, being a naval seaman who served in the Artic convoys during World War II and a veteran of the sea battle against the German battleship the Scharnhorst, as well as being solely responsible for an amendment to Article 6 of the European Charter of Human Rights in 1999.  (I am a little hazy on the exact legal reference here, so this may need to be subject to minor correction, but is in essence true).  Perhaps I should add that while in prison Mr Scarth was denied his prescription medicines which could have led to him suffering a heart attack or stroke, being as he is a frail old man who was held under solitary confinement in one of the toughest gaols in Britain, where suicide is a common occurrence.

The term ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ comes to mind here.  Mr Scarth, a war hero and civil liberties campaigner who has served his country in both war and peace time was brutally gaoled for the victimless crime of attempting to ensure that a judicial proceeding was factually accountable to the public.

Given this context and having my own interest in liberty and accountability I was more than willing to attend and witness Mr Scarth’s protest about a judge that he sees as being more concerned with suppression of information than ensuring that justice is done.  Following him to the location of his intended protest, I turned on my relatively low def video capture camera and started recording.

Now I will acknowledge that Norman spoke very loudly in a public place, but last time I checked, freedom of speech had not been removed from the constitutional rights of the British people.  I will further acknowledge that I myself would have carried out such a demonstration in a more low key manner; but I would probably have been ignored.

The way that he chose to carry out his demonstration is a matter for him, so long as he remained within the law, and it being the case that he harmed no-one and merely spoke his truth, then I believe that he was.  The Common Law states that one should do no harm to person, property or environment.  And he did no harm to anyone or anything.

I will shortly have my video witness record uploaded to my YouTube channel for all to view.  What is of the most interest to me is the overreaction of the security guards and the police who arrived after only a few minutes. 

You will hear one of the guards shout ‘Call 999’ within about 20 seconds of our arrival, and at the same time, even though I was some yards behind Norman I was approached in a most threatening manner by one of the guards which obliged me to retreat since I feared for my video camera.  You can hear me say, ‘You are approaching me’ as he clearly does on the video, to which he replies ‘No I’m not’ which is obviously a lie.  This same er… gentleman at about 4:20 into the video comes up to me in the developing crowd, leans toward my ear, and says in a confidential manner ‘You know in other places you would have been murdered by now…’ after having previously called me ‘big mouth’.  I had said very little up to that point outside of addressing him and others who had approached me first; I made absolutely no comment on Mr Scarth’s issue of protest the entire time I was there.  This is a clear matter of record on my video.

My purpose in attending this demonstration was primarily to witness and record what happened.  It is a matter of history that witnessing is possibly the most powerful means possible of maintaining peace.  With modern portable video technology this is reinforced.  You will see how the police officer who turns up at about 8 minutes threatens Mr Scarth with arrest for assault, but backs down when I point out that I have videoed him being the first to have touched Norman already several times.

The pepper spray incident at the Wall Street Occupation was very much on my mind when I went to witness this event yesterday.  The NYPD have brushed off the complaints about this incident, but the whole world can see that a white shirted police officer walked up out of the crowd, pulled out a small can, waved it in the faces of some young women who were contained behind a mobile barrier, ‘kettled’ as it is called, and disappeared into the crowd as the women collapsed screaming in pain.

So far as I could tell there were two other video cameras recording different angles of what was going on there yesterday.  I don’t know who these people were, I have never met them before, and I assume they came for a similar reason to myself having found out about it in whatever way, probably through the internet.  In my view this was the primary factor which prevented matters from getting out of hand.  The er… gentlemen of the undisclosed security firm who would not disclose what the initials on their jackets stood for were threatening and aggressive to both Mr Scarth, 85, and myself, a lady in my late fifties with an arthritic knee and resultant limp.  Had there been no cameras I hesitate to think what might have happened.

It may be that some will think of Norman’s demonstration as being ‘inappropriate’.  It has been my experience that the forces of repression consider all and every expression of truth which does not fit their agenda to be ‘inappropriate’.  If not now, then when?  If not us, then who?

The entire episode lasted barely twenty minutes, and after I had turned off my camera and the small crowd was beginning to disperse, a second police van turned up, this time with at least two female police officers.  It didn’t occur to me at the time, but these were almost certainly summoned to deal with me.  They wanted to know how I had come to be ‘involved’ as they put it, and repeated said ‘I don’t buy that’ when I told them that I had heard about it on the internet, as if I was somehow involved in some serious and clandestine plot.  They seemed to have difficulty understanding that concerned members of the public might wish to witness and record events such as this, besides which they also seemed to be questioning the right of autonomous individuals to bear witness.  There were repeated allegations, such as assault on the police officer who first arrived, or that a breach of the peace had occurred.  Perhaps it was frustrating to them that a concerned witness would remain calm and challenge their assertions by stating that I had witnessed no violence and that I was not participating in the demonstration myself but merely bearing witness, and asking the occasional question.  The assembly of individuals was also accused of causing an obstruction to the highway, though all the members of the public there were on the public footpath, and it was clearly the two police vans that were impeding the flow of traffic.

When I informed them that I had been approached in a threatening manner, and had threatening verbal remarks made to me (the comment about being murdered) they were not interested, but challenged me to make a formal complaint, for which I had to give them my name.  Clearly the security guards had made a complaint about those members of the public who were witnessing Mr Scarth’s protest, and I very much doubt whether any of those had submitted complaints of any formal nature.  I wonder what would have happened if I had rung 999 and asked for help because I was being threatened?  Would I have needed to submit a formal written complaint before they would turn out and protect me?  It is noteworthy that the first police van arrived within less than 8 minutes and the second within about 10 minutes after that, despite the fact that the entire crowd numbered about 7 people, no affray or violence occurred, there were already at least 5 security men present, and so it is entirely possible that the police and security combined equalled, or possibly even outnumbered the crowd, 3 at least of whom were acting as news reporters, and the others of whom I hardly noticed because they were saying and doing very little.

The purpose of detailing all this is that it seems to me the whole response was massively overreactive.  For instance, as we were leaving, I heard one security guard say ‘Go round the side to make sure they don’t get in’, and as I watched the small core group of the two or three people who appeared that they might actually be Mr Scarth’s supporters walk off down the street, they were followed by two male police officers and a security guard.  Talk about using a sledgehammer to crush a walnut!

What this all shows me is that the ‘Powers That Be’ are locked into a mindset of paranoid projection.  To anyone looking at the situation dispassionately it must be clear that a loose assemblage of about 7 people, comprising an 85 year old man on a stool because he can’t stand up for long periods of time, a few middle aged ladies and some witnesses with video cameras is not a serious threat to public order.  Had the security guard spent a minute or two showing that he was prepared to listen to Mr Scarth before calling 999, the entire episode might have been different.  But the zeitgeist mentality is fixed.  Someone dares to speak their mind in public and there must be a terrorist threat.  Someone acts as a public witness to ensure that the peace is kept, for clearly Mr Scarth was not in any condition to do violence, and they are quietly told that under different circumstances they would be MURDERED.  This is no iron fist in a velvet glove.  There is no velvet glove, just the iron fist.  Of course there was a little bit of ‘nice cop, nasty cop’ as you will see from the young security guard who seemed to be in some authority and spoke to me for a few moments at one point, but he did nothing to prevent his cronies threatening me, and indeed was the one who first called out for 999, so his apparent reasonableness seemed more of an afterthought, perhaps because none of those attending were provoked to violence.

In the greater scheme of things, this is but a small incident.  However in the context of the present day it shows us that we are living in a repressive police state where freedom of expression is all but forbidden.  For myself, I worry now that I have almost certainly been put on some kind of police or security database for merely daring to witness someone speaking out in public.  The thug who threatened my life took multiple photographs of me which will almost certainly be passed onto the police.  I have no intention of going any where near that location again as it is far out of my usual circuit.  But in their paranoid mindset, the very fact that I have witnessed and recorded events on their doorstep is enough to get me noticed and put on some kind of blacklist.

Oh, and I haven’t mentioned the location.  Well I won’t give it precisely, but it was outside the gates of a Jewish Synagogue congregation because Judge Rose was there.  The thug who talked about murder reminded me of Mossad and the Palestinian territories, where extra judicial killings (murders) take place on an almost daily basis.  It is a great sadness that the vast majority of honest Jewish people should associate themselves, largely unknowingly, with what appears to be a borderline criminal element such as this on their fringes, while at the top of their community men such as Judge Rose carry out brutal and extreme punishments on people like Norman Scarth whose only crime was attempting to make an independent record of the truth.

The core essence of this whole issue is speaking, witnessing and recording the truth.  If this is not possible, then the entire foundation of our society is at risk.  Jesus Christ said ‘You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.’  Martin Luther King said ‘There are times when speaking the truth becomes a revolutionary act.’  It would appear that we are in such times, but we must ever seek to know the truth and resist those who would silence us.

This is perhaps something of a radical departure from the usual discourse of this blog, which began as a sampling of my book ‘Waking The Monkey’, but they both have one thing in common, that we should find empowerment through speaking our truth.  The only rider on this is to do it in a non violent manner.  The world revolution which now appears to have begun will only succeed if it remains non violent.  Violent responses, such as the summer riots, which many believe were manipulated, only play into the hands of the autocracy. 

Non violence resistance and truth speaking is the only way

The world is in great crisis and turmoil at this present time, deception, theft and all manner of evils have beset us, but it is the silencing of the truth which is at the root of this.  Speak out, speak your truth, and by so doing you empower others who witness your example.  Namaste!

copyright © 2011 Claire Rae Randall

The video witness can be viewed at

You can also watch the video by Manchester 'We Are Change' group of Norman Scarth talking earlier this week.
My own short version of this

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Edmund Spenser's Faery Queen ed. GW Kitchin

A little diversion from the main stream of this blog, at least superficially.  However I hope that it will be found in the spirit of philosophical and ethical enquiry that is its basis, being as the essence of Spenser's work is Honour and the Allegory of Love.  What greater philosophy and ethics can there be?

Review of G.W. Kitchin edition of Edmund Spenser's Faery Queen

I found a copy of the first volume of this edition in my local Oxfam bookshop recently after reading CS Lewis's 'The Allegory of Love' in which Lewis eulogises Spenser's work.

I am as yet on Canto IV of Book I and loving every line.  It was a little hard work at first, but with the aid of the excellent and extensive glossary of usage at the back I am making good headway.

This hardback edition is nicely sized to be easily slipped into a bag or pocket and the font is also quite comfortable to the eyen. (M.English: plural of 'eye'.)

The meter took a little time for me to find the rhythm of, but when you take account of the archaic pronunciation, remembering to accent on the -ed past tense endings and so forth, it isn't long before it is tripping off the tongue.  Actually, I find myself half reading it out loud as that was presumably how it was meant to be taken.  The language itself is sensuous, at least to the  modern ear, a little ironic as there is so much protestantism in the allegory!  But this is a world of chivalry and honour that we are entering into here, and we must leave behind the dull utilitarianism of modern speech.

I confess that the religious allegory is not what I had expected prior to reading Lewis's analysis; I had assumed something more in tune with Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream.  While that references the ancient mythological world, this is solidly placed in a mediaeval courtly setting with all the contextual embedding due to knights on quests and allusions to crusades and papal corruptions.  The opening vignette is masterful and captures the reader, the knightly hero and his lady wandering into a dark wood and encountering a vile dragon which he slays before they travel on and become embroiled in the ploys of Archimago, the brothers Sansfoy, Sansloy and Sansjoy, and false Duessa. 

This is not a work to be hurried like a modern page turner, where all that you desire is to find out what comes next and rush on till having completed it you are both glutted and empty, wanting more when your plate is cleared and there is no more to gorge upon.  Spenser's work is of the kind wherein one can linger on every line, poised in the eternal present, slowly digesting the unfolding plot, appreciating the texture of the language as much as the images and story.

Doubtless I shall have recourse to a more recent edition to complete the remaining 5 books of this epic work once I have completed this first, but it is a true pleasure to make my acquaintance with Edmund Spenser through this marvellous little edition which I feel was waiting for me on that shelf in Oxfam last week.

copyright © 2011 Claire Rae Randall
This is a copy of the review which I posted on

Monday, 25 July 2011

Be a Spiritual Warrior!

Recently a friend posted on her Facebook page,  
"What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?"  (Dr. Shuller)
Ego could choose anything, rule the world etc... but we need to be able to discern the difference between what our ego would like and what our true Self actually has within it as part of its nature. I've seen too much of the 'Red Ferrari' version of the Law of Attraction to buy into this one. 

I've achieved things that others thought were impossible, or tried to stand in the way of, and achieved them, because I truly believed in their rightness. It doesn't mean I knew I couldn't fail, there were plenty of times when they seemed to slip through my grasp but finally came good. We're talking decades sometimes. One of the main things here is attempting something even though the odds seem impossible. 

What is the achievement in something you know you can do? 

I believe in the mass enlightenment of humanity, but probably the main thing about that is the apparent unliklihood of such a thing; however I still believe in it, because the alternative is unacceptable. 

Doubt is part of the material condition when you haven't seen a particular thing manifested before. The Diamond Body can only be created under the most extreme pressure, but when you don't give in, then the Universe, says, OK, you've made your point, I accept that this is what you are. 

Things that you know you can't fail at are things that you have already done. Boring, smug, routine.

So I got a reply saying 'What would I want for humanity?'

This is a big one, bringing the Shadow of Humanity into the Light.  Right now, despite a lot of things that have been happening lately, the darkness over the world still seems impenetrable. 

It's a collective dream, more like a nightmare maybe?  Eco-disaster, exploitation, you know what I'm talking about.  But the microcosm is the basis of reality before it can resonate out and manifest in macrocosmic terms.   

I don't know any answer other than to continue believing in your own inner truth.  We all know we can't beat the Machine on its own terms, to do so is to become that thing we disown.  

The Divine Spirit can't fail in what it does, it just has mysterious ways of achieving its ends.   Maybe this is Earth 1.0 trial version and the bugs and glitches still need to be ironed out before the 2.0 version gets rolled out, well maybe that is the New Earth?  I certainly hope that we can manifest it just morphing what we have here, without haivng to completely start all over again.  'The block which was rejected will become the cornerstone.'     

It does seem possible to me that this is the densest and most extreme world where all goodness is crushed beneath the jackboot, and yet we have to keep believing in kindness, community, caring, even when all we are taught is ego blah blah blah, because at a fundamental archetypal level that is what the universe is made of, not this shabby illusion we are presented here.  

I'm thinking Shift on Stable Hill in CS Lewis's The Last Battle.   I'd rather be a member of the band on Titanic playing 'Nearer My God To Thee' as it goes down than elbowing others aside for the last place on the lifeboat.      

The spiritual reality is what counts in the end.  As Paul Kantner and Grace Slick wrote 'Where do we go from here, chaos or community?' 

This is ultimately what I am on about in my blogs , this one and     

When all the outcasts accept themselves and are in their power, then the world will change.  But you can't do it for everyone else,  you can only do it for yourself. So I can't know if the world will fail at this ~ whether enough people will get there or whether not.  The mass enlightenment of humanity happens one person at a time...

Be a Spiritual Warrior!

copyright © 2011 Claire Rae Randall

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Dance of Life Video and New 'Waking The Monkey' Blog

Hi,  this is to let you know that I am moving new posts and further excerpts from my book 'Waking The Monkey' over to my dedicated blog

The latest addition is

My description of the full round of the Dance of Life and how I first learnt it at the Hundredth Monkey Camp in August 1995.

You can also view my demonstration of the Dance and pick up further links about its teaching and history on my YouTube channel

I will continue to post items of philosophical discussion here on my personal Cosmic Claire blog, the existing posts from 'Waking The Monkey' about the Hundredth Monkeying Camp will remain here on this site and there will be a certain amount of cross referencing of items and ideas.

I hope you will find it of interest, thanks for looking at my pages and videos!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Talking Stick Circle: Albion, Andromeda and Atlantis

Would this circle be an exercise in meditational Art Therapy wherein we projected our Shadow, in Jungian terms, so that we could objectify it and thereby understand it?   

Who was I to criticise someone else’s meditation?   It was important that we kept ourselves open to all possibilities.

The progress round the circle continued.  The stories from around the world were diverse.  Russians, South Americans, Eskimaux, Japanese.  If these were creations from the unconscious minds of the assembled, then we brought a diverse set of our own concerns which surely mirrored the real world to a large degree.

The Talking Stick was now a little past half-way and had reached the dapper man with the beard who had stood next to me in the circle for the Om the previous night.

“I have a deep identification with this island that we live on, and am aware that in some way I am a personification of that nation which inhabits this part of the island, I feel very English.  Not in any aggressive nationalistic way, but from a deep sense of my connection to this land which has grown with my ancestors, it is an inner identity, part of me.  I do not feel the need for my own nation to posture and threaten others as it so often has in the past, and have a similar difficulty with this sort of behaviour from any other nation, especially a powerful and well established one like France.  I can only imagine that for some reason they doubt themselves, their historic identity and how it is evolving in the modern world, perhaps with the arrival of immigrants from their former colonies.

“We were asked to bring what thoughts and contributions we might wish to share to this Allting, and also to represent some tribe or nation.  I would like to represent Albion as the highest ideal of what this nation of ours might be.  In the words of William Blake ‘I will not sleep from mental fight, nor shall my sword sleep in my hand till we have built Jerusalem in England’s green and pleasant land.’

“I believe every nation has its own soul and uniqueness which can be the basis of their identity and contribution to the world.  Britain is highly developed in this aspect, even with several distinct souls that contribute to the greater whole.  Let us set an example to the world that it is better to build on our strengths and earn respect.  Strength does not have to inspire fear.”

I found this a most stimulating and welcome contribution.  While all that had been spoken before were no doubt true expressions of experiences, I became aware that this latest strengthened me, that I had been drifting into a mindset which saw futile resistance against the oppressive Goliath as the only thing that was going on in our circle and what we were connecting to, while significant inroads were being made by weapons testers in the outside world.

Fear had been the dominant emotion so far.  Fear and justification of fear.  This Man of Albion had nothing of this in what he said.  The ancient dictum of the Delphic Oracle had been ‘Know Thyself’.  The knowledge of an inner self beyond the fear of outside influences was a more certain guide to a pathway of wisdom than fascination with that fear like a rabbit paralysed by the headlamps of an oncoming juggernaut about to annihilate it.

The contributions which followed were still liberally peppered with reports of fear, and anxieties provoked by the nuclear testing, but a note had been introduced which took us away from obsession and pessimism.  We had been reminded that we had our own resources, our own identities and pathways.  The word ‘proactive’ had been much bandied about by the Clinton administration and was a concept that was needed in our own minds.  Perhaps there were too many old hippies amongst us who were still on the back foot from the right wing assaults of the eighties.  Merely crying ‘not fair’ would carry little weight in a world of ruthless politicians wielding unopposable military might.  New directions were needed, and we had perhaps been shown one.

The pass had come to a rather round lady of perhaps fifty, who had long grey hair and was wearing a multi-coloured tie-dye tee shirt.

“My name is Sue.  My lineage is from the galaxy of Andromeda.  I have come to this world in incarnation to create a link.  I have been living in the moment for the last twenty years.  It is important to always be in the moment so that one is able to be receptive to higher self.  The answers to these problems are all held and known by our higher beings.”

Interesting.  This circle had many surprises in store.  I did not know what to make of this contribution.  Incarnations of beings from another galaxy?  Well… but I had determined to keep an open mind, and the rest of what she said might be the repetition of a cliché, or it might have come from her inner truth.

It was back to some more routine observations about the nuclear testing for a few passes before the Stick reached me.  As so many had done before me I examined the ancient piece of yew.  About a foot long, oval in segment, three quarters of an inch thick at its widest, polished smooth, slightly tapering, the ends bevelled.  Dark brown with streaks of a yellowish hue.  There were a couple of lumpy knots which had resisted the smoothing process.  In one of these was set a flat, mottled green and black stone like an eye.  Possibly a type of malachite.  From the end by this hung a golden cord with a bauble dangling on it.  It felt incredibly good to hold, whether at its centre in a fist, or by one end like a tool;  the size was perfect to the grip, the gentle contour of the wood comfortable to the shape of palm and fingers as they closed on its surface.

I told the story of my Fulani boy.  This was what had come into my imagination, but I couldn’t help feeling that I had fallen into the trap of fear which had been opened.  I wished that I had had more to offer.  I didn’t seem to really be adding anything to what had been said already, just more anxiety, fear and feelings of inadequacy.  Still I had to stick to my truth, this was what I had experienced, and so it was what I reported.  Getting into mindgames with myself about my own inadequacy was a little too far from the self-belief which the Man of Albion had espoused.

Three or four places to my right was a man of medium build wearing a red Jurassic Park baseball cap.  He had a moustache and a face tanned in the way that comes from long outdoor exposure to the weather.  He wore a shirt without a collar and woollen waistcoat patterned in a style reminiscent of those woven by indigenous South American people.   He was sitting in a canvas and wood director’s chair and when the Stick came to him he held it in his hands before him like an offering, his eyes shut.  There was a moment’s silence.  Speaking, his voice was deep and powerful.

“Greetings to all those beings and peoples assembled here.  I am At-Hlan, Warrior Priest of Atlantis.  I speak through my channel Brother Rohann.  I bring you news that there are many beings from the astral and cosmic planes who are following your work even though you cannot see them.  You have chosen to work with energies which will lead you on pathways of progression, not only for the world, but for yourselves also.  The many challenges which you are facing will lead to empowerment for you have chosen to share your own energies as you engage with the processes of change that have been set in train in this world.  Many beings have much gratitude for this work you have begun for the Universe is One which all are part of.  By transforming energy in your own lives you are assisting the Universe as energies will flow to parts of it that you do not know.  Those who block energy do it not only to themselves, but to the whole world.  When you move energy you move it for all.  Many new connections and pathways are begun here.  We of the realms beyond the material plane thank you all for these beginnings which will create many new possibilities for all, and which will empower you to know your own path more truly.”

Fortunately I had by now suspended scepticism and rationalistic criticism, otherwise I might have found this a little bit too much to take.  I was realising that it was my inner response and not my intellect which was important here.  Even if this weather-beaten fellow was only taking on a mask, playing a role for dramatic effect, there was a feeling raised in me which told me there was more to this.  Perhaps it was the richness of his voice, or the cadences of his speech hinting at a deep inner understanding and acceptance.  A memory was roused in my soul...

copyright © 2011 Claire Rae Randall

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Waking The Monkey!

This is a brief posting to announce the change of working title for my book.  Initially, a long time ago I used 'Monkeying About', but that was only in the absence of something better.

About a year ago as I was working on the manuscript I decided to go with 'The Hundredth Monkey' as a title which would be recognised, referring as it does to Ken Keyes work which the Hundredth Monkeying Camp was drawing on as inspiration.  Recently I have reconsidered this, being as it was not my own original title.  You can't copyright a title, so it was never a formal problem in that way, but I guess I felt I needed something that was my own, that said something new, moved the concept on a step.

Then a couple of weeks ago, it kind of condensed out of the air.  I can't even remember the moment when it came, but soon it became clear that this was the one to go with...  Waking The Monkey.

A couple of allusions going on here...  the consciousness shift of awakening when our primate ancestors began to become self conscious in the human way that we have which is so unique, and the opening up to new ideas which the monkeys on those islands went through when they realised they could do things differently and their world was changed forever.  But also this is about the mass enlightenment of humanity...

As humans we so urgently need to wake to a new level of consciousness which is lighter, more fluid and open.  The Hundredth Monkey principle is about reaching a certain threshold... Waking The Monkey is about the process of transformation which takes place when you reach that threshold... and then step over it.  

So far in this blog I have posted mostly content from the book which is from the early stages of the camp experience, some of which may even be cut down from the final version.  Soon I shall be posting some excerpts from further down the line.  Catalytic experiences which forced me to look into the pain and darkness of my own Shadow, without which I would not have found the impetus, the motivation, the need even, to change.  The world is a confluence of billions of timelines.  A statistically significant number need to decide to go in a different direction from the way it has been in order to shift the balance.  To do this, we each need to decide to take responsibility for where this is all going, to reach that critical mass, to reach the Hundred Monkeys.  Often pain is the only way we can be made to awaken from our own sleep of complacency, and the world is in a great deal of pain right now.  We don't change the world by acting on others, we change it by changing ourselves, raising the vibration of the world one person at a time, outward from the centre of our being.  But when a few have awoken, others can catch on more easily and without so much pain...

It's time to Wake The Monkey!

copyright © 2011 Claire Rae Randall

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Who is Aslan?

Who is Aslan?

I’d like to take some time out from the subject of my journey of self discovery at the Hundredth Monkey Camp to talk a little about something that came into my thoughts while I was meditating the other day.

I’m a big fan of CS Lewis and all his writing, including the Narnia books which I have known since early childhood.  Of course these days everyone knows that Lewis was writing with a Christian message, but it is too much overlooked that in the early days he didn’t promote it as such in anything like the obvious way that Christians like to present it today.  I think I had probably read most of the seven books before I heard anything about the embedded Christianity.  And yet they still had a powerful and inspiring strength to them.  Students of Lewis will know all about how he was extremely pagan in many ways and also found the roots of his belief in Plato, who lived and wrote centuries before the birth of Jesus, and a lot of this stuff is much more obvious in the Narnian stories than the Christianity.

I know for sure that a lot of people are even turned off from the whole Narnia thing because they find the Christian selling thing unattractive and pushy.  I am sympathetic to this.  Narnia was never preachy in the way that some try to make it.

What interests me is what one might call the archetypal roots of Narnia, what it connects with in the human psyche and why it has such numinous power.  That power doesn’t arise because Lewis thought of some clever new invention but because he tapped into archetypal sources of energy from the universal mind which Carl Jung would have recognised as expressions of the Self, the core of existence.

And what is the core of Narnia?  Aslan of course.  The wild, joyous, fierce and fiery son of the Emperor over the Sea, creator of Narnia, who sang it into existence.  As it is always said, ‘He is not a tame lion’.

So why is Aslan so powerful?  Surely not just in the skill of Lewis’s writing, marvellous and expressive though it is.

The symbol of the Lion is one which existed long before Lewis came on the scene.  Golden, fearless, loving, above all courageous.  What is courage?

I was reminded of the appellation given to one of the mediaeval world’s most well known figures, Richard, Coeur de Lion, the Lion Heart.  Certainly in a modern context his crusade against Islam is politically incorrect, but we need to look deeper to understand why he won such a title, why he inspired the mediaeval mind in this way.  It was his leadership in battle, the utterly fearless way in which he stood at the front of his army and defied his opponents with total disregard for his own safety, his courage.

And here we find the key to the mystery of Aslan.  Courage comes from the French root Coeur, meaning the heart.  The Lion is the symbol of the heart also, golden and fiery like the sun, the heart of our solar system, giver of all life.  Jesus too as the risen Christ is associated with, and seen as, the Sun, the most joyous and admirable of all archetypal images.  Jesus and Aslan are givers of love, but it is the manner in which this love is displayed that gives us the understanding of how this works.  Love is the expression of courage, it is fearless.  As the saying goes, ‘Perfect love casteth out all fear’.

The ancient function of a king was not to dominate his own people, but to defend them against threat.  To be prepared to die in defending them.  The self sacrificing heroic god king of ancient myth is the same archetype as the Christ, as Aslan.  The superficial understanding of the sacrifice of Jesus is that he takes on the sins of the world in order to grant us forgiveness, but the deeper and greater meaning is that he shows the way.  He shows us how to deal with those difficulties which we all must face in this material world of conflict.  What are leaders?  A leader is someone who is at the front, who finds the pathway, where the leader goes others follow.  The leader is the example, at the cutting edge, the forerunner.  He said that we must become like Him.  We shouldn’t follow Jesus because he can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves, but follow his way, his example.

Something I find of profound importance to the understanding of the world of Narnia and Aslan is that there is no priesthood.  Aslan doesn’t need someone to mediate between him and us.  He is the Heart, he is our Heart.  There is no separation.  All we have to do is shed our dead skins of ego defence like Eustace in the Voyage of The Dawn Treader to free our vulnerable but true inner selves, surrender to the expression of the inner being, from the core.  And it is no coincidence that the word core comes from the same root as Coeur, our heart is the core of our being, both physically and spiritually, the heart is the giver of life, sustaining the body with its flow of lifeblood.

And this is congruent with the deepest understanding of quantum physics.  In the old Newtonian world objects are separate, but in the Quantum world everything is a part of everything else.  The universe is a quantum matrix of undifferentiated vibrational energy, which only takes form when observed, when the ego takes a relational standpoint to the sea in which it is afloat.  As Leibniz observed, the universe is made up of infinite monads of consciousness reflecting each other in their relational perspectives.

So, who is Aslan?  Aslan is our inner being, Aslan is the soul of existence which gives itself tirelessly, as the ceaselessly breaking wave of existence, fearless in its self sacrifice to perpetually recreate all things anew, eternally.  Aslan is within us all, forever ready to accept and reintegrate the fearfully self separated ego which will only die and wither as a leaf which is cut off from the branch if it tries to exist in isolation, or fix itself in unchanging form.  Aslan is existence, truth, unbounded joy, adventure and endless forgiveness as we let go of the past in the crashing storm of quantum chaos and infinite creation.

He is not a tame lion.  He is your heart!

copyright © 2011 Claire Rae Randall