Isian News Issue 125
Reflections by: Olivia Robertson
TWO CHILDREN ROCK IN A BOAT
Wars. Tribal disputes. Anger in families. World conflict. Meditating on these ever increasing perils, through our brilliant but ill-used technology – suddenly it came to me!
One word. Duality. “I am right. You are dead.” “My Truth is THE Truth. Yours is heresy.” Or as a gardener’s boy said to my father two centuries ago: “Everything you say is right, and all I say is either rot or pip!”
Oh yes – there are handy usages to mitigate One Truth: you can put the indefinite article, “A” instead of “The.” Instead of I and Me, you use “You” and change “Them” to “us.” Instead of saying “Humans are greedy,” you just insert: “We humans are greedy.” Thus we condemn ourselves.
But why are we even more estranged from each other nowadays? Why are our religions born again in dogmatic warfare?
The religion of the Goddess has helped me to understand our terrible problems of child and woman abuse, war atrocities and youthful violence. These at root spring from our babyhood. From the moment we can feel and hear and see, we dwell in a divided world of good and evil. As my brother Lawrence would point out: “Positive, right, correct, straight, white, is called ‘Good’. Negative, left, eccentric, curved, black, is ‘Bad.’ ” Yet everyone is a mixture of both.
In television series, there are “white” witches (good) and “black” witches (bad). Every good witch is provided with a “demon”. Every Buffy has her vampire. This leads to paranoia, even affecting politics. The Twin Towers of the New York catastrophe have, in my hearing, been destroyed not by the usual suspects, but by evil secret governments, cultist rings, shadowy Orders – sinister races – you name it. By the way, recently a family in England, all with ginger hair --- have been forced to leave their home – because of having red hair. The Devil apparently has RED HAIR. Is He also Irish?
I have been forced to discover a personal solution because of the cruel duality introduced to me when, at 8 years old, I left nice safe suburban Reigate in Surrey, to live in Ireland, just after a civil war. My new neighbours called themselves “good,” and their opponents “bad.” My favourite old lady invariably called our Government of the new Irish Free State – “those murderers.” What was a child to make of it? Because my grandmother, Lady Parsons, a British General’s widow, of liberal views, frequently entertained these “murderers,” including the President Cosgrave, to coffee parties - while I handed round coffee and walnuts with cream-cheese, outside the window, detectives were lurking in the shrubbery – ready to arrest would-be “murderers.” The kindly cook declared that the more detectives there were, the greater our prestige. (It was at this time that I learnt never really to believe anything that grown-ups told me.)
To give another example: During the apartheid era in South Africa, one intellectual author told me that in a fruit shop he told the assistant he would not buy oranges from South Africa. “To be sure,” said the assistant sympathetically, “them Blacks is awful.” Oddly, my friend usually very vocal – said he simply lacked the energy to explain the boycott. She would not have agreed.
All right – what is my recipe for winning harmony of opposites? Find out who the murderer, the devil, the traitor, truly is. A German lady came to me some years ago for a course in Witchcraft. Not sure that I was a witch, I was game to try. So I gave her a 3 day crash course, in our Chapel. Things went swimmingly at first, and she entered trance easily. Then I was indignant when she proceeded to see The Devil – and in OUR Chapel. At first I thought of denying the trance vision, or doing exorcism, or giving the Fiend psychic healing. Then I asked Isis for inspiration. It was a simple directive. So I said to her: “Ask! Who is the Devil.” There was a long pause. Finally she replied: “he is my Professor.” So then we could clean up her problem, understanding it.
I practised the same method with a man in trance, who met a Dragon. This Dragon prevented him from reaching his goal. When he tried to pass by the left – the dragon stopped him. He was also barred from the right. Finally, though I suggested an elegant fly-over – he couldn’t rise. So he crawled under the dragon in an undignified, unknightly way…
I said, “Ask the Dragon for his name.” Pause. Then: “The Dragon’s Name is Inertia.”
I have discovered that our fears and phobias derive from a black ocean of terror, passion, desire for survival that exists through the animal evolution of our bodies. We are growing spiritual wings, and are deeply ashamed of our own natural earthly passions. That is why aberrations are covered up – not only for safety but because of shame. Even silly jokes are no cure, but tend to mask this repudiation of a “lower nature.”
The path of alchemy is not to reject the lower, the Under World ruled by Persephone and Hades, by Queen Allat, but by re-cycling our deeply rooted experience from Mother Earth, and so like plants reach up to the Sun.
How can this help us now, in danger from climatic changes possibly cataclysmic? We are not only a new Atlantis like New Orleans and the Mexico Bay. The whole planet may suffer the Great Deluge once derided as fiction. Where is Noah’s ark? Our Babylonian boat? Where the safe ports?
If we think in terms of statistics, we fail. It is only through each soul that happiness is discovered. Rebirth comes from the return of the Dove of Spirit – Ishtar – the Divine Sophia. My mind goes back to a tiny rocking boat in a children’s playground, situated in a slum area in Dublin.
I was in charge of about 400 children – in the nineteen forties. I suddenly was drawn to a noisy outbreak. A crowd of small children – with their ginger and blond hair – surrounding a tiny African girl, with very frizzy black hair, a pretty black face, and a silver cross worn over her dress. They had obviously never seen anyone that colour before. They were pointing and some were even crying.
I instantly took charge. I picked up the little girl in my arms and put her in the rocking-boat. Then I told a little fair-haired pink-cheeked boy to get in with her. They gazed at each other amazed. Then they both smiled – then laughed! – and began vigorously sailing up and down in their tiny Ark, in a sea of grey concrete.
Whatever comes, if we can have friends – and no enemies – we will be happy, as we sail through life to the Land of Heart’s Desire.
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