cautionary tails

To whom it may concern (or who may feel a little concerned):

This article is about
running away,
or …

tail

out of harms way,
pulling apart,
not being loyal,
choosing only …

best bits

… the best bits &
leaving the rest.
becoming wild & dangerous
&
cranking up our ability to be
cranky with crap.

Five years ago I wrote an article on the enormous good sense …

cowardice

… of
cowardice.

So what exactly is cowardice & why is this word so powerful, that a plethora of Presidents evoke its name in connection with some of the most questionable doings in recent history … 

“Terrorist acts are often described as cowardly

raygun

… Ronald Reagan called the 1983 United States Embassy bombing “cowardly“; Bill Clinton called the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing and the 1998 United States embassy bombings “an act of cowardice” and “cowardly,” respectively; and …

boosh

… George W Bush called the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon “cowardly.” Janet Reno also called Timothy McVeigh a “miserable little coward.” McVeigh responded, “Coward? This label would make Orwell proud – it is doublethink at its finest

So what is this thing that presidents love to spout about?

the more I look it, the more it seems to me that cowardice is a made up word that has no value, except as …

foil

… a foil to the concept of heroism & I’ve been wondering if we, as a society, have not been the dead horse that has been well & truly flogged by this ideal

I wonder how many heroes-in-waiting have ever bothered to read the fine print in their ideal job description:

“First and foremost, the ancient Greek hero was a religious figure, a dead person who received cult honours & was expected in return to bring prosperity, especially in the form of fertility of plants (crops) and animals, to the community … The hero who is mortal must suffer & must die. Only after death can the hero receive immortalization in cult & in song … The hero must struggle against the fear of death, in order to achieve the most perfect death

Who’d have thought that death was one of the fine arts!

This love-affair with  …

crown of thorns

extermination seems to predominate during the adult stage of the homosapien life cycle. I am guessing that it has intimate connections to our species morbid addiction to fear.

I think, if we are interested in living, we’d best turn our attention to a group who is life-focused:

The first thing to know is that natural creatures, although …

curious

… instinctively shy or timid, are not wildly governed by fears and terrors, as we have been misinformed from our youth up

Fear is an 

screaming

 exclusively human possession, or affliction; it is a physical and moral poison, as artificial as sin, which the animal escapes by virtue of being natural. It is doubtful, indeed, whether anything remotely resembling our fear …  is ever born into a hairy skin or hatched out of an egg. The natural timidity of all wild creatures is a protective and wholesome instinct~ How Animals Talk – William Long

~  ~   ~

My cat …

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

… has all the hallmarks
of a coward.

She runs away when I rustle a plastic bag, use the vacuum cleaner or make a sudden move (especially when she’s eyeing up the cockatiel).

It ‘s been easy to feel smugly superior to her ‘cowardly’ reactions .., yet on humble & closer inspection her behaviour becomes the sign of supreme intelligence.

although instinctively shy or timid, [animals] are …

flat out

… not wildly governed by fears and terrors

Today let’s play with the idea that the main reason animals are not governed by terror is because they consistently practice ‘the art of retreat’.

At the slightest hint of discomfort or danger they move away from the offending or threatening, object or event.

What if timidity and shyness are necessary requirements in continually “fine-tuning” their nervous system?

What if relaxed alertness accompanied by retreat maintains their exquisite natural balance?

What if the ability to be deeply aware of & respond to ‘what doesn’t feel right‘ is the foundation upon which their health & ease depend?

What if the act of retreat works on an etheric level – generating an ‘energy message’ through space and time, that animals highly value 

alert

… ‘their own skins’

One of the most basic rules of existence is that, if you want to be good at something you have to keep practicing.  Over & over & over again.

retreat (n.)  c.1300, “a step backward;” late 14c., “act of retiring or withdrawing

We all know how important it is to take a step back when we need to get ‘the bigger picture’.

To withdraw is:

to take back

Perhaps animals re-commit to life by continuously ‘taking themselves back‘ – returning & retuning deep into their core as opposed to “heroically” thrusting themselves into harm’s way.

although instinctively shy or timid, [they] are not wildly governed by fears and terrors

The following verb is what sparked this article:

shy (v.2) … “to recoil

Re-coil.

the feel of self

coil …
1. To wind in concentric rings or spirals
2. To move in a spiral course

The spiral has a universal appeal, and this fact is a sure indication of some mysterious resonance with the human psyche

curled

…  Its early association with the Mother Goddess… suggests some kind of connection to the … miraculous process of life which is embodied in the Feminine – the door through which life enters this world. But why a spiral and not some other image? …

But there is another, abstract sense of the labyrinth spiral that is important. It is evocative of the bewildering choices we must make to find our way in the world “out there“, and the equally bewildering choices we must make to find our way “in here” – in the …

mazed

… tangled maze of our own inscrutable psyches. And the “Mystical Center” (known by many names – Axis Mundi, Immovable Spot, World Tree, Cosmic Pillar, etc.) is understood to represent a still and silent place (or state of being); it is the motionless heart, the focal nucleus around which …

swirly night

… spirals the whirling hurricane of space and time. It is the source from which all things come, and to which they endeavor to return for regeneration” Link

At the spiral’s center is where we find spiritual balance and realize our deep connection to the eternal forces of nature and the universe.

coil
It could also have the meaning of energy radiating outward or inward (a spiral can go both ways depending on how you’re looking at it)

We can contemplate retreat as a dynamic movement towards the …

spiral

centre of life rather
than an ‘ignoble escape’ from pain or fear..

This leads to the reason behind today’s politically incorrect posting.

That we need to incorporate the practice of “retreat” into our daily lives, by developing the skill of discernment.

Discernment looks like this:

discrimination; acuteness of judgment and understanding

discerning

the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure

a discerning individual is considered to possess wisdom, and be of good judgement; especially so with regard to subject matter often overlooked by others

Every day we are inundated with answers, news, facts, ‘truth’, concepts, the right way to do things, how we should be, who we should be because of who we once were, how we should act & look, what we should wear, what we should matter to us …

It is impossible to shut this crap off, or up, there’s just too much of it & too many people who choose to live it as their religion.

So we have to find ways to be connect with our sense of ‘something feels wrong’ – so we can retreat / ‘step back’ & re-gain our centre.

Those of you who have been reading my work for a while may remember a series of articles I did on the importance of darkness.

Now,it’s time to turn …

licht

… to the light.

No, no, no not that light.

I think the light we have been sold is one more con job made possible by the forking tongue of the English language. Wherever there is a double-up of words, I think there is a great need to practice discernment.

Light is one of these forking places.

I believe the light we actually need is …

lightness

‘lightness’ …

softest touch

… of touch,
of hearing, of seeing, of understanding.

The simplest purest explanation of lightness would be …

play

… “play”.

With play you connect with things (ideas, objects, people) without loyalty – the connection lasts only as long as the playees are having fun – when the play is done, the connection is lightly dropped or sometimes even irreverently kicked away.

That is right & natural &
oh so healthy.

Once the experience has been internalised, it no longer needs to remain in our three-dimensional reality – unless we want to play more at a later time.

I have found, that I can find wonderful information anywhere. Sometimes it is one sentence in a pile of dross. Sometimes it is an entire book. And yet, even in the most wonderful of sources, I have always found at least one area of concern.

Sometimes this is content, sometimes it has to do with the heavy way information is handled or presented, leaving no room for exploration or play, especially in topics that desperately need this.

That’s where the practice of discernment & retreat
comes in.

Never give any information-supplier your loyalty (including me). No matter how life-changing their work, or how grateful you feel to them, stay in your centre, ready to spit out anything that tastes wrong.

Just because (up to) 99% of an article or idea seems fantastic doesn’t release us from our personal responsibility to become consciously aware of the 1% that ‘doesn’t sit right’. Discernment, like the ability to retreat, takes constant awareness & practice.

A healer I know said that discernment is located in the gut – if that is so, it makes gut feelings all the more worthy of our attention.

So STOP trusting the sources, no matter how wonderful they seem. You owe NO ONE your loyalty – loyalty cripples discernment.  When something doesn’t feel right …

RETREAT

I want to finish with a couple of excerpts. The first is from Robert Fritz ( a person I deeply admire & yet still retain distance from certain ideas). He makes an excellent case for the importance of retreating from toxic people:

From time to time you will need to rethink who you allow into your life. You are not obligated to surround yourself with those who would just as soon see you fail.

The mathematics of every relationship is this: It takes two to say yes, it only takes one to say no.  Perhaps there are those to whom you need to say no. To no longer have these people in your life may be an important secondary choice to your primary choice of the life you want to build.

I know this is hard advice. You may feel conflict of emotions when it comes to the people in your life. You may love them, like them, wish them success, want to be supportive, want to be a good friend. But, if they do not support you on some basic level, you may need to see them less often.

You take this action, not because you don’t like t hem, but because you support your own life building process more.

Sometimes you need to take a stand in favor of yourself. Sometimes you need to change the cast of players with whom you surround yourself. This may be one of the most strategic choices you can make on behalf of your own well-being

And finally a snippet from Matt Delooze – a person to whom I am deeply grateful & yet still hold reservations about. This is what discernment is – using all the information available to you in your personal quest, while boldly & constantly confirming that you highly value your own skin & owe no one your loyalty. This snippet comes from Matt’s latest ayahausca trip & contains a potentially powerful example of the ‘disloyalty’ necessary for discernment:

“I noticed there was a large drum in the room. I went to look at it. I noticed the drum had many symbols on it …

The man then approached the drum and tipped it on its side. He then took the small fire out of the hole in the wall …

The man then placed the drum over the fire and as he did the ‘skin’ on top of the drum literally illuminated an image that was imprinted on the drum skin. Not only that it reflected the same image onto the ceiling of the room and in the process the image was enlarged and it literally covered the whole ceiling. It was the exact same image that was on the shield, it was the animal spitting out the ‘atl tlachinolli’ symbol. It was a strange feeling because the flames made the animal look like it was actually alive. The fire under the drum made the animals belly look like it was breathing!

The room was now pretty dark because the fire, the only light in the room, had been placed under the drum.

The man in the room started chanting when the image appeared on the ceiling and he started dancing around. For some reason I joined in too. I’m sure it meant something important but even if we were just dancing in the dark it sure felt right.

I then danced over to the drum and I started banging on it with my stick. I was chanting and wailing away like a master shaman would. As soon as I hit the drum it was like thunder going off. It wasn’t a like a drum sound at all and each time I hit the drum the sound made me look up to the ceiling, and when I did so it caused the image on the ceiling to shake and it appeared like the dog type creature was literally being sick and spitting out. I think I hit the drum four times and four times the dog spit out and each time I hit the drum it caused a thunder sound. It was like an ancient version of Hollywood special affects were taking place. I felt elated to be banging on the drum.

I then removed my mask and placed it on the drum and when I did the fire under the drum illuminated that too. The mask literally took the form of a lamp.

The mask on top of the drum also created another reflective image on the ceiling. It created a sort of circular planet Earth image and it made the ‘spitting’ dog look like it was being sick on it. I looked up and wept one tear over what I saw.

For some reason I i put my finger in my tear and then put my finger in my mouth. I then spat on the mask/lamp myself and said to the man in the room with me ‘It’s done’. I then wildly kicked the drum over and the mask fell to the floor.

… I was laughing and scared at the same time but I knew hitting that drum and then kicking it over meant something to me inside and I knew it would eventually mean something to others inside them one day too.

Once I thought that I seemed to instantly wake up from the affects of the Ayahuasca

When you hold ideas lightly, you can also lightly let them go if & when you need to move in a new or different direction.

Don’t anchor yourself to anyone, including me.  Practice discernment. Practice valuing your own skin every day of your life.

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October 22, 2013. Uncategorized.

7 Comments

  1. Max replied:

    Definitely important article.

    One fellow Berliner I got in contact with advised me to leave a club or a pub if I feel that there is a high pressure to conform.

    Additionally, when one throat warrior claimed that you either have to fully agree with all of his points or not at all, that taking bits here and there from him is not possible, it occured to me that I was finally done with him. Thinking back, I treated myself unnecessarily brutal by indiscriminately taking in such content.

    Read you next time, Alex!

    • alex robinson replied:

      “pressure (n.) late 14c., “suffering, anguish; act or fact of pressing on the mind or heart,” from Old French presseure “oppression; torture” – pressure is never about lightness or play, it’s used it to ‘extract something’ or ‘make it give’.

      I’m glad you are looking after your own skin Max.

  2. suliwebster replied:

    Lovely piece again, thankyou.
    I notice that Yellow is the colour of cowards, and also the solar plexus, the navel, which is considered our Centre. So maybe to be cowardly is to return to your navel (naval, navigate) centre, navigate back to your navel.
    I also see the light we seek as the opposite of heavy, have less stuff, consume less, travel lightly on the planet, less materialism.
    I like the way you have defined play as lightness, though these days I notice the word “play” has been hijacked, and we now have Play Workers. Work through Play. “Play Inspector” on the side of a council van. And Play Centres, where children go for controlled supervised designed play, which is not play at all. Play Centre is play.centa, placenta, which is the source that feeds us in-utero, through our navel, our yellow solar plexus. Maybe the play centre is our navel, the centre of lightness, cowardice and yellow.
    David Icke is a great example of the loyalty issue you describe. There is constant argument about which “side” he is on. Is he one of us or one of them? Because he has put out so much material, almost everyone can find something in it they don’t like. People seem to want someone who is either 100% truth to blindly follow, or 100% fake to blindly avoid. And lots of effort goes into trying to prove one way or the other which side Icke is on. I think it is irrelevant, as long as you practise this discernment and coward and retreat thing that you so wondefully describe here.

    • alex robinson replied:

      I like your thinking & play suliwebster & yes perhaps we need a new word for ‘play’.

      Exactly so on Icke – what does it matter if they’re friend or foe if we are using our discernment – we take what we like and leave the rest – we are not baby birds in the their nest waiting for our next feed.

  3. Mick replied:

    Matt’s ayahuasca experience will link with Ragnarok. Fire and Ice, and the spirit conflagration that results.

    As always, many thanks for your honest perceptions. Have just read your latest articles and they have all been particularly pertinent to where I am at present.

  4. alex robinson replied:

    Hi Mick, sorry for late response. Yes indeed Matt has never failed to offer something powerful & stimulating.

    Am glad the articles have had value for you. I hope all is effervescing in your world :)

  5. Mick replied:

    Things are good. Great changes in motion. As long as i don’t waste the energy.

    Sending happy hugs :-)

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