Monday 23rd March
Out on the top of the moor there are two strange looking buildings. There are no paths to take you there, so after a long spell of lying in the heather and watching the clouds, I went out to get a closer look. I think one of them is a shepherd’s shelter but the other one is a grim, castellated affair, like something from the Lord of the Rings. Inside there is a huge well-like opening and from deep in the underworld, the sound of some great engine drifts up through the shaft. Occasionally smoke rises, I kid you not! It is so remote from anywhere that is is a disturbing sight and I wondered if I threw a stone down, would I be overrun with orcs and goblins? It made think about how little wildness is left in the world and in ourselves. We have become obedient, mute, tame and subdued. The smallest disturbances can cause outrage in the media, and we all join in like startled blackbirds.
Our current fear is the virus, and society is organising itself around that, and rightly so. But what is the meaning of the virus? And if we weren’t thinking about the virus, what would we be thinking about, and what were we thinking about before? What thoughts are we avoiding? The problem is not that we have fear of a pandemic. The problem is that we have fear of the wrong things.
Current civilisation would have us believe that we are the creators of our own individual lives but most of us are folded, rigid and dreamless. We are out of touch with Great Life, or God, Expansion or whatever you call it, and we have been running our lives like a one wo-man show. Nature has been burning us, drowning us and hurling the odd hurricane, but we just pick ourselves up and continue as we were, poisoning, warring and polluting. Now we are having an experience of descent, a time of darkness and loss where we are powerless against an invisible agent of death. We are confined, restricted and in a place of poverty of soul which could be summed us as the denuding experience we have as we approach death.
If you have ever had a brush with death, you will know that it can be very clarifying as you become aware of what you really love, and what is of value. You may be assaulted with regret, but you will also realise how beautiful the world is and how a patch of small weeds growing at the bottom of a fence can be transfigured with beauty.
In mythic terms we are all in that deep well, isolated on the moor and down in the underworld. We are experiencing a global rite of passage as we are forced to take actions not just for our own benefit, but for the benefit of all. Our spirits and souls are naturally wild and free and for generations they have been clamouring to grow and transform. Yes it is a frightening time, but when our thoughts overwhelm us, and when we feel abandoned and alone, know also that this dark path is transforming us and nothing will ever be the same again. You are not being called to sing a whole symphony, only to find your own note, and out of the darkness, sing it with all your heart.