An evolving page, to which you are welcome to contribute, on the theme of HOPE! and the strength and courage needed for allowing us to have a Vision of Hope for the future.
— ‘Portal’, —
– batik and acrylic painting –
We are grateful for this contribution by artist Nina O’Connell
‘Come, my friends, ‘tis not too late to seek a newer world’
– Alfred Lord Tennyson
Today I am flying low and I’m
Not saying a word.
I am letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.
The world goes on as it must,
The bees in the garden rumbling a little,
The fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.
But I am taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
A terrific distance.
Stillness. One of the doors
Into the temple.
From: ‘A Thousand Mornings’ by Mary Oliver
People look east, the time is near
Venus’ dance with Spica in the constellation of Virgo in the early morning skies in late November (2023)
It’s a fitting preparatory image to come before the start of Advent: Venus, the planet of Love, wanders through Virgo, a symbol of fertility, seen by the ancient Greeks as the figure of Persephone, daughter of Demeter. Towards the end of November (2023) Venus comes ever closer to Spica, the brightest star of Virgo. Spica is an interesting star. In the Greek image of Virgo, Persephone holds an ear of grain, the ear of grain representing representative of new life potential, waiting to be planted in the earth to bear fruit. There is another intriguing astronomical aspect to spica: it appears to go through a rhythm over four days of becoming brighter and then less bright. This is because it in reality is two stars circling in an orbit around each other, thus a star full of movement — full of life, we could say. This astronomical aspect complements the Greek image of a star representing new life. Thus… at the end of November love and new life come together, two qualities essential for us as human beings moving creatively into the future. And then comes the start of Advent on the first Sunday of December: people look east, the time is near. It is the start of a period of looking forward in anticipation, preparation. Preparation belongs to spiritual rebirth — one cannot sit back and relax and expect the same new birth to happen. An inner effort is required, to meet and eventually overcome the encroaching darkness. With the image from the stars of Venus and Spica, with the start of Advent, we may gain inspiration for the path ahead, and an inner fountain of new Hope.
(contribution by Richard Brinton)
In the silence of a midwinter dusk, there is a sound so faint that for all you can tell it may be only the sound of the silence itself. You hold your breath to listen. You are aware of the beating of your heart. The extraordinary thing that is about to happen is matched only by the extraordinary moment just before it happens.
Advent is the name of that moment.
We wish everyone a wonderful Advent, Winter Solstice, Christmas and New Year, full of inspiration and initiatives.
May it bring renewed and strengthened inner spiritual commitment!
Finding our way amidst the conflicts raging around us — and in us
A contribution by Janice Dolley, October 2023
In the last few weeks of October 2023 I have been surprisingly caught up in the present conflict in the Middle East, more so than in other recent atrocities such as the Ukraine, Syria Afghanistan. So I ask myself why now?
Three reasons come to mind. The first is that I have stood on the hill on Jerusalem where the church is called Jesu Flavit. According to the Bible “Jesus stood and looked over Jerusalem and Jesus wept”. Was he despairing at the lack of godliness or goodness in Jerusalem at that time or might he also have had a vision of what would be happening now ? I have also stood in the playground of the Hope Flowers school in the Gaza Strip and looked up to see the row of guns on the border pointing directly at me. Not a comfortable place for children
A second reason might be that I was born in 1935 and lived in Bromley Kent which was close to the Air Force Base at Biggin hill from which the Spitfires set off every night and that the Battle of Britain was fought over our house where we slept in bunkers in our air raid shelters for several years. So I know what it is like to wake in the morning to find the house next door but one gone and all the people within it perished and my school bombed during the night but mercifully the bomb fell in the swimming pool and the nuns rejoiced ‘praise the Lord’ they said next day.
But the third reason is that I have realised that this, as many other conflicts, has been orchestrated by the global elite who are seeking to divide and rule at all costs . Possibly this was the case in other terrible wars; this is just all coming out now and certainly motivating those of us working for The Great Rising, however we see that. Then I pause and think why now?….. To read further, click here
We do not fight, we do something different: we cultivate love, and we know that, with this cultivation of love, strife must disappear. We do not place strife against strife. We place love, in that we carefully nurse it, against strife… We work for the pouring out of love and found a society that is built on love. That is our ideal… It is not through strife that one overcomes strife, not through hate that one overcomes hate, but that, in truth, strife and hate are overcome only through love.
Rudolf Steiner, 1906
A CATHAR IDEAL FOR OUR FUTURE
This is an authentic view of a paradise we can realise, by a Cathar from the beginning of the fourteenth century. The pioneer of the Cathar revival in the Ariège ended with a vision of the Cathar paradise, where each soul would have the same happiness as another; they would all be one and each soul would love any other just as much as those of father, mother or children. Here lay the nub of the comfort for the bereaved – a future in which all individual affections and earthly sorrows were caught up in a universal love.
“Prayers for peace and unity in times of war hold profound significance, serving as a collective plea for an end to conflict and the healing of divided communities. These prayers are expressions of compassion and a yearning for a world where differences are embraced, respected, and reconciled peacefully. They remind us of the shared human desire for harmony and the belief that even in the darkest moments, the power of unity can overcome the ravages of war, paving the way for a more peaceful and harmonious future.
Love is the answer. Unity is the way. May we move towards co creating a world where children will always feel safe living. Our hearts go out to all places experiencing deep conflict right now. May our prayers be heard and ripple through the collective. If you feel called, lay some good prayers down today.”
Jason Shukra, Octoner 9th, 2023
‘The wondrous power of faith: all faith is wonderful and wonder-working.
God is in the moment when I have faith in him.
Faith represents the influences and sensations of another world perceived in this one:
it is the perception of a transmundane act.
True faith relates only to the things of another world.
To have faith is to have awareness of waking and working and sensing in another world.’
From a fragment by Novalis 1772-1801
Do not second guess spirit;
Your lists of preferences
Spirit is not interested in your comfort,
But in breaking you apart
Until your shell crumbles
And you are reborn as love.
Tanis Helliwell, Embraced by Love
Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.
A Maori Proverb
A Saviour, A Redeemer came,
A Son of Man, in love and might,
Who did an ever-quickening flame
Within our souls as fire ignite.
We only now saw heaven open
As our ancient fatherland,
Now were faith and hope awoken,
We felt ourselves at God’s right hand.
from Spiritual Songs, by Novalis
A short inspiring video, by Charles Eisenstein
— on the effects of our thoughts —
The Glowing Egg
Space opening up within
A delicate egg
Glowing in the dark.
New life gestates inside,
Into our expectant world.
Tend this egg with care,
To its insistent
Pulsing in your heart:
“I am the Light returning!
I am Love reborn!
I am the very energy of Life!”
And so – dear reader – are you!
from Better Light a Candle
All Life is One
A Celebration of Human Kinship with Nature
7th October 2023 at the White Eagle Temple of Light at Liss in Hampshire
A day about awareness, acknowledging that our spiritual awareness of nature is the beginning of our resolving the problems of human interaction with the wider world. We can develop awareness so that we shun cruelty; we can develop awareness so that we discover our own healing in nature; we can develop awareness so that we replace goals of ever-increasing growth with those of regeneration and mutual survival with other species and forms of life. Awareness can open us to the subtle spheres of life; it can also help us fully and consciously live as part of a whole, giving and receiving. Within the whole, endangered peoples just as much as endangered animal species are important.
Our programme is not so ambitious as to believe it can offer a simple solution to the world’s problems; more, it aims to broaden and enrich the platform from which a full and transforming understanding can be developed.
Jane Upchurch is one of the speakers at this event, with other speakers including Justine Huxley, of the Centre for Reconciliation, St Ethelburga’s Church, London and Cofounder of Kincentric Leadership; Philip Lymbery, CEO of Compassion in World Farming; Michael Dent, Fundraising Director, WWF; Hein Fleuren, Tilburg University/World Food Programme; JaneUpchurch, Christians Awakening to New Awareness; June Boyce-Tillman, academic, composer and author; and a speaker from White Eagle Lodge.
by June Boyce-Tillman Feb 9th 2022
It was finished.
His body relaxed as
he was taken from the cross
into the arms
of all those people
who had loved him
And stayed by him.
He felt himself lifted into a rocky hole
And from there he was
carried into the Centre of the earth.
He floated gently through the tunnel
passing dinosaurs, mastodons, pterodactyls
Dodos and many strange unknown creatures
Fossils, shells and colourful rocks and stones.
At the end of the tunnel
he saw a distant figure draped in black
With a vestige of a rope at his neck.
He remembered his own words:
“Betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss?”
He drew nearer
“Judas”, he said, “Will you allow me to kiss you?*
Written in the period leading up to Easter, with its theme of death, resurrection, rebirth.
A report from the gathering at White Eagle Lodge on 25th March 2023, by Jenny Cuff (April 2023) —
AWAKENING TO NEW AWARENESS THE EVOLUTIONARY EDGES OF CHRISTIANITY
A joint exploration by White Eagle Lodge and CANA March 25th 2023
I was fortunate to have attended the White Eagle Open Day in October 2022 and this event on 25th March 2023, my second visit, was just as awe-inspiring.
The first thing that strikes you is the extraordinary care and meticulous attention to detail in the temple. Not just the planning and structure but also how its beauty encourages a personal direct link with the heart to attune into the atmosphere of vibrant love energy. This is a place of light and open to all who enter in.
Sitting in the circular temple, one’s eye is drawn upwards through a ring of light to focus on the six pointed star in the apex of the glass ceiling and then beyond to a vista of the sky and moving clouds above.
Embedded in every aspect of this space are the laws of sacred geometry enabling qualities of serenity, peace and stillness to flow through. The gift of a perfect silence shared with others in the round persists, and so the matrum, “As above, so below” is called to mind quite naturally………….. for the full report, click here (this will download a one-page A4 document).
“Nature is always lovely, invincible, glad, whatever is done and suffered by her creatures. All scars she heals, whether in rocks, or water or sky, or in our hearts.”
Steadfast I stand in the world,
With certainty I tread the path of life,
Love I cherish in the depth of my being,
Hope shall be in all my deeds,
Confidence in my thinking.
These five lead me to my goal;
These five give me my being.
Cana newsletter, Spring 2023
contributed by Janice Dolley
Each of us has been on a different journey to reach the stage we are at today, whatever that stage may be, so I would like to start my contribution with a quote from Sir George Trevelyan in his book “Exploration into God.”
“ I saw that the emergence of the spiritual and holistic worldview in our time was calling and challenging us to go beyond the academic and traditional view points and really take our own initiative and explore into the field of God thought”
When I first heard Sir George say this in the early 1970s and then write it in his book “Exploration into God” it rang deep bells within me as from at least eight years old I had begun to think for myself rather than accept the teachings of either the Anglican Church of my home or the Catholicism of my school and saw that in different ways each was describing the same reality. In my early 30s I discovered Sir George Trevelyan and found he affirmed what I already thought and also inspired me to have ideas that we are all part of ‘one stupendous whole’ and that the flow of Life pulsates through each of us. Through his insights I was able to see the deeper meaning of the sayings of Jesus such as “ Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand”. It seems that all these teachings can be heard and understood from several levels which is why he used to say, “Let them who have ears to hear let them hear”. One example is the misleading translation of the Greek word ‘metanoia’ which really means not repent as we commonly understand it but a change in our thinking and that the “Kingdom of heaven is within you”, linked with “Greater things than I do shall you do also” helps us to understand that divinity is within each of us, awaiting our discovery. In a way these two insights underpin what I am still trying to communicate today which is the twin ideas of both understanding what is currently called the whole worldview of the oneness of all and the consequent deep interconnectedness of all life, together with the abiding love of the Supreme Creator of All as two fundamentals. If these fundamentals were widely accepted beyond religious teachings so western civilization would come closer to the indigenous insights that all Iife is sacred.
The world faiths in their different ways have done so well in at least keeping alive the essential spiritual ideas through a dark age of materialism and also by giving us a springboard into the more universal stage of faith that is emerging now. This transformation or change in our thinking underpins both the relevance of the One Spirit Alliance as supporting an evolutionary movement towards a greater universal understanding. The new evidence from evolutionary science affirms what the Mystics have always told us, together with what we learn from the increasing opportunities for globally wide exchange is awakening us to the realisation that it is we, humanity, that now need to change our attitudes if, as the human species, we are going to survive and avoid possible extinction.
If anyone reading this feels called to explore or communicate this further then please do let me know. An intelligent and loving universe is awaiting our long overdue co-creation towards the New.
Janice Dolley ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
(You can also view this on a separate web page: onespiritalliance.net/cana-newsletter-spring-2023/)
Cradled on wooded hillside,
Basking in winter sun,
Breathing into serene air,
Slowing in expansive release,
We are centred in the moment
Light slopes and shades away
Along the angled treeline
While behind and beyond
A brooding mountain presence
Watches over the deep ravine beneath.
The hum of running water
Wafts up from far below –
The churning turmoil of the world
Is just a distant echo.
Yet this is the same world,
A world of beauty and horror
A world of kindness and cruelty,
A world of bliss and agony,
A world of birth and death,
Of darkness and light
In ceaseless transformation.
The cracked record of history
Endlessly repeats archaic patterns
Of upheaval and violence,
Of war and suffering,
Profiting the few
While sacrificing the many
On the altar of greed and worldly power.
Even in this very world
Christ can be reborn
And rise again in every soul.
Our hopes can be enacted,
Our light can shine,
Our love can radiate –
So just take heart,
Take your courage in both hands,
And dare to forge the world anew.
from Better Light a Candle
from Heather Giles
If I were to choose one book to refer to on our spiritual past,
present and future it would be:
The Dream of the Cosmos: A Quest for the Soul
by Anne Baring
This is a review by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee:
“The need to heal the split between spirit and matter – the need for the return of the feminine – is one of the most important stories of our present time. As we wake up to our ecological crisis, we sense the imbalance that lies at the root of our culture, the result of the loss of our contact with the sacredness of our earth that is the cornerstone of all indigenous cultures. But few have dared to penetrate to the very foundation of this cultural split and see how it has evolved over the centuries, to comprehend the real depths of the imbalance that now threatens our whole planet. Anne Baring’s extraordinary personal journey has taken her to that deeper vision and understanding. Her book is a testimony to the Feminine, it is the story of what we have lost and what we need to regain.”
from Positive News
This contribution from the Positive News magazine (in an online newsletter by the above title, 20th April 2023) struck a… positive chord! In a time when news media is full of apocalyptic reports about extinction being closer than ever, one link in particular stands out, entitled: The end isn’t nigh. Why we should be optimistic about the future (Click on the title to go to the article). An excerpt from the beginning of this article:
“Doom has become a profitable industry. Do a quick search for ‘wipe out humans’ and Google will spit out page after page of the-end-is-nigh predictions: ‘Researchers warn artificial intelligence could one day kill everyone’; ‘Study says zombies would wipe out humans in less than 100 days’.
It’s all great Hollywood fodder. Clickable content. But, as the scientist and writer John Hands argues in his latest book The Future of Humankind, when these types of forecasts are tested against their eventual outcomes, they are always disproven – often wildly so… The former University of North London lecturer, has spent the last six years delving into the evidence surrounding the main existential threats to humankind, and offers a different take: we should be more optimistic.”
Historian Rutger Bregman takes up this theme as well in his book, Human kind (pictured here), in which he notes from his research that, when people are asked, they tend to take a negative view of human nature, for instance that if there is a catastrophe — war, earthquake, etc — people will try to loot the shops, look after their own needs, in ‘survival of the fittest’ mode. BUT a study of people’s actual actions showed the opposite, moving him to conclude that humans in reality are cooperative and kind by nature. In an interview with Positive News, Bregman gives a thought provoking observation:
“Throughout history, a cynical view of human nature has always been a legitimisation of power,” Bregman told Positive News. “A hopeful view of human nature leads to institutions with more freedom. Because if people can’t trust each other, then they need powerful people to look over them. But if we can trust each other, we can live in a much more egalitarian, genuinely democratic society.” (Click on the link for the interview with Bregman).
The interview with Bregman from Positive News is from 2020 at the time of his publishing this book, but it is every bit as applicable now, if not even more so than before.
Adults are bombarded with all the terrible news of what humans are doing; children in schools are often having drilled into them all the bad things that we are doing to the world around us, eliciting the feeling in many: better we weren’t even there. Worse, it is adding to the anxieties, depressions and other mental health issues.
Yet the real story is not generally being told, at least in the main media: by and large human beings ARE good, and there IS great hope for the future, BUT… we need to pay attention to real life, the encounters we have with each other each day, to the positives, the beautiful, the hopeful – in short, making our own judgements, and putting out our own positive energies, rather than paying too much attention to what we are being TOLD by media and often government, which revels in negatives and doomsday stories: we are being told what to think, sometimes passing through us unconsciously, whereas we must instead be ourselves, think for ourselves rather than just accept doomsday views, and spread positive words and actions of love and hope.
THAT is what Bregman found many human beings already do, if they are allowed to be, and allow themselves to be…. HUMAN! 🌞
Whatever may come, whatever the next hour, the next day may bring, if it is unknown to me, I am unable to change it, however much fear may prompt me. I await it with entire peace of mind, with entire calm of heart. Anxiety and fear impede our development. Through the waves of anxiety and fear we reject what wants to flow into our souls out of the future.
The acceptance of what is called divine wisdom in the events, the certainty that all that is to come is necessary and that it will have in one or the other way its positive consequences, the evocation of this mood in words, feelings and ideas – this is the mood of the prayer of acceptance.
It belongs to the attitudes which have to be learned in this our time: To live out of sheer trust without security of existence, out of trust in the ever present help of the Spiritual World. Truly we cannot carry on differently, if our courage is not to fail.
November 1910, Bremen
In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.
I realized, through it all, that… In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me,
within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.
Truly yours, Albert Camus
I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year,
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied, “Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way.”
May that Almighty hand guide and uphold us all.
The words come from the poet Minnie Haskins (1875-1957). She called the poem “God Knows”, although it is now know as ‘The Gate of the Year’ in many poetry collections. The verse is inscribed on a panel by the gates of the George VI memorial chapel in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, and in a window at the Queen’s Chapel of the Savoy.
Thoughts about Love
Someone asked me, how can we better shine light into the world? I believe that the important thing to do is just to do it! – that is, not think about it, not prevaricate. It means consciously and generously looking outward from ourselves, but from the strong self. Our creativity – that is, our being in a state of giving, creating – is the same as our loving.
These pages have already seen the quotation from Rudolf Steiner that follows. He is clearly expanding on ‘a new commandment I give you, that you love one another’ (John 13 : 34):
“What then is essential for love? What is essential in order that one person love another? It is this – that he be in possession of his full self-consciousness, that he be wholly independent. No one can love another in the full sense of the word if this love be not a free gift of one person to another…
Christ is the bringer of the impulse of freedom from the law, that good may be done, not because of the compulsion of any law, but as an indwelling impulse of love within the soul. This impulse will still need the remainder of the Earth evolution for its full development.”
(R. Steiner in ‘The Gospel of John’, lecture in Hamburg, 1908).
Although Steiner speaks of freedom and independence, I find in his words something remarkably close to what I am feeling. To love is to love. There can be no prescription around it, no qualification, no sacrifice to any other feeling whatsoever. There can’t even be a focus on the needs of the world, for even that will distract. And it has to be done in full consciousness: ‘that he be in possession of his full self-consciousness’, as Steiner says.
We might put it the other way round. If our commitment is totally to radiating light, totally to emanating love, there simply is that independence that Steiner requires, that freedom.
Another teacher, White Eagle, says:
‘To know all means to renounce all. To love all means to have understanding of everything.’
It sounds a tall order, a big ask. But is it so hard to be, simply, a lighthouse?
Sobering thoughts, finding the courage, on a threshold of hope…
A Message for our Time, and the year 2023 — ‘Fear Not’
contribution by Janice Dolley
I have been re-reading a chapter in a book by my teacher Sir George Trevelyan- “Christ and the Adversary Forces (1) and hope that those reading this will understand the Christ as a great universal energy of love, light and wisdom permeating all creation rather than the link only to Jesus of Nazareth as understood in orthodoxy.
I was writing this just before Christmas 2022 following an experience on 11/11 this last year, when a friend and I sat and meditated together remembering those who gave their lives in two world wars. After our meditation we shared stories about my grandfather in WW1 and his father in WW2. Both survived but suffered what we now call post-traumatic stress syndrome. He showed me his father’s medals for outstanding bravery in service and I told him of the note that my grandfather left with his will apologising for his periodic outburst of anger and saying that” if you experienced what I had experienced you would understand.”
What I was left with was the sense that all those who died did so to ensure the future generations might have FREEDOM and it is our it is now our freedom that is being threatened in subtle and often invisible ways today. If this statement does not ring bells with you then this is the very reason why I’m writing this. It may seem a strange message to send at the Christmas season and coming into the New Year. But is it ?
At the time of the birth of Jesus the population was under the fierce control of King Herod and his minions. Joseph and Mary were travelling to register their details so that Herod knew exactly who was under his control and could be taxed. Then when their baby was born they had to secretly escape to Egypt because Herod was exterminating any possible threat to his power. Doubtless most of the population acquiesced either because they did not notice what was happening or, if they did , they did not have the strength to resist so prayed for a saviour to come and save them. What they received was not a warrior but a gentle baby!
These attempts at domination surfaced periodically and we are told that the twelfth century mystic and Abbess, Hildegard of Bingen, rebelled against the dominance of church and state in the Middle Ages and that her role was to break the cycle of greed, power, and politics that was destroying Mother Earth as well as the soul of humanity.
Fast forward 2000 year… (click here to go to the full essay on a new page).