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" Seek the truth and run from

those who claim to have found it "

after André Gide

Dreams of Eternity & Paradise

October 23rd, 2012

Some Samhain-inspired thoughts on creating a more just and sustainable world:

Perhaps we can start by looking and dreaming. Through entering the cave and facing the demons.

The first demon is called Death. In seeking to avert catastrophe, to ‘save the world’, we are confronted with our greatest fear: the fear of death – of ourselves, of other species, of humanity. This demon strikes at the heart of one of our two greatest dreams: The Dream of Eternity.

The second demon is called Chaos. In seeking to create a world that is fair and beautiful, a Utopia, we are confronted with our fear of its opposite: Dystopia, Destruction, Ugliness, Disorder, Chaos. This demon strikes at the heart of the other of our two greatest dreams: The Dream of Paradise.

We are beings in Time and Space. In Time we dream of Eternity, the Ever-Present Now. In Space we dream of Paradise. But here is the rub: our dreams are haunted by demons who threaten everything: the enjoyment of Time is disrupted by Death, the delight of Space by Chaos.

Psychology reveals that what is hidden and unrecognized controls us. Confront the demons and they dissolve in the light of awareness. This understanding suggests that our desire to create Paradise on Earth, to cease the death and destruction of life on the planet, is disturbed, and in fact controlled by the demons: the fear of Death and Chaos. Our very fear of them is running us and our behaviour – unconsciously.

This is why the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. This is why Utopian dreams have historically led to violence and bloodshed – just think of Fascism, Communism, the French Revolution, all propelled by the noblest ideals. Look at the history of religion!

So where does this leave us? Should we stop dreaming and trying to create a better world? No of course not, but to do this we need to understand what we’re doing.

To dream and to act to create a more just, sustainable world we need to come to face our fears: of death, annihilation, of the Moment, of Chaos, of Dirt. When they are accepted, not denied or bargained with, then perhaps we can be inspired to act not out of the unmet needs of these demonic (ie neurotic and unconscious) drivers but from a real sense of compassion and connection with all of life.

21 Responses to “Dreams of Eternity & Paradise”

  1. I would like to add yet another Dream : the Dream of Freedom. In the old days, until about 40 years ago, people new they were not free. But in the mean time all kinds of philosophies/religions have emerged stating man chooses everything that happens to him. And this leads to a modern Demon : the Fear of Failure.

  2. Ooo I do like
    a bit of chaos
    a peace of emotional
    freedom fear aaargh!
    Oh Mother! confront a
    slice, squeak like mice and
    Even though I fear . . .
    Even though I do/do not feel . . .
    Even though . . .
    I truly love
    and accept myself!

    Ah the Battle of the Blessing
    Oh the Keeper of the Chaos
    in the Harbour of the Holy
    Tapping of the Eye of Tension
    Aye Truth Transforms
    Oh Kindling of Kindness
    Mmm Time to Taste the Good
    Harvest of Soul, Soil and Sun

  3. Extend the good to goodness
    Kindle our kind to kindness
    House our (w)holy humourous Heart!

  4. Is this what is referred to as existential anxiety? Can you, Phillip, recommend some readings that address this topic? Thanks.

    • Hi Patricia, well I suppose it could come within thinking around that. Not sure of a book to recommend. The piece I put in the blog is part of a longer work work on the Transition movement, which looks at how we can deal with the environmental challenges facing us. I’ll post the whole piece up one day!

  5. I agree. At this time of year, many pagans talk about understanding and confronting the fear of death, but few speak of chaos in the same manner. Chaos can be a profoundly creative and inspiring force, or state (or non-state!). The Enlightenment ideals of logic, reason and order were brought to a literally terrifying conclusion in the French Revolution; this is a time of year in which they can be brought into balance with intuition, irrationality and nonsense.

  6. Great post !!! I also like the comment about the dream of Freedom and demon of Failure. All those demons are often forgotten by the media sphere in popular culture so Do you think Positivism is a good thing now ?

  7. Ah yes – I see what you mean! Yes that refusal to look at the difficult/dark side – that excessive positivism – creates awful problems – espec in China. Look at that crazy development in Dubai of artificial islands and high rises – Atlantis I think it’s called (And they don’t even know that Atlantis got sunk!!)

  8. Yes, it’s often associated to the spirit of renaissance (Chinese renaissance here). You can read Rabelais where Gargantua represents the Italian renaissance in France when the Kings were building all those magnificent castles. Men never change.

    I know that you believe. If Dubai choose to call the islands Atlantis then the Harmony of Atlantis is still alive and indeed a pretty big one. Atlantis is Eternal but hidden. You can check the lost city of Corbilo described by the Grec Pytheas as it may be about the same legend.

  9. I’ve just been reading the “Book of English Magic” which, by their omissions, reminded me to reread Alan Garner’s “Weirdstone of Brinsingamen” and “Moon of Gomrath” and Susan Cooper’s “Dark is Rising” which relate to the cycles of creation and destruction and the balance between light and dark, both equal and non~existent without the other. Naturally we enjoy one and fear the other but really neither represent “harm” necessarily, depending on your perspective, creation of one really involves destruction of another to do so. Demons and dreams can plague you equally and affect your view of your personal success or failure but by what measure, your own or the people you are affecting around you?
    Which does remind me to ask, why Susan Cooper, Alan Garner even Dianne Wynne Jones were not mentioned in the early stages of the Book of English Magic as JK Rowling and other super authors were? These first two authors formed the basis of understanding for me, a long while ago.
    PS ~ I’ve gone on to read A Watkins “The Old Straight Track” and am curious about ley lines through Crowborough if you know of any please? Also what little I have looked at on our OS map seem to put the beacon point on Wolfe Rec rather than the present location. I would be very grateful for any information or advice on sources that you could give me. Thank you

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