Beginnings

(May 13th, 2013) 

Well, as this little Japanese Haiku shows, when the computer fails to “Update”, some Beginnings quickly become still-born Endings:

Your file was so big.
It must have been quite useful .
But now it is gone.

Sorry, try again” is the message. But by then my text, which took so long to write, had already disappeared into that infamous computer world of nothingness.

To say that I was totally “teed-off”  is the understatement of the year because like many an author, I was writing this “intro” after literally all the other writing was in place. And I so much wanted this all to be done ~my target date was May 1st ~ so that I could get ready for a summer holiday in Europe.

But, as time passed, and I wrestled with the contrast between one of my second daughter’s reactions to adversity: “Shit happens” and “No mistakes in the universe, so what is the lesson here?” I finally had the insight that those two concepts were not “Either/Or” situations but “And and And” ones. So what I then became more aware of was that Life just is. It is neutral; it doesn’t take sides. So all that matters is how we react to all the events representing that “isness”.

And I am suddenly reminded of something that I wrote when I first began this journey. I believe it may be considered a tautology, but it still makes sense to me:

The fact that life has no meaning doesn’t mean that there is no meaning to life.

So let me now resurrect as best I can those original Beginnings that the computer ate up. That re-birthing, which began in 1999, took a whole year to happen so it is a long story.

But, now, another two days have passed since I started rewriting the text, and, out of something else I was doing last night, I suddenly realized that the most important thing that happened in my early adulthood ~ and has influenced my life ever since ~ isn’t anywhere at all on this web-site at this moment!!  

Little wonder that I had to lose that original text. So here is what I would like you to know first because it really sets the stage for everything else. And that explains why one significant historical teacher is not on this web-site at all.

I was born into a Church of England family where we were the good guys and the Catholics were the bad guys. At fifteen, aboard H.M.S. Worcester, a naval training ship, I was confirmed into that church. In my last term there, I wanted nothing more than to go sea in the Port Line whose ships went to Australia and New Zealand which was very much where I wanted to go. I checked with all the other leaving cadets to see if that company would be their choice and no one was interested. So in the period of silent prayer before we got into our hammocks each night I prayed to God that this might happen. Come time for the interview and The Captain-Superintendent decided to send up two other cadets too, one of whom had no particular interest, but was the top academic cadet. He got the vacancy and I lost my faith in God.

Later, I paid a little more attention to the prayers offered by the priests and came across these weasel words that I have never forgotten: ”Fulfill, O Lord, the desires of thy servants as may be most expedient to them.”

Today, I would simply say my soul clearly had a different destiny in mind for me.

Quick aside, I shall meet that same cadet some sixty years later when we both go to England ~ he has just had very successful career in the Australian Government ~ for a very formal Celebratory Dinner of the Old Worcester’s Association. And, after all those years, the very first thing he says to me when he sees me in The Great Hall of  The Merchant Taylor’s Company is, “You beat me Ellis!

And what he was referring to were the finals of a rowing competition within the eight parts of a ship into which the cadets were divided. I was the stroke oar, the leader, in the Foc’sle Starboard boat that won that race and he was the stroke oar in the other one. And who knows why he even remembered that? So, in a very strange way we finished up even. Except that I am still alive and he has been gone for some years now.

And then another mishap ~ the shipping company I was then supposed to join said it had made a mistake about a vacancy ~ and I finally go to sea in their parent company, which picked up the pieces, and whose existence I was not even aware of. But another aside ~ what that is going to mean, since I am not on a regular liner, but a tramp ship that goes anywhere where there is a cargo, is that I shall, before I reach the age of manhood, achieve one of my childhood ambitions of sailing right around the world; the voyage lasted thirteen months. I got a week’s leave and was then sent  out again.

But here’s the thing. My very first voyages from England take me into the Mediterranean Sea. And there, for the first time, I shall encounter a lot of little brown men, who, despite the fact that they are supposed to be discharging our cargo, will spend a lot of time kneeling on the deck in prayer. These men, I am told, are Muslims, and am then shown, from the outside, a mosque.

Later, in the Far East, someone takes me to a Hindu temple; and then I notice all these men walking around in yellow robes: Buddhists, I am told, and off we go into one of their temples.

And while I am only eighteen, it does occur to me that there are rather an awful lot of these kinds of people ~ and none of them are allowed in my God’s heaven because they are unbelievers!! That made absolutely no sense at all to me.  And then I read history and discovered all the killings over the centuries ~ not to mention the persecution of women labeled as witches ~ that took place in the name of this God.

But I still tried a number of Protestant Christian churches before finally turning my back on what I now believe to be one of the greatest abominations ever inflicted upon a long-suffering human race.

And now, with that out of the way, I can go back to the original text which looked like this:

As I start to write this, it is interesting to become more aware that my two inter-connected life-changing experiences, which led to the content, the What of this web-site, occurred within a few months of each other, in 1997. And, even more interestingly, to record that the first occurred in a home in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa, and the second 15,000 kilometres (about 9,500 miles) away on a deserted beach near a town called Paihia on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island.~ a place whose existence was totally unknown to me until I got there.

Paihia New Zealand

But, first, I need to step back eight years and to tell you Why and How this web-site came into being: After I retired I tried Yoga, had a very unhappy experience and turned to Tai Chi. There I met Maya/Marianekke Heringa, a Dutch Canadian and we became a duo taking it in turns to lead and follow. Later, she introduced me to her older sister, Regiena who had published some books containing the chanellings of an entity named Sextus. I started attending her sessions held in another Ottawa home. One such session led to the creation of a tattoo that you will find described under one of the Subject headings.

But on May 8th, 1998, in a trance state she informed me “Without a predestined picture ~ so there isn’t one on the box ~ you now have the opportunity to take the puzzle of the universe, put all the pieces together, and create a new picture. 

Somehow I later translated “opportunity” into “task” but, either way, I took that message to heart. But it is only now, fifteen years later, that I feel I have assembled all the pieces I felt I needed to create my own new picture of the universe. (Note: Little did I know when I wrote that sentence, that  it would not be until January 2016 before I knew in my heart that I had really found all the pieces I needed to complete the picture. So I probably could have written a book in the same amount of time. But this has been more rewarding because I have not had to worry about copyrights since I am not selling anything but just offering an internet   gift as my legacy to the world)

But, just for fun, here are a couple of physical puzzles that had pictures that I had done while visiting my son in North Carolina earlier this year. I have always been a puzzle person.

Puzzles

Note: What is even more fun ~ and these sentence were added three months after I wrote the original text of this ~  is that I have just moved into a tenth floor apartment in Victoria overlooking the sea where, at any given moment, the residents are doing three different jig-saw puzzles, some of which are huge. So, if no other reason than that, I fit right in here. And am meeting new people faster than at any time in my thirteen years here. So I finally have a sense of community which is a real blessing.

And, at this point, I need to say something very important to me about that unknown puzzle picture for the box: for the longest time my metaphor for Life has been one of those huge murals that artists create using thousands of little mosaic tiles, on a wall. In the image that I have, little tiles are constantly falling off as beings die, to be replaced by new ones as beings are born. So, while, the container, if you will, never changes the overall picture within it, is an ever-changing, constantly evolving one of what we might call reality. But who is to say that the container cannot expand and contract as well?

Said a completely different way, my sense is that truth is only what we believe it to be at any given moment in time. How long, for example, did it take humans to realize that their picture of earth as being flat was not the whole picture, or that Newtonian physics was also not a whole picture? In fact, the whole universe may be an unknowable mystery as mystics like Osho believed.

Anyway … fast forward back to my original beginning of this particular part of my journey ~ isn’t that a fun phrase?

As part of my putting the garden to bed for the winter I buy one of those ~ mercifully no longer existent as far as I know ~ eight cubic feet bales of peat moss, which, when wet, literally weigh a ton. I injure my right forearm muscles trying to get one of them out of the car trunk.

Shortly afterwards I will attend a session on energy work taught by an Aikido practioner. And, yes, I was able to put my head on one chair; my feet on another one a little distance away, and support two people sitting on my tummy. Concentrated visualization is a powerful technique.

Afterwards, I spoke to him about my arm and he assured me I had an energy blockage. He offered me two options for “energy” treatment. One was to see a Chinese woman who, in his words, “did amazing things moving internal organs around”: Chi Nei Tsang, I think it is called. The other was to see a woman he said was a Wiccan priestess. “And you know what that means,” he asked and when I said “No,” he said “She’s a witch.”

Since my tummy was fine I chose to see the so-called witch. And she then asked me if she could also treat me with Reiki energy to which I agreed. Later she will teach me Level I, and , though quite an interesting route with two other teachers, I shall later find myself in a little Ontario village wonderfully named Moonstone, where a fourth teacher, my friend Nancy Bradley will, on August 30th 1999, attune me as a Reiki Master. She also showed me how you can make clouds disappear, thus demonstrating how everything is inter-connected. I still do that occasionally but now I ask for forgiveness for needing to practice.

So there I am fully clothed on this massage table for my first session and she suddenly exclaims, “Wow! Do you realize that your back is holding the rest of you together?” Obviously, I didn’t.

A week later, after I had mentioned a bad experience I had had at a council meeting, another “Wow, City hall is right here in your face.”

The next week it was “You have changed your face.

At which point I finally got smart and asked the obvious question: “So what else are your fingers telling you?” to which she answered, “You are a man of courage and you are about to change your life.” And she then sent me on my way with a hug and a little Tai chi emblem as a birthday gift. So an energetic connection was developing between us which often happens in these healing environments.

But what I had not told her was that I had woken up on my birthday just a few days before that session and said to myself, “I can’t go on living like this, something has to change.

And a part of that change process was about rebuilding a relationship that had come apart with my brother who was living in Australia, and whom I hadn’t seen in some forty years  to see if I might visit ~ we had not parted amicably as a result of a boating trip on the Norfolk Broads. And he had agreed. My wife did not want to come.

I flew there via New Zealand because I wanted to have the experience of taking the ferry across the Cook Strait that separates the two islands. I also stopped on the Cook Islands on my way down and later, following a change of plans of which more in a moment, will find myself sitting beside his Commonwealth maintained Memorial in Kealakekua Bay on Hawaii’s Big Island.

Of all the seafaring navigators and explorers I know anything about he is the most magnificent one. We even have a statue of him here in the Inner Harbour. And in a tiny way I followed in his footsteps as a Hydrographer/chart maker in Canada.

So I arrived in Brisbane and, sadly, after just three days, realize that my visit was a mistake. His wife, after a particularly difficult outburst on his part, had said to him, in my presence, “You had promised me before he came that you wouldn’t do this.”

I got him to drive me back to the airport ~ I didn’t feel physically safe. But now what to do? I had no friends in Australia at all. So I phoned New Zealand where I had earlier had a treatment from a young Wiccan massage therapist, and was invited back. She and her female partner looked after me for a weekend in Wellington and then I went up to Auckland to see the Air New Zealand folk about what to do with a spare couple of weeks.

After they had booked me to stay longer in Hawaii ~ which enabled me to find the bay where Cook got killed ~ they sent me to the folks in the tourist bureau, who bought me a bus ticket and then sent me up to Paihia. And that is how I got to be there and had, as you will soon read, the other experience that changed my life.

But, first, a quick aside because it is relevant to what happened there:  Alone, in the silence of some of those long night flights west and south I had often felt the presence of the Wiccan healer. So, in that sense, I never felt really alone.

So there I am in this very nice small motel for a week. But from where I am staying, the road goes up a very high hill and then down the other side into the town. But my hosts are thoughtful and tell me that I can avoid the steep hill by going across the road to the sea shore and then following the beach around  into the town. And that is what I start doing.

And for those of you who are old-time Christians, and know the story of what happened to Saul on the road to Damascus where he encountered a masculine God, the sequel to what then happened to me, may be understandable to you.

So there I am, minding my own business, walking on this clear sunny day, warm sand below my bare feet; a gentle breeze rustling the trees growing out of the cliffs; the sound of water lapping on the shore, and, out of nowhere, I am suddenly surrounded by this energetic force that is everywhere. And I think it is the love of the Priestess who has sent it to be with me. She is here. Amazing.

I share this story with her when I get back to Ottawa. And, given her beliefs, her immediate reaction is, “That was not my energy you experienced, it was the energy of the Goddess.” But the Goddess has many names. So the question became which one?

So fast forward backwards again. Right behind my hotel in Hawaii, a massage therapist has her treatment room and I go for a treatment. And she sent me  on my way with a recommendation to read three psychological books, He, She and We, written by the American Jungian analyst, Robert A. Johnson, whom I have quoted in more than one place on this site.

The local library has She in it. And on the very opening pages, to my total surprise, I find a description of the birth of Aphrodite in the waves. So, I concluded that it was indeed the energy of love that had come to me on that beach but in a different form

And I imagine if you are a Jungian like Robert Johnson, you will say that what I did next was Active Imagination. If you are more psychically inclined you would probably say I channeled.  Either way I had this dialogue with Aphrodite. And when, just last week, I shared this with my Jungian namesake here ~ she just burst out laughing and said “I bet she told you to get lost” which, in terms of the deal I was trying to make with her, was exactly what happened.

But then I got this, “I can use your life. I have a job for you, besides writing a newsletter in my service. To all the women who are now going to come into your life you are to say to them, “Can you look in the mirror and say to the face you see, “I am woman and I am magnificent. Can you look in the mirror and say to the face that you see, I love you just the way you are.

And I would then do that regularly, and also remind them that they were living goddesses in their own right, and not inferior hand maidens, as espoused by the priests of the patriarchal religions.

The last time, I asked a woman that question was just a month ago, so I have never neglected that assignment.

And one of the most beautiful experiences I had around that question happened in the early days when some women were just not willing to look in the mirror at all. And the fact that, like the Goddess, they might be divine was something that they were not prepared to entertain at all, especially those with a Catholic upbringing.

Anyway … after a silence of about three months, during which we had talked many times, one married woman with four kids, phoned me one day, and said, “Guess what?” So I asked “What?” and she replied, “I finally looked in the mirror.“And then what happened?” I asked, and she said, “My soul said welcome back.”

Life doesn’t always have enough beautiful moments like that in it, so they are very precious when they do come.

And now I am literally and figuratively at the end of this beginning: Over the past six months, and with much help, I have taken about a thousand pages of Newsletters which, naturally were named The Love Letter, plus a blog and reduced them all to less than a hundred pages. I have also added some new material including a seventy page text of Osho’s teachings that took me seven years to compile.

And now, finally, you are about to see the very first typewritten Newsletter I wrote and then the formal design that came later, followed by the first page of a new Blog, Hermes’ Heartbeat, which replaced the later email version of the newsletter, and which is, in its turn, now being replaced by this web-site.

But what I nearly forget to say is that the other archetypal energy that I have been channeling for some sixty years is that of Hermes/Mercury, the messenger of the Gods/Goddesses. So, as you will see, I am both a writer and a bringer of messages from many sources.

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So here I am sitting in Rick and Visudha’s kitchen in Olympia, Washington and, suddenly and unexpectedly I have become a blogger! And a New Year is about to arrive so this marks the first of many changes that I sense are about to begin. In the meantime, Greetings and a Joyous New Year…..

PS You will notice that I have also changed the title from The Love letter, which honoured the Goddess Aphrodite, to one that reflects not only the masculine nature of the writer but also the last few years of my public service career designing and implementing a computerized Human Resources Management Information System(HERMES) whose image, like the one above, on a specially designed decal with a gold background, was put on every computer in the Personnel Branch across the country. (One is still on my printer here)