wishing, hoping, thinking and praying

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i respect those who believe in a life after this one. but i don’t understand them. it seems to me that religion is no more than an excuse for not accepting the conditions of life. the here and now, nothing more than that. that is also the unique aspect of our life, the wonderful part of being alive.

henning mankell   

i quote others only in order the better to express myself

montaigne

it was an afternoon around the end of the summer last year. a couple of weeks previously, i’d finally bought a copy of the book a dear friend of mine, the wise owl, had published in 2012. my ME makes reading for any length of time impossible, but i’d dipped into the book and relished small portions of it. we hadn’t seen one another for a few years, and her book brought my friend back to life in my nowadays on the wrong planet. it felt like we were getting reacquainted. thus at that time the wise owl had been on my mind and in my awareness more than she’d been for ages. that afternoon i spent some time looking her up online. i discovered how active and well known she is on social media sites. then i put on some lipstick and went across the road to the local café, as i do on many afternoons.

it was a rather dreary bank holiday monday, and there were too many people i didn’t know sitting outside the café – which i think of as my café – for my liking. so i was in a distracted state when suddenly – hey presto! the wise owl appeared. for about seven years we’d not seen each other, had very little contact, yet just minutes after i’d been researching her online, and only days since i’d started to familiarise myself with her book, there she was. standing right in front of me. i’d magicked her up.

i could tell it felt odd to her that i didn’t register any surprise. my friend was pointing her face out to me for dramatic effect, gesturing – surprise! here i am! surprise! – but from my matter of fact response you’d imagine i’d seen her last week, or had been forewarned of her arrival. the reason for my surprising absence of surprise was that seeing her in the flesh seemed such a natural extension of all the other contact i’d had with her recently. it made sense. i hadn’t realised it, but i’d been expecting her.

***

people who don’t share the sense of serendipity or precognition which i and many others experience could find plenty of ways to shoot down what i’m trying to describe here. but

and i am ever so wary about broaching this subject matter for a number of compelling reasons. but

for one thing i am frightened, properly frightened, of being lumped in with new age thinking in any way, so frightened that i’ve not even attempted to post anything on these subjects before, despite how close they are to my heart. but…

if your life has been destroyed by a terrible physical disease which about half the world chooses to believe is a state of mind – a mistaken belief – you’re likely to get pretty pissed off with new age bollocks as the years go by, and the seventy-seventh person asks how come you haven’t been healed yet, or why are you so resistant to meeting the right healer in a place like brighton which is bursting at the seams with healers, or haven’t you heard of the lightning process, or…… but…

shouldn’t it be ok to talk about something which overlaps a little bit with magic if you are looking at it from one particular angle, and a little bit with spirituality if you peek at it briefly with your hands mostly covering your eyes from another, without being misunderstood and accused of, horror of horrors, being a little bit new age? but…

but this kind of experience, this stuff in the realm of prescience, is wobbly around the edges, uncertain, and hard if not impossible to pin down. and that makes it nervous subject matter.

***

since i first began this blog, i’ve been wanting to try to write something about belief. there are always a number of subjects percolating in my system, or in view somewhere on my conceptual horizon. i’m now recognising that belief is such a vast and weighty matter that it is overly ambitious to attempt to put everything i want to say about it in one post. so i’ve decided to simply start out, with no specific goal or endpoint in mind.

up till now i’ve based my beliefs about life, insofar as i have any, on my direct experience. one of the very few concrete conclusions this has resulted in is that i’m convinced that feeling my way through life works far better than trying to think my way through it. i find i’m much more likely to have faith in my decisions when i take this approach.

this is why i’ve decided to cast aside my natural tendency to cynicism and put my trust in something mysterious and possibly significant which has been happening to me for a long time. for most of my life, in fact. i’ve gone through phases where i pay it lots of heed, and others when i’ve pretty much ignored it. (it is frustrating how stupid our minds can be; how many times they can need to experience something before they pay proper attention to, and learn from, that experience. so although i like to think i know that life goes better for me when i am tuned in to my gut sense, or intuition, the fact is that when fresh trouble strikes, i tend to forget this vital resource.)

for a while now i’ve been trying to come up with a satisfactory term for this strange thing that happens to me. i’ve danced around different ways to describe this stuff to do with precognition for so long that i’m dizzy. i’ve gotten so bogged down in self-consciousness, so preoccupied with endeavouring not to put a word wrong, that until now i’ve ended up silencing myself.

for example; if i call it psychic experience i risk sounding like i imagine i could tour village halls helping people reconnect with dead loved ones. and when i bring magic into the conversation, i risk sounding fanciful. all i can think is that i must be inadvertently tuning in to a genuine thing – a real level of communication we humans truly have in our repertoire, but greatly underuse. one thing i am certain of is that being in touch with one’s gut sense nurtures foreknowledge. it is at those times when i’m best tuned in to my inner flow that i’m most likely to connect with prescience.

i feel like i’m seeking out a fragile middle ground where reason and mystery intersect.

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