Monday, 11 May 2009

Blissfully Unaware

A number of people I have spoken with recently have told me that they choose not to read newspapers, read news sites on the internet, watch TV news or listen to radio news as they prefer (and I use the term they used) to remain ‘blissfully unaware’. What bothered me even more was the fact that they shared this information with me with a kind of piety, as if, by being in this blissfully unaware state, they were somehow enjoying some kind of deeper, more fulfilling kind of spirituality than I could achieve, as I chose to remain up to date with current affairs. I came away from all these interactions both confused and concerned. I’ve been mulling this over now for a couple of days.

I am bothered by these comments on a number of levels, not least because if one is blissful because one chooses to bury ones head in some kind of pseudo-spiritual sand, then one should expect to have ones head cut off! This kind of attitude causes me to picture people rearranging deckchairs on an ethereal Titanic. I was also reminded of the rabbits in Richard Adams ‘Watership Down’ who thought they had a wonderful life, unaware that they were captive and being bred for the pot. I just can’t see that this is what we are called to as magical beings. We’re here to affect change, not to live in some kind of self imposed ivory tower refusing to acknowledge that change, or evolution, is required. We are the people who can affect change!

I’ve not read Dion Fortune’s ‘Magical Battle Of Britain’ but the little I have read about it leads me to believe that during one of Britain’s darkest moments she encouraged people to come together in a series of meditations with the sole aim of not just protecting the UK, but the world, from a terrible fate. Far from burying her head in the proverbial sand, she sought to lead and train people in using their spiritual and magical energy in such a way as to bring real light into the world during a time of terrible darkness. Here was a demonstration of the immense power we hold as people of spirit and how we can affect very real change when we come together with focused intent. If we are truly magical beings, then change will be a constant, both within, and without.

This has bothered me because of where Europe finds itself at the moment. In a few weeks we have the European election. In my own country, the UK, this generates very little interest, and voting apathy in this regard is well known. This bothers me because it is at times of economic recession, as well as times when people lose fath in the political and democratic process, that people turn to the more extreme political parties for answers, usually because they offer scapegoats for all the worlds ills, scapegoats that some people are willing to accept with the consequence of many minority groups suffering as a result. It is already becoming apparent within the UK that some extreme right wing parties are spending more on this European election than they have in all the others put together because they sense their opportunity to gain their first seats in the European Parliament.

Far from being blissfully unaware, people of spirit need to seeking the Divine Mind and working magically to bring about positive change. At times such as these our spiritual path cannot be something that brings gain just for the individual practitioner, but needs to be something that spills and reverberates out from this and brings positive change for all. I have a very powerful and genuine sense for the need for our spiritual practice to be used in part to send out protective energy to guard and protect our nations at what is a very vulnerable time.

This isn’t a party political post, but it is my attempt to call us all to action, whether this be in a magical sense, or in the sense of causing any European readers not to rest on your laurels, but to firstly use your vote, and to use it responsibly.

Whilst we are not in the situation Dion found herself in, let’s follow her lead, and look outward at such a time as this, as well as within.


Idris said...

Good post Andy! I must confess that I often get a sense of smug complacency from many who tell me not to be "so negative". They generally seem to be people whose class, colour or sexuality are such that they would not be under immediate threat. Your warning about the danger from the extreme right has a very real significance here in Hungary where there seems to be a vigilante death squad targeting Roma people in the Eastern part of the country. Similar things are happening in Slovakia, Csech Republic, Romania and other former communist countries.

A couple of years ago, a uniformed group called the Magyar Garda (Hungarian Guard) was founded with the avowed intent to protect the Hungarian way of life. They have weapons training (legal in gun clubs here) and are to be found marching (unarmed, I am glad to say) where there are flashpoints.

Needless to say, the "Hungarian way of life" does not have room for Romanies, gays, lesbians, foreigners, democracy and diversity. At present, they and similar groups are on the fringes but are able to make a lot of noise - unhindered by any law. For highly commendable reasons - not least the history of dictatorship - freedom of speech is highly protected by the constitutional court. This freedom, however, allows all but the most blatant exhortations to violence.

The Pride March last summer was a case in point - the hurling of abuse along with eggs and tomatoes is, according to the court - a legitimate and traditional expression of disapproval. It is also very frightening for the targets - who had to be protected by what seemed the entire police force of the country dressed in full riot gear. No one was in any doubt what the result of the right breaking through would have been.

Moonroot said...

A wise and timely post. Thank you!

I have nominated you for an award - details on my blog.

Tess said...

Well said, and I agree with Idris especially about the right-wing side of things.

I think there's a balance - I went through a phase where I was clicking onto the BBC and other news sites every five minutes (exaggerating slightly!), but to remain uninformed and uninvolved seems to me verging on collective suicide.

Anonymous said...

I don’t know that I’m really qualified to comment on this post given that I am an American and not eligible to participate in the upcoming European vote, but I’m going to stick my oar in anyway. I can sort of empathize with those who choose to remain blissfully unaware—so many news outlets sensationalize what they are reporting that it is easy to develop the distorted view that the world is going to hell. It becomes quite easy then to just shut all that off and turn up the music. And I can tell you that in some U.S. elections I have been sorely tempted to sit out of the voting because the slate of candidates and issues to be decided have been so wrong-headed in my view. But for all that, I still listen to and read the news daily and I still vote each election (sometimes holding my nose!). At least that way I can feel justified in complaining if our elected officials end up doing the stupid things I always suspected they would do! And I do think that nations reach tipping points, as the U.S. did with 8 years of Bush-Cheney government, creating opportunities for rebalancing as I think the U.S. has done with the election of Mr. Obama last November. I hope the outcomes of your upcoming elections will be as uplifting for you as the result of our recent presidential election was for me.

Your closing remarks in this post are simultaneously incredibly optimistic, imminently practical, and quite simple. So often, in my experience, it has been the simple thing that gets dismissed by the majority (or at least the people who are making the most noise) as being . . . well . . .too simple. But where have extremist candidates and political groups that have gained footholds in the power structure gotten us with their complicated and negative actions? Well, here in the U.S. they have gotten us into anything from seemingly endless wars, to hideous economic conditions, to all kinds of other paranoid social policies. What we really have to do is just as you suggest—think deeply, think clearly, and take personal responsibility for what we can do, especially if it is something as simple yet profound as sending out our prayers/intentions/protective energy/whatever each of us would like to call it to bring about change for the better. Living in this age of science and reason, I think we have learned to under-estimate the power of our collective spiritual energy, but I am convinced it is simple things such as this that are the most elegant and therefore the most effective in the long run in keeping our world a sane and livable place.

Andy said...

Thank you for nominating my Blog for an Award, Mootroot. Your words were lovely and touching, thank you!

Idris, the things you speak of make my heart heavy, and such things happen here, also. Recent political events here are turning many people toward minority parties, such as the BNP, and this is something that people of spirit cannot ignore. The support of minority parties is currently being actively encouraged by a leading right leaning Tory heavyweight.

Sabrina, your wise words “we have learned to under-estimate the power of our collective spiritual energy” is key and we have to not only reclaim that, but move into the reality of that experience, not to do so, as Tess infers, will lead to more serious consequences.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth...

I am one of those folks who doesn't watch TV news, read the newspaper, or the internet news on a regular or daily basis. But in no way do I consider myself ignorant of world affairs or burying my heads in the sand.

I want to tell you why it isn't necessary. I read many blogs for one thing. Important topics always make it to the blogs and the moment something sparks my interest I will go do some research on it.

I belong to Amnesty International. They send me emails all the time telling me what needs action. I also belong to groups like who do the same thing. I regularly send letters to my local political persons based on these emails.

I go to you tube when I want to catch a speach.

My friends are always talking about important issues in the news, they are constantly willing to tell me all about what I don't know. As if I need to know about one more horrifying event, that my life won't be complete without it.

I look at the news as same shit different day. But in no way does this mean that I am uninformed, more spiritual, stupid, or sticking my head in the sand. It simply means that I know where to find it when I need and I refuse to stuff my head full of media feed. No more commercials. No more screaming newscasters. No more racist or bigoted vitriol.

I know plenty, act plenty. But my mind rests a bit more often than many. And that is a good thing too.

Anonymous said...

and no, I didn't use spell check. I just typed and hit send, don't let my typos lead to assume I'm not intelligent or my comment not worth reading.

And Andy, I'm so very, very glad that you are writing again!