Posts Tagged Musings

Transference of Consciousness

H. Mosaferi

In the Sophian Gnostic tradition the Transference of Consciousness is an essential practice. It is a practice to shift of our center of consciousness from the physical body to a spiritual body, a body of light. Although in our tradition and indeed in the Tibetan traditions it is most often a practice given for conscious dying, it is also a practice for conscious living, representing an esoteric or mystical understanding of resurrection and ascension. To experience a shift of our center of consciousness into a body of light, whether astral, spiritual or supernal light, is to experience a very different view of name and form, and personal history, a very different vision of this body and this life – one that is transcendental. Even a glimpse of this greater reality of our being on an energetic level can be empowering and transforming.

Although this practice may appear to be a very lofty practice, I believe that the essence of this practice is also, and have always been essential in the evolution of consciousness in humanity. If we feel ourselves attached to name, form and history, it is very difficult to change our consciousness because we will feel ourselves trapped in our present form. Although we would like to change our consciousness we would time and again find ourselves up against the wall of what we think our limitations are.

Although we are quite capable of thinking alternatively, we have no way into it, because we have had no experience of it. What we actually learn and see is contained within our social and environmental parameters. What we do is also determined by what we can do and need to do in order to survive, given the environmental, technological and social context. What we do determines a particular sort of relationship with our environment. We participate in our environment, in a particular way, to achieve particular objectives. The outcome is a human being that has a particular way of relating to their environment and pays attention to particular phenomenon in the world depending upon social and physical context.

In our minds the form of something both gives it its power and restricts its power. In our minds, the form of something defines the potency or strength and innate nature of something. “An elephant is big and strong, it therefore does big and strong things.” A way of thinking about this link between form and potency is identity; some people or things do certain things and others different things.

Now, ironically that which I have written in the last two paragraphs is actually exact quotes used by anthropologists to explain primitive modes of thinking. All I changed in the texts was to replace “them” with “we” and took out “so and so postulated”. I did this to show how little we have actually changed in mode of thinking from the so-called primitive way of thinking. The reason for this is exactly the reasons outlined in the above texts.

This sort of thinking, involving the body as our insertion point into life, underlies the
phenomenological studies of Husserl, and later Merleau Ponty, that contributed to contemporary
considerations of embodiment and cognition. In 1967 Horton suggested: ‘In evolving a theoretical scheme, the human mind seems constrained to draw inspiration from analogy between the puzzling observations to be explained and certain already familiar phenomena.” We therefore look towards the familiar to explain the unfamiliar and because we do this we are actually stuck in a loop of consciousness. What really differentiate us from past cultures are our skills, also explained in Anthropological context as; development, in hand with practice and training in a particular environment, generates the skills apparent in different cultures.(Ref)

“Mode of thought is more resilient than mode of production,” according to Philip Duke in “The Foraging Mode of Thought” where he introduced the notions “that certain phenomena have different rhythms of change and that these rhythms have different effects on society and the individuals in it.” In other words although we now live in a society where we are no longer foraging hunter gatherers, we still think in that way. Today our hunting grounds are malls and the world of business.

New thinking have always originated in the visionaries among us. In tribal societies these visionaries were the Shamans and medicine men. In the West the visionaries are philosophers, mystics and artists. What they all have in common is that they are able to transfer their consciousness into a body of consciousness that is beyond the bound body of consciousness of the times in which they lived, which is exactly what the practice of Transference of Consciousness is.

Most Anthropologists agrees with an idea of Lévy-Bruhl that what really distinguished our present day thinking from so-called primitive cultures was, that primitive people lived in a world that had no distinction between the natural and the supernatural. “In this world that ties people into relationships with phenomena, it is possible to exchange abilities or powers.” It is in the sense of taking on an ability that Lévy-Bruhl recognized that Bhororo people of Brazil can actually become parrots. Similarly, Khoesan can become lions and that this was, not a metaphor but a reality in their minds. (This will also be an accurate description of what is achieved in the Transference of Consciousness.)

This concept was called by Lévy-Bruhl, “Participation mystique”, or mystical participation, and refers to the instinctive human tie to symbolic fantasy emanations. This symbolic life precedes or accompanies all mental and intellectual differentiation. (Ref) Jung used the term throughout his writings and the concept is closely tied to that of projection, although the Jungian “projection” is an unconscious projection rather than a conscious projection as is done in transference of consciousness or the techniques used by Shamans to transfer their persona into other planes of being or to access the spirit realm to transfer power. We may well ask why we unconsciously project our feelings; could it not be that we instinctive are already aware of the potential of transference of consciousness?

At the outset, of practicing the transference of consciousness, gathering our consciousness as light within our heart, envisioning the image of a holy and enlightened being in a body of light, and projecting our consciousness as light into that light-presence, and merging ourselves with them, is nothing more than a flight of fantasy – an imaginative exercise. However, over time, with continued practice, it can become more than fantasy. We may actually experience a shift of our center of consciousness into a body of light, whether astral, spiritual or supernal light, and in this experience we will discover a very different view of name and form, and personal history, a very different vision of this body and this life – one that is transcendental. – Tau Malachi

Dying and death are very similar to going to sleep and dreamless sleep – according to the Zohar sleep and dream are 1/60th the power of death, and is the same basic process in consciousness, although the vital connection between the body and soul are not severed in sleep as in death. Therefore, this very same practice of the transference of consciousness can be used as we are going to sleep, as a practice of “dream union,” or an invocation of luminous and lucid dreams.
This in itself reflects what was called “primitive thinking” – “making no distinction between the natural and the supernatural.” Life is a Dream” therefore we can transfer our consciousness into “bodies” that is beyond what we are at present.

The place of this transference of consciousness is at the top of the head, the top of the skull, hence the “Place of the Crossing on Mount Golgotha,” the skull.

This same center is also called the center or star of the Divine I Am, which becomes an interesting contemplation when the nature of this center as a point of transition is known and understood.

Although the practice of the transference of consciousness may seem like a very lofty and advanced practice, and on some level it is, nevertheless it is a practice any of us can take up and benefit from, even if nothing more than used as a visualization of what we can become. It is especially useful during times of crisis where we have to cross boundaries of transitions.

Transference of Consciousness is the way through which we can transcend the event horizon of our current physical limitation, which transcends thinking only from what we know to what we consider beyond the horizon of our imagination. In a sense it is exactly dying consciously in order to live consciously. For in order to move beyond our current limitations in consciousness we need to die to our former way of thinking through the process of resurrection and ascension. In order to make a radical leap in consciousness we need to go beyond the present event horizon of our mode of thinking.


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The Purity of the Moment

“The purity of the moment is made from the absence of time.”

In the stillness between,
in the quiet instant,
there lies a treasure beyond compare,
a song of piercing beauty,
penetrating the deepest secret chamber of my soul.
Within dusk and dawn arise subtle hues
memories of the night
Possibilities of the dawning day.
Within the breathless moment,
I hear,
I see,
I feel,
in the moment of infinity,
in quiet wonder
I know the miracle of being.

“… commune with your soul on your bed, and be silent …” Psalm 4:4

I awoke this morning and I did not move, neither did I open my eyes. I remained still and became aware of time moving from my past to the present and to the future. As I remained still, and allowed the past and the future to swirl around in the moment, I became aware that even in my stillness, by simple being aware everything is continuously changing. Even in my stillness a present moment is being created that is always different. Yet, here I still am, and while I am doing nothing I am changing. Just as a rock that remains unmoved for thousands of years in one place, is never the less still changing. Perhaps in another thousand years it will become grains of sand, and perhaps through some fierce burning fire even change into glass.

I continue to remain still and motionless seeing thoughts and emotions swirl around my awareness. As long as I remain still, I remain between being asleep and awake and am just a being in becoming. As soon as I move I will be incarnating into my being a set of beliefs of who and what I am, of what I am becoming. As long as I remain still I abide in just becoming in the fluidity of moment, but as soon as I move a paradigm of meaning will shape my awakening and as such I will embody a set of beliefs. In truth my beliefs are based on arbitrary hopes of possible becomings birthed in hidden desires. All I can really know for sure is that I am becoming whether I remain still or not. Right now I have a choice to remain still and still become, or I can consciously awake within a chosen paradigm of becoming. I can choose to be in the eye of the storm of my becoming, or on the extremities and experience suffering.

“Pain is unavoidable, suffering is not.”

No becoming is without pain, knowing and observing our becoming ease the suffering. Being a being in becoming, we observe our pain and happiness as flickering moments shaping our becoming which still remains an essential mystery.

In the Kabbalah Binah consciousness is the mind and heart actively engaged in thought and desire, akin to our ordinary state of consciousness, and Hokmah consciousness is the mind and heart completely silent, without thought or desire – a state of pure awareness, thus just being.

There is a term called Hashmal which indicates the simultaneous experience of Binah and Hokmah consciousness and is called “Speaking Silence,” or Dynamic Silence. There is silence and there is voice, and there is no contradiction between them, but they are one and the same. This “speaking-silence” appears in Ezekiel, at the culmination of Ezekiel’s vision, when it says God speaks to him out of silence. In Exodus 20:18 it is written; “and all the people saw the sounds.”

In this state of consciousness, one actually experiences a silence of the mind and stillness of emotions and desires, yet, at the same time, thoughts and desire-energy continues to flow. It is a supramental state of pure awareness, yet, at the same time one continues to experience the mental and vital states. The experience of Hashmal or Speaking Silence is the experience of being in the now – a zone of complete silence in the mind and vital, which is in the midst of the mind yet also beyond it, and at the same time there are thoughts and images and emotion – a complete stillness and motion at the same time. This allows a linking of the various levels of consciousness and thus a free flow and exchange between them.

Although Hashmal is a very lofty attainment and requires a radical change in consciousness, we can relate to this experience through the experience of love. Just as we cannot actively seek out love, as seeking it directly often obstructs it all together, we rather have to cultivate the conditions necessary through which we may naturally and spontaneously experience love, just so it is with Hashmal. In the Mysteries the social identity of the neophyte, the focus of the self-aware person, was temporarily dissolved so that the individual could experience “wide-field” cognitive ecstasy in the presence of the Other, the Beloved. For initiation to be undergone in a way that assured that the content of illumination would be retained, a long process of depersonalization was required, thus a process of clearing away all unauthentic concepts of self.

To experience love we must first clear what will obstruct our ability to experience true love, otherwise will not see our beloved as they are but rather we will see the projections of our needs and our desires and be sorely disappointed. The experience of Hashmal is the state within which the Gnosis Mind manifests and we are able to behold the true nature of reality; hence Reality as It Is. Within the Gnosis Mind the knower and that which is known becomes one. In the moment of sexual ecstasy the beloved and the lover becomes one, yet continue to exist as two distinct individuals simultaneously. Just so it is with Hashmal. We can only “run and return” to this state of being.

“The god Eros lives in the gap between
what we have and what we seek,
what we are and
what we are becoming.” –Connie Zweig

Eros perhaps, it could be said is the passion for transformation, the passion that transfuses and transfigures all forms, sweeping one form-thing-being through another, interfusing self and other, human and divine, perpetuating the eternal mystery of these brief encounters.

Diotima, a seeress and midwife from Mantinea in the Peloponessus, is famed for telling Socrates that “Eros is a mighty daimon, for its power mediates what is divine and what is mortal.” (Symp. 202 E) When Socrates proposes that “Eros is a part of the beautiful (to kalon),” Diotima corrects him, saying “No, love – that is, Eros is an esthetic bent, the passion for engendering and expressing the Beautiful – tes genneseos kai tou tokou en to kalo.” The “esthetic bent” as Diotima called it, is intimately linked to our capacity for love. Love and Eros enhance and complement each other at every turn. Love includes the capacity to embrace and transmit the Beautiful.

Thoughts returns to their arising. A bare tree in the icy winds of winter. All drawn within. In days long ago a mighty wizard cut a wand from its branches, gathered Mistletoe clinging to its limbs. Owls reared their chicks in its safety. Lovers whispered sweet caresses in its shade. Be quiet now and rest in a winter’s dream as your acorns dreams in the dark body of the Mother. Dream of mighty trees swaying in the Spring’s enlivening breeze. Softly I heard the Mother hum a song of dreaming, of dreams arising, within her womb.

Drifting in the Dark Sea
Formless potency of the Primordial Night
Chaos envelops me
and I surrender

In this night
a dream arose
Images rising from
the dark depths
of my soul
and stirs fathomless
What image will you choose
to represent those desires stirring
in the womb of the night
What will be the colours
of your wings?
What does your voice cry out for
in longing
in the night?
Come Beloved,
Join me
so that together we may
weave a bright new dream
Let us play for a while longer
in the starry night skies
of our imagination
before we give birth to a new dawn.

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Who am I?

Before we can become who we really are, we must become conscious of the fact that the person who we think we are, here and now, is at best an impostor and a stranger. – Thomas Merton.

The Myth of Who We Are

After many years of intensely exploring all the aspects of what I thought I was, I realized that I was lost in the myth of what I thought I was. From a young age we create a myth about ourselves. We fashion this myth from our early experiences of our interaction with the world around us. For the rest of our lives, unless we ask ourselves what our personal myth are, we live our life according to our personal myth. We limit our potential to what the hero of our myth embodies. If we do not like the way the story of our myth is unfolding we have to change our motivational myth, but first we must uncover just what our personal myth is.

How do we find the origins and the mystery of our personal myth?

The hero must enter the dark caverns of the underworld, look beyond the masking myth of that which we think we are. In the hidden shadows of our being, in that part of ourselves that we hide so carefully from others, there lies the Grail cup of our healing and our real potential.

The theme of the Grail Romance is that the land, the country, the whole territory of concern has been laid waste. It is called a wasteland. And what is the nature of the wasteland? It is a land where everybody is living an inauthentic life, doing as other people do, doing as you’re told, with no courage for your own life. That is the wasteland … The Grail becomes … That which is attained and realized by people who have lived their own lives. The Grail represents the fulfillment of the highest spiritual potentialities of the human consciousness. Joseph Campbell – The Power of Myth

Unless we explore the assumptions we base our lives on we will remain  enclosed in an unconscious image of who we are that was created in our child hood and live according to the limitations embodied by that particular image or Archetype.

We believe we are the mask we project but at the same time we know that the disowned part of ourselves is alive and well, and will someday break through the prison of our mask, exposing that which we have disowned and that which we do not want to acknowledge. We fear that the hidden part of ourselves is a hideous monster and by exposing it to the light the ugliness of ourselves will be revealed and we will be shunned by those around us. Especially those whose love and approval we seek. This is just an illusion we created; we are like the ugly old hag in the Arthurian legends that turns into the most beautiful woman when we kiss her with acceptance, even in her ugliness.

Power: Comes from Latin root posse, which means to be able.

We feel bound and limited by what our personal myth represent to us; “I am this” and I am that”, and I can do only this. We feel limited and powerless because we do not understand and know who we are.

The Rainbow of Potential

*The Rainbow Light is the full spectrum of our soul’s energy and the Divine Power – it includes dark radiance, white brilliance, and the entire spectrum of light and color.”

Somewhere in our distant past, one of our ancestors, or more likely a few at the same time, became aware.

I feel… I?

Who, what am I? Like a mirage appearing to the thirsty lost in the desert we never seem be able to reach it. Like a rainbow that appears in the tears of our life, insights to ourselves appear in a blaze of glory, only to disappear into the vastness of the sky.

“If only we can get to the end of the rainbow you can find the pot of gold.”

The problem is that we are looking for the pot of gold instead of looking at the rainbow. We will keep on chasing after rainbows until one day we realize that the pot of gold is understanding the symbol of the rainbow.

The Hebrew word for “I” is Ani, which is spelled with the same letters as the word Ain, which means no-thingness. Thus there is a suggestion that the real I or me is the nothingness within me; that which lies beyond the mirage or the fleeting rainbow. When you turn inside looking for the self, you will not find the self. The instant one turns inward to look at the self, the self vanishes like the rainbow.  Yet, when you are not looking for the self, there is a sense of self.  We also find this when we are looking for the source of our thoughts; thoughts arise in the mind, abide in the mind, and disappears in the mind, but the source cannot be found. Although this may frustrate us when we are trying to find that pot of gold, it also points to the real bottomless pot of gold.

You are not Limited by your Image of Self

When you observe your thoughts, you will also notice that the mind spontaneously generates thoughts without end – an infinite potential of creation without beginning or end.

The divine destiny of the human being, is implied in the Hebrew word for rainbow, qeshet. Qeshet is spelled Koof-Shin-Tau; Shin and Tau spell the name of Seth, who is the image and likeness of Adam (the human one – transcended human being). Qof, in essence, represents previous cycles in the development and evolution of the mind or soul-stream and, thus, represents karmic conditioning or assumptions of what we are.

In the understanding of Ani-Ain we find an important key to our true nature. According to the masters when Yeshua turned the water into wine at the wedding feast of Cana it was possible because the root essence and nature of water and wine is the same – Ain/no-thingness. Thus, dissolving the Ani (I) of water into Ain, he brings forth the Ani of wine. If you dissolve your Ani (self-image) into Ain what can you bring forth? It contains the essence of what shape-shifting is.

If you think of yourself as limited by what you think you are; bound to one limited manifestation of self or personal history then think about the potential represented in the understanding of Ani-Ain in terms of self-realization. At the very heart of the path to self realization is the ability to dissolve one manifestation of Ani into Ain and thus remanifest Ani at a higher level. You can thus change the limited image of yourself  through conscious evolution.

You can dissolve false self-images and bring forth the true image of yourself – a being in becoming

The Hebrew word Eheieh, which literally means “I am” or “I shall be” which is the highest or innermost name of God. Every time we say “I am this” or “you are this” we are actually invoking the holy name Eheieh. This relates directly to third commandment; “Do not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God.” In Hebrew “sin” translates as “missing the mark”. We are missing the mark every time we use the words “I am this” or “you are this” in negative terms. When we speak in such a way so as to uplift ourselves and others, we are uplifted. It is a simple and basic truth – it is the power of Eheieh.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others” Marianne Williamson

Perhaps this musing on ‘Who am I” will also give a deeper insight in what self-love is. John Carroll in his book “the/ western/ dreaming,” describes soul love, as the “hallmark of soul-mate love is that any enquiry about who you are, what you have done or where you have been is entirely superfluous. It is the I am in another, hardly needing to speak, but to acknowledge with gratitude and awe: I am known. Someone walks beside me. Then each to each on their journey of journeys, may repeat: Courage. I am. Don’t fear!”

Just so it is with self-love from which flows all other love and life.

In soft green grassy lake
I drift and merge
Swirling clouds
Endless forms
in unfathomable depths

A rainbow burst in splendour
reflecting countless
seeds of light
scattered in the passing storm
In brief glory
to illuminate
the covenant
of numinous potential

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Secrets Within Secrets


Some say that the world is a vale of tears.
I say it is a place of soul making
John Keats

I had dream where I was discussing, “the secrets within secrets,” and I awoke feeling as if I had seen through the layers, everything was crystal clear to me, however when I reached out for my notebook and pen, (always next to me when I sleep) suddenly what seemed so clear was not clear anymore, yet I could still feel the understanding of it. Then my eyes fell on a book that I had not looked at for years and by now I know never to ignore sudden attention on something. So I opened it at random, on the following:

“Like Heraclitus, Chunang Tzu speaks of a hidden principle of truth, the Tao. Why does it remain hidden, and yet seem so obvious when we are able to open it? Chuang Tzu suggests that we are misled by partial understanding. We do not think, feel, or look with the whole of ourselves. We tend to base judgements on distinctions which we have not held up to examination.” – Wing-Tsit Chan

So much of life is like this. So often I am hit with a “vow”, only to later, after living with the “vow” of understanding, to realise that there is more to it than I thought. What I thought I understood, I understood with only partial understanding. The fragmented mind is not capable of understanding the whole, yet it is the fragments of understanding that leads us closer, layer by layer to understanding of the whole. As Heraclitus of Ephesus said, “The Lord whose oracle is at Delphi neither speaks nor conceals, but gives signs.” Our understanding of the whole can only be perceived in symbols, it awakens in us a new paradigm of understanding.

“The pursuit of knowledge always takes place within a given paradigm, within a conceptual matrix – a womb that provides an intellectually nourishing structure, that fosters growth and increasing complexity and sophistication – until, gradually that structure is experienced as constricting, a limitation, a prison, producing a tension of irresolvable contradictions, and finally a crisis is reached. Then some inspired Promethean genius comes along and is graced with an inner breakthrough to a new vision that gives the scientific mind a new sense of being cognitively connected – reconnected – to the world: an intellectual revolution occurs, and a new paradigm is born. Here we see why such geniuses regularly experience their intellectual breakthrough as a profound illumination, a revelation of the divine creative principle itself, as with Newton’s exclamation to God, “I think Thy thoughts after Thee!” For the human mind is following the numinous archetypal path that is unfolding within it.

And here we can see why the same paradigm, such as the Aristotelian or Newtonian, is perceived as a liberation at one time and then a constriction, a prison, at another. For the birth of every new paradigm is also the conception in a new conceptual matrix, which begins the process of gestation, growth, crisis, and revolution all over again. Each paradigm is a stage in an unfolding evolutionary sequence, and when that paradigm has fulfilled its purpose, when it has been developed and exploited to its fullest extent, then it loses its numinosity, it ceases to be libidinanlly charged, it becomes felt as oppressive, limiting, opaque, something to be overcome – while the new paradigm that is emerging is felt as a liberating birth into a new, luminously intelligible universe.”

The Passion Of The Western Mind – Richard Tarnas

Within each of us, we progress from paradigm to paradigm in our personal self-evolution. Each stage of this evolution is brought about by a personal crisis, a turning point, a dark night of the soul, a soul encounter. Our personal evolutionary shifts reflects the evolutionary shifts of the greater whole.

The thirteenth century,Persian mystic Aziz Nasafi wrote that the spiritual world, standing like a light behind the bodily world, shines as through a window through every creature that comes into being. According to the type and size of the window, more or less light enters the world. Each one of us is a window on the Universe, the whole of understanding. Physicist Raynor Johnson even suggest that while in ordinary states of awareness we view the world through five slits in the tower, our ordinary senses, there are states of consciousness in which we open the roof to the sky. It is in these moments of consciousness that a new paradigm is born. Suddenly a light is lit in the darkness of our understanding.

The concept of dry intellectual knowledge can only bring you to the first layer of understanding, whereas wisdom is the essence of understanding. There are some that say that true intellect should be defined as an ability to interact with the world around you. The ability to reach out in a gesture of wanting to understand. Wisdom for me is born out of this reaching out and interaction with the world around me, and through this an inner reflection, an inner understanding of the whole is brought about. One could say that out of the bitterness (Mara) of experience, the sweetness of wisdom is born.

In Ancient Egypt the word Ais is for brain intellect, and Sia for intelligence of the heart, in other words intuition. Intuition literally means “knowledge coming in.” Yet neither wisdom nor intellectual knowledge can be gained without love, for to know something there first need to exist a desire, a love for something, for if you feel love for something there is a need to unite with what you love. In uniting with something, or at least a reaching out towards something an understanding is brought about. Knowledge means to unite oneself with the object, concept or idea one requires to understand, hence the term carnal knowledge.

“Consider the prodigious physical and evolutionary studies of Teilhardt de Chardin, which conclude that love is the underlying movement and pattern behind the universe: atoms calling each other in search of union so that they begin to constellate and form molecules; molecules in resonance yearning for the Beloved of the next stage so that they can form more complex systems; these systems yearning to form bodies; bodies attuning until they find their partner and produce more bodies with more complexities. We yearn for the gods and the gods yearn for us, so that as we are becoming enspirited, godded beings, the gods are becoming human. Likewise, earth and nature long for spirit, and spirit longs for nature; out of this longing emerges a deeply physicalized spirituality and a deeply spiritual embodiment …

Consider, too, process philosopher Alfred North Whitehead’s philosophy of God as the loving lure of becoming the Divine Lover calling the world into becoming, as any great and true lover does with any beloved.”

Psychologist Jean Houston

“Mathematical cosmologist Brain Swimme and cultural historian Thomas Berry write of a cosmic allurement that is the bond of all matter and what we humans experience as love. It is this lure between things that drives evolution. Love is what evokes in us the desire to make our own next evolutionary leap as a species. The longing to find and join with the beloved of the soul is the allurement that pulls us toward becoming fully human. “

Bill Plotkin

It is this allurement that entices us out of our cocoons of isolation, and allows us to experience life. In the experience of life we taste and absorb experience as nourishment of the soul. Its sweetness and bitterness both alike enrich our being and creates depth to our insights and brings us wisdom that has grown through the tasting of life.


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Birth Days – dies lustricus – Naming Day

Today is my birthday, and for me birthdays are like New Year celebrations; a time to reflect and to see what I would like to carry with me into the New Year. So, I wondered where the custom of birthday celebrations with gift giving actually originate from. It appears that long ago it was feared that evil spirits were particularly attracted to people on their birthdays. To protect them from harm, friends and family would to come be with the birthday person and bring good thoughts and wishes Long ago though, most people also did not know on which day they were born and it was mostly kings who celebrated their birthdays. Marcus Aurelius was the first emperor to require birth registration. In ancient Rome a child’s naming day was celebrated, and was called dies lustricus (day of purification). Both boys and girls were presented with the bulla, a locket believed to have magical powers to ward off evil spirits which they did not take it off until they reached adulthood.


Later, some Christians took to celebrating a “naming day,” on the feast day of person’s patron saint after whom the person was named. A patron saint was often chosen because of his or her feast day was on, or near the day a child was born, so a naming day customs became closely linked to the date of birth.

The naming and gift giving associated with birthdays evoked a train of thoughts in my mind.

What you are is God’s gift to you, and what you make of yourself is your gift to God.

On the day we are born we are born with the gifts of who we are. We are given names by our parents or care givers often inspired by what we represent to them, or what our being in becoming evokes in them. Our names can thus also be seen as a symbolic representation of what gifts we have received and what possible gifts we can carry to world. It is in this that perhaps we can most clearly see the “the word made flesh.”

“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light; and there was light”

In the Kabbalah each of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet (Aleph-Bet) represents an energy-intelligence which is the foundation of creation. Thus it is said that to know the energy-intelligences represented by the twenty-two letters is to know the spiritual forces and spiritual principles upon which creation is founded, and thus to gain gnosis of the mysteries of creation. Each of these energy-intelligences is behind all things in creation. Every creature and everything in creation is a unique individual manifestation of these energy-intelligences. One can equate this to the elements of the periodic table; a small set of core elements from which the entire universe is created by combination and permutation.

If we look at the word Adam which represent all of humanity – the Human One; Adam is Aleph-Dam, spirit in the blood and Aleph-Bet means spirit in the house or the house of the spirit. When we are born we become the house of the spirit. The spirit in the blood – our genetic heritage and our individual personalities and abilities forms our house – that through which we interact with in the world. That is the primary gift we given on our day of birth. We are then given names which symbolizes our house of being in becoming.

am the silence that is incomprehensible
and the idea whose remembrance is frequent.
I am the voice whose sound is manifold
and the word whose appearance is multiple.
I am the utterance of my name. . .
I am the hearing that is attainable to everything;
I am the speech that cannot be grasped.
I am the name of the sound
and the sound of the name.
I am the sign of the letter
and the designation of the division. . .
– The Thunder: Perfect Mind – Nag Hammadi Library, gen.ed. James M. Robinson, 1990

In Genesis Adam, the Human One, is called the “name giver,” for he names all creatures and all that appears in creation, both in the material dimension and the metaphysical dimension. To name implies to know and understand, and to know the name of something implies one has the power of that thing. Adam is, thus, the intelligence that perceives the essence and nature of things, the truth of things. Also according to Genesis, Eve is the Mother of All-Life, yet in Hebrew the name Eve (Havvah or Chavah) can refer to speech, as in the verse, “Night to night yeChaveh [will express] Da’at (knowledge)” (Psalms 19:3). Therefore, Eve, who was created by the Living Word of God, represents the power of speech, and the Supernal Eve is pure speech in which the Living Word (Logos – the pattern that connects) and Wisdom (Sophia) of God is expressed.

Many scholars believe the magic word "Abracadabra" derives from the Aramaic Avrah KaDabra, meaning "I create as I speak." According to Kabbalah each one of us are created as the Ratzon (Will/Desire) of God by speaking us into creation- naming us just like the ten utterances of creation in the Genesis. As we are created in the image of God; we too create as we speak. Our Will/Desire gives rise to thought, which arises as “voice” in the mind; then, speaking our thoughts we manifest them, and actions follow our speech. Our actions, or our movement in the world can be seen directly as speech as every move that we make is a word, for every action has a name. Do we bless or curse the world with our speech? Are our speech a gift to the world?

The moving finger writes; and having writ
Moves on; nor all thy piety nor wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,
Nor all thy tears wash a word of it.
Omar Kayyams’s Rubiyat

We are the authors of every sentence that we write and move that we make, Everything has a name, so everything is a word and so the world all around us is a book written of which we are contained within. When we read poetry, many of the words are clear and obvious, yet the meaning is often hidden in that which is most obvious. Letters and words do not exist by themselves; everything is in relationship with another. One can only understand the meaning of the words, when one reads the sentence as a whole. If every reaction is linked to its action and all words make sentences, then all that we see before us must be poetry or a story being narrated to us. In our unfolding understanding of who we are, we are still reading the book within which we are a word. Yet, we are also co-authors of this unfolding story.

In our culture and society speech is often devoid or purpose and meaning, could this not be a reflection of the general feeling of life as a meaningless existence? In light of the above I see birthdays from a different perspective. Perhaps the gifts that we receive on our naming days, or birthdays are actually a symbolic question directed to us. What are you doing with the gift you received and what is the gift that you bring to the world? Our birthdays should indeed be called dies lustricus – day of purification – where we sit down and purify our speech so that we may become gifts to the world.

To be human
is to become visible
while carrying
what is hidden
as a gift to others…
— David Whyte

See also: What’s in a Name, Nexus of …

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The Keeper of the Keys VII

Shadow Warrior

Previously …

I felt puzzled after hearing the story. Is it me who is experiencing or is it my shadow? Will what I think I am now also disappear, and be replaced what I now think is my shadow, as in the story the blacksmith told? Am I who is thinking and feeling now actually the shadow of my previous shadow? Yet, if there is a shadow there must be a light. I am but a shadow of the shadow of the Shadowless one. Something else from the story stuck in my mind,” in that anteroom I came to know my true nature.” What is the anteroom? Somewhere in the back of my mind I remember something about the anteroom. But before I could continue my musings, the Blacksmith started to speak again and in his hand he held a small vial.

“You are but the shadow of the shadow, yet you also cast a shadow. When the Creator created this world, and the sun, he also created shadows. The shadow is there with or without light, when you strike off the light it doesn’t mean the shadow is not there. The shadow is there to help you in this world. Because of this, you can evoke it or make it your friend. The Master mystical warriors learn how to develop their shadow. If you want to become a master, you have to learn how to bring it to life consciously, so it can come to your fighting aid. Have you not often wished that you can be in more than one place in the same time, or be more than one person? In reality you are already, but you are not aware of it. How do you know that I am not your shadow? The masters know how to make the shadow come alive so that it will speak like you, look like you, but not be you. The shadow may be used to assist you when fighting, so that there are two of you. It is said that if the shadow gets a punch in, the injury is incurable. But first you must get to know your shadow, because if you do not, your shadow will be your master and use cunning means to control you. Do not be surprised if it was your shadow who tricked you into coming here. Your shadows know which door the key belongs to.“

All of us felt bewildered hearing the blacksmith’s words and more than one glanced at their shadows apprehensively. I tried not to obviously look at my shadow but could not help but look at it from the corner of my eyes. How could a shadow possibly come alive and aid you? It is just fairytale stuff!

“To get to know your shadow you must enter the underworld of your being, where you will encounter the guardian of the gateway before you can proceed. It will be different for each of you, and it will be your first real test. But many have failed the first test.”

For the first time I noticed that behind the blacksmith stood what looked like a stone sarcophagus. The stone was well worn with no rough edges as if it had been worn away by countless hands. It was plain and unadorned and I could not help but wonder what it was.

“Before you begin your journey, you must first purify yourselves of the past. Be prepared to leave behind everything that you have any attachment to, even your names. “

We followed the blacksmith back down to river with its dark waters. The flames from the braziers reflecting on the surface of the water like molten lava.


“ You will leave all your belongings and clothes here , except your keys, as you prepare to jump into the waters. Know that just as you leave your clothes and belongings behind, just so you leave your old lives behind. This outer action is joined to the inner action; the outer person is dead, and the inner person will be conceived in the living waters.”

As I hit the water I found myself instead standing on a ledge, looking down into what appeared to be a volcanic lake. All around the edge of the lake stood black hooded figures holding flaming torches. Looked down into the blackness of the lake’s depths, and I knew that within was a monstrous serpent. I had to jump into the lake for my initiation, but I was very afraid. If I did not jump all my training would have been in vain. What did I fear most? So I jumped. From deep below I could feel the surges of something huge moving through the water, up towards me. My fear grew as I could feel it coming closer, until it felt as if my heart would burst with fear.

To be continued …

About the Keeper of the Keys

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Sacred Intimacy

The white bull with the red tipped horns, rose its head from the land of dreams, the red tips tearing through the black blanket of the night. The light of another day wakes the sleeping beauty of Lady Dawn and gracefully she climbs out from behind the mountain to wake me with a kiss. I open my eyes to a world tinged in deep hues of golden rose. My first thought – fire. The light draws me out into the morning, in awe I stand, bathed in the sacredness of the moment. An invitation to renew my sacred intimacy with life. I turn and feel as if a subtle transformation has taken place inside me.

Sacred Intimacy is the gentle impulse for my soul to unfold like a lotus of countless petals. With infinite tenderness the enlivening rays prods my soul to unfold.

When true intimacy is experienced, the experience is sacred. Even a fleeting moment of sacred intimacy transforms your being. Something has touched the core of you, your soul, and even for a moment it is as if the “black blanket of the night” has parted to reveal a glimpse of divinity, your highest potential.

Within sacred intimacy, you truly experience the eternal now, the timeless present. You feel whole and content in being. It leaves you wrapped in a “heavenly scented” glow and in that glow you are beautiful and divine. Once you have experienced it you are forever changed.

Sacred intimacy is the legendary enlivening ambrosia, the nectar of the gods.

O novice listen to me: a living Fire animates man; a sexual Fire reproduces him. These are one at their source. Man can either drain this fire for his pleasure, or he can sublimate it into a divine force.”

Her=Bak – Isha Schwaller de Lubicz

Within intimacy the fire flows into a divine force and transforms that which you are. Never again can you climb back into the egg from which you came. You have experienced and you know. You can of course try and forget, if you so wish, but you will only harm yourself. This people often do when they have experienced loss, rather than remembering the beauty of the experience.

Although intimacy is of sexual nature in that two seemingly separate elements unite in a “sacred marriage” and something new is created; you can experience intimacy in all relationships. Whether in a breathtaking moment within a natural environment, with a living creature, with a child, with a parent, with a friend, with a lover, a stranger, and of course yourself, intimacy creates a feeling of unity and contentment, even if just for a moment. It is within the unity of intimacy that our personal being is shaped and hued with the colours of what constitute the “I”. All relationships holds the potential for sacred intimacy. A hidden gift waiting for our discovery.

“The value of the personal relationship to all things is that it creates intimacy and intimacy creates understanding and understanding creates love.” Anais Nin

The need for intimacy is like a hunger within us. A hunger that only the “nectar of the gods” will satisfy. Intimacy is shy at its initiation. Two people feel themselves suddenly shy in each other’s presence. Both become aware of an inner vulnerability, yet knowing that there is the potential for pain, they submit to each other in the open trust of children.

We know there is a potential for intimacy when a curiosity draws us to another. We become aware that we are curious to know the other.

The lion knows how to track; I her-Bak, do not know how to seek.”

Learn, then! First of all you must achieve curiosity.”

But is Asfet not curious? He scoffs at hidden teaching, but listens eagerly for its feeblest echoes.”

That is a kind of indiscretion; curiosity is something different: it is a sponge made for absorbing water, but dry; in other words, it is thirst for knowledge, it is a poverty of which one is aware.

Now the soul knows everything, but it does not formulate. If one becomes conscious without knowing how to formulate, then one is poor, restless, thirsty, curious.”

Then it is necessary to dare to admit that one is poor?”

That is the first condition. That is why vain people know only the unhealthy kind of curiosity: to snap up, copy, and repeat what others have formulated.”

Ought one not to study the scriptures of the Sages?”

Certainly, they are excellent for orientating and guiding one’s inner research which alone gives Understanding. That is why healthy curiosity draws out of itself the elements of all problems and creates by its desire the contact with the thing it wants to know.”

What then have I that I could draw out of myself? O Pasab, I am poor!”

Pasab laughed. “Very good! Everything of which you have become aware in your varied trades and experiences is a real acquisition: it is memory of the soul and not of your brain. Awaken this consciousness so you can extend it to that which you wish to understand; in Nature everything is linked with everything else, and you are part of this Nature; observe outside, observe inside: you will be surprised when you begin to see the relations between things, and little by little their living interplay. Then do not be impatient, go on listening … and then begin once more, until the acquired consciousness can be formulated without effort; thus you will understand what you have known.”

O my Master, will I have so much patience?”

If your thirst is not enough, leave it, and remain ‘like the others’!”

Her=Bak – Isha Schwaller de Lubicz

Just so, our hunger, our thirst for intimacy, is a hunger for us to understand ourselves and the world around us.

The metaphor of the sexual act, the union of the divine opposites, the merging of the sacred, mundane and divine is what we desire in intimacy. Are we afraid, do we feel ourselves not worthy, because we fear our own imperfectability? When we make love to the god/goddess in the other, we elevate not only the other, but also ourselves, for we deem ourselves worthy.

For me spirituality and sensuality are but facets of one continuum of awareness and sensitivity. I am not speaking about a superficial self-absorbed sensuality, but a sensuality that connects the physical world with to the spiritual. Indeed our humanness feeds the soul. What is the basis of our humanness? Our sensuality; through our senses we are fed information that forms the basis of what constitutes our individual selves.

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What’s in a name? The Nexus of …

In response to a question:

“How relevant do you think the naming is to the experiences which we are attracting? Is the naming a process to give us a comprehendible handle on the infinite and unintelligible powers involved? ”

I do believe that naming attracts experience, not because the name in itself has magical properties but because we attach to a name collective beliefs and experiences, which forms a nexus for a particular name, as such, each name evokes in us a certain paradigm of being. Out of infinite possibilities a particular name allows for particular experiences related to the nexus of the name.

What is a nexus?
Nexus – a tie, connecting principle, bond: (Roman Law) a person who had contacted a nexum or obligation of such a kind that, if he failed to pay, his creditor could compel him to serve until the debt was paid.

A nexus then is a tie, a connecting principle to particular name, that draws that which forms the egregore of the name. However it must not be seen in light of inevitable destiny, but rather as a way of freezing patterns so you may learn to read the patterns, understand them, which allows you to transcend your nexus, rather than breaking it down.

To begin with our parents or someone decided to give us a name, for whatever reasons, but really that name was given to us because our birth evoked in the namers a certain image in their minds, reflecting the name given to us. Within the name given to us the namers gave us a nexum to their past experiences. Perhaps an unconscious wish for us to transcend the tie, and to give it a new paradigm.

When you hear a name, it evokes an image in your mind, into your consciousness. The image would be a composite of all the, for example, “Bill” or “Sheila” that you know. A kind of generic “Bill” and “Sheila”. That image gets expanded on as you experience more real life “Bills” and “Sheila s”. You can say that each name comes attached with unique symbols. These would be the parameters that you begin life with, that which takes form in your first seven years of life, and expands through your personal experience.

As we all know only too well, these parameters can become like self-fulling prophesy, if you see yourself ruled by fate, and see only the outside world as causing your experiences. However these parameters, labels can be the very tools for your personal transcendence. Say someone gives you an open ended brief, you can use any medium, any subject, many no issue just come up with something amazing, not seen before. This may sound fantastic, but in reality you can become so confused by the endless possibilities open to you that you never get to do anything, our energies scattered in the vastness of infinity. However when you are given set parameters, your mind is immediately engaged in finding a way out of the limitation imposed on us. Say, what you will, but all human beings are naturally rebel born, with a drive to go beyond where our parents and ancestors had been. If I had to give one characteristic to the reality in which we live on Earth, it would be the Frontier Planet, in which we are the explorers.

As limitation always set up a need, necessity, it activates in us the creative mind, from whence I believe the old saying,”Necessity is the mother of invention” came from. Another example of this would be that say we go and consult an oracle. We go there with a question, an outside source gives us an answer in riddle form. It is well known that the oracles of Classic times never gave straight answers, but rather used analogy, paradox and ambiguity, to stimulate the individual’s imagination in a new direction so that he can, if he is able, perceive his relationship with the outside world in a different way and so change his future. The same way we can use the nexus of our naming to stimulate us creatively which enables us to find our unique path, through which to transcend our limitations.
There is in each one of us a unique set of symbols belonging to our individual consciousness and created by our experience in life. Knowing what those symbols are gives you a very good insight into the personal workings of your psyche,.This set, can be discovered through dreams, recurring incidents and oddly significant events, and shows the patterns by which the self is expressed. They function as a set of inter-related symbols which allows for individual discovery within the framework of the collective. They enable the individual to find and identify himself in terms of the group to whom the symbols are meaningful. These forms the basis of your Nexus, and so also the nexus of your personality. So your personal nexus of symbols can be likened to receiving an oracle and it is up to you to find the meaning of it, to interpret it. This is very clearly illustrated in a the following quote by Marijane Osborn and Stella Longland.

The famous Delphic injunction, ‘Know thyself’ indicates that the key to interpreting the oracular utterances of the Sibyl lay in the degree of self-knowledge developed in the enquirer…The point that we should like to stress, is that the ability to determine the future lies not in the oracle but in the individual, not in the symbols but in the mind that uses them.
The personality can be seen as a bundle of energies which initially respond to, and later determine the world in which the individual lives, and which are created by more or less stable nexus of the personality built up in the past. Self-analysis is an attempt to understand, to perceive the many strands which make up this nexus. Our consciousness can be viewed as a minute and time-bound portion of existence which is attempting to expand into the vast and timeless unknown. A symbol is a frozen reflection of a temporal state, and its meaning changes radically with the perspective of the interpreter. Without developing the ability to perceive the patterns and so foreknow and perhaps forfend, man does not give himself the opportunity either to choose or to escape the gallows (his fate). It is in such options that freedom lies. What is not perceived inside rises up and hits us from outside. As long as we are alive we must balance and counter-balance, sift and analyze the weaving strands of our personal life.
So divination, which originally meant getting in touch with the ‘divus’, or god outside, for information about the unknown world, may be reinterpreted as the state of becoming or being divine, of getting in touch with the god within The inner self which is a double image of the external world.”

Is the naming a process to give us a comprehensible handle on the infinite and unintelligible powers involved?”

Looking at the question in light of the Nexus of our personality and naming, it is a process to give us a handle on the infinite. It is a way of focusing energy. To try and focus on that which is beyond our comprehension, would simply be scattering our energy. Finding the universe in a grain of sand, is for me the perfect symbol of finding the Infinite within yourself.

“For whomever has not known himself, has known nothing, but whoever has known himself has simultaneously achieved knowledge about the depth of all things.” Gnostic

You can reach that which is beyond your comprehension at present, through what you can focus on. The more passionate the interest, the more focused, your whole being will be. It is by transcending our nexus, our bond, not breaking it down, that we bring something worth while to the world. Like flames on distant hill top, an inspiration for others to do the same.

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The Illusion of Limitations

The average player sprints until the breath in him is gone, but a champion has the iron will that makes him carry on. For the rest, the average player begs when limp his muscles grow, but the champion runs on leaden legs; his spirit makes him go. The average player is complacent when he does his best to score, but a champion gives his very best and then gives a little more.”  – Unknown

Get real!” It is part of our growing up process, to discover the limitations of of our physical body. When we touch fire it burns, yet we also know that it is possible to walk on fire and not get burnt. So often in our lives we are told we must except our limitations in quiet submission. Often we find ourselves faced with what seems impossible odds that stands in our way to achieving our dreams. So easily we give up when we encounter blocks upon our path, and we tell ourselves that life just isn’t fair, just except that you haven’t been among the “chosen”. In bitterness we give up and live a life in blame and longing for what could have been. “If only …”

There are those that see limitations as impossible odds, and never dare to strive beyond it, just because no one has ever gone there before. However if we as human beings truly believed in limitations, we would never as a specie progressed beyond the stone age. If we did find ourselves born knowing that we have no limitations, what would you aspire to? It is the boundaries of physical limitations that allows us to experience life, allows us to find our hidden strengths.

The rules of a game are limitations created so you can play the game … Creative limitations (the limitations we are born with or find on our way) allows us to improve our creative abilities by enforcing a focus on a certain range and interpretations of experience. Even in the limited game of chess, human minds have still not figured out all the possibilities.” Serge Kahili King

One of the many, many wonderful things about being South African, is that all around us there are abundant stories of people who, against all odds, despite severe limitations, went on to live remarkable lives of inspiration. One such person was Hamilton Naki, a Laboratory surgeon who defied the odds. The following is an obituary by Chris Barron as it was published in The Sunday Times June 5 2005.

Hamilton Naki, who has died in Cape Town at the age of 78, was a gardener who became a brilliant laboratory surgeon and helped Chris Barnard do the research that made his first heart transplant possible.

He also trained generations of surgeons; many of whom reached top academic positions at teaching hospitals around the world. At least a dozen of Naki’s former students became professors of surgery and heads of departments in places as far afield as Japan and the US.

Naki was born in the district of Centani in the Transkei on June 13 1926, and attended school up to Std 4 (So, he did not even complete his primary school education). In the mid ’40s, when he was about 18, he went to Cape Town and got a job rolling tennis courts and gardening at the University of Cape Town.

He had been there for several years when a professor of surgical research, Robert Goetz, beckoned him to his lab to help him hold a giraffe that he was dissecting (in order, as it happened, to discover why giraffes never faint when they bend down to drink).

Naki made such an impression on Goetz that he invited him to help in the lab on a regular basis.

He learnt how to anaesthetise animals, including giraffes, and put intravenous lines into them. He assisted with experimental surgery and looked after the animals post-operatively.

Naki was one of very few people who could anaesthetise a pig and transplant its liver, virtually single-handed.

A former surgical professor remembers how he even managed to rock her crying baby’s pram while he was doing all this.

He became the lab’s assistant surgeon and soon there was very little senior surgeons could do that Naki couldn’t.

In the ’50s he worked with Barnard in the laboratory, establishing techniques of open- heart surgery on dogs. It was this research that Barnard took into the clinical setting at Groote Schuur Hospital.

Naki was intimately involved in heart, liver, kidney and other transplant research throughout this critically important pioneering period that led to the first heart transplant.

He did a lot of this work himself while Barnard was practising.

When he was asked once how he had acquired all his surgical skills without any formal training, Naki replied: “I stole with my eyes.”

In addition to his prodigious memory, he had excellent co-ordination and very good hands.

Not the least of Naki’s contributions to medical history was his ability to get on with Barnard, whom many people found impossibly highly strung and temperamental.

Naki’s temperament, one of infinite tolerance and patience, complemented the explosive heart surgeon’s perfectly and the two were able to work shoulder to shoulder for years.

The only serious altercation anyone remembers Naki having was with an appallingly difficult Belgian registrar in the university’s department of surgery.

He was the only person Naki ever decided he simply could not work with.

What made him a fine teacher was that, in addition to his patience, he had a strong personality and didn’t tolerate any slovenliness or laziness from student surgeons. He set very high standards and left students in no doubt that he expected these to be met.

Naki lived alone in appalling conditions, in a tiny room in quarters for migrant workers, in the black township of Langa on the Cape Flats. His family stayed in the Transkei.

He was the first person in the lab every morning, never arriving later than 6am. It was his responsibility to sterilise the instruments with boiling water.

He left at around 4.30pm.

During the politically inspired riots that characterised the history of Cape Town, he’d come to work at 3am to avoid rioters and roadblocks.

He always arrived and left in an impeccably pressed suit with a Homburg on his head and shoes you could see your reflection in. He carried an umbrella, a newspaper and a Bible.

He was deeply religious, and read his Bible whenever he could. At lunchtime he would gather the “bergies” (homeless people in the Cape, that got their name originally from living in the mountain ;berg-mountain) who spent their days in the cemetery behind the medical school, read the Bible to them and warn them about the evils of alcohol and dagga(Cannabis sativa).

Naki was paid as a lab technician soon after he began working in the lab, and eventually as a senior lab technician, which was as high as the university could take him under apartheid laws.

In 2003, UCT recognised his extraordinary achievement by awarding him an honorary master’s degree in medicine.

When he retired he arranged a mobile clinic — a converted bus — for his home district of Centani, which was 70km from a health service of any kind.

He also collected money for a rural school in the Eastern Cape from doctors he had trained. He would visit these doctors once a year and they knew when they saw him that there was no getting out of it.

A few weeks after Naki’s visit, they would each get a letter of thanks from the school principal.

Naki is survived by his wife, Joyce, and four children. — Chris Barron

What nearly all successful people have in common is an extraordinary ability to bond with others, the ability to develop rapport with people from a variety of backgrounds and beliefs. Deep down, everyone needs to form lasting bonds with others. Without that, any success, any excellence, is hollow indeed. The way we communicate with others and the way we communicate with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives. People who succeed in life are those who have learned how to take any challenge life gives them and communicate that experience to themselves in a way that causes them to successfully change things. People who fail take adversities of life and accept them as limitations. The people who shape our lives and our cultures are also masters of communication to others. What they have in common is an ability to communicate a vision or a quest or a joy or a mission.” Anthony Robbins

Whenever I find myself becoming despondent by the limitations that I face, I just have to lift my head up and look around me, and I will see that my limitations are creative limitations to spur me on beyond where I thought myself possible to go.

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Collage of Shadows – Prelude to Keeper of the Key VI

Previously: Keeper of the Key V

Each step of ascend rings out in shadow calls.
Who moves?
The shadow moves.
You are a shadow of your essence.
Who has no shadow?

A collage of shadows in the flickering light, swirls between light and dark awakenings.

Siegfried had no fear of dragons or another’s sword. He longed to know what fear was.

That is no man! Magical rapture Pierces my heart; Fixed is my gaze,
Burning with terror; I reel, my heart feels faint and fails!
On whom shall I call, For aid imploring?
Mother! Mother! Remember me!
How waken the maid, Causing her eyelids to open?
Her eyelids to open?
What if her gaze strike me blind!
How shall I dare To look on their light?
All rocks and sways And swirls and revolves;
Uttermost longing Burns and consumes me;
My hand on my heart, Trembles and shakes!
What ails thee, coward?
Is this what fear means?
O mother! Mother! Thy dauntless child!
A woman lying asleep Has taught him what fear is at last!
How conquer my fear?
How brace my heart? (Siegfried and the Twilight of the Gods – Richard Wagner.)

“The sky glows one side black, three sides purple
After sudden rain, a clear winter’s night.
On golden waves the sparkle of the Jewelled Cord.
The River of Heaven white from eternity …
Reflections, pearls from a snapped string:” Du Fu (712–770)

Lost in a dream
in soundless eternity,
I watch them fall
sparkling pearl drops
bitter sweet tears of longing
with a tingling glittering splash
your words
merging with the still lake of my soul

Deep within the hidden depths
awakens the goddess
For how long has she slumbered
wrapped in memories of intimacy
A drop of love on her sleeping eye
She awakens with raging hunger
for him who filled her dreams.

To be continued …

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