Category Archives: Light In Dark Times

Lessons From India’s Successful One-Year Anti-Farm Law Protests

A huge convoy of vehicles camping out in the capital and other major cities to protest in action what was imposed without democratic consent; thousands of men and women from all walks of life giving up their day jobs to follow the convoys, determined to help out in any way they could; mainstream media and governments demonizing and demeaning the protestors, painting them ignorant, led by outsiders – impossible they could be doing all this by themselves…

Governments stubbornly refused to recognize that where significant dissent exists, government must be a process of compromise, not imposed – “the majority” can also be a tyranny.

India’s Farmers End Anti-Farm Law Protests after a year...

Sound familiar? Yes, but this was not the Canadian Freedom Convoy of truckers protesting vaccine mandates and other issues in Canadian politics. This happened in a huge democracy, far, far away…

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Planting the Seed Deed * Steps To Manifesting Your Dreams

How much time do we spend thinking and talking about issues in our lives and how much more time do we spend coming up with possible – but only possible – goals that might change things for the better?

Many of us try to attract a variety of goals into our lives through prayer, creative visualization and repeated affirmations. And indeed, what we meditate on, what we focus on (and what we obsess about) will find us, one way or another, somewhere in Time – in this lifetime or another.

But there is something practical we can do which is step two – or part two – in the creative visualization and manifestation process.

I am talking here about the Seed Deed, a simple act with metaphysical, creative power.  It occurs when we act spontaneously – yet with conscious focus – into the world around us with a small, practical act which symbolizes our larger goal.  Such a Seed Deed generates a field of energy which keeps expanding, as all deeds must, into eventual fruition.

Before going any further, a word of spiritual and psychological caution! I learned through over 30 years as a professional psychic that our present lives are neither beginnings nor endings.   We come here, as part of a Journey – and so we need a bit of faith along the Road.  Faith that we came with a Plan, faith that we are cradled by the Laws of the Universe, and above all, faith that each of our lives is unique, and has its own special place in the larger life of the Soul.

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Jonathan Livingston Seagull * Exile, Going Home, and Return

If I had to pick one book that “says it all” I would pick Jonathan Livingston Seagull, that beautiful spiritual parable by Richard Bach. In my view this book was channelled from first to last, a message from beyond, and a light for dark times – two themes of my blog here at Silk Road Visions.  Truly It illuminates for us the gifts of solitude, and above all the courage to take – when Life beckons –  the solitary path.

Here is one of the most poignant, life-affirming excerpts:

Exile
“It happened that morning, then, just after sunrise, that Jonathan Livingston Seagull fired directly through the center of the Breakfast Flock, ticking off two hundred twelve miles per hour, eyes closed, in a great roaring shriek of wind and feathers.

The Gull of Fortune smiled upon him this once, and no one was killed. By the time he had pulled his beak straight up into the sky he was still scorching along at a hundred and sixty miles per hour. When he had slowed to twenty and stretched his wings again at last, the boat was a crumb on the sea, four thousand feet below. His thought was triumph. Terminal velocity! A seagull at two hundred fourteen miles per hour! It was a breakthrough, the greatest single moment in the history of the Flock, and in that moment a new age opened for Jonathan Gull.

“Flying out to his lonely practice area, folding his wings for a dive from eight thousand feet, he set himself at once to discover how to turn. A single wingtip feather, he found, moved a fraction of an inch, gives a smooth sweeping curve at tremendous speed. Before he learned this, however, he found that moving more than one feather at that speed will spin you like a rifle ball…and Jonathan had flown the first aerobatics of any seagull on earth. He spared no time that day for talk with other gulls, but flew on past sunset. He discovered the loop, slow roll, the point roll, the inverted spin, the gull bunt, the pinwheel.

When Jonathan Seagull joined the Flock on the beach, it was full night. He was dizzy and terribly tired. Yet in delight he flew a loop to landing, with a snap roll just before touchdown. When they hear of it, he thought, of the Breakthrough, they’ll be wild with joy. How much more there is now to living! Instead of our drab slogging forth and back to the fishing boats, there’s a reason to life! We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill. We can be free! We can learn to fly! The years ahead hummed and glowed with promise.

The gulls were flocked into the Council Gathering when he landed, and apparently had been so flocked for some time. They were, in fact, waiting. Jonathan Livingston Seagull! Stand to Center! The Elder’s words sounded in a voice of highest ceremony. Stand to Center meant only great shame or great honor. Stand to Center for Honor was the way the gulls’ foremost leaders were marked. Of course, he thought, the Breakfast Flock this morning; they saw the Breakthrough! But I want no honors. I have no wish to be leader. I want only to share what I’ve found, to show those horizons out ahead for us all. He stepped forward.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull, said the Elder, Stand to Center for Shame in the sight of your fellow gulls!

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Finding the Self * Solitude, Healing and the Spiritual Life

These are difficult, even dark, times. Almost 25 years ago, I began to predict in the psychic readings of many of my clients that there were dark times visible on the distant horizon. These were visions of a future in which stark changes in the climate as well as geological and political stability of our Mother Earth were the dominant features of a dramatically darkened world.

Balsamic Moon, end of a Phase, end of an Age

I saw soldiers relocating people in what seemed to be massive floods, even large pieces of land turning into islands at sea where they had been part of a mainland.  In fact, one good thing was that the world’s armies were deployed more in saving, than in destroying, and it seemed that this was redemptive karma for those whose lives had been ones of violence.

I saw what seemed to be islands formed by rising waters, camps of orphaned children, and doctors administering vaccines or antibiotics to the children, as is done in the midst of an epidemic or to prevent the spread of something like malaria or dengue.

There were perhaps new wars but if so, these seemed less immediate than changes in our collective, social, geographical worlds.

Because above all, I sensed far-reaching dislocations in social mood, in our connections to one another, in our connections to the planet itself. Some of this is now upon us, in the form of climate changes, weather violence, and a pandemic which adds a massive layer of existential uncertainty – indeed fear – to every aspect of our lives.

Even with the war in Ukraine, and all the shock felt by a world not expecting this war, at this time, in this place, the real threats seem still lurking, not quite upon us, but vaguely sensed by so many of us.  It is this premonition of coming dark times, I think, that has caused so much psychological alienation…we feel as if the world is moving beneath our feet, that nothing will ever be the same…

Yet out of all of this,  may come for many a blessing, a light in dark times. In the midst of social disconnections, we discover the gift of solitude, the recovery of a fuller selfhood, opening to creativity and growth in ways our busy, highly socialized lives could never give us.

Though it may sound impossible to achieve, it is actually liberating to face dark times boldly, to embrace what they bring into our lives, and in a way to defy them by refusing to be unhappy. There can be something empowering in spiritual insight which tells us that this world is not the beginning nor the ending of the universe, God or Love, and it is certainly not the ending of us.

These are the times which force us to go deep within and reaffirm an identity and strength which truly can never come from the world and its goods; many of us knew that a long time ago – our heritage as Baby Boomers. Much less obvious is another truth, that as we progress on the spiritual planes, we must walk a more and more solitary Path.

We will still love, but the Circle for us is as large as the Earth and the Universe beyond,.

So it may well be a time to embrace the social solitude so many lament.  This may be the high point, the high ground, of this lifetime – the very reason you chose life at this time here on Earth.

I am not alone in suggesting that solitude brings extraordinary gifts, that these  may be the lemonade we can make with our lemons…

An article in LifeKit – How Solitude Can Help You Regulate Your Mood is a good starting place, pointing to research showing that time alone helps us even out in our mood, that we don’t have to go into full-blown monastic retreat to attain alone time, nor do we have to push our friends away from us. There can be an art to finding small spaces of solitude, though we may need to first overcome a (western) aversion to being alone in the first place…

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Word Deeds * Shamanic Power Of Speech

Many people live, work – and play – in what are actually abusive environments. Increasingly, we find ourselves assaulted, especially in western televisions shows, movies and on social media, by coarse, mocking, harsh, potty-mouth language. The sounds and meanings of this language are harsh and harmful to speakers and listeners alike.  It is hard to escape the impact, and all too easy to succumb to social pressure so that our own speech descends to these levels.

Words have Shamanic power – they are Deeds – where they have gone they leave the Dark, or the Light.  Wherever the Dark appears, its goal is to debase our humanity.

We should remember that the presence of the Dark, what we call Evil, can always be recognized by the way it degrades through use of mockery; there is almost always an unnatural, heavy-handed focus on the sexual and on the coarser of body functions.

The goal of the Dark is to cut us off from the higher levels of our Humanity – Mind and Spirit – and thus block out the Light. Torture does this to the body; coarse, mocking, obscenity-laden speech does this to the personality and spirit, but leaves its negative, harmful imprint on the body as well, because our DNA is a language itself, and “recording” all that it hears…

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