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Sunday 26 July 2009

The Real Climate Change

We hear so much about climate change. It used to be global warming but now it's been shifted to climate change, which is rather odd. The climate as anyone knows has repeatedly changed throughout millennia: the earth as we have known it is made of the various ages of the past from glacial rock formations to tropical rain forests. It just beggars imagination the way in which we have fallen for the recent lie that suddenly we are responsible for the fluctuations of Nature. It is still more staggering to hear that those who constantly rant about climate change, are the very same people who have no regard whatsoever for the beauty of Nature in all Her forms.

The same people who uphold the slaughter of beautiful animals, who do nothing to prevent battery farming and the abuse of other living beings, think it's alright to rule by releasing news items about various diseases, pandemics, terrorism or any kind of threat to terrorise the people into believing they need someone to take care of them and so will lie down and let themselves be governed, are those who hoodwink nations into the scam of taxes to pay for the prevention of climate change. Talk about setting yourself up as God! Bird flu, SARS, all kinds of 'illnesses' are released into the national consciousness whenever the government is at a low ebb. It says, "Oh, we all need to stick together and don't worry, we will take care of you, as long as you keep us in power!" These things come from the very same people who lead us into foreign wars with no hope of success; who tell us they can take care of us while they cannot even take care of their own psychologies.

Personally, I have no doubt that we are heading for massive changes, which will be disruptive to much of what has been taken for granted for decades. It is already happening on a huge scale as governments lose the confidence of the people; churches are emptying; banks collapse and nations which once seemed impregnable are compelled to show their weaknesses. Times are changing and the real power in the Universe - the power that is so much greater than these silly games - is making Itself known in all kinds of ways that seem to say, "Listen, anyone who has ears! It's time to wake up to who you are - not who's in power, not who's telling you what to do, but to who you are and what you believe and how best we can all be who we were created to be, in loving respect for one another." It doesn't take a stage-managed political show or a voice from a pulpit to give us the answer; it takes only the time to listen to the 'still small voice of calm' that is at the truth of our being.

Seismic climate change is surely happening, but not as the powers-that-temporarily-be would have is believe. It is the time for change from the climate of fear and dependence on others telling us what is okay, how to live, how to be, how scared we should be, to the climate of love, respect and individual freedom. "Choose this day whom you will serve!" is a great line. Do we choose fear and dependence or do we choose to trust our true selves? Simple as that!

Friday 24 July 2009

A Tale Told By An Idiot

"Macbeth" is surely one of Shakespeare's darkest and most timeless plays. A tale of mindless ambition that leads to insanity and despair, the eponymous 'hero' will stop at nothing to achieve his desire for power and, once he has gained a throne, his paranoia increases until he can trust no one, and life becomes nothing but 'a tale told by an idiot.'

Beyond any thinking person's comprehension is that desire for power and yet it goes on and on until much of history truly is a tale told by an idiot - and more, a tale about idiots with titles like president', prime minister, king, fuehrer and epithets like 'the Great'. What thinking person would consider power as the ability to control others or to impose an ideology on the world? What thinking person would stand before crowds gladly receiving adulation as though he were the saviour of humanity or a god, if he were equally aware of his own weakness? ("Aye, there's the rub..." those who avidly seek power over others, often seem to do so to distract from the weakness in themselves. In Macbeth's case, he knew from the beginning that he had nothing but 'vaulting ambition' which would 'o'erleap itself' and come tumbling down, but few of those in power seem so willing to admit their own weakness).

What is it though that makes some people desire to 'strut and fret their hour' upon the world's stage, in the public eye with a semblance of the ability to manipulate others...for what? I recently watched a most illuminating film exposing a great deal of what goes on behind the scenes in world governments and how the boys play out their games behind the shaded windows of limousines and high class hotels and it must give them such a momentary buzz to feel like puppet masters controlling the show...but it's a game, nothing more, a tale told by an idiot. A span of life - 80, 90, 100 years - is so small a time in the overall scheme of things, and if a person were to be controlling something even for a lifetime, that would be for fifty or sixty years at most. And then what? History and eternity. Is it for those few years - less than a century, only one short lifetime - that these people are prepared to sacrifice so many others and their own soul (and I am not speaking of some post-mortem damnation, I am speaking of what it means to be truly alive with a soul in this life!)? If so, is it worth it? "What doth it profit a man to gain the world and lose his soul?' Is it worth the constantly looking over your shoulder, wondering if everyone else has a dagger aimed for your back, as you have aimed your daggers at so many others?

Is it for a place in history? Then read Shelley's poem, Ozymandias:

"I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away".

And what of eternity? Eternity which, as far as I can see, isn't what happens when we have left this life, but is ever present. It is present in all the everyday acts of kindness, in the ordinary/extraordinary people going about their lives bringing light to others. It is present in those who care for animals and understand that every one of our actions makes an impact on the whole and even our thoughts contribute to or detract from the wellbeing of the rest of humanity and creation. It is present in every leaf, flower, creature...in all. And, sooner or later, the impression we make rebounds on us. What will it matter at that point whether we had our fifteen minutes or fifty years of fame and power? What will it matter on our death bed whether or not we once had everyone twisted around our little finger? What then will power seem, except that tale told by an idiot.

Real power, on the other hand is something witnessed in those who speak gently with creatures, who calm angry dogs, who whisper to horses or badgers, who walk on unimpressed by those who need shaded windows and limousines to give them a sense of themselves...In truth, real power is something that the Macbeths of today cannot begin to understand. If, for one single day, I could control every thought in my head and remain totally unruffled by external events and free of any need for approval or acceptance in any form; if I could not have one single thought that is not loving and real, I would consider myself very powerful and very happy indeed. Until that time, it would be nothing less than sheer stupidity and arrogance to even begin to attempt to impose any kind of control on others.

Tuesday 21 July 2009

The Mania of Owning Things

Some of the paintings of great artists are concealed in safes and the owners, who spent millions in purchasing them, guard them as though the paintings themselves are prisoners that someone might attempt to rescue. Such is the case with many priceless jewels whose owners wear replicas for fear of theft, while the originals are stashed away somewhere and never seen.

How strange it is that beauty is thus confined! And how wonderful that no one has (as yet) managed to own the sun or the moon, the stars or the ocean, for surely, if they could, someone would by now have hidden it away and relished the fact that they owned these things, while having no appreciation of their beauty.

There are items and treasures of people of the past, which miser-like some people take great pride in possessing. If such things came into my hands, I would want them out for anyone to see - anyone, that is, who appreciated their beauty. There would be no pride on my part in owning them. How could there be? After all, how can some be proud of owning a Rembrandt or Van Gogh, a Rolls Royce or a diamond that they didn't actually create themself? It doesn't make sense. It doesn't make sense to be proud to possess someone else's work...makes even less sense to then stash it away in an archive, cupboard or simply brag that you happen to 'own' it. The only pride is in creating something, and even then, the pride can only come in the delight it brings to other people. Possessing something is nothing,. Sharing something is joyful. Pride doesn't come into it.

What bizarre notions humanity has about 'owning' things.

Saturday 18 July 2009

18th July 1918

In loving memory of Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna and the Grand Dukes and companions brutally murdered on 18th July 1918.

Friday 17 July 2009

In Loving Memory

In loving memory of Tsar Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna, Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia, and the dear Tsarevich Alexei, so cruelly murdered 17th July 1918.

Tuesday 14 July 2009

Louis XVI & Marie Antoinette

I read a Primary School article today about the French Revolution. It said more or less that Louis XVI was tyrant who incarcerated anyone who disagreed with him in the Bastille; and Marie Antoinette was a heartless woman who said, when people were starving, "Let them eat cake." The revolutionaries, on the other hand, according to this article for children, wanted people to be free and to be fed and cared for.

Of course, being an article for children, it didn't say that Robespierre was utterly paranoid and a megalomaniac who was so tyrannical he even knew what 'happiness' meant for everyone, and no one else's idea of happiness was valid. It didn't mention, being an article for children, that The Terror led to the bloody mass slaughter of countless innocent people (rich and poor) or that some of the revolutionaries were so intoxicated by their own power that they thought they were suddenly kings...and, in the case of Robespierre, that vile, vile man, ended up going to the guillotine with half a face (the other half having been shot away by the same rabble that he had created).

Nor did it mention - which would have been more accurate - that Louis XVI was a man who ardently loved his country; a man who would had no desire for power but would have been far happier among his clocks and clockwork mechanisms; a family man (like Nicholas II) and nothing like the tyrants who came afterwards. Nor did it mention that Marie Antoinette was first officially married to him when she was still an infant; was actually married to him when she was still a child, was sent from her home to a foreign place and was stripped of her clothes on the border in order to symbolise that passing and was then at so tender an age thrown into a completely different world with a husband she didn't know. It didn't mention the way in which she, like Alexandra of Russia, suddenly was treated as an enemy simply because of where she was born, nor how, later, she might have escaped from France but chose to stand by her husband...There is so much more to say of them both...

Oh please...stop writing glib lines!! Disagree by all means but don't keep repeating the same old, same old lies!!

Thursday 9 July 2009

Dear Misha - Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich

This week I was blessed to hold in my hands original letters, postcards and photographs from the Tsar's younger brother, Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich ('Misha') of Russia, and the sense of the man that came from being among his things was so lovely.
It often seems that the 'also-rans' of history - the bit part players who are so often behind the scenes - have stories to tell which are at least as remarkable as those who stand centre-stage.
As with the major players, history so often writes off these people in one or two superficial sentences, as though anyone's life can be narrowed down to a footnote in history.
Misha has been various described as the person who most wounded his brother by his betrayal (by marrying in secret without the consent of the Tsar) or as a romantic whose views were or little consequence but whose father - Alexander III - thought him of better Tsar-material than his elder brother, Nicholas. Again, it's so glib and so easy to pass these fleeting judgements on people of the past.
To my mind - and this became even clearer among his personal possessions - Misha was a romantic soul in a beautiful physique, with such handsome features, and with a very brave heart. Like many younger sons, he was seeking a purpose and was basically hanging around like an understudy in a play on the off-chance that someday he might be called into the main role. Having neither the ambition for power not the self-seeking mentality that compels some people to plot and intrigue, he simply followed his heart. No one with a thinking mind could spend his/her life living out some second-hand role, and though Misha did - briefly - appear to betray his brother, by marrying the 'commoner' Natasha, he was a truly noble soul with such a deep love for his country and his family.
Sadly, I think, he was 'hooked' by a woman who used him for her own ambition; who constantly slandered his family and who was downright cruel to him in some of her letters.
Where Misha really came into his own was during the war when, permitted to return to Russia, he proved himself not only a kind and brave leader of one of the most eclectic regiments in the Russian army, but also as someone who could read the signs of the times.
While much has been - rightly to my mind - made of the discovery of the missing bodies of the Imperial Family, it is so tragic that Misha's last resting place remains a mystery. Somewhere in some deep, dark archive, his murderers' accounts of his end must be stored. Perhaps one day, even though his physical remains are probably nothing more than dust now, it will be possible to place a memorial at the site of this lovely man's murder.