Pursuing natural health & thinking beyond the superficial. Deconstructing Culture.

Archive for the ‘Time and Culture’ Category

Hockley Valley Resort

Hockley Valley Resort

Hockley Valley Resort

Hockley Valley Resort

How often does William go there? Spoilt b*stards aren’t you.

This is only the Beginning of What HSBC?

HSBC are known for having posters of people doing things with inspirational quotes about their achievement accomplished with the bank’s funding… But what the hell is this?

HSBC Avatar Blue People Artificial Intelligence Ultraterrestrials Extraterrestrials Aliens Blue Beings Cloning

A human (presumably) surrounded by Blue humanoid beings seemingly connected by wiring behind them and he’s modifying one of them!

They remind me Avatar (2009) and my post Who/What are the Blue beings, why are we inspired by them?

This is not the same as their usual posters showing people jumping for joy on holiday or opening their first business.

Creepy.

Attack and Defend – Another form of ‘Tag’ but plugs into hunting & war mentality.

This is just a therapeutic post for myself.

There is a game with no name, played all over the world by people of a mercenary nature. Like spies and bounty hunters they have to protect some people and attack others and ultimately regardless of who they work for, it’s for their own ego boost/gain to play.

Note: Remember hunting is not the same as a sport – the victims, targets, marks don’t get a say. They’re not even informed of the rules nor can they defend themselves.

Every member in this game is out for themselves/their pack. To keep their skills honed they’ll divide themselves and surround a person to either defend or attack. It’s role playing. They have no interest in the victim other than their role at the time.

One version of this game played in the UK is for one team to get a target from point A to B relatively safely.

One version played in the UK from US players with UK assistance is time sharing a victim to build up a scenario with them and then start attacking and defending, sometimes they change sides and the victim never knows. The problem is their attack skills are far better than their defense skills so a ‘win’ for the defending side isn’t much of a win, actually it’s a miracle if they manage it, that’s how amateurish they come off as. If they ever had to defend themselves they’d be goners, they’d probably just run and hide leaving everyone but their nearest and dearest to fend for themselves since they don’t use the limited skills they have to help anybody.

All I have to remember is that “William always gets his mark” so because he dislikes losing ‘all’ I have to keep doing is putting pressure on the slow, useless slapper to hurry up and no I’m not giving him anything, no “fringe benefits”. He’s “the best we have to offer”, gawd this maiden in distress has been robbed.

I wish he’d gone to Virgina instead like he was supposed to and played the storyline on the lawmakers there instead of bothering me, although of course I wish none of this had ever happened and that people like that didn’t exist.

People with ‘Mental Health’ Deserve the Right to Euthanasia and Patient Assisted Suicide too, not just ‘Physically/Terminally Ill’ People

People with ‘Mental Health’ Deserve the Right to Euthanasia and Patient Assisted Suicide Too, Not Just ‘Physically/Terminally Ill’ People

I used to hear automatic words, mostly God names and certain people’s names on loop and I used to feel like I was under threat, like something bad would happen, that they would make fears or make the fears I had happen. This happened for years, I learned to fight it back by forcing myself to breathe deeply and trying to think about something else. They weren’t necessarily panic attacks because they could last for days at a time. It would become a physical pressure. There was a couple of times when I was making a sandwich and all of a sudden I’d be pointing the knife at my heart and almost daring myself to kill myself and feeling my arm pushing towards me, something telling me (not in words but just a feeling) that I was wrong, bad, guilty, a failure, a shame, worthless, no good at anything and should be dead. Those occasions didn’t last long but I’d be crying and fighting my arm and this strange sudden consciousness to pull back and leave me alone. They were traumatic.

Obviously in the last 16 months this has become full blown voice hearing and hallucinations. Overall in the long run I’m not getting any better and all of the practices I’ve learned and keep learning to help are simply temporary fixes that the older I get don’t last long, at this point in my life they only last 2 days max. But I still try, why? Because there’s euthanasia and patient assisted suicide aren’t legal in this country. I’m pretty much over the whole I need to protect and look after those I love and feel obligated to, I’ve had enough and need to rest in peace.

I hear my own voice played at me loudly like a tape recorder but I’m not allowed to think in it, when I try to think I’m silenced.

I’m tired of being “inspirational” to people as I was told today and providing coping strategies because I’ve tried and developed so many, I manage to touch people and give them renewed energy but there’s no fix for me. I’m not sick of helping others, I’m sick of being sick. I’ve been ill probably my entire life, obviously since I was 12 but likely beforehand given the major hair and memory loss between the ages 5-10. It just gets worse, today I ate a meal and it became the body of my best friend, my dead best friend. Then it was put inside me and vomited out (if it’s not put in one orifice then its put in another if not all of them), that was after seeing him hacked to death once again and again and again (and his orifices aren’t safe either).

In the last 16 months it’s like I’ve been internally explaining to a child the risks of every day of everyday things like ‘be careful of this, that does that, this does this’ etc but because this ‘child’ is a cruel, nasty, evil thing disguised as a child (group of them actually with ugly faces and mannerisms) instead of knowing these every day things as low risk or unlikely, they’ve become risks that shouldn’t have to be. Just being careful and knowing with gentle guidance isn’t enough, I can’t even touch some things/others anymore such as sharp objects, instead of being able to look at the toilet I’ve been made to ‘want’ to stick my head in there and eat the contents. I hate my condition. I hate being called a whore and beggar all day. I hate everything about it, there’s no redeeming or easy to manage features at all. Everything has become a disgusting risk that I have to take too seriously.

There’s no end in sight.

And then if/when I get ‘better’ how much possibility will there be of a relapse? That it’ll hit me when I least expect it and damage me even worse?

I want retribution on these ‘voices/characters’ but I can’t access them and I probably wouldn’t want to, I’d need someone to do that for me, but how can retribution or even revenge even be gotten on such ‘things’ especially if they’re not real. I didn’t choose to be born like this, for these things to happen, I didn’t have any real opportunities no matter how many I tried to make and pursue, there’s always been trauma and too much to deal with, why should I have to live let alone like this?

It’s not just the ‘mentally ill’ either, no one ever asks what about the abused, raped, prostituted, molested, violated, beaten, slaves, other trauma experienced people? What if they say “I’ve just had enough?”

Let us die in peace, legally, without pain/difficulty, without recourse to those who may have helped or known about it, and cheaply for goodness sake.

People with Mental Health Issues are at the Forefront of Self Control

That might be a strange title but people who are aware that they have any kind of ‘mental health’ issue (be it anxiety, depression, stress, cognitive disorder, anti-social, fear of being around others or mixed mental/physical dis-ease) are people who have to face the struggle of gaining or re-gaining self control and to a much more enduring level than ‘regular’ people. (Bear in mind most people will experience mental health ‘deviance’/issues at some point in their lives or at least know someone who will.) This ever increasing number of people are constantly struggling to be in more control of themselves and at peace and positive – ‘peace and positivity’ sounds very zen/yogi doesn’t it? Well it is. Yoga practitioners/healthy living fans are not the only ones trying to achieve self control, mental health sufferers are more on the level of initiates trying to achieve a level that sometimes seems superhuman or divine. Why is that? For sufferers it’s because they’re seen as dangerous or a threat and start believing it themselves with intrusive thoughts and stigma which turns into self-harm and/or introverted-ness, much public perception sees them as linked to criminal behaviour and that’s a common yet extreme stereotype. For spiritual practitioners and religious people who are not Masonic/club members the ethos is that we can’t control our surroundings or society but we can control ourselves and we reach within ourselves to be at peace with the space without. Gaining or re-gaining self-control doesn’t mean that you’re dangerous to society, no one thinks that of priests/equivalent public/civil figures that way until they realize the scale of molestation, punishment and discrimination that goes on in most organized religion not to mention that religion is constantly used as a tool/excuse for resource grabbing and ethnic cleansing i.e. war, they are seen as the forefront of and to spirituality. Gaining or re-gaining self-control just means you’re trying to achieve it consciously rather than unconsciously e.g. trying to modify or get rid of a habit or addiction such as food, smoking or alcohol. But unlike spirituality (‘positive mental health’ where people are happy or comfortable being aware of and perhaps reaching out to people and places we can’t see) people with ‘negative mental health’ (where they’re being overwhelmed) struggle an every day battle with every thing; they might love something/one very much but have horrible thoughts about them or feel propelled to do something they don’t want to do so are constantly fighting it, trying to make peace with it, trying to control the ‘urge’. The point is they know they don’t want the pressure/’desire’ to think/do these possible things and so they’re constantly trying to be stronger to make sure they don’t, perhaps even making it so that they can’t do those things.

Terms I use:

(Obviously ‘mental health’ just means your mental health but it’s become a phrase that mean problems with your mental health and associated with illness.)

Positive ‘mental health’ – people who are ok with being called and/or calling themselves psychic, medium, spiritualist, priest, very religious person (meta-narrative believer), person who hears/feels comforting presences, person who purposely trains/opens themselves up to be aware of more (a part of Hinduism and Buddhism for example).

Negative ‘mental health’ – hear/feels/sees presences and/or thoughts that are not welcome.

Both are the same thing, both are aware of something else or a deeper part of consciousness whether mental, physical or both (imo they’re interconnected, I don’t believe the body is just temporal or merely a ‘suit’, I believe it to very important and capable of memory/consciousness, I don’t think it’s all in the brain where many think the mind is based, I think the mind is all over) but both don’t have the same effects for people.

There’s also the problem of ‘fantasy’ – believing in something that differs from general sensory reality such as believing in miracles and miraculous people/beings in religions or having a psychosis on an individual basis doesn’t mean it’s all fictitious. It’s easy to say ‘oh that’s their belief’ or ‘that’s their psychosis’ and the more time that passes and if the belief system becomes normalized we are able to see it as less threatening (remember when most religions or new branches of religion comes into being there is conflict and usually bloodshed). It’s part of their fantasy, it didn’t really happen, it doesn’t happen, they’re paranoid, susceptible, gullible, open to persuasion, a somnambulist etc. With one label the whole experience can be discredited or made easier to ignore, we assume that we understand their situation because we associate them with the things we’ve come across but that isn’t necessarily fair.

It’s a quandary; public opinion is becoming more informed and slightly more tolerant of people who hear voices for example (and many people do and will hear them at some point in their lives, not constantly but will hear a voice now and then and rationalize it ‘oh I thought I heard something, must have been this or that’, put it down as one of those strange experiences and possibly forget it) so the name ‘schizophrenia’ for example is met with a bit more compassion. However in the medical industry the labels and even diagnosis of ‘schizophrenia’, ‘multiple personality disorder’ and such are being discouraged with the general term ‘psychosis’ preferred partially because there’s so much about the mind and consciousness that we don’t know and that can affect us all in different ways. There are overlying patterns but it has to be seen on a more patient by patient basis rather than a one-size-fits-all model. But the word ‘psychosis’ hits a fear trigger in public, it’s compared with ‘psycho’, ‘socio’, ‘off-kilter’, ‘problem’, ‘dangerous’ etc so there’s a conflict between public and medical/associated institution perception which doesn’t help sufferers. That’s a factor of labeling in general and affects everybody in some way, we all fall into groups and classifications but ‘psychosis’ is pretty controversial in public even if common in healthcare.

I was told specialists that my sympathy and empathy are a ‘gift’, “a really beautiful gift that can’t be developed or learned easily, it’s not a talent in people it’s something you just have or don’t, a beautiful gift” (because I’m an easy crier and very easily relate to people and am able to get them to relate to each other) but when it’s taken advantage of such as in my situation it can be detrimental to me [or/and not to those who’d benefit]. That’s not to say I shouldn’t be but it has taken over. Another told me “what you’re going through is no judgement on you, you have to constantly remember that, it’s not judgement on you, this is not who you are or what you’re like, it shows, it really shows that it’s the opposite of you, these things playing out so horribly shows that you care so much about everybody and everything and that you have so much love.” I innately know that but it means so much to be told. My psychosis takes needing to know that I’m still a good person and a beautiful person, always have been and always will be to another level – it’s such a deep trauma and hurts so badly, like I’ve known nothing but war and home invasion my entire life and I just need respite and my privacy respected and to know that I’m not a bother, a burden nor an embarrassment and I don’t need to be hidden away either. I know how terrible it is for people to feel awful, in so much pain and in practically a merciless/pitiless position over physical beauty and identification let alone how I feel most of the time. This whole situation with ‘William’ (in regards to older blog posts) has made me feel like I need to be reminded that I’m actually a really likable person, I make people laugh, feel better about themselves, I want to know about them, to comfort in a deeply humane way and can easily understand their frustrations and am willing to in the first place. The problem with ‘William’ is that it was a romantic scenario and so has left the usual chasm of needing to be loved/knowing that you’re loveable, that ‘he’ should have loved me but didn’t. Ironically I didn’t need or want it to begin with and then I gave too much and he didn’t actually show me any love me at all, quite the opposite and tried to make it so that I couldn’t talk about what was/is going on. I’ve also been told by specialists that my case is “exceptional” and “extraordinary” (not in a good way), extremely frightening for me but not in a way that reflects badly on myself (something that ‘William’/his ‘people’ have done to/made me feel as if I’m bad, dirty, disgusting, ugly, ignorant, cybernetic/nothing but a tool, a ‘mark’ etc). My case is even harder to explain than ordinarily but not singular in a way that makes me more of a ‘threat’ – as society is led to see us – than one of the many other people in similar undiagnosed ‘psychoses’.

To transition on a slightly satirical note: I recently came across an automated system that asks you “if are terminally ill or have less than 6 months to live please press 1 otherwise please press 2” and in the circumstances it was just so insulting that I had to bitterly laugh and thought “no but I’d like to be so just so I don’t have to put up with this anymore”. That’s no disrespect to the terminally ill or prescribed as close to death but when you’ve got ‘mental health’ (that should actually mean you’ve got good health because you’ve got a healthy mind, our language is backwards because instead it sounds like you’ve got something contagious and bad) you are put behind those with ‘physical [ill] health’ and not seen as as much of a priority though we have similar and the same horror stories about dealing with institutions as those with ‘physical illness’ as a norm plus ‘physical illness’ causes ‘mental illness’ and vice versa. Come on when so much ‘mental health’ leads to self-destructive thoughts and vulnerability aren’t we eligible for the whole ‘living and possibly dying with dignity’ debate as well?
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Insanity as a symptom of humanity?

https://www.sott.net/article/358932-Nepal-Its-now-a-criminal-act-to-force-women-into-menstruation-huts

Nepal: It’s now a criminal act to force women into menstruation huts

Source: RT, Thu, 10 Aug 2017 21:28 UTC © Prakash Mathema / AFP

Nepalese women sit by a fire in a chhaupadi hut.

Nepalese women sit by a fire in a chhaupadi hut.

The Nepalese government has made it a criminal act to force women into cowsheds while they’re on their periods. The ancient Hindu tradition sends menstruating females into the sheds to keep so-called “impurity” out of the home.

Although the practice – called ‘chhaupadi’ – was banned by the Supreme Court in 2005, it remains common in Nepal’s remote west.

However, the government has now made the practice a criminal act that could come with jail time.

“The parliament has a passed a new law that makes chhaupadi a criminal act,” lawmaker Krishna Bhakta Pokharel, who headed a parliamentary panel that finalized the legislation, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“Anyone forcing women into seclusion during their period can now be sentenced to three months in jail.”

The new law will come into force within a year, according to Pokharel, as authorities want to spread awareness of the legislation before cracking down on offenders.

Some Nepalese communities believe they will fall victim to misfortune such as natural disaster if females are not sent into isolation while menstruating.

However, the practice – which exposes them to rape by men and attacks by wild animals – has led to the deaths of several women.

Just last month, a 19-year-old died from a snake bite while she was staying in a shed in the district of Dailekh. In December, another girl suffocated to death in a poorly-ventilated shed in the Achham district.

[Sott] Comment: Nepali teen dies from snake bite in ‘menstruation hut’

In addition to sending females into isolation, some communities also ban them from drinking milk and feed them less food while they are on their periods.

The law against banishing women to cowsheds has been praised by the National Alliance for Women’s Human Rights Defenders, a local Nepalese activist group, which has called the practice “inhumane.”

The group’s head has called on community members and activists to “remain vigilant and report any case of chhaupadi.”

“Such vigilance will force the government to strictly enforce the law,” Renu Rajbhandari said, as quoted by Reuters.

The ban comes after the United Nations joined up with the youth-led organization Restless Development Nepal in April, in order to push for an end to the practice which the organization said subjects women to “cold and isolation, often at risk of illness and animal attacks.”

The ancient and ongoing demonization of women is something else; I knew females were banned in temples and from even doing home pujas, even touching religious iconography at home but thinking natural disasters occur if they’re not shamed/isolated from the community and basically warning the entire community that they’re on their periods? And from one of the most spiritual places on Earth with some of the most enlightened learning and on the flipside fighting. It just highlights the hypocrisy and elitism of learning of the initiated. Hinduism and it’s later offshoots such as Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism are linked to vast amounts of knowledge on consciousness, how we function biologically, nature, space, how to live etc and yet these places somehow have and still have complete depravity, degradation and domineering behaviours. How are the rest of us supposed to cope if they can’t get it right?

It reminds me of people around the world who used to think it was bad luck to have females aboard a boat and blame misfortune on them and yes it included storms, hurricanes and being sunk. People are insane, what passes for ‘normal’ is based on how many of us are doing the same thing at any given time.

Night at the Circus and the Horror of Trying to Enjoy Myself

Tonight I went to somewhere which is supposed to be full of laughter and awe, and I did manage that a bit as I always do but at what cost?

I’ve always had a lot of respect for circus performers and acrobats; the work they do, their commitment and what they achieve. I like their spirit and their hard work. I also love the feats the human body is capable of.

The big top was full of children and people upto middle age mostly and I was dreading the clowns thinking it would be too childish (I’m adverse to clowns, I hate foolishness) and hoping only for the gymnasts (though I know many clowns are multi-discipline and have to be in order to put their acts together). However by the end of the night even I liked them and was clapping and shouting along like panto and hoping the giant inflatable ball they threw at the audience to pass around would reach me, which was something since I’ve never done that before, I love panto but don’t get involved. I think it shows how much I need to enjoy myself. The last circus I visited was the Chinese State Circus and their was a focus on martial arts and gymnastics, this was more traditional where the clowns entertained whilst the other performers and stage hands quickly set up, in the Chinese one they had the ‘monkey’ who as many probably know is also a martial artist but more of a court jester/a fool than a clown. These smaller, constantly traveling circuses really have to bring innovation and surprise to their acts with the big showstoppers around like Cirque Du Soleil and theatre in general.

We weren’t allowed to use flash photography and with all the movement it was hard to get good pics but here are the best; I was in the second row so I was close:

Those are lightweight, separate chairs that don’t interlink, they might have grip on them but it wasn’t visible.

Unfortunately trumpet playing was the only obvious skill on display with these clowns, kicking each other up the bum and foam pie throwing was the rest of it.

This guy was magnificent, magnificent. See those trapeze ‘ropes’ he’s using, their not ropes they’re chains. Yes chains. Ouch much. Yet he was so very elegant as he flew through the skies.

He was also a juggler and fire user (as pictured earlier).

That is a rocket, yes a rocket. It was actually gas propelled so that if it wasn’t tied to the ceiling it would have gone off in one direction, the power it had coupled with the rotation pulley it was on meant it travelled in a circle. So clever. And there were two people inside it! Another innovative trapeze.

She was spinning from her head possibly a mouthpiece so beautifully.

Yet another surprising aerial (and I’m so glad there were many sky high acts, they’re one of my favourite, I love the feeling of flying) – he’s using a net as his ‘rope’ or in his case more traditionally ribbons.

They really had their visuals on point, I love the use of fountains beneath him (he was the chair acrobat from earlier and he liked to dance).

A very elegant finish, she was lovely to watch. I still have to note though that as usual all of the males were fully covered like gymnasts (and ice skaters) always have the option of whereas the women were all in bum showing leotards and and ripped costumes. Not exactly decent but it’s easy to normalize women’s bodies to children young eh.

It’s really hard for me to do things, it’s easy for people in my condition to end up sitting in a dark corner in a personal, invisible hell and don’t move, unable to do things for themselves or they end up walking the streets talking to themselves so frustrated, distracted and vulnerable to accident. I can’t sit, stand or lie down comfortably; my particular psychosis is that I’m being raped in every way all the time by men, women, children, animals, aliens/spirits, incest and it doesn’t stop, it’s almost ‘with’ every person/creature I/they see and if it’s not rape it’s focusing on their sexuality/bodies – I hear voices and see them as people ganging up on me and see visions in general, I barely sleep and they continue in my dreams – the auditory hallucinations are literally 24/7, it doesn’t stop for 1 second. It’s like being part of a snuff move that doesn’t end. I can’t go to the bathroom easily, I don’t wash/shower/bath I towel clean instead like a bedridden patient and I have to hold myself completely taut at all times trying to ignore my breasts and holding my genitalia closed so as not to have any reactions or feel even more violated. My mouth is tightly shut all the time but constantly feels and looks like things are being shoved my throat – the tongue moves, throat gulps etc. It’s a case for euthanasia or patient assisted suicide. I can’t go to the cinema because the voices have something against it, I can’t spend time with my father because the voices make think I want to have sex with him/am having it with him/have had an affair with him. I can’t look or think about dogs anymore. They try to force me not to be vegan. I’m forced to watch and re-go through real trauma that’s happened and new ones, like watching the death of loved ones over and over in ever different ways, re-live real deaths, it reminds me of a series called Tinman (2007) a spin-off from The Wizard of Oz in which the evil Queen murders his family and then traps him in a tiny box just big enough for his body where he’s forced to watch it over and over again until he dies unable to do anything about it. Most of the time I feel like a woman dragged off the street by a gang and kept alive just enough tied up and beaten for them to keep her as a rape toy for as long as they can. The list goes on – some of which is HERE and added to the list of chronic pains I already developed over life such as problems with my bones, legs/hip and back. The discomfort of this puts so much stress on my body and medication makes that even worse including increased cardiovascular risk. There’s a lot of pressure on my bladder and egestion, the way I have to move constantly and hold myself doesn’t help, add to that the anxiety and constant indigestion means that I’m constantly needing to go to the bathroom which makes the whole situation worse, as soon as I feel the need the voices get even worse and want to rape more viciously and unlike anyone else who can get on with things until they have to go, the second I know that I’ll need to go soon I have to go because they get so rabid so quickly. Tonight I did my best to enjoy myself but the degrading commentary, feeling, visions are a constant battle, I’m constantly in a war within myself and I almost felt like I was going to soil myself on the walk home. The last time that happened another character ‘William’ showed up after a long time and mocked me. Humiliation, shame and ‘punishment’ figure a lot and then they tell you that they love you.

Despite all this I do my absolute best to keep trying to do normal things when I can afford them. I try to laugh which I’ve managed again because I couldn’t for a long time after my face froze three times since last August, I still can’t cry but to be honest I don’t want to work on that.

This happened recently when the voices got rabid and I was on a potholed ridden street; I fell, skidded and landed badly:

Even with all of this happening to me all of the time and tonight I still knew exactly how each act would play out and when, I knew when they would do what and how long each would last though I’d never seen them before. I’ve always been able to do this but the ‘voices’ didn’t believe me and now they do but obviously I can’t estimate anywhere near as well as I used to before they came along. I have a lot of memory loss and lost the knack/developed instincts of many things/subjects. It’s nice to know I still have something of myself left but that’s little comfort when you have to be forever vigilant and as soon as the second you calm/get tired comes along it gets worse; the walk home in the dark, empty streets in the pouring rain on those rough pavements was particularly trying with them shouting at me, thankfully I managed not to let them drown out all the other sounds and not get run over (almost got hit by a bus some months back).

Watching these amazing people reminds me that many successful athletes and performers and overpaid and pampered in comparison; these people are on the road constantly, sometimes live on it and take part in almost every aspect from ticket taking, meeting/greeting, selling merchandise/food to putting the tent and equipment together. There’s no airs and graces, autographs nor paying to see them individually; they will at one moment perform and the next be selling knick knacks and hotdogs throughout the crowd. These are real workers.

Sleeping Beauty – An Enduring Tale/Cycle of Dreaming and Waking/the Breath of the Unmanifested and Creation

Introduction to a Well Known Author:

Fairytales are atmospheric, creepy and often cruel showing us temptation in the form of hope usually after great turmoil and sacrifice. They’re not often stories for children but more warnings as Pamela Travers herself claimed she didn’t write the Mary Poppins books for children. To some of us they can be seen as culmination of learning and with her tempestuous life perhaps a yearning – Ms Poppins being someone she wanted to be or wanted to guide her through the storm? Poppins being someone who glided through extremities like only few and a ‘nanny’ (granny, Dark Mother figure – remember the Dark Mother is an honourary title, she doesn’t have to be a Mother).

The remakes of well known fairytales in recent years have emphasized further that they are not really ‘family friendly’ and even modern authors from Roald Dahl to J. K. Rowling have shown us ‘dark’ children’s and young adult fiction, easily read by adults, and yet they hold a map for childhood. Dystopian themes have made it to the forefront of youth fiction – but then did they ever really leave? The scary has always been at home with musical folk tales and poems of old and are always present watching and coming closer to us from the periphery, they sometimes get watered by the likes of Disney but even Disney shows protagonists in danger. Is it a safe ‘threat’ we hanker for like that of a roller coaster where we feel the thrill but never the peril or is there something in us that really wants to fall? We never really face the unknown we just go round in circles, patterns and trends.

But Disney was right to excise from Mary Poppins the Zen mysticism and symbolism, about which academics had preposterously written lectures and learned papers. And although Disney’s songwriters the Sherman Brothers are on record as finding Travers “a hellcat” to work with (“like having two weeks of ulcers”), she comes across in the film as ultimately sympathetic, commanding respect for facing up with spirit to the Disney men. Travers was fond of saying that all women pass through three phases: nymph, mother, crone.

As Lawson writes, in the initial days of Disney’s charm offensive, P L Travers “fell into Walt’s embrace like a lovesick fool, but the fortune he gave her almost made up for the betrayal”. She got $100,000 upfront and 5 per cent of the gross, so she had to forgive “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and dancing penguins. And after five years of “uneasy wedlock”, the film emerged – unsubtle, sugary, sentimental; “gorgeous, but all wrapped round mediocrity of thought” – and won five Oscars. Sam Goldwyn wrote an open letter saying everyone in the world should see it. Never mind that Disney’s editions of Mary Poppins books outsold hers; her own sales trebled. She would later say that she had written “a small unpretentious book, but as full of meat as a sausage is. The film made it grandiose, pretentious and took all the stuffing out of the story.” But she always praised Julie Andrews and even thought Dick Van Dyke’s cockney was “really not too bad”. She discussed a possible sequel without objection.

http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2013/12/strange-life-creator-mary-poppins

Was he right to White wash (his own life and business White washed of course)? I love the Mary Poppins film (and I can understand why Emma Thompson was chosen to portray P. L. Travers due to her role as Nanny McPhee – the films of which I didn’t really like – and her bearing in general) but I’m aware there was more going on in her life and in the series. It seems as if Travers got caught up in great knowledge and mixed with great cultural icons who themselves did the same but like many were far too a bohemian, rich, elite set indulgent and immature for the wisdom they sought/practiced.

Too bad we can’t all be like the characters we create and adore; perhaps she wanted Mary Poppins but had some of that in her aunts and would have been better off with Granny/Mistress Weatherwax (another Dark Mother/Witch/Wise Woman/Crone figure) from Terry Pratchett’s ‘Discworld’, whom many of us love… At a distance and with great respect and perhaps some bitterness and begrudgement, and she was the ‘good one’ out of her and her sister 😉 !

What we want and need are sometimes two very different things.

Discerning the Nature of Free Will

In the chapter entitled, “John and Barbara’s Story,” a starling, a wise bird, visits the nursery at Cherry Tree Lane and communes with Mary Poppins and the babies, John and Barbara. Through their conversation, we become aware that the babies, the starling, and Mary Poppins understand the language of the wind, the stars, and the sunlight. However, the starling laments that the children will soon forget everything about where they came from. The children, of course, vehemently protest. Soon, however, they do forget.

This theme is explored further in the chapter entitled, “The New One” in Mary Poppins Comes Back. When the baby Annabel is born, the starling makes another visit, and he turns somersaults on the windowsill, clapping his wings wildly together each time his head comes up. “What a treat!” he pants, when at last he stands up straight. (Now he had someone to whom he could speak again.) The starling asks Annabel to tell the fledgling that accompanies him to tell where she came from:

“I am earth and air and fire and water,” she said softly. “ I come from the Dark where all things have their beginnings. I come from the sea and its tides, I come from the sky and its stars, I come from the sun and its brightness—and I come from the forest of earth. Slowly, I moved at first always sleeping and dreaming. I remembered all I had been and I thought of all I shall be. And when I had dreamed my dream I awoke and came swiftly. I heard the stars singing as I came and I felt warm wings about me. I passed the beasts of the jungle and came through the dark, deep waters.” “It was a long journey! A long journey indeed!” said the starling softly, lifting his head from his breast. “And ah, so soon forgotten!”

This episode is reminiscent of the soul’s encounter with the river Lethe in Greek mythology. The souls of the dead bathe there before they are born, so they will not remember their previous history and choices made before birth (karma) until their life is over. If we knew what happened in past lives with the people we know in the present, we might avoid these people and many of life’s experiences. How can we operate with free will and choice if we know our sacred contracts, asks Caroline Myss, author of Sacred Contracts. In The Secrets of Dr. Traverner, Diane Fortune, the occult fiction writer of the early twentieth century, wrote about a character who refused to come completely into her body because she knew her fate and was afraid to face it. This presents the paradox that from ignorance we exercise free will; from knowledge we forfeit our right to choose.

https://www.theosophical.org/publications/1240

The above link explores symbolism in the Mary Poppins series and Travers was herself an ardent student of mythology and culture which brings us to one of her passions, a passion of intrigue with eternal beauty.

The Allure of Beauty in Death/Slumber, the Conflict of Choosing Between Immortal and Mortal Love:

I’m not going to explain the symbolism in ‘Sleeping Beauty’ such as a the Spinners/Fates/Wheels but simply quote some of Travers’ own words as found in the ‘Afterword‘ of her book ‘About The Sleeping Beauty’. Therein she outlines five versions of the story from different cultures following her own refashioning. Bear in mind that I do not agree with everything.

The idea of the sleeper, of somebody hidden from mortal eye, waiting until the time shall ripen has always been dear to folkly mind – Snow White asleep in her glass coffin, Brynhild behind her wall of fire, Charlemagne in the heart of France, King Arthur in the Isle of Avalon, Frederick Barbarossa under his mountain in Thuringia. Muchukunda, the Hindu King, slept through eons until he was awakened by the Lord Krishna; Oisin of Ireland dreamed of Tir N’an Og for over three hundred years. Psyche in her magic sleep is a type of Sleeping Beauty, Sumerian Ishtar in the underworld may be said to be another. Holga the Dane is sleeping and waiting, and so, they say, is Sir Francis Drake. Quetzalcoatl of Mexico and Virochoca of Peru are both sleepers. Morgan le Fay of France and England and Dame Holle of Germany are sleeping in raths and cairns.

The themes of the sleeper is as old as the memory of man. Where it first arose we do no know. One can never find where myth and fairy tale begin any more than one can find wild wheat growing. They are not invented, that is certain. They germinate from seeds sown by an unknown hand. ‘The Authors’, as the poet William Blake has said, ‘are in Eternity’, and we must be content to leave them there. The story is, after all, what matters.

The appearance of this lady at the Christening [in her version of ‘Sleeping Beauty’] is the great moment of the tale, the hook from which everything hangs. Properly to understand why this is so we must turn to Wise Women in general and their role in the world of men. To begin with they are not mortal women. They are sisters, rather, of the Sirens, kin to the Fates and the World Mothers. As such, as creatures of another dimension, myth and legend have been at pains to embody them in other than human shape – the winged female figures of Homer, the bird headed women of the Irish tales, the wild women of ancient Russia with square heads and hairy bodies and the wisplike Jinn of the Middle East who were not allowed grosser forms than those of fire and smoke. It was to do away with their pantomime image and give them their proper weight and authority that our version provided the Wise Women with their hairless heads of gold and silver and made their golden and silver feet hover a little above the earth as the gods do on the Greek vases. And in dressing them in colours of the spectrum that the Thirteen are parts of the single whole and the opposites complementary.

For it should be remembered that no Wise Woman or Fairy is in herself either good or bad; she takes on one aspect or the other according to the laws of the story and necessity of events. The powers of these ladies are equivocal. They change with changing circumstances; they are as swift to take umbrage as they are to bestow a boon; they curse and bless with equal gusto. Each Wise Woman is, in fact, an aspect of the Hindu goddess, Kali, who carries in her multiple hands the powers of good and evil.

It is clear, therefore, that the Thirteenth Wise Woman becomes the Wicked Fairy solely for the purpose of one particular story. It was by chance that she received no invitation; it might just as well have been one of her sisters. So, thrust by circumstance into her role, she acts according to law.

Up she rises, ostensibly to avenge an insult but in reality to thrust the story and keep the drama moving. She becomes the necessary antagonist, placed there to show that whatever is ‘other’, opposite and fearful, is indispensable an instrument of creation as any force for good. The pulling of the Devas an Asuras in opposite directions churn the ocean of life in the Hindu myth and the interaction of the good and the bad Fairies produces the fairy tale. The Thirteenth Wise Woman stands as the guardian of the threshold, the paradoxical adversary without whose presence no threshold may be passed.

This is the role played in so many stories by the Wicked Stepmother. The true mother, by her very nature, is bound to preserve, protect and comfort; this is why she is so often disposed of before the story begins. It is the stepmother, her cold heart unwittingly cooperating with the hero’s need, who thrusts the child from the warm hearth, out from the sheltering walls of home to find his own true way.

Powers such as these, at once demonic and divine, are not to be taken lightly. They give a name to evil, free it, and bring it to the light. For evil will out, they sharply warn us, no matter how deeply buried…

Without the Wicked Fairy there would have been no story. She not the heroine, is the goddess in the machine.

But if the Prince is a mysterious figure, how much more so is she who is the crux of the story, the maiden of surpassing beauty asleep behind her wall of thorns, she whom men from the beginning of time have pondered on and treasured. I say the beginning of time with intent, for when a woman is the chief character in a story it is a sign of its antiquity. It takes us back to those cloudy eras when the world was rule not, as it was in later years, by a god but by the Great Goddess. Here, as with the Prince, is a heroine who has ostensibly nothing to do, nothing to suffer. She is endowed with every blessing and grace and happy fortune, no slights or indignities are put upon her as is the case with her sister heroines, Show White, Cinderella, Little Two-Eyes, or the Goose Girl. She simply has to follow her fate, prick her finger, and fall asleep. But perhaps – is this what the story is telling us? – perhaps it is not a simple thing to do to faithfully follow one’s fate…

Who is she, this peerless beauty, this hidden sleeping figure that has kindled the imaginations of so many generations and for whom children go about on tiptoe lest she be too soon wakened?

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[My comment: The Princess is the representative on Earth, the Earth as the creation, she is the illuminated light illuminated from the light of the Mother like the moon to the sun; part divine, part mortal – the link between the Mother and potential creation, and the created. She is the Daughter and in a story involving a love interest she is like Persephone, abducted or tricked into staying in manifestation, separated from the Creator like a tool/weapon/treasure. She is the Fallen, fallen with creation which in itself is fallen because it is no longer with/an immediate part of the Creator. In this story and many she is Fallen by the actions of a Father figure and she is then through transformation of some kind, here it is sleep, rescued by the Dark Mother.]

There are those who see the tale exclusively as a nature myth, as the earth in spring, personified as a maiden, awaking from the long dark sleep of winter; or as a hidden deep in the earth until the kiss of the sun makes it send forth leaves. This is undoubtedly as aspect of the story. But a symbol, by the very fact of being a symbol, has not one sole and absolute meaning. It throws out light in every direction. Meaning comes pouring from it.

As well as being a nature myth, it is also possible that there are elements of a secret and forgotten ritual in the theme, reminders of initiation ceremonies where the neophyte dies – or sleeps – on one level and wakes on another, as a chrysalis wakes into butterfly. Or again it may be that since all fairy tales hark back to myth we are present here at the death and resurrection of a goddess, of Persephone down in the underworld biding her time until she returns to earth.

So, face to face with the Sleeping Beauty – who has long been the dream of every man and the hope of every woman – we find ourselves compelled to ask what is it in us that at a certain moment suddenly falls asleep? Who lies hidden deep within us? And who will come to wake us, what aspect of ourselves?

[My comment: And hopefully they shall not waken us with a kiss.]

Are we dealing here with the sleeping soul and all the external affairs of life that hem it in and hide it’ something that falls asleep after childhood; something that not to waken would make life meaningless? To give an answer, supposing we had it, would be breaking the law of the fairy tale. And perhaps no answer is necessary. It is enough that we ponder upon and love the story and ask ourselves the question.


I think she may have had a more conclusive answer being so well educated and thoughtful in her work and only seemed to naval gaze (as we all do at times) in wistful, poetic moments to make the prose (including her ‘afterword’) richer. Perhaps she thought the keys to the tale/threshold/door were not for us to know.