Hello again dear friends, I’m so happy to be writing to you this Sunday afternoon. This week I’m giving you a sneak peek into the liminal Shamcher Institute, the location of my residency for March. GREAT thanks to those of you who took the leap into paid subscriptions for extra “Insider” posts - I really appreciate the support.
In another issue I'll explore more thoughts of the current wartime situation, but for now I find that focus on the small of everyday helps to bring clarity.
I don’t want to work from thoughts based on an old 20th-century vocabulary. If we are to understand fully in our current global events, in whatever capacity we are guided, then we are being asked to evolve and see with new eyes, to find our new eyes by a new awareness.
It may require a very long view to find the meta version. And I don't mean Facebook meta world. Better to see this wide view in terms of the Buddhist idea of metta: compassion — expanded great compassion for all living beings — whether in bodies or not, visible or not, “living” or not. Events or crystals or plain stones reveal crystalline alignment in loving arrangement. These all connect in our great heart of compassion.
Whatever time it is in our 24 hour day, there is a meditation group, a magical coven, a spiritual group, a church service, a puja or a sacred ceremony in which the participants offer their hearts on the altar of the unseen. A plea for peace, an act of compassion, a circle of light, a web of illumination and love surrounding the planet in brilliant vibrations. It is an activation that holds us all in its embrace, and offers blessings to all for a tremendous universal healing in this time of war.
I join in this ringing of the deep bells and the drumming as a planetary heartbeat. We all feel it, and we can, if we wish, be transformed through it — into more living human beings.
The watchwords for the week are love and evolution. I look for both and will match myself into those fields of being, accelerating evolution — in myself and in our world.
Doesn't everyday life seem trivial in the light of world events? On the brink of WWZ we look back at all the frivolous wasted energy that could have been given instead to world-saving causes. Don't be fooled by that. Every detail makes a difference, for in our human life innumerable universal fragments are held in words and actions, thoughts and days. From sun to shade to rain to snow, we hold accumulated details of depth and intensity that combine to reveal a living portrait.
And in coincidental serendipity— my last Inside issue, I wrote about a window and a black square: And after, I thought to illustrate it with the image of Malevich’s Black Square, but decided instead to go with a Kandinsky: Serious-fun. Then several days later I saw the Kandinsky that perhaps I should have posted — The Golden Gates of Kyiv. The universal conversation wasn’t over. It continued as someone else posted Malevich’s Black Square with a list of connections indicating that Ukraine claimed Malevich as their own.
These playful universal contacts through whatever media we may be engaged in — gardens, wild nature, social media, other people, all have love at their root. We then apply what we pick up for our own evolution.
I'm finding ways to enter into more of these universal dialogues every day. As the caravan to wisdom moves past old dead ideas, poetic synchronicities open secret doorways. I love this give-and-take, and it is a way of learning which (for now) I’m calling "evolution through love”.
The Liminal Residency
Just a note to let you all know how the residency is coming along. Normally I send these messages only to paid subscribers, but I thought you’d all like a peek into what’s going on.
As you may know, after leaving Moy Mell, I've been here at the liminal Shamcher Institute for almost a week now, getting used to the routine and its rhythm. It has a lot of balance (more than I’d expected) between the active outer physical world and the inner world that I bring to the surface through writing. My earlier expectation-imaginings have been proven wrong, and like many other preconceived ideas, quick memes, discarded along the way.
Others are here but I rarely see them — each of us is devoted to our own work and it is important to focus in this brief time we have here.
I had word that my residency could be extended through April, since I've been doing some work for the archives each day, digitizing Shamcher's book, A Sufi Goes to War (aka Plot to Kidnap Hitler). I’ll take them up on it as I have no firm plans at the end of March now that Moy Mell has shimmered off into the mists.
They also said there are some openings here for others who might want to explore a liminal residency. If you're interested, leave a comment with your topic area of exploration or reply to this email, and I'll pass along the info. It would be good to see you here.
A Brief Sketch
This place was empty when I first arrived but now it is warmly engaged and sometimes I hear music playing as I write, and voices of many others discussing the world crisis and potential solutions to it. From this liminal standpoint, I have to say their work is a very high-level overview. Their words are often muffled from me, so I don't know exactly what is being planned, but I hear thumping, jumping, along with cries, yelling and enthusiastic cheers from time to time. This is all happening upstairs, in the second story.
Some of you mentioned that this place looked very corporate from the photo of the parking lot I posted last time. Far from it – behind that, there are many different architecturally amazing structures in the liminal Shamcher Institute: outbuildings, gazebos, perilous mountain huts and great mosaic patios for meetings and gatherings, along with small private work spaces and living areas. I was given a main floor workspace in the archive building for my writing residency and because I'm also doing that digitizing project, I can go there any time.
It is mostly at night that I hear the conferences cheering and wrestling, but am aware that the conferences and strategies are ongoing day and night. The Internet here sometimes glitches when the global drain on power is extreme. I’m inspired to know these others are working to strategize and apply the deep principles to today’s situations, using alchemies fostered throughout the Institute’s long history.
There’s a sanctuary building here as well, and from it rings a deep bell each morning and evening. I've seen figures coming and going from there. It must be by invitation only because, whenever I've gone in, there hasn't been another soul there, only a faint fragrance of incense from some time before. The light there is like the light in the Matisse chapel. It is a place of infinite peace.
I thought you'd appreciate a short sketch of where I am these days, and I’ll send out dispatches from the Shamcher Institute in Insider issues, whenever I can.
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I'll leave you with this message. Each morning those of us involved in independent study and residences receive a short phrase to contemplate throughout the day. It is hand-delivered —slipped under the door at around 4 AM. I know the time because I'm often awake then, or I've just returned from the archive room trying to make out the words I hear in the sounds from the second story commotion. Today’s said, “Don't worry about tomorrow. Live in this day fully with all senses alert, in love.”
Regular posts come to you most weeks, with an Insider issue going out to paid subscribers as often as possible.
For the month of March, all Insider posts are sent from the liminal Shamcher Institute. Once again, if you want to receive these and don’t have the means, or wish to try for a month, just reply directly to this email and I’ll comp you in. But if you can support this work, I’m more than grateful.
The Personal Papers schedule is still loosely skating around the calendar weeks.
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