‘The human comedy doesn’t attract me enough. I am not entirely of this world….I am from elsewhere. And it is worth finding this elsewhere beyond the walls. But where is it?’(i)
The Big Why?
The pull of elsewhere has dominated my life. As a child, lying tucked up cosy and warm in bed, listening to the wind beyond our walls tearing the world apart, I used to luxuriate in the contrast between in here and out there – and wonder where the Power came from to cause the winds to rage, and the sea to beat endlessly against the coastline of my native island.
No doubt my wonder at the waxing and waning of the moon as she sailed the sky at night in her ever-changing rhythm, weaving her way amongst the stars shining in their mysterious patterns in the clear nights of winter, spun a thread deep in my mind and heart, much later to be woven into my passion for the ancient art of astrology.
My ‘real’ life in childhood – eating, sleeping, going to school – was incidental to my inner life which was full of the really interesting questions: why are we alive, where do we go after death, do we live on several planes of existence at once, what is happening in other galaxies, if there are x million Catholics and even more Buddhists and Hindus, how come they are all Wrong and Damned and a few thousand members of the Free Church of Scotland are Right and Saved?
These issues, fed by reading, preoccupied me for years.
It would take me a long time to understand and accept that my obsession with the big “Why?” , from the moment I opened my eyes to the world, is not the norm for most of humanity. Sensibly, they just want a quiet uncomplicated life.
Apart from my maternal grandfather, a loving and very broad-minded Christian – ‘remember, child: whatever our race, colour or creed we are all God’s children’– nobody knew what went on in my head and heart throughout my entire childhood.
There is no such thing as one biography of a life.
Your perspective changes with the passage of time and the way life’s inevitable challenges are dealt with. You rewrite your own history in your head all the time, mostly without realising it. For example, I never understood the full extent of elsewhere’s pull until my mid-life descent into and return from the Underworld, a period which lasted seven years – undoubtedly the most difficult and the richest time of my whole life. I feel in better relation now to that mysterious elsewhere than I have ever been !
To me, elsewhere is the vast wave of which everything – universe, cosmos, galaxies, planets, Earth, all life forms – is a droplet. We arise from elsewhere, and that is where we return. Call it the quantum vacuum, the Zero Point Field, God, Buddha, Krishna, the Ground of our being, the Source, the One, the Twelfth House: the name we give it does not matter.
I have also learned that elsewhere is not somewhere else. It is here, present, now, everywhere – always.
(i) from Eugene Ionesco:quoted in Philip Yancey’s “Reaching for the Invisible God” p25)
600 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2017