Labyrinth

(First posted on December 8th, 2012)
Year end review: 
1 Do I feel abundant? Have I created what I want?
2 Is there a clear exchange of energy for my work? A clear exchange of money? Time? Space? Rest?
3 Am I living my own life? Or, that of another’s design?
4 Am I on the path of my own life’s trajectory? Or circling the path?
5 Do I feel valued and paid for the work I am doing?
6 Do I have an increased sense of spaciousness physically? Mentally? Energetically?
7 What do I most want to do? Am I doing it? Have I created the time, money and energy for it? The balance?
8 Do I feel easy and relaxed? Am I relaxing for no reason?
9 Does my body feel physically healthy and vital?
10 Do I have the range of motion and creative life expression I want?
11 Am I primarily feeling joy throughout the day?
12 Am I giving my gift? Living the vision I have for myself?
13 Am I delivering my life’s promise?

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~ Mary Oliver, The Summer Day

Poetry: 2008

(First posted in 2008 on Stephen’s previous website)

This is a poem arising from my rich few days in a rural Greek Cypriot mountain village.

Three Olives

These narrow streets, 
800 meters above the Mediterranean,
channeled the civic, domestic and 
husbandry movements of 500 Cypriots.

Today, 40 remain.

Then: Old ones, grandparents,
those in their middle years and
young ones with children.
Donkeys, goats, dogs, cats.

Now: Veterans each.  Youngest is 65.
Eldest, 95 
and proud.

Dignified.  Blue sports coats over
v-neck sweaters.  Slacks.  Skirts.
White hair,
or suggestions of it.

Widows.  Widowers.  Couples.
Sitting in the cafes in circular
seating.

Easy laughter.  Extended silences.

A man buys my tea.  Local policy: No one
pays for one’s own drink.

Village cats wait outside.
Stone walls and streets more senior still.
The river is yet older.
No midlifers.  No young people left.

Widows on that side of the river.
This side, none.
Why did those men, there, leave
and these stay?

Canes.


Slow movements.  Easy smiles.
Walking steep
streets in the company of solitude.

Children or grandchildren return
on weekends.  Some return in love.  Others
seeking a loan or grant.

Sunday lunch.  A father and his children,
themselves, late in midlife.

Copious and succulent village fare: vegetables, breads, fruits.

©2008 Stephen Victor 


I had a rich couple hours of mystical experience atop the mesa on my New Mexico land in December 2008. I have long had an affinity with trees. This day was simply more. This poem wrote itself in the first fifteen minutes of coming down from the mesa. 

Wisdom’s Consort

The Goddess thrusts her great clouds of 
grey and white mane with fierce allure.

Repeatedly, she pruriently tosses the fabric
of her skirts with such provocation that my
will is her will.

In this place Juniper possesses my body, my
mind, my heart.  She knows she will have
her way with me.

Her regal sculptured reach is enough 
to undo me.

She does not have to work at all.
It is her
languid presence that is her coquettishness.

I am captivated.

I sit in and astride her glorious bifurcating
body,
held, as I hold.
I entwine ever more completely.  She too.

To merge completely is my longing.
My face, close as physicality permits.
Tears are pulled from within me.
One being.

Yet she is more than her physical Grace.
She, her Presence, dwarfs the body on and
in which I sit.

Yes, I talk with her.  And she with me.

The great mane clocks round again.
Skirts rising, entreating, then falling.

I am shameless.

In this place, yes, Juniper.
Yet in other places I ache for Redwood and her
generous statuesque endowment of deep
patient giving.

And then, Madrone in the same locale.
The ease, tensile and Grace of her slender
breadth.  The color of her arms and torso as 
she sheds no longer desired blouse and jumper.

Oh!

The Goddess moves her hips and I am delirious
with the Olive Tree of the Middle East.

Ancient thickly sculpted body of peace
and unimaginable fecundity.  Giving, 
giving, giving.

Yet, receiving so little.  Or so 
it seems.

She is open within you know.  Space for all who
notice.  And for those who do not.

There is a fidelity in my heart belonging
to many.
I am.  You are.  We are the Earth,
you know.

She is us.

She desires many lovers.
Love her, love yourself.

Come,
be the Earth’s consort too.

©2008 Stephen Victor


A Visitor’s London

I love this polyglot city.

Last week’s hastened winter
            and today’s blustery push all the more. 
Bad boy polar currents rousing intemperate moist flows
            along the “North Atlantic Drift.”
In feigned flinch, she relinquishes her bounty on this city.
            We, the beneficiaries, are regaled in brisk wettish renewal.

I, an outsider,
a foreigner, possessing but modest
            linguistic and cultural fluency
attempt comprehension
while negotiating cityscape and cross cultural intersections.
            Silent ancestral alliances come to my aid –
bits of understanding congeal.

I love Londoner’s dignity. 
            Her character.  Robust spirit.  I am yet incredulous at
London’s penchant for a wardrobe of black. 
            Black stockings, shoes.  Yes, of course. 
Black waterproof and umbrella, okay.

But enough now!  Please! 
            What and whom do you perpetually mourn?
Might not your geographical bias
            for long hours of winter darkness, cold sluicing rain
from blackened skies
and cloudy summers months
            suggest that a distinct boon awaits
once donning an array of colorful clothing?

London Plain Trees! 
            Their profound magnanimity takes my breath.

In awe I stand
            entranced in city squares
held by these behemoths of Grace:

Tears streaming.  Heart expanding. 
            Joy and gratitude buoyed on
shimmering branches of love.

They told me: 
“We hold the hands and hearts of Londoners.”

©2008 Stephen Victor


I work in Greek Cyprus three or four times a year – and have for several years now. One of my friends graciously permitted me the use of his home in the rural village of Tres Eleis. This poem speaks to the beauty I found there.

Treis Eleis, 
Troodos Mountains,
Cyprus


Aphrodite’s birthplace 
to the Southwest of this place, 
that direction, 
on the coast.

This village was a place 
of hiding. In the old times
when this island was 
bounty to marauding sailors.

Here, nature’s conspiracy extant
in exuberant profusion.

Walnuts.  Copious.
Rolling down steep streets, 
gathering where tarmac and 
contour diverge.

Olives suspended on branches of peace.

Vines taut with ambrosia:
bulbous interracial cohabitants:
yellow, white, red, purple.

Vineyards now abandoned.
Slopes too steep for these elderly inhabitants.

Their young 
suckle on postmodernity’s teat 
of scurry, mobile and SMS.

Orchards: 
apple, peach and pomegranate, 
wither – 
now loved by too few.

They stayed faithful,
as long as they could.

Forests encroached.  
The fruits succumbed.

Some yet hopeful:
Figs, 
vestiges of youth past,
green pert breasts 
flirting beneath leafy 
blouses moving 
with the wind’s caress.

Insistent fecundity.
Grace.  
Unfathomable generosity.

Mushrooms.  Blackberries.  Blueberries.

Fruits of unknown identities
yet, their sweetness arrests.

©2008 Stephen Victor


This poem was prompted by a sign posted at the entrance to the easement through another’s property I used to access the land I owned in rural northwest New Mexico.
Love

“If the dogs don’t get you, 
the shotgun will.”

My neighbor’s conspicuously 
placed placard affirmed.

I, too, from behind 
ramparts of fear,
albeit with less temerity,
too often impart.

©2008 Stephen Victor


Love in the Time of Change

How do you orient in your world?
Do you know your coordinates?

Have your bearings, do you?

And your heading,
do you know it?

Is it of your own setting, 
or another’s? What is its
trajectory?

And the topography and tectonics
of your life? Are they of your doing
or that of another?

There is a great to-do about change
nowadays.

What
is changing,
actually?

Come. Join other hearts
who fancy the poetic over
the prosaic. Orient anew
on how best to proceed
with your own life.

©2008 Stephen Victor


Some years ago, invited by friends to visit them in New Mexico, we walked up and onto a mesa. Something there touched me deeply…involuntarily, I dropped to my knees weeping in gratitude and joy. Eventually, I bought the land. “Sublime” presented itself three years later after returning from a couple hours of being alone with the life on the mesa. 

Sublime

I do not own this land
but in the vernacular of our
collective ignorance,
I hold its deed and call it mine.

Each fall
I pay homage to the County
through its assessor.

Now in snow
atop this mesa,
in ostensible solitude,
I stand in the august company
of many.

Spirits of spent volcanos,
other grand mesas and mountain ranges
circumambulate between horizon and me,
watching.

In their intense presence,
I am seen; I belong. 
And I too see.

Anasazi are present. I weep
deeply at their recognition
and my remembering.

They reveal other temporal
realities of this place and me.

Others too are here. The Santa Terra
there,
at the mesa’s western edge,
informing I am home.

Spirits of stones, Pinon, Yucca, Juniper.

All are celebratory. 

Now,
after eons of longing to be 
inspired
buoyed
– fostered –
by a place,

touched with griefs of remembering,
joy, gratitude,

at last, I am here.

This land: fierce, arid, masculine.
A place of restoration.
Its nurturance is that
of the Goddess. 

Yet She remains unrecognized by
postmodernity’s character and temperament.

Larger than Red-tailed hawks,
Raven flirts with me in aerobatic nuance.

Descending within four meters,
 she stalls aloft as we look
into each other’s eyes.

Raven speaks in soft audible multiple
syllables. Her sounds
I do not yet understand.
I know her silent communications.

Raven welcomes my return for she
assisted in my purchase of this land.

On that day three Raven
simultaneously circled me at the
mesa’s western edge.

Their purpose: Seal the deal.
They did.

 ©2008 Stephen Victor


Sometimes, I ask those in my workshops to allow themselves to remember intermittent moments in their lives: those times when someone acts in a manner that soothes a wound, or touches one’s heart, or, resonates with something beyond the personality. These moments of Grace are intended to support the expression of promise a person carries. One such moment involved the very decent human being Mary Miller, as she touched my shoulder. Her honoring of human dignity helped set a trajectory for me. As to the bit about her skirts, I don’t know…it came forward in writing the poem.

Mary Miller

She, my fifth grade teacher,
an anomaly
in my world:
She respected children.

As she queued her
class for lunch, she
touched my shoulder.

First honest woman’s touch.

Whether the world found
Mrs. Miller attractive –
I did.

Present. Kind. Caring.
Honorable.

Seeing under her skirts.
I linked character and form.

©2008 Stephen Victor


The Colleague’s Wife

She worked in the bank
servicing the account for
my paper-route.

Her husband, I do not remember;
he worked with my father.

She, I remember.

Not her name.

I delivered 
her newspapers.

She and I spoke when 
I deposited my loot. 

She was kind to me.  Always.

Generous –
as I,
interrupting
her cooking, or their
dinner, collected
fees for the paper.

I liked her.  She, mid- to late thirties.
I, eleven.

She was one whom the
world regarded as pretty.

Mostly, she was kind.
Her car passed my bicycling
self.
She, en route home.
Me,
delivering papers.

I liked her.

A moment later, overtaking 
her parked car,
she, unawares, exiting.

And me, uninitiated, looking under
her skirt – between her legs:
tops of stockings, garter straps,
insides of thighs, white panties. 
(I liked looking at her.)

(She said hello.  I too.)

I peddled on

now erect, 

spontaneously
ejaculating…  

(I had no referent
for I was wholly
virginal.)

Befuddled, 
soaring within
foreign fires,
I stopped my bike.

Sat on the curb.
Head in hands.

Changed.

©2008 Stephen Victor

Becoming Your Own Priest [or Priestess]

(First posted October 31st, 2011)

In these times, we may be well served to look to poets for their mystical insight and prescient wisdom. Look for example to the American poet Walt Whitman: “Soon there will be no more priests, their time is done. Everyone will be his [or her] own

priest.” This is the imperative of our time; this time, not tomorrow, but now. We can no longer defer the embodiment of our individual sovereign authority.

We can no longer refuse our magnificent and grand stature, nor the gentle and/or fierce generous bounty of Grace that ensues from living out one’s own life: Often, we live out the designs of another. One’s own life: One that is in direct continuous connection with the informing universal intelligence and Wisdom, one that is in alliance with other people too; one in coordinated continuous motion with the larger system of oneself, and the Mystery; so too, a life of your own creative self expression.

The personality stands in the way of claiming one’s own life. It impedes one from being hell-bent, in a peaceful relaxed way, on living one’s own life in one’s own way. This notwithstanding, the personality is not the nefarious artifact that contemporary psychologies inform. Rather, the personality has been conscripted into the service of one’s culture, and thus rendering it out of alignment with the person, and the nature of the human heart.

The culture’s continual coup in co-opting the personality generation after generation has been, and is accomplished through an improper diet. Individual personalities eke out their existences on the most meager and foul of dregs. So too, these bits are lethally toxic: The diet consists of fierce cultural invectives, shame inducements, self-diminishing self-indictments and criticisms; and, anti-confidence, anti-worthiness and anti-dignity potions. As the mystic Martin Prechtel informs: “You can’t sell religion to happy people.”

Whether the “religion” we are being sold is one of the world’s well known ones, the religion of science, of one’s culture, or the New Age, we have conformed our personalities to the will of something distinct from ourselves. We distort the personality to fit the thinking of the ideologues in our cultures rather than to the Mystery’s Wisdom and universal intelligence – the gently nurturing Grace available just beyond thought. We have willingly dined on the foul anti-nutrient cuisine bespeaking our individual impotence and irrelevance.

In digesting and assimilating these falsities, the personality has rendered itself out of sync and at odds with the nature of the Mystery and possibilities of the human heart. The neutered personality then acts incorrigibly in its boisterous attempts to present as substantive an illusory power and strength though its proclivities for conflict, upheaval, struggle, saying no the life and the Mystery, and its insistence on the anti-poetic.

Yet something in these times is rousing personalities from our feigned impotence – from our slumber. People are saying enough! It began in Spain. Then to Tunisia. Egypt…other Middle Eastern countries, again to Europe, and the USA. Many mischaracterize these actions as political. They are not! They are statements instead of human decency. The insistence. The revolts. The resistance. The revolutions. The gatherings in public squares and streets are movements toward a remembering to remember our individual dignity, innocence and beauty.

These are acts of self-love and compassion. These are life-affirming movements toward and into alignment with the larger system of a self and that which lies beyond. There too is something else, something more for us to learn from the actions of those in the streets. I invite your awareness on the following…then, invite again the return of your attention to your own direct specific life circumstances – to that which is personal for you – to that which the Mystery asks of you!

1) The crucible for those having personally experienced the indecencies that moved them to the streets has been vitally important. Those intense pressures have forged changes in them. Without such pressure, they would not have changed. Without such pressure, love and compassion would not have been roused. So too, the intense pressures resulting from the counter measures of the respective nation states are the very fires necessary to further forge more individual change and more movement into our proper alignment with the Mystery.
2) The external constraints imposed on people the world over (poverty, starvation, terror, brutality, absences of freedoms, etc.) are also occurring, metaphorically, within each of us. What will it take for you to stand up to the heartless dictator inside you? What will it take for you to go to the streets of your personality saying enough to the impoverishment and constraints under which you are living? You see, “All war is Grace!” Whether outside a self or within a self, “All war is Grace!” This truism is both literal and metaphorical. 
3) “War” prompts love and compassionate intelligence into the foreground of our lives. Albeit, as we are peoples inured suffering, we endure unconscionable degrees of horror before we consent to the love awaiting within the human heart. As such, our personalities, entranced conscripts each, have required inordinate amounts of steely fierce and difficult Grace to rouse us, to prompt us to look to love that awaits.
4) Too, while we are rousing our individual energetic and spiritual motion, we need, too, to properly nurture and care for the wary personality that is but a constituent of a self. The personality now is returning from its induced cultural servitude of falsity. It is moving into its proper orbit of the sovereign Being whose place it is to host and animate it. 
5) As the being and personality become properly centered and grounded in the physical body…as the personality takes its place…as its vital creative role is consented to…as it discharges these duties as a sacred constituency of a human being…it will then begin fulfilling its promise as the powerfully expansive and creative force that it is. 
6) In support of such movement, the personality requires a proper diet…one in confluence with its character and charge. For this I draw from the inspired Wisdom of the mystic Paul Richards (www.sentecenter.com) and his “Five Essential Messages.” 
a) Daily let the other human beings in your world know that you “see” them. Congruently tell them daily: “I see you.” This is seeing beyond, personality and body. It is seeing the other’s presence and the Being within the human character
b) Daily let the others in your life know that you appreciate them. This is really a statement of letting the other know that you unconditionally love them: “I appreciate you!” Love the other without demands. Appreciate their presence and uniqueness. 
c) Daily, without taking responsibility for another’s difficulties, offer your congruent regrets and apologies for the difficult life circumstances of those around you: “I am sorry for the difficulties you are experiencing.” “I regret the arduous circumstances in your life.” Etc.
d) Daily tell the others in your life whom you are close to that they belong. “You belong in this community that we share.” “ You belong in this family.” “You belong in this organization.” “You belong in this partnership.” “Couple.” Etc. The intent of this message is one of letting the other know that they can relax. You are there and looking out for them. They are not alone. Their belonging is secure. They too can rely on your strength.
e) Lastly, daily, let the others know that they are safe with you and from you. Rather than feeling safe, many feel degrees of jeopardy. Tell them “You are safe with me and from me.” Then when necessary protect them from others. And, always, and in every moment, protect them from any and all unkind and fierce aspects of yourself.

Ask others to do this for you too.
Are you now in the streets of your own life? If not, what will it take to get there?

Brush and canvas. Paint.

(First posted December 19th, 2012)
“Over the world goes a graver storm. It sets its mouth to our soul and blows to produce a note. We dread that the storm will blow us empty.” ~ Tomas Transtromer’s “A Winter’s Night”

Life’s moments ask something of us. Rigidities of thinking impede our hearing, our responding. Unaware, we are hunkered down within the illusion of our understandings denying the true nature of our natures: that of responding affirmatively to the opportunities life grants us. In the shelter of our denial moments pass leaving us bereft in the prosaic character of our cultures and ancestral heritage. In this we perpetuate the limits of our pasts.

The storm persists. In moments when decisions offer themselves to be taken, may we be blessed by loosing our minds, by coming to our intellectually indefensibility senses, by taking unpopular decisions: Those at odds with who we have believed ourselves to be, at odds with what we have known, how we have lived. May our decisions move us into greater currents beyond what we understand. May we consent to life’s moments moving us into the very forces that will either bring us fully alive, or kill us … those forever changing us. 

In the best of circumstances, decision taking is complex. We are in the company of unknowns. Choices insist on being taken. We want our decisions to be right, to achieve only desired results: No side effects please. We want guarantees. In their absence many of us avoid taking decisions thus rendering us motionless, and as such we choose by not choosing. Equally perilous, decisions taken but unexecuted shunt us into a purgatory of an existence where we often stay for years. 

To heighten our aversion we know that decisions are irrevocable whether taken with or without intelligent awareness, or a deep sense of knowing. Once taken, they must be lived and lived with: Wishing we had chosen another option worsens our realities. Choices taken lead to other decisions: We will take them or not. 

Decisions change the course of our lives. Yet we cannot know the future. We cannot know the outcome of our choosing. We cannot know, nor ever know the myriad of choices and options available in each moment. No choice is right or wrong, yet each has intended and unintended consequences: Some to our liking and some not.

Some decisions usher us into turbulent initiatory processes in which everything is at stake: These are the most helpful ones. So too, they are the ones we most resist, the ones prompting our reluctance. I wonder: What if going into the storm renders poetic joy as well as its other outcomes? I wonder.

Others around us, our cultures and our thinking favor the safety of what they and we have known! What if that safety is illusory? 

There is more for each of us: The storm is our escort. It must be entered. In this entering we let go of the banal and assumed comforts bequeathed us in our upbringings and educations. The peril lies not in the storm but rather in perpetuating what we have lived.

To be blown into the sovereignty of our own lives we but need to let go of the expectations of others. Let go of the impositions of another’s intent for us. Let go of fearing another’s criticisms, judgements and fears, those that have guided our decision processes in the past. We are to ask ourself: Who am I? What is important to me? What promise do I long to creatively express? What will I do to live a life of my own expression? of my own design? one of saying yes to the Mystery’s moment?

I, like you, stand at the threshold of decisions the Mystery is inviting me to take. There is only now.

Poetry: 2009

(First posted in 2009 on Stephen’s previous website)
Avalon

You may go volitionally to Glastonbury,
but not of your own impetus.

If you have gone or should you go,
you go at the behest and with the agency
of the Goddess.

There is no other way.  All who go are
called, witting or unawares. 

Some tarry; some lost, distracted.  Some stay
restoring self and others.  Others touch and
go.  Changed.

Some weep long over our recumbent Arthur,
whose sleep is not a death.

She will have her way with you.  Her
prerogative.  Her way is your way.  If
you do not yet know this, you will.

The bowl, too, at Chalice Well.  It too is
not of this world.  It, too, will guide you
through Her initiation bringing your
heart to the fore.

Deaths will befall you.  Bow to the Goddess
for such benevolent Grace.  Enough with
what has gone before, Now is your
awakening.  Now is your becoming.

Pick up your pendragon and march into
your sovereign autonomous heart of love
expressing your compassionate fire.

Burn brightly before these Wells.  Warm
the Maiden, the Mother, the Crone.

Walk on your fears.  Put your former
strengths on the ground.  Bring your love
into figure – to the fore.

Live your own life in your own way.
Not at the expense of others
but in the confluence of love’s
Human Heart.

©2009 Stephen Victor



Archipelago 

We,
archipelagoes each.

Born of 
numinous tides,
etherial tectonics.

More luminously supple than 
physically substantive.  

The sea, metonymy of our provenance
bathing our human shores,
intercessor of our transfiguration.

We ecstatically swoon in 
would-be grand currents of subduction
blithely unaware…

And, 
when seeking 
elevation…

are we really?

Erosion and deposition,
our natural movements.

Which is which?

 ©2009 Stephen Victor


While on a cross-country road trip, I listened to a CD version of Sue Monk Kidd’s sweet book The Secret Life of Bees. It was read by a woman with a wonderfully rich voice – and in one of America’s Southern accents. This voice made the book additionally delicious. This silliness of a poem came forward.

Black Madonna Honey

Nature’s Eucharist.

Bees are no altar boys,
smugglers of divine 
booty they are:

Viscous golden light.

Might I too become a 
lover of life’s corolla
and her sweetness.

©2009 Stephen Victor


I am one of the silly ones who has made a vocation out of my own psychological, energetic and spiritual awakening. I do not mean a job or career – although – I work in “That industry.” Rather, I mean that I have made arduous labor of my own unfolding. The lines below capture my thinking – rather than my heart’s awareness. This poem reflects the conceptual awareness I seemed to require along the way of moving back into my heart – the one I had exiled myself from long before. 

Crucible and Chalice 

Forte and foible. A community of self, 
innocently fashions its biography, 
sculpting tomorrow’s now.

Mortar and pestle breaking away my  
heart’s protective husks.

Hitherto unaware of my exile,
blind to the constraining banality 
of my prosaic and metered life;
I understood conceptually, of course.  

The juggernaut of my understanding is 
wholly insufficient, 
for knowing is the province NOT of an
understanding intellect,
but of the human heart 
and her fields of Wisdom’s Grace.

I, a refugee, dream of repatriation,
to the contours of beauty
in my Life’s poetic humus. 
      
©2009 Stephen Victor

This poem reflects a modicum of awareness congealing as I stood on a public transport bus near Euston Station in Central London. I seem to love my every moment in this city. 
Myopia, adios 

How do I, 
taking transport,
see 
the innocence 

of the drivershuttling me?

How do I, 
ambulating one,
know 
my own heart?

How do I, 
ordering breakfast,
see the waitstaff’s dignity 
as she brings sustenance?

How do I, 
ordinary one,
see 
my own grandeur?

How do I, 
on streets crowded,
see the beauty 
of passersby?

How do I, 
beneficiary,
know
Gratitude?  

How do I love?

©2009 Stephen Victor

Flexibility

(First posted November 11th, 2011)

“We need not stride resolutely towards catastrophe, merely because those are our marching orders.”
~ Noam Chomsky

We are living in a time when great care and patience are called for. Our understanding of our individual and collective circumstances are so wholly impoverished that we often hasten to act from fear and caprice when relaxation and graciousness would better serve. The strident earnestness of New Age spirituality and its pop-psychologies are inadequate for the task at hand. So too, are our cultural, ancestral, familial and personal ideologies, mythologies and stories.

As much as we want to believe otherwise, we are living a mystery that is unknown and unknowable to the human mind and personality. Our strong desire to understand is itself a function of our thought-based enculturation: We therefore need regard this normal, but unnatural bent, with suspicion. Gravely, we have not. Rather, we have persisted in believing our thinking, fears, beliefs, “facts,” dogmas, proofs, and other sundry theories which masquerade as definitive “truths.”

As we begin suspending our entrained habits of thought and move into accord with our natural proclivities, we first perceive and directly experience the energetic realms about us. Many people use the word “intuition” in referring to their perceptions which arise from these fields of energy. You know these yourself as you have many such experiences. The key is to sort energetic perceptions from the confounding imagined “perceptions” created by the mind of your personality’s ego: It has a particular bent for projecting unconscious thinking onto oneself, others, things or circumstances. In its doing so, many of us confuse the things our minds “make up” as genuine when they are not!

Real and genuine perception of energetic phenomena occurs constantly however we have been trained to distract ourselves from experiencing the Wisdom of these worlds. Generally we do so before we are consciously aware of them. Thus we remain isolated from a great deal of the Mystery’s generous Grace. To remember to remember the energetic information impinging on you in each moment, I offer the following pointers. These pointers, in the form of questions, will prompt shifts to your mental and emotional states, in your states of consciousness and states of being. In doing so, your ease of energetic perception and experience is enhanced. The counsel you will garner in the fields of Wisdom will further your movement into the creative expression of your promise.

1) “How might I feel even more gratitude for my sentient life? For the beauty in my life? For the plentitude I have? For the reality that I am reading these words? That I am breathing? That I am ambulatory?”
2) “How might I slow down my daily movements and relax more fully and consistently, giving myself into life’s buoyancy?”
3) “How might I develop a kinder and lighthearted responses to all that life presents to me?”
4) “How might I see my own innocence, beauty and dignity more completely? See these in others too?”
5) “How might I see the Grace in all circumstance?” 
6) “How might I claim my life fully? Fully engage, embrace and embody the vitality life offers to me?”
7) “How might I fully bring myself to bear in bringing my brilliance to those who have and will come to the planet after me?”

Bon Appetit

(First posted on August 21, 2012)
Years ago in a city where I was to work, I pulled my rental car to the curb asking directions. The person responded “You can’t get there from here.” This had never occurred to me, neither geographically nor otherwise. Yet something deep within was drawing further inferences. It took years to realize there are particular places from which one cannot get to the places necessary for leading one’s own life well, for fulfilling one’s promise, personally and professionally. 

In the late 1980s I was hired to remedy conflicts within an executive team. After listening to a response during my initial data gathering, I replied “I just heard from the politician. How do you the person respond to the same question?” I received a curious expression and the same answer articulated differently. I said: “This time I heard from the administrator. Now I want to hear from you.” I was given a look of incredulity, then a blank stare and silence. 

We have long standing conventions for distancing self from self. In his 1914 short story A Painful Case the Irish writer James Joyce wrote of his protagonist: “He [Mr. Duffy] lived at a little distance from his body…” 

Are there costs for doing this? Consider:
• Believing we are the personas (roles) we animate rather than the persons we abandoned
• Living the persona 24/7, when out of public view, with spouses, children and oneself
• Forgetting to remember to cultivate the growth and development of the people we are
• Failing to realize that fulfillment at work dose not translate to personal happiness or joy
• Remaining oblivious to the reality that our individual personas are themselves only worldview enactors, irrespective of how facile the intellect at its disposal. (Personas neither garner nor deploy wisdom.)
• Our personas (roles) are places from which we cannot get to the places where we want, need or must go to fulfill our promise.

In the book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, the author Michael Pollan tells us it is not so important what we eat; however, what we eat eats is important. Ever wonder what the worldview you were fed ate? The one sustaining your thinking and actions? Suppose its natural? Organic? Ecological? Healthful? 

I wonder whether individual thought and action, considered en mass, long sustained on the dominant worldview has contributed to, maintains and worsens our global sociopolitical and socioeconomic ill-health? 

A reminder: Rules for increasing the likelihood of political and economic health within yourself, your family, and the projects, businesses and larger systems you lead:
• Nurture and grow your own worldview, or use one that is genuinely nurturing and sustaining
• Ensure your worldview enables you to be genuine and to think and do what is right for you
• Ensure your worldview enables you to define yourself by your genuine greatness
• Ensure your worldview values experiencing your experience above your conceptual awareness
• Ensure your worldview fosters equanimity, capacities to relax, and is enabling of the creative expression of your promise
• Ensure your worldview likes that which is like itself, while never fearing nor loathing difference
• Ensure your worldview sees change as nothing to fear, but instead the fundamental motion of our universe

I wonder what leadership from this platform might foster…

Please visit www.geomancieinternational.com or www.geomancie.co.uk, my business related site.

Poetry: 2010

(First posted in 2010 on Stephen’s previous website)
One Sunday morning ten minutes before beginning a workshop in Nicosia, Cyprus, I ran out the back of my hotel to fetch a bottle of water. The street was filled with the movement of young women. The poem is what I saw in my five minutes with them.
Maid’s Day Out

Early Sunday morning
presences of liberty,
attenuating modest joy and delight,
inundate this wizened “Old Town” street.

In quiet relief, temporarily free from
contractual constraints of domestic servitude,
this panoply of petite and ebony haired
immigrant Goddesses
now exhale:
Perhaps their first in a week.

These resplendent beings
conveyed in weary young Oriental bodies
waft and wend their way
into a market’s alley entrance
whose front door
– chained shut –
directs one round the building’s side.

Having taken economic refuge and modest wages,
residing now
in this precinct of affordable rents,
infamous in its crush of nocturnal inebriation,
these feminine deities in quiet buoyancy of bearing,
find solace gathering sustaining conversation
and chaste provisions.

Within this crudely cordoned grocery
a vigilant proprietor surveils tall above this throng
bringing them to heel.
Attitudes of we and they, us and them
bespeaking:
Outsiders are treated differently.

These young foreigners
in exile, too, from their youthful promise.
Once cleaved, can it be reclaimed?
Here being judged unscrupulous
yet the toil and tenderness of these hearts
– expressions of Grace –
– in care and companionship –
minister to this island’s families and elderly.

©2010 Stephen Victor


I am a bit sobered as I look at some of these poems for the purposes of giving the reader context. This poem really reflects my internal dialogue – a mini pep-rally if you will. It’s relevant and at the same time, if you will permit me the expression – bullshit! It arises from my intellect rather than my heart…yet, this has been my path.
Stop All Else

I am.
You are
Gregory Bateson’s
“difference that makes the difference.”

Bow to falsity
and its profusion
then turn from it.

Pay obeisance
to the perversion of your
upbringing, education, training and experience
and wash it from your body and memory.

Nothing is what it seems.
Nothing!

Genuflect to the mother of all fears.
Stand on her great strength
now morphed and rendered in service to your joy.

Walk into the life of your longing!

Stand now
on Apollo’s Central Sun
emanating not His light
but your own!

©2010 Stephen Victor


Refer to the context from “Stop All Else” for this is more of the same.

Embargo’s End

The moratorium on loving
self has been lifted!

Your sovereign status
duly recognized!

The refugee you believe yourself to be
does indeed have a home!
Inhabit it now!

Your poetic license has standing!

The center of your power
embodied, grounded!

The occlusion on the aperture of your heart
dissolved!

Voice the authority
of your native tongue!

And, see!
See beyond what fear has rendered!
Consent to this world as it is!

My friend, you see all the worlds now!
Stand in Apollo’s Light.
Dance on Aphrodite’s breath.
Render up your harvest for those who follow!

©2010 Stephen Victor


I have the good fortune to be learning to fly a single engine airplane. The plane is an 1946 Taylorcraft – a taildragger – named Simply Magic. Flight touches my heart rendering me to tears often. After a flight I wrote this giving it to my flight instructor.
Heart’s Flight

Buoyed beauty delight,
airfoil, propeller,
convection’s currents and
morning’s colored light
lift our banked rolls
– Simply, Magically –
dancing through
cloud corridors

– these canyons –
consequences of consenting cumulus
passages through
tears of quiet quivering joy.

Now,
between sun and cloud,
this taildragger’s silhouette
borne within the physics of
circular rainbow

Changing headings
into Magic’s shadow we cruise
through this colored portal
round and open.

Simply Magic!

©2010 Stephen Victor


I don’t know whether what I write is poetic. I simply want to write and write poetry. Someday these “cartoon characters” will evolve into something of even greater beauty and relevance. Here, I am talking to myself again.
Joy

Unite your heart.
Listen as it speaks.

Its true character is inclusivity.
Its true nature is joy.

Cultivate its fecund kindness.
Its generous plethora awaits.

©2010 Stephen Victor


This poem turned up in the promotional copy I wrote for an evening public talk I gave. The talk did not go particularly well either – yet such is my journey as the one who makes labor of moving into my own life.
Life’s Movements

Identified your destination?
Not the one others want you to take,
rather –
your own!

And,
on whose chart have you planned your course?

Is your center placed properly?

Have your bearings?
Your coordinates?
Your heading?

Do you?

How will you find your way?
By what and whose markers will you orient?

What is the character, direction and force
of the grand winds over the
topography of your journey?

What will be
your true course?

Can you continue adjusting
and maintain attitude?

Make subtle ongoing corrections
en route your desired vector?

Come. Join other hearts
wild for their own soul’s path.

Orient anew
on how best to proceed
into your own life.

©2010 Stephen Victor


I love this poem, yet I had no business writing it. You see, I have never lived in a country while it endured a war on its soil. I do not know the affront of being exiled from your ground, home and community. I do not know the terror of loosing family to artillery, small arms and torture – or their disappearance.

I wrote this poem without the right to do so. I wrote it after five years listening to local contemptuous condemnations of those “occupying our homes,” and of the locals’ refusal to cross the now open Green Line. While buying some food in a local market, I overheard a proprietor correct a tourist for referring to those on the other side of the Green Line by their nationality. The proprietor insisted that she identify them as “occupiers.”

The energy accompanying the proprietor’s insistence tipped the scales. This poem came to the fore in only minutes.
Bivouacking

The provenance of the Green Line
lies south of the Mediterranean
a temporary improvisation there in 1948.
A political suture on lacerations rendered
in hastening desperation.

You believe the Green Line
exists on your maps
and the geography of your nation.

This is but sleight of political hand.
Emotional chicanery. Falsity.
An echo of individual and collective grief.
An attempted remedy to incursions into
the human soul.

This Green Line
lies, rather, on the topography of your own,
and the other’s wounded heart.

It is this territory that awaits truth and reconciliation.

©2010 Stephen Victor


Blessings for A Marriage

May the courage of your sovereign heart
prevail over the banal falsities culture bequeaths.

May your marriage be buoyant, enriching and tender.
May its supple contours center and cradle
the odysseys you are undertaking.

May you together surrender
your most fancied identities and selves
in the arms of the other’s love.

May you each, during this embrace,
forfeit your fears
– falling – for – forever –
in Love’s union of transfiguring Grace.

May you, in these nuptials, ripen
your practice of tending the
vows of a concurrent marriage:
that with self.

May you know the prism of biography
is incapable of refracting the
ineffable numinous light that you are.

May you favor humility, kindness and fidelity of heart:
knowing your dignity, beauty and innocence
are vital, intact and present.

May the poetics of these marriages set alight
a passion to avow yet a third:
the work of your creative expression.

May you take your muse’s hand,
and together – in this longing – watching over these fires –
render up your heart’s attention
to the freedom
in disciplining your self to your creative endeavors.

In the joyous communion of matrimony with self,
with spouse, and with creative expression,
may you – later –
look back across the arc of your life
seeing magnum opuses, poetics and abundant harvests.

©2010 Stephen Victor

The word Eleftheria is a Greek feminine gender term for Freedom. The poem came about due to the incongruity I felt regarding the staggering beauty of the Cypriot land and the unutterably architectural ugliness of Nicosia.
Eleftheria – Unreconciled

I
Straddling shifting platforms of providence,
foreign and domestic policy
remain insulated from politics.

All capital cities, as this one,
– anti-oases each –
ensue from ironies of governance,
and from the political posturing of
unseen and unloved selves.

The groom of government in its affairs of
consummating its bride of commerce
– as consequence –
fosters further folly in these precincts by
arresting and confining Aphrodite’s Beauty.

To wit, in part: Save for Sundays and Bank Holidays,
note the besieged and beleaguered
states of its fiercely frenzied citizenry,
its prickly crush and calamity on constricted infrastructure,
its nocturnal raucously revving redlining road races,
and the
attesting absence of architectural aesthetic.

Yet,
vestiges of poetic presences persevere: The
ensconced effortlessly enjoining elegant elderly eucalyptus
stand as stealthy stragglers along waterless riverbed,
bestowing benevolent buoyancy.

So too, those peopling this place
– albeit unawares –
are Beauty’s currency:
immigrant Asian domestics,
EU’s Eastern European labor,
remnants of Russians remaining
from off-shore tax sheltering days,
expat Brits, colonial legacies, every one;
and, Greek Cypriot daughters and sons.

Stretched on an historic and ideological loom
these diversely textured, charactered and colored
natural human fibers
shuttle their weft’s wave in and through
a raveling thread bare national warp of
unacknowledged falsity, commission, and omission
– and –
teeming dignity, innocence, and beauty:

Each awaits, albeit unawares,
the artistry of reweaving the tenor of
Turkish Cypriot siblings
into the tensile and palette of this Levant hegemony.

II
Beyond cityscape borders
on this isle, the yoni of Aphrodite,
in temperate winter and brutally
searing summer, the Feminine lay neither
animate, roused nor moist: She waits
as Avalon awaits her recumbent Arthur.

This once verdurous
sacrosanct soil, stone and sea
– crucible still –
arrayed in juxtaposition
on the cleaving juggernauts of
East and West, South and North.

She, high relief on Poseidon’s province,
awaits human apprehension
of her contemporary function:
chalice of human transfiguration, and,
ethnic, religious, national and human rapprochement.

It is here we and they,
beings inured to suffering,
will humanely heal human hearts hurt
in fear’s ignorance, arrogance and histrionics.

III
Will we give our heart’s attention to this possibility?

©2010 Stephen Victor

I have spent many early mornings walking in the beauty of a wildlife refuge on a friendly small mountain at the west periphery of Pyrga, Cyprus. This poem came from one such walk.
Harbinger

The Fire Brigade’s swath track
provides
conspicuous contours of relief
on the topography of local minds:

“Emancipating us from ‘fire’”
it is said.

This swath serpentines
profound and arresting beauty
– posted “Wildlife Refuge.”

This designated sanctuary
lays littered with a myriad exhausted
barely biodegradable munitions’ shells
each betraying the character of those discharging
their juggernaut in pleasure’s pursuit,
or clandestine hunt.

The formerly live cartridges – a viagra of
futility’s attempt at resurrecting the
potency of promise
yet fulfilled –
are now but spent casings.

Sun and soil, atmosphere and time
erode testosterone’s testaments to
a confounded creative expression
here flaccidly scattered like the lives of those
in estrangement’s wake.

Meters below this track
– on the side of this mountain –
reports now resound from rifles held by
encamped conscripts,
firing at this nation’s pantheon of
griefs and unrequited longing.

Another generation now entrained.

©2010 Stephen Victor


This is an early iteration of my poem “Eleftheria.” Seems it stands on its own…
City Character

Beyond cityscape borders
in this domain of Aphrodite’s birth…

On this sacred land of
unimaginable and stunning Olive Trees,
themselves
home to wizened elder being
of incomprehensible Grace…

In this fiercely beautiful arid climatic zone
of temperate winters and brutally
searing summers,

one is granted
uncharacteristic soul restoration.

This holy place, Aphrodite’s home,
is the source of reconciliation.
It is here! It is here that our work will occur.

It is here we and they, us and them
will heal human hearts hurt
by ignorance, arrogance and histrionics.

This sacrosanct soil, stone and sea,
crucible still,
awaits its transformation into
a chalice of human transfiguration.

But venture into the anti-oases of
human endeavor and residence
that is this nation’s capital,
and be confounded by profound irony.

©2010 Stephen Victor


NOTE: This is to be read allowing the piece’s own cadence to inform the reader’s

expression.

Beauty

“I know of nothing but the holiness of the heart’s affections, and the truth of the

imagination.” ~ John Keats

Have you yourself tended an infant? Have you observed another care for a newly arrived child? Have you watched parents from races, nationalities and ethnicities other than your own love their little one? Have you seen the elderly move with the aid of a cane, walking stick or the arm of another? Have you seen the aged from other parts of the world? Do they not move similarly?

And the beauty of the young? Do you see in adolescents their robust exuberance? What about the promise of those in their twenties? What of the thirty-eight year old who is now three months pregnant after waiting all those long years? Did you see the circles under her sleepless eyes when her child was two months old? And the new father whose ecstasy cannot find its way to the fore as the weight of new responsibility holds his
delight at bay?

Have you seen these self same states in those world round? Those in their late midlife who were spared hard physical labor yet shouldered great emotional burdens? And what of those with no means? Do you feel the weight of their soul? Or see the dignity awaiting recognition – their own or another’s? And what about grief? What? – when the one that is loved finds another to love? Or a revered one is taken from life? Do you know this in yourself or have you seen it others?

There are those whose inheritance is Christian (Protestant or Catholic), those who are Jewish (Orthodox or Reformed); Muslim (Sunni or Shiite). Those who engage in Buddhist practices (Taoist or Zen); those who live the values of the Hindu (Vedic or Bhakti); and those following Shinto and Confucianism. There are practitioners of Modern Druidism (cultural and religious); of Santeria or Gnosticism, and Native American Spirituality; there are those who genuflect at the altar of Science; there are the Animists, and there are those having declared themselves agnostic.
 
People find their way onto this planet in Belarus. In Argentina. Japan. Norway. Turkey. Syria. The USA. Cambodia. Vietnam. France. Guatemala. Mexico. Ethiopia. The Sudan. Peru. New Guinea. Those with black skin. Brown. White. Those with straight hair. Curly. Those whose eyes are brown or black. Green or blue. Some are considered physically attractive. Some not. Some have had more to eat than others. Some “educated.” Some not.

Do not the constituencies of biology and chemistry hint of common ground for humanity’s staggering beauty and imperative of our grand and myriad diversity? Might we indeed be unique expressions of one source? Might we be siblings?

Is it not the self same grief and anguish that is experienced no matter one’s age, gender, nationality, or ethnic or racial heritage when instances of horrific affront occur to a life, a dignity, our human beauty? So too is it not the self same joy and ecstatic delight that buoys a self when unexpected and robust beauty visits? And what of love? Is not another’s love for family and soil of birth, the self same love available to all?

Is it not the hand and heart of our one Earth, atmosphere and Sun, and the larger movements beyond, at whose behest we subsist and exist? And what of The Perennial Philosophy of Aldous Huxley? These rarely seen yet common and tangible energetic filaments of Wisdom that persist on insinuating their presence into humanity’s awareness irrespective of epoch, culture or continent. Wisdom is as present as our very breath! She is here now! Yet in nonchalance we slumber unwittingly and habitually distracted – “secure” within our somnolent conformity to our culture’s quiet insistence on smallness, individual insignificance and irrelevance.

Have you never read a line of poetry expressing exactly what you did not know that you knew until you read that precious sequences of words? Have you heard the music knowing that the musicians themselves had become the music? So too dancer is now the dance? Have you not been moved in the presence of a sculpture? And that time when you tasted an ambrosia such as you had not known possible? Have you delighted yourself with cuisines of the world? Tasted wine of distant regions – knowing that each was nurtured by a unique soil and sun issuing from the self same Earth and Galaxy?

Remember the joke that caused such belly laughter that your abdomen hurt? Have you seen joy and delight in another? Have you heard a baby’s giggle? Seen her smiling eyes? Watched the excited movements of her arms and legs? And the puppy whose backside cannot be stilled upon your return? And what of that lover’s touch and fragrance? And of that child’s exuberance of her in rushing to greet you?

Have you had the pleasure of standing near honeysuckle in early summer? Have you not wept a tear at the beauty of dawn coming round as the moon bursting in her fullness stays up to greet her morning’s sun? Have you not been arrested at the visage of starry sky or stood entranced by Orion or the Southern Cross in brilliant revelation above a fading mountain crest? Have you felt the sun’s generosity on a frosty morning? And the corolla of yellow in the flower’s opening? Have you drunk deeply of cool water in a midday’s humid heat or been present in a sea of wild flowers dancing at the wind’s insistence?

Do you know the breach of a whale or flash of sunlight refracted on the back of a porpoise? Have you seen the calving of tidewater glaciers and their indescribable blue deep interiors? Have you watched the dripping of meter-long icicles in the morning sun? Have you had your hands in the warm dark humus of a summer garden? What about the beauty of the flower presenting herself through the crack of the sidewalk amongst acres of asphalt and chain link?

Do you know the flower of a thistle? A dandelion giving its seed? A morning’s frost on desert cacti? Have you fallen in love with the magnificence of a tree? The movement of fields of grain in late summer? The sound of waterfalls in the distance? The noise of the breakers meeting the rocks at the jetty? Have you watched tree tops sway? Better yet, have you climbed a tree and felt its generosity? Have your bare legs been caressed by
silky strands of tall grasses while your hair was tasseled by grand gales?

Do you remember how beach sand offers the sea’s and wind’s geomancy to the curious? Recall the graceful silhouettes of Brown Pelican? The soaring of birds of prey? The dignity of the Red-tailed Hawk diving from that pole and capturing its prey? Do you know the chatter of squires? The song of chickadees? The call of raven? The aggregate singular movement of swallows?

My friend, I invite you to remember to remember. Look round. Cease your folly but for the moment!

I submit to you that the longing and struggles, the anguish and grief of loss as well as the sublime beauty of this world are themselves the Grace of the seminary that is your life. This life! Remember Walt Whitman’s prescience: “Soon there will be no more priests. Their time is done. Everyone is to become his [or her] own priest.” We have been in training. Commencement is upon us. The day of the intercessor has passed!

Humanity’s absences of love, of compassion, kindness and civility are inconsistent with the character of the human heart and our nature! Their currency perpetuates itself in the wake of our collective ignorance and haste. Nothing more! Although these absences have become our human norm, such behavior contradicts the human heart, our character, and nature; for we are, by design, brilliantly creative expressions of Universal Wisdom’s intelligence, love and compassion. Our capacity for Wisdom is wholly beyond the rational, the quantifiable. So too is our creative prowess! And did you know that cooperation is humanity’s greatest strength?

Have you been at death’s door? Whether refused entrance or directed to make your own decision…If you have endured the menace of a weapon trained on heart or head by the fears and anger of those in pain…then you know of Grace’s poetic generosity in Her reprieve. If you have seen very red blood surging from lacerated arteries at the surprised pace of an urgent heart in exigent moments, or gathered corpses after barbarous action, you know, with every fiber and filament of your being, that brutality and violence are anathema to the human heart and character.

If you have been the recipient of the cavalier vagaries of governance, business or health “care”… If you have been unjustly nicked by the authorities…if you have suffered indignities issuing from bastions of ignorance…or, if you, yourself, perpetrated a grave injustice and were blessed with the horrifying epiphany of cognizance, now knowing that you breached the very core of your integrity… you know that the character of the human heart is of love’s design and that fear and violence are the outsiders. The interlopers!

If you have not yet learned, soon you will know that your innocence remains intact – always -whether you feel this reality or not! There comes a time when you will awaken in stark relief to the reality that one’s innocence awaits nothing more than one’s own acknowledgement and remorse; and, by granting this, you enable it to come to the fore yet again! So too, you will learn if you have not yet, that neither your regal dignity nor that of another can every be debased! Although it may have have suffered sundry contusions and it longs for love’s tenderness, it is yet whole, present and strong!

So too you will learn if you do not already know that life cannot hate life! If you hate, all that you hate is the conceit arising from the distance you have drifted from your own sovereign heart’s Authority, Wisdom and Love! All pretext is falling away! We will come to love the perpetrator in ourselves and those in our communities. The only thing one can hate is circumstance! Nothing more! Its departure is imminent for we see its salutations in current global discontents.

One’s only task in this life is to consent to what is and embody Love moment to moment to moment! In the grand unfolding in which humanity finds itself – fulfilling this sacred endeavor sets the requisite attitudes and actions that prompt humanity’s magnum opus that awaits. Humanity’s boon is before us!

As for the ideological conceits of our culture? Honor, discharge and retire them. Their service is complete! These artifacts of human biography are ones of absences. Absence of knowing the true character and nature of the human heart! An absence of knowing the potency of our sovereign loving authority and creativity. An absence of knowing that Wisdom awaits our response for She has asked for our hand: Asked you to become her consort, collaborator and lover!

We have wholly mistaken our identity and makeup with something we are not! On this ignorance we hastened our pursuit toward folly’s end; we have instead worsened our circumstance. This is changing now for Wisdom’s hand is yet extended: In this marriage, we will know the staggering poetic beauty of human life and that of the Earth!

In taking her hand, and from the consummation of this love, we will learn that all things ensue! The folly of pursuit will be seen for what it is: an outcome of knackered misunderstandings and misapprehensions: the predicating of our lives on faulty thinking and static dogmas of smallness and fear. The consequences of that trajectory are being righted in preparation for this marriage, and the old folly is morphing into nurturing
compost for that from which we will succor.

In this union with the fields of Universal Intelligence’s Divine Wisdom you will place your intent and attention on the poetics of your life – the life that is your very own. No longer will you tarry in the prosaic existence another has arranged for you. Your will bring your creative expression to the fore and open to knowing joy irrespective of circumstances. You will salute the flag of being rather than that of meaning. Lastly you will know the veracity of Gregory Bateson’s words: “Wisdom develops when you can be around others and not want to change them.”

In your reconciliation with love, you will love your life, yourself, others and the Earth! Your creativity will soar!

©2010 Stephen Victor

Anger – 1

(First posted December 24th, 2011)

This post is the first in a series on anger: Anger that works and strengthens a person; and, that which renders one immobile. Anger seems pervasive. We are affected by it daily whether we ourselves are experiencing and expressing it, or in the presence of another’s expression. The prompt for this series occurred a few months ago when I was given great pause resulting from an epiphany: “People – you and I – are behaving with as much cruelty toward ourselves and others as at any time in human existence.” This is a sobering revelation for one who loves humanity.

The American writer Dorothy Allison wrote: “I would rather go naked than wear the cloak society has made for me.” This sentiment reflects a profound wisdom: The unique force that each of us are is not to be constrained or inure itself to the conforming intent of another. This notwithstanding, there is a profoundly life-affirming intent within all societies; it however is largely inaccessible. The fabric of our societal cloak prevents our access to this light. The fabric’s  yarn is made of ignorance and naivete; the warp is of dogma and belief, and its weft, of dissonance, deprivation and fear.

In our wearing of this cloak we emulate, and thus animate the fabric’s character, falsely believing its qualities to be our own and befitting us. The worlds we then create are fraught with the angst of the circumstances of our creation.

Anger binds this cloak tightly. The bindings are specific expressions of anger. Not all anger is binding. There are at least two types that are empowering. In this post I will specify one such type. Those posts which follow will delineate those that bind; so too, they possess no life affirming function. My intent with this series is to invite, through increased awareness, the freeing of ourselves from these forms of anger.

The last in this series will be a brief piece on another form of anger that which is a positive expression: One few of us are capable of accessing. I will use German psychotherapist Bert Hellinger’s model delineating seven types of anger to catalyze my articulation of this subject.

The first type of anger in Hellinger’s model is that which is strengthening and enabling. He expressed it in the second-person and I will do the same here. It is in response to an attack or an injustice against you or those in your care. This anger is constructive and enabling. It makes you strong. It enables you to take effective and prudent action. This anger equips you to defend and assert myself with the appropriate anger and rage for the situation. It does so by rousing you energetically. This anger is goal directed. It is to the point and dissolves when the goal is achieved.

Two small examples of the expression of this anger may serve. One: I watched a brief interaction of two men and a woman in a restaurant. The woman did not seem to know the men. Considering the woman’s response to them, I assume that one or both said something inappropriate. I watched as the woman’s facial expression and body language changed. Then I overheard her loud angry and powerful voice command: “In your dreams buddy! Get away from me NOW!” The men walked away.

I love this woman for ignoring our convention of politeness and powerfully expressing herself! I applaud her!

The second example: A woman had been given a traffic citation for failing to stop for a traffic light. She was incredulous with the police officer’s actions as she believed her driving just. Her outrage impelled her to defend her actions in court. She honestly remembered seeing the traffic light as green when she entered the intersection. The officer saw the woman’s earnest congruity. He wished he had not issued the citation. Unfortunately, the court sided with the cop.

To me, it is extraordinarily important that this woman defended herself against what she deemed unjust. Bert Hellinger once said: “When someone tells you what to do, you owe it to your autonomy to tell them to go to hell.” He is correct! We each need to learn the unequivocal, yet, respectful and honorable art of telling another to go to hell.

We need do this as others constantly impose their intent on us. (We also impose ours on others. We each are unique forces of the Mystery and are to be free from such impositions. We alone are responsible for recognizing, embodying and maintaining our sovereign autonomy. So too, we are responsible for our own lives and will be well served to cease wrongful meddling.

In this regard it is irrelevant that the prosecution prevailed. Given the woman honestly believed she was in the right, it is enough that she defended herself. Decency applauds this woman’s  clarity, her deployment of anger and the actions she took! I was the cop who issued the ticket. I respect her hugely!

There is a distinction I learned from the great mystic and writer Martin Prechtel: Compassion is absent of rage. It is present in outrage. Dismissing this as an issue of semantics misses the point. Hellinger’s strengthening and enabling type of anger possesses compassion. Were I to have defined this type, I would have used the word outrage where Hellinger used the word rage. Nonetheless, the women in my examples were outraged. There was no rage! There was outrage. So too, I saw compassion present in their anger.

Seldom, however, is this type anger used cleanly. Generally it is contaminated with a mixture of the various forms of anger. I will write about those in upcoming posts. When used cleanly, the type of anger that strengthens and enables is a necessary force at this stage of our expanding consciousness.

Deploying this type of anger cleanly, in legitimate contexts, will lead us to a consciousness where all forms of anger will be let go of. There will be no need for them. We will deploy only compassion in its stead. In our time, however, this strengthening and enabling anger is yet necessary; it can become an essential force for removing our contemporary and ill-fitting societal cloak. And, so too, move us forward into our task of reweaving how we organize and relate with ourselves and each other.

A few questions for you:
• What is it like for you when you have used strengthening and enabling anger?
• What is it like to be in the presence of others using this type of anger cleanly?
• How do you judge yourself in using this type of anger?
• How do you judge others using this form?
• Are you okay in the presence of constructive anger?
• Do you feel the differences between this positive anger and others?

For fun, look to this site where the Dalai Lama speaks briefly, and differently from the model I offer on anger:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7_0IJTBoNA

Bon Voyage: The Requisite Journey for the New Leader

(First posted August 31st, 2013)
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…” – Mark Twain

Twain’s statement is obvious to some yet not to all. In the experience giving rise to his words moves genuine curiosity. Incurious travelers cross borders and remain closed to the value differences confer. Curiosity does not reside in these travelers. Curiosity does not operate in the company of prejudice, bigotry, or narrow-mindedness: these cannot coexist. Many thinking they are curious are confusing curiosity with interest. 

To fulfill one’s promise, to become an effective and accomplished leader requires travel, and a lot of it. Twain’s travel is of inestimable value, yet there is a more necessary form of travel for leaders to undertake. Greatness and promise mandate, of necessity, that leaders travel into their own heart, mind and will. They must travel with all the curiosity they can muster. They must travel beyond the borders of personal comfort. Must go into the humility, angst, epiphanies, and delights of self-revelation and self-awareness. 

Specific travel destinations include: one’s personal worldview, one’s beliefs, personal struggles, injuries and life challenges.  Into patterns of thought, and the habits of placing one’s focus and attention. They must go into the how of relating with themselves, and others: into the consequences of these interactions. And they must become conscious of the impacts of their actions. 

Greatness demands that leaders travel into being and living genuinely: being who they are. Into the embodiment of honest thought, feeling and action consistent with integrity and wholeness. Into patterns of emerging personal equanimity. Leaders must travel into their genuine personal power. They must embody it. Also, they are to travel into defining themselves by their genuine greatness and deep generosity of spirit rather than defining themselves by their failures or foibles, or the false ideals culture touts. So too, they must go into the creative expression and fulfillment of their own true promise, the giving of their greatness to the world personally and professionally.

Leaders who do not travel successfully into and through the realms of interior personal discovery and reclamation, whether their lives and work is borne on great intellectual capacities or not, remain merely envoys of cultural and institutional biases and interests – devoid of genuine Wisdom. Without traveling, the personas of leaders perpetuate existences rife in dispensing prejudiced, bigoted, and narrow-minded internal narratives condemning and enjoining themselves and others unwittingly. Personas not inhabited by conscious and aware compassionately intelligent people are platforms incapable of enabling and supporting genuine greatness. Leadership greatness is the province of the person, not the role. To lead a life or organization well, one must become unutterably and unrelentingly oneself! This is the inside job of a curious life long traveler.

I often describe where I grew up as a place where values run deep and minds run narrow. Those peopling this description were unfamiliar with Socrates’ sentiment: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” They had not yet learned to go meta and observe their thoughts and actions. They had not yet learned that who they are is distinct – separate – from their thoughts and actions, from their personality and body. That a worldview and its ensuing thinking and behavior can be changed to enable personal freedom, creative expression and greatness. That there is a rightness of designing a worldview of one’s own rather than living the one bequeathed you.

These unwitting confusions are also found amongst the educated and ‘properly prepared’ people in boardrooms and C-suites. Everyone has aspects of themselves that are personal. Within these personal characteristics moves a promise awaiting expression. It may or may not conform to others’ expectations or social convention. Within each promise are genuinely helpful and life-affirming movements: motion from which self and others benefit. We can ill-afford the loss of the promises of these bright people.

In 1977 I experienced my first failure in leadership. The circumstances were life threatening. A few months later I experienced another failure in my leadership. Similar situation. Life is conspiratorial in that it will nudge leaders to undertake necessary travel. I procrastinated. Pretended I had not failed. Made up that all was well. Life gave me more prompts: I began traveling. Still do. They have been difficult. Yet, not traveling would have been the more brutal of options. 

If from time to time you are slowed or stopped by the self prejudiced, bigoted, or narrow-minded voices speaking to you from inside your head, you need to travel more. If you define yourself by something other than your own genuine greatness, travel more. If you are not yet delivering your promise, find a well-traveled compassionately intelligent outfitter and guide (coach & mentor) and begin crossing borders into regions of your richness, thus furthering the fulfillment of your promise!

This is an inaugural post at www.geomancie.com and www.geomancie.co.uk. This writing is also a living system whose taproot I will follow deeply into a system of nurturing and sustaining roots, which, in symbiosis, give rise to the flowering of individual and collective promise. We must avail ourselves to this great fecund harvest and its ensuing benefit for ourselves and future generations.