(Above: The truculent Home Page…)

Stage Directions: Cue: Hamlet cigars advert music from the 60’s to the 90’s…. Video link below, if you weren’t there…

YouTube video, late 1970s… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVecbh15dWU

They were a very popular series of ads about heroic failures… All featuring the same theme music ‘Air on the G String’ by J. S. Bach.

It is said that humour is divine. I often find it puts into perspective some of life’s most challenging moments. Sue Vincent loved humour, so let’s invoke her kindly spirit… and understanding.

To steal and paraphrase from Ian Fleming: to lose one Director might be said to be happenstance…

To lose two of them is bordering on carelessness. Sigh. But that’s where we are. Two down but one up, as Caro has joined us, so the outlook is not too bleak.

When I first had the idea to set up the Silent Eye, way back in 2012, I asked Sue to sanity-check some of the proposals. We were already good friends from our shared Servants of the Light (SOL) days, and I knew she had a reputation for being a good blogger – to the extent that she had thousands of followers.

The Silent Eye would need to rely on the modern form of ‘word of mouth’ recommendations, in other words, the internet. It was difficult not to sport a large grin when she agreed to join the School prior to its official launch in the Spring of 2013.

I was a complete novice with social media. Sue even had to show me how to use Facebook. But we were well placed to share the work. She would establish the web presence and announce our emergence to her existing base of online friends. We knew from experience with other mystical schools that the take-up would be a tiny percentage… but people talk to other people. And that is doubly true of the internet.

All my ‘design experience’ during my working life had been with desktop publishing, using tools like the Adobe’s In-Design suite. This wouldn’t help us with the online world but would be a big driver for the quality and look-and-feel of the lessons – a three year programme, for which I would have primary responsibility.

Each lesson would be published in PDF format to a high quality; with me writing them and Sue checking as each one as it emerged. It had taken me about a year to master the use of the Adobe products for my former corporate role, but it was about to pay off in this new world

(Above: An example of the layout used for the three-year Lesson system

In this new writing process, Sue was the artist and I was the illustrator and in-house publisher for the lessons. Shortly after, Stuart joined us as fellow Director. Stuart was already a published author and turned out to be one of our best creators of the Spring workshops held in the wilds of wonderful Derbyshire.

In addition, he and Sue were soon to establish a set of fictional books, the Triad of Albion series, with a recognisable couple as the main characters, and loosely based on the early days of the Silent Eye. By the time of Sue’s sad passing, they had gone far beyond this.

As the library of the lessons grew, so did the list of Sue and Stuart’s books, for which they established their own website, France and Vincent.

My priority was to create the three-year correspondence course that was and still is at the heart of what the Silent Eye does.

Here, the desktop publishing skills were in their element. Some examples of the work produced are shown here.

(Above: clear, concise and deeply illustrated)

And so we continued… until Sue’s tragic and early passing at the end of March 2021.

I suspect both Stuart and I were in state of shock for a while afterwards. We discussed how we might carry on and decided that the lesson system could remain unchanged, though the website needed at least a refresh.

Both of us would continue to provide supervision to incoming Companions doing the course. We would have two ‘landscape’ workshops per year; one in May to capture the early good weather, the other in September. The May weekend would reflect my more ‘spiritual psychology’ approach. The September one was to be based around one or more of the tradition sacred sites, such as Avebury – a type of outdoor event that Stuart excelled at.

Both approaches had been successful in the past.

By now, the use of Zoom-based internet meetings had been well established; with monthly Silent Eye Explorations Zooms attracting people from far across the globe. Stuart didn’t feel they were his forte and withdrew to concentrate on creating new books based on his and Sue’s work together.

But the Silent Eye continued the Zoom meetings each month, with me leading and Caroline Ormrod, our new Director, providing support.

This online world continues to grow and we are planning teaching forums over the same mechanism to support the work of the course and its monthly lessons.

This type of remote meeting with ‘small windows’ for each participant is not ideal for spiritual discussions… but the world adopted it, of necessity, during Covid, and it continues to grow in popularity, now that its viability has been established. The genie is unlikely to go back into that bottle…

Last Sunday, with the subject ‘Presence: gateway to a new personal world’, the SE-Explore Zoom attracted twelve people; which is a great number to facilitate interaction and give everyone who wants to speak a say. Getting there in person would have cost thousands; and in this hard-pressed age, this route is a clear winner.

Which is not to say that we don’t plan to continue with our well-established ‘Landscape’ workshops. The next, Water, Circle+Cross on the 19-21 May, this year, will be using the majesty of Lake Windermere, its waters and surrounding low hills, to give us a travelling stage on which to explore the mystical dimensions of emotion. Contact us on Rivingtide@gmail for more information.

We live in a changed, post-Covid world and we need to move with it. We are doing our best to do so in a way that keeps costs down for those attending.

Unfortunately, neither Stuart nor I used the past couple of years to brush up our skills to rework the website that Sue built… Now, with Stuart’s recent departure, I find myself alone in this technical cockpit. Caroline’s skills mirror my own, so we’re both looking at a steep learning curve to gain some mastery over the vagaries of WordPress.

My own personal site, Sun in Gemini, was based on a simple WordPress theme, and presented no issues in configuration, just needing a couple of photos to fire it up.

(Above: Emotions form a vital and often unvisited part of the ‘mystical opening’ of each of us. See workshop note below)

Not so the Silent Eye, with its more complex structure and mass of history. And this is taking a little bit longer. We want it to look good and be friendly and easy to navigate. Sue would have wanted it to evolve.

We’ve made a fine start, but simple things like how to create header images that scale from the desktop to the mobile phone are challenging; not least because the relevant information seems to be scattered across the WordPress sources.

All offers of help will be gratefully received!

Our goal is to modernise and slim-down the Silent Eye’s website. Stuart has extracted posts related to his and Sue’s time together in order to turn them into book form.

The historic posts also remain on the Silent Eye site, and we have no current plans to remove them.

(Above: The Mystical Enneagram – our own variant of Gurdjieff’s master symbol of process and consciousness)

All created things have their cycle. That of the three of us working together has come to an end… but the Silent Eye’s has not. It is alive and well, and continues to do what it set out to do: offer a practical and fast-track path to mystical consciousness based on a three year journey into, and beyond the personality to arrive at the personal ‘dawn of Being’.

It works, and in Sue’s own words, “This is changing lives…”

“This is changing lives…”

I knew Sue well. We began this, and I think she would be pleased with our determination to continue it.

Now, where’s that Hamlet cigar…. I feel another encounter with WordPress coming on… perhaps an aspirin and even a small Scotch, too?

©Stephen Tanham 2023

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.

http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk and http://www.suningemini.blog

10 Comments on “Drowning not waving

  1. Steve, you are doing Sue proud and I send you, Caroline and your supportive partners, much loving energy. Change is time-consuming to sift through. xX 💜

    Liked by 1 person

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