It begins with a feeling… A feeling that something has fallen: like a vital bridge being destroyed.
As it develops, you sense the landscape being stretched, allowing forms of life alien to your own to enter the world.
And then you become conscious that there is a velocity, here – that we are all going somewhere we didn’t ask for. After a while you realise that the world is not only changing, but is being buffeted from the same place…
That place is the centre. The place from which the tearing winds are coming.
Soon, the low roar, the dull moaning, gain strength. They become a voice… and there is anger; an anger that won’t go away, like a wild beast dying.
By the time you see that the whole world is moving, beginning to spin, tearing loose from everything you thought was fixed and, and… ‘of the elders’, it’s too late…
The new world is full of creatures, creatures gloating that their views have triumphed against the overburdened weight of the controls that kept the world from breaking up, from spinning, from feeding from that dreadful centre.
You look again at the centre from which the noise is coming; only you can’t see it anymore. It’s gone… spinning, faster and faster, it has become a vertical pit into which everything is being sucked – a whirlpool of hate.
You look at the far edge of the red whirlpool and see millions of people staring back at you – only they’re staring back at all of you and they’re screaming and shouting and laughing as the edge of the red water washes them faster and faster into more energetic screaming and shouting. They are the opposite of what you believe yourself to be, and they generate the strongest of emotion in you… until you realise that this emotion, too, is hatred, and that your loathing of the hateful creatures is adding to the red spinning that now sucks you in, as it does them.
Fighting despair, you raise your gaze to look beyond the descending red waters and see – far away and behind the forces of the vortex, dotted here and there – a set of people whose eyes are not red, who are not shouting… not even speaking. No energy flows from them into the redness, though you can see and feel their pain. There is a different way to react… or maybe, not to react at all, simply to hold the good that was, so much of which is being sucked, like wreckage, into the red whirlpool.
This knowing lodges in your heart. It breaks the force of the red gravity that had been pulling you nearer the whirlpool. You are moving backwards on the boiling waters, holding the eyes of the others who are holding yours… do not feed it, they say, gently.
It is calm, now. The dreadful vortex has gone, taking much of what you loved with it. But the waters that remain are the same waters that gave rise to a new world, long ago. The energy of renewal can begin its work.
The world is washed with its tears, as it always is after war But there is hope. There is no choice, now – you must be an elder… Even if you are young – especially if you are young.
Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness, a not-for-profit teaching school of modern mysticism that helps people find a personal path to a deeper place within their internal and external lives.
The Silent Eye provides home-based, practical courses which are low-cost and personally supervised. The course materials and corresponding supervision are provided month by month without further commitment.