Will the real God please stand up? I can’t believe you’re in this story

A sermon for Petertide 2020

I was ironing this morning, listening to an online broadcast of the Bible. I was letting the beautifully read words tumble round me, as a housework-doing lullaby, until my attention was caught. Now I quite like to hear (and better yet, read out myself) about some Old Testament smiting, but this story from Numbers 16 swiftly wound me up.

It’s thrown out my day!

For morning prayer soon become Morning Jaw Grind.

I’d forgotten this story of Moses and the Children of Israel. Wasn’t Korah right to question why all the leading of this nomadic tribe was done by one person, and his brother? According to the Jewish Midrash, which has extra details, there were many laws that Korah and others wondered about. Were all these procedures necessary?

And so what is usually spoken about as a rebellion occurs. Korah whips up considerable support.

And I felt myself wanting to join him. Had God really ordained only two nepotistic leaders out of this people?

Moses says that God says (mm) to gather before the Lord and he’ll show you. Only the right incense will burn. And then, to really prove it’s God, he’ll zap the offending parties by swallowing them into the ground.

This apparently is merciful: God at first wants to kill the whole tribe, sans Moses, who intervenes and says: will you destroy us all because of one person?

So God just isolates the trouble makers.

We’re supposed to gleefully glean: don’t disobey God then, and don’t question your leaders and the many rules you may have. What God ordains is how it should be.

The Midrash adds a bit about Aaron’s staff flourishing in the holy of holies, to extra prove the point.

I suspect that religious leaders love this story and would like their own staff (or mitres) to be put somewhere special for a miracle to occur. What a great support for theocracy! And for status quo.

But I felt really angry at this and once again wondered: who is this god of the Old Testament, and some of the new?! Why would I bother with him? He’s an unjust bully with none of the qualities that I’d expect in a real god.

Note that I don’t give that deity – if that he be – a capital letter, any more than I will the established church, which I recently publicly left.

I’ve got cross with this leading character in the Hebrew part of the Bible so often that I find it a hard book to read.

So I snapped to God whilst I pressed down on my clothes extra hard and swerved about with extra vigour, why did you do that?

And God said, That wasn’t me.

Phew, I thought so.

So who is this Yahweh of the Bible? I’ve long wondered if the two Hebrew names for God in the OT relate to two different deities, or sets of them. Elohim means Gods, plural, although I was always taught that of course there is but one God, triune and super powerful. But I’m wondering… Elohim is used when in English we see “God”. And then the other secret Jewish name is Yahweh or Jehovah, denoted by Lord in small capitals. Do these behave differently in the text? Are they the same God?

In my research, I am finding a picture that doesn’t fit with the monotheistic one.

The God of Israel sounds more tribal and local, just like everyone else’s god.

He sounds like the pantheons of gods in Xena: Warrior Princess – self serving, fickle and not entirely effective. And as I eat from bowls other than mainstream Christianity, I’m meeting various goddesses, sometimes with different names in different cultures. And the Christian/Jewish God has more in common with Zeus and Ares at times.

How would it be to follow a god who needed placating and who put many rules on you?

A god you couldn’t question or you’d publicly be executed?

Yet some believe we’re waking up to our own inner divinity and that we can do what gods can too, so there isn’t this unequal power balance out in the universe: serve me, or else.

I also believe that what Woo Woo people call Source or Spirit is the real God and the person whom Christians, Jews, and Muslims address. I think He/She picks up the phone to whomever dials.

But we have a holy book all about the shenanigans of someone else. In my second novel I say that we have to discern when God is speaking and when not. I hadn’t yet come up with the notion that there may be more than one god at work. I was aware that the human telling of God’s escapades is to self suit: so these sort of tales – and the Bible has many – appeal to autocratic governance, from justifying why Aaron was such a jobhog to 17th Century English Bibles, allegedly authorised by the king, who was established as head of the church as well as the state.

As we come to Petertide, when most ordinations take place, I am aware of two lessons from this dreadful story of Korah.

One is that many see humans as ascending, via this virus and proceeding problems. I’d like ‘don’t rise up and question authority’ leadership to be outmoded. We speak of living in democracy, but what we really have is a sham elected oligarchy, plutocracy and… I fear the attempts at technocracy. Korah was asking for a more people-led society where we all can participate. Not one where shows of strength silence dissent and that we claim we’re acting on the orders of someone or something intangible and unquestionable, and also dodging blame from us to either god or the tyranny of community (my phrase).

Petertide reminds me of the timing of my leaving the established church. I chose an ordination as my swansong service. The message I applied to my bosom, like Cleopatra’s asp, was The Priesthood of All Believers. This is what Korah seems to believe in too. Not just two out of a whole tribe who get to do all the talking to God and disseminate to the group, no questions allowed. So whereas this isn’t an attack on individuals and certainly not those I call friends, I do reject the notion of priesthood. And that also means ordination as priestess, for I do not believe that the hands of another – or their pronouncements or bits of paper – give me and not you permission to serve God in an especial way and to need a licence from someone in authority to speak or read publicly or wave my hands or pick up bread and wine. (I do believe in training for ministry, just not the bit of paper and the passing of authority.) I don’t believe in licenses, for anything.

I also recognise a bit of Aaron and Moses’s side. They were called, so the Bible says, and they had their share of suffering and courage to go from bulrushes to court of Pharaoh to burning bush and plagues and now live in the desert with all these challenges.

I’m thinking of my own long cherished vision to set up a new church and movement – not a chain, as I don’t do those – and that having the original idea, I hope from God, makes the baby feel all the more that it’s mine. I can see why Moses would resent someone coming to him, and with others behind him, and saying: We want in. We question what you’re doing.

I hope I would be willing to listen, especially to the questioning of the fiddly procedures. My group will be the opposite – I will resist as many procedures and rules as I can. I hope I would be willing for wide participation – that is an important precept of Between The Stools.

However, sharing the chair and being pushed off my perch are quite different. If you join a group, you accept its flavours and its leaders. You can influence, you can speak out, you can show your willingness to have a go. But the director – in this case, me – remains. I’ll not expect a flowering staff or swallowing ground to support me, and – unlike this God in Numbers – I’ll not ever do harm or judgement. (I don’t mean that leaders remain if they do harm… I think there is a time to stand down when a leader has behaved badly, but that’s not what we’re discussing here).

A mature leadership in that story would have tried to avoid the bubbling that led to the rebellion anyway, and those who wished to rebel would have shown earlier warning signs. They should have had a discussion – not been told that the Lord, their highest authority, wanted to see them for a sign of judgement, without appeal or even trial.

Who this God is will be a topic for further discussion, but this is not the God of All. Swift to Smite is not a god worth worshipping, or a very developed deity. Perhaps, when so many of us are still tempted to do likewise, it’s good that we don’t yet know our own power.

You can listen to me preach this (replete with smiting sounds) at

http://yourlisten.com/BetweenTheStools/will-the-real-god-please-stand-up-korah-for-petertide

I’ll be looking at Peter and who I think ought to be the real founder of the church on July 22nd.

Next week will be a kick arse sermon on sovereignty for independence day – yours and mine

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Robert Potato Peel Pie

Remember the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie society?

Here’s a recipe involving the peel of a certain 19th C British baronet, with a little Hartley’s jam…

Cooking (reading) time: about 20 mins

I was intrigued that He Who Set Up England’s Police has just been in the news. Statues in Robert Peel’s honour are now an endangered species, for they may be destined to go the way of Edward Colston’s last Sunday (7th). I confess I laughed when I heard that the likeness of this unpopular 17th C Bristol magnate ended up in the Frome, in daylight and in front of a crowd.

His removal was long overdue. In 2007, at the bicentenary of the abolition of slavery in Britain, residents questioned why this man from 300 years ago whose wealth came from the slave trade, whose contributions (except the almshouses named after him) to the city are no longer tangible, should still be sitting in the middle of it. The nearby concert hall was being renovated, and much of the populace asked why this venue and its street bore his name. Bristol – the city of Princess Caraboo, Hannah Moore and Dorothy Hazzard – has a rich history of memorable people and a recent heritage of musicians. So why – if the largest music venue in the city needed to be named after anyone – did they pick someone who lived long before this hall, and who has no connection to music, but plenty to an abhorrent and obsolete trade? I was surprised that the statue and the hall – now with a ridiculous gold extension – had survived thus far.

I am pleased that we are asking about who we give honour to and if it is right to still give them honour. I note that like Colston’s displaced effigy, much statuary in Britain is 19th century, sometimes several after the person’s life; and that as one person put it, it’s public veneration. I like Christopher Wren’s epitaph – that on principle, we should be able to look round and see what they did. Not that I necessarily esteem the bewigged polymath and possible Illuminati member, just the notion that I shouldn’t need an eerie graven image to remind of what you’ve done.

I realise how many of Britain’s statues are of war heroes and states people: those whom we perceive made us great. I also note that many of our historic townhouses are named after historic rich men who were also public figures. Each time, this wealthy ‘successful’ businessman was also a statesman – MP, sheriff or mayor, often repeatedly. This ancient correlation continues.

So as I meld back to Robert Peel, I want to have in mind who were revere and remember, and that today, wealthy business people still steer our cities and countries (as well as get the best properties).

Robert too was from a wealthy business family, made from cotton, in the north west of England before moving to the West Midlands. Bury and Tamworth, who have statues to him, are now asking if they want to keep them.

Conservative media point out that activists may have confused his father – also Robert Peel – who opposed the abolition of slavery act in Britain because of the loss of revenue it would cause. Presumably he saw himself in that category, since cotton manufacture involved slave plantations. It’s said that we don’t know whether son was like father, and that Bobby jnr was too junior to have made much input to his father’s late 18th C decisions. Fair… but I thought that it wasn’t due to slave support that Sir Peel II was now on the not/wanted list: it was his police record.

It’s well known in Britain that Robert Peel set up our police, although I didn’t know the story. I thought that literally he was the first superintendent of the force, or perhaps even took on the role himself as a lone officer. Robert Peel didn’t do policing though: he created it. He was an MP and later prime minister in Britain, dying in 1850; and he was titled – 2nd baronet. He went to what we might call privileged educational establishments and lived in a hall. He founded the Conservative Party.

That doesn’t make him the enemy, although I confess that I baulked at reading this about him.

Peel is called the father of modern policing (note the paternalistic term), because by setting up the Metropolitan Police in London, he paved the way not only for the rest of England to have its own forces (Scotland already had one) but his example was followed in America.

So what did our example inspire or unleash on the world?

Bobby left us with 9 principles of policing which I’ve seen adopted in America as well as here – a sort of 10-1 commandments for law enforcement. Pro-police writers remind that Robert’s reforms cut hangable offences by 100 – so how many were left, I ask? – and working hours and child labour. So he did do some things right, or at least, better than his forebears. He also saved the country from its existing state of martial law enforcement; his ‘Peelers’ only had truncheons (wooden batons), not swords and guns, and their uniform was deliberately different from the red coats of the hussars, so that it was clear that a Peeler was not a soldier.

Can I stamp on this notion put about that we in Britain still call police ‘Peelers’. The only time I’ve heard that term used is when it is prefixed by Potato.

I’ll comment briefly on just four of those nine principles.

Note that police around the world are not keeping to these.

1) proportion, and persuasion first; never use more force than necessary

so no brutalities then, such as the ones that sparked all the riots recently or the abuse I read of today by an officer to another woman, allegedly seeking drugs

I agree to the first clause, but I wonder about the second ever being so; it is widely misused

2) police cannot usurp the judiciary – so no killing suspects and dispensing with trials

But the judiciary is not sovereign and untouchable, nor incorruptible; it too needs reform

3) Impartial upholding of the law – so no prejudice; but impartial can also lead to blind pernickityness; and the law itself needs much scrutiny (and will get it from me in another piece)

4) police are the people, and vice versa: that citizens are assumed to uphold the law and enforce it where they see it being broken

This makes assumptions about citizenry. We can’t opt in or out and we rarely have much say about the laws created, nor do we always agree with them. So whereas Bobby was expecting high standards of his namesakes, and society, I find that a bind which actually goes wrong…

Firstly, there is what kind of person joins the police – which is a topic to come back to…

This principle also gives support to the prevalent push that we can handle our problems without police – fodder for another article…

I want to focus on what was happening in England during the time of modern police forces’ inception. I remind that many US writers have commented that slave and immigration control were connected. I heard that London – England’s first force – was about custody of cargo.

So, I wondered, did England’s other contemporary great dock city – Liverpool – follow suit?

The banner photo on this blog is of Liverpool.

I recalled a snippet from a book on Liverpool’s docks by Ron Jones that made me want to investigate.

The official police in Liverpool seems formed by an act of parliament in 1835; although, as elsewhere, they existed in some form previously. This means, they were 6 years after London’s.

I wondered why it needed a central government act to create them as well as the docks I’ll soon get to…

In August 1819, the Peterloo massacre occurred in Manchester, a rival town in the same county which produced much of the goods that Liverpool got rich on shipping. A large (size unverified) crowd met to discuss equality and universal suffrage – for not even all men could vote yet. Their banners even included the word ‘love’. But over 2000 soldiers on horseback set upon what’s normally described as a peaceful crowd, and hacked at these unarmed civilians with swords. They wanted to charge the speakers, such as Henry Hunt, with treason (which was dropped), they set on journalists, and rushed through an inquiry. I watched Timeline dramatised TV based on the transcript of the inquest of one man, Lees. The trial was held, not in a proper court or a public space, but a pub in the next town. The witnesses – cotton workers, the mainstay of the town – were terrified as the magistrates were also their employers and landlords; some had even been part of the yeoman who attacked. As London lawyer, Mr Harmer, acting for the deceased’s father, made progress in showing the corruption and violent intent of the soldiers and town leaders, the coroner shut down the case.

However, it is often seen that this event was key in bringing about change, although not the revolutionary ones which were hoped for and feared, and not all immediately.

It did lead to the setting up of the [Manchester] Guardian newspaper, Britain’s most left wing daily broadsheet, and an important voice of supposed free and thorough journalism.

In 1831, riots occurred, notably in Bristol and Nottingham. Some of the fuel to the literal fires – the custom house, mayoral and bishop’s residences in the former, and ducal castle in the latter were burned – was the refusal to pass the Reform Bill. This Act is behind George Eliot’s novel Middlemarch, which describes the ‘rotten boroughs’, meaning that Members of Parliament were not representative of the population, by any means; it was a bribable boy’s club with easy to keep seats. The bill took up some of the issues that those Lancastrians of 12 years before had met about. But also, the city corporations also were seen as corrupt and self serving, as was especially felt in Bristol, Nottingham, and in Liverpool. The rioters’ quarry were people who had helped block this important bill for greater fairness. It was enacted the following year, and ‘rotten boroughs’ were no more.

Sadly, many of us feel that our government is still mainly self serving and not representative, and are effectively bribed by the wealthy elite.

Several accounts of these riots – such as you might read in a guidebook – don’t tell you that the soldiers again set upon their people. They’ll instead tell you how much property was damaged.

——————————–

The Police and Albert Docks

Many readers, perhaps those not from Britain too, will recognise that place. It’s famous – the Merseyside Metropolis has made it so. They are the synecdoche for the whole of a huge system, mostly designed by one man, Jesse R R Hartley Hare*. I wonder if his statues and plaques are on the Unpopular List? (*Hartley Hare is from kid’s TV; and J R R Hartley wrote a book on fly fishing).

Much of Ron Jones’s book, like others, boasts about the wonders of Liverpool (yes, I am already a fan) and its docks, but I realised that my values have changed. I’ll write a report on my travel blog. In short, Liverpool was built on the wealth that its port gave it, but it was a very divided city. The story I recalled was that when Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, came to open the much vaunted groundbreaking dock in his name in July 1846, many of the half a million who came to greet him couldn’t afford shoes.

There were other significant visitors to Liverpool that year. Lots of them. They came from the West. Unlike the Prince, they weren’t guests of honour. They’d come in hordes, in desperation, due to a potato famine that they saw their neighbouring country as having contributed to.

These Irish families – already destitute, tired, stressed, displaced – were squeezed into tight ghettoes. 20,000 citizens – that’s about a tenth of Liverpool at the time – were sworn in as special constables (ie plain clothes police for a particular s/reason) to help control these asylum seekers.

Not to welcome or support them, but contain them.

Now I’m not assuming that there was no trouble from these immigrants, any more than I’m supporting the rioters of the previous decade; but I am questioning how they are portrayed and how much their treatment added to the ‘social problems’ that we conveniently and patronisingly file them under.

I’d like to point out that these immigrants were white, and the same ethnicity as the indigenous people of Liverpool.

In Ron Jones’s book, I noted a comment which wasn’t critical but which should have been, and is very timely. A local lecturer, Dr William H Duncan, spoke out against the diseases that he said were rife in these Irish cramped lodgings, and said that they endangered everyone else in the city, morally and physically. This man then went on to be the first chief health minister for the country.

I very much take issue with this, which used health of others to demonise these Irish and other poor people, and use ‘infection’ as an excuse to control them and knock down their homes. The book doesn’t say what happened to the residents.

I’d like to say – and remember, I am very fond of Liverpool – that a city which is very cultural today and famous for certain musicians especially – was actually slow to get culture. At Albert’s visit, it didn’t even have a theatre yet, a lifetime behind more provincial towns. Even its classy residents who lived in terraces or mansions far from the stinky water which gave them their wealth celebrated key events not long before with bear and bull baiting. So the rich too engaged in activities which were considered morally dubious. Yet here was one putting moral fibre next to illness and equating the two. Familiar?

What did those new docks really mean?

I wonder if Jesse Hartley will join the not-so-wanted list. Of his day, I can see that he could be a hero, and that the wealth he helped amass for Liverpool (not even his native town, he’s from Yorkshire) would make him celebrated. As an engineer, architectural books keep telling me that Jesse’s work was extraordinary. But I can see that actually his work was short sighted and he seemed a hard, driven man, although because he achieved things, we overlook that. I’ll analyse what he built on my other blog.

I want to ask WHY Jesse Harley created so many new docks, on top of the 18th Century set which saw so much slave trade. A Liverpool superlative it should not be proud of is that it was Europe’s leading slave port; and it sent at least 10 times the human cargo ships that Bristol and London did. When Albert Dock opened, the slave trade had been outlawed in Britain for 40 years. Yet the port thrived on the produce it had made, and the produce of domestic slavery which continued in America till c1860. I was also surprised to learn that in Britain and its empire, slavery needed a second act, passed in 1834, to actually grind it to a halt, which wasn’t immediate.

Whilst we celebrate the names of those to whom we attribute slavery’s abolition, perhaps even they need scrutiny. William Wilberforce didn’t advocate immediate emancipation – he said slaves needed to be prepared for freedom. Resocialised, don’t you mean? Sometimes, they had to work for a generation first.

There is another very evil fact about slavery that I’ll end with. I had to walk round my home to take it in.

But my point for now is that Liverpool’s connection to slavery was around the time that policing began, and so did those new docks; and at a time of unbridled trading worldwide – two acts in the 1830s and 40s meant its ships could travel without restriction, and its profits were therefore unfettered.

What of the local workers – in factories and docks? Would they be considered working under modern slavery conditions?

I was also learned why these warehouses were built. London had a new kind of dock. Liverpool was encouraged to get some too. These enclosed docks where you could moor right by the secure warehouses meant that

1) the rich merchants lost far less of their goods to theft (or fire) 

2) the HM customs people could check and collect more easily.

Ah. Now we know why central government was involved.

And you’ll note that Jesse Harley’s designs included not only a huge wall (see why thoughts on walls here) to keep out, but police booths. Note their arrow slit motif and castle-like quality.

I don’t support looting, but I do wonder if some of the looters were those who couldn’t buy shoes.

Liverpool was also a port where people sailed for a new life to America. If you’ve seen The Golden Door, you’ll know it wasn’t such a land of the free and opportunity – more of a work force advert. Customs in New York were utterly brutal and degrading, in the name of health. But this also meant that further immigration occurred in Liverpool – mostly outgoing.

So yes, police were about keeping ‘rabble’ quiet and money in the right places.

I’ll also briefly touch on the fact that Catholic Emancipation happened at this time, and some further Church of England strangleholds on public office were released to non Anglicans.

Is it an accident then that policing was created in this era?

My shocking final fact: HMRC tweets that modern British tax payers helped end the African slave trade – we were paying for the compensation to the slave OWNERS til 2015!

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The Samaritan and the Priest

Another retelling for our time, based on the fact that this was the lectionary reading this week…

There was a man (or woman) lying in the road, hurting and in tatters. She cried out to a priest, more than once. It took a while for the priest to stop. When he/she did, they stayed a little while and half bathed the wounds of the broken traveller; then they accidentally but avoidably hurt the traveller and left them.

The priest hurried along to join the other priests and be praised for the policy they had kept and that they had the sense not to be involved with such a ragged person with victim mentality.

The other priests said that the priest had followed the rules. It’s better to help Samaritans, for you get more kudos for that. This priest had broken bread with the person in the road, so it wasn’t as worthy as stopping for a stranger and someone who is truly ‘other’.

Instead, the priest would preach about parables and love and helping our neighbour, and hint at her own good deeds among diverse peoples, to help with Inclusive status.

The priest would not be binding wounds themselves – that is against the Law; nor inviting into their home – even more inappropriate by priestly codes. Much better that the person lying there called the appropriate helplines for the designated systems which are set up by the Rulers to help.

Or, she could just wait, broken and starving, and without shelter, until a good Samaritan came along.

 

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Message from a Goddess

As I opened my emails this morning, I was lured by the subject, accompanied by hearts, of “message from an Egyptian goddess”. My first Goddess communication! I rescued this from my junk folder (what does Microsoft know?) and delightedly dived in.

Brought up Baptist, I’m not very familiar with Egyptian deities, although I am reading about some at the moment. This is lion-headed Sekhmet; and the sender, Published Priestess Astara of Flower of Life Press, had visited her temple in person just prior to lockdown. She stood before this dark 7 foot statue (is that with or without the big halo-douche bag on her head?) and received this message:

“Daughter, you are here to bring forth my Code—my Compassion AND my Fierce Warrior to the people during these times of great need. You were made for this, Belovedevery step you’ve taken has led you to this moment. You’ve released and become empty so you can now receive from me. Go forth and BE an emissary of Divine Mother’s Love—an anointing Priestess of the Light! This is your sacred work. Claim it! Say YES! Your gifts are sorely needed NOW as so many hearts break open from loss, death, rage, and fear. You know that the crack allows in the light, and that the light can expand and shine the vibration of love that the earth needs. This is how you are to spread itlove will catch on like a virus as you shine your light and bring forth the Voices of Change so together you can usher in a New Earth Paradigm of Love.

Wow indeed. Now I felt my not quite knees go weak like Astara’s, but a special zap that said, you were meant to read this today. I think this message is for daughters and sons, whoever reads this and thinks – yes this is me. This is my calling.

Although I have a lifelong faith, I’m not used to hearing from hybrid beings, nor via statues, and so it was significant for me to receive word via such an unfamiliar figure. But I do feel that the God I’m used to definitely comes in female, and encompasses forms and cultures that I’m not used to. In fact, that book about Egypt says that angels I know are also deities I don’t. Sekhmet in her many guises stands for healing, harmony, balance, intuition – and breaking down to build anew.

I like the Fierce Warrior part. I am, I declare, a fierce woman. I have a saying (especially for those who have only experienced my previous more docile persona) that

I used to be biddable, but now I’m formidable.

And

The Fear of the Lord and Elspeth is the fountain of life

Yes, I am facetious, wicked and unapologetic. And did I mention – fierce!

When it comes to injustice, micro or macro, I am that lioness (I’d prefer to have a mane).

But I hope too that I can also be compassionate and loving (I do struggle sometimes with all this love talk, which I’ll be taking up soon). I also baulked at the emptiness. Yes, I can relate to feeling empty. I’m used to a rather different deity telling me to empty myself so he can pour in – or that’s what his servants tell me. But I always resisted it. This sounds a big headed god who wants vacuous vessels to pour into – isn’t that close to brainwashing and what some people fear is happening with this virus?

Isn’t that how indoctrination works? I’m learning that this isn’t The One True God.

I did feel truth when I read this message – yes, in the cerise font I use here – and whether or not I directly address douche bag deities, I do feel that my God spoke when that email was sent out.

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Why I’m An Abolitionist

Not just of slavery – take that and being anti-racist as a given – but of the police and all enforcement, worldwide.

I’ve been thinking about police for some years. I began a piece about their reform three years ago in which I quickly saw that I needed to ask deep and fundamental questions about the whole of society. And by that, I meant globally. I realised that police are key to the kind of world we live in. And by that, I mean that how they treat us is how safe and free we are.

If you’re expecting me to say: good policing means an orderly, safe world – you’re wrong.

That wasn’t what I was going to say at all.

I may begin sharing my work from June 2017, for the time feels right. There is a worldwide hunger for police reform after the horrific death of George Floyd 2 weeks ago, but sadly he is one of so many that have been brutalised by the force we have to pay to supposedly look after us. Policing isn’t just an American issue, or an issue for those countries that we dismiss as being far away and undeveloped and run by despots. Those people matter too. And they might be your country. Even if you think your country’s police are safe and reasonable, I ask you to think again.

Here is a big point to make early on: that I will not use the country specific talk of so many. American friends and readers, you are especially bad at this, as if you are a synecdoche for the whole world. You aren’t, but right now, the infamous horror on your soil is opening a platform for all of us; and I hope that the strength of feeling against this disgraceful and horrific act is going to open the way for real action on something that has been mooted for a long time.

I am also going to make a point early on which has to be made carefully, for I do not wish to alienate readers at this stage, nor to ever sound as if I in any form tolerate racism or belittle that.

I do not.

However, I do clearly state that I ABHOR ALL FORMS OF INJUSTICE and that for me, there is a bigger bottom line here than racism. My friend said: the attention’s on that fire because that’s where it’s burning at present. And I see that the Black community wants us to look at the fire, because they want us to see what’s been done to them – again. And we witness that with you in anger and sorrow.

But I want to look at fire itself – at this flammable liquid and who’s pouring it.

I am concerned that in the understandable ire and strident voices against the many incidences of racism and the disproportionate amount of police related suffering among non-caucasian people, that there is a new imbalance and set of otherness.

When I began my piece, almost three years ago to the day, I knew that otherness – the concept of people or things being different to you – was the absolute fundament of all else. This basic decision about whether this other form is similar or not to me was quickly followed by, so how shall I relate to or treat them? And that for many, that equalled fear, resentment, treating as less than, abuse.

But there is also a subverted version of this which is being seen via the speaking out, as if those belonging to the other group are all corporately guilty and are ‘other’ to the victims.

Those of us who stand – and I hope that is all of us – against the brutalities of police abuse and against racism, but who are not black, can feel that our solidarity and care must be qualified and earned. What would I or you know about prejudice, brutality, and suffering?

Well, in my own case, more than you might be assuming. I realised that it was possible to stand so vociferously in my own groups’ pain that I wouldn’t let outsiders in, even those who wanted to join with us and stand with us. I could make them feel bad for not having it bad (enough). I could assume the happiness and ease of their lives as compared to me and mine.

I would also like to say – I am on a controversial roll now – that I note that ‘Black’ is often used as a synecdoche for all those ethnicities which aren’t ‘white’ – a description I don’t like. In Britain, we called non ‘white’ BME (Black and Minority Ethnicities), and there’s a new set of initials coined, again leading with B for black. But what about Asian (a wide and diverse group), native American, Australasian; Inuit, Latin… (another broad group who seem to have a new name), Romany, Jew…forgive me if I’ve missed a group, especially if it’s yours. We are many. We are one. We all matter.

I know that black and Asian people and others are disproportionally targeted for police searches and arrests.

But that oft-quoted fact seems to have the horrible logical upshot: that more of the rest of us should be subjected to arrest and search.

NONE OF US SHOULD BE.

I want to abolish stop and search. I want to abolish enforcement targets. I want to abolish spying, weapons, and customs.

I want to abolish the police. Why does only America seem to say this?

I did a little research – it sadly didn’t take much looking – to find negative police incidents in every country I could think of. I don’t know if the beating of a Romani in Romania in April got much international coverage. It should have. “Police brutality” searches get pages of internet search results, as does “police corruption”. Searching “police + bullying” seems to be designed to bring up how to handle bullies, and how to involve the police if you are being bullied. And yet, it was through US churches that I came across a call – and not a new one – to stop calling the cops.

How else might your issue be addressed?

I’ve long felt a discomfort with calling the police. I know that they can worsen a situation, and for some people, it can mean being taken into a system that harms you, or even kill you. There’s the phrase: suicide by police. I keep seeing the statistic that over 1000 people are killed each year by police in America alone. I did a little research and was sickened to learn that these deplorable figures in the US are not the world’s highest. I’m unsure how these deaths by law enforcement were classed – direct shootings or other violence, or did mistreatment in custody resulting in death also get counted? How many of these fatalties are reported and made public? I’m reluctant to quote Wikipedia, but according to its chart, Brazil had 6000, Venezuela 5000 deaths by enforcement each year; the Philippines 3000, Syria was similar to America; India and several African countries were in the hundreds – Nigeria had 800. China isn’t on there! Interestingly Canada is around 30 a year, unlike its neighbour. Much of the rest of the West – Australia, Malta, Scandanavia, Britain – claims less than 10 deaths each, perhaps a single incident, or none. But I know that in the last couple of years, police shot and killed a suspect at a busy London railway station, as happened at Amsterdam in 2018. Thus this high drama risked many people, and the supposed bedrock of democracy – the judical system.

I give you some examples of corruption and brutality, although it’s heart rending and stomach churning. The couple who called the police over their car being burgled as they changed a tyre and the moustache twiddling policeman who implied, give me the expected bribe and I might actually show some interest. The kettled protesters in many demonstrations and the violent clashes and cruel treatments, held for hours. The man who reached for his papers in his car’s glove compartment, and was shot dead because police assumed it was for a gun. The family watching video games at home – also shot. The young women who had sex with 2 officers in exchange for her freedom – who walked free from court. The immigrant told to give a handjob in return for her papers to remain. The organised chronic infiltration of environmental protesters, even entering sexual relationships and having children with them, only to dump their ‘partner’ once the operation was complete. The police who ran drug and child abuse rings, paid huge salaries tax free and given legal exemption whilst ‘peacekeeping’. I could go on… that was just a snippet of some cross-country examples which I could bear to type. None of those were hearsay. And all of those were in the West.

I note that some tabloid British newspapers sided with Trump and the mayor of Minneapolis against the strident calls to abolish the police. I was really interested in this call, which the council of Minneapolis have supported, and that another US place which was considered unsafe – Camden – stopped its police force, and instead created a community based safety system, and seems to be better for it.

But I want to go further than replacing one set of prefects with another. I don’t simply look at official crimes statistics to see if it’s worked.

Calls for the police’s removal seem to be followed by calls for other systems, and I am against systemic control. When we speak of decriminalising cannabis or prostitution (sorry, I won’t call the commodifying of physical love ‘street work’), it usually asks for regulation which means official licensing, and that the government financially benefits from these trades.

I’m asking about the very way that we organise ourselves and who has control.

I am very clear who should not have it.

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I’ve felt uncomfortable with the police for some years – at least 10. I consider it a good day if I don’t see any. I’ve always hated customs and border controls, which puts me off travelling, and I am concerned about internal travel. Why I am anxious about this journey, I ask myself. If I am anxious taking a walk, what am I worried about?

Ah. Doing something ‘wrong’. That some official, especially during the lockdown, will tell me that I have committed a misdemeanour and am liable to be punished. I have the wrong train ticket. I crossed the road in the wrong way. I didn’t touch my smart travel card on the right place. I’m eating or drinking something outside when I shouldn’t be. I’m wearing or not wearing something that I should be. I don’t have permission from the authorities for something, like holding a meeting or playing music, or having a stall or allowing my customers to drink outside my premises. And now, that I might be deemed to be ill or walking unnecessarily, and even barred from buying food that I need, or be forced to give my genetic material to the state, or be taken away and incarcerated, or worse, for not doing those things.

Or for refusing to comply (be meek) when told off for allegedly doing any of the above.

The year I really got uncomfy with the police was the year that I started this project. There were at least three incidents of terrorism in the world at that time, and I want to say that all of them mattered – not the ones in the West or in my country more. But in May 2017, a terrorist bomb was detonated at a pop concert held in an arena in central Manchester. Immediately following this, Manchester cathedral did bag searches! Canterbury cathedral had armed police in the grounds – two hander rifles; and there were suddenly armed police at other places that I would never have expected them (police in Britain had hitherto usually been unarmed.) Everyone I knew reported having seen them. In provincial, safe towns and cities. Outside the zoo; the library; at the railway station. And everyone going to a concert at an arena in my city had to be searched. Well, with these terrible people about, it’s necessary, sighed one ticket holder. A large annual market in a small town now has a huge police presence.

My thought was: this spreads fear and compliance to the provinces. We’re not just to think that these abhorrent attacks happen in our capital or largest cities. I note that London, Berlin and Paris each had them in recent years. And as well as being the centres of political and economic power and greatest populace, these cities are the hub of creative ideas and free thinking. It was suggested to me that Berlin’s horrific incident sent a message to a chilled, liberal, egalitarian city: It can happen to you too. When it happened in Manchester, it says: it’s not just the capital that can suffer this. None of you are safe, so all of you will need to make sacrifices.

My fear after these atrocities was not Will This Terrorism Come Here but What Erosion Of Civil Liberties Will Happen Next? Of course I was sad for those who suffered – please take that as a given. Of course I would not like such an event near me, although I realised that one in my city, a mid sized historic low crime area, would serve the Population Control By Fear agenda well.

Happily, those armed guards didn’t seem to last, but the police got new powers and ‘toys’.

Because of this heightened discomfort, I read Norm Stamper’s Protect And Serve: How to Fix America’s Police. I was more interested in reforming police per se, but at that time, I couldn’t find other books. You can see my review on Amazon, but I generally disliked the book and was disappointed. The subtitle said alot [sic]: he, as a long serving ‘cop’, was pro-police and had a fix-it mentality. He praised the ‘tools’ – that’s those ‘toys’ – which are a disgrace, and I fear are very common among police internationally.

If both of us were stopped and asked to empty our pockets, who’d you want to let enter?

He had: spray, two guns, numchucks, a taser, two sticks, plus surveillance technology.

I have no weapons and no spying devices whatever.

So even when police stop people who are found with a weapon, is their one knife as bad as all this?! Sometimes people have knives for legitimate reasons, and are not planning to harm. Knives are widely used – in mediaeval times, even monks carried them. Now I’m not suggesting that we all do, but I’m making the point that knives have multiple and good uses. All the above list have only one – to harm, if not kill. And we know that these are (mis)used, and not seldom.

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In 2017, I wanted a new kind of police. I’d long queried army and security agencies.

But now I query them all. Or rather, I don’t query, I assert: NO.

I looked into why we have police.

The answer is that they were created – usually in the 19th century – to protect government and their lobbyists’ interests. They were to stop rioters; to keep looters from cargo. At the moment, we’re especially being reminded that the American South’s forces grew around catching and returning slaves, and that many forces have a link to immigrant control, and controlling poorer people, who are often from non-white ethnicities.

I think we need to again go broader and deeper, and say: why do any of us need this force?

Disadvantaged’ covers a wide kind of person, and I know that poverty and mental illness aren’t situations that can always be easily spotted. I could add many more groups, such as the so called neurodiverse, who also can be picked on by the police, and with tragic results.

Injustice goes after whoever is different. We are back to ‘other’ again. And often other is misunderstood, and seen as a threat. And how you deal with threats is to control them.

I want us to back up a little and take in that police took over from the army and private watchmen, and that they are about controlling ‘rabble’ and protecting property. They are the servants of the ruling group. It is about council revenue acquisition under the guise of enforcing the law.

I have an essay about why the rule of law is unjust. I will just say here that for law to work, it uses fear. There’s the final punishment and that of going to court as a deterrent; and then there are the people who are our first contact, those on the streets, those who pull us into that system. Note that police groups are known as a FORCE. I’ve not heard fire brigades so deemed.

It really has struck me that police have come out of a fear and materialism based culture. They say that they keep us safe, but I wonder if they’re brainwashed into believing that, or just trot it out?

We don’t believe it.

What is truly being safe? We are told, during this pandemic, to keep safe, but I recall a card I loved.

Two butterflies; one in a net, one flying outside. The latter says:

You are safe, but I am free

I know which I’d rather be. The flying butterfly is in many ways safer as well.

When I walk about, am I scared of burglars or gangland war? For some, yes, that is a very realistic concern and it is not impossible that I could be attacked, or that my home could be.

We have a name for government licensed home attackers: bailiffs. (Sometimes they’re even attacking and pillaging on the behalf of the government)

And now, for some of us, we have home attacks in the name of health.

I am more concerned at being stopped, harangued – not by ‘criminals’, but by the very people who define what crime is. For I, like many of us, don’t fit, stand out, do or are something which the establishment doesn’t like. Let us find our unity, not demarcation, in that and go from there into an adventure of new possibilities and an equal, caring world.

————————

I’ve much more to say, which will include my thoughts on why I don’t admire Robert Potato Peel; how we can avoid using police and what a world without police could be like.

I end by reminding that we are all valuable, all deserving of going about freely and without fear or bullying. We’ve recently seen the extreme of police bullying in those murders, but bullying starts with the milder end – the right to stop, interrogate, search, take something from you, watch you.

I believe that we must burn this candle at both ends and stop both.

I remind again of our solidarity as beings, however we self describe and whatever groups we affiliate with. Let our anger at evil acts not cause division and tip the seesaw the other way.

Let us remember too – and I find this harder – that our enforcement workers are people too, and fellow citizens. If any are reading this, please ask how being a good, decent and loving being fits with the tasks you’re given and the very ethos of your work’s existence.

If it were my world, you’d all be having new employment with immediate effect.

It’s all of our world and I’m not trying to rule it (I believe in facilitation, not ruling anyway), but I’ll be sharing my thoughts – which I’ve actually worked on for many more years than three – on how I suggest and invite to build something better than what we’ve all endured for so long.

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Pentecost: Parallel Spirits

Brace yourself Nessies, this is 3000 words

I’ve moved Pentecost this year – officially. Because I was still wearing my indigo outfit on Sunday, to see a friend who loves purple. “I’m glad you thought me more important than the Holy Spirit,” she said, clad in red. I think that the Holy Spirit and Indigo are very much connected, this year especially.

Despite being a lifelong Christian, I’m new to the quirks of the high church calendar, and expected Pentecost to be this coming Sunday. Harder of course, when there are no churches to go to to be reminded. Hence I wasn’t really ready – and then something happened on Pentecost night…

Last year was the first time that I discovered the tradition of wearing red on Pentecost to emulate the flames of the Holy Spirit which rested on the disciples’ heads. I feel that red isn’t very representative of flames and felt that orange and yellow should be included. So I went to a high church dressed like a lollipop, replete with matching lipstick. By night I attended an interdenominational meeting at the local cathedral. I was delighted to see a screen – not of the rood and pulpitum kind – and band instruments. I enjoyed the sight of cape clad stewards with heads in their hands whilst we raised ours. I met another Elspeth – a rare event – but she soon left me to stand at the back so that she could wave her hands more.

I wondered if putting my hands above hockey height – not something that churches I attend encourage – does actually give you an experience of the Spirit. Alas not I, but then the music didn’t really move me. Others seemed to be straight in there, as if programmed by familiar songs, pulsing with bliss. I confess that my bliss came from a sense of wickedness.

No one there was dressed in red. No one I spoke to understood why I was. Was I the only person who’d seen incense that morning?

I like to go between traditions, and not just the ends of the Christian candle. Candles are used by everyone. Pagans too…

I feel it is my calling to go between different expressions of faith, and especially to be a bridge between Woo Woo and traditional Christians. Which disciples of Jesus among you would listen to the dispensations of the Magenta Pixie? She has especial words, which I discovered at Pentecost. Please let me share them.

If you’re expecting Angela Rippon creations of the garden variety, you’ll be disappointed. The avatar of the said Pixie is more coral than magenta. I do like to describe colours accurately. If you do too, you might be just who I’m looking for at Between the Stools (I’m peppering my articles with hints).

The Magenta Pixie, a spirit channel, was speaking about resetting global finances, and a little known American agreement due to be ratified on 11th September 2001 called NESARA. There is also a global version, about forgiving all debts and free energy. It’s time for that to come to pass, saith the Pixie. Important stuff – but I was concerned that this website that the Pixie chose for her message, The Golden Age of Gaia, seemed to have rushed ahead with statements and timelines for the new age.

It is vital that we all participate and that no-one takes upon themselves – not governments, universities, think tanks, churches, or communities of Goddesses – to tell us when universal Citizens’ Income and medicare is coming in and that a new worldwide financial agreement has been made.

I’ll speak more about this another time, but I won’t hide that I very much wish to be part of creating a new world – it is a calling I’ve long been aware of. Perhaps some of you reading this feel that too. And all of us will live in this post viral world, so we should have at least the opportunity to have a say. Vast distant systems being imposed on us – even by celestial beings – is not what the Aquarian Age is about. (If you’re a Christian, you can think of it as the 1000 Years of Peace in Revelation).

In my woo woo diet of late, I’d been reading about a particular chef who I shan’t name, whose dishes I had found healthful. But then I discovered a recipe on the OMTimes about the new world being brought to birth which made me choke.

I have and will continue to speak against technology which harms. It’s what I’ve feared for a long time and could see how this virus could be used to make more of it. Again, this will feature more in another post – Lead Us Not Into Technocracy (from my Lord’s Prayer for our times).

But it’s relevant to today because it’s about a new era and the Spirit helpers descending to us to assist us. Jesus left behind his Spirit which came that day, recorded in the book of Acts.

I’m reading 2 books about Mary Magdalene, one of my favourite people. The Jews of that first century AD (not that they knew it was AD yet) expected and hoped for this Messiah to save them and for a new era that alleviated them from oppression. Their most obvious oppression was the Romans who occupied them, and so much of the world at that time. Jesus did indeed preach and usher in a new kingdom, assisted by Mary, but not of the sort they expected, nor in the way they expected.

New wine into old wineskins is a topic to develop more later – but it relates to my public critique of the Anglican church (see tag cloud), which I feel is very analogous to the Judaism described in these novels. The rules for rules sake; the rules that stop you doing good; the rules which are quick to exclude and punish. And it’s not just the church, but secular society which creates ever more laws. In my country, laws were rushed through at the outbreak which curtail liberties and rights, such as making it easier to section people (relevance to covid? That should set off alarms). This would be relevant to Mary’s story too… She’ll get a post for her day in July, and so will ‘mental health’.

But I’m seeing that we need spiritual helpers as we face oppression – from our own governments and systems, the Romans of our time, fighting this ‘invisible enemy’…although conspiracy theorists say that description matches the Illuminati as much as the virus.

My Woo Woo friends tell me that we indeed have such helpers – not only are lightworkers born onto the earth in large numbers for this ascension, but that spirit guides, such as angels and other discarnate beings, are very willing to aid us.

Mainstream Christians would say that the Holy Spirit is ever with us, and yes we have angels although unless you’re high church, you’re not encouraged to address anyone outside of the Trinity.

But I’m afraid about the idea of improvement from some New Age types. Returning to that OMTimes article… we are told that we’ll have to sacrifice privacy for this better world.

Brakes screech to a halt. If you’re wanting an end to injustice and inequality, you do not sacrifice privacy. Privacy erosion is a feature of dystopia. (Not that I think much to Thomas Moore’s Utopia, having read it last year). Our homes, our bodies, our belongings, our thoughts and beliefs are our own.

This same article spoke of robot nurses to avoid healthcare workers getting infected! Yes I can see the concern that of course has been faced round the world, but I also query the narrative about infection levels, and also that our state mainstream medical model is the right or the only one. I have often said that by stopping other modalities from working during the lockdown, it’s not only made those practitioners poor, but taken away patient choice, and deprived us of the very kinds of healing that are most efficacious.

What our modern world and this virus is depriving us of is People Contact. Loneliness has been as much of a problem as the virus. I don’t want to be served by a machine, in a library, in a shop. And I certainly don’t want medical care from one. Many of us find robots eerie. Our online systems are paranoid about robots – stopping those browsers who protect their privacy – but in the non virtual world, we are being encouraged to accept these monstrosities. I say a very clear NO.

The same post also was celebrating, or at least accepting, that much more of our world will be virtual and controllable, including our health.

Again, health will get more detailed posts in the future, but I was horridly disturbed by the idea of being centrally watched in my home. I’ve seen NHS studies on the ‘wonders’ of smart meters being able to watch when I sit and when I rise (isn’t that the Lord’s prerogative? It’s comforting about Him, not about my national health service). Hence, if I am deemed to be depressed, and I get up in the night, you can see that I’ve a sleep (or bladder) issue and alter my medicine accordingly.

Hence I hate smart meters, which not only pump out dangerous EMFs, but allow me to be controlled remotely – but I am not a video! I am also against 5G which facilitates this, and to which I will devote at least a whole post.

The new age self help movement often speak of not giving your power away, but this is doing exactly that!

I’ve heard Christians say that the Holy Spirit is a gentleman; you have to accept him into you heart to become a Christian; and if you’re Pentecostally minded, that to receive gifts of the spirit, you must accept and be open. He (she actually – the Greek is female) won’t force her heavenly language upon you. This is going to put the snake’s tail in its mouth…

Permission is something we’re hot on, or should be. We’re supposed to ask permission in intimate acts of all kinds. I’ve heard Pagans opine about the importance of permission in touching or in opting in… and yet our technological world wants to erode that. Permission was meant to be at the heart of the European General Data Protection Regulations of 2018, although in effect it’s not given the individual much real control. Being heavy about signatures which hand over rights that you don’t choose is meaningless. I had this out, post GDPR, with the Financial Ombudsman service. Cookies have become “we’re just telling you we’re setting them” for many websites – which is not legal or right. If you ask for permission to do something, the answer has to feasibly be NO. Like, when I was eating my lunch and a smoker sat next to me and said, Do you Mind. Yes. (So don’t or smoke elsewhere.) She thought I’d just assent. Consent means we can say yes or no.

So what’s this got to do with Pentecost? This is a tongue of fire new era, with special healers, human and divine.

And consent has to be at the heart of a decent world. One World, but not One World Order. I note that the dreaded Cabal that the woo wooers speak of, and the technologies that some praise, act in much the same way.

The Spirit won’t come into our hearts unless we ask; the angels won’t step in – even to those of faith – unless we especially call on them. And yet, 5G would foist on us a system we may not choose, with energies running through our homes which affect those that we live near (including animals). It’s help we may not ask for, but we’re being monitored by people that are ever more faceless – such as the customer care for this blog – and hard to reach.

This is not an improved world, it’s what I’m fighting to stop.

That OM article, sought out during a challenging day, depressed me. For I felt – have I thus far survived to emerge in such a world? Someone else said, many of us won’t live to see this new age. So we do the hard graft of making it, suffering the old and its death throes, only to hand it over to children?

But I cheered myself up with these statements, and I hope that they encourage you too.

None of us know how long we’ll live but it’s possible that we will share the world with generations that come after us, even outlive them. Of course we should think of those who come next, but not to negate our own lives for children. It’s particularly galling for those who don’t have children. So yes we may well see the fruits of our planting, and we should all have the opportunity to plant and to plan the garden.

I also realised that many don’t want this world where the unseen swoops in to intervene. I’m not alone in resisting it.

Free will is at the heart of all spiritual interactions. Any light transmission, movie about God or angels I’ve seen, theological discourse, says: We can’t help unless you ask.

So this technopolis is not an improvement, and it’s immature. I refer you back to my Tough Love and Nannying piece. This is super spooky nannying. It forgets the medical traditions which gave rise to our cultures and to the Woo Woo movement. Why is non allopathic medicine known as complementary, and has to give medical disclaimers to say “This is no replacement for your doctor”? Why give so much power to this relatively young and localised health regime, instead othe older and wiser ones which have survived for many centuries and enjoy a resurgence?

The OM article also mentioned capitalism, as if it were a necessary and helpful invention needed at a time of crisis and change. It is exactly what is wrong with our world. Christians might want to say it’s Satan or the human heart, but if I had to put it down to a system, it’s the C word. Again, many alternatives are seeking an alternative from that system which they call the broken masculine, the 3D way. This is what our Spirit helpers are here to address, and the virus is meant to break.

We’re not meant to go back to what we had or to start a worse system.

And… yes this has been a super snaky one today… but I said that the snake’s tail would end in its mouth. It was the Light Code transmissions which I discovered on Pentecost that I wanted to speak of as my final point and my link between Woo Woo and Christians. Today, the gifts of the Spirit fell upon the apostles, and charismatic Christians say that we can have these – prophecy, healing, discernment, casting out evil, and tongues too. Indeed, I believe that and some people are living that.

But I found out that tongues aren’t just an evangelical protestant Christian phenomena. I discovered a Catholic Priestess whom I love – I have the honour of reviewing her Mary Magdalene book – who speaks in tongues. I think it’s a mark of mysticism.

I came across the work of Sandra de Vos. I laid on my bed for a healing where I’d be bombarded with light codes coming through sound. It recalled Speaking In Tongues! Although this wasn’t as calm as tongues – the last time I heard these, it was very soothing and I didn’t care that I didn’t understand what was being said. It always sounds a bit Hebrew, but that’s maybe because to Western ears, Hebrew feels an exotic, unfamiliar language. It isn’t Hebrew or any known earth speak.

I hope this isn’t unPC – it’s meant to be quite the reverse – but some of the noises made in the Light Codes recalled not only animals, but humans that we might call challenged.

I have begun to suspect that these beings are actually advanced and that what we consider to be unskilled or unintelligent communication is literally the language of angels. We just haven’t tuned into them yet. I note how birdsong and crickets and waves and whales appear in relaxing healing music, infused (I’m learning) with divine codes of healing, light and profound messages in multi layers.

So next time, dear Pentecostal friends (are you still here?) a cessationalist brethren or sethern challenges your holy babble and says, what’s the point? Without an interpreter you’re doing no good… say that this is God using you as a channel for light codes beyond our current level of understanding. Or as Sandra de Vos says, you’re a Cosmic Microphone. For the Lord. I think that it’s no accident that this phenomenon of tongues reappeared in decades of change as we moved towards ascension…

And it’s these languages these codes these awarenesses that we need to get into our reign of peace.

We also need to understand diversity… like seeing those people we thought as disabled, something to fix or pity, or less valuable, as some of our most profound beings who have a special role. We need to learn to celebrate them and to learn to communicate. This 5G health model would impose more normative standards on us, which is an aberration of true wellbeing.

Hence, I have to say, such proponents are not entirely the old souls that they claim to be.

But it’s OK to be a rosy and green apple. I am. I’m willing to fix my worm holes – and I think that celestial sound is a vital part of that – listening to it, channelling it… the the other worldly, not so logical and empirical voice, the still small voice.

I hope that by my facetiousness, I’ve gotten different belief systems to listen to each other.

I have another Goddess Message to share soon.

And the title of course is a reference to my novel.

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Ascension – from Larry Norman to ET to Atlantis and back

A year ago, to avoid a noisy outdoor concert, I attended my first Ascension church service. Previously, I’d been vaguely aware of this event in the Christian calendar, 6 weeks from Easter, which remembers that Jesus left the earth, not via his death on the cross, but by an ET style lift off shared by only two others in history.

Coming from an Evangelical Nonconformist background, I didn’t realise that it was so big on the traditional church calendar, a compulsory attendance day. Not that I felt compelled by any clergy to go anywhere – I was just glad to be away from the pounding bass and my sweaty home, lured by the possibility of a party – I love to meet new people, possible recruits for this community?

The very mature people’s knees up finished by 930 – yes it was (and always is) a Thursday, but only octogenarians in the C of E would end a party so early. Not great for concert avoiding – another 2 hours to go!

Hearing ‘Ascension’ immediately brings that evening to mind. I confess that I enjoyed the deanery plenary service more as it slid down the candle. I am also pleased to report that I was told off for ‘unseemly laughter’. You’ll hear it soon – yes even and especially whilst leading church services. Holiness does not preclude naughtiness.

This year, I’m aware of a different sort of ascension. Hanging out in woo woo circles, I hear the phrase all the time. We’re in the process of it – not just a moveable May mass – but a chronic collective take off, now accelerating. Some would say that the ET analogy isn’t far out.

I just read on website In 5D that some of us are off to another Earth, or there might be a 3rd earth holding pen for those not quite ready for this full Higher Self living! I’m not interested in blasting off from a forest clearing to John Barry and leaving Eliots and Drew Barrymores behind to cope with the ‘3D world’ and its mess whilst I enjoy elevated living on a parallel planet. Nor do I wish to be Eliot or his sister Gertie – those who tasted other things, know that much is wrong with our world, and yet have to carry on living in it… or it that the point – that they became lightworkers, touched by ET’s brief presence?

Does ET come back with a bigger craft and collect people on another run, or does he hope that his short stay was sufficient to be a catalyst for change?

In my native Christian circles, we believed that not ET, but Jesus will return, with not a bigger spaceship but an angel train. Traditionally, he team picks those who are ready/deserving (aren’t they the same, and isn’t that what the new age is really saying?). As a child I recall a song on Mum’s record player, The King is Coming, a bit 50s croony sounding, with trumpets in the chorus:

The market place is empty,

there’s no traffic in the street

All the builders’ tools are silent [we wish!]

No more time to harvest wheat

Busy housewives cease their labors [no U, I’m sure this is American – it is, by Bill Gaither]

In the court/stateroom, no debate [rush through the other sort of bills as you please]

Work on earth is all suspended…

The King is Coming…

Praise God… He’s coming for me

Soon into my teens, I wrote one of my own first songs, “The King is Coming Back.” Again, it was about God coming in Glory, for me. I had assurance of my place in Heaven, but others didn’t. I could face death without fear, I didn’t worry about signs of the times – surely what we’re in now matches those eschatological prophecies (as well as the lyrics just quoted) – but others may have other, ahem, less joyful after parties to go to. Unless they swiftly got an invite from the King.

Larry Norman, a Christian rock singer (shock noise!) had a similar sentiment in a song I heard about the time I wrote mine: I Wish We’d All Been Ready. This included other images of people being suddenly taken whilst others by them were left behind. We had a duty to spread such ideas so that the spaceship was as loaded as possible at lift off and that there were not Gertie and Eliots, certainly among our own acquaintance. There was a little fear that like Spielberg’s lovable alien, we might be stranded.

Some time after the new Millennium, I stopped believing in Hell and judgement, but not in the second coming. By the time of a special date into that new century, I was engaged in a very different – and yet, not so different – spirituality.

On 21st Dec 2012, I joined in an online meet at that moment that some saw as Rapture, the take off event at end of the Mayan calendar. I let the dulcet tones of energy worker Jo Dunning lead me and thousands of others round the world into an awakening of a new era, the age of Aquarius.

I didn’t go anywhere, but I realised that it was an invisible awakening. I didn’t take that Biblical notion literally now of being collected off the street whilst my companion stayed. As it says in the movie Evan Almighty, perhaps this promised phenomena was about consciousness.

I’ve read many books and blog posts which say, we’re waking up, more and more of us. Aquarius has been a slow dawn following a dark long night, but it’s here.

I have to say I’m 5Ded out, as much as I am loved out. Do I like the sound of this paradigm that all the hippies are talking about, any more than the invasive technology with almost the same name?

When I’m told to focus on love not fear regarding the world situation, it means – don’t speak out about what’s really happening, but accept. Then I have to ask what is this passive state that they call love which does nothing and sees nothing? A love that allows us and generations who come after to live in a controlled drudgery of no privacy? ‘Love’ that says we deserve our poverty, that someone else deserves welfare and charity more than I (benefits are being stopped during lockdown!) and that earning – by any means, any job – gives us value.

I preached a sermon called The Wisdom of the Smurfs – which will get a reprise – about ideal society and doing the work you love. I said and I do again:

We Are Not Valuable For The Taxable Income We Generate.

Adding to GDP is not what makes us a good citizen and contribute to society.

It’s not just whether you do a service job, or you volunteer in recognised ways.

I’m asking big questions about the kind of way that we organise ourselves and the assumptions that we make. One of those is: do we have money?

Some people who claim to be spiritual see that earning big money is a sign that you are ‘living in alignment’. Not earning much shows lower energy stuckness.

A priestess I otherwise like sends many emails about her expensive training program, telling me that I have to be ready in all ways for her to consider me – including financially. Which means, we’re not doing concessions and we won’t be impressed if you can’t keep up your instalments. For wealth is a sign of spiritual maturity, sister.

No it isn’t.

Another ‘spiritual entrepeneur’ and show host got my goat today. She says that she doesn’t have clients who struggle – she wants peppy high energy (read, earners) who don’t question. I’ve seen her push people off a live call when they don’t respond to her and her guest with, Wow (sob) I’m so healed and grateful. I felt it was time for me to get off the call, for if that’s her dealbreaker, that is mine.

She spoke of her healthy 6 – and now she’s on a 7 – figure salary; of struggling to get beyond the 5 figures A MONTH ceiling (because you’re not manifesting right, something’s holding you back). How about some basic economics and lack of greed?

In Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret, it says that only 1%, the world’s wealthy, know and apply the Secret of the Law of Attraction. The rest of us say: Occupy Movement –      We are the 99!

The green minded – I mean philosophically – say that our imbalance is caused by taking without thought, of growth without caring about the consequences, so it surprises me how many people got off a corporate ladder to find God/Spirit to only just add corporate to God/ Spirit. Oh, I was on the streets (well, living in my car, actually, a caravan park…. oh not quite homeless, but not yet in my mansion)…. when I only charged £50 an hour for my services (now it’s 10 times that because I love myself enough)…. but now I’m rich again. In fact, I don’t have a job as such, a Millionaire Woman told me. I sit on the beach ‘cus I can’t stand the office. I make a more lowly wench (surely Rosemary the Operator to my Hong Kong Fuey) go into the office and run my vast wealthy business, then she comes out to me each day and brings me flowers and the phone. I do about 2 hours work and then sunbathe. The rest of my prosperity portfolio is all investments, and inheritance.

I’ve heard this – that real wealth is passive income, in money that’s just sitting there, and property where you do very little in return for your monthly return. Their wealth causes others poverty and stress.

Hence I get very cross with those who judge the ‘poor’, especially when they are mean with their money and see people in need but decide that they’re not deserving. I’ve heard these people haggle lower earners down, although they could afford full price.

I’ve stopped drawing a line between work and play. I deeply question ‘hard work’ as a quality. I don’t see rest as something that has to be earned, on the other side of earning. I question what activities get you money, and what doesn’t. Although I’m not a socialist, I also point out the huge disparity in pay, reflecting what we value.

I’d like to do a whole service on this another time.

In woo woo circles, in the ring above ‘I was in Corporate Land (and Spirit found me)’, I’ve heard it said that work is part of the old paradigm. It’s not just AI – which I deplore – making us wonder if we’ll need basic incomes because there won’t be the need to work. There’s also suggestion that money is part of this lower frequency world that I hope we are about to grow out of.

In medieval Wales, they had no money – in the first Cadfael book, an English abbot tries to pay off his neighbours, who are confused and insulted. Pre Roman Britain also didn’t understand loans – the Celts thought that giving was simply a gift, no strings.

And they were right.

I note that in Britain, after four centuries of uninvited rulers who imposed cities as well as taxes, that we resumed our more agrarian tribal living. Historians used to call those mysterious centuries til the Normans arrived The Dark Ages. The ignorance was truly theirs, for the society was simply different to and in some ways more enlightened than the city building conquerors. I wonder if it’s comparable to the difference between Lemuria and Atlantis, two ancient mythologised lost continents. Lemurians are like the native Celts, living more simply in one way, but with deep understanding of spirit and nature; the Atlanteans, like Romans, were the advanced people, in technology – but were they spiritually and emotionally mature? Weren’t they the ones whose advancement caused an explosion which destroyed them and endangered the rest of the planet with them? The warning to us should be evident.

Are the Lemurians/Celts closer to Ascension?

I’m almost done. So really I’m talking about two things under the same word: personal maturity, and the next stage of the world’s history.

I’m noting – in myself too – how that spiritual leaders can have contradictions in their beliefs and behaviours. As a priestess sister said, we can be juicy red apples on one side and green with wormholes on the other – and I think that holding red and green is part of maturity. Ascension is not about being red all over. It doesn’t make some emotions unacceptable – SARK says to feel everything in your emotional family, and live in the marvellous messy middle. To me, that’s not leaving this world (including for the holding pen) nor letting it worsen, nor reigning in my cackle and smoothing everything with meaningless love and premature forgiveness – more on these topics another time. But I do see that contradictions can also mean comprimise in integrity, and that’s worth watching for, and I include myself in that as much as holding others to account.

I’m converging threads about two different faiths and two different shades of those faiths. Evangelical Christians expect a literal Second Coming of the Lord, ending our Earth dwelling as we know it; and more high (but often liberal) Christians made more of the feast on Thursday, but without perhaps believing that their Lord did lift off in the ET sense. I like to think that he did, and he didn’t need a spacecraft.

Believers in Atlantis say that our forebears had flying machines and that UFOs like our friend ET are evolved beings, perhaps angels, perhaps remnants of those lost races. And that they’re here to help us by passing on knowledge and are especially ready to assist us in this crucial time.

There are shades of woo woo too. There’s those who accept all that we’re being told about the virus, and those who promote what they believe to be an alternative truth. Some of those critiquing the new laws being rushed through and medical propaganda do so without reference to spiritual beliefs, and I feel that their telling is not complete without being aware of energy and spirit. There are the woo woo-ers who expect ascension to be a literal leaving of this planet, so it’s not Jesus (or ET) we’re waiting for, but ourselves. Yet both Larry Norman and the Gaia gang believe that people will be left behind, and see a great danger if we don’t soon act.

Much of my lifetime has had The Book of Revelation fulfilment potential. But never have I felt on such a cusp of a watershed as now.

I’ve long stopped preaching to make people see religion my way for fear that they will go to hell and I will get a rap for letting them. But I am not so laissez fair about politics. Not the party kind, but the what’s happening in the world kind. I see that there is an evil – perhaps not Satan, but that there are principalities and powers at work, and that they are manifesting right now. And being uncovered, ready for transmutation or defeat. I do believe that we have an all powerful Saviour, so that we don’t have to do this alone. I think we are all Eliots and Gerties, that having been shown the truth, we need to continue his work – those from spaceships and He who doesn’t need one – and that we too ascend, out of the Matrix and into the Aquarian age.

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A Lord’s Prayer for our times

Big Brother

who art in cloud servers

Big Data be your name

Your new world order won’t come

5G won’t be done

On Earth as it was in China

Give us this day our daily bread (and whatever walks we feel like)

and lead us not into totalitarianism

For yours is not the kingdom

the power, nor the glory

for it belongs to a God called Love

and Hers is the new normal

from now and forever

Amen, so let it be

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A loving list for lockdown loosening

Thank you to all who spread love and hope and solidarity

Thank you to all who have the courage to speak out

Thank you to all whose musical contributions have helped raise our vibrations to love – such as John Martyn’s I Don’t Know About Evil, Only Wanna Know About Love (which I play as I type)

Thank you to all those who acted unselfishly, even if I disagree with the need to stay in, or stay apart; and those who defied it – you did what you believed was right

Thank you to all those who came into work and served us – again, regardless of what the danger really is, that perhaps believing the worst, you came in anyway

Thank you to all those in enforcement who act with compassion and common sense, and have the courage to question unjust orders; thank you to those who don’t give them

Thank you to all those who have worked so hard to find solutions, whether political or medical; and to those whose solutions listened to the people you are here to help, and who refused to create or legislate anything that harms people, the planet, or the values we stand for

Thank you to all those who printed what they believed to be true, or gave the others the opportunity to hear other points of view, and did not print what powerful others told them to, inciting fear

Thank you to all who don’t report other people for breaking lockdown rules or use apps which allow for government spying

Thank you to all who are considerate of their neighbours and don’t make this time harder through selfish noise, tempting as that may have been

Thank you to all those who are lenient, especially on those who can’t pay, and even better – those who’ve started questioning the fairness of their fees during this time

Thank you to all those who have broken down boundaries, reconnected, been resilient, found creative ways to connect and allow services of all kinds to continue

Thank you to all those who call for a more equal society; thank you for those who are helping make it

And thank you to all those who read this

Love to you all

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Green Pastilles, blue clothing: in remembrance of my Mum’s 10th anniversary

Ten years ago, I lost my Mum. I want to share some thoughts and two pictures inspired by her.

(You can hear me reading this on https://yourlisten.com/BetweenTheStools)

This was painted on the first anniversary of her death – it’s called

“Ascent of the Duzzy Heron”.

Ascent of the Duzzy Heron

The heron had elicited two strong but opposing reactions from our family. Granddad saw it as a fish taker. He referred to it as “duzzy” – a local gentle expletive, since, as evangelicals, we can’t say fuckin’. (Yes, I know…Would Jesus like to hear me say that?)

For Granddad, then, the bird was a menace.

But for Mum, it was a source of joy. Mum would watch this heron, often from the window, and await the moment when the slim leggy bird spread its vast wings. Its whole presence expanded and it truly was a magnificent – but elusive and fleeting – sight. She would often call us over as the unfurling began, but I always missed the show. The heron was a wide eyebrow shaped mark in the air, rapidly disappearing, by the time I viewed it.

On the day of Mum’s funeral, I returned home alone and I saw, for the first time, the heron as it rose with the grace and span of Isaiah’s eagles and flew up into the heavens.

And I felt it was a sign of Mum, and so involuntarily, I saluted it.

It was thus a natural focus for an anniversary painting. The heron, more iridescent silver than grey, represented Mum, rising from the murky waters of her illness – a subject much in our collective minds at present; the green is the trees behind, although this is also about growth and new life; and blue, her favourite colour, and white flecked with light, symbolises her new celestial home. For she and I absolutely believe in paradise, and the transcendence over death however it comes for us.

In the heron’s beak is a green pastille.

It may seem unremarkable that I ate one that day. But I was 15 before I tasted one; and for the last eighteen months of Mum’s life, all greens had to be handed over to my mother with a partiality for the little sugary round Rowntree sweets.

In church as children, during long sermons, Mum opened the silvery wrapper and passed it along to us in the pew, but the green ones were extracted before being proffered. Green ones were snatched by right until we earned and were able to buy our own confectionary and eat them away from Mum’s eyes.

In my teens, there was a deliciousness in discovery of a rather nice hitherto unchewed flavour. I hadn’t minded giving over the again green pastilles when Mum got ill – it was affection as much as deference, a willing sacrifice.

On the bedside table, beside a stripped mattress that once carried our matriarch, was a single green pastille.

And, like Eve, I did take and ate it. (She’d have hated that wrongful grammar).

It felt deliberate, like an invitation to take the red pill of The Matrix, to step into life’s fullness – a final gift, as if the woman who bore me gave me life a second time.

 

The other painting is called “She Is Our Clothing”. It comes from a quote from Mother Julian’s’ Revelation of Divine Love. Julian wrote “He is our clothing”, but her constant reference to God as Mother – which I have long believed – made  this a natural title choice. Mum died close to the anniversary of Julian’s visions, which is celebrated in my city, where Julian lived. I had kept both something Mum bought me and something she wore, and I used them in this artwork. The navy shirt – Mum’s favourite colour and one she was glad to see on our backs as well as her own – got ripped in place that Jesus was torn. Across the painting, the arms of this smock and those of a hoodie of Mum’s are wrapped, enfolding us. The painting itself has imagery from Julian’s medieval book: the hazelnut, the soul as a city – naturally, I’ve drawn this one – are in the Vesica Pisces shape often seen in medieval seals, but this has another, ahem, relevant thought to the title of the piece. Around it is He is Our Ground, The Purse!! (Julian said it, I painted it!), Knitting, and further maternal imagery that is currently covered up! (one for another sermon – Mum wouldn’t have liked that any more than my duzzy translation). There is also the Devil and flames which Julian was taught not to fear, as they are already overcome by our Lord. And that as the hazelnut tells us – everything that is made, is held by God.

In my own life and the collective life of the world, I felt need of being reminded of God’s nurturing, sustenance, love, and power over all; that his arms enfold us, as a Mum, as I remember and celebrate the life of mine. Yes, I’m eating green pastilles in her memory.

I have seven of them lined up to eat ceremonially at the moment of her passing.

She is Our Clothing photos by me1

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