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Shooting the Messenger (2019)

August bank holiday was the weekend of our local art exhibition in the village church. I had been invited to exhibit my landscape prints and to paint two miniature watercolours for the exhibition raffle. As one of the organisers had already read my book and listened to my CDs, I asked if they could be included in my exhibitor space - he said, 'Yes, of course, please do'. After setting up, I returned to the church on the following afternoon and was met with a cold, suspicious glance from one of the other organisers. She refused to converse with me, and the vicar, who had been all smiles and conviviality the previous morning, could barely meet my eye or return my greeting with civility. The reason for this change was that Ms. No-Speak had complained to Rev. Eyes-Askance about the presence of my book and had requested that it be removed. They had not looked through the book and they had no real idea about its contents, they had just seen the title 'Nature Spirits: The Remembrance', and that was enough to ensure its removal. Here was a classic example of shooting the messenger before the message could be heard.

Did I feel offended? No, I just felt heavy-at-heart. This microcosmic clash of ideologies shows that the weary, worn out old stories depicting nature spirits and devas as dangerous and anti-Christian, are still looping through the collective. These old shibboleths truly starve and stifle us. They are fortified and held in place by forces that wish to restrict our expanding awareness and shut down our innate abilities. Of course, some sceptics can offer constructive critiques which are very useful for reappraising and honing research methods (and I wholeheartedly welcome these), but many critiques, as in this case, are sudden, irrational and charged with an emotion that not even the sceptic can trace to its source.

For centuries the nature spirits and elementals have been surrounded by a curtain of ridicule and derision by sceptics and fundamentalists. But what really lies behind this derision is fear. Fear of the unknown; fear of loosing control; fear of meeting something wiser and more powerful than us. And the biggest fear of all? The fear of meeting an inescapable responsibility that once comprehended, can never be forgotten. This responsibility shows us that there is no such thing as a private thought; everything we think, say and do, sounds on for spirit ears and spirit eyes and has an instant holographic effect on the nature of time and space. It also shows us that everything in nature has a communicable intelligence. Most of the world's population don't want to face this truth. But face it we must. With Earth Overshoot Day set at July 29th and rapidly sliding, a courageous exploration of the supersensible structure of our reality is needed now more than ever.

Rudolf Steiner tells us that 'What the elemental nature spirits have called into the world is the last reverberation of the creative, formative, cosmic Word, which underlies all activity and all existence.' The elemental nature spirits are the vital life-forces within Earth's Planetary Intelligence, or P.I., and when P.I. and H.I. (human intelligence) begin to collaborate through the mechanism of the heart, they will go a long way towards holding A.I. to its right and useful sphere.

The Earth is calling for a new story to be told from the pulpits and boardrooms of our communities, a sacred story in which the nature spirits are seen as a natural, organic part of our lives and where their symbiotic relationship with the mineral, plant, animal and human kingdoms is seen as normal. These generous beings wish to be of great assistance to us at this critical time, but we have to meet them in their own territory. The gifted seer and co-founder of Findhorn, Dorothy MacLean, brings us this simple but powerful message from the devas, 'To love is to be part of something. We wait for your recognition of us ? we wait in love for your love. All kingdoms who love are connected.'

At this point in the story I recall a particularly potent phrase which tells us that 'Every time we point a finger, there will be three pointing back'. With this counsel in mind, I have no choice but to ask, 'Who have I shot down before their precious message could be heard? Who have I judged in a nano-second for the cover of their book, or for the sound of their voice?' Hmm... we all do it, and we all have to patrol it if we are to progress along the spiritual path. So, I send no animosity towards the vicar of our local church; his energetic pastoral work and his commitment to the Christian faith is warmly appreciated in the community. And to the disgruntled lady exhibition organiser, I feel only empathy for her years of worship at a beloved church. But at this point in our evolution we are being called to explore beyond the visible light spectrum. The teachers, angels and avatars of our great world religions are urging us from the realms in which they dwell, to see more and be more. It is time to widen our thinking to accommodate a far greater and more detailed view of the subtle realms - be they scientific or spiritual - and to mend the lines of communication with the beings who inhabit the supersensible ecosystems of the Earth.

While I was taking down my watercolour prints on the last day of the exhibition, a fellow exhibitor, who I had missed during the weekend, walked into the church and greeted me with a voice that resounded through the nave, 'Hello Susan, I haven't seen you for ages, how are you? I must tell you, my friend Grace is reading your book at the moment and is absolutely loving it... she's 80 you know!'


A short time later I walked through the graveyard and bowed my head in greeting to the guardian Yew trees lining the pathway. I felt those grand elders of the plant kingdom send out a wry and rarefied smile from their ancient deep green stillness...

An Article by Susan Raven


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