Saturday, 22 March 2014

"Circles" by A Custom of Youth Music Review by DM 2014

"Circles" by A Custom of Youth




Sometimes when I'm asked to review music it's a massive task to pick out the positives of some really dreadful music. When I was asked to review the brand new album from A Custom of Youth.. I couldn't write anything for 2 days... it's that good!!

From the opening synths of "This Life" to the last note of the title track "Circles" I was transfixed by the journey I was taken on. You can see where the influences come from... from the 60's right through to the 80's and 90's.. yet this album still manages to sound so fresh.

Hailing from Merseyside, A Custom of Youth was born out of a desire to make some good music, regardless of genre or tastes. I can comfortably say this has been achieved with the release of this album. You can tell every track has been thought out to make sure nothing is out of place.. every note is exactly where it should be... the produciton is exemplary, the vocals are fantastic and the music to tie it all together is nothing short of inspirational. I cannot recommend this album high enough it deserves every accolade it's gonna get.

A Custom of Youth "Circles" is due for release sometime mid-April.... get it bought you won't regret it.

DM 2014

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Ben Sims Enlightening Times Featured Artist

Back six years ago I had a minor break down while coping with the demands of a new baby and going to work every day, sleep deprivation can have that affect. As a result I had to take thing's a little easier for a while and one day I found myself sifting across material on Youtube on Reptillians. Having always been interested in Aliens I found the whole subject fascinating and began searching for more information, before long I'd came across David Icke and the idea of the Holographic Universe.

I found it so interesting, aliens and reptilians become a very small subject in the context of the world being holographic. The more I watched the more mind blow I was, I soaked up knowledge for a few years from many different sources including Red Ice, Alex Jones, Coast to Coast, Veritas and I also met Gareth Icke. It was Gareth who inspired me to think about what I could do to contribute to the momentum that was building.

It was then I hit the paint brush. I tried all mediums, spray paint to paint markers, oils acrylics. As I started I started running into synchronicity i.e. I want to an event in Manchester to see Thomas Sheridan, Author of Anvil of the Psyche and other titles.  

As I was there I bumped into Ben Stewart from America, Stew Art who was there speaking about art, as we introduced ourselves to each other and realised both our name's were Ben another Ben introduced himself, creating a Ben triangle which I found quite amusing. Ben was also holding an event only a quarter mile from my home which I attended and the following year I bumped into him in a lift in a hotel while going to see David Icke in London.

I have sold about 12 paintings so far and have continued to change from medium to medium, my favourite of which for now is medium sprays maker pens and oil paint on canvas. Ben Sims

Visit Ben's website for more information or to purchase your very own Ben Sims Artwork
All Rights Reserved 2014 


To write or not to write.... It is still your choice, for now.

In the wake of news stories about Journalism being compared to Terrorism and bills being passed through government which make it a criminal offense to take part in lobbying unless you have registered with the government for the right to do so... is it any wonder that more and more people are literally being frightened into silence?

The phone hacking scandal which has been all over the news recently is just one of the gift horses that presented the government with the perfect opportunity to bring in new legislation's to overhaul the industry by placing restrictions on who can act as a lobbyist by passing a law in which you have to register for the right to lobby and comply with a list of rules and regulations which include passing business and personal information and making in an offense to spend over a certain amount of money on campaigning in the year coming up to Elections.

Why would you be interested in lobbying? Striving to influence decisions being made by the government? The News is a perfect example of how to influence opinion in the general public when it is presented in a certain way, alongside images portraying things which the viewers will react with emotionally when they agree or disagree with the content being shown. What about unbiased reporting is there even such a thing anymore in the Mainstream Media?

There was grave concern voiced about the Transparency of Lobbying bill from Greenpeace and other Charities because of the enforced cap on expenditure on political lobbying before an election.   
  • Charities National charity campaigns such as those against fracking could also be affected by the new rules if the Electoral Commission rules that they favour one party in the election. At a local level they could also fall foul of the new regulations. (Quote from Independant)
This is alongside all the information from the leaks that were published from information released by Edward Snowden proving that we really are living in an Orwellian surveillance state and that our every move is being logged, categorized and analyzed by someone somewhere sitting behind mountains of personal data that we we neither agreed to have collected or were even aware that it was being collected until the whistleblowing light shone from a great height to illuminate all of these shady goings on.

So where does this leave those of us who would like to know the Truth about matters? Free Speech may not be what it once used to be in the UK but it is not dead and buried just yet. The established Media outlets are not the only source of information. More often than not you will see a story spreading through twitter days before it is picked up by the mainstream and being reported not by trained journalists but by everyday people who are reporting facts, posting images and talking about things as they happen in real time. Surely a way forward is for the audience to participate in the output of information that is being reported and for it to be just as important as that which is carefully dissected, prepared and streamlined to a certain agenda before broadcast.

Mark Glaser, a freelance journalist who frequently writes on new media issues, said in 2006:[10]
The idea behind citizen journalism is that people without professional journalism training can use the tools of modern technology and the global distribution of the Internet to create, augment or fact-checked media on their own or in collaboration with others. For example, you might write about a city council meeting on your blog or in an online forum. Or you could fact-check a newspaper article from the mainstream media and point out factual errors or bias on your blog. Or you might snap a digital photo of a newsworthy event happening in your town and post it online. Or you might videotape a similar event and post it on a site such as YouTube.
Everyone has a voice, an opinion, thoughts... and yours are just as important as the next persons. Question is will you exercise your right to speak out? Over the last few years the Enlightening Times Magazine has sought to promote creative people from all walks of life who have dedicated their lives to their work. Our youtube channel, the blog and Magazine is opening its doors to YOU to make a difference whether that is through writing Articles or sharing Stories to promoting your life's work and that of others who have chosen to live their dream or to write news stories as you see them! If you would like to be added to the Magazine Blog as a regular contributor please Email Rashelle and she will set you up.

Due to the arrival of two beautiful baby boys I won't be editing the Magazine anymore but will be handing the running of the new site and future editions over to the very capable Rashelle who is very lucky to have lots of helpers lining up to assist with technical advice and support. I have loved every second of the Enlightening Times since its inception and would like to thank each an every single contributor who has helped bring the Magazine to what it is today. You are all awesome! Keep those Articles coming. :)

By Jade Moore for the Enlightening Times Magazine
All Rights Reserved 2014 

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Pamela Wells Featured Artist in the Enlightening Times Magazine

Affirmations for the Everyday Goddess deck highlights the universal wisdom, truth and power of each major arcana card as an evolutionary step towards higher consciousness. 

I created “Affirmations for the Everyday Goddess” as a tool to honor the feminine aspects of God. By creating a tarot deck that deeply resonates with my own experience of the Divine Feminine, I knew I would transform myself in the process as well as awaken others to the wisdom and power of the Goddess.  

To me, the Divine Feminine is the gateway to universal wisdom and a compassionate guide into the nature of God and ourselves. The inner journey begins with the feminine task of self-inquiry and our thirst for greater knowledge and meaning in our lives. This is exactly why the tarot is such an exquisite tool. It takes us down into our souls and reconnects us with our own intuitive brilliance we were collectively taught to disregard. When we reconnect to our inner wisdom, we learn how to live from a place of love. We become more connected and compassionate about our own suffering, the suffering of all beings and more engaged in healing ourselves and the planet. 
 
Tarot enthusiasts know this: ask the question and the journey begins! There is a Divine Feminine intelligence within every human being that is ready to empower us, align us with our highest aspirations and fill us with our heart’s desire if we have the courage to begin the adventure into our own souls.

What got me started doing the tarot?

I had reached a transitional period in my commercial illustration and design career where I wanted to pursue creative work with less restrictive design rules. The step was an act of reclaiming my identity as a "fine artist" and overcoming my fear of becoming the "starving artist".

At about the same time I met a medicine woman who encouraged me to paint and draw what I felt passionate about. One of the first images I painted was the Strength card before I even knew it would become the Strength card!

The Strength card is mid-point in a majors only tarot deck and suggests inner growth and awareness that evolves over our lifetimes. Strength says, "I wisely use my life-force energy to create and direct my good work in the world." The archetypal significance or the card represented to me a message of passionate action. I was ready to fully incorporate the meaning of this card in my life.As I painted, I realized I could be guided in the process through meditation. All these wonderful synchronistic events unfolded during the creation of imagery as my faith grew that all would be well even if I didn't know where my creative work would lead me. About ten paintings into this intuitive process a large tarot card company contacted me and asked me to create a tarot deck. 
“Affirmations for the Everyday Goddess” deck has spiritual depth for those who are serious seekers, healers, mystics and intuitives. I included a challenging question and answer section at the end of each chapter in the spiritual guide-book included with the cards. The deck is organized around the universal spiritual teachings of each of the 22 major arcana cards. I was deeply moved by their profound wisdom and immersed myself into translating the spiritual and evolutionary meaning of the cards. The goddess tarot cards highlight each of the wisdom teachings with an affirmation. The book includes quotes from spiritual teachers, mystics and philosophers as well as poetry to elaborate on the meaning of the cards. I designed the box, book and cards to be used for individual contemplation, major arcana tarot readings, and for educational wisdom teachings. This set is also beautifully packaged and perfect to give as a gift or collectable. 
The cards are oversized for the purpose of seeing all the detailed imagery. The box and cards are printed with metallic gold ink. 
Where can people go to buy this deck? “Affirmations for the Everyday Goddess Spiritual Guidebook & 22 Wisdom Cards for Contemplation and Prayer”. It is available for retail or wholesale from ArtmagicPublsihing.com, New Leaf Distribution, Barnes & Noble, Amazon or DeVorss & Company. It is also available at iTunes as an iPhone app.

Becoming Real by Cherry Morris


"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit. "Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt." “Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?" "It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

Isn't that lovely? What a wonderful excerpt from the book, it really does sum up living authentically. It’s also very true; we don’t become real people until we have experienced pain, loss, real love, and what we thought was love. So no matter the source of love or hurt, we become real by acknowledging our true selves in every experience.

So the Skin Horse explains this by saying that people who break easily, have sharp edges, or have to be kept carefully, don’t often become real. Looking at this and applying it to life we can see what he means. If you break easily, everything becomes painful, every new negative experience builds on the last one, and we become so disconnected from our true selves, our dreams, our hopes that it becomes difficult to see clearly.

If you have coped with life by building a wall around yourself for protection, you may keep out the hurt, but you also keep out the chance of becoming real, and recognising real love when it comes. So your edges will be sharp, from a distance you seem okay, but get closer and those edges cut, the saddest thing is that it is you who will be cut the deepest.

If your response to life has been a desire to be carefully kept, (controlling your environment) then you are living a false life. Like living on a very small life raft in a very big ocean, you are very vulnerable to being thrown around by life’s ups and downs.

When we are hurting, we don’t see it at the time but it is the perfect time to take a long hard look at ourselves. To become real (authentic) we have to acknowledge every part of ourselves. The good parts and the not so pretty parts.

You can’t mend other people when they are broken, that’s a fact, an indisputable truth. No matter what you do for them, you cannot mend them. You can help them mend themselves, but they have to truly want to change or your energy and time will be wasted.

You can mend yourself though, with or without help, and the first step is to acknowledge that you are broken.

Just two questions, if you’re really smart you’ll be asking yourself both of them:

Why am I allowing these things to happen in my life?

Why am I treating other people this way?
That’s it right there, your biggest truth, your long hard gaze in the mirror: Two simple questions.

So how do you begin to mend yourself?

It starts with how much we love and value ourselves, those who've read all of my blogs will notice a common theme in that statement. What most people who read it won’t know - is that I have learnt all of these things the hard way by experience!

So right now I will be my authentic self, sharing the one simple fact that I know, if we don’t love, honour and respect ourselves truly, why should others?

Have you ever:

Put yourself last, feeling guilty for having needs
Beat yourself up for making mistakes
Had self-destructive behaviours that stemmed from low self-worth and attracted all manner of destructive people/events into your life
Talked yourself out of doing anything worthy, told yourself that you wouldn’t be good enough
Concentrate on all your perceived shortcomings far more than all the good things you’ve achieved
Develop some habits/strategies to feel loved, get attention

I have done all of the above, and probably a lot more too at various times in my life!

So how did I change? How did I become real?

I went through a most horrendous experience that left me vulnerable and scared, but at the same time something in me snapped and made me embrace everything I was, and everything I wasn’t.

I acknowledged my weak points and made a promise to myself to sort as many of them out as possible, and to love those flawed bits of me I really couldn’t change.

By accepting yourself fully, you begin the healing process, by looking at the dark side of ourselves, as well as the light parts (much more comfortable to look at) that is the route to becoming whole.

So I am not so different from you, except that I am writing about my flaws for the world to read, and I have to tell you – that feels ok, it feels right to acknowledge that I am not perfect. The reason that it feels right is that my foundation is now built on having the love and respect for myself that I deserve.

I don’t need everyone else to love me in order to love myself
I don’t need everyone else’s permission to be happy in order to feel happiness
I am happy being me, perfectly imperfect, and in living this way, I have attracted happiness in abundance into my life that I never thought possible..

So now you know, the whole reason for creating the village of Happyshire, is to help you find peace and happiness in your life too. To give you courage to change, to get out there and create the life you’d really like.

Live positively and value yourself, take chances, take risks...just do it!

The worst that can happen can turn out to be the best you ever could have imagined
Trust me, I know, for now that my hair has fallen out, I have scars, inside and outside, my joints ache... but I am real, and I am truly loved.

You can read the whole story of the Velveteen Rabbit here..
http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/williams/rabbit/rabbit.html

This article was taken from my blog http://happy-shire.blogspot.co.uk/

My name is Cherry Morris and my website is www.cherriesnaturalhealing.co.uk

All Rights Reserved 2014 

Biff Diglett New Book by Sid Wright

Check out Sids 4th book after The Contemplations of a Nobody, The Further Contemplations of a Nobody and Fancy Dress Tips for Bald Men.

Biff Digglett is a comedic piece of light reading which features 3 short stories about a young man called Biff Digglett. He has finished university with a degree in Criminology but inevitably struggles to find a job in that field. Eventually he is forced to move back home to the sleepy town of Cockermouth and he gets a temporary job as a gardener but the job turns out to be a gateway to a world of crime and murder.

Sids books are all available from his website - Biff Digglett and the Secret Gardener, Biff Digglett and the monster on Meadow Grove and Biff Digglett and the horrors of the Four Halls Hotel.



www.sidwright.co.uk 

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Creating New beginnings through the Tarot Cards by Jean Redman

Creating New Beginnings through the Tarot cards

Self transformation is important if you want to be in charge of being a co-creator with in your own destiny. A Tarot reading can offer you that opportunity to be that co-creator of change. Why wait for the winds to do that, often smacking you right in the face, let’s take charge now and be the creator of your own New Beginnings. 

Often in a Tarot reading, I am ask how can I change, what do I need to change, how can I create happiness, a healthy body, a new mind set, revitalized passion for my work or for my partner, how can I have a loving relationship? We humans tend to focus more on the problem rather than the solution and you can find tools for solutions through the Tarot cards. To desire a new beginning we must first asked ourselves, why do I want to create a new beginning? In asking this question you would be able to discover what you need to let go of, what needs to die in order to be reborn. What new beginning do I want or desire. For instance, you may want a new business, a diet for a new body, a new way of looking at the world, a new romance or re-modeled and or redesign your home. 

There is a story, your story and many of us cannot let go of “our story”. This is essential to creating a new beginning. Just how can we let go? For the Tarot reading, this is the first question to ask. With five cards in a Tarot spread we can determine the how and the what, for some people they have a difficult time in seeking out the what needs to be let go of, the Tarot can pin point that, clarify what you need. For instance for those who do not know what they want to let go of, the center card of the reading is the “issue at hand” what do I need to let go of. This card could be the Ten of Wands, which would tell us that we need to look at where you feel a burden, a responsibility and or stress and hard work in your life, where it is the heaviest load. 

Perhaps you do not know how to create time for your own soul’s rest or nourishment, or the body that craves a hot bath or a spa day. Maybe you took on too many philanthropic projects and feel guilty that you cannot give yourself fully to all of them this would be the burden of consciousness. Perhaps you have worked really hard on a project and it is coming to completion, the achievement is there, however, the responsibilities will now kick in and this may be too much to handle and you are struggling to let go. The next card drawn is the card of the mind, the sub-conscious, something perhaps you are not aware of, the thinking mind or belief held deep in the sub-conscious. This is what needs to be address, to re-formulate or enhanced. The card could be, The Queen of Swords. This card may show that your associate or even your director, this person is a great thinker, organized and not very approachable. 

However the position of the card tells us that she can be open to you asking her for help. You have thought of her as stand offish, unapproachable and feel her response to you would be stern, like your mother’s was. You have not thought to ask her and in fact do not want to ask. The truth is you have not delegated the work load properly because your own thinking mind is one of perfection and greatly independent, if I don’t do it right, no one will. So how then can we change this thinking and in fact a pattern which may have carried over since childhood. The next card is the “change or helper card” and perhaps it is The Magician Card. This would tell you that it is the right timing to communicate what you need and you will impress people in the process of doing so. This will move things swiftly forward and balance out the burden that you have been carrying. There is seen here as a need for urgency, the need to make things happened now and you will get what you desire. This brings good luck to you, so take that leap forward and change the direction of your life. The next card will tell us what action is needed to create this new beginning.

We now see the ACE of Wands. There is not action needed, the new beginning will be ushered in when the steps talked about before are taken swiftly to delegate priorities and work. The new beginning will be a new creative enterprise a new project will reveal itself with inspiration, power and great potential.

The Outcome of this reading the card drawn is The Six of Pentacles. To unburden your work load and your mind will bring in the ability to be generous with self and others. The new project may be in the form of a Charity, a Non-profit, something you have always dreamed of creating.

The Tarot cards will show you tools to use to facilitate change. One Tarot reading I did many years ago was with a woman I barely knew, but I had known her through various charity events. Her question was about her relationship of 8 years, the passion had died and she was contemplating moving on and letting go. In the place of what tool can I use to facilitate change within me, she drew the card with the imagery of Musical instruments all over it, and it was the Eight of Wands. I had known her for years but did not know much about her and I asked her if she liked Music. She did. I asked her if she ever played an instrument. Wow, I was so surprised at the answer. She had put the Cello in the closet for the last 12 years, she got bored with it and she also felt that she would never be that good, seeking perfection was at her core of being. I suggested to her that the cards were telling her to pick that up again, create the passion of the music just for herself and no one else and to play for meditation. Impress no one. Bring the harmony of life back into your energy and allow the passion to flow in, allow it to happen. I saw her 4 months later, she had renewed her vows with her partner and she was playing the Cello daily, it had brought her to complete joy. 

Jean Redman has read Tarot cards since 1982. She also teaches Tarot classes and created The Bali Tarot Deck, the Major Arcana, un-published as yet. www.tarotbyjeanredman.com and to see more images from the deck, http://balitarotdeck.webs.com



An alternative view of current affairs by Marian Matthews

Reading some of the current views of the shameful things that are happening in the world today, cover ups, loss of privacy and sovereignty, wars over resources , environmental problems, multinational exploitation etc etc I cannot help but feel a great sense of deja vu. 

Thirty years ago, in my radical phase, (CND radical and Labour Party) we were fighting hard for very similar causes. People from all walks of life and all ages saw it as their battle too. We were idealistically trying to make society and the world a better place. I think we thought we had made progress. Things seemed to have at least become more open. The realistic amongst us though had begun to realise that central government was more constrained than was apparent. Big business, multinational and the banking system had actually most of the power. They were operating across borders to further their own interests which did not always take into account our individual or national interests. They were, on some level, unaccountable to anyone.

Time, of course, tamed us all. We moved on to different political parties or just real life. I was in local politics for many years myself. By then a Liberal, my thinking was, although a busy wife and mother, at least that way I could make some small differences for both individual and the greater good. The most distressing part of this was the apathy and almost wilful ignorance of what was going on, seen in the general public. We actually had more in common with our “enemies”, who actually cared, although we felt them to be wrong and vice versa, than with the people who, as long as they were O.K., did not look at the big picture or question what was being done in their name.

With the growing of the information age, I had hoped that with the greater openness via the internet and 24 hour news from different sources, that people would see more. Abuses would be stopped, and wrongs put right. Society, would no longer be able to cite ignorance as an excuse for lack of action. 

Yet, in some ways we seem to be back in the bad old days. Why is this so?

AS far as I can see there are several reasons for this.

Firstly, people always assume that government is always working to improve the greater good. Or solve problems to benefit of us all. There are individuals in all parties and in government who do try to do this. Many though are just trying to improve things for their own particular set. People should both vote and look behind the rhetoric and vote for people of honour and integrity rather than just those with the best sound bite. But please vote.

Secondly, the information age works both ways. With our information has come institutional observation of us all. With this comes the means of control. This is a battle that we fought hard 30 years ago , before most people realised it was a problem. Public apathy defeated us. It is now too late. All we can do about it is just be aware.

Thirdly, there are far too many people who believe that it is not their responsibility to solve society’s problems or their own. They think that someone else , or the government should do something about everything. We need all to take responsibility for our own actions and society’s. It must also be realised that we are one world. If we all did what we could, even on a very small scale, locally or globally, we could make a difference.

Fourthly, there is now no way to control these transnational empires, In some ways we rely on them. All we can do is keep on the ball and shame them where necessary to act for the greater good. The sooner we realise that it is everyone’s problem and not just someone else’s, the more we can mitigate this. So, put down your I pads, switch off your videogames, pick up the batons that we put down years ago. We need you more than ever.

P.S.  Our Toxic Press

Last but not least, when discussing the state of the world and how we are losing the battle for control, honesty and integrity we must never forget the role played in our societal downfall by our toxic media and press.

So much is happening in the world for good or bad that is shown to us in 24 hour media cover, but never forget that what is shown is only a snap shot, someone’s choice of many things that may be available. When something major happens it dominates our screens in blanket coverage at the cost all other sensible News that may be happening at the same time. A balanced view if often missing. Quantity is often mistaken for quality. Not only that but the topic is suddenly dropped ( Like Syria) although the problem is still ongoing. I used to be proud of our BBC but no more…apart from radio 4 that is. Too often the News agenda seems to have been set by people who have a narrow and limited view of what the public may be interested in. I am always particularly appalled when the death of a celeb is given more coverage than seemly, often at the cost of real news. Is the death of someone who is good at acting or singing, or just in some cases just being, worth more than a tragedy involving ordinary people?

The written media are sometimes even worse. I have had many a rant about the celebrity culture in magazines that gives young girls ( and boys ) false goals to aim for. Being happy is portrayed as being only a factor of being slim and being dressed in the latest “must have” fashions. Dating a footballer or celeb is seen as the pinnacle of what should be aspired to. The problem is in the air brushed beauty being the norm. People are made to feel inadequate if they do not begin to match up. The emphasis seems to be on dieting for vanity rather than healthy eating for long and healthy life. This is causing stress and depression among our young people.

Very sadly, characters in soap operas, who often live horrendous and amoral lives, are treated as real people. I have seen magazine headlines with news of the character’s (not the actual actors) doings as if it had really happened. This again gives false norms to people. Not even our more heavy weight papers are always much better. I did see an edition of- I think it was- the Times that gave nearly equal weight on the front page to someone famous’ wonderful waist size and the problems in the Crimea. Come on media stop poisoning the lives of the young with this junk. Real happiness is in living well balanced and thoughtful lives. Where are the inspirational stories? Where are our role models? Where is the crusading zeal that encourages people to take control of their own lives and work for the common good rather than blame everyone else for the mess we are in? A decent media would help us with our fight for a better society, not chase flashy headlines. We need better stories and both sides of each dispute to be properly given, not just in sound bites for entertainment. The press should be our bulwark between us and the often dreadful things done in our name.


There are exceptions, of course, but generally our media seems to have become a branch of the entertainment industry. Come on media, written and visual, raise your game we need you to do the right thing. Who knows, if people start believing in you again together we may actually be able to improve things. Newspapers might even be able to sell more copies again!

Arise and Shine - The Magick of a Spiritual Awakening by Richard Gordon

Within the fields of the mystical arts there are many outspoken practitioners on spiritual enlightenment. In fact spirituality itself appears to be tied directly into the defining essence of our human nature, yet many of us still appear to pass from the cradle to the grave without experiencing anything that even slightly resembles a spiritual awakening. Why in a world that appears to be obsessed with all things spiritual would this be the case?

Before I propose a possible answer to this question I believe that it is essential to understand what a typical spiritual awakening involves and how it may possibly come about. I should also make it clear at this point that I’m not referring to the finding of religion, which although related is a completely different issue to the self-awakening process.

My personal definition of spirituality is that of becoming self-aware of the living energy that exists within every atom of our body, followed by the realization that the very same indestructible energy flows throughout the entirety of manifest reality. At a conscious level it is the further understanding that our sense of separation is of an illusionary nature, as we are all an integral part of the greater whole. The plants, animals, rocks, the food we eat, the water we drink and the air that we breathe all contain this same immortal spark of energy at their epicentre.

Enlightenment is more a case of steadily coming to an understanding of how this energy becomes intricately interwoven into the fabric of manifest reality. Or in other words we start to gain meaningful insights into the inner workings of the universe and the true nature of what we refer to as reality.

In mysticism there is a general agreement in regards to the order that the universe manifests. From a state of nothingness wells a sea of pure energy; this energy then steadily condenses on many levels, beginning with the ethereal realms, before it eventually reaches its further most point, the solid matter of our reality.  

Enlightenment and spirituality go hand in hand and can be described in terms of being a combination of knowledge and experience. The triggers of a spiritual awakening may vary tremendously in nature. Spending time in natural surroundings such as forests, lakes or mountains may help connect you to the inner process, which was the case for a friend of mine who spends his time out in the country fishing. Alternatively it may gradually occur over time, after practicing meditation or self-experimentation with psychoactive drugs of the higher states of consciousness and a feeling of oneness that psychedelic substances have a tendency to produce. Psilocybin, which is found in the so called ‘magic mushrooms’ has recently been experimentally given to terminally ill patients as when ingested it has the ability to create an overwhelming feeling of oneness between ourselves and the universe and it has evidently helped many of the patients involved to come to terms with their impending fate.

Another sequence of events that appears to often trigger a spiritual awakening occurs when people start to question the meaning of life and the true nature of the world that they find themselves to be living in, perhaps after a near death experience or the passing of a loved one. In fact it very well may be that the true meaning of living a conscious life is to question every aspect of our experience of it.

Although this style of awakening may occur at any time during life this mental move towards self-questioning appears to be most prevalent in those that are within the 28-35 year old age bracket. I guess the reason for this is that by the time we reach our late 20’s we've experienced a great deal of what life is likely to throw our way and start to wonder is this it? This also coincides astrologically with a person’s Saturn return, which hits in the late 20's and the effects of which can be felt into the early 30's and is seen as a wake up call.

One certainty is, that once the spiritual awakening has occurred, there is no going back. At this point in life many turn to religion as a way of defining the experience, though the trouble with addressing the experience via the dogma that is associated with religion, is that in many cases it only serves to direct you away from the intense emotional power that is the essence of direct experience and self-awareness.

Once the state of awakening has become full blown it appears that most people head in one of four directions, they either accept the experience for what it is and get on with their lives, try to completely ignore it, which in turn can lead to mental health issues, find religion or fourthly and most interestingly, they enter a prolonged period of self-evaluation and try to expand on the experience via the use of the many mystical techniques that are to be found within the doctrines of the esoteric arts. In time they may even trace that energy back towards its source by following traditional methods such as the Kabbalistic tree of life.

Our direct experience of universal energy can be steadily built upon over a period of time, somewhat like peeling back the infinite concentric layers of a self-contained sphere of energy. Each layer or veil, if you prefer, has the capacity of imprinting the integral sum of its’ information directly onto the next layer. As we get deeper into the layers we are slowly guided towards gaining ever-increasing insights in regards to the universal source.

It is said that to achieve true union with the source energy we must then pass through a final barrier or void that many refer to as being ‘the abyss’. If we see the process of enlightenment in terms of penetrating these informational layers it implies that if we wish to cross ‘the abyss’ in order to become as one with the energy source, we must in turn allow ourselves to cast aside the illusion of reality that was projected into the multiple layers, together with any learned and experienced information and our sense of self-identity, without fearing what is essentially the death of the ego. When all illusions collapse we become the source.

This can also be explained in the context of levels of awareness. Our base reality is a state of waking consciousness, a realm of problem solving and ideas that pertain to our daily lives. Beyond this is the realm of dreams, ideas and the imagination and there is also a further state of unconsciousness.

Many become trapped within the realm of dreams and imagination out of fascination or become absorbed within the belief that this is as far as you can go. Yet to transcend this state it implies that we must willingly let go of all we are. It also explains why people report having mystical experiences during states of unconsciousness such as a feeling of unity with a powerful all-encompassing white light that they find themselves within. Many people who have been involved in accidents or perhaps suffer epilepsy in turn unwittingly get to experience what many spiritual occultists spend a lifetime trying to achieve. It is interesting that epilepsy is now seen as being an infliction, whereas in ancient Greece it was seen as a divine blessing, as those that suffered from it had regular and direct experience of the gods, although it could be said that this is merely an experience of pure pre-manifest energy and not its actual source.

So we now come to the question of why many of us never experience the spiritual awakening.
I think the answer to this question is to be found within the structure of our modern day cultural upbringing and the tendency towards dissociation between the natural world and ourselves. The computer driven age has already produced several technology obsessive generations who appear to be increasingly disinterested in the world they live in.

A good example of this occurred a few months ago, I was showing a friends teenage children some photos I had taken during one of my hikes up in the Scottish mountains. I said, “If you’re lucky your dad might take you up there on a holiday.” They replied, “Why would we want to go and waste our time doing something boring like walking up in the mountains when we can look at pictures of them on the computer?”

They continued to say that unless the holiday involved a beach resort where they could lay by the pool and play their video games, they would much rather stay at home in the comfort of their bedrooms with the games console, television, computer and internet access, as if they were favouring interaction with the technology rather than the natural world.  This kind of ideology isn’t just affecting the lives of children; many adults also appear to be succumbing to a life that is ruled over by the very same values.  When we choose to remove ourselves from nature in this way it is almost as if we are becoming ever more reliant on new technologies to fulfil the spiritual void.

Although the arrival of new technologies, such internet messaging or cell phone texting, have made it far easier to get in touch with each other, in fact it could be said that their use fills the gap that is created by our apparent yearning to be telepathic, to be connected. The truth of the matter is that we are entering a period of time where actual regular physical interaction between others and ourselves is becoming a thing of the past, and even the social interaction of talking on the phone is often replaced by the power of texting.

On a spiritual level this kind of dissociative behaviour often leads towards the decay of a sense of community and a state physical isolation. Yes, we can easily communicate with others at any given time, yet in a sense we are losing out on so much of what tends to define the human race as being socially interactive animals.

This self-propelling dissociation between nature and ourselves is in turn leading us towards a cultural trend, which is by its very nature a synthetic affair. We could put this accelerated progression down to being a natural state of cultural evolution, yet the path appears to be one that may possibly lead us blindly towards the eventual self-destruction of our species and the planet we live on.

It would appear that many people have just about zero interest in the origin or content of the very food they eat or the welfare and methods employed within modern farming techniques. Commercialism has lead towards many of us favouring processed easy cooked ready meals in order to free up time to interact with cult of technology based pastimes, in fact I've met people who have unbelievably never prepared a meal from scratch via the use of natural ingredients.

If the majority of the population choose not to question the content of the food that they consume on a daily basis, it isn't surprising that it follows that they also have no interest in the poisoning of the seas and skies, the destruction of the rain forests or the corruption and manipulation of animal, plant and human DNA.

I believe that this ‘Let’s all live for the moment and sod tomorrow’ attitude is at the very core of the problem. Living a life that is mostly devoid from interaction and respect towards the natural world is in turn slowly eroding away the connection to our own sense of spirituality. It follows that a world that is devoid of spirituality will in turn eventually become desolate wasteland.

by Richard Gordon for the Enlightening Times Magazine

All Rights Reserved 2014 

Monday, 10 March 2014

There is NO ILLUMINATI by Richard Abbot

There is No Illuminati

Devil XV

In times of trouble, the prize always goes to those who are prepared to ‘look within and keep going’. These are the traits we need if we are to thrive – reflection and determination – great human characteristics, without which little is ever achieved.

But there are an increasing number of folk who want to discard all this, by refusing to take any sort of responsibility for the situation in which they find themselves, projecting all their anger and frustration outwards toward the formation of screeching phantoms in a fabricated universe. By their actions they purposely create a Great Illusion of Our Times – The Illuminati.

So let me be clear and loud, so there can be no chance of confusion. There is no Illuminati. Nor is there any reptilian agenda, save in your own mind.

The inequality that exists in the world is not the creation of an Abraxas worshipping elite. The wars are the same wars that men (and it is always men) have fought throughout human history, and not the construction of half human/half alien royalty, celebrities and international bankers.

Certainly, organizations like the UK’s Common Purpose are a menace, but at the same time simply the logical conclusion of 20 years of unchallenged progressive thinking. Yes, the Global Financial Crisis is a grand scam, but everyone who took a mortgage they couldn’t afford and maxed out their credit card is complicit in it. Even if we suspect dark forces at work then it still doesn’t follow that we must fall in awe at the feet of David Icke when he comes before us to give, give, give of himself in lengthy monologues. Talking for that long is not giving, it’s taking. Conceit of the highest order.
There is no Illuminati because there doesn’t need to be. The truth is much more dangerous. The evil that runs free across the Earth does not come pre-packaged and coordinated from mountain retreats. It comes from within every single member of the human race.

It shows itself every single time you act or speak in a way that you know that you should not. Every time you are mean, just because you can be. Every time you dodge when you know you should work. Every time you shout at others but instead should be shouting at yourself. Every time you take the easy way, the quick way, the short cut. Every time you do these things you give life to the evil within you. Every time you dare not speak up. Every time you look away when the truth is talking to you. Every time you do as others expect you to. Every one of these times is an indulgence of the Dark Side, which runs in tiny droplets until eventually no-one can see the source of the flood.

The evil that exists does so as much within the poor, the Left, the weak and the oppressed and as it does within the rich, the Right, the strong and the powerful. It knows no definition of class, race, age or gender, because it lies within. It is the Ego – the part of us that desires at all costs to remain unchanged by events and the part of us that is too eager to role-play as a victim.

To some extent all this is just about kept in check, under the surface of life, but it cuts loose whenever the new preachers gather the poor and unfortunate together and point outwards, screaming ‘look at them, look at our enemy’ in the mightiest effort to do anything but look at themselves.

So, if you think that the ruling classes are playing you, then you might want to consider that the likes of David Icke are doing exactly the same. If you think that someone like Russell Brand points the way to a new dawn then ask yourself why he, among the faceless thousands attending an Anonymous march felt the need to remove his mask and show himself. Like many others who purport to know what is best for others, it is only ever about them, and never, ever about you.

The only way to resolve the problems of the world is to accept the role that we as individuals have played in creating them. Whether we have been actively involved in the evil doing or have simply observed from the sidelines matters not. It is now our unavoidable responsibility to discover who we are and what we need, independent of whatever anybody else thinks, says or does.

(Tarot images Copyright, l to r, Cosmic, 1JJ Swiss, Hanson Roberts, Tavaglione Stairs of Gold)
© Richard Abbot 2014 
© Enlightening Times All Rights Reserved 2014

Friday, 7 March 2014

Meanwhile in the Real World by John Burns


We'd like to welcome one on our newest contributor's John Burns to the Enlightening Times magazine.  John was so inspired with the momentum building for the Independence referendum in Scotland that one day as he was driving his bus through Glasgow City Centre he thought about what he could to help with the campaign.  As a life long film buff, John decided to follow what he love and began creating his own videos in support of a YES vote.  Through some of his first videos he connected with Rashelle another of our regular contributor's and after some discussions his first video for the Enlightening Times was born.  John is a very passionate voice who finds the current climate in the UK increasingly intolerable and wants to do his bit to help, so expect more, much more from him.  For more information and to stay up to date with John's latest work please subscribe to his Youtube channel. 

All Rights Reserved 2014 
  

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Introducing our New Columnist Marian Matthews!

Hi, My name is Marian Matthews. 

As regular readers may know, I am fascinated by the nature of reality, that is the big picture of this universe in which we live. More particularly, I am interested how its different component parts interact to make us us, and the material world what it seems to be. 

In my research I looked at all relevant subjects, science, spirituality, cosmology, the spiritual laws, religion, the real history of the world, prediction and healing etc to find patterns and interactions that may show us what is going on in the pig picture. Within these studies I find super clues to what may be happening in the unseen dimensions around us. I asked myself the vital questions, Who really are we? 

What are we doing here? How did this all come about? How can we navigate through this? 

Some of you may have read my posts in the Enlightening Times blog and Magazine in which I comment on and explain various aspects of the interactive systems within our reality.

In the course of my researches I did find links and patterns that gave me insights into what makes up our reality. I have also spoken to and interacted with many talented and wise people, who have understanding of the various disciplines, as mentioned above. 

The bottom line is that if anyone does have any (reality or spiritual) problems that they need help or guidance for I am available to help. If It is not in my sphere of understanding, I have links with many wonderful people who will know the answer. 

Just send me any questions Via 7aspects@gmail.com and I will do my best for you. Answers can just be private or shared, depending on what you would prefer.

Marian

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Call for Articles for the Spring Equinox Edition of the Enlightening Times Magazine



We are open for submissions for Articles / Stories for the Spring Equinox Edition of the Enlightening Times Magazine until the 15th March. For inspirational articles the theme is "New Beginnings"

Please email your submissions to Rashelle Reid, or Jade Ashcroft.

Information for new Authors on writing Articles for the Magazine Please click here.

Music Submissions for review in the Magazine please send band / artist links to Music Submissions


If anyone has any current affairs articles they are writing we would be VERY grateful for these. If you have Spirituality related questions they would like to put to our new Columnist Marian Matthews they can message her directly. These can be posted as anonymous if the Q & A are to be published in the Magazine. Any questions please message Rashelle Reid or Jade Ashcroft

Look forward to reading your submissions.

Enlightening Times Team