Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Scotland 2013: Sanaigmore: Spiritual Lessons from a SciFi Novel?

Recently, I wrote this on my Facebook page:

“During the last days I have been asking myself repeatedly: what has been drawing me to Islay (and, no, it is not the whiskey, pleasant as that has been)? The answer I found is quite surprising. Many years ago, I read the scifi novel Diamond Mask, by Julian May, which for an important part takes place right here, on Islay. This novel is number two in a trilogy, that basically is about humanity's struggle to achieve spiritual and mental maturity within a galactic setting. I have always found this "Galactic Milieu Trilogy" extremely compelling, but never gave it any further thought, until coming here. I visited many of the places she describes in this book (which was absolutely thrilling!) and by being there it gradually started to become clear that there are some important spiritual lessons for me locked away in those books, which I now will have to uncover”.

Indeed, Sanaigmore is featured quite prominently in the Galactic Milieu novels, first in “Intervention” as the birthplace of metapsychic pioneer Jamie MacGregor and later in “Diamond Mask” as the hiding place of the antagonist creature “Hydra”. It is located at the northern tip of the Rhinns of Islay and it is only accessible by a long and narrow (and bumpy) single track road. It is not even a village; a monument, some self-catering cottages, the very interesting Outback Art gallery-annex-coffeeshop, some ruins and that’s it. Yet the landscape is absolutely stunning: the bluffs of the Tòn Mhòr, to the left the Glen Tuath and beautiful Sanaigmore Bay and its beach. It is a very peaceful and lonely place and very spiritually charged, but that could also have been my imagination. Actually a lot like Julian May describes it!
 I am taking a walk, I simply need to commune in quiet with this place, so , in spite of warnings about a bull in the fields, I go up to the ruined farmhouse and then down again till I reach the beach. There I sit down on a rock, close my eyes and prepare to meditate, the question in my mind being: “I am here. What do you want to tell me?”. While I am performing the usual preparation exercise I am gradually becoming aware how quiet this place is. The sound of the waves, sea birds, the wind, it all seems to cancel out until I seem surrounded by utter silence.

Then I realize that a voice is speaking to me. The genius loci (spirit of the place)?. Some inner voice? It does not matter, because it tells me the answer to my question. “I am here because what drew me here has the answer to this question”. I ask for clarification and get: ”What drew you here is an account of one of many possible destinies for all of humanity. Fictional it is, but in that imagined world are buried some seeds of real messages for humanity. It is up to you to find those seeds and study them to determine their merit, if you so wish. You needed to experience the reality of some of that fiction in order to appreciate and acknowledge the reality of such seeds, so you can start looking for them. Without your coming here, you would never entertain the idea that “The Galactic Mileu” could be more than just an idle fantasy. It is a myth and myths are there to teach us”.
I stand up and thank whoever spirit for communicating this to me and file these messages for future use. Back home, I decide to reread this series, and indeed, almost in the first book I catch a clue and a link to ‘real life’ : a casual referral to “The Phenomenon of Man” by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin on whose ideas Julian May’s vision of humanity’s future is loosely based. Teilhard describes evolution as a process that leads to increasing complexity, culminating in the unification of consciousness. Now there’s an interesting link to modern magic and the teachings of the Western Mystery Tradition! Funny, how a visit to a remote part of a Hebridean island can trigger such effects!

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