It’s a privilege to be editing this magazine. It gives me this little soapbox and I want to use it as to make a positive difference. The world has become a more demanding and anxiety-provoking place for most people over the past year or so. I believe, though, that all of us here in the Cygnus community can make a difference.
It does seem that we can’t rely anymore on what is familiar. It feels as if the old structures are no longer able to support us. The comfort of progress, of relying on institutions and on various sections of society – this is just not the way it happens now.
I want to say on behalf of all of us here, that everything we do at Cygnus aims to help you on the path. That’s all we are here for. There are some books between these covers that I am truly excited about. I may be a “dreamer” (to quote John Lennon) but I remain convinced, with the quality of these books, that if we read or observe closely what’s before us and truly take in what these teachers have to say, our lives can become miraculous.
Read these books one page at a time, or even one paragraph at a time: slowly enough that we can diligently follow their guidance. And not change the subject, nor decide that we can’t do it or don’t understand it. Of course, it is harder for some, of course, but for most of
If we want things to change, we need to fight for it. In the words of one of our guiding heroes William Blake: “I will not cease from mental fight, nor will my sword sleep in my hand, till we have built jerusalem…” and of course this is the time of Christmas, of Yule and of the Solstice. There is an influx of bright energy this season. If we make the right effort, that energy will in turn support us.
As I write this at my desk the long tail of Hurricane Celeste is dragging its way across the London skies, sending the light a strange orange, making the birds circle in a confused fashion and creating a weird atmosphere. Yet if I look to my left out another window I can see things are clearing, and everything there looks normal and grey(!). In a week we’ll be saying “do you remember that day when all the sand from the Sahara came over?” Maybe we’ll even say it nostalgically. All things pass, at least on this plane of existence. Whatever it is, however challenging, one day it will pass, and you won’t feel that pain anymore.
Love is something that does survive. people can be made to hate through oppression, torture, coercion, bribery – there are multiple ways – but no one can be made to love. Love, if it’s truly love, has to be freely given. Love often encourages love in return, but even if our love is not actually reciprocated, we are still enhanced by feeling it. It makes us all better people.
And even though this plane seems to be riddled with venality, playground-style aggression and selfish short-termism, tradition says that there is a place where everything that is ever loved is held in timeless perfection, and every act of love is exalted. Love always will be the better way. Only pay as much attention to the disrupters and aggressors as you absolutely have to in order to be informed. Otherwise, ignore them. Don’t let their energy weaken you and their deeds get you down.
It feels as if people like us are being called to be the leaders now. Not necessarily in an upfront way, not in a way that anyone would necessarily even know, but working behind the scenes, in the ways familiar to us and using the tools we have learned to deploy. I read an article by the mindfulness pioneer Jon Kabat-Zinn this weekend. Currently, meditation
is looked upon in the media as a therapeutic “lifestyle” choice, while he
Dedicated with Gratitude to Louise Hay.
Adam Gordon is the Editor of the Cygnus Review. This letter was published in the Winter 2017 Cygnus Review.