Glastonbury is called a 'Place Transformation' - what does this mean ?
We are looking at an individual experience that will always be subjective and personal. What is written here is one individual’s effort to produce a simplified, and hopefully understandable, model for what is in fact a subtle and esoteric process.
We need to start with two definitions
Spiritual – The dictionary definition is:
Of the spirit as opposed to matter, holy, inspired, concerned with sacred or religious things, of or proceeding from God
In this context we will consider Spiritual as being the non-material numinous world of the Source. This world of the Spirit is directly accessible, if certain steps are followed, and is not dependent upon any religious belief of practice.
Transformation - The dictionary definition is:
Being Transformed – A considerable change in character, out ward appearance and disposition; metamorphosis as for a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly.
Spiritual Transformation - Could be said to be:
A person’s full awakening to and awareness of their Higher Self and the world of the Spirit - and incorporation of this awareness into every aspect of their everyday practical life.
WHY BE TRANSFORMED?
Why should anyone want to be transformed? It sounds like a daunting process if it is anything like as drastic as the change from caterpillar to butterfly. In traditional occult teaching, Transformation was looked upon as a change from an unreformed worldly being into a new pure being. A being that was free of all greed, covetousness and material needs - and living in perfect harmony with the earth and all living creatures.
Today such a life seems to be impossible, unless we go off to some remote place and live as a hermit monk, leaving all our responsibilities behind. Nonetheless, in the midst of our frantic worldly activities, we do sometimes wonder whether there is something missing. If there is something that would give new meaning to our life, where could we find this ‘something’?
Many have rejected established religion but are suspicious of the cults and strange practices which seem to be on offer as alternatives.
Often at the moment of questioning the status quo, some incident occurs which points us in a new direction. Seldom is this consciously planned and it may seem like some sort of divine intervention - an ‘Act of Grace’. For many, this is the start of a totally new chapter in their life. A change in which life achieves a fullness and sense of purpose which it did not have before.
What we will explore here is how this process tends to evolve. The wonder of this world is that every life is different and we each experience the process in our own special way. The order in which we experience the stages will differ, and the stages are not completed one by one but may overlap with others.
I believe that we all experience the subtle promptings of our inner voice that asks us to start on our journey of Transformation. But to start out on this journey, we have to make a conscious decision firstly to ‘hear’ this voice and then to follow the guidance that we receive.
Let us look at one interpretation of the process. Inevitably this is only the briefest outline as this is the work of a lifetime and the learning never stops.
THE JOURNEY OF TRANSFORMATION
Practical Proficiency – The start of the Journey lies in achieving some practical skills in the world. It matters not what these are. These skills could be in the Arts, in Music, in Business, in Management, in the Caring Professions - the only matter of consequence is that some degree of competence is achieved so that the individual is equipped to fulfil their ultimate destiny and purpose.
First hints – There is often a growing awareness that something is missing - that there must be more to life than working, shopping and holidays. This often sparks off a search in one or more of the subjects of psychology, self help, alternative practices, healing and religion, looking for the recipe to a fuller life. At this first stage there may be a growing sense of frustration. All these paths are interesting but none seem to offer the magic doorway to this fuller life.
Crisis – At some stage there may be a crisis. It can be a serious illness, an accident, a relationship breakdown or a career failure. Whatever the nature of the crisis, at the time it appears to be disastrous. Often the individual is brought so low that there seems to be no way forward – even suicide is contemplated. This crisis is the ‘Wake up Call’ This Crisis and Awakening has not been planned by us – in most cases, we would have done anything to avoid the crisis that triggered it off. It seems to happen spontaneously when the time is right. I think of it as an ‘Act of Grace’ – our personal call by the world of the spirit to a wider, wonderful and more fulfilling life. There is no compulsion to respond to this call as we have free will. I believe that everyone is ‘called’, when the time is appropriate, but few appear to respond. The reason is understandable in that the whole concept of an ephemeral, numinous world calling us to take some particular action, is quite foreign to our materialistic view of the world. For the sake of continuing our exploration of the transformative process, we will assume that the decision is made to follow this new voice, wherever it may lead.
Guidance – Now comes the need to try to understand just who or what this voice is. There is a separate chapter on guidance so we do not need to go into great detail here. Each of us has to make our own decision on what works for us. It may be Jesus, an Ascended Master, a Goddess any one of many possibilities. For me the idea that works best is that of hearing the voice of my own inner Higher Self, which is in turn in touch with all the entities, energies and wisdom of the Universal Consciousness.Whenever there is a specific area where you need help, then it is essential to ask for help. However this guidance system works it does not wilfully interfere with your life. It may offer general suggestions but will only answer specific questions if asked so to do.
The underlying act of faith that is needed is to believe that this guidance has a wisdom greater than one’s own conscious mind; that it is a loving and benevolent entity; that it has a real concern for your spiritual growth and that it is capable of guiding you on the Path of of Transformation.
Practice – The newly awakened one will need to find some form of spiritual practice to help them to keep in touch with their guidance. There are a multitude of practices and the individual has to find the one that suits them best.
This is usually based upon some form of regular mediation. Keeping a journal is also helpful. In this journal may be recorded spontaneous thoughts, dream and unusual incidents of synchronicity. The object of accepting the discipline of a regular practice is to keep in touch with the intuitive guidance that is available and which tends to arrive by a number of different and subtle methods.A key to all practice is to keep the intellect out of the way during the practice itself and to allow the intuition to flow. Once an idea and a concept is understood, then the intellect may be used in the usual way to help bring the idea into reality
Healing Ourselves –The next stage on the journey is the healing of mind, body, emotions and spirit. This is not because we are physically ill, but because there is a need to focus upon all aspects of our new way of living. Our life is now to be guided by the spirit speaking through out own inner voce and intuition.
We start with Mental Healing – we do this by listening to our inner voice, acting upon it and honouring and respecting the hunches and ‘Gut Feelings’ that we receive, which in the past we would have ignored. There is also the difficult task of observing and controlling our more destructive and negative thoughts.
Then we need to look at Physical Healing. Aches and pains that we are suffering may well be due to our not being properly in touch with our true destiny. Our body knows very well what it needs in the way of food and exercise. It also knows when it is not happy with our life style. We may be exposing ourselves to too much stress or we may be uncomfortable with some aspect of our life. As we focus upon our pain and ask for Guidance, we will receive ideas on how we can begin to heal ourselves by making the necessary changes in our way of life. It is vital here to be aware that your intuition, working though your body, that will keep nudging you to take the necessary changes - and these nudges will get stronger and become more painful and intrusive, until you respond by making these changes.
We have to look at Emotional Healing. We may have lived by denying, hiding or burying our most distressing feelings – but they have not gone away. If they have not been honestly faced and accepted, then they will still lurk in the deepest part of our unconscious. These hidden feelings will tend to colour many of our contacts with others. We may accuse these others of personality faults that are our own, and for causing problems that are really of our own making
The way to start on Emotional Healing is to begin the painful process of accepting our own most distasteful weaknesses so that we are aware when we tend to invest others with feelings that are really our own. We need to honestly recognise our feelings and to express them to others in a truthful but sensitive manner. Most important of all, we need to accept full responsibility for every aspect of our life - for they have all been attracted into our life by our own thoughts, actions and emotions – no one else is responsible. We are the only people that can change our own life.
Finally we need to look at Spiritual Healing. This not strictly healing but perhaps betterthought of as ‘Spiritual Realignment’. However we have been brought up, there will have been an element of being asked to have faith in what someone else has taught us. Now is the time to find out what we really believe in our heart. This, for us, is the only truth – and it may be very different from that which we have been taught as a child.
We have already started to listen to our inner voice. Now we need to gain confidence in this voice and to better understand its source. We need to explore different ways of meditation and prayer in order to find out what works best for us. We need to gain an understanding that nothing happens to us by chance and that every experience is sent to us that we can learn and grow. And we need to learn that there is an abundance of energy in the Universe and that everything that we need is available to us once we are in tune with our inner voce and act upon its guidance.
None of these processes happen at once and growing in the spirit is a lifetime’s task. But we are encouraged on our way by the feeling of wholeness and fulfilment that goes with being on our path.
Once some progress has been made on our journey, we will start to work upon ways of increasing our sensitivity and awareness. We will start to explore new avenues through books, workshops and courses. This will lead to our meeting more like-minded people. We may be starting to see how our new spiritual life might work in harmony with our everyday life of family, friends and work. Perhaps we start to understand that we have had more than one life and that the purpose of this one is threefold –