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Baroness Warnock's Christmas Mess-age

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  • Jan
    Britain rocked a little more crazily on its precarious perch at the very edge of the Abyss this weekend when Baroness Warlock - sorry! Warnock - like some
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 17, 2004
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      Britain rocked a little more crazily on its precarious perch at the very
      edge of the Abyss this weekend when Baroness Warlock - sorry! Warnock - like
      some fell-omened bird, felt moved to utter words of advice to the old and
      She urged 'elderly and frail people' to consider 'emulating the wild
      elephant' and go away and commit suicide in order not to be a 'financial
      burden on their families or their country.' Although eighty years old
      herself the Baroness (who is 'Britain's leading medical ethics expert' and a
      Dame Commander of the British Empire !?!) does not feel obliged to set any
      suicidal example, as she is far from being financially stressed, and is
      still in reasonable health, so therefore cannot possibly constitute a
      'burden'. Or so she believes. Others might take a different view.

      So we now have direct financial equivalence with human worth. A set price
      on the head of each human being. Old, poor and frail? Go and kill yourself.
      Comfortably off but frail? Your family could better use the money you cost
      to keep. Go and kill yourself. We don't need you. Worse, we can't afford
      Pensions which have been paid for in contributions over a long working
      lifetime have been plundered or proving virtually worthless. State pensions
      keep the old at subsistence level. People are rendered poor who have lived
      responsibly, even frugally. Now they are just too expensive to be encouraged
      to live.
      Hearing this with some amazement, I felt a deep concern for the many
      elderly people who might also be hearing it and feeling their physical
      dependence increased by being themselves assessed as worthless. So it was
      heartened to hear, on a radio phone in, many people attempting to explain to
      the Baroness, as if to a sub-human entity lacking any means of understanding
      human feeling - that they actually not only dearly LOVED their parents and
      grandparents, but held them in great respect as highly valued and important
      family members.
      More, that caring for another human being was not necessarily burdensome,
      but could actually be a privilege and infinitely rewarding to all concerned.
      My brother told me recently, with tears, that the final few years of my
      Mother's life, when he cared for her devotedly through the very hard times
      of her last illness were the richest if most painful years of his life.

      But there is more to this. The generation principally addressed by
      Warnock, her own, is the generation who lived through a World War. Our
      parents. Perhaps our grandparents, depending upon how old we are. They
      lived long enough to have cast their age intensified consciousness back upon
      their biography, as one who makes a butterfly from a blob of paint on one
      side of a piece of folded paper. When the paper is unfolded, a new shape,
      something perhaps winged, something with recognizable symmetry, yet
      asymmetrical enough for further growth can be born. Rich insights, deep
      feelings, new links with the dead, all are drawn as threads, plucked here,
      smoothed and straightened there, loosed, tightened, cut and spun in a
      weaving of pictured memory that lives as it never did before, that is there
      for us to share with them, if we value it. If we take the time.
      And if we do, light may flow into the world that bore us, into events that
      formed our own spiritual, mental, physical, national and familial

      That generation, whose precious youth was carelessly spent for them in
      ways far from their choosing, caught in the remorseless, Soratic crush of
      collective world karma, who lived through the war as many are living
      elsewhere in the world today in a newly spewed and sown Shocked Awe of
      bombing that will have its own remembrance and reckoning in time to come,
      that ageing generation is in the crucial process of soul harvesting, light
      harvesting WW2. A slow, cud-chewing process that is thus facilitating a more
      complete digesting after death. A vital service to us all.
      Born in 1948, I did not realize - as children do not - how close the war
      still was to our parents. Childhood is timeless and forever, and nothing
      physical existed before it as far as we knew. Certainly our parents had no
      existed prior to the all important advent of our own young lives. They were
      there for us alone! We brought them into being. And they very rarely spoke
      of the war. Only on Remembrance Sunday when we kept strict silence while my
      Mother stood stony faced with an expression we never saw at other times and
      could not understand, only then did we glimpse something of a pain that was
      still fresh, an anguish private yet collective, tangled and enmeshed in the
      whole Nation's nerves, the whole World's nerves, a pain that had numbed
      My mother had been war-widowed, left with two young sons and my father was
      her second husband, he having lost his first wife. They were, like most
      people at the time, deeply emotionally scarred. My father's adored younger
      brother had died in a Japanese prisoner of war camp in horrendous
      circumstance. My father declined to accept the medals he himself was
      awarded, seeing them as mockery merely. He went for a drink instead.
      My mother had lain buried for days when the hospital she was in was bombed,
      lying next to the dismembered body of a friend. Most of the young people she
      knew were killed, either in the bombing or, like her first husband, as
      The war ended. They got on with life. Between the houses, there were gaps,
      bombsites where we loved to play. My brother was once discovered banging
      with a hammer at an unexploded bomb, trying to open it...... Our parents
      had inner bombsites where we did not go. Even the sight of London, their
      devastated capital City with familiar landmarks scarred or gone, was
      traumatic to many. Think of the gap left by the Twin Towers.

      Inkling Charles Williams had watched from the balcony of his Hampstead
      flat the Blitzing of the docks in firestorms. He wrote -
      'I said to myself, 'London is burning.' but produced no thrill, though there
      was a sense of crisis, due however, I fear, to the knowledge that it would
      make a good landmark for that night. Living in history is as inconvenient as
      living in love'....... and, 'my poor, beloved City! St Brides, St Andrews,
      and the Guildhall! O well......!'

      The warming of such experiences awaited the passing of time, the leisure
      and soul activity of age in many cases.
      It was only in her final few years, in her eighties, that my Mother spoke
      fully of these experiences to us, her children, described in vivid detail
      the unrolling scroll of her life passing afresh before her brightening inner
      eye as if it had happened to someone else and interested her. Sitting in
      her comfortable chair, embowered as ever by banks of flowers brought in
      loving homage by several generations of family members, she saw again the
      heroism of those who had rescued her from the bombing, described the tiny,
      fearless nursing sister who had carried Mother over her shoulder out of the
      still crumbling masonry and dangerously unstable rubble. She spoke too, of
      the young soldier husband she had loved so dearly and had lost, of his clear
      blue eyes and strict honesty, of the screams of a neighbour whose three sons
      had already been killed, screams that could not be stopped, when the
      telegram came that told of the death of her fourth and last soldier son.
      We saw for the first time our beloved father, dead now twenty years, on
      the day when he first learned of his brother's death, running, running in a
      frenzy of horror and madness, trying to outrun the nightmare, and as she
      re-lived it, telling it quietly as a storyteller, we saw his face broken as
      we had never seen it, shared his pain, bridged the years and loved him the
      My Mother told these things not with the stony pain I remembered in her
      from my childhood, not in her strong and characteristic dominion over fate
      and circumstance we knew so well, but softly, ponderingly, as if she viewed
      them clearly and objectively in her mind's eye, as if she visited what she
      had sown and could reap and digest.
      Always a very beautiful woman, tall, with a natural bearing and dignity,
      age brought her a new gentleness and greater, blossoming love as she
      gathered in these memories and laid them over the previous pattern of her
      life so that we too could see and wonder at them.
      Quite suddenly she had passed back beyond the wartime days, and we saw her
      as a child born into grinding poverty and harsh, unrelenting heavy work, her
      talents and fine soul qualities untended and unknown by her parents so that
      she could not take up scholarships she won, or offers of higher education
      made by others, and we saw that her own self creating path had been a good
      one, that she had risen by her own efforts, fashioned herself in her own
      unique image.
      Her life continued to be hard and unrelenting, but the Warrior Monk in her
      far past stood her in good stead always. To the two boys of her first
      marriage were added myself and my three siblings. She was mother of six.
      My father's business failed and he took a low paid job as Keeper at
      Hampstead Heath, wandering among his beloved trees and hiding away in his
      keeper's hut with his books. Mother did shop work or cleaning, took in
      ironing, and still was always there when we came home from school ready with
      hot food, freshly baked cakes, made our clothes, tended the garden,
      scrubbed, cleaned, taught us and bought us books - books that were cheap and
      plentiful from the many shabby second hand bookshops that characterised
      London in those days.
      I can still see her in our kitchen, amid great piles of other people's
      laundry, hot iron in hand, stopped for a moment in ecstasy to gesture as
      Wagner played on the radio and she told me the story of the Ring, the
      swooping Valkyrie. And remember how her long, beautiful fingers flashed over
      sewing or peeling vegetables while she recited poetry to me, or stopped,
      laden with shopping bags in the London street to point out a tiny green weed
      between the paving stones and say in reverence, 'God was here.......'
      In the first three years of life we know from Initiation Science that
      mighty, powerful forces play into the human being, forces so gigantic that
      the human body can not stand them for long. Forces that incarnated in the
      Christ in the Three Years. Trinity forces, forces of The Way, the Truth and
      the Life sculpt the human child and give it power to walk, speak and think,
      and the ego consciousness that grasps the thread of memory.

      Quote from 'The Human Life' by George and Gisela O'Neil'

      'The same forces which once shaped our infancy, too powerful to work for
      long within the physical, are ever present in the etheric realm, and
      accessible to all who find their way to live therein.
      In realms of moral fantasy, in Ego-activity free of the physical, man can
      regain the awesome powers of infancy. And make true for himself the cryptic
      words: Become again as a little child!' end quote

      Of course few will do this. Not all will follow the reflective path of
      memory tenaciously and consciously enough to harvest light. But all are
      worthy of their allotted life! Even those elderly people robbed of their
      cognitive powers by illness or more probably medication, sometimes escape
      into body free states wherein they experience spiritual insights, bringing
      them back in a strange mirroring of the old initiation of Temple Sleep,
      confused, fragmented, sometimes terrifying as I have witnessed in old people
      treated in hospital, yet still part of their own unique puzzle.
      We need these elderly wandering Memory Minstrels to bring us songs and
      stories of their past, the nexus womb that received our own lives, Past
      become conscious Present. We need their juicy, burgeoning cherubic etheric
      forces. Baroness Warnock, with her cold Banking background, her love of pomp
      and ceremony, her long immersion in the freezing waters of Oxbridge
      Establishment philosophy might find a magical warming draught of life in
      their remembrances and stories of the 'nuisance' poor and old.

      It is over a year since my difficult, wonderful, enigmatic Mother died and
      I have come to know her better in that year of accompanying, wondering,
      listening - and I would say with Rebecca West, when she wrote in her trilogy
      'The Fountain Overflows' of sensing her mother after her death -

      'My Mother was huge across the skies; the peaceful fields, the peaceful
      waters were her footstool......'

      The Noble Baroness-Dame of an Old Empire may even receive a visit from
      some healing Dickensian ghosts....... After all, the Ghosts of Christmas
      Past and Christmas Yet-to-Come brought Scrooge to Holy Christmas
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