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R: [anthroposophy] Baroness Warnock's Christmas Mess-age

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  • VALENTINA BRUNETTI
    ... Mess-age Hi Jan, I want only to say: Thanks for this post, Andrea. ... very ... like ... a ... price ... yourself. ... cost ... pensions ... encouraged ...
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 17, 2004
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      ----- Original Message -----

      Mess-age


      Hi Jan,
      I want only to say:
      Thanks for this post,

      Andrea.


      > 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
      > sick.
      > 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
      > you.
      > 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
      > environment.
      >
      > 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
      > millions.
      > 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
      > soldiers.
      > 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
      > more.
      > 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
      > presence......
      > Jan
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
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