Encounters with Mystery Tramp
- Just for those friends who have asked for more 'Starlight Rides'
'What does Mystery Tramp have in his pocket?' my husband asked me. "Only a
Hole.' I replied, 'Only a portal.'
I am in love with the World Tramp, or as Bob Dylan called him, the
Wayfarers and Wanderers all, we meet fragments and tatters of Mystery
Tramp all along the High Way, masked, distorted, vagabond, caricature as
well as hero and troubadour. I love them all, love meeting with every shard
and splinter of humankind, love glimpsing the world through squint eye of
other traveler as I ride Starlight Express through the streets and parklands
In my own disguised Mystery Tramping I (attempt!) to sip New Wine, working
prayer and sound into the water table beneath local geography, seeking
revelations of risen ethers arising in tree, wind, and flower, creating
inner land-scapes, heart-land-shapes, in co-operation with Spirits of Place
But no fresh revelation can arise in nature without human being acting as
alchemist, without gathering as 'two or three in His Name' creating a
foundation for real converse with Angels who bestow vital forces upon us in
sleep, if we allow them. For this founding, Spiritual Science is necessary.
Our speech, says Rudolf Steiner, is of vital importance and concern to the
Hierarchies. A terrible breach has developed between Spiritual Beings and
ourselves, as human speech has become increasingly devoid of soul and
spirit, with dire consequences for humankind and the earth. In sleep we are
in a spiritual world, that is true, but not, says Steiner, the world which
we indwell after death. In sleep we behold that wonderful world only
through the closer spiritual realm of the elementals. The words we have
spoken throughout the day arise then in re-verse order and are heard by
Angels and Archangels, Archai who can only reply and con-verse with the
soul-spiritual in them. In such poetry-conversation powerful and healing
forces become available to us, which we must bring into waking life if we
are not to lose all connection with the spirit realities around us and the
tasks of earth evolution.
Rudolf Steiner - 'Language as it exists today among all civilized
peoples, fetters the soul during sleep to the purely physical murmurings of
the mineral world, to the rustlings of the purely physical content of the
plant world and no longer enables the clear speech of the Angeloi and the
resounding trumpet tones of the Archangeloi, with their deep significance,
to be audible to the soul.' end quote from 'Driving Forces of Spiritual
Powers in World History' 1923
Every conversation matters. The Angels are listening, even to passing
chat with the so called chance met. Every conversation can be an open door
for Heavenly Beings, that chance encounter can be result of tireless work by
Angels, for whose endeavor every thread we cast toward them is caught up and
woven into new karmic possibilities in the Light of the Lord of Karma.
The hill where I live is an ancient Mystery Site, one of many in London,
but this one has remained, in a small parkland area at least, unbuilt and
unspoiled and so powerful are the wellsprings of rising ethers here that
life bursts green and flourishing out of every crack crying for us to hear
their news of starry worlds, of what comes, blossoms and flowers in
paradisal abundance flow out of walls and pavements, singing psalms into the
very air of how Kings once made pilgrimage to kneel at the Holy Well, and
how, with new human sovereignty well springs can be renewed through love and
friendship. So I make new soul maps of Druidic sites, working to balance
and heal the over powerful electro magnetic pulses from Ahriman's great
Tower on BBC Broadcasting House, set high on the hill, which affects the
water table and sap flow in vegetation.
We pass one another by, who rush through life with hardened eyes that see
appearance merely. Mystery Tramp, Everyman meets or misses us upon the
common path of human incarnating and we scarcely re-cognize him, seeing only
the shabby coat, worn shoes, forgotten face, and only if karmic-fortuitous
friendly wind lifts the outer garment do we see a sudden blaze and spark of
golden thread, peacock ribbons, bright blown tatters of a life, may hear
music of bells that tell of Temple, renewed call to prayer, tinker-traveler,
peddler, World Way-Farer and Friend.
Travel is rooted in travail. Tears can be prisms, tears can salt the
earth. Mystery Tramp is tear stained, torn. He masquerades, is madman,
genius, may be shattered and defeated, refugee, artist, wage-slave,
millionaire. 'One man in his time plays many parts'
Occasionally, by blessed vigilance and grace of Angels, we are moved to
Just one smile flashed in passing can be soul spirit meeting, leaving
unique signature and imprint of matchless individuality upon the receiving
heart. Smile is the priceless Seal of New Covenant, often prelude to
converse and relationship.
Scooting lightly upon flows of sheer bliss one April morning, I watched
white flowering trees dance to birdsong with the Green Man, gazed upon
Divine extravagance of thousands of yellow flowers in vivid green grass,
precious common gold of Celandine - Oh, wonderful Celandine, with your heart
shaped leaves! - and great drifts of Bluebells and Speedwell. All blue
flowers have special holiness as Madonna gently casts sanctifying cloak over
Upon the path before me stood Wayfarer as Caricature, embodiment of Old
English Colonel Blimp, beloved of fifties films, with white handlebar
moustache, red face, country tweeds and brandished walking stick. He
stopped me most courteously, asking in the unmistakable accent of 'Officer
and Gentleman' how my four wheel mobility scooter fared on hills. I answered
positively and he went on to inform me in staccato, shotgun sentences that
the world was rapidly 'going to the dogs'. He told me that he used to ride
with the Hertfordshire Hunt, but that hunting was now a dirty word and the
My buttons are very easily pressed on issues of animal cruelty. But there
is, for me, one inviolable rule of the Road which enables meetings with
Wayfarers, which is the art, advocated by Rudolf Steiner, of keeping
absolute inner silence when others speak. I am, as some will know, no
friend of hunting, or of shooting birds which is a 'sport' often practiced
by those who hunt animals. But I do not go wayfaring for fruitless two and
fro of argument in those long entrenched, or I should never have encounter
that counts. In arguing hunting we would both, paraphrasing Omar Khayam,
merely end with making
'make great argument
about it and about: but evermore
come out by the same door where in we went.'
For what is Wayfaring but soul Wandering? Wandering and wand share common
root in wend, wending, wand being pliable rod or stick for weaving, wick-er
work. Wand-ering is lively, pliable and creative soul companioning, karmic
interweaving, allowing something of another to flow, where it may have been
dammed or frozen, making their speech more audible to angels, that new
forces may flow into their souls.
So I made space within to hear and found that there was much to admire in
him, that he was a man who would not deliberately lie, had high regard for
truth as he perceived it, and in course of conversation I mentioned a
hazards of scooting, a recent puncture, because at night people come out to
smash bottles on pavements and paths in atavistic drunken Orc Fest, perhaps
in unconscious protest at their own increasingly hard, imprisoning bodily
vessels, breaking what cannot receive new wine.
'People!' he snorted in contempt. 'People! They don't play the game!' And
waved his walking stick so threateningly that I was reminded of another
encounter with similar old Colonel who, speaking of possible muggers,
pressed a button on his stick, unsheathing a long sharp blade so that
walking stick became sword stick. 'Let the buggers come!' he cried, as if
facing some imaginary horde of marauding Johnny Foreigner.
After friendly 'Good days', I rode on, thinking of 'playing the game' and
wondering what the rules were for him and who made them, who were the
players, whether his old game was played out; wondering when and how 'game'
meaning 'joy and mirth' became life or death competition, with winners and
losers, 'played' for money and reflecting upon the benison of Death, respite
from all that we burden ourselves with, all that we are stuck in. We can be
thankful for Friend Death, for new roads invitingly branched and differently
signposted. Wayfarers all, even the one with Holy Scythe is well met on the
I sped along smooth paths through woodland, visiting tree friends and soon
another face-facet of World Tramp was smiling, as a young man hurried across
a field to join me. He had the insouciant light step of Younger Son in
Fairytale, off to seek his fortune. Emil Bock has shown in several examples
from the Bible how the Firstborn Son oft carried the weight and coercive old
forces of heredity but younger or second son was free to break out and begin
a new stream or take a fresh, more risked direction, making his own
Younger Son stepped along beside me, and we chatted in a friendly way but
there was something marred in his face, sideways glint in his eye that gave
me pause, so instead of continuing into the deeper woodland, I gave him a
farewell wave and veered suddenly off to join the broader, more populous
road. For this hilltop paradise of woodland and meadow is still a London
Park and Orcs as well as Elves come out to play.
Mystery Tramp beckoned me from a seat by the lake. Stopping alongside I
stayed long talking with him. Old, he was, well into his eighties and
lonely, as so many ageing people are alone and discarded today. In China,
talking electronic dolls and robotic pets are now routinely supplied to the
elderly as substitute companions and so they keep company with Ahriman who
steals and stores their life experiences in his data bank, records their
habitual movements around the house, alerting police or hospital if there is
a sudden variation in their actions. The old talk with robotic dolls and
only demonic beings can converse with them in sleep, and much, very much, is
lost to us all.
This old man's tale was an extraordinary everyday story of great richness,
of life begun in slum-poverty, of war, death, much tragedy and humour. A
great joker, he was a man flowing with the milk of human kindness. Listening
Angels would find much they could respond to, much they could return as
gift. Old soldier with his life on his back in his bottomless, portal'd kit
We pass one another by, blind to soul riches beneath crust of clay, blind
to scarlet lining in old black coat, bled gold gilding tear runnels on
masked face. We miss the story that shoulders tell, burdens feet kick before
or drag behind, fail to mark the crossroad crisis point when old wounds are
harrowed, open for new seed. Nor hear music threading world weariness that
cloaks many who go wandering through life after life, searching and hoping,
pricked and spurred by Holy Thorn. Only gleam of stardust on worn shoes,
wild rose in hatband gives clue to Who goes there and points to Cosmic
origin, the Divine and Kingly Birthright of Everyman.
How can Ahriman hope to sour the sweet abundant Milk of Human-Kindness?
Will it not ferment instead of sour, become healing culture as Angels hear
and are versed in humanity? For Ahriman, Christ is Thorn in Earth's body.
Everyman stands before the Lake in real crazy Tramp guise, as I've seen him
often, middle aged, disheveled, slight stammer in his gait telling that his
world had whirled, and he lost his footing, failed to find the measure of
New Dance. Raising his arms he calls imperiously to the ducks. 'Come!'
Obediently, in expectation of bread, they stream across the lake in dozens.
He has no bread, none even for himself, but they wait expectantly, watching
each movement carefully, edging one another out of the way.
He addresses them formally, harangues them, makes a speech. Acknowledges
their applause. As they begin to disperse he dismisses them with lordly
gesture. Some lingerers follow the direction of his outstretched arm
hopefully, as they have done so often and so fruitlessly before, and swim
across the water to someone on the sane side of the lake. I have seen him
frequently, but we cannot meet. He only speaks with ducks now.
Further along the road World Child showed her face. Among some trees I
spied what seemed to be Rumplestiltskin dancing fiend like, arms flailing
and shrieking in paroxysm of rage. A girl, maybe six or seven, had thrown
her expensive silver scooter into the long grass. Her mother was slogging
slowly, resignedly up a steep slope towards her. The child, not wishing to
waste tantrum energy, stopped screaming and waited composedly until Mother
arrived at her side whereon Rumplestiltskin returned, screeching, kicking
and howling. I passed by, exchanging a look with an astonished Blackbird,
while the Mother picked up the shiny must-have-toy-accessory scooter, and
carried both it and the unhappy, scowling child back down the road.
Steiner - 'It is indeed a fact that in our days children grow up with a
language whose words have no wings to carry them away from earthly
conditions. In the first phase of life, until the seventh year, the child
is still able, during sleep, to experience the spiritual through the echoes
of speech emanating from his human environment.' end quote from Driving
Force of Spiritual Powers in World History 1923
Great Chestnuts leaned toward her, murmuring, their mighty branches dense
with leaves so green they were golden, their scented blossom Candles
lighting the scene. Beings watched through thousand eyes of wild flowers,
birds sailed air boats through the flowing breezes of what should be Child
Paradise, calling to her to be part of the song. Her miserable little face
tearstained on Mother's shoulder spoke unconscious resentment, pounding
little fists said that she was sundered and lost, shipwrecked on desert
Island bereft of wings.
How to bring about this absolutely essential relationship to the
Spiritual World during sleep? How to maintain fertile contact in a world
increasingly given to death forces that make 'spiritual automatons of human
beings?' (RS) How to maintain and renew relationship with spirit worlds when
Ahrimanic simulacrum presses so heavily that some feel crushed, alone and
unable to stand, or are simply too weary to muster up energy for inner work?
"I consider the universe to be a clever fake' wrote Philip K Dick, who was
on to Ahriman, hacked into his hard driven detritus thought construct
sub-human replica, and blew the whistle.
But many are caught in the fake, forced back and down, grow world weary.
But the Christian Initiate has provided Way-Bread for this weariness, has
given more than healing antidote, has offered us New Wine.
Rudolf Steiner, God bless him! brought us the Foundation Stone Meditation,
the true Found-ing of the Christian Revelation. Even just reading it aloud
each day (and it will soon be memorized, so that it can be recited freely)
and even more effectively, to work inwardly and intensively with it, brings
the whole human being into an appropriate relatedness to the Hierarchies,
offers a possibility of conversations with Spiritual Beings during sleep
that nourishes, opens the mind to World Thoughts, sings healing rhythms into
the circulating blood, fires the will, allows real communion with other
people, with elemental beings, with what seeks to become on Earth. Only a
suggestion for one of infinitely many ways of maintaining spirit contact,
but a powerful and reliable one. Make it a daily rhythm and feel living
waters flow in the blood, bright thoughts stream into the head, energy into
the will. Unborn souls are drawn as to Foundation Stone of New
Template-Temple for their incarnating, see beacon of Michael-Light on Earth.
Practicing spirit recollection, spirit mindfulness, spirit vision brings
order into the threefold human organism, makes relationship with Hierarchies
by night, enables Angels to draw strangers together.
My thoughts were of Mystery World Tramp as I glided home, only to find his
very Archetype waiting on my doorstep in the person of a long time friend
and schoolmate of my elder son. This young man, now in his mid thirties,
wore a shabby and much holed black overcoat over very threadbare clothes.
His eyes that saw the within without were full of sparks and smiles and
shining thought, his unshaven face wise and wondering. Son of a wealthy
family of Oxbridge academics, himself super bright, he had rejected
University, becoming instead, after many years apprenticeship, a Master Wood
Carver and after still more years living with a community of stone masons,
Master of stone also.
He had come to ask if he could borrow some clothes for a presentation he
had to attend, where Prince Charles would be awarding grants to artisans,
but, being soul mates, our conversation turned at once to more important
matters as it always had done since this exceptional young man's childhood.
He had just come from the Greek Islands where he had been involved in
restoring Minoan Temples and explained how ancient Greek building practices
had differed from that of the Romans. Greeks did not use mortar, he told
me, since they liked to adjust and alter their forms and structures as they
built, keeping them fluid, and did not wish them overly fixed or set, but
more evolving with their Idea.
'It seems to me as if I have penetrated behind the riddle of Greek art:
the Greeks created according to the same laws by which nature creates and of
which I am on the track' Goethe
Romans made blocks on a production line and set them fast in mortar, and
we explored the consciousness and thinking that accompanied different
building techniques and architectural forms, discussed recipes for concrete
while we drank our herb tea. He told me that he had carved a gargoyle in
the likeness of the Master Mason who had trained him without realizing he
had done so until it was finished and we wondered how many Master Masons
were thus set in stone by young apprentices in ages past.... The Master had
not noticed... Or had made no remark.
We talked about Mystery Tramp and he told me that he had soon tired of
restoration work, preferring instead to construct a road with some local
villagers, explained exactly how they had gone about it.
We soon sorted the clothes problem and he Tramped off. Very few would see
spirit-rich artist-carver-mason wayfaring beneath the rags and tatters of
his careless Tramp attire, born out of unconcern verging on strangeness.
Upstairs in his office, in unknowing synchronicity, my husband was singing
along to Bob Dylan as he worked on his computer.
'I promise to go wandering......'
- Dearest Jan My Starbird,
Thank you, Thank you! Thank you! for this shower of spring gold! It is like the freshest rain, to my soul so dry and parched - so lacking in real spiritual conversation for so long.
Please never stop following any impulse to write that may come to you. It is being begged for from my side of the universe.
A thousand Spring Blessings!