Is it dumb luck or good karma that has brought me to be here at this moment in time? No, it's hard work to be a Wilderness Hippy, someone once said. (Wendy O). To follow your heart and your dreams and your passion takes blisscipline. To hold your most heartfelt wish steady in your mind. To not give up, even if you have no electricity or running water, and have to dig a latrine. To keep your goalless goal in the palms of your hands. But in the end the direct path might be the hardest and most dangerous, the road less traveled, the rough terrain that you have to cross when searching for a new path, a higher path, but it is the direct path. Start your journey in the vicinity of your destination. As the saying goes, God hid the secret of the universe in the last place man would look, within himself. Do not dally. It is the path we all must take in the end.
Many years ago, 32 years ago in fact, I was in a circle of conjurers, ushering in the new age, on the slopes of Lion's Head, looking out towards the majestic north face of Table Mountain. A man had come from Glastonbury, to bring the message, (the grail?), and the prophecy. The dragon lines were being awoken and Gaia kundalini was being funneled thought the leylines again. The process had started on the 17th of August, 1987, the Harmonic Convergence and the focus on Ayer's Rock. This was 1989, and Table Mountain was the power point that was being activated in a global meditation. The dragon line passed through Table Mountain, and then continued into Europe, and Berlin, where the wall fell down. There were about 100 of us 'new agers' who had gathered for the event. Cape Town had very strong spiritual circles then. I had met many of them at various events and ceremonies. They were mostly in their 60's, from the theosophical society, the Unitarian Church, some Sufis, and a smattering of illuminated youngsters.
The conversation in those circles would sometimes move towards a future time when the shit would hit the fan. When the real changes would happen. The end times, the beginning times. 2012 was mentioned. The uncertainty over nuclear war led towards the search for where it would be safe. In the leeward of high mountains it was said. As the earth turned to the east the fallout would be less on the western slopes. But the message from spirit was: be in tune, and you will be in the right place at the right time. Find your connection to the earth, to source, to 'great spirit', and you will be led by the hand, step by step, to be where you will be safe. I have been led as such, step by step, to be here in these mountains where I find myself, free to roam, to soak in the sun, to play, to sing and laugh at my 'good fortune'.
You might be laughing right now. India? Safe? Yes, for me, and it seemed for those around me, in Auroville where my first lock down happened. It was magical, we even sang at the top of our voices, one night, from the roof top of the home of Kasia Prem Shakti, my Polish Aurovillian lover: "More Lockdown!" We were living in a surreal world, India now our gated community, indefinite visa extensions, our gilded prison, in fact our Shamballah, safe from a world of madness. Nobody there ever got sick. And later too in Goa, where during the monsoon, the foreign community had hunkered down to weather the storm, staying instead of heading home to Europe or the UK. A smoker's paradise, where covid hit quite hard, and several of my friends got laid out, coughing and gasping for breath, unable to taste their food. And they all got better.
I arrived back in Goa in mid November, where I'd landed in January, in the previous epoch in the midst of a pumping season. This season was different. Only those foreigners who were not really tourists, not here on holiday, no real job, self employed, no family or responsibilities to return to, and free to stay on in the land that was the most calm, sane, mad and chaotic in the world. There was something really special about this season in Arambol. More connection, more tribe, family, and still the high energy and relentless pace, dance, music, and endless offerings, skill sharing.
Goa seemed to be charmed. The infection rate was minimal. Even though hordes of Indian tourists descended on 'our beaches' from Bombay, Delhi and Bangalore, conspicuous by their masks that slowly over time would slide down over their chins, and then disappear for good. Many stayed on, 'working from home', deciding to live in this rare atmoshpere, rather than go back to their muzzled cities. For those who had lived in Arambol through the year, both foreign and local, and the hippy/yogi/digital nomads who had been in lockdowns in Rishikesh and other places and had started arriving for the dry balmy winter weather, masks were something you might have in your pocket if some rare and isolated shop owner asked you to put one on. Goa's 'cases' remained low, despite zero compliance with mask wearing and social distancing. In fact, an abundance of hugging, kissing, crowded scenes at open mics, ecstatic dances, contact and partner dancing, tantra festivals and of course the endless passing and sharing of the good smoke, seemed to be a middle finger pointing straight at the fear narrative that was so pervasive in the world media.
Of course, we were not taking it seriously enough. And we were having too much fun. They don't like that. In the villages too, nobody seemed to care anymore. It wasn't a thing. The cases were dropping drastically all over the country. They had been prescribing one of the much publicized and cheaply available drugs with great success, and with the other half of the country on Ayurvedic remedies for colds and flu everything was going well. Then, who knows WHO, decided to discontinue the drug that was working and begin the roll-out of the experimental but highly lucrative product, within a week, and then especially after the roll-out was ramped up, the cases sky rocketed. And testing increased exponentially. Businesses were being forced to test their employees. Testing, testing, everywhere. So yes, the cases increased, and the fear. People started 'dying of fear'. The cities where the air is bad, the stress is high, and fear is rampant, started seeing and being hell.
My fear was that I would get locked down in the summer heat and monsoon in Goa, and I hightailed it out of there, landing in the pretty chilly mountain refuge of Dharamsala. This was over a month ago. It's warmed up nicely now, and I've just come down from a walk up above the Bagsu waterfall. Within minutes from my home, I'm in nature, and walking up the valley to fill my water bottles with Himalayan spring water, and dip into the icy pools, and lay my grateful naked body on a smooth and warm rock in the glorious sun.
Am I lucky? To have so much freedom. To be blessed by the presence of so many happy, kind, loving people? To be able to work my way around, by doing what I love doing. No, it takes all you got, to leave the prescribed role that was assigned to you at school, or by your parents, or the holders of the purse strings. It takes all you got. Be willing to give up everything for the truth of who you are.
Bashar; Circumstances don't matter, only state of being matters.
" seek ye the kingdom of God and all else will follow"