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The Ely Octagon


I IMAGINE almost everyone has passing thoughts which almost like a dream happen half way between consciousness and the unconscious and easily sink into the latter. They can be valuable, as mandalas are.

So often our passing thoughts do just that - they pass. The other day I was enjoying lunch outside at a local pub and somehow the conversation turned to luck, and I realized how I almost always feel as if I have been amazingly my life. It occurred to me that I might have been born with a lucky gene. Has anyone discovered such a gene? Or what the combination is?...or, as ever, the make-up of the Self which is lucky?!

There are also passing or hypnagogic images. This image apparently came out of the blue and interested me particularly. More or less asleep the idea and the picture came to me of a floating anchor. It was shaped as an anchor should be, but it floated. It came with a kind of background of being on a ship in a gale driving on to huge black rocks.

I have been preparing to discuss The Self with the Circle this month and considering some of Jung’s other key ideas. Man’s relationship with God and the God Image are important considerations. Marie Louise von Franz also talks of The Self as the regulating centre of the psyche. And I had been thinking of the loss of God in our era, along with the many props we appear to need to sustain our lives, such as mass entertainment, drugs, sex, and human relationships.

I woke almost immediately and switched on the radio and the very first words that came out of it were:- ‘he dropped anchor’ in the midst of an arresting account Donald Crowhurst’s final voyage in a round the world race.

It went on to tell the story of his last days and his ultimate loss. It seems from his voice recordings and his logs as if he went mad after he had realized the unacceptable ramifications of faking his journey, having lied about his actual position, so it looked to the world’s press as if he was in the lead though he had falsified his whole journey. He heard over the radio how a tremendous celebration was being prepared for him. He had been desperately trying to speak to his wife on the ship’s radio but had not got through. It seems he walked overboard and must have watched his trimaran sail off without him somewhere in the North Atlantic.

A true anchor connects the craft through the water to the earth.  A floating anchor    would be useless. I wondered if The Self might be seen as a true anchor for a life.

Richard Barwell - Co-ordinator

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