Today I realised how much I have remembered.

I had paused, wondering what the years had brought, and piece by piece I recalled the many moments when my life came back to me.

Yet I had never realised I had forgotten who I was.

And as I held the pieces in my awareness I began to put them into order, for they had come to me like parts of a puzzle, quite out of sequence.

The first piece?

Well, my beginnings, the start of the story, has its first page before my own awareness of existing. None of us emerge from a vacuum do we? There is always someone or something that precedes us, without which we would not have emerged.

When that first sentence of my story came back to me it wrenched my heart to realise how much I have forgotten, and how much had been given to me unawares.

“In the beginning”… Those were the first words. They rose in my being as the knowledge of a huge ocean of awareness. Huge yet filling no space. Forever, yet consuming no time. And in the solvent of that ocean, a whole universe, with all its life and drama, was dissolved into the One. One, without another, alone. And in that aloneness a seething creative longing for others. For One, alone, could not be Two. So that great summary of uncountable lives and experience became the architect, the grand designer of its own death. A death to provide the opportunity for others to exist. Then, tearing asunder its being in the grandest of explosions, it fragmented into the particles of time, space, and opportunity.

And even now, as I remember this, I call out to my dead parent who left the seed of me in this universe, “My Darling! I love You!”

A seed! Well, more to the point a potential of my existence somewhere in time and space. But there was an immeasurable time when there was no focus to bring awareness of myself. And that was my next memory – things moving, acting, processing – each with its own intention – each with its own direction and quality.

Time and time and time, passing while things Became.

Yes, became – Something.

When that memory came I called myself the Swimmer. Unknown even to myself, I moved to music I did not hear, to a sea I did not know. Each movement a beat, each swift turn a passage in the flow of Life.

And that was the miracle we all share in our genesis. The tiny swimmer beating its tail, the egg floating in the primordial fluids.

As Life I have been the one note playing over and over, on and on until I found the next note, the next possibility, the next talent in dealing with the environment. That was how I had become the swimmer in the ancient waters.

On and on, emerging out of myself into different forms, different behaviours. But all the time holding in me the most primitive and the blazing possibility given by my Darling Love. Constantly unfolding.

Those memories were hard. The safe shell of my rough crafted identity was torn open again and again. The womb of my understanding was ripped in giving birth to the enormity of my past. The apparently solid ground of my beliefs, of what my elders had taught me to believe, was sundered by the earthquakes of immense slabs of memory bursting to the surface. The earth flowed like a river. The world of my life was changed for ever.

And the upswell of that deep interior self brought into remembrance great primeval fossils of experience that on surfacing gained renewed life in me. For I, like all else, grew from the soil of past life. My roots feed on the deep underground remains of past times, ancient peoples or behaviours, crumbled temples, loves and conflicts. And those same roots now feed on that past and lift it, forming today’s leaves and flowers.

So it was I knew again the still breath-less mind of the snake and lizard. I felt once more the soul of the howling wolf, in whose crying all feeling is submerged. I called as the moose and bear, bellowing my existence, shouting my strengths in glorious being. I remembered guarding my eggs, or giving my tits in panting satisfaction to my cubs. And as the animal I roared and mated, hunted and slept, learning the wisdom gathered over the millions of years till I, as Life, became man.

But first I met the cusp, the point of change. The memory of it came upon me one evening. My being, as dusk fell, slipped into that past, felt again the animal man the Life that lit me now once had been. And as that predecessor I crouched at the mouth of a cave, guarding, blowing out sound to tell the pack all was well, and to affirm the newness of the man in me – the strange knowing of self, like some peculiar creature that had possessed me and shaken me, the animal, awake – awake for the first time.

Then in silence this emergent selfhood lived in the world of sound – sounds of the night – sounds in every dimension and distance – sounds experienced living in space in such a way that I, the remember, have never heard before.

But suddenly one of the sounds suggested threat, and all the new knowing of self was lost in the re-emergence of the animal instinctive roar. That was the night watch.

The world and all things were fresh then. For we looked at all with the new-found self-awareness. Life had never seen the Earth through those eyes before, and there was so much wonder. I too, in those buried strata of myself, had walked into the cave and seen my woman with a baby in her arms. Seeing it for the first time, and fallen on my knees before her in awe and with tears. For there before me was a goddess of creation.

In that same way I knew all the races. I danced and shouted power as the black race. I stood over the animal trails as the red race, remembering their wisdom of the hunt and dream. I sat in the mystery of knowing the void as the yellow race, and discovered the torture and madness of the white. I am a river that flowed through all time, knowing life from the beginning, in all forms – plant, animal, human, male and female.

And today, after all that, here I stand, the sum total of an incredible journey, looking out the window of my small house. I see the jackdaws flying across the still green trees as I eat my breakfast. I scrawl these words to remind myself of that long life we have all lived, and which I have had the pain and privilege of remembering, and in great peace ask the question – What next?

Copyright ©2005 Tony Crisp


-Noura Al-saadi 2016-06-25 22:33:44

I have realised a short while ago that I have forgotten who I was. That realisation brought with it hope. A hope of recovery. There was a releive in remembering that I have forgotten who I was. Yet I couldn’t remember. The memory is so elusive, like a word on the tip of my tongue that I can’t articulate. The harder I try, the more elusive it gets. Sometimes I can almost remember. I scare my self into forgetting. As if I remember, I will see how far away am from that awsome, long gone me

-petrina Long 2010-12-30 18:17:09

Hey T,

this was the most special dream in a night of wonders. I am sorry you weren’t able to look at all of the dreams of that night (there were 6) as it was a watershed night for me. It ended with this archetypal dream of Merlin…or whoever. I would really love to know your impressions of it.

xoxoxo as always,

Surrendering to My Sage

The second big dream I remember this night was an amazing encounter with one of my Guides. As a matter of fact, now that I think about it, he may have been David Carson. If not, it was certainly the archetype he resembles. Of course, he could very well have been T.

I was alone and wandering in a town I didn’t know. It was afternoon, and the day was somewhat warm, but I was growing a bit anxious, as I didn’t know quite where I was or what I was supposed to be doing. For some reason, it seemed I was without purpose or money, and as I realized this, I thought I had better find a place to shelter for the night.

I was in a plaza near open urban space. The town was somewhat small, but there were still a few people milling about on the streets. I had seen an old man wandering about who glanced at me. He caught my attention as he had three Eagle down feathers stuck in his long white beard. It was a strange thing to see, but then again, the homeless are often creative in their attire.

Later on, as the afternoon moved toward evening, I found myself in a concrete plaza. A few people had gathered here in small groups and were most likely settling in for the coming night. I saw the homeless old man again sitting up straight, cross-legged, and I went to sit by him. But instead of sit by him, I actually lay prone, directly in front of him on my stomach. He was sitting so erect, and while his face was a bit ruddy and showed some hard years, his hair was a brilliant white, and his beard was long and kept and again I marveled at the three long eagle down feathers that were tucked into the beard. The sweet down quills moved ever so delicately in the barely there breeze.

He was wearing a deep sky blue t-shirt, the color of dark blue that happens just as there is no light left from the sunset…not yet deep navy, but rather a more vibrant and healing color. He also had on pants or perhaps shorts that color…just one solid color of blue, with the white hair and beard and the eagle down. Though he was a man of the streets, in this moment he looked regal, no beyond that …he was completely self-contained and whole, a boddhisatva.

As I lay prostate before him, he didn’t speak. I told him that I would be his, that I would go out and get money for him and bring it back to him at this place if he would keep me. Well, I didn’t use the words ‘if he would keep me’, but that was what I was implying. He listened, but he didn’t say anything and I awoke.

The third dream of the night involved a reflection of the above two dreams. So this then is the second night in a row that I have had a dream, which reflected on the content of earlier dreams.

I was out at some athletic event for work. Things were over and folks were in the parking lot headed home. My tennis coach, Billy Martin, had a great little car; a pale yellow classic sports number that looked like it had room for only the driver. I remarked on that as I realized I didn’t have a car and needed a ride home. Billy said he had a second passenger seat, but it was so tiny I knew I wouldn’t comfortably fit in it.

Then my assistant Martha volunteered to take me home. She is so sweet to me and really always takes care of me. I took the offer and tried to hop into her vw bug (which in real life is not her car). It was a little car, and there was no passenger door, which was on the left side like a european car. So I hopped in and realized that Martha and I were both a bit ample and we had to wiggle around to finally get situated and get our seatbelts on. I thought about how sweet she was to always look out for me and how generous her spirit is. Then I started telling her that I thought something was really happening in my life…that I was having all these big dreams and seeing my elders and ancestors and that I thought they may be coming to prepare me for my own death. She got very worried, but I told her no, that it was ok. Whatever was going on was a good thing, and I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it, but that was one explanation that occurred to me.

Then I woke up to see Venus so bright in the low sky that it actually startled me. So, this is shaping up to be quite an entry into the winter season.

November 27, 2010

    -Tony Crisp 2011-01-11 13:28:07

    Well, here we are P, and what a dreamer you are! And I am just in time for your birthday.

    The first part of the first dream seems to me to be a preparation for initiation into a fuller awareness. It often happens that when a person who has had a full and professional life suddenly finds themselves – at least in their dreams – unsure of where you are and what you are supposed to be doing; they are ready to meet their Master or Teacher. Of course the teaching might be given in the firm of a look, a touch, a dream, a vision or a voice speaking to them. This state of mind is called the Non-Argumentative condition of meditation. It is that you do not have a goal or a fixed idea, and so something completely new or unexpected can arise. It is also called meditation without a seed.

    Such teaching goes on to say: The practical part of Concentration is, Mortification, Muttering, and Resignation to the Supreme Soul. Mortification and resignation are shown in your prostration before the master, and your willingness to provide him with money. The latter is a silly idea arising from living in a consumer society. If it is a master of Life, what need would they have of you giving them money?

    The feathers are the signs of spiritual achievement – in other word the ability to enter, to be active in and explore the usually hidden side of life.
    So there is the setting for real inner change – but it ends there.

    Then you are not comfortable with the sporty type, with his macho car, but Martha, the one who ‘opened her home to him’ – Jesus. But it was Mary who was the one who listened. So I think this will have meaning to you. So this suggests you have a very practical approach to motivation, both in the VW and in Martha, the one who was doing stuff in the background in the house. So you have Martha and Mary active in you.
    When you mention the feeling that you are preparing for my own death, I feel yes, but not the sort of death you think. The first dream was a symbolic giving up your life to the master, and that is a form of dying, giving up your will for your own spirit to take over. But that is something you haven’t experienced yet.


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