This is intended as a multi-sensory experience. Consider playing each recommended piece as you read through it. With great thanks to Andrew Kortina for the inspiration.
"I know now that one does not need to seek purpose outside of oneself, for purpose is an opportunity of Soul, and your purpose will seek you out as and when you are ready. Your task is to prepare yourself, so that by the quality of your being, you have the strength to act on the opportunity ... no one is called for nothing."
We find ourselves, one rainy afternoon, pulled towards the world's most hidden coffee shop in a small town on the Southern tip of Africa. We wander down an alley, round the corner and into a nook, drawn on by the smell of beans and the soft sound of human voices. It takes a moment for the reality of right now to set in, but here - standing behind an old and clunky machine - is Paul Myburgh, making coffee.
Introductions done, masks briefly flashed down to show our full selves, I ask him, "Paul, what is a man such as yourself doing here, making coffee?" He looks me in the eye and says, very simply and with great sincerity:
It's not what you do. That matters for almost nothing. It's how you are while you're doing it.
He then busies himself making one flat white and one long black. It is the most heart-warming cup of coffee I have ever drunk.
And so it is with his words that I finally come to sign this work and the role I play in it.
I walk with small feet behind a man whose purity of soul draws me like a golden thread.
With all my love,
Andrew Michael Tudhope
** Let the storm in Africa sound fully before continuing.A True Story¶
All that is below comes from "A Bushman Winter Has Come"
"The memory of lion voice hangs long after in the silence, and in the darkness behind my eyes I see a world filled with creatures great and small giving voice in a common tongue, a language understood by all, a landscape of sound and movement held in the palm of the hand of God. For how many nights must I listen before this becomes a part of me forever ... my Soul immersed in this universal current of life, the place where the lives of all creatures are one, and we are able to know everything because it is written."
"Like a child again, but consciously, one must bypass the filters constructed from both positive and negative life experience, the veils of prejudice that so fundamentally change the value of that which would come to you. In the black night of aloneness, it is this that makes all the difference between listening to the voice of a lion with fear, or listening with reverence."
"There are archetypal stories that are recalled and recounted for all humanity, carried in wisdom by few for many .... these are the stories that transcend the boundaries of culture and time, and which convey a truth common to all humanity [...] These stories continue through history and time, and by their very nature they cannot be told 'out of truth' ... they are told and remembered in absolute truthfulness, for they are not someone's opinion of an event or a truth, and neither are they told from an individual prejudice and memory ... they are the stories that speak the wisdom of the world from the beginning of time ... the threads that bind past to present to future."
"In the blood memory of these people is the primordial record of the fall of humanity ... the journey from old form and consciousness to new. The memory of our fall from grace is embedded in Bushman stories ad paintings, recorded as a rite of passage of the human Soul ... a journey, which takes humanity from blindness in the light, to seeing in the darkness ... through descent to ascension. If we look with more care at the pictures, and listen with more care to the stories, then through these last people of Eden our fall from grace can be understood ... brought into cognition from unconscious memory, so that we humans now can go forward with nothing forgotten ... everything redeemed."
"The /Gwikwe simply 'live' the percept of 'God in Self', and in this they acknowledge the existence of good and evil and their own capacity for both ... so bearing full consequence for their own lives. Such is their given clarity of Soul, that in their relationship with the world they are able to call God and the devil by the same name, //Gamahma. In this naming they imply that the forces of good and evil are bound together in a preordained relationship, a cosmic symbiosis that reflects in each individual human being."
"Always the breathing in and the breathing out of life, always the language of a living cosmos expressed in the stories of the people."
"I begin to comprehend the depth of his relationship with the earth ... an intimate companionship without boundaries ... communion on a level as profound as life itself ... a sharing of common truth ... All the animal forms ... the gemsbok, the lion and the ostrich all echo within ourselves as human types, and in this correspondence we open a whole world of understanding in ourselves in Nature. And this is how it always was with the First People, in the time when there was only one language that was spoken by all of God's creatures, a language still heard and spoken by some of the old people, and I, coming from a place ahead in time, know this language has already been forgotten. I resolve to search for the wisdom to somehow be a bridge between this simple truth and the place from which I come ... the place of forgetting. In this world, there is a universal language ... a language of absolutes, and if ever we pray for anything, let us pray that we remember."
"There I will find the way to read the wisdom of the world ... the language of which is embedded, spoken into the inner being of man ... it is ours to know."
"We modern humans have become unpractised at the language of metaphor, hence our antipathy for the truth embedded in many ancient stories. The metaphor lies as a veil between the perception and the understanding of archetypal wisdom and, as such, in the current epoch, is the untravelled bridge between the physical and spiritual realms. The metaphor serves also as a predetermined cosmic coding system, compelling humanity to lift the veil and so come consciously to knowledge ... coming to the full comprehension of truth in every age or epoch gives birth to that which is right in the succeeding age."
"When one considers the structure of the universe, it is obvious that for every poison there is an antidote ... for every force there is an opposite, the cosmic ebb and flow of tides, of darkness and light ... truth and deception. This principle of opposites in balance reflects through the entire universe and through all the kingdoms of Nature, from the physical through to the realm of Spirit. It is the principle by which all things on every level of life are interrelated in wholeness, and this is how it always was for the First People."
"There is also a delightful and trusting open-endedness in every story or narrative ... it reflects the deep certainty that everything can pause, hold for a while, and then continue as a living narrative when it is time. This propensity allows for an instinctual response to living in a moving, changing world, a life that demands this flexibility in order to adapt and sustain. Language is expressed from the innate nature of the being, and the way that one speaks oneself into the world is the way that one lives oneself into the world."
** Pause here and listen in full to the lion if its voice is still ringing in your ears.
"It is not by accident that we share the earth with so many who are different from ourselves. It is not by accident that we see our own light only in the eyes of another. The simple act of living in relationship with other humans is an act of consecration."
"The figure of eight is the configuration of infinity ... the movement that compels the binding of the two sides of the body ... together male and female ... the movement that makes whole. Binding also heaven to earth, this movement evokes that which is within to express outwards and that which is without to be within."
"This healing dance serves as an intuitive truth commission, and in the altered state the interchange of energy takes place on a level of complete nakedness. There is no expression of the lower human nature, no place for verbal dexterity and manipulation, just a total submission to unconditional truth."
"That night I dream I am being born ... I am awake within ... touching the walls of the womb ... suspended warm and wet ... I see every little detail on the inside of the skin envelope around me ... the cells like stars in the flesh itself. At the same time I find myself flying through a realm of space black and filled with life .... touching the outer envelope of a universe vast and intimate ... flying like a giant eagle drawn willingly down ... down into the whirling vortex of a black hole to the very core of my being ... through threshold and unknown realm, and a journey through the stars that I choose to make ... as if each star holds a part of the memory of who I am on the course of my Soul-journey through the breadth of time-space ... dreaming my way to a sense of my own destiny ... and I am born."
"There is a thread of magic and wisdom that comes into our lives every now and again, as if to remind us of who we once were and who we might be. We must give thought to what it is from olden times that we do not remember, what cloud veils and obscures our memory ... and to what end? The paradox is that our descent is a journey towards the light ... but first through the veiled darkness we will go, for only in darkness will we come to know the true nature of Light. We began our journey together in innocence ... we will complete our journey together in knowledge."
"and in my mind after so many years ... //Gama's face ... haunted and silent still, her eyes filled with a longing for something that we all cry for in our moments of truth ... just one moment of eternal peace ... just one place of rest."
"I follow the old man in silence, awestruck by what this earth is for all of us ... the absolute truth of it. And if we ask what truth is, then surely it is not only that which we know ... for that which we do not know is also true. We walk in the constant reminder that every living thing has purpose ... all in complete symbiosis ... all things unified."
"And then at last, when I looked down, I saw the sand grooved in a ring around me, I saw that I was standing in the middle of the dancing circle. I had walked through twenty-four days of remembered dreams ... alone through four hundred miles of Kalahari to find myself ... utterly lost and then found, standing exactly in the middle of the dancing circle. Resurrected into the heart of the sacred circle from where our lives had been dreamed, felt, spoken, and danced and danced and danced so many times ... the woman melon dance, the man ostrich dance and the people healing dance. It was here, together, that we had seen the face of God in one another and each in his own heart."
"The space between us has no more distance, and everything is white, white light radiant, and I am lost inside the miracle of life and my heart would explode, and we are all one thing ... the wind, the shelter and Gening/u and I we are one thing"
"Thank God that we live ... thank God that I live ... that I can give myself over to this power ...."
"We lived here in Kgoatwe, in a truth and harmony that will resonate forever in the memory of the world. This is our entry in that book of records, which holds for eternity the thoughts, words and deeds of all human Souls, and of all life lived.
I stand in awe, I kneel in reverence ... I will always know this day.
I would be no place else ... for here I am."