Isian News Issue 123
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Reflections by: Olivia Robertson
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FRIEND OR FOE
I shall never forget reading an odd item in a magazine. It was the account of a soldier on sentry duty in one of the great western armies:
“I was on sentry duty, Sir, when I observed an Angel coming down from the sky.”
“What did you do?”
“I challenged him, Sir. He did not reply.”
“What did you do then?”
“I shot him, Sir.”
“What happened to him?”
“He went off, Sir, up into the sky.”
Yes, friend or foe? I wonder what message the angel was bringing. Possibly “Peace to men of goodwill.” But it brought to my mind a particular interest I have in the “Yes” or “No” that is within each one of us. I have to regulate my own desire for good manners, with the national attitudes that prevail where I travel.
To give an example: In the United States, when I am asked “How are you doing?” I need to reply, enthusiastically, “Fine.” On being questioned on my air journey, having just been “frisked” for weapons, I have to state that I enjoyed it. If questioned on the success of The Fellowship of Isis, we are, of course, also doing fine.
But on return to Ireland, I have to reverse the procedure. On being asked how I am, I have to say cautiously, “Not so bad.” On the success of my recent book: “Could be worse.” On my air journey, “Terrible. I had a tornado raging under our plane.”
In the USA you may express admiration for a child as “Cute, gorgeous, smart.” But in Ireland this is to incur a psychic threat from the faery folk who may wish to kidnap the child, or awaken the Envious Eye of one’s enemies. One Cork friend told me he could not cross fields in the dark for fear he would be shot - whether as poacher or immigrant. As for my relatives up in the Orkneys off Scotland – not only oneself but our country is hovering on the brink of disaster – only possibly to be alleviated by Touching Wood.
Ah! I think I have the answer, between Affirmation and Denial. New Agers place their hopes for love, success and happiness on nip-and-tuck surgery for beauty, expensive courses for spirituality, (insuring a good life beyond the grave), and therapies to remain young, attractive, healthy and rich. The catch-phrase is: “Use positive Will-power and you can achieve anything you want.”
But the superstitious followers of the ancient Gods who touch wood, humble themselves, keep a low profile before Gods and neighbours, are wise to appease the Foe. Attraction and Repulsion are twins. For who can avoid loss, heart-break, illness, old age and death?
My own solution is to accept both good and bad fortune as the light and shade of this earthly school, which is a projection of Divine Reality. The Goddess Devi is both creator and destroyer.
When the Angel brought the soldier’s bullet back with him to heaven, having failed to deliver The Message … he may have commented: “To the soldier I came both as friend and foe; for I gave him the hard choice between his duty and Revelation” ***
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