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This Fellowship of Isis website has been authorized by the FOI Foundation Center: Clonegal Castle, Enniscorthy, Eire


Reflections by: Olivia Robertson

Isian News Issue 139

Olivia Robertson
photo © 2009 M.Q.

Click on the blue speaker to hear Olivia read this article:
(mp3 / 9:34 min / 2.2 mb) Listen to this article

“The Above and the Below need Ground Level"

I have never been able to understand why many people refuse to believe in Universal Salvation. Not only do we have racial and social segregation, but we limit Heaven in a belief system which condemns dissidents to eternal torture in Hell. Very good people fall for this. There was the Lady Warden of my high-church Anglican school who told us that upbaptized children could not go to heaven. This was particularly unfortunate, as we Protestants did not believe in purgatory. It was heaven or hell. You could do nothing to improve matters once you were dead. It was unbelievably cruel. But I did realise that people were not cruel. They reminded me of the home-life of the Meercats of the Kalahari Desert, so lovingly and scientifically monitored and filmed by the Cambridge Team. A mother Meerkat naturally killed all her sisters’ cubs for some biological benefit. This was Nature.

I remember a very kind young American woman, mother of two, really upset by my strange ideas. “Olivia,” she said, “It’s all very well you saying everybody will be saved. But think of Saint Francis, he was a lovely man – giving away all that money to the Poor. You say Hitler could get into heaven somehow. Well even if they let him into heaven after thousands of years, don’t you think Saint Francis would be a little hurt? After all, where would be his reward?”

Life is restricted by segregation, usually petty and snobbish. My father was deemed unworthy to marry my mother because he was only an architect. As my mother’s relations would say sneeringly, “When we have anything wrong with the drains, we will send for dear Manning.”

The social rules that limit us are illustrated by the behaviour of my Great Grandmother, early in the 19th Century. As wife of a mere physician, Doctor Robert Graves, she was not received at the Viceregal Court in Dublin Castle, to which she felt she was entitled. Her Grandfather, Cornelius Grogan, had given the family Johnstown Castle to be the first Irish Senate of a new Republic during the 1798 Rising. The Senate lasted one day. He was duly hanged by the British and lost his castle. So his descendant scraped up the money to buy the haunted Rathfarnham Castle which gave her the social status to get into the Viceregal Court. It was a curious Irish come-back which she felt was her right. She was the only Doctor’s wife to get to be received in Dublin Castle at that time.

My own attitude – of one born in 1917 – was very much the same as my generation. We accused our elders of being Victorian. We admired Mahatma Ghandi. During the war, though many of us were pacifists, we hero-worshipped the women in the French Resistance. Our socialist, humane, practical world was scripted by Bernard Shaw, H.G. Wells and George Orwell. It had one disadvantage. We had to die. We had no God, no angels, no heaven, no immortal souls. The Paranormal was taboo. We were bereft of Divinity.

The first wave of a new spiritual renaissance occurred just after the war. Again I thought I was alone. When I awakened into multi-dimensional consciousness I was alone. Except of course for strange Beings with bodies of Light and heavenly minds. I was made to feel totally deluded. I was just having hallucinations. Then I was joined by my brother, then an orthodox Rector of the Church of England. Then by his wife, of Quaker stock. I remember the three of us meditating in the Castle library in 1963. I said: “We will never be alone again.”

We met followers of Spiritualism, Occult Orders, Historic groupings, claiming teachings from Ancient Egypt, Hinduism, and The Tao. We started the Huntington Castle Centre for Meditation and Study.

Then in the sixties came the second wave – the Flower People. These did not all take drugs, though this was given as a medical reason for the spiritual experiences.

There followed an outburst of religious extremism, leading to some groups that committed group suicide. These were later joined by enthusiasts who not only were willing to kill themselves, but felt it would be of benefit for their faith if they brought the opposition with them to the next world, themselves to Heaven, their enemies to hell.

Our own idealistic New Agers began also to develop paranoid obsessions. Many kept their equilibrium, but others became a prey to monstrous conspiracy theories that reminded me of the persecution of the Jews in the last century.

Why do we need enemies? The answer is obvious. We have them. But as every person alive has a different enemy, there does not seem much of a future for the human race. So the idea would be for us not have any enemies. Through spiritual alchemy we may learn to transmute our enemies – heretics, evil-doers, war-mongers, into their own true selves. And we can only do this miracle if we know what their true selves are. And we don’t know. There are two sources of Divine Information as to this mystery. The Divine Beings Who have Love, Beauty and Truth may help us through inspiration. But this only works if we accept this influx. Our free will is essential. Otherwise we are robots. Divine Inspiration may be represented by a great V, an inverted triangle. “As Above so Below.”

Another way is that of hard moral work on the material plane. This is our evolutionary path. “As Below so Above.” The emblem is an up-pointed triangle. When these two triangles join at their tips, they produce a diamond to the degree of 1.618, the Golden Mean. Here we have the Diamond of Perfection: Divine Union of idealism and the mundane; the Above and the Below; Love and Truth; mind and heart. So I sketched in this Diamond of Harmony to make it actual for me. This is the land, I thought, of our life’s destination – and our home. We are living where we need to be. We are at Journey’s End – at the beginning and the end. Names came to me: Heaven, Valhalla, Paradise, Tir na nOg, Korean Margoland, Shangri La, Brocieland, The Isle of Cytherea: for each of us our own Land of Heart’s Desire…

Poussin entitled his famous painting of Rennes-le-Chateau as “I also have lived in Arcadia.” Why not? Optimists have given Romantic place names to their homes. Alas, now these are called a string of numbers put on a mail-box. I was in Arizona when the idea came to me that we should live in our own idyllic land. I was sitting at the time in “Utopia”. My hostess Stephanie assured me that really was the name. Our friend John Michael said his place had been called “Avalon in Paradise Valley”.

The idea took life. Added to mailing numbers, I found we had friends living in “Grenadine Peak,” “Two Ravens” and “Forever Land”. After all, a bus goes to “Eureka”, and I have travelled in a street-car called “Desire.” Join us as Arcadians! No subscription, no forms, no rules, no certificates, no numbers. Just be yourself.


(Reflections articles are included here at the request of Olivia Robertson. Our thanks to Minette Quick for forwarding these each quarter.)


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