clearskies, bluewater

Insights, reflections and creative imaginings for our awakening world

The beginning, the end, life, death and beyond


It is not often that a work of art comes along which has the ability to encompass the whole range of human experience: beauty, suffering, life, death and the mysterious beyond. Today I have finally finished reading Ben Okri’s epic work, Starbook. This book is such a work of art.

In fact the story itself centers around a tribe of artists who make incredible, magical and mysterious art. Art is their reason for existence, their life’s work, and everything in their lives revolves around it. It is the story of a prince, a maiden with whom he falls in love, and the story of a people, a kingdom, of the past and future, of humans on earth and of beings from the stars. It is a vast metaphor, a fable, an epic, an odyssey, a dream, a version of history and a prayer for the future. Starbook is Okri’s homage to the Christ story and the story of the Buddha, while also being his own uniquely creative vision of his homeland and its vast people in Africa. This is a master’s work.

As so many of us have, I too have been going through a kind of transformation during these last months. Today and this weekend seems to be another pinnacle of time, devoted to inwardly seeking, listening, opening to the voices and whispers of our spirit, a doorway into the beyond which lies above this earthly realm of suffering and pain which we have all lived in and with for so long that many have forgotten that there is another way to be alive. Yet the clear directive coming to us collectively right now, is exactly that: there is another way to experience life in human form, a way beyond all the unendurable suffering we have inflicted upon each other and ourselves all these many centuries. Okri’s insightful retelling of the human story brought me near tears throughout reading it, and yet simultaneously also helped me to somehow distance my heart from the pain of it, as all great cathartic works tend to do. For his story, although set in Africa, is not merely the story of the loss of innocence and the influence of the western world upon that land, bringing slavery and horrific conditions to an entire race of people. It is the story of human bondage, death and redemption, as old as anyone can recall.

As I contemplate life on this special October weekend of 2012, I wish to acknowledge and honor the immense struggle which humans have endured over the course of our known history, sensing that only by honoring and remembering what has come before, can we fully release and forgive our collective memory and thereby move ahead towards a different future that so many of us are waking up to now. Okri says that Africa lives in all of us, and in a very real way he is absolutely right. We are all tribal peoples from somewhere in the world, some distant (or not so distant) past, with many many stories underneath us as we stand upon our piece of Earth right now, today. Time is fast becoming non-linear and some say that the day will soon come when linear time becomes a thing of the past. Our common experience of past, present and future will be vastly different than how we experience it now. All the more reason to honor, remember, and change the past as well as the future.

If I may, dear Readers, I would like to share a tiny glimpse of the future that I would like to live upon this beloved Earth. In this new future, everyone is an artist. There is no longer a differentiation between those who are and those who are not. No matter what one’s interest, the things they spend time doing are their art form. Everyone cares for everything, no matter how small, how inconsequential it may be. From the lowest to the highest in the world, all is made beautiful through love and care. In this future world of Earth, there are only two laws: Love and Kindness. Creativity of every kind flourishes, nature is more abundant and richer than ever before, and humans live in perfect harmony with the natural world, including all the animals. There is no more killing of living beings.

In this new future Earth, the wisest humans are the ones who make the decisions that affect all others. Purity of heart and generosity are the most desirable qualities in a human being. Competition has long ceased to be desirable, and the ancient arts are again understood and practiced. The gods, or beings from other realms than Earth, have again been given their rightful place of respect and reverence by the humans, and they work together to create all sorts of new ways of being and doing things, things we right now cannot even possibly imagine can be. It goes without saying that peace has been utterly restored to all living on the Earth.

One of the most beautiful passages in Starbook refers to a sculpture which the master artist of the tribe creates, his last and most magnificent creation. It is described thus:

“And what was it, this mysterious sculpture? It was more than it seemed. And its mystery was as much in how it created a shimmer of illuminations around itself, against the sky, as it was the spirit-charged nature of the stone, as it was that of which it was an eternal sigh, a question mark without a name, concentrating the magic of the heavens into the illusion of space. It was the figure of a being, a man or woman or god or goddess or dream; and the figure stood with both of its arms stretched out unnaturally wide, embracing the whole universe, in a mighty act of acceptance. Arms outstretched and legs spread out wide, doubly embracing all of life, the universe, all suffering, all joy, the beginning, the end, life, death and beyond……”

Isn’t this precisely what we must all do now, to embrace all of life, the universe, all suffering and joy, the beginning, the end, life, death and what lies beyond? This is such a beautiful summation of our goal, our purpose, our common future of humanity. To stand with arms and legs wide open upon this glorious, magnificent earth, to embrace our humanity, our groundedness, our deep soul, as well as our soaring, dreaming spirit selves among the starry world? We are becoming multi-dimensional beings like never before, whether we understand it or not matters little. It is what is happening to us, right now! How I wish I could just be like a fairy, or an insect, or a dream, and go from one human to the next, waking them from their slumber, their forgetting of the truth of their being, giving them the magic potion to make them all understand who we all of us Really ARE!

I wish to thank Ben Okri for his amazing Starbook, and all the wisdom contained therein. I hope that many more people will find and read this story, and find it as enlightening, illuminating, and enduring as I have. And I hope that all of you will continue to dream into the future that you wish to have, not only for yourselves, your children, your community and country, but for all of us, all the tribes and cultures and species of this incredible, gorgeous, and wonderful planet Earth.

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Author: SingingBones

When we sing over the bones, we are calling the wild nature, the instinctive soul back, singing it alive again. To live with our wildness intact, is the greatest gift a woman can give herself. "It is the holy poetry and singing we are after." C.P. Estes

11 thoughts on “The beginning, the end, life, death and beyond

  1. So beautifully expressed, Leigh. I love your vision of the planet. Let it become as you have discribed. I believe it will come to pass and it makes my heart sing.


  2. The new world cometh SB…It will be as we envision it, a place of peace and compassion. Even if we don’t get to see it, we will have painted our own pictures to help with the creation of it. Amazing pictures if what you posted are from the book. Thanks for sharing this!!! VK


    • Thank you for reading and commenting, VK. What a tender and amazing time this is now!! I feel more and more how every single act, word, and deed are helping to ground and expand the light into our world…. it is truly incredible at times… I am in awe and wonder tonight. Blessings to you, SB


  3. Magical Child

    Grace myself inside my mind imagine, dream time magical parents, as they beam sunshine inside the soul of my broken bones and spiteful body. What Aboriginal soul doesn’t know well, the terror of annihilation and genocide, so parents from Down Under already delight me with their experiential healing? They have powers of love and miracles of healing and good luck gathering, and every night one takes their turn sharing what special gift they have to nurture in creative delight. I know an occasional sense of loving what I do best, and I can use some daily encouragement and nightly role models from other inspired sweet soul generations. 60,000 years of maturing magical children into magical parents and one look in their face sounds music and dance of all their old stories before. One astronaut story heard a funny hello from orange sparks outside his little window in space. It seems that one special one could commune anywhere with anyone by stirring up bright ashes from his fire.

    Anything that is divisive and creates fear and separation causes generational echoes of spite, so I think that’s why Aboriginal wisdom calls the safety pin our world-wide best invention ever. A safety pin is for joining together and brings comfort and security and may reduce irritation if it used correctly, and is a great symbol of bonding. With my developed sensitivity to feel other’s intention, I especially treasure a sense of hundreds of previous generations of love in every current story or telling grin. No competition was ever allowed because magical parents loved their children too much to celebrate winners and losers. We have forgotten that we are asking our lost children to risk feeling the feelings of losing and accepting war and murder as good business. Since the essence of a gambler is to annihilate themselves and everyone around them, there is no history of winners raging with cheers, or losers frowning in Aboriginal depression. Elders have chosen not to reproduce victims for kidnapping, out of love and an acquired distaste for gambling with their children.

    An apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and a magical child doesn’t fall far from the magical parents. There is no gambling and no surprises in generations of faith in Oneness and forgiveness like were in Down Under, and are presently fading away. We need to practice and practice for loving generations to inspire good in our developed children, but instead we scratch tickets and keep hoping for that one illusive magical child from our collective soul’s poverty. I would rather trust in the nurturing from inside lost generations of delight, than any one in this World that they are leaving. The Aboriginals are fading and clearing like my resentments are fading and clearing as I am forgiving, and our minds may no longer require a body of separation of this World. It’s magical to think these ways and as I think I have magical parents inside I will, and I imagine I won’t fall far from the magical tree. I believe that for any magical child to mature and become magical that they need magical parents from before.


    • Thank you, Ascerio, for your thoughts and insights about the Aboriginals and their magical ways. I admit I know very little about these mysterious people. Thanks for adding another dimension to my own post, which centered more on the African tribes which Okri’s amazing book was about. I wholeheartedly agree that a return to living with magic and mystery in a grounded, real way, such as the Aboriginals and Africans of old have done, is important to creating future times of a very different quality than what we are presently living through. Perhaps we need a new way to understand these very ancient ideas about magic….


  4. Leigh…I love your vision! As for everyone being an artist, I fully agree….at ONE SPIRIT RISING this last Sunday, I made the altar out of dried flowers, a beautiful scarf and some pumpkins to honor the earth (the speaker was a native American medicine man)….and Susan Louise came up to me afterwards, in amazement, that I could do art………and she was surprised!!!! I felt she was being prejudiced towards me, since I have a business background and, therefore, couldn’t be creative………bummer!


    • Thanks for your story, Dr. Banner…. sounds like you got to practice being creative and also helped to teach your friend something new about you! a beautiful story, thanks for sharing it here.


  5. “ONENESS” is what any interpretation of language from Aboriginal would come to mean, as is “Thomas” that comes from a Spirit guide’s name that means the inside and the outside are always mirroring. I remember Saul Bellow writing “To Be or to Have” and his reference to Aboriginals fascinated me as I watched “The God’s Must Be Crazy” the movie about all the trouble that one mere empty coke bottle can cause.

    Later when I could see that supporting either for, or fighting against, any creation idea has an alternative just “To live a life of beauty and truth” and let go of the victim illusion by ‘choosing‘ neither. The one thing that seems the more we can accumulate that doesn’t remain any burden on our hearts is “Responsiveness”, so I like to think that expressing unassuming compassion still seems like a good kind way to live a life of beauty and truth.

    Maybe not “Having and wanting” all the time from a fear of death that seems is caused by the psychology of greed, really is a special responsive way to experience their special sovereignty within collective compassion? I like to hear my friend repeat that whatever we do to another we do to Christ, and this helps me remember not to judge another or sometimes not even fear another.


  6. Dear SB, As I was freeing YIN in the shower recently, I sensed my need to say that I am sorry for responding the way that I have from some sort of fear; I know not what. It’s wrong for me to sort of divert attention away from your beautiful art expressions, so I went back and re-read your heart and am wanting to acknowledge and affirm you now, more than ever.

    I hope I may remain more focused responding to you and I hope you can sense more delight when you see my ascerio pine cone a-commin…


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