I share the following from Alastair McIntosh’s 2015 Sunderland P. Gardner Lecture (Canadian Quaker Learning Series #7), with Mr. McIntosh’s permission.
This reflection is also very much aligned with some of the archetypal macro-themes of the current Saturn-Neptune and Uranus-Pluto squares, and what I shared in my recent recent Mars-Yang reflections, among other astro-energy and archetypal stirrings in these times.
One macro-theme is this:
We are being invited and often pressed to transform those adopted, inherited, or conditioned norms that are really toxic normal; and reclaim the spirit, soul, imagination, and mind that have been co-opted, colonized, and packaged into toxic ‘perceptual prisons’ that have, in turn, created or maintained toxic, life-and-soul denigrating ‘realities’.
A great part of this invitation requires us to remember and reclaim sovereignty over our focus, attention, imagination, and thus our energy (this has long been the crux of ‘magic’, whatever it’s been called), and these have been very much and very skillfully co-opted by all that seductively draws our attention, purposely stirs our fear and sense of separation, and pours like garbage into our imagination and mind.
In alignment with this theme, Alastair McIntosh shares this:
“My theme is Decolonising Land and Soul. This intends to express a sense that it’s not just the land that’s been colonised, and on both sides of the Atlantic; the soul of the coloniser has also been colonised by the spirit of colonisation.”
“This spirit runs through most of us, mostly unconsciously, therefore decolonisation is a multi-layered process. I define colonisation as the presumption to take that which has not been given. Is that any different from a straight definition of theft?” …
“A colonising mentality can only be perpetuated when the soul of the coloniser has become a carrier for the spirit of violence. That infection, as I have shown with this brief case study of Scottish history, is infectious.”
“We need to make sense of the layers and layers of violence and privation that were often heaped upon our forebears, and became internalised, normalised and perpetuated by them.”
McIntosh quoted the theologian Walter Wink, who wrote:
“To engage the Powers is therefore a redemptive process. The name of the game is not to destroy, as with the path of violence, but to wrestle the Powers that Be back to their higher, (Divinely inspired) vocations. Set in this framework, our activism for social, environmental and perhaps religious change becomes spiritual activism.”
“Such cultural psychotherapy is what the shamans, bards and prophets have always done. It is guided in part by the head, but the greater part is of the heart, thus often given voice through poetry, protest song and the other arts.”
Decolonizing isn’t a quick-pill or perpetually blissy-blissy happy-pill sort of process, but it is very much part, parcel, and point of the spiritual awakening process and the ‘transformative events’ that stir those alive and keep them activated.
A Phoenixing kind of purpose and path.
These are themes I’ve written much about, as the pearls and clues from my own experience arise and are shared through me as little lanterns along the way for others traveling the path of ‘transformed nonconformist’ and transformation catalyst.
Alastair’s insight reminds me of a recent Sophia’s Children post in which I shared complementary wisdom from Brad Keeney and The Spirit of Radical Experimentalism. You can read or revisit that one here.
Big Love and Indigenous-Soul Stirrings,