By Steve Clayton
“For one throb of the artery while on that old grey stone I sat. I knew that one is animate, mankind inanimate fantasy.”
So wrote Yeats many decades ago. As a young man in university I took to those few lines like Donald Trump to the board room. I believed in the power of me. I even rewrote Einstein’s E=MC2 as follows, Existence Equals My Concepts Squared which I took even farther by pointed out the obvious for those who may have missed it; ‘my’, meaning me, equals 1 and 1 squared equals 1 so Existence Equals My Concepts.
I was the only person or thing I could truly know for certain in this world; so I believed in an incredible naiveté which could have been construed as the ultimate narcissism except for the fact I knew I was far from perfect. I had even developed what I called Claytonic Thought. If Plato could have Platonic Thought then Steve Clayton could definitely have his Claytonic Thought. I had created a number of Aphorisms, I forget how many now though part of me wishes I could either find them tucked away in a binder or channel them from my seemingly distant past. I say seemingly distant because to me thirty ago years ago feels like several lifetimes even though in the grand scheme of things it is not even a drop in the bucket.
If I could revisit that list I’m sure I would find it embarrassing and funny; most likely more of the former. The only aphorism I do recall was the first one on the list: Just because a man asks a question does not mean he wants to hear the answer. That little gem is quite probably one of the best things to come out of my self-inflated writings of those bygone days. It has served me well from job interviews to debates to relationships ( the word ‘man’ here is being used in its generic sense; one could just as easily slip the word ‘woman’ in there without changing anything.
Today I suppose I would substitute ‘person’ for ‘man’ but it was 78/79, my first year in university and political correctness had not yet made it into the collective mainstream conscience.) I was right the world was wrong. If I behaved properly and everyone else behaved properly then the world would be a good place. I couldn’t quite accept the fact that not everyone saw what I saw as being proper as actually being proper. “People are stupid”, often spewed out of my mouth with righteous indignation along with “Why can’t people just see the truth? “ I definitely saw myself as separate from the vast majority of people roaming the earth. That was my first year of university but not the most important part by far.
Now the great thing about university, I tell people these days, is that if university teaches you one thing, it teaches you humility if, and it’s a big if, you are willing to learn. There is so much to know that no one person could ever know it all. Even in a person’s field of study could that one person ever know everything there is to know about that field? I think not. True, there are always exceptions, but exceptions are rare and not the norm. I will be the first admit I met many extremely intelligent people but I never met one who actually knew everything despite claims to the contrary.
The other thing I learned by the time I left university is you can meet someone with a totally different set of beliefs from your own, and that person did not eat their young for breakfast. They may have radically different ideas from your own but they were still good decent people who dreamed of a better world for all. So by the time I left university my ego had calmed down somewhat, but only somewhat.
Looking back, I see evidence of it in almost every memory. I forgive it. It was only doing what it was meant to do; it’s not its fault it was born into a time of extreme ego gratification. Or maybe it was. Perhaps that was all part of the plan; one of my main lessons to learn in this lifetime: overcoming ego. As my forties progressed I was certain I was learning that lesson quite well; tricky, tricky ego.
In one of those great ironies of life it was my entering into the field of holistic healing that showed me just how far I had not come in conquering my ego. I read the Chios Manuals and related books on New Age Healing and Thought. I passed my studies, read some more and took on my first paying clients confident I would heal all that ailed them. Confident that is until five in the morning a couple of days before I was to see them. I awoke with cold sweats, cramps, nausea and a feeling of dread. What the blazes was I doing? Who did I think I was? Did I really believe I was some sort of miracle worker? Gone were the ideas of stepping out of one’s ego and merely being a conduit for the energy, God’s energy or the energy or creation, however you want to identify it.
“The universal energy is alive and active.”
I balked at those words which I had taken in almost religiously during my studies. I worried if I would do things right. Would I be able to identify problems without having to be told? Would my first clients think I was some kind of fraud or charlatan? For that matter would family, friends and people in general think I had lost my sanity? Would I be shunned like some sort of pariah? Or worse, as a laughing stalk?
My first appointments drew closer and I talked to God, Jesus, Archangels, Angels, the Energy itself and any other entity will to listen. I’m certain my wife would tell you I was no picnic to be around those couple of days. Somehow I survived. The healing sessions came and went with great success as I actually had two back-to-back that first day. I may have talked a bit more during those sessions (I’m a bit of a talker at the best of times) but the good thing that came from my talking was that it kept my ego preoccupied while the rest of me gave over willingly to the healings. And as I said, they went well. A power greater than myself took the lead; I know that for a fact.
Now when I read the words,”…One is animate, mankind inanimate fantasy” I know that One is animate and that I, we, are all part of that One. Mankind as a separate entity from the One is utter nonsense. I write these thoughts in the midst of trees, flowers, birds, a Corgi named Tuxedo and numerous insects under a bright blue sky. As I pause and look around, I am struck with the feeling that the world is indeed a miracle…a beautiful wondrous miraculous creation. Why would I or anyone in his or her right mind want to see his or herself as separate from such a miracle?