“Stay open minded – otherwise the truth may not emerge. Even truth needs to feel acknowledged.”
MACLAINE, Shirley. Sage-ing while age-ing. New York: Atria Books, 2007.
Shirley Maclaine begins her book as she is moving into and setting up her house and home, looking out over Sante Fe, New Mexico. I have never been there and this book has given me a little taste of the environment and the landscape. While unpacking, re-arranging furniture and connecting with the space and the land around her she talks about her experiences of spiritual life and other planetary being. It is a house built in the early 90’s. Maclaine reminisces about her life and her spiritual yearning for knowledge and information. She speaks of becoming a sage and the awareness that she is, in reality, older than she thinks she is. “I feel I must become a sage or I can’t deal with the reality.” She seems to me to be talking about what society has become and created in this world of ongoing war and constant conflict.
“I have always had an innocent, bouncy, adolescent slant on life – optimistic and maybe even naive. It has served me well but now I am not so sure.” (pp 17)
Along with extraterrestrial beings Maclaine also talks about everyday life and the habits and rituals that support the healthy physical body, the temple for our spiritual soul. The book includes a recipe or two along with this list of recommendations…
- breath deep
- eat vegetables
- check your teeth
- drink lots of fresh water
- eat a banana
- finish your warm shower with a splash of cool water
- find some sun light every day (at least 10 minutes)
- and avoid coffee
“In the sixties, when nearly everyone was experimenting with drugs, my friends explained how they loved being high because they could see the possibility of joy and love, etc. It has been proven that liquor and drugs dull and block out the lower energy senses that we suffer from and allow us to experience the higher levels of who we can be – and really are. We can then become addicted to the higher experience. But what about the lower fears – shame, anxiety, anger, etc. – the demons that we fight in ourselves and others.” (pp 99)
“I believe that everyone’s behavior in life is accountable to the universe, and we are all connected to what Jung called the collective unconscious. We have the capacity to ‘know’ virtually anything the moment we ask for it. There isn’t a question that we can ask for which there isn’t an available answer. The universe is very cooperative. It is happy to oblige us if for no other reason than it is happy we recognize its existence.” (pp 100)
Dear Universe, what do I need to know right now? How do I keep myself safe and sane in this mad, mad world I live in? Ms Maclaine suggests that is it OK to ask these types of questions. So, I would also like to ask why some people display total disregard of the impact they have on others? Why is it so?
“I wonder what our natural human nature is. Is it basically violent or is it because we see our God as violent? Since the beginning of recorded time, 93% of that time has been spent on war! Seven percent of all time has been devoted to Peace!” (pp 188) I am not sure how one could gauge a figure on use of time. There is no (easily understood) explanation of how that figure was worked out.
“Each human culture create or worships its own God in the image it is either taught or desired. The result is that there are as many ‘gods’ as there are cultures.” (pp 221) Maclaine expresses concern that these many Gods is where our conflict comes into play, each group believes in ‘their way’ as the only way and ‘their God’ as THE GOD.
Yet, do we not need to find our own god (in whatever form that is) and allow others to do the same? Can we develop into human beings that understand inner loving power to use for good?
In the last chapter of her book Maclaine has organised and arranged her home and connected with the earth in New Mexico. She has walked around the area near her home and watched the run rise and set over the land. She has talked to the stars and talked to the house – breathing in the life of the house. She has felt the heart beat and the spirit of those who lived there before her. “My house feels complete and a pleasant sense of contentment settles over me.” (pp 251)
“I know what I’ve written is intense and dense with research that is important to me and may be exhausting to others … our lives are intense and dense right now“.
Yes dear reader, the book is intense and some will find it a bit radical and nonsensical. However, it does encourage you to think about your own beliefs and spiritual journey. Life is a mystery most of the time and many of us would say we don’t know what will happen tomorrow and we like it that way. What if we could write our own script and create our own tomorrow what kind of society would be build and what part would we play in that new world?
“Life does seem to be a stage and each of us actors upon it. In fact, I’d say we are each the writer, director, producer and actor in our own dramas… and we need to take responsibility [for that role, for that truth].”
“We are the performers… and the show must go on!”
ps… apologies for any incorrect references, this is my interpretation of Maclaine’s book and others may have a different understanding of her work. Check out her book here.