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The DK Foundation

The Ten Commandments of Everyday Living: 3  

Keep your living and working environment clean and tidy

The last time I submitted a manuscript to a publisher it came back with a note from the editor recounting how she had struggled with what she termed my tendency ‘sweep from the sublime to the ridiculous’, from describing the workings of the solar system to making observations about the importance of domestic order, from insights about the soul to observations about feet. She said, and we must assume that number of exclamation marks indicated the extent of her exasperation, ‘every so often you seem to lose it!!!!’

On reading this we decided that from henceforward we would publish all DKF material ourselves. If there was a point to be made it was not that I had lost it but that that an editor with one of the most prestigious imprints had not yet got it.

As above, so below: the state of the domestic environment will determine what we attract into our space from the worlds around us; the relationship of the personality to the soul is reflected in the condition of the feet. The list of correspondences is endless

This incident with the editor occurred at the close of the 1990s when books on spirituality had glossy covers and glossy contents written for people who wanted a consumer friendly spirituality which assured them that all they had to do was think positively to transform their lives.

There is, of course a truth in this – a great truth – positive thought is the basis of a purposeful life, but the emphasis was in the wrong place: it was not actually on positive thought at all, but on the lack of sacrifice involved and the beguiling ease of it all.

Glossy books do not address the matter of why, if  it is so simple, we do not think positively and why we are not happy and fulfilled. The reason is that in order to think positively we first have to give things up. We have to give up indulging and encouraging the parts of ourselves that work against holding positive thought long enough for it to become formative of reality. Effort of this kind is spirituality. Spirituality is a journey through the labyrinths of our psyches to a less cluttered place. Whilst on this journey we need all the help we can get from the environment that we create around us. In a cluttered, disorderly living space we increase the power of the negative, disruptive tendencies in our make up. But giving things up, even chaos and destructive habits, is very unpopular with acquisitive people and such ideas do not make the glossy books

A teacher of any spiritual discipline who lives in disorder is not yet ready to teach. That statement needs no qualification. A yoga student who is leaning to put her body in the kind of positions that will attract higher energy and yet does not see how the objects in her living space are forming positions with each other and attracting their own kind of energy has a lot more to learn. Prana gives us energy, makes us feel positive and determines our relationship with our highest principles. To cramp the feet is to impede the pranic flow into the body and make it difficult to connect to those higher principles.

Pisces spirituality is based upon the duality of higher and lower -heaven & earth, spiritual & physical, saints and sinners- and upon the need to transcend the lower.  It is a form of religion that serves those who for reasons both karmic and historical have little control over their physical environment, being an oppressed, persecuted minority within their lands or amongst the materialistic majority. Christ was born in an occupied country. Christianity helps to raise the sights above the physical plane with all its restrictions and suffering and in doing so created two distinct and separate worlds: the material & the spiritual, this world & the next.

According to Aquarian spirituality there are not just two worlds anymore than the simple division of ‘us and them’ accommodates human variety. There are many worlds of different densities and they interpenetrate each other; and there are in incarnation people at many different stages of development and with varying degrees of sensitivity to different worlds.  The highest worlds available to man are accessed when the head centres are opened. Aquarian spirituality creates a ladder that permits that access. That ladder is the chakra system and it is firmly planted on the material plane, the lowest rungs corresponding to the sacral centres and control and organisation of the physical energy. This takes in the regulation of our physical energy and the organisation of our physical environment.

When the New Age was in full mystical flower in the mid 1980s, I had a very dear friend, much given to wearing purple, who proudly displayed on the inside door to her flat: a tidy house is the sign of a wasted life. She wanted to believe it because, like many people, she considered the Virgoan aspect of her own nature spiritually uncool. But bohemianism is not spirituality. Bohemianism may release the grip of conventional structures and thought form but it is a reaction not a direction.  A reaction against materialism is not of itself spirituality, although it may be a prelude to it.

Around the same time, I had another friend who went on a workshop in London dedicated to transformation, which lasted two whole days and from which she returned, she assured us, quite transformed. For several months she seemed very different, positive, cheerful and assertive although there was a hint of hysteria in her positivity. One day before I left her flat she asked me if I wanted to see her cat, which was likely to be sleeping in the bedroom. I opened the bedroom door where a scene of sheer chaos confronted me, all shut away behind the closed door: dirty clothes, cups plates, magazines and dead flowers, and most of these things on the floor. The cat, sensibly, was on the bed, like a survivor on a life raft. I had an idea then of what was coming. Later that year my friend had a break down and was hospitalised.

Of course we want to take a flying leap at the higher rungs, but jumping onto a ladder is an art that few outside a circus will acquire. Most will fall to lie crumpled, winded and discouraged with the ladder on top of them.

The answer is to start on the lowest rungs and work up. Until we can keep our living space clean and tidy we are not ready to move on because we have not yet got our physical being under control. It is not in the least bit complicated, in fact it is so obvious that it is uncomfortable, which is why glossy books on spirituality do not go there. It is too ordinary, not sufficiently uplifting. It is easier to get passed the libel and obscenity laws, than it is to get passed the unwritten laws of Feel Good if you are a writer on spiritual matters. The DK Foundation is not selling its ideas so we do not need to be nice.

Our physical environment is a mirror and that is as true of our personal environment as it is of our planet, the environment that collectively humanity shares. Consider the state of our planet and them what that tells you about the state of the collective psyche.

Sadly we cannot clean up the oceans as readily as we can tidy our living space so let us start there, letting the order that we create through our intention touch being and make us stronger and more purposeful.

Think of this in connection with Christmas and the New Year. If we want to break with old negative patterns connected to this time of year, then we will not get out the old decorations which are full of memories. We will avoid the seasonal musical slush which is redolent of a myriad wretched Christmases and yearnings of generations now passed. We will also avoid overeating, over drinking, goggling at TV and leaving torn wrapping paper, opened presents and dirty dishes everywhere to invoke chaos.

If we purposefully create a calm environment then we stand a better chance of remaining calm. It is not a mystery; indeed, in the Aquarian Age it should be a matter of common sense. 

May your Christmas be peaceful!

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