This is Sandhill Wood, our lovely ancient woodland. The fresh green leaves, wild garlic and bluebells in early May are so beautiful.
Hello and welcome to our Spring 2015 newsletter.
As explained in our first newsletter, the object of our Charity, The Kosmon Sanctuary, is as follows:
The Advancement of Religion in accordance with the teachings contained in the Kosmon bible known as Oahspe.
The purpose of the Charity expressed in this way can hardly be expected to be meaningful to most people interested in our work. This being so, information will be given in this editorial which will help us to appreciate the significance of our object, and work of the Kosmon Sanctuary which flows from it.
Oahspe is the name given to the books channelled in 1881 by J.B. Newbrough which have come to be known as The Kosmon Bible. Kosmon means, in contemporary terms: New Age. The word Oahspe consists of three syllables or sounds which are said to be derived from the Panic language, the first language of the earth. These sounds are: O – the sound of wonder arising from contemplation of the heavens; AH the sound of wonder at the earth’s fullness; SPE – the voice of the unseen, of spirit. So Oahspe teaches about the heavens, the earth and spirit. (Kosmon Unity. Nov. 1977. P.20.) The intent of Oahspe is:
“To teach mortals how to attain to hear the Creator’s voice, and to see His Heavens, in full consciousness, while still living on the earth, and to know in truth, the place and condition awaiting them after death.” (Oahspe Prologue, Oahspe Modern Language Edition.)
Since our charity is concerned with “The Advancement of Religion”, we need to be clear as to the meaning of religion in the context of the Kosmon Tradition
According to a dictionary definition, the meaning of religion is: “The service and adoration of God or a god as expressed in forms of worship; one of the systems of faith and worship.” The Kosmon Tradition had a much broader understanding of “religion” than this. This understanding is best understood by quoting Frank Morley, the leader of the Kosmon Tradition for many years. The following quotation from Frank Morley, given in 1955, highlights the breadth of his understanding and its relevance for the times in which we live:
Real Religion is quite unknown to the majority of the children of the Earth. Real religion is not merely the acquiescence to certain ideas of ideals; it does not consist in following dogmas or a set of rigid formulae. Religion is to be understood as a mode of life, a living force, not a dead observance.
Religion, therefore, for the peoples of the future, must be that which helps them to realise their own true nature, their inner self, with all its possibilities, many of them undreamt of at present, and will help them to bring their lives into a condition of profound and sustaining harmony. This harmony will itself be the echo or reflection of the fundamental harmony which is at the basis of creation, and which people of faith call “The One All Light”.
In the quotation above, Frank Morley uses the expression “The One All Light” to indicate the ultimate unknowable and indescribable Source of creation. “Light” is the perfect word symbol to use for The Source. We are related to the Source as a ray of light is related to the Light, or the sunbeam is related to the Sun.
In Oahspe, the word Jehovih is generally used rather than Light. The origin of the word Jehovih is explained by George Morley, one of the founders of the Kosmon Tradition in this country, in the following quotation:
Most of our Christian brethren refer to the All Highest as God. But the word God is really a description, an ancient word meaning a ruler. The Infinite is more than that. Oahspe tells us that in very ancient days people called Him E – O – Ih: As they listened to the sounds of the winds blowing through the trees, they imitated that sound, and said that that must be the Name of the Creator. These sounds became the word Jehovih. (Article: How to Build in A Path of Light, published by The Kosmon Press; Oahspe, Book of Jehovih, Ch.1.)
For the Kosmon tradition, the ultimate Source is something totally beyond recognisable qualities and attributes, e.g. merciful, compassionate, judgemental. Interestingly, the meaning of Jehovih is identical with that of Tao, described in the Tao Teh Ching (Book of the Wisdom of the Way):
There is something mysterious, without beginning, without end, that existed before the heavens and earth. Unmoving; infinite; standing alone; never changing. It is everywhere and it is inexhaustible. It is the mother of all. I do not know its name. If I must name it I call it Tao and hail it as supreme. (The book of Tao, trs. Jeff hill.)
I fell in love with Labyrinths after an extraordinary week long Course with Lauren Artress of Veriditas held in Chartres, about an hour from Paris. Our group had the utterly phenomenal experience of spending a whole evening in the huge Gothic Cathedral walking the candlelit 40 foot diameter Labyrinth to the sound of medieval sacred music played on original instruments. As we walked, above us was the stunning blue Rose window illuminated from the outside. It was a meditative experience like no other. The sense of stillness was sublime. It was a place of sacred simplicity and an antidote to the chaos of our world.
A Labyrinth is a spiral pattern with one path that leads into the centre and the same path leading back to the outside. The original Classical 7 circuit Labyrinth shape has been found in different human cultures across continents going back 4000 years, the oldest example being found in caves in Sardinia.
Since then it has appeared on pottery from the Cretan civilisation and was taken up by the Romans who incorporated labyrinth designs in their floor mosaics.
In the 9th Century a monk called Otfrid took the Classical design and created a much more complicated 11 circuit pattern. This was incorporated into the floors of most of the large Gothic Cathedrals being built in Medieval Europe. It has become known as the Medieval Labyrinth and the one in Chartres Cathedral is the best surviving example.
These were probably the first Labyrinths built for walking and they offered a sacred, bounded space for personal reflection and spiritual pilgrimage. They were followed by later classical and medieval stone and turf labyrinths laid down in Northern Europe between the 12th and 17th Centuries. In the late 20th and 21st Centuries there has been a Labyrinth revival with many contemporary designs emerging.
The Labyrinth offers a quiet, sacred space for reflection, for forgiveness, releasing and letting go, for healing and for reconnecting to inner stillness. Above all it is place a walker may just be themselves, away from the noisy demands of our modern world.
After my Chartres experience I decided to train as a Labyrinth Facilitator and on my return Anthony Deavin invited me to consider creating an outdoor Labyrinth on the beautiful land bordering woodland and owned by the Kosmon Sanctuary. The intention was to create an outdoor sacred space with all the qualities that a Labyrinth offers. While our dream was to create a medieval Labyrinth, we decided to begin with the simpler design of the seven-circuit Labyrinth which soon morphed into an eight-circuit design to include the nearby pine tree.
Eight Circuit Classical Outdoor Labyrinth
The lines were created from flint collected from the surrounding woodland and the paths were made of woodchip obtained from wood cleared out of the same woodland. Underneath is a membrane to prevent weed growth. Our community gathered together to help me make this Labyrinth on 19th July 2014.
Since then I have held two group walks on this Labyrinth. Participants reported a range of positive experiences from a sense of deep peace, to feeling re-vitalised to receiving guidance and unexpected wisdom.
Eleven Circuit Medieval Outdoor Labyrinth
By February 2015 land had been cleared and we decided to create an 11-circuit medieval Labyrinth. This was a big project and I was grateful for the help of a small dedicated group of volunteers. I was, and am, especially grateful to Janet Collis who had been supporting and creating with me right from the beginning of our Labyrinth projects and to Anthony Deavin for all his support and guidance.
After marking out a 39 foot diameter circle we laid weed suppressant membrane to cover the whole area and poured wood chippings collected in wheel barrows on top to a depth of 3-4 inches. We then began collecting flint from the surrounding land; an even more back-breaking activity. I laid white stones to create the centre circles and petals and fanned these stones out into the rest of the Labyrinth. Successive circles of Flint were then laid to create the 11circuits.
We finished on March 17th and on the Spring Equinox a group gathered to walk the new Labyrinth. We began by blessing the Labyrinth with prayer dedicating it as a still, sacred space. During our sharing session after the walk it became apparent that everyone had been deeply moved and several participants described potentially transformative and life-changing experiences.
We now have a Labyrinth committee that will be creating flexible, healthy boundaries for access to the Labyrinths at The Kosmon Sanctuary for the benefit of all.
Gillian Lenane – April 2015
We thought you would like to meet Roger Collis – our man of the woods and unsung hero.
The current trustees inherited a very sorry state of affairs when they took over Sandhill Woods – 26 acres of ancient woodlands suffering from years of neglect and they were told that within 10 years the woods would be impenetrable and basically lost as a beautiful asset to the Kosmon Sanctuary.
Well, the universe obviously didn’t want that to happen because help arrived in the shape of Roger Collis!
Roger and his family have lived in Walton Village for the past 30 years, knew of the existence of the woods but assumed they were owned by the residents of Walton Manor. It was not until a few years ago when Roger’s wife Jan visited the Sanctuary for a meditation group on 11/11, following which Anthony Deavin showed her around the woods, she realised that Roger could help save them.
By profession Roger is a mechanical engineer and for years he and Jan ran their own company but now he is self-employed and works full-time for an engineering business.
Since boyhood, playing in woods and parks with his friends, Roger has always loved outdoor life, had an avid interest and been involved with nature and all things green. He readily took on the task of taking back our woodlands. It’s an enormous project which is going to take years but since his involvement vast areas have been cleared of invasive brambles and nettles, pathways have been rediscovered which has enabled safer access into the woods to be established.
Thanks to these continuing efforts we now have a group of nursery school children who visit regularly for forest classes to learn about nature and Roger who is a self-taught craftsman has created seating areas for them from fallen timber and a safe area for them to have mini campfires.
Although Roger does the majority of work single-handedly, he occasionally has help from friends with skill and knowledge of forestry and woodlands. About eighteen months ago, an overgrown area belonging to one of the Kosmon Sanctuary properties was cleared, tree stumps and hedging removed by Roger’s daughter’s group of Army Cadets and thanks to all their sterling efforts our tenants now have a lovely garden to enjoy.
Alongside all the physical effort Roger puts into the woods, he was also instrumental in getting a 10-year plan up and running, which has enabled the trustees to obtain a grant from the Forestry Commission.
Now although it must seem Roger spends every free waking moment working in the woods, he still finds time for a full, happy family life with Jan, his children and granddaughter. Both he and Jan are very keen and proficient archers (Roger makes his own arrows and our woods are an ideal place to practice!); they regularly enter and win competitions all over the country.
And as if that wasn’t enough, at the end of September last year, 62-year-old Roger, together with his brother and a group of friends, completed a 165-mile bike ride from West Ewell to Docking in Norfolk to raise funds for a charity called TREES which provides leisure experiences for physically and mentally disabled adults and children.
Roger is a very quiet and private man who will probably be embarrassed by the attention he is being given but the trustees wanted to let him know just how much they appreciate everything he has done and is continuing to do, all completely voluntarily, to breathe new life back into our woodlands.
Thank you Roger, we couldn’t have done it without you!
Teaching children to grow their own food
The Trustees wish to set aside some land where children can be taught to grow vegetables in raised beds, harvest, and enjoy the taste of the food they have nurtured. We are looking for someone with the time and the skills to oversee such an adventure. This will be so valuable in the educational development of children.