Author Topic: Clare Cameron - Set Free to Live - Mountain Path, Apr. June. 2013.  (Read 1106 times)


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Honoring the Hidden Beauty of Deep Understanding:

(an article by Philip Pegler)

With the world in endless turmoil, it is always encouraging to meet a bearer of good news.  It is even better if one is able to
deliver that hopeful message oneself, and while it is often sensible to keep quiet about positive signs of increase in our
understanding, forthright candor can be refreshing.  Furthermore, if previously one has held back from expressing oneself, it
may be no bad thing to make a clean break wit the past whatsoever hard it might have been -- and resolutely clear hat now one's
outlook has changed altogether for the better.

My own life as a long time devotee may provide a useful illustration of what I mean by these opening remarks.  After many
years of following in good faith in Ramana Maharshi's profound path of Self Inquiry, I am finally glad to be able to confirm from
my own hard-won experience that His potent method of dispelling my illusions or ignorance really does work -- and the claims
made for its supreme efficacy are not exaggerated.

Anybody who honestly cares to ask the fundamental question - Who am I? with tenacity and courage will  surely undergo an
unutterable transformation of outlook such as never could have been envisaged in the ordinary way.  Without knowing quite
how or why it is as if one has been set to free to live -- and the world has been made totally new in the light of a wholesome

When you finally discover who you truly are in essence, the unimaginable burden of self imposed suffering falls away as  it
had never existed -- and you are set to free at last to live fully in service to the deeper life that brought you into existence and
has always sustained you.  You have once and for all, consciously recognized the source of being, from which you have never been
separate - yet you needed to know and acknowledge that for it to become real in your own experience.  It is the sole reason
why you needed to follow the path, but it would be a mistake to believe that this is the conclusion of your journey.  It is but a new
beginning of a deeper exploration into Truth, which is endless and immeasurable.  To honor the noble task now set before you
becomes your central resolve. It is a summons to Life.


Arunachala Siva.               


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Re: Clare Cameron - Set Free to Live - Mountain Path, Apr. June. 2013.
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2013, 01:51:23 PM »

Deep understanding regarding our true spiritual identity and proper appreciation of the nature of the greater Life to which we
belong is everyone's birthright and is definitely not a distant attainment.  As Bhagavan always stressed, our true nature is immediate
and in plain view, but easily overlooked for all that and there are no short cuts to spiritual maturity.  Truth is nowhere else but
here and now, yet this direct understanding still needs to be claimed with care and diligence and nobody can predict when the
realization of essential Being may dawn for anyone.

Such an irrevocable turning point in my own life, came unexpectedly some six years ago, after I had already been earnestly
committed to the spiritual quest for a period fully five times as long.  One morning, quite unaccountably, I was vouchsafed a
profound insight into the truly non dual nature of my own being as conscious awareness.  It was a clear view of Reality, which
has never since deserted me and it has dispelled a dark shadow that had dogged my footsteps for almost as long as
I could remember.

The sense of relief was huge.  It was as if the tight knot of ignorance had been severed in a single stroke, but the full implications
of what had happened to me took a considerable time to sink in. 

This process of profound integration was still continuing when I began to work on my first proper book,  Hidden Beauty of Commonplace.
A nature mystic's reflections upon the full meaning of Freedom, -- which is to be reviewed at a later date in  Mountain Path.
I have devoted several years since that pivotal moment of insight to the creative task of composing this careful study of the life   
and work of my old friend and mentor, Clare Cameron, who had been a remarkable mystical poet at the peak of her creative powers
in the 1960s while I was growing up in England, and whose writings I had first discovered in India -- in the Asramam Library during
an extended stay at Sri Ramanasramam in 1970.

It was not a project I could have attempted earlier, because I was simply not ready to sift the immensely rich but sometimes sad
and painful memories of a lifetime.  First the doors of perception needed to be cleansed and only then the clarity of fresh understanding
be applied to task.

Born in London's East End in 1896, towards the close of the Victorian Era, Clare had emerged from humble origins to become
by 1958, the respected Editor of The Science of Thought Review - a small but influential Christian magazine, which encouraged
inter faith dialogue by publishing thoughtful articles on comparative religion in much the same manner as Mountain Path did under
Arthur Osborne's skilled direction.


Arunachala Siva.                 


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Re: Clare Cameron - Set Free to Live - Mountain Path, Apr. June. 2013.
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2013, 01:27:49 PM »


But before that, while showing considerable fortitude during turbulent wartime years, spent in bomb ravaged London,
Clare had already gained invaluable experience by editing in the very midst of chaos, The Middle Way - England's leading
Buddhist journal.  Yet poetry was her first love and it was the lyrical sensitivity of her delicate verse that had strongly attracted
me to work initially.

Something is waiting to be said,
But not in the language of our time.
That is too harsh, staccato, brittle,
Discordant, disruptive, arrogant.
There is another language
That falls like dew on fever,
Or some other time can break the heart,
And it comes like a thief in the night.

The gentleness of Clare's poetry expressed in poignant lines like these had touched my heart, but it was the sturdy common-
sense of her magazine editorials that awakened my sense of spiritual discernment.  At a crucial time in my life, when I was
endeavoring to clarify my own spiritual path, her keen observations about the profound implications of inner freedom intrigued
me and encouraged my further exploration. 

Oddly enough, the real path to freedom means ultimately the relinquishing of all paths.....our consciousness is expanding into
the very universe itself, and the universe shares with us its secret laws, gifts and riches.  There are no earthly riches like unto
these, for our own personal rhythm has tuned to the Divine Rhythm and our little loves are growing into Love itself.  This always
is a great wonder to us.

Diminutive with a keen, quizzical gaze and elderly, although still energetic by the time I met her, what always struck me was
the manner in which Clare viewed the events of her long and hard life, not only with remarkable equanimity and compassion,
but also without a trace of bitterness or judgement.  She was the sort of rare person you could always turn to when in trouble,
for she was kind and patient with a good listening ear.

The main focus of her writing was ever the sanctity of life and she always emphasized the prime importance of the silent
background to experience -- the ground of being.  She saw clearly, just as Bhagavan did, how many of mankind's problems
arise simply from the loss of contact with the Source that sustains everything and provides all true guidance. 


Arunachala Siva.               


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Re: Clare Cameron - Set Free to Live - Mountain Path, Apr. June. 2013.
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2013, 12:54:09 PM »


She was like the grandmother I had never known, who provided much needed affection, after I had lost my own mother
in my early twenties -- and she soon became not only a friend but a substitute parent also.  It was only in later life, years
after she herself died in 1983, that I fully understood how much I loved her and how profoundly she had communicated to me
the unchanging principle of spiritual living.   This she did in a most natural way, often more by her tranquil presence and unspoken
example than by what she said. 

Day ends as it began
A ripple on Time's stream
Or slowing continuing dream.
The ripple has no meaning
But only the flowing stream.

Learn from the brief day
Whence it comes and goes
Through the snowflake and the rose.
Through time and out of time
Eternity flows.

Clare once wrote memorably that when Life is lit by love and shaped by wisdom, it becomes an art open to all.  The tender
beauty of her words is such that they hardly ever fail to evoke creative mood within me.  Once I had seriously begun
writing a tribute in her memory, I soon saw that the challenge of composing the spiritual biography of someone I greatly
respected was helping me immensely to articulate my own spiritual philosophy  -- enabling me to sort out the wheat from
the chaff of my recollections and make sense of the sometimes extreme and  difficult experiences I had undergone.  But
since the book has been completed, it has also become clear to me that something more is needed than merely writing about
freedom and reflecting about its true meaning.

I had definitely run out of excuses by the time I had finished what had definitely been the most satisfying but challenging
literary undertaking of my life.  I had set free from the burden of he past and had relinquished a good measure of previous
self concern, but now I was required to live fully in accordance with my deepest convictions on a practical day to day level.


Arunachala Siva.                 


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Re: Clare Cameron - Set Free to Live - Mountain Path, Apr. June. 2013.
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2013, 12:12:59 PM »


I could no longer justify anything approaching prevarication or live merely in the realm of ideals.  My good intentions had often
been questioned before of course, bu t now my integrity would be put to the test in a still more searching way  -- I felt sure about
that.  It is that any great sacrifice would necessarily be demanded, it is just that living accordance with Truth requires one to remain
faithful to the demands of conscience in all respects, great or small.

We used to believe that it was our own life that had to be lived by the determined exercise of a resolute will.  Stepping out in
freedom, in a spirit of openness and courage, shows us that, on the contrary, we are lived by the greater Life within us -- and
we only need to cooperate with the movement and flow of the totality to remain at peace in the midst of whatever befalls us.

That is surrender and an expression of the highest intelligence.  It is also what is truly meant by Self Inquiry, thus completing a sacred
circle in spiritual practice.  What is this mysterious aliveness that dwells within me?  Who am I really?  Only when I know more
of this higher power, to which I may surrender in trust, can I set forth safely and be light unto myself -- and others for whom
I am responsible.

Clare Cameron considered love, gratitude, and acceptance cardinal virtues and stressed their importance time and time again.
Much of what I am suggesting here, I have learnt from her unassuming example and the enduring inner link, which somehow
became naturally forged between us, demonstrates how neatly things can slot together in the mysterious inter weaving of Life's

One of the things I find so amazing is that Clare lived and worked near my father's home in the south of England -- yet it took
my visit to far away India for me to discover this was so and then make contact with her upon my return.  Sri Ramana Maharshi's
potent teachings had already played a crucial part in my spiritual development -- now it would be Clare Cameron's turn to communicate
the good news that all spiritual power lay within me.

It is the steadiness of devotion that provides a firm foundation for the deep inquiry into the Reality of one's true being, beyond
the personal sense of self.  Clare nurtured this spirit of devotion in me, and in her quiet way taught me how to say Yes to Life.
There is no method in that -- and I say as much in the final chapter of Hidden Beauty of Commonplace.

When Clare eventually died, she did not leave me entirely without inner resources.  It took me quite a while to realize it, but she
had shown me in no uncertain manner that there is always hope. No matter what has happened, 'hope springs eternal' and we
can always begin again, because life exists in the present moment and the past is always behind us.  Clare stressed time and time
again, how it is quite possible to find a sense of acceptance when it seems absolutely impossible to do any such thing.  This is a kind
of paradox, because deep acceptance is not something that can ever be accomplished by anyone.  for me personally it took Clare's
quiet presence to underline the inescapable fact that acceptance was never going to be something I could learn to do as such,
because it is a quality which already exists within my own being.  It can never be grasped but only allowed to have its gentle way
with us.  Once I got the point, the rest was plain sailing -- but the going was still not easy, and I imagine that it never be so.


Arunachala Siva.