Homeward Bound
Homeward Bound (including The Great Humbling)
The Great Humbling S2E8: 'State of Limbo'

The Great Humbling S2E8: 'State of Limbo'

We start with a reference to Kenny Rogers to ‘see what condition our condition is in?

Then in  the context of the US election this clip: https://twitter.com/aoc/status/1158569576168402945?s=21 from Professor Eddie Glaude of African American studies at Princeton

‘White Americans confronting the danger of their innocence’

Dougald talks about Alan Garner’s Boneland and what would it actually do to you as an adult to have been through the kind of things that happen to a child in a fantasy novel? 

Ed explores the etymology of ‘limbo’…

From the medieval latin ‘limbus’: hem, border…edge, boundary…(‘limen’ = threshold, ’liminal’...)

Dante’s ‘first circle of Hell’ for virtuous pagans (is that you and I Dougald?!) who inhabit a brightly lit and beautiful - but somber - castle which is seemingly a medieval version of Elysium, its the ‘lip of Hell’

An uncertain period of awaiting a decision or resolution; an intermediate state or condition

A state of neglect or oblivion

Dougald shares a review in the Economist of Rod Dreher’s new book, Live Not By Lies – that draws out something very interesting, that people from quite different places politically have in common a sense of a time to retreat.

And Gordon White of Rune Soup:

‘When I’m asked “what can we do?” I know the expected answer is something like “form a group of bloggers and express an opinion about ecological degradation that no one even remotely important will ever notice”. But the answer is that you are in a personal Rivendell Phase. From the perspective of culture and civility, you need to be the Last Homely House east of the Sea. However, with an emerging decentral opportunity, the stage is set for this to be literally true. You have the opportunity to literally create a local sphere of improvement -an Imladris or hidden valley.’

Along with Pat McCabe, Woman Stands Shining who posted:

I feel strangely calm. I spend almost no energy on national events. But then, this is evidence of my lineage, at least in recent generations. The deepest, destructive, machinations have been at work, all around us, without regard for what the human heart is wired to perceive as most precious and vital: children, elders, women, the honor of men. Also, without regard for the instinct to preserve what makes Life possible: Water, Air, Soil, Fire, all the other members of the Sacred Hoop of Life.

The initial shock and horror of this darkness moving over the land, and over the Way of Life, was borne by my great grandparents. It was further digested, like the plastics now lining the whales’ bellies, by my grandparents. And then by my parents, now “functional members of society,” of this mad, society. Until today, here I sit, with little concern over what monster is being constructed “over there” in their dark laboratory of numbed blindness, false power, and destitute wealth.

I only hold that I will be shown a way to move through it ...This is how my forebears walked through the valley of the shadow of death, fearing no evil. For centuries. So, forgive me if I don’t show appropriate panic, or outrage, or fear. I am trauma-transcendent-evolved now. Holding the tenuous stream of possibility, a spider’s thread, looking to weave this web, into Life again. Whispering to my body, not necessarily designed for such tests of endurance, but still, an adaptagen to this Life, I whisper shhh... shhh... soon, soon, just a little further, a little bit further. Creator is watching, you will see...

Ed talks about Limbo dancing –  West Indian dance (from ‘limber’ - to bend) and how passing under the bar and then successfully raising your head is apparently symbolic of a spiritual transition, the triumph of death back into life… traditionally the bar started low and got higher to represent that transition from death to life and how its performed as a funeral dance 

He explores Haitian Voodoo spirit Papa Legba, a trickster deity, fond of riddles he is an ‘Ioa’ (intermediary between Bondye - the Good God - and the material world)...appears as an old man on a crutch or with a cane, wearing a broad-brimmed straw hat and smoking a pipe, or drinking sparkling water, he stands at the spiritual crossroads, a gatekeeper, and either gives (or denies) permission to speak to the spirit world...he is known as the ‘Great Elocutioner’, speaks every human language - facilitating communication, speech and understanding…he walk with a limp because he walk in two worlds at once, the spirit and the living, the certain and the UNCERTAIN

Blues musician Robert Johnson sold his soul to a ‘Mr Legba’ (often confused with the Christian ‘Devil’) in exchange for his musical talents…

And returns to the story of The Locks Inn - Pub of the Long Now...saved from limbo and the return of dwile-flonking...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBamCWdx6gI 

Dougald shares another chain of synchronicities inspired by a Rune Soup post, a magical trip to a place called Tangdimma in Tasmania, a place where the veil is thin and an encounter on a walk about learning to trust the synchronicities, learning to listen to the places

Ed talks about ‘Legal limbo’ - irregular migrants caught in a state without being removed, or being granted ‘refugee status’ and thus being deprived of basic rights…

Limbo in the film ‘Inception’ - an infinite space of raw consciousness, revealed as an endless ocean. A shared dream space where any dreamer can make drastic and dramatic alterations to the dream. Caution as when in limbo, you can forget you’re in limbo and be unable to wake up...and become ‘lost in limbo’

How does ‘state of limbo’ reflect on our other ‘altered states’? Alert, Grace, Panic, Tension, Anger, Play, Jeopardy?

Perhaps amongst all those states a state of limbo is not unattractive? A space at the edge? A foot in both worlds? A place beyond polarised tribalism? A space of uncertainty but also possibility? 

There’s learning in limbo...but you don’t want to stay there forever...

Dougald talks about Emma Wallace and her Refugi – ‘a deep adaptation mountain monastery for holy rebels, sacred fools and radical artists’ in the Cathar Mountains of the Pyrenees – a historical hotbed of heresy

How it’s a kind of monasticism that he feels more at home withand how he and Anna and have found a place to call HOME – a house that can accommodate a school – Östervåla and another chain of weird synchronicities.

How to make your own Rivendell, your own ‘homely house’ – not as a cold, mountainous detachment from the world, but as a seedbed, one small pocket among many pockets that might just join together

And shares the extraordinary Cryptic Northern Refugia story

Which inspires Ed to quote from the film ‘My Dinner with Andre’

And Dougald concludes Season 2 “It is very dark: but there's usually light enough for the next step or so.”

Homeward Bound
Homeward Bound (including The Great Humbling)
How will they look in hindsight, these strange times we are living through? Is this a midlife crisis on humanity's road to the Star Trek future – or the point at which that story of the future unravelled and we came to see how much it had left out? What if our current crises are neither an obstacle to be overcome, nor the end of the world, but a necessary humbling?
These are the kind of questions which we set out to explore in The Great Humbling. We hope you'll join us and let us know what you think.
Ed Gillespie & Dougald Hine