… There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colors gay.
She heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stays
To look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the “curse” may be,
And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath she,
The Lady of Shalott.
And moving thro’ a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear
And sometimes thro’ the mirror blue
The knights come riding two and two:
She hath no loyal knight and true,
The Lady of Shalott.
But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror’s magic sights,
For often thro’ the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights,
And music, went to Camelot:
Or when the moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed;
“I am half-sick of shadows,” said
The Lady of Shalott…”
“I’m half sick of shadows…,” says the Lady. All these reflected images are like “shadows of the world” in that they are merely a poor substitute for seeing them directly. She knows only love can break this mirror of false images, and only love can clear away these false realities.
Love is death for the one who lives in the world of shadows, and love is life for those who open their eyes to the truth. This truth is the truth of life, which will unveil its face only to those with the will and power to see…
Such a beautiful poem…
The Lady of Shalott is a Victorian ballad by the English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson. It recasts the Arthurian subject matter based loosely on medieval sources. The Lady lives in an isolated tower of an island castle near Camelot. She suffers from a mysterious curse and must continually weave images on her loom without ever looking directly at the world. Instead, she looks into a magic mirror that reflects the busy road with the people of Camelot passing by her island. The reflected images are described as “shadows of the world,” a metaphor that makes it clear that the reflections are a poor substitute for seeing directly. On seeing Sir Lancelot, she stops weaving and looks from her window toward Camelot, bringing about the curse. She leaves her tower, finds a boat upon which she writes her name, and floats down the river to Camelot, but she dies before arriving.
As tragic as it is beautiful…
All these legends, big and bold, create and illustrate a world of heroes and heroines, kings and queens, knights and dragons, dreamlands and dream castles, quests to find treasures, battles between good and evil, separating truth from falsehood, and searching for the truth, for reality and the self…
Do we believe them?
Or, do we just amuse our minds with their fairy-tale worlds, thinking they are imaginary and we are real?
Did you ever consider you might have a magic mirror, too?
What might it be?
The magic mirror in the poem brings only shadows, a substitute for reality, but the truth of life unveils its face only to the willing.
… Veiled by falsity, truth waits to be seen directly.
But, how? How can we see the truth? How will we recognize it?
The answer is very deep yet simple.
The eyes are the gateways to images. What we see is all that is captured by the eyes. Our own eyes are our magic mirrors.
This mirror brings us images from the physical world to weave a life that is perceived and selected by our eyes’ web. We pick the images, we weave a web of emotion and thought, and then we slowly start to weave and create our own reality.
While our eyes are the mirror, and our emotions and thoughts are the web, our mind and body is the tower in which we isolate ourselves. We may feel comfortable in our towers busy weaving and creating a life, but there is a danger of personal isolation. We have a dilemma to solve: Whether to create work and celebrate the world, or to enjoy the world by simply living in it. The poem says there is a curse:
“… As he rode down to Camelot.
From the bank and from the river
He flashed into the crystal mirror,
“Tirra lirra,” by the river
Sang Sir Lancelot.
She left the web, she left the loom;
She made three paces thro’ the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
She look’d down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror crack’d from side to side;
“The curse is come upon me,” cried
The Lady of Shalott…”
“The curse is come upon me…,” she cries upon seeing the mirror cracked and shattered.
When love comes, no falsity can survive. Love closes the false eyes and opens the heart’s eyes to see directly what is real. It seems tough to end the life of the Lady, indeed, but this is a curse to celebrate, because it is the death of the false self and the rebirth of the true self.
Today, if I said to you, “There’s a life beyond what you see, and you can only see it if you clean those webs off your eyes and look into a new world, the world of imagination, dreams, coincidences, and possibilities…”
What would you say? Would you be willing and powerful enough to follow the way of the heart, opening the veil and discovering the truth? Or would you say there is no other reality than your present one?
How can you be sure? How can we all be sure life is what it seems. Today, knowing that all we see is just a perception and disguise, wouldn’t it be worthwhile to give it a try?
Come and join us in the land of dreams:
The Dream Temple of Healing
Just a step further on the way of the heart
“Dreaming isn’t just what happens during sleep; dreaming is waking upto sources of guidance, healing, and creativity beyond the reach of the everyday mind. Our lives become richer and juicier when we learn to become active dreamers,” says Robert Moss as he teaches the core techniques of Active Dreaming, an original method he pioneered, in the most adventurous and life-changing visits to the ancient healing lands.
In ancient times, stories and images of dream healing played a big role in peoples’ lives. They gathered to tell stories. They wondered and searched beyond the ordinary life, trying to understand these mysteries. They created legends that lived forever. Their storytellers brought out these worlds through words. They believed it all by heart, and they lived it all by heart.
Sadly today, our very real lives do not allow us to believe in tales. We call them fairy tales. We cast all stories into the prisons of books, with a visitor’s permit only used to help our children slip into the arms of sleep. But the stories are strong, and they still survive and maintain the bridge between the so-called reality and the so-called dream…
If you ever connect to your soul, you start to hear the language of life, a language that talks to us in a theatrical way. This is the most creative language a human can ever learn. Every word comes like an image now and then, here and there. To understand the message, you need to learn how to collect the words of images and combine them into sentences. It seems difficult at first, but with a little care and attention, it gets easier. First learn that anything that captures your attention is a source for you. It is the word of life speaking to you, giving you a message to guide you.
We sometimes call it coincidence, or we say it was just a dream. Sometimes it is a possibility, and sometimes it is our imagination. No matter how it appears, as we play this game of words, we soon understand that life is literally talking to us…
If life is talking, you’d better be listening!
To walk the way of the heart, you need to open your own heart. Only when you open your heart can you connect to yourself and your own world. Then life unveils its truth.
Don’t be shy. Don’t be put off by the excuses of the world of shadows. You know now they are just substitutes for seeing directly. Take the first step and silence the ordinary talk. Listen… listen to the heart, because it speaks the words of the soul… Listen, now listen kindly and be its spokesperson. Yes, you are the storyteller…tell us your story, and don’t forget your story belongs to the land of the soul. It belongs to your soul land, and once you find the gate, you’re always welcome in this dream realm, because this is your soul’s homeland…
* For more information on Robert Moss, his books and workshops, please visit www.mossdreams.com