The impulse to write Shakespeare and The Ageless Wisdom came one extremely hot February afternoon as I sat preparing a tutorial for a beautiful young student who had been in hospital for an extended period of time and was ‘way behind’ with her Advanced English for her final exams.
The first tutorial was to be on Shakespeare’s spectacular play King Richard III . I hadn’t taught Shakespeare for about 20 years and I had never read or seen a performance of this particular play before.
As I turned the pages I was deeply struck by the power and clarity in which Shakespeare was exposing the duplicity and corruption of the monarchy, the complicity of not only the royal family and the nobility at court (‘a bunch of wrangling pirates’), but of the very populace itself who clearly see the evil that is playing out in the higher echelons but turn a blind eye. Despite the impending devastating impact upon themselves and the wellbeing of the kingdom, they refuse to take any responsibility – yeah we can see that clouds are gathering, that the Duke of Gloucester [Richard] is ‘full of danger’ but let’s forget about it, go to the pub and ‘leave it to God’ [2.3.27-45]
This was an extremely accurate portrayal of Elizabethan England – yes – but it is also a very accurate portrayal of our own current global social order which operates under the familiar sway of the supremacy bullying wielded by the elite governing class and its co-collaborators, along with the complicit majority who acquiesce to this supremacy. The devastating nature of the loveless interactivity of relationship that founds our society was clearly laid out. The costume and era has changed but the way we operate has not. Most significantly I was struck by Shakespeare’s unmasking of the anatomy of the way the restless Etheric Spirit who has separated from the true settlement of its original Soul-state, operates through human life and governs our realms. Shakespeare’s Richard is a supreme embodiment and symbol of this aligned-to alternative model of living life based on and run by rampant individuality – the life of unceasing torment which must be assuaged by distraction, by addiction to entertainment and the incessant desire for security sought at the expense of all others. Richard is a man who will step on, slander, use, coerce, and murder any one in the way of his search for a secure position which, for him, is nothing less than the position of King of England. Because aligned to an unnatural and loveless source of life, rather than the warmth, beauty and truth of the Soul, Richard is condemned to dwell in the eternal ‘winter of our discontent’ [1.1.1] A chilling prospect.
As I sat there in this never-before-experienced 40 degree heat with a glass of iced water, a fan just purchased blowing on my face, my computer burning through my thighs and King Richard III open before me, I began to write with the intent of making the play accessible and simply understandable for the student. In an instant I realised that what I was writing, what was pouring through my hands about Richard III was a mini-treatise on the Ageless Wisdom, and that this was the beginning of what would be eventually a book – Shakespeare and the Ageless Wisdom – a book about how Shakespeare exposes our loveless and deluded way of life and delivers revelation after revelation in potent alchemy through his awesome plays.
Lyndy Summerhaze, 2021