rebecca purcell

World Maker

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Navigating the Road Less Traveled

Origin of the 9 Keys

Note: This post is a precursor to the book I am currently working on - a combination of creative exploration and lifestyle. The book will include an in-depth description of each of the 9 keys along with images, ideas for application, exercises and connections to the Organon 9 Worlds Card Deck.

 

 #3 Image archive

#3 Image archive

On the road less traveled one has to rely on their senses for direction - and the compelling quality of being lost and needing to find home.

Without a map, without a guide - whether vacant or crowded - one is alone on this path. You start at point A… and proceed. There is no precedent for those who seek to find the not-yet-found, on the road less traveled there is only gleaning: bits of information found in cracks, snippets of material alluding to… hints in the spaces between existing structures, a notion found tucked in the floorboards or pressed into a corner.

 Photo: Rebecca Purcell

Photo: Rebecca Purcell

Information retrieval is obtained through the senses, through feeling - through personal experience. And here is the snag; to gather the information you have to fully experience the experience. You have to believe that each time this is the way – the path toward home.

And so in this manner, I wandered…

I felt certain I was seeing markers, and signposts, the scent of perfection wafted through countless windows, and home was glimpsed around every corner. I continuously felt I had arrived. And then, I would catch another scent that was a little more intoxicating and…

 Photo: Rebecca Purcell

Photo: Rebecca Purcell

Wandering in this perpetually arrived state I felt as if I was awash in starts and stops, riddled with the prickly barbs of ‘almost’ and ‘maybe’, chasing after semi-bogus markers and half-truths. After years of this kind of wandering, it seemed I was drifting in a miasmic, erroneous sea.

What was wrong with my senses? Was I only attracted to attractions?

But if I couldn’t trust my senses - the only tools I had at my disposal - then I was lost at sea… using a sieve as a boat.

 Illustration: Leslie Brooke, from Edward Lear's The Jumblies

Illustration: Leslie Brooke, from Edward Lear's The Jumblies

Me, the one seemingly so brave as to choose the road less traveled, was reduced to an ambiguous roustabout, a gypsy with too many colors, none of which rang true. Maybe well-established roads, with their clear rules and historical precedent were the better roads? I worried it was so, then I would wrestle with the uncomfortable angles and approaches that were part of the tried and true terrain, some of them slotting in - most solidly refusing to fit.

 #7 archive file - From the New Yorker years ago, would love to know who the photographer is...

#7 archive file - From the New Yorker years ago, would love to know who the photographer is...

Eventually, through this ungrounded and at times seemingly wasted wandering, peppered with frantic detours onto well-trodden paths, I found a way - My way.

I knew my strength did not lie in strategic maneuvers, will power, discipline, being ‘smart,’ or being fueled by a desire to win. These methods and skills did not work in my realm. History and precedent was only tangentially instructive.

My strength would be in being better - at sensing.

I found that I could trust life to provide infinite variety, continuous polarity, and myriad possibilities. Beyond this, I realized I must learn to trust myself. This meant creating my own idiosyncratic process and honing skills that would help me to navigate through a better understanding of my feelings and my senses, turning these into assets.

My life was my legend, my mythological tale filled with lost objects and esoteric number assignations. Only I knew what bits and pieces were needed here - The ‘here’ of where only I was going.

 Photo: Graciela Iturbide

Photo: Graciela Iturbide

I knew I must feel my way there. I knew what was needed would probably not look like what they do. No longer interested in reacting in opposition to what felt alien, or succumbing to the ‘business as usual’ I was surrounded by, I had to find an authentic connection to my self and my surroundings. This is where I would find clues to an organic way of navigating that was more conducive to my nature. This is how I would develop a set of skills designed to better understand feelings and the senses. I would carefully craft a world where this process would be respected and allowed room to work in a manner most suited to the evolution of sensory information gathering.

Eventually, 9 distinct areas of creative exploration emerged:

Inspiration

Imagination

Creative Ingenuity

Perception

Polarity

Feeling

Incorporation

Receptivity

Complexity

9 ways to hone the Skills I needed

9 Golden Keys to a deeper understanding of the senses, each using authentic connection as both gauge and shovel

 #12 Image archive

#12 Image archive

While developing these skills, I discovered a small, navette shaped gem, a lavender jewel of illimitable value to put in my tiny crown made of gold threads, wire, small bones and woven straw:

When I trusted Myself and looked at life not as a source book for how to behave, acquire and track, but as a banquet of infinite variety both dark and light, filled with symbols and coded messages, moments of extreme pain, and extreme beauty - Life lent a hand.

Maybe life had always lent a hand, but now I could see its machinations more clearly - well at least some of them...

 #12 Image archive

#12 Image archive

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