From the Eagle’s Nest…. (the background to the instructions)

This post follows quickly on the heels of Pandemic Homework”, Cynthia’s previous post and her own “recommendation for inner work during this time of profound planetary readjustment.” It is the “fuller explanation” promised in that post, which contains four points of inner and outer work to engage in in these times. This work has been given in the light of this pandemic being more than temporary—rather, “a permanent and collective reset of our collective human conscience (that) will resolve itself only as a few more of us become willing and able to step up to the plate to live a different reality.”

I am keenly aware of the irony in all this. Here I sit on my prayer cushion in the remote seclusion of Eagle Island, more than twenty-four hours now elapsed since the island’s only other occupant headed ashore for an undisclosed period of time, taking the mailboat with him. It’s me, the eagle, the deer herd, the communion of saints. And nothing much in between.

But I did not come out here for social distancing, I came for listening. The way hermits have been doing it for millennia, at the intersection of the worlds, the intersection of the timeless with time. The way Rafe taught me to do it during our human years together, the way I for too long now have honored more in the breach than the observance.

I did not want to come out here. If I had my druthers, I would by now have been well on my way to North Carolina, to our eagerly-awaited Imaginal Wisdom School. But the planet forced my hand, and I got dragged out here by my gumboots. I realized almost immediately it was the place I really needed to be.

“It takes about four days for things to shift,” Rafe always told me. Even for him, the relatively gentle transition from the monastic cloister to his mountain hermitage two miles away was always a qualitative shift, a whole different atmosphere. Restlessness, thinking, structuring, doing…all those human functions to mask our human terror of the naked immediacy of the present have to slowly fade away before the listening sets in a different bandwidth, before you discover that the silence is immensely, vastly connected to presence, wisdom, compassionate guidance. Before it starts to speak.

During those four days I got a lot done: cut up a huge maple limb that had fallen, stacked wood, answered correspondence, caught up on old books, systematically checked in with my immediate circle of family and friends, and even did a bit of zooming before my always-delicate solar system finally buckled under the strain. Prayer was good, filled with rich, compassionate connectivity. Rafe was around, as he always is out here. And yes, I startled for a moment when the mailboat captain informed me Sunday morning he was heading ashore and gave me the option to go or stay. But I knew I was not going. The airspace between the realms was beginning to clear.

The next morning at prayer the downpour began.

I wrote up the instructions first—the “homework”–in case the last gasps of solar and internet connectivity decided to give up altogether, as they looked certain to do for about three hours after I was finally released from my prayer cushion. I wanted to make sure that folks in the Wisdom community at least had the bottom line and could begin to work as they chose with the materials, even if I am shortly forced into complete social incommunicado. But the instructions grow out of a wider picture, a picture that had been gradually coming to me over the weekend as I moved rocks and logs, as I walked the bare March earth marshalling in almost dizzying exhilaration for the imminent explosion of spring…

This is what I came out here to learn, to receive. And this is in turn what I pass on to you, the fuller version of the seeing, of which the earlier instructions are the practical applications. Make of them what you will. This is pretty much raw revelation, though I have tried to tone it down a bit.


The Oracle on Eagle Island


  1. The covid-19 pandemic is a massive, planetary catastrophe whose roots are primarily ecological and evolutionary, not simply cultural (let alone political). This is one of those Teilhardian evolutionary tipping points where the planet itself, from within its inherent telluric intelligence, moves in a spontaneous paroxysm to correct an imbalance that taken the whole planetary ecosystem seriously off track.
  2. A single species ­–our human horde—has now become dangerously invasive, threatening the stability not only of the noosphere (the world of human culture and economics), but of the biosphere and also the geosphere: the foundational, invisible chemical and electromagnetic forces that maintain the conditions that maintain the possibility of life. We have pressed too far into the inner fastnesses of things, and the earth has spontaneously risen up to cleanse and rebalance itself. This is not a merely a moral chastisement but a biological pruning, an ecological cleansing. That is the scale at which this pandemic is playing out. It is not being sent “from outside,” “to punish us,” as in Old Testament judgment. It has been generated spontaneously out of the conditions we have created on the earth, as a completely legitimate outcome of what Teilhard called “taonnement,” trial and error. This disease is not happening TO us, it is happening BECAUSE of us.
  3. Social distancing is not a preventative measure; it merely puts the brakes on the rate of spread. Even as a braking system its effectiveness has not been proven. We huddle in our homes, and the contagion continues to spread. The infection will run its course until it has completed its biospheric work. We can slow it down, but we cannot outrun it, either individually or collectively.
  4. There is a very strong electrical involvement in the generation and transmission of this virus. It would be naïve to say that 5G technology has CAUSED it, and I distance myself from that type of rhetoric, which only further polarizes scientists and mystics at just the point where they need to unite. Still, it is growingly evident that this new virus is not being spread solely by traditional person-to-person contact, as was first assumed. There is a significant body of scientific data (vigorously downplayed and in fact actively demonized in the media) supporting the hypothesis that the worldwide circle of cellphone towers and GPS satellites circling overhead is inescapably implicit in this mix, not only in spreading social attitudes, but in the actual transmission of the virus itself. That is why our approach of “social distancing” is not only primitive (like trying to put out the Chernobyl nuclear reactor fire with water buckets), but may actually be aggravating the situation. The planetary atmosphere has become electrically inflamed, and we must calm the inflammation here before the rate of disease begins to come under control. The worldwide web may not be the cause of the pandemic, but it is the environment in which the disease is most aggressively spreading.
  5. Our planet itself will be fine. The earth is proving herself extremely resilient, fully capable of rebalancing herself in a remarkably short order. Already the streams are running clearer, the air is purer. It’s the human species that will take the principal hit: not only in physical attrition but in social, economic, and cultural chaos. We must be prepared for this. The readjustment will be long-term, and it will cut to the bones.




  1. There is no escape on the front end: not by social isolation, not by “flattening the curve,” not by using our cleverness yet again to invent some stunning new vaccine that takes us all off the hook (until the next round of even more vaccine-resistant viruses appears.) The way out is through, and what we human beings potentially have to bring to the situation, to put out the fires and calm the inflammation, are the gifts that actually lie close at hand in the human spirit: courage, self-sacrifice, equanimity, forbearance, joy, gentleness, humility, compassion; conscious labor, intentional suffering, substituted love, recollection, purity of heart. Jesus names these qualities in the beatitudes. Paul talks about them as “the fruits of the spirit.”
  2. The Wisdom traditions I work within teach that these are not only qualities, not even energies, but subtle physical substances; nutrients desperately needed not just for our own planet, but for the entire inter-realmic ecosystem it is our human task to generate them through the alchemical transformation of our own “animal” (i.e., survivalist) nature.
  3. When we begin to receive our individual marching orders, I suspect many of us in the Wisdom community are going to find ourselves on the front line in being asked to re-establish actual physical links in the human chain, for it is here that these alchemical qualities will be most intensely replenished. That is why I have asked you all during this time to work deeply with the “Whether I live or die, I am the Lord’s” promise: in preparation. As always, the poor are taking the most direct hit in the “social distancing” strategy, which inherently favors the economically privileged. If the social fabric is not to be entirely unraveled, some of us will be called to stand directly in that breach, no matter the personal risk.
  4. The only REAL worldwide web takes place within the imaginal bandwidth. To access it requires training, and it requires purity of heart. What we are settling for in our current zoom communications is a simulacrum. It glitters, but it is not gold. Employ it as you need to as a temporary patch-through, but don’t get enthralled. The real alchemy is still one-on-one. I will speak to you more about that shortly.
  5. …And it requires, finally, pulling the plug on horizontal connection (or at least trimming it down substantially) and turning into—not away from—our own loneliness, our own fear, our own disconnection. And out here on Eagle Island, my solar power dropping rapidly as the first of three stormy days settle in, I suspect the question is about to be called on me. Like it or not, I will finally be a hermit.

With love to all,


light wave

A Note from Northeast Wisdom:

On March 23, 2020 Cynthia posted four recommendations to the Wisdom community, as homework for these times, in the post Pandemic Homework. Cynthia continues to write; sharing her response to the pandemic sweeping the world through expounding on the homework and exploring the exercises post by post. The series is underway full bore, and each blog is posted on Northeast Wisdom as it arrives.

This ensemble began with Pandemic Homework and followed with this post—From the Eagle’s Nest… (the background to the instructions)—continuing with Foundational Points for the Five Pandemic Homework Exercises; and Raised Cyber Eye-Brows: More on Internet Technology and the Pandemic Homework. Cynthia has contributed to the series a number of “Commentaries on Elements of the Exercises,” which began with “Clear Impressions”: …Part I; “Lord Have Mercy”: …Part II, A & B and “Lord Have Mercy”: …Part II, C.

Coming soon is commentary on the “Make Strong” exercise, in two parts, and on the Atmosphere” exercise; as well as the tentatively titled post: Going Forward… A Personal Statement re Time, Tides, Benedict and Zoom. Stay tuned!

And a Thank You to Joseph Azize

All of the exercises on the Pandemic Homework “to do” list are available in this book, including the “Atmosphere” exercise, which Cynthia added to her recommendations shortly after posting the first essay in this series.

We are grateful to Joseph Azize for this work, so relevant to these times. Gurdjieff: Mysticism, Contemplation & Exercises is available here on Joseph Azize’s website, for a 30% discount from Oxford University Press. It is also widely available online.

Blog Archives

30 thoughts on “From the Eagle’s Nest…. (the background to the instructions)

  1. You’re welcome Cynthia. Thank you for intuiting and shedding light on this profoundly important issue. Caritas.

  2. A followup to the Ask Cynthia question –

    How do we best thwart this (5G) deployment in the heavens above and on earth?

    “If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.” ~ St. Francis

    >Concerned scientists all over the world are testifying to the ubiquitous dangers of 3G, 4G, and 5G EMF’s (Electromagnetic Frequencies), based on hard science. It is also important to consider, the absence of science does not make something safe (The tobacco industry to cite one of many egregious examples). The “Precautionary Principle” is apropos.

    Free access for 7 days to the expert testimony (“new age” and legal commentaries aside).

  3. thank you, Shelly. Not only did you dig out that comment I’d discreetly buried, but by making the connection with Teilhard, you have brought it brilliantly forward in a sacramental and paschal context Namaste! This is Wisdom work at its finest.

  4. Intrigued and encouraged by the mention of being called to the “front lines” for indeed, our “social distancing” does favor the economically advantaged.

    Teilhard was in the trenches of WW1 from 1914-1919, while the Spanish flu pandemic was sweeping the world. Speaking of the front, …”the front cannot but attract us because it is, in one way, the extreme boundary between what one is already aware of, and what is still in process of formation. Not only does one see there things that you experience nowhere else, but one also sees emerge from within one an underlying stream of clarity, energy, and freedom that is to be found hardly anywhere else in ordinary life-and the new form that the soul then takes on is that of the individual living the quasi-collective life of all men, fulfilling a function far higher than the of the individual and becoming fully conscious of this new state.” (The Making of the Mind, p. 205.)

    Teilhard’s time on the Front illuminates the invitation to “re-establish actual physical links in the human chain” as this current pandemic plays itself out. His boldness, courage and humility continue deeply sustaining in this Moment.

    Peace be with you, Cynthia.

  5. Hi, Cynthia:

    Do you have any pointers to the scientific evidence for cell towers and satellites being involved in the direct transmission of the virus? As an ex-biologist, I’m having trouble with that …

    Also, do you not think that the South Korea situation is evidence that social distancing can “flatten the curve?”

    As usual, y0ur refections are challenging and very timely, and I am grateful for your unique vision.


    Lee (Rick) Olson
    Living School, 2017 cohort

    1. Hi Cynthia,
      I’m with Rick on this one. I am such an admirer of you and yet, the parts about old conspiracy theories regarding 5G networks and the statements that flattening the curve won’t work have been around for ages and have been entirely debunked. Can you assist us on those parts…in terms of where you are drawing your information from? I would hate for people to not do their part in social distancing because they feel it won’t help anyway.

  6. The poets, of course, are on the front line of awakening us to what the evolutionary impulse is asking of us…(Clare Dubois, founder of Tree Sisters, just posted these eye and heart opening verses in her blog.) Thank you Cynthia for putting your hermetic ears/soul to the ground for all of us.

    ‘…….Ensure the shelves of your heart never fall bare,
    That your soul seeds new sprouts
    And the wings of your imagination
    Refuse containment.
    May you realize what matters, who matters,
    The rock that you can be,
    When the world is shaking.
    Stockpile only what is limitless,
    And can be shared with all.’
    –Excerpt from The Appropriate Response by Mary Reynolds Thompson

    ~ Here is Kristins Flyntz’s gift: An Imagined Letter from Covid-19 to Humans.

    Stop. Just stop.
    It is no longer a request. It is a mandate.
    We will help you.
    We will bring the supersonic, high speed merry-go-round to a halt.
    We will stop
    the planes
    the trains
    the schools
    the malls
    the meetings
    the frenetic, furied rush of illusions and “obligations” that keep you from hearing our
    single and shared beating heart,
    the way we breathe together, in unison.
    Our obligation is to each other,
    As it has always been, even if, even though, you have forgotten.
    We will interrupt this broadcast, the endless cacophonous broadcast of divisions and distractions,
    to bring you this long-breaking news:
    We are not well
    None of us; all of us are suffering.
    Last year, the firestorms that scorched the lungs of the Earth
    did not give you pause.
    Nor the typhoons in Africa,China, Japan.
    Nor the fevered climates in Japan and India.
    You have not been listening.
    It is hard to listen when you are so busy all the time, hustling to uphold the comforts and conveniences that scaffold your lives.
    But the foundation is giving way,
    buckling under the weight of your needs and desires.
    We will help you.
    We will bring the firestorms to your body
    We will bring the fever to your body
    We will bring the burning, searing, and flooding to your lungs
    that you might hear:
    We are not well.
    Despite what you might think or feel, we are not the enemy.
    We are Messenger. We are Ally. We are a balancing force.
    We are asking you:
    To stop, to be still, to listen;
    To move beyond your individual concerns and consider the concerns of all;
    To be with your ignorance, to find your humility, to relinquish your thinking minds and travel deep into the mind of the heart;
    To look up into the sky, streaked with fewer planes, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, smoky, smoggy, rainy? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy?
    To look at a tree, and see it, to notice its condition: how does its health contribute to the health of the sky, to the air you need to be healthy?
    To visit a river, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, clean, murky, polluted? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy? How does its health contribute to the health of the tree, who contributes to the health of the sky, so that you may also be healthy?
    Many are afraid now.
    Do not demonize your fear, and also, do not let it rule you. Instead, let it speak to you—in your stillness,
    listen for its wisdom.
    What might it be telling you about what is at work, at issue, at risk, beyond the threats of personal inconvenience and illness?
    As the health of a tree, a river, the sky tells you about quality of your own health, what might the quality of your health tell you about the health of the rivers, the trees, the sky, and all of us who share this planet with you?
    Notice if you are resisting.
    Notice what you are resisting.
    Ask why.
    Stop. Just stop.
    Be still.
    Ask us what we might teach you about illness and healing, about what might be required so that all may be well.
    We will help you, if you listen.

  7. Blessings on you and your hermitage during this shifting time, and thank you for your wisdom. “The cell will teach you all things.”

  8. Cynthia — Thank you for sharing your thoughts from Eagle Island. It sounds to me that where you are (more ways than one) is wonderful. What you wrote triggers thoughts. For example, that the earth is inflamed and this pandemic is “an ecological cleansing” greatly the result of us — I sure agree. Fifty years ago, Sydney Jourard made the extreme statement that every illness is a protest against a way of life that isn’t working. I think there is much truth in what he said. I think we and earth make an effort to get well. You speak of what we can do. I think a major thing we can do is embrace unitive thinking, as you have long supported, and leave behind dualistic thinking and living. We can realize that we are one and not separate, we are us and not us vs them or us vs nature. We can be compassionate and build bridges and work together rather than be greedy and build walls and fight. We can realize that what we do to this planet we do to ourselves. I don’t find “terror” of or in the present — I find surprise, aliveness, and creativity in the present. Wishing you a continuing holy time on Eagle Island.

  9. thank you, Cynthia, for this. I have been hearing similar message from other wisdom teachers, including indigenous shamans. Our Mother Earth will survive; it is humans who will suffer the toll of this virus. I hope more and more of us will take the time to go within and listen to the deeper lessons of this pandemic. BTW, I’d like to share this on my own blog.
    Peace and all good,
    Pauline (one of your LS students, cohort 2019)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.