TALES and STRANGE STORIES
Unfortunate the child not brought up on the fairy
stories and fables of old, expressing truths turned to in times of crisis for
moral direction. Such stories deal
with high spiritual agonies or ecstasies without needing to reveal the detail
of painful biographical detail, making them as universally applicable to the
spiritual eye as plain scriptural parables.
each piece is prefaced by a telling image, the same format as proposed
for the essays written by teenagers on great paintings that will also eventually
be channelled via this home page.
Why do these stories have a place on this website
This link seemed to be the only way to incorporate
dimensions of the family biographies building up on the Layish home page (on
the square beneath this one) that escape pedestrian description. Although the
main purpose of Layish is to share the heavy-duty scholarship of research
into the Iconography of Ancient Near Eastern Art (accessed via the
centre squares to reach levels 2 and 3), some side-products arising from it
have needed a separate outlet, provided by the surrounding squares. These are
stories by people central to my family biography which, strangely, often
point to themes cropping up in the heavy research – surging up unbidden from
what Jung would call ‘the collective unconscious’. When relevant I will point
out such cross-connections in a brief commentary at the end of each story,
giving links to other parts of the website that might tempt.
Eric Newby (a one-time fellow prisoner of war in
Italy with my father) quite recently compiled a volume entitled TRAVELLERS’
TALES, an anthology of quotations from most of the well-known published
travellers going back to Marco Polo. Although we hope in due course give you
the odd straightforward autobiographical travel adventure too, the tales
given here fall more into the category of those with an underlying message
–often inspired by a particular geographical setting – from nomadic writers
who belong nowhere and see the world as their oyster.
Unconsciously I think I became involved in
archaeology because it offered endless opportunities for travel – not just
geographically but also through time, with artefacts as touchstones. I
personally have now reached the stage where the only journeys left to take
are vertical ones: changes of spiritual dimension of one kind or another –
often referred to more didactically in the Spectra and Octane newsletters.
The stories that qualify for this outlet to me rank with those by the
greatest story-tellers: they took this form in the writers’ lives at times of
crisis when they had no other way of dealing with the inner dimensions of
what they saw and experienced as they travelled routes in their own life
journey that had little to do with the seven continents or the seven seas.
I look forward to your comments on these stories –
which will appear irregularly.