Letter from the Editor: The purpose of Cygnus…Maybe?
Maybe I think about all these things too much…
Questions like: what do I truly believe, or what is Cygnus actually for? The books we present in these pages vary so widely, and in the end what unites them is that they are telling an important truth, that they are alternative to mainstream thinking and that they say something new. Because by contrast there is such a huge variation in subject matter: this time we include books on the meaning of some of the oldest structures in the world, on the life of a middle-age divorcee who has moved to Paris, on how kefir can help with anxiety and on the true, pared-down nature of consciousness itself.
Of course our dearest wish is that you like them…
What is Cygnus really for? It’s to support all of you who are invested in this community, whatever spiritual beliefs you might have, whatever you think about the true nature of reality and however non-mainstream your views might be. Incidentally, no one here is knocking science as it’s now expressed in modern culture. In Natalie Goldberg’s lovely new memoir about her cancer treatment, she specifically points out that she used conventional treatment for her illness and how grateful she is for it. It’s just that our beliefs are scientific too, in a different, more felt way, maybe in a more Gnostic way.
For all the advances that have been made regarding rights, gender and sexuality issues, there is still a major prejudice against spiritual believers, against those who have beliefs that go against the contemporary wave of scientific materialism. Consequently we can feel lonely and weird. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of weird but haven’t we all had those moments when we have opened up to someone a little bit about what we do or believe or read and have been knocked back by a patronizing look that screams out loud that the other one is thinking “Oh dear, I wasn’t expecting that from such a seemingly intelligent person…”
Cygnus is here for all of us, to share views and feel part of a community. To share the books, decks and audio we like and help one another get as much as possible from all that great material. Ultimately to feel less alone and to realize that we are many and that the sometimes cold and ruthless mainstream isn’t all there is.
And to the other question: what do I truly believe? More and more I realize that I can’t articulate it and that maybe it’s not even that good to try and articulate it. I am where life has taken me, and from now on I have to try and commit more and more to giving way to that current. Where I am is fine. I also feel strongly that the current will continue to carry me where I need to be. There’s not one book, or talk, or encounter that is going to change everything: I have, though, got a huge amount from all the books and decks we have looked over for this Review and previous Reviews, and they will push me further and take me closer to where I need to be.
We can all change our lives radically and consciously, using one big push or one act of will. We can reprogramme our lives, of course we can. Yet for most of us we need to stay open to the beings around us, to life around us, and observe how we are expressing ourselves and then stay true to our values. Yes, I know what my spiritual beliefs are, even though I can’t do full justice to them with words.
Wishing you well,
Adam Gordon is the Editor of the Cygnus Review. This letter was published in the Autumn 2018 Cygnus Review.