As for my own part I care not for death, for all men are mortal; and though I be a woman yet I have as good a courage answerable to my place as ever my father had. I am your anointed Queen. I will never be by violence constrained to do anything. I thank God I am indeed endowed with such qualities that if I were turned out of the realm in my petticoat I were able to live in any place in Christendom.
Queen Elizabeth I, 1533-1603
The critic Harold Bloom has pointed to Elizabeth I's court playwright, William Shakespeare, as the author who first and best delineated the modern person as a personality. Elizabeth herself, in the quotation above, shows her own character, someone with a specific life-frame or circumstance she has decided to inhabit. She is sure of herself, despite the anti-female prejudices of the time, and so very sure of herself that she knows she could maintain that self anywhere, even if stripped of rank and country. In full view of her mortality, she decides how she will live.
I like the painting of Elizabeth shown here, since it suggests her knowingness, humor and self-possession.
Shakespeare's plays tend to elevate even the humblest citizen to Elizabeth's same level of distinct, self-intending personality. This turn to the person is an aspect of modern literature and political theory in line with the democratizing tradition of some spiritualities, which ask us not to worship a God but to awaken as sacred equals, and to partner with each other, the earth, and various subtle and spiritual domains. Not only kings and queens, then, but each of us becomes a sovereign in this sense of self-integration, self-determination, and intentional mutuality with other sovereign beings.
We have already been dipping into David Spangler's Working with Subtle Energies, which we will continue to sample and also swerve from in coming weeks. Do order the book here: https://lorian.org/bookstore-3. For the next few sessions (but remember: no meeting next Tues the 17 and no email next week either), we'll be continuing with concepts and exercises from Chapter 7, pp 67-86.
The first of these concepts is Sovereignty. Here's a definition of it from http://lorian.org:
"Sovereignty is the spiritual connection to the soul that gives us our unique identity and enables us to be self-governing, able to shape our lives in relationship with others. It is a sacred, inner Light that makes us each a generative source of spiritual energy able to bless and nourish the world. It is the gift of our individuality and its potentials that we each bring through our incarnation."
So on Tuesday the 24th, when we next meet, we'll work with variations of the Standing exercise to be found on pp.81-82. As we stand in our spiritual, subtle, mental, emotional and physical aspects, Sovereignty is the principle and Principal that unites all of them and infuses them with light, the strand that links the pearls. It is the effective intention to perform this earthly life.
All blessings to all,