Make Us Dream – Further Reflections on Madre Ayahuasca’s Favorite Football Team
In an earlier blog entry, I described how in a ceremony, at the onset of a strong mareación (the word which literally means sea-sickness and is used at least by the Shipibo to describe the effects of meeting La Madre Ayahuasca – she certainly can turn heads and stomachs…….as well as hearts and souls), in the midst of the chaos, I distinctly heard La Madre telling me that Liverpool Football Club (L.F.C.) was her favorite soccer team.
This was quite unexpected and not the spiritual revelation I was hoping for. Normally La Madre is appearing to me in one of her many guises, showing me something and telling me to sit up and pay more attention. Of course, too, she is being true to her nature of constantly confounding any expectation we may have of her.
As I wrote before, when I thought about it more, her choice of team made a lot of sense to me in terms of the death, tragedy and soulfulness that haunt the past of L.F.C. La Madre is after all the vine of souls, the queen of the Underworld despite the New Age claims to her realm as exclusively one of light, peace, universal love and immersion in the Great Spirit.
I have to say that for me, and many others I know, the key confrontation, on repeated meetings with La Madre, and thereby getting beyond the delicious, vision-granting honeymoon period with her, is not with light but with the shadow, both personal and collective.
When I wrote the earlier blog, which I have just discovered is exactly one year ago to the very day (¿synchronicity?) that I am now writing this entry, L.F.C. were not doing particularly well. Despite being the most successful English and European Football Club in the 1970’s and 1980’s – overall they have won more European trophies than any other English team with five European Cups, three U.E.F.A. Cups and three U.E.F.A. Super Cups as well as eighteen League titles, seven F.A. Cups and a record eight League Cups – they went into a period of decline in the 1990’s and were eclipsed by their great rivals Manchester United Football Club (M.U.F.C). In the season 2012-13, they finished seventh in the League and were beaten twice home and away by M.U.F.C. 2-1 who eventually went on to win the league in some style.
Since then, however, their fortunes have undergone a remarkable turnaround. They are now playing some of the most fluid, inventive, attacking, breathtaking football to be seen in the Premier League. I was fortunate to watch their match against Arsenal – then League leaders – on TV on 8 February 2014 in which for the first twenty minutes they totally destroyed their opponents, ratcheting up a 4-0 lead that could have been larger. It was thrilling to watch. (For football fans its worth seven minutes of your time watching the highlights and goals, with commentary in Arabic)
Yesterday, they played their old rivals M.U.F.C. away at Old Trafford, the stadium known as “The Theater of Dreams”. Unfortunately I did not get to see this match, as I was away on the other side of Yarinacocha (a beautiful ox-bow lake close to where I live), resting after a powerful ceremony.
The match was seen as a great test of their potential to be serious contenders to win the Premier League this year, and by all accounts, they were devastating. They won the game 3-0, but I read it could have been more and they were completely dominant.
So is this just coincidence? Just lucky timing that since La Madre declared her support for L.F.C. they have been sweeping away the opposition? I do hope that if they do win the League this year, Brendan Rodgers, their manager, gives at least a passing nod to her help, perhaps referring to her in disguise in the form of her close friend, the Virgin Mary – Liverpool does after all have the highest percentage of Catholics (46%) of any city in England.
Perhaps there is something else at work too in the collective psyche in thrusting L.F.C. forward at this moment in time – apart from the hard work on the training ground, the manager’s tactical nous, the exuberant skill of the Uruguayan, Luis Suárez, and the unflagging commitment of 33 year old captain Steven Gerrard – a Liverpudlian to his marrow.
He had a dream about Liverpool in 1927, which he recorded on page 223 in his autobiography, “Memories, Dreams and Reflections”:
“I found myself in a dirty, sooty city. It was night, and winter, and dark, and raining. I was in Liverpool. With a number of Swiss—say half a dozen. I walked through the dark streets. I had the feeling that there we were coming from the harbor, and that the real city was actually up above, on the cliffs. We climbed up there.
It reminded me of Basel, where the market is down below and then you go up through the Totengasschen (Alley of the Dead), which leads to a plateau above and so to the Petersplatz and the Peterskirche. When we reached the plateau, we found a broad square dimly illuminated by street lights, into which many streets converged. The various quarters of the city were arranged radially around the square. In the center was a round pool, and in the middle of it a small island. While everything round about was obscured by rain, fog, smoke and dimly lit darkness, the little island blazed with sunlight.
On it stood a single tree, a magnolia, in a shower of reddish blossoms. It was as though the tree stood in the sunlight and were at the same time the source of light. My companions commented on the abominable weather, and obviously did not see the tree. They spoke of another Swiss who was living in Liverpool, and expressed surprise that he should have settled here. I was carried away by the beauty of the flowering tree and the sunlit island, and thought, “I know very well why he has settled here.” Then I awoke.”
“Liverpool is the pool of life, it makes to live.”
As a result of this remark, a statue of Jung was erected in Mathew Street (the famous home of the Cavern Club where the Beatles played on many occasions in their early career) in 1987, but being made of plaster, was vandalized and replaced by a more durable version in 1993.
Additionally, another bust of Jung was placed on the wall of the Irish Pub, ‘Flanagan’s Apple’, in the Cavern quarter.
Still pursuing this connection between Jung, Liverpool and the efflorescence of creativity, an article in the UK newspaper ‘The Guardian’ from February 2007, says that:
“In 1974, local entrepreneur Peter O’Halligan purchased a warehouse on Mathew Street, believing it to stand on the exact spot that Jung once identified, after having a dream vision, as “the Pool of Life” (in fact, Jung never set foot in Liverpool). At O’Halligan’s venue, known as the Liverpool School of Language, Music, Dream and Pun, artists became immersed in readings, performances and bizarre experiments.”
Jung’s magnolia tree (great to see that the plant kingdom did not suffer its usual neglect here) became the center piece of a plaque to mark the site of this new School, which became a magnet for some of the most creative figures in British popular culture and hosted the legendary performances of Ken Campbell’s Science Fiction Theater of Liverpool which gave stage life to Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson’s ‘Illuminatus!’ starring Bill Nighy and Jim Broadbent.
If we are indeed seeing a shifting to a new form of consciousness and a renaissance of spiritual life, as many claim, then it would make sense that Liverpool, “the Pool of Life”, would be at the center of it and their Football Team would be leading the way.
Perhaps Liverpool can once again lay claim to what the US beat poet Allen Ginsberg said about the city in 1965, that it is “at the present moment, the center of consciousness of the human universe”.