Informing the Campfire Community every day

You are here

Juliet Fay - 04 Dec 2019


More and more people are sensing what they have always known: there is a deeper intelligence at play which animates the whole crazy show of life. More and more I see people recognising and tuning into that in the most every day way.

Watching the BBC/HBO adaptation of Philip Pullman’s, His Dark Materials last Sunday night, Lyra, the 11 year old heroine is told by the alethiometer (an instrument that tells the truth) she must go to a lonely village where there is something like a ghost. It will be scary.

The instruction seems at odds with the quest she and her companions are on. She asks permission from the group leader, to go to this isolated village. He is not convinced. They need her and the instrument for the dangerous journey ahead.

Lyra says, “I have to go. I don’t know why”


In the world of public and online debate, how rarely does anyone give such a simple and indisputable statement when questioned on their proposed actions?

And yes, it could look as if you, and your statement, would be dismissed, ridiculed, ignored or even punished.

And yet ………. perhaps something new is arising.

Lyra goes to the village and, well, you’ll have to watch episode five if you want to find out exactly what happens. Suffice to say, it leads to a discovery that helps her group with their cause.


Around any of the seemingly enormous issues of the day, be that the Climate Emergency, extreme weather events, food security, governance and elections, education, poverty, mental health or social & health care provision, fact and counter fact are poured out at an alarming rate.

Social media is awash with claims of fake news, sinister murmurings of manipulation and smear campaigns all mixed in with heartfelt pleas for transparency and carefully thought out posts, policy documents and endless debates online and in kitchens and living rooms trying to find a narrative that looks and feels true.

It is easy to get caught up in this whirlpool of information, earnestly searching to find the facts but I wonder how effective this really is in bringing about lasting change.

It seems to me, in the field of conflict whether that is couples divorcing, political parties fighting for votes or countries going to war over resources, the ‘facts’ have a very minor role in what actually plays out.


Once individuals and groups operate from a certain set of beliefs e.g. resources are finite and wellbeing rests on those resources; it is logical you have to defend what you have and go out and take more from others. And so they go ‘evidence shopping’, to borrow a term I love from a Canadian friend. And if you look for evidence of enemy threats, well, you can find them everywhere.

You see this in one country creating war against another that appears to have more resources e.g. oil. All the words that accompany the build up and justification of the action are nothing to do with facts and everything to do with sharing a particular world view and enrolling others into a belief that means invading other countries makes perfect sense.

You see it too on the micro level. If you believe your wellbeing rests in securing your own home, then if a neighbour dares to put up a fence one metre over your boundary, that deep primal response to defend your territory will likely create a battle mindset and the ensuing behaviour is likely to be fractious, stressful and acrimonious. This works both ways. The initial act probably comes from a similar deep belief in the need to reach out and take others’ resources lest you somehow become vulnerable because you have less.

Once thoughts coalesce into a belief that becomes enshrined through constant repetition either personally, culturally or politically, then those who live and die by such beliefs see a world entirely through that lens.

And so ‘others’ become a potential threat. Any group who appears to be competing for the same pot of resources immediately become something to resist or overcome and exploit.


In this way all through human history we have seen the most violent and brutal acts of apparently wanton destruction against groups of humans, animals, birds, marine life, plants and habitats.

Words are spoken and written and acts carried out by people, just like you, who cherish their loved ones but who see these ‘others’ as disposable assets to further shore up the wellbeing of their own tribe.


Life forms are born, grow, decay and die in an endless, dazzlingly beautiful cycle repeated infinitely. How ironic we have taken that model, (of decommissioning and recycling) and imposed it on the planet with our (mostly) incredibly constricted view of how life works. And in the process we are indiscriminately undermining the planet’s capacity to support vast biodiversity (including us).

Like a toddler with a gun

(………. though who’s to say we aren’t making way for other life forms in a world we cannot fathom?)

No amount of wealth, land, material goods will insure us against death and decay. And the crazy thing is: everybody knows that deep in their hearts.


For those innocently entrenched in a view of the world that pits one against another, logical arguments are like raindrops on a waterproof coat. They just don’t penetrate.


A change of heart brought about by insight.

A deeper understanding of our essential nature is waking up in all corners of the world.

More and more I see deeply experienced realisations that our human existence is finite yet intricately connected to all other life on the planet and with that comes a deepening awe and appreciation of all life.

More and more people are sensing what they have always known: there is a deeper intelligence at play which animates the whole crazy show of life. More and more I see people recognising and tuning into that in the most every day way.

Our experience is an inside job. The more we get less fascinated by opinion and judgement created by being wedded to unfounded primal fears, the more open and curious we get and the more innovative and exciting things occur.

When we begin to realise, in our bones, the truth of this, we begin to tune into a deeper knowing, an awe and appreciation of this wondrous power we call Life. Not ours to control but a gift we are given for however long we get to experience it.

This leads us to tune in to a deeper level of knowing which operates less on the level of me and mine and wakes us up more and more to the wonder of being alive and how every action we take (and don’t), matters. More than you or I could ever know.


When faced with acts of hostility or aggression; deception and demonisation, we begin to see our reactivity and the primal fears that go with them for what they are, a well worn path of thought that calcifies in a belief that we somehow have to try and resist the cycle of life.

Our hearts begin to open to the pain of the world, our own pain and the transformative healing that, I believe is already underway.

And we start to move with more ease, towards what resonates in each moment. And the things that really matter get more visible: love, connection, creativity.

In the meantime, for each of us, that deeper wisdom is an infallible guide: giving you the nudge to do what the moment asks: to act, to reflect, to speak up, to stay still, to get more information, to get help, to offer help, to write an email, to share a post, to write a blog post, to create art, to sleep, to gather our loved ones close, to go on a march, to give our neighbour a lift, to call an old friend, to make a cup of tea and a million other daily promptings.

That neighbour who encroached on your garden, you might discover has a relative with a terminal diagnosis and her fear and terror at losing someone dear has prompted her to try to grab a metre of lawn as a misguided way of trying to wrest some control. Doomed to fail in satisfying those primal fears (they will wake up again and again), at least the ensuing litigation and battle might feel like she is taking some kind of action in the face of unbearable loss.

Some leaders of countries are waking up to the fact that though many profit from war, ultimately, all beings are the losers because you cannot destroy one species or group and not be impacted at every level by that destruction.

On the practical level, every being on earth is part of the whole, so destroying the bees habitat will eventually lead to fewer pollinators for food crops for humans.

So too on the soul level, acts of violence and destruction though they may appear to give temporary gains to one group, ultimately those gains will bring neither peace nor love. For they are sought to assuage primal fears which do not represent the essence of ourselves.

The fears can never be satisfied because they do not relate to how life actually works. We are born. We die. Everything changes. Life continues (maybe not in the forms we want, but continue it does).

There is no 10 point guide to wisdom, you can use in every situation. You don’t need one, because that inner compass, when we are open to receive its promptings, will give us our next move.

Like Lyra’s alethiometer, if we can tune in to that deeper wisdom, we can begin to act from our heart’s knowing. Needing neither facts nor logical argument but simply knowing, this is what I am doing next.

Article © Juliet Fay 2019
Artwork , “Insight”, acrylic on canvas © Juliet Fay 2019

This article felt as if it needed to be written now, as I and my fellow citizens prepare to vote in the next general election here in the UK, I’d like to invite us all to look away from the dizzying array of information and look towards what your heart knows.
Thank you for reading.


Website: Sydney Banks, Three Principles
TV Show: David Attenborough’s Seven Worlds, One Planet
TV Show: BBC/HBO His Dark Materials
Book: Charles Eisenstein, The More Beautiful Worlds Our Hearts Know is Possible



Julia Palmer-Price

Beautifully said.. thank you x


Juliet Fay

Thank you Julia x


Ralph Pettingill

Many thanks @Juliet Fay
. I seem to be on this page too.. along with all those of us who are becoming aware of another sense of direction ...


Juliet Fay

Thanks for your comment Ralph .... lovely to hear from you..... isn't it cool, more and more people are not only tuning into something deeper but happy to talk about it and share that interest. Even 2 years ago, I'm not sure I would have posted this kind of article here ..... looking more towards the source of our experience .... is giving me more appreciation for the huge variety of expression showing up in daily life. So it is less about finding one shared narrative and more about exploring the infinite variety....


Steve Thorp

Hi Juliet, when I am feeling overwhelmed I read something familiar – usually good speculative fiction – and so, triggered by the TV series and in need of some deep and soulful humanism and a good story, I returned to read the Dark Materials trilogy over the last few weeks. So, your post feels familiar and relevant; as much because it emerges from Lyra's world, as because of any election/political upheavals. I love the idea of the inner compass but, like the aleithiometer, the inner compass has multiple levels to master - and I love your acknowledgement of connection and interconnection: particularly the paragraph about the neighbour: "That neighbour who encroached on your garden, you might discover has a relative with a terminal diagnosis and her fear and terror at losing someone dear has prompted her to try to grab a metre of lawn as a misguided way of trying to wrest some control. Doomed to fail in satisfying those primal fears (they will wake up again and again), at least the ensuing litigation and battle might feel like she is taking some kind of action in the face of unbearable loss." Thanks for the reminder of Sydney Banks work and in return you might have come across Nora Bateson's Small Arcs of Larger Circles?

I did a blogpost after the election in 2015 that has a flavour of your piece, I think:

Many thanks for your wisdom!



Juliet Fay

Hello Steve - nice to virtually meet you - and thank you for your thoughtful comments. You are the second person to recommend Nora Bateson to me ..... I'm going to take a look....... I read your article on Medium. There is much in there and I want to read it again but I love your curiosity, and exploration, your invitation to see things on multiple levels and most of all the encouragement to 'rage gently'.
So many of the old ways feel to me they are falling away. So too in your writing, I love the expansiveness, not, as so often is the case, taking a position and shoring it up with carefully constructed arguments but more like a ramble through different habitats, observing, reflecting, returning to what we know but reaching again and again for what we don't yet know, and in that way, making subtle course corrections. That feels like nourishment and an open invitation for all to join in.
Thank you for taking time to comment and sharing your wisdom.



Janet Lees

Thank you for this x


Juliet Fay

You're welcome Janet x


Christopher Brown

Thank you I discovered Charles Eisenstein this year done a webinar with him and really came to appreciate his approach to things helped me to see the possibilities out there your article helped confirm the inner work going on inside of me


Juliet Fay

Hi Christopher - thanks for leaving a comment. It's nice to hear this resonates for you and I too am heartened to hear more and more people talking about these things in wider public arenas not just in spiritual circles. It gives me hope!

More From Juliet Fay