The Golden Vanity ends with the ensemble singing 'I'm sinking in the Lowland Sea!', a description that today applies to parts of south-west England. Britten was, of course, influenced by Eastern cultures and that coupling of The Golden Vanity with Noye's Fludde - which sets The Chester Miracle Play - takes us on an overgrown path to the mysticism of author and traveller Paul Brunton (1898-1981). Brunton was one of the first to introduce the Eastern esoteric practices of yoga and meditation to the West, while his exposition of mentalism anticipated recent developments in quantum entanglement by half a century; yet, despite this, he is a forgotten figure. While listening to the Golden Vanity and Noye's Fludde this morning as yet another positively Biblical downpour battered at the windows, I was reminded of these wise words written by Paul Brunton in 1937:
We humans have become so self-important and do self-conceited in our own eyes that it does not occur to us that the Great Mother who bears us so patiently upon her earthy breast, feeds us with such abundant variety of foodstuffs, and takes us back again when we are sufficiently tired, has a purpose of her own which she wishes to achieve in us if we will but let her. We have set up our own schemes and projects, we have decided what we want to get from life, and we are thinking striving, struggling and even agonizing in our efforts to obtain the satisfaction of our desires. If, however, we devoted a quarter of our time to ceasing from self-efforts and quietly letting Nature's mind permeate our own, we might make a wise revision of things wanted, yet at the same time secure Nature's co-operation in obtaining them.Also on Facebook and Twitter. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s).