Brian Bates (psychologist)
Brian Bates (born 1944) is former Chairman of Psychology at the University of Sussex. He is currently a Senior Visiting Research Fellow there in the Sussex Institute and a Visiting Professor at the University of Brighton. He is most famous as the author of best-selling books on the shamanic wisdom of Anglo-Saxon England, and for his award-winning course at Sussex on "Shamanic Consciousness". He is also an authority on the psychology of actors, teaching and directing for ten years at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
- Wyrd is the unfolding of our personal destiny. It has sometimes been translated into modern English as "fate." But it is much deeper than that. It does not see our lives as "pre-determined." Rather, it is an all-encompassing view which connects us to all things, thoughts, emotions, events in the cosmos as if through the threads of an enormous, invisible but dynamic web. Today, scientists know intellectually that all things are interconnected. But the power of Wyrd is to realise this in our inner being, and to know how to use it to manifest our personal destiny.
Today, through a deep connection with wyrd, we are inspired to see our lives in a new and empowering way. It restores our experience of the healing power of love, nature and creativity. It is about letting into our lives the guidance of an extended universe of spirit. It brings ancient wisdom together with modern science in the service of enhancing our lives, and the integrity of our human presence on the planet.
The Way of the Wyrd : Tales of an Anglo-Saxon Sorcerer (1983)
- Wyrd existed before the Gods and will exist after them. Yet wyrd lasts only for an instant, because it is the constant creation of the forces. Wyrd is itself, constant change, like the seasons, yet because it is created at every instant it is unchanging, like the still center of a whirlpool.
The pattern of wyrd is like the grain in wood, or the flow of a stream, it is never repeated in exactly the same way. But the threads of wyrd pass through all things and we can open ourselves to its pattern by observing the ripples as it passes by.
- Nothing may happen without wyrd, for it is present in everything, but wyrd does not make things happen. Wyrd is created at every instant, and so wyrd is the happening.
- The threads of wyrd are a dimension of ourselves that we cannot grasp with words. We spin webs of words, yet wyrd slips through like the wind. The secrets of wyrd do not lie in our word-hoards, but are locked in the soul. We can only discern the shadows of reality with our words, whereas our souls are capable of encountering the realities of wyrd directly. This is why wyrd is accessible to the sorcerer: the sorcerer sees with his soul, not with eyes blinkered by the shape of words.
Do not live your life searching around for answers in your word-hoard. You will find only words to rationalize your experience. Allow yourself to open to wyrd and it will cleanse, renew, change, and develop your casket of reason. Your word-hoard should serve your experience, not the reverse.
- Wyrd is too vast and too complex, for us to comprehend, for we are ourselves, part of wyrd and cannot stand back to observe it as if it were a separate force. Just as fisherman cannot see the full extent of the seas, so even a sorcerer cannot view the totality of wyrd.
- All our lives are locked together in the shimmering world of wyrd in which all things are enmeshed and connected to one another by the threads of wyrd. … The wyrd sisters spin the web of wyrd and weave the loom of life, they do not thereby determine it … the wyrd sisters simply express the will of wyrd. And so do we. We cannot control our lives, because we too are inseparable aspects of wyrd and express its will. But this is not the same as saying our life is determined. Rather, it is saying we live like an ocean voyager, trimming our sails to the winds and tides of wyrd as we skim across the waters of life. And cresting the waves of wyrd is something that happens at every instant. The pattern of life is not woven ahead of time, like cloth to be worn later as a tunic. Rather, life is woven at the very instant you live it.