SOMETHING IS ROTTEN IN THE STATE OF DENMARK
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
Hamlet, Act I Scene IV
I’d like this to be the beginning of a conversation. A conversation about something ‘rotten’ that’s gotten into mankind and something priceless and life transforming that’s been kept secret for over two thousand years
Towards the end of 2014, I fell into a dark place of despair. My work life seemed to be crumbling away. All my attempts to resurrect my business failed miserably. All I had was an idea for a book. Just the title, really: the forgotten self. I suppose that was me, my soul, my true self, locked away in the oubliette. Against all my protestations, my coach insisted I write said book. To kick start it, I wrote down one of my favourite quotes from Hamlet. Six weeks and fifty thousand words later I began to review my splurge. I got no further than those few lines of verse. Like in the famous Golden Buddha story where yon peasant catches a glimpse of the golden Buddha glinting through the crack in its clay camouflage, I saw flashes of gold glinting at me from behind the familiar words of the Bard.
I knew that to really expose the full glory of what I sensed, I needed to crack open the status quo within which the treasure was protected. Not with a wrecking ball. With some piercing questions. Questions that broke all the rules. Questions that only an outsider with nothing to lose would dare ask. Questions that could lead nowhere — or maybe everywhere.
What if Shakespeare were far more than just ‘the Bard’ — perhaps a spiritual master with a direct line to the divine? What if all the plays were connected together by a single golden thread? What if all the great characters were not just characters, but also characterisations of the core archetypes of human consciousness? What if all the plots were not so much about the outer world of matter and material, but the inner world of spirit? What if his final play, The Tempest, was placed first in the folio because it was both a foreshadowing and a denouement that summed up the subtext of all the other plays? What if Shakespeare was part of that great covert underground movement of artists and sages that knew there was something rotten in the religions, and did all they could subliminally to (a) subvert and undermine the authority, corruption, and tyranny of Church and Crown and (b) reveal the truth those in power do not wish us to know?
As I continued this quest, the key question burning a hole in my doublet and hose became: could this add up to the Holy Grail? Was this the forbidden hidden knowledge about Jesus the Christ that makes the Grail so sought after, so hard to find, so precious? Is Shakespeare’s oeuvre the solution to the world’s greatest mystery? Is this the secret Shakespeare devoted his entire body of works to both hide and simultaneously reveal?
As I present the evidence and my personal interpretations I shall not restrain my excitement. Please do not confuse this passion with a desire to convince you or have you believe me. Au contraire, I encourage you to find your own meanings. Go even deeper than I did. Share what you discover with me and all of us in search of truth.
The Ancient Context
Imagine what it must be like living under the rule of the Taliban or Isis today. That’s how England would have been for Shakespeare. That’s how the Holy Land was for Jesus. No freethinking, spiritually aware, creative genius was safe to express themselves. Any spontaneous remark or innocent spark of inspiration could result in the grimmest of lingering deaths for you and your loved ones. To express himself, live and ensure the survival of his works, Shakespeare also had to apply his skill as a creative genius to the encryption of his subtext. He had to disguise his deeper purpose.
The legacy of mediaeval religious terror still lives in our DNA. It still inhabits our laws and our mores. It still inhibits our freedom to express and be who we really are.
In late 2014, when all I could see ahead was a long, dark tunnel, my life coach urged me to do something I really did not want to do: write a new book about my soul-centred work with horses. All I had was a pinprick of light: a title. And a laptop. The title was The Forgotten Self (short for ‘me’). The laptop was called Mac (short for Macbeth). Seven years on, I have a book that I had absolutely no inkling, let alone intention, of writing. A book that took me on an inner Grail quest that has totally transformed my life.
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