Anne Baring; values and inspiration

I’ve been thinking about values today and I made a lucky find. I was reading The Dream of the Cosmos: A Quest for the Soul by Anne Baring. And I found a wonderful quote on the feminine values we seem to have lost, or to be newly re-discovering.

Anne has long been an inspiration for me. Many years ago I discovered the book she wrote with Andrew Harvey; The Mystic Vision: Daily encounters with the divine. It was tucked away in a pile of second hand books. Now 88, Anne travelled widely in India and the Far East during the 1950s, before training and practising as a Jungian analyst. The Dream of the Cosmos: A Quest for the Soul is a summary of her life work. The ground of all her work has been a deep interest in the spiritual, mythological, shamanic and artistic traditions of different cultures.

The Quote

Anyway here is the quote on values:

“The soul and the feminine archetype in their deepest sense have always carried the values of the heart; the values that honour wisdom, justice, compassion and the desire to help and heal”

Later she talks about our loss of the feminine and the instinctive knowledge of the whole unity of things, reverence for the interconnected aspects of life, trust in the power of the imagination and the faculty of intuition. Recovery of what we have lost will mean relating to life with participation rather than dominance and control. Dominance and control are leading to what in effect is the crime of ecocide and the destruction of our environment, ourselves and life on this earth.

Along with Anne I’m beginning to think about values at a later stage in my own life and in the world as it is now. Like everyone else, I have a lot more thinking to do.

Nureyev, Fontaine and Falling in Love

Dame Margot Fontaine ballet dancing with Rudolph Nureyev.

In 1961, Rudolf Nureyev defected/leaped to the West, and on 21 February 1962 he and Fonteyn first appeared on stage together in a performance of Giselle.   It was a great success; during the curtain calls Nureyev dropped to his knees and kissed Fonteyn’s hand, cementing an on-and-offstage partnership which lasted until her 1979 retirement. Fonteyn and Nureyev became known for inspiring repeated frenzied curtain calls and bouquet tosses. A performance of the Giselle was televised and that was the first time I saw them dance together.  I fell in love with these two beautiful people.  If you would like to know what all the fuss was about then follow this link

Despite their differences in background, temperament, and a nineteen-year difference in age, Nureyev and Fonteyn became close lifelong friends but you were never quite sure about the extent of the friendship and whether there was the love affair you hoped for.  He said of her:

“At the end of Lac des Cygnes when she left the stage in her great white tutu I would have followed her to the end of the world.”

They remained close even after she retired to Panama!  When she was treated for cancer, Nureyev paid many of her medical bills and visited her often, despite his busy schedule as a performer and choreographer and despite his own health problems.

Nureyev said that they danced with “one body, one soul” and that Margot was “all he had, only her.” An observer said that “If most people are at level A, they were at level Z.”