A new website ~

I have a new website.

It’s www.billbennett.com.au

It’s been designed and constructed by my wonderful webmeister Natacha, who does all my online stuff. She has a great clarity of design, and user friendliness.

The new website reflects my expansion from film into books – with the first of the young adult trilogy Palace of Fires – Initiate to be published by Penguin Random House in February of next year.

It also lists my upcoming projects, which include my feature length theatrical documentary PGS – Intuition is your Personal Guidance System. 

The website will be updated regularly with news of what’s happening…

My “Front Door” walk / next year?

I have set a date for the start of my “Front Door” walk – walking out my front door, in Mudgee, and walking to Santiago.

This is what pilgrims did in times past – they walked out their front doors and they walked to Santiago de Compostela. And they walked back again too, but I’m not doing that!

I want to leave home on August 11th next year, on my 65th birthday.

By that time I will have completed my obligations to Penguin Random House on delivery of the three books in the Palace of Fires trilogy. I will also hopefully have my PGS Intuition film in release – and so I should have a free four months to do the walk.

I want to arrive in Santiago around Christmas.

I’ll walk from Mudgee to Mascot airport – approximately 300kms – then I’ll catch a flight to Heathrow. I’ll then walk to my birthplace, which is Wimbledon, in London. From my birthplace I’ll then walk down to the coast, most probably to Newhaven, where I’ll catch a ferry to Dieppe on the French coast. From there I’ll make my way down through France to the Le Puy Camino, and walk to Santiago from there.

All up I estimate the walk to be in excess of 2,500kms.

I’ll write a book too about my journey.

Why would I want to do this?

I really don’t know, other than it’s a compulsion which I’ve felt building for a long time, and I’ve been frustrated that I couldn’t leave earlier, because of work commitments.

The only thing which would stop me doing the walk next year is if I am filming either Defiant or my Camino movie. And I hope I am!! But I also hope that this Front Door walk happens sometime next year.

So I have set the intention – and we’ll now see how my path unfolds…

The nature of consciousness – a perspective ~

My eldest son Henry has been listening to Jordan Peterson, a brilliant Canadian academic who has caused a furore on the internet by challenging the far left on gender issues.

He’s a highly erudite clinical psychologist who’s been dubbed by some the new Joseph Campbell. That’s a big call – but there’s no doubt this man is very very bright. And articulate.

Henry put me onto a podcast by Sam Harris – another brilliant mind – called Waking up with Sam Harris. 

https://www.samharris.org/podcast

In this particular podcast Sam Harris interviews Jordan Peterson, wanting to discuss mythology, religion, spirituality, and other weighty matters.

However, these two brilliant minds can’t get past the definition of what is truth. And what unfolds over two hours – yes, two hours – is this fascinating interchange between these two intellectual heavyweights over the nature of truth.

In amongst this complex to-and-fro is an exchange on consciousness, and its basis in religion. Here is an interesting excerpt from that two hour discussion:

SH: I think there is a subjective dimension of reality that is undeniable – and consciousness is the one thing in this universe that can’t be an illusion. It’s the only thing that you can be absolutely sure exists at this moment.

JP: I think part of your fundamental ethical metaphysics and it’s a point on which we agree is that you are very concerned with pain, for lack of a better word, and one of the conclusions that I’ve reached – and let’s call consciousness a reality – I would say that the most undeniable form of consciousness is acute agony, because no-one doubts that, not if you watch them act, and that’s one of the criteria by which I judge whether someone believes something. If people act out something uncontrollably then I’m convinced that they believe it, regardless of what they think they believe. And I think it’s for that reason that so many religious systems start with the same metaphysic, which is that life is suffering, that’s the ultimate reality. And that’s associated with consciousness, certainly, but it’s more precise than that, because maybe you can doubt whether you’re happy, but it’s very difficult to doubt that you are in agony and have that actually work, and so people act as if that’s the most real thing..   

I don’t know about you but when I heard that and I thought about religion, it struck me as true that most religions have as their basis the notion of suffering. Christianity generally – look at Christ on the Cross. And Catholicism has taken that notion of suffering and honed it into a belief system. So too Buddhism – of course.

I’m not an intellectual – haha, not by any stretch of the imagination – nor am I a scholar. But I can’t quite grasp this notion that life, reality, consciousness, is rooted in suffering. I don’t believe we were born to suffer.

I believe we were born to experience joy, and love, and fulfilment. And that as we awaken our consciousness, the pain and the suffering disappear. Because we step out of the illusion of life, of who we think we are – and we awaken to the possibility of who we really are… which is divine beings.

All of us.

Even Donald Trump.

Jordan Peterson – Professor of Psychology Toronto University

PGS shoot – South Australia

A quick post to let you know that the South Australian shoot for my intuition film is going well.

We’re getting some amazing footage for sequences that will link between the film’s chapters.

Scott Last is the Drone Operator who is doing this shoot. He’s using his new fancy-pants DJI Inspire drone, that is quite incredible. For the tech heads, it has a Micro Four Thirds chip and interchangeable lenses. We have a 24mm, a 30mm, and a 90mm lenses. (35mm equivalent)

We sill have several more days to go – but we’re camped at the Nullarbor Roadhouse at the moment for two days getting some unique footage.

It will give the film a very cinematic feel.

We’re on track to complete the film by end of June… and release? Not sure yet. Sometime next year. Because there will be a big marketing push ahead of release.

PGS – a nightmare of failure ~

As many of you know, I am making a theatrical feature length film on intuition. I’ve been making it now for several years, and very soon it will be finished.

And by very soon, I mean months.

For more than two years I’ve been shooting all around the world, interviewing Sadhus and Saints, Mystics and Psychics, Scientists and Physicists.

And last year I went into editing, with my editor Rishi Shukla. We cut for twenty weeks last year, and got to a 87 min cut that was pretty damn good.

I showed the film to some people whose opinion I respect – got feedback, and then sat on it for 6 weeks over the Christmas / New year break.

Thinking.
Dreaming.
Struggling.
Worrying.
And dreaming some more.

And then I got back into the editing room with Rishi and changed everything. I made some outrageous and bold decisions, taking the film into a completely new direction, not knowing if it would work or not.

Now, some four weeks later, I know it will work. It won’t be to everyone’s taste – some will see the film and hate it. Others will dig it, big time.

(Did I just use the term “dig it?”)

Anyway, about a week into this new cut, I had a dream – or rather a nightmare – where I showed this new cut to some friends who had seen the previous cut, and they said:

Oh no Bill. You have RUINED what was a perfectly good film! 

I thought about this – and saw it as a test.
A test of fear.

Would I trust my intuition, my PGS, and keep going with this new cut? Or would I succumb to the fear that this nightmare was trying to instil in me?

I looked deep into my heart, and I knew this new approach to the film, this new cut, might not appeal to everyone, because it’s really out there – it goes against all the conventions of a “New Agey” film on intuition – but liked it.

In fact, I loved it.
In fact, it’s really really cool!

Anyway, I was swapping emails with Michael Tamura, who is featured in the film, and who saw the 87 minute cut last year. I told him I was taking the film in a new direction, and about the nightmare I had.

He emailed me back with some sage and well written advice, as usual. I thought it was worth posting here – because it’s full of wisdom, and you might get something from it.

Here is what he said:

MICHAEL TAMURA WRITES: 

Your imagined scenario of that person telling you that you’ve ruined your perfectly good film after seeing the new version is quite an important one.  It’s a bit like analyzing a profound dream to discover a lesson.  After all, an imagined scenario is a dream as well.  Of course, we can imagine a nightmare or a wonderful dream. Hahaha…

It seems to me that your scenario had to do with not only the process of creating and destroying/letting go, but also of letting go of any attachments to the result of what it is that you’re doing at any given moment.  

Krishna offers that wisdom to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita as perhaps the single most important keys to attaining liberation along the way of service and action.  

Interestingly enough, one of my favorite interviews that I’ve seen Michael Jordan give was immediately following him sinking one of his legendary last second 3-pointers to win the championship.  The journalist asked him if he expected to make that basket or if he was worried that he might not and then lose the championship.  

Michael Jordan said that if he worried at all about whether he was going to make the basket or whether he was going to win, he would almost always fail.  He said that he practices intensely when he practices so that when he plays in the game he just has to do what he’s practiced doing so many times.  

He trained himself to never think about whether the ball is going into the basket or whether he’s going to win the game or any kind of expectations of how things are going to turn out.  He focuses entirely on playing the game and doing what he’s practiced doing.  He said that whenever he did that successfully, he almost always made the basket.  In other words: No expectation of results.  Just play.

Jordan wouldn’t be playing basketball if his goal wasn’t to make baskets and win the game.  So, he’s learned not to worry about how things are going to end up.  That’s exactly what Arjuna learned from Krishna on the battlefield.  Both Jordan and Arjuna are warriors – action-oriented souls.  

It’s our ego that seeks results and gets hung up on results.  Even the greatest singers get nervous and worries whether they’re going to perform well before a big event.  They may imagine the same kind of scenario that you imagined for themselves.  Yet, what makes them masters of their art and craft is that they are able to acknowledge that imagined scene and “blow it up” in their mind – or forgive themselves of having imagined it and recognizing that it’s just in their imagination – and shoot for the basket without fear or expectation of results, one way or the other.  

After all, the film that you are making is for the whole of Spirit and not for one small ego or another.  If you do everything that you are doing to make the movie what you envision for the whole of Spirit, then, all those in the world who are seeking what it offers, all for whom this film and its lessons and messages will be answers to their prayers, will flock to see it and embrace it for the miracle that it is.  

Those for whom it isn’t yet time won’t even know that it exists until they are ready.  It will be only a few who will bitch and moan about it because they will be the ones who have been asking for it but still can’t receive of it.  And, it won’t be your job to answer them.  That will have to come from those who are already on-board but closer to them.

I don’t hold any expectations on how this film will turn out.  I already know that whatever you do with it, it will be wonderful.  So, relax.  Take your time, but hurry up and finish it so I can see it! Hahahaha….

michael-tamura-7

On Portraiture

Steve McCurry is one of the greatest portrait photographers of all time. His Afghan Girl portrait for the cover of National Geographic is one of the most iconic portraits ever taken…

Steve McCurry's Blog

Portraits reveal a desire for human connection;
a desire so strong that people who know they will never see me again
open themselves to the camera,  all in the hope that at the other end
someone will be watching,

someone who will laugh or suffer with them.

Kashmir Kashmir

Yemen Yemen

Afghanistan Afghanistan

What could be more simple and more complex,
more obvious and more profound than a portrait.

– Charles Baudelaire

Kashmir Kashmir

Yemen Yemen

Baluchistan, Pakistan Baluchistan, Pakistan

A good portrait is one that says something about the person.
We usually see parts of ourselves in others, so the

good portrait should also say something about the human condition.

Afghanistan Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan Kabul, Afghanistan

The most difficult thing for me is a portrait.
You have to try to put your camera between the
skin of a person and his shirt.

– Henri Cartier-Bresson

Philippines Philippines

Pokhara, Nepal Pokhara, Nepal

Lambari, Brazil Lambari, Brazil

Madhya Pradesh, India Madhya Pradesh, India

Dubrovnik, Croatia Dubrovnik, Croatia

Photography and the genre…

View original post 76 more words

Today I woke up at 4:44 / My most viewed post ~

On July 7th, 2014, I wrote a post about how I had a prophetic dream – a dream that would launch me into making my film on intuition.

What really launched me though was not the dream itself, but that I woke up out of that dream at 4:44am. I immediately Googled What does 444 mean? And I was shocked at the response.

What I read would change my life.

I mention this now because that post, strangely, is my most read post ever.

Every day, it’s read by people around the world.
Every day.
And I wrote that post two and a half years ago.

How many people? I don’t know. I guess I could add the figures, if I had the time and inclination. I have neither. But I notice, when I go through the analytics for this site, that every day that post appears towards the top of the posts that are read that day.

I didn’t even tag the post. I don’t do any of those nifty things that draw people to your site. I figure that if people find me here, they find me – and if they want to stay, they’ll stay.

What is it about that post that attracts people? Well, it’s startling. I found the whole thing startling at the time. I still find it startling.

And as I say, that dream, and 444, changed my life.

Here is the post again, in full – written in July 2014, before I began my film: Today I woke up at 4:44

Today I woke up at 4:44

How does the universe connect with you? Prod you? Encourage you?

Guide you?

It does so in a variety of ways, and one of those ways is the use of numbers.

The startling use of numbers.

I’ve been troubled lately. Soon I will be starting filming on PGS – INTUITION IS YOUR PERSONAL GUIDANCE SYSTEM. My plan is start filming in India, then go across to the US and film there. I feel very strongly that I need to get this film going.

But I will be taking a financial risk starting when I believe I should start. And that’s been troubling me. I’ve been wondering if I should delay, and wait till all the finance locks in.

Last night I dreamt vividly. In my dream I saw myself equivocating – questioning whether it was the right thing to do, to commence filming in September. And then my dream took me to an image of several computers, lined up one beside the other, all connected by cables.

And I knew immediately what this was. This was an image of how the Spierig brothers made their first film – a very inventive film which they made at home, in their spare time and on their own dime. They didn’t have the money for a powerful computer to do all the film’s digital imaging work, and so they cobbled together a bunch of cheap home computers which, in series, gave them the computing grunt to do what they wanted to do.

The resultant digital work was brilliant, the film got made and it launched their careers.

I woke up immediately with the very clear message that I had to get on with it. That I had to do what I intend to do. That I shouldn’t equivocate. I shouldn’t have doubts. Everything will work out.

Then I looked across at the bedside clock, and it was 4:44.

It hit me very powerfully.

4:44

I quickly googled: “What does 4:44am mean?” And this is what I read:

444 asks that you pay attention to your intuition and inner-wisdom as your connection with your angels and the angelic realm is very strong at this time.  You are encouraged to continue on your current path as your drive and determination will lead to success and fulfilment.

444 is a message that the angels and Archangels are with you, encouraging and guiding you. They are offering you positive energies, inner-strength and 
support to enable you to get the work done that you need to.  

They know and understand that you have been toiling diligently towards your goals, and encourage you to continue on your current path to achieve the success and results you desire. Use your strong connection with the angelic realm to your benefit and be open to their promptings and messages.  

Listen to your intuition and follow its guidance.

444 is a message that you have nothing to fear in regards to your life, work and Divine life purpose and soul mission. When you take positive action towards your highest intentions, aspirations and goals, the Universe works in your favour and helps you to establish solid foundations and advance you along your path. 

Know that the angels surround and support you, encouraging you to keep up the good work you have been doing.  

Do I believe in Angels?

Damn right I do!

Do I believe that the 4:44 on the clock was a sign?

Damn right I do!

I’ve been told clearly that I’ve got to stop doubting and get on with it…

4-44