EPILOGUE, From Sinai to Schiehallion

Just as soon as all participants have arrived in Schiehallion for the meeting, they also leave again. The day after November 12, everyone goes their own way, returning home by train, car, plane or boat. Anne and I decide to stay an extra night in the Dunalastair hotel, so as not to make the transition too big. We decide to travel the way back in the same way as what we have been doing for two months: feeling in the moment to see what is right. The story isn’t done yet.

The last day at the hotel is pleasant and peaceful. So much has happened in the past few days and weeks that we need time to integrate everything. In the afternoon we take two friends to the train station in Pitlochry, 20 miles away. The ‘normal’ world is slowly coming back in, with the bittersweet aftertaste of the memories of Scotland: sweet because it has been so nice, bitter because it is already over.

“I still feel so strongly connected to the mountain,” Anne says, “that I can’t say goodbye yet. I feel like I’ve found my true north again. A new compass for the next steps in my life. I really wanted to go back to normal, but I don’t know if that’s the right direction…’ she muses. We decide to tune in one last time to the Hyperboreans, the angelic people of the far North, and receive the following message:

“We are here to support you and to be with you through this process of crisis and transformation. You might not be aware of the fact that we are so close to you. That we are overlooking this transition in human history. Yet, if you would be aware of our presence, and know that we can help in many ways and assist you in the deep transformation of the human psyche, you would feel much more comforted and relaxed. We are holding you in our heartspace and trust that you go through this process and come out at the other side. Now, it is not an easy process, because it involves death and a deep letting go on so many levels of your existence, but don’t be afraid. Don’t turn to anger or resentment or disappointment, but allow things to happen, even if things are contradictory, or people are not agreeing with each other. Don’t be disillusioned by the diversity of thought. It is all part of the stress that is needed for creation to take place. Without polarity there is no new path, no third way. So embrace both sides of the conflict or confrontation. It is not on a mind level that you can solve the puzzle. The real key to the solution is in the heart.
This is where we step in: we are living beyond the heart and as soon as you tune in to your own heart, you become part of this broader field of wisdom that encompasses everything and everybody.

We come to you through light. Light is the way to travel through the universe. It stores our memory and our information and our being and thus we can reach you, and touch your soul, like we did in the old times. First with the hyperboreans, the Caledonians and the Scots. You came in contact with the Northernlight, which contains the codes of transfiguration and emmanation of light. It is these codes that are needed for a next step in evolution. They contain plans, wisdom and actions for technology for evolve, but without the key of the heart they are nothing. Your technology is still based on the mind, on duality and that is why so much technology is used for war or for conquering. But as soon as you start using technology based on the heart, you will create a very, very different world. One that is not excluding or separating, or fighting, but one that is thriving, loving and growing.

The downfall you experience is the downfall of the mind and the rebirth of the heart. The more of you make the journey from mind to heart, the easier it becomes to create this new world. Don’t be discouraged. Don’t loose hope, but receive the light and know that we are with you, as always.”

With this hopeful message, we leave the small village of Kinloch Rannoch at the foot of the mountain – the spot where the survivors of the Battle of Culloden once stranded and started an inn, unaware that some 300 years later people would return to honor and revive their story. The Scottish soul of Highland culture isn’t dead yet, but slumbers alive and well beneath the surface, ready to be reborn…

We drive back south through the highlands. As usual, we are guided by our intuition and drive over a pass that once again shows us the exceptional nature and beauty of Scotland. What a raw wasteland, what a primal force of nature. It’s hard to say goodbye. On the way we stop at a river valley, and after a short walk we find a rocky outcrop with a beautiful rapid. I look at the swirling water that makes its way between the rocks. Somehow it seems to be a metaphor for this time. The quiet river of history squeezes through the rocks. It’s just like the corona crisis. We are suddenly swept along by the fast current, and we can’t find anything to hold on to. All we can do is go with the flow. I look downstream, towards the future, curious to see what lies ahead. The first rapids have passed, but there is still a turbulent stretch of river with many bends and a lot of gradient. Anne and I walk down the river and see an old stone bridge in the distance. The bridge is built between two protruding rocks and seems to swallow the river in a narrow opening. I look on the other side of the bridge where the river has gone, but all I see is a fathomless depth. Somewhere far below me, between the rocks, I see how the river, after a crushing fall of tens of meters, has ended up in a calmer waterway. I feel instinctive fear. Something is spinning in my stomach. ‘Is this our near future?’ flashes through my mind. ‘A chilling downfall into the depths?’

When I sit in the car later, the fear does not go away, but translates into a feeling of sickness; a sudden cold comes up. Anne has had a cold for a few days and it seems that the journey is taking its toll. We decide to look for a hotel and eventually end up in Perth, the old Viking capital. We arrive there in the evening and the city seems dark, industrial and a bit deserted. The poverty and hard life are palpable. On good luck I book a hotel that looks magnificent on booking dot com, but in reality looks more like faded glory. That’s not surprising, because the hotel dates back to 1699. When I later pick up some food at an Indian restaurant around the corner – the kitchen of the hotel is already closed – I notice that the hotel has a rich history. I look at the photo’s hanging in the hotel lobby and my jaw drops in amazement; we are in the same hotel where Bonnie Prince Charlie, the captain of the Scots at the time, gathered the clans to ask for their support. I look at the year. The Battle of Culloden took place in April 1746, some fifty years after the hotel was founded. The hotel has kept the room where Prince Charles Edward Stuart stayed in its original state and I’m taking a look inside. There are some flip charts, chairs and tables intertwined with each other and there is an old stone fireplace from 1699. Not much is left of its former charm and I return to the small room where Anne is now in bed. We stuff ourselves with vitamins and sirups to boost our immunity. After all, we have to do our test the next day and get on the boat, and then you don’t want to arrive sniffling.

But the night, like many nights on this journey, has a very different program in store for me. I return to history for the last time and feel the pain and defeat of the Scots. The story shows itself once again in all its glory, but also in its deepest darkness: the wound of being conquered and humiliated; of the cruelty and brutality of the Brittish; the Culloden survivors who continued to be persecuted and killed long after the battle; the pain of the masculine; the treachery of William Wallace, who several centuries earlier fought for Scottish honor and freedom, but who – with his testicles in his mouth, his intestines burned before his eyes, then divided into four – was beheaded, his head impaled on the London Bridge; or the memory of Robert the Bruce, the king who gave the Scots courage to free themselves and claim their own kingdom. They are images from a distant past, but they still live in people’s hearts. And I feel them in my body as I lay in the hotel where Bonnie Prince Charlie once slept. The story seems to haunt me. I wake up broken.

Fortunately Anne is feeling much better and drives us to Newcastle. The boat is waiting. There are hardly any tourists, only a few truck drivers who make the crossing to the Netherlands. We leave the British Isles, tired but grateful for the many experiences. During the crossing we listen to the news and hear how Brexit is having disastrous consequences for the British economy, and how the Scots are reclaiming their independence. They want to chart their own course, again…
I wonder how history will unfold this time around and whether our journey will make any constructive contribution to it. Time will tell.

The next morning, the Netherlands comes into view. What a wonderful way to arrive by sea to the Netherlands. The country looks so different from Great Britain; so much flatter. We suddenly feel the pandemic rolling in like a wave. For two months, Corona seemed far away, but when we enter the Netherlands, everyone is taling about it all the time. The pandemic has turned into a pandemonium of opinions, scientific theories, conspiracy stories and ever-changing measures to maintain control. Welcome to the Netherlands.
Anne and I are both quarantined in a forest house near Zutphen and Scotland is becoming more and more distant, like a dream that disappears when waking up. But somewhere, deep in our hearts, the MacKenzies, the Mac Dougalls, the MacDonalds, the Frazers, and all those others live on.

When I arrive in Amsterdam ten days later, I see a black boy getting on the tram. His shirt has the name ‘MacKenzie’ written on it. Funny. The boy probably doesn’t know where the name comes from. Later that night I watch a final episode of Outlander in the evening, and I see how Jamie eventually ends up in Edinburgh and starts a book printing business. He survived the Battle of Culloden and now lives under a pseudonym: Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie…


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