Sir George Trevelyan: memories and observations

The Turning Point

Frédéric Lionel

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The birthday party given on my 80th birthday, in July 1988, was over.

That very morning, Sir George in his birthday speech, mingled, as usual, with poetic citations, had largely contributed to the success of the celebration. In the course of this speech Sir George mentioned that he felt that after eighty years one may reach a key turning point in one's life. Now evening had come. Sitting on a bench facing the calm waters of Lake Geneva, both of us silently admired the Beauty of Nature.

Finally, Sir George broke the silence, saying: "If I mentioned this morning the importance of reaching a turning point, I did it, because being two years older than yourself, I had realised on my own 80th birthday that it could be compared with a threshold. I couldn't avoid thinking that I had turned the last page of a book, and my thoughts turned to summing up all past experiences. You know that I believe that humanity faces a new renaissance, and today I feel the urge to resume a few of my reflections, related to this notion."

I nodded my approval, expecting with keen interest the explanations to follow.

With one of his familiar gestures underlining his conviction my dear friend spoke: "Yes, Frédéric, we reach a threshold at our age. Behind us loom all our experiences. I say 'loom', because time and again I have realised that I may have missed an opportunity or, over enthusiastically, ended in a dead alley. All my life, I have tried to show the way to all those wishing to follow a trend towards spiritual development, enabling them to master their destiny. I know that quite a few have heard my words. Now, having passed over the threshold, I look forward and am aware that one of the most important aspects of self-realisation is to discover the Error wherever it hides, so as to see the Truth. You, dear Frédéric, mentioned this aspect in one of your lectures at Wrekin Trust, and you were right. You know as well as I do, that we cling to our errors and refuse to see the Truth."

He almost shouted. "That is why we turn our back to Happiness and to the Joy of Living. That is what I am now hoping to be able to communicate to all my friends all over the world."  Darkness enveloped us, we stood up and walked slowly home, aware that we had lived a particular moment of total communion.

Frédéric Lionel

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