“… not one whose populations seem permanently afflicted by self-destructive dementia.” / Doris Lessing


Excerpts from Colony Earth and the Rig Veda

by V. Susan Ferguson





Doris Lessing 1975


In the 1971 novel ‘Briefing For a Descent into Hell’ the lady Doris Lessing illumines her readers with an amazing and revealing insightful conversation that takes place before the birth of those who have made the decision to incarnate in flesh & blood bodies and the dense miasma of consciousness that now covers our planet.

The volunteers are warned:
“…it is not at all a question of your arriving on Planet Earth [with the consciousness you have] as you leave here. You will lose nearly all your memory of your past existence. You will each of you come to yourselves, perhaps alone, perhaps in the company of each other, but with only a vague feeling of recognition, and probably disassociated, disoriented, ill, discouraged, and unable to believe, when you are told what your task really is. …

“Some of you will choose not to wake, for the waking will be so painful, and the knowledge of your condition and Earth’s condition so agonizing, you will be like drug addicts: you may prefer to continue to breath in oblivion. …

“And, when you have become aroused to your real condition, and have recovered from the shame or embarrassment of seeing to what depths you have sunk, you will then begin the task of arousing others, and you will find that you are in a position of rescuer of a drowning person, or a doctor in a city that has an epidemic of madness.

The purpose of incarnating into human bodies is: “… it will be our task to wake up those of us who have forgotten what they went for; as well as to recruit suitable inhabitants of Earth…who have kept a potential for evolving into rational beings …”

Lessing then explains to the volunteers that there would be no point in giving them a ‘Briefing’ and that every word they are hearing will be forgotten once they have descended into a human body. But they are assured that they have all been given “brainprints” and these will be there for them when they are ready. In my words, the eternal Wisdom-Knowledge does reside within each and every one of us.

In the moments before birth, the dangers of volunteering are made clear:
“As everyone here knows, has had drummed into him or her from the moment he or she volunteered — it is not at all a question of descending into that Poisonous Hell [the earth plane] and remaining unaffected. Everyone takes his life in his hands.”

Planet Earth is a dangerous place and there are no guarantees. There will be no one to save us, no rescues! We are on our own here and apparently when we did volunteer, we were fully capable of independent thinking and sovereignty. We were not fearful needy victims wallowing in self-pity and confusion waiting to be rescued.

More warnings: “For these creatures [the lost ones who have forgotten who they are] are for the most part malevolent and murderous by nature, able to tolerate others only insofar as they resemble themselves, capable of slaughtering each other because of a slight difference in skin color or appearance. Also they cannot tolerate those who do not think as they do.”



In her novel ‘The Making of the Representative for Planet 8’ Lessing gives us an enlightening conversation between one of the volunteers, Representative Doeg, and Johor, a highly evolved being who has come from the home planet Canopus to counsel and observe. This particular colony has been engulfed in an Ice Age caused by the misalignment of some distant star, “a cosmic accident”. The colony is dying, the people helpless, freezing to death.

Representative Doeg: I was thinking of our poor peoples; the pain of their fate invaded me, the waste of it, the waste …

Johor from Canopus: This is a lavish and generous universe.

Doeg: You mean you can afford the deaths of a few million people? …You cannot be saying to me that it does not matter if the populations of a whole planet have to die — a species?

Johor: I have not said it did not matter. Nor that we, Canopus, do not feel pain at what is happening. Nor, Doeg, that we have not done everything to prevent this happening.

Doeg: But indignation made me cut him [Johor] short. But you are not able to space-lift off this planet its doomed millions? You do not have some unwanted planet somewhere that could be given to us …?

Johor: No, we are not able… We do not have the resources.

Doeg: We have always thought of you as all powerful, able to do what you like. Limited by what Johor? … You are the creation and creatures of something, some Being, to whom you stand in the same relation as we stand to you? … Yes, that must be so.

Johor then explains that indeed there was another planet that had been prepared for such an emergency, but in spite of the best efforts of the volunteer Representatives from Canopus, this planet had gone wrong and was no longer a viable alternative.

Johor: There is nowhere to take you. Our economy [the evolved advance benevolent Canopus civilization] is a very finely tuned one. Our empire isn’t random, or made by the decisions of self-seeking rulers or by the unplanned developments of our technologies. No, we have a very long time ago grown out of that barbarism Our growth, our existence, what we are is a unit, a unity, a whole — in a way that, as far as we know, does not exist anywhere in our galaxy.



Doris Lessing’s first novel in the Canopus in Argo series, ‘Re: Colonized Planet 5 – Shikasta’ offers her readers crucial insights into our existence here on planet Earth, which is but one of hundreds of the planetary colonies guided by Canopus. Johor is the emissary who writes his reports back to Canopus to be used as instruction for first-year students of Canopean Colonial Rule.

Johor: “I have known more than once what it is to accept the failure, final and irreversible, of an effort or experiment to do with creatures who have within themselves the potential of development dreamed of, planned for … and then — Finis! The end!”

We understand that mistakes are made, that there is a certain element of randomness in the universe, which brings about sudden and very destructive catastrophes, or perhaps a blast of radiation from an unknown unexpected source will somehow allow amazing creative changes that enhance a racial genome. This is a polarity universe – there are many others – and in such a polarity based structural environment there must be negative forces that of necessity interplay with the positive in order to generate movement and the evolution of forms.

Johor: “This is a catastrophic universe, always; and subject to sudden reversal, upheavals, changes, cataclysms, with joy never anything but the song of substance under pressure forced into new forms and shapes.”

When I read this “… with joy never anything but the song of substance under pressure forced into new forms and shapes,” I think of Swami Lashmanjoo, the great and wonderful Kashmiri saint and sage. I believe he would smile and say, “Ah, yes. This is ParaBhairava. This is God’s Play!” The Divine Lila is surely described by “with joy never anything but the song of substance under pressure forced into new forms and shapes.”

Lessing is our Muse, Sibyl, our Prophetess. She is not only giving glimpses into our future, she is revealing the very nature of the temporal illusory holographic universe. The Sanskrit texts divide primordial metaphysical principles into three: Creation (Brahma), Sustainer & Preserver (Vishnu/Krishna), and Destruction (Shiva). These are the essential division of the Oneness into Three. They are principles which became personified into deities, and transformed into myth for the purpose of holding the wisdom in an accessible form that could be transmitted as the dense frequencies of Forgetting, ignorance (moha) and the bondage (bandha) that inevitably follows, increased down into the Kali Yuga.

Johor: “I am a small member of the Workforce, and as such do as I must. That is not to say I do not have the right, as we all have, to say, Enough! Invisible, unwritten rules forbid. What these rules amount to, I would say, is Love.”

Even the best of emissaries become worn down by the tasks they face, but what keeps them and us going, never giving up, is simply Love. For Love is what holds the universe together. Love is the one force, the substance that generates all Life in this universe. Love is the essence, the creative and all pervasive permeating power of the Oneness, manifested and unmanifested. Love is what lies beneath the “curtain of each atom” as the Sufi poet Mahmud Shabistari says.

Doris Lessing’s last novel in the Canopus in Argos series, ‘Documents Relating to the Sentimental Agents in the Volyen Empire’ begins with a letter from another emissary to Joran on Canopus:

“I requested leave from service on Shikasta [planet Earth]; I find myself on a planet whose dominant feature is the same as Shikasta’s. Very well! I will stick it out for this term of duty. But I hereby give notice, formally, that I am applying to be sent, when I’m finished here, to a planet as backward as you like, as challenging as you like, but not one whose populations seem permanently afflicted by self-destructive dementia.”

So it appears according to our here honored Noble Prize winning Muse, the Lady Lessing that we are not the only planet in the galaxy suffering under a miasma of amnesia. The darkside forces must be reckoned with, understood, and mastered. That is our process, our ‘application’. That is what we have come here to do, to learn and it is painful, beautiful and horrible.

Not easy, but remember we volunteered! When we Knew that we are eternally the Oneness, we fearlessly volunteered, chose to come here. We knew of the dangers, the risk of forgetting and becoming lost. The God-within me once many years ago in the 1970s told me that I came to planet Earth for a ‘vacation’! Of course, I laughed my socks off — between tears.

V. Susan Ferguson


‘Colony Earth and The Rig Veda’ is available as a free PDF on MetaphysicalMusing.com

‘Canopus in Argos’ by Doris Lessing; Alfred A. Knopf; more recent paperbacks published by Flamingo, Harper Collins Publishers, London:
Shikasta (1979)
The Marriages Between Zones Three, Four and Five (1980)
The Sirian Experiments (1980)
The Making of Representative for Planet 8 (1982)
The Sentimental Agents of the Volyen Empire (1983)
‘Briefing for Descent into Hell’ by Doris Lessing; Alfred A. Knopf, Vintage Books, 1971; Vintage International 2009.


retreat2 Doris Lessing 1954

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