lost horizon - james hilton


It’s just not going to work out.

I felt a melancholic relief as I finally admitted that to myself.

As much as I don’t like it sometimes when I’m honest with myself… if it means letting go of a cherished illusion… I also don’t like lying to myself. I know when I’m lying, and I put up with it because… well, it might not be a complete lie… what if it’s not a lie at all or it’s a truth that needs me to believe in it for it to come true.

It’s complicated… the human psyche.

So many people inside who believe different things jousting for dominance over the self… who is the real you?

They all are in some way or another… but they just can’t agree on that, or anything much, and so they can’t get along, they pull, poke and prod you, unable to leave you alone… and rest in peace becomes rest in pieces.

Grab those pieces of peace, of Shangri-La, when and where you can…


“What a host of little incidents, all deep-buried in the past — problems that had once been urgent, arguments that had once been keen, anecdotes that were funny only because one remembered the fun. Did any emotion really matter when the last trace of it had vanished from human memory; and if that were so, what a crowd of emotions clung to him as to their last home before annihilation? He must be kind to them, must treasure them in his mind before their long sleep.”
― James Hilton


Most of the lies I tell myself are hope-based.

In spite of my crusty exterior of cynicism, skepticism, suspicion and battered-by-disappointmentism… I am rather optimistic in a what-if-it-doesn’t-fail kind of way.

Experience has taught me that pretty much everything I do is doomed to failure, or at least probably a mistake, however within those failures and mistakes you can find an opportunity to grow and learn, and it can be quite an adventure.

See… optimism at work!

Mostly the optimism comes from getting fed up with feeling sorry for myself, going around in circles, tying myself up in knots, and living in the mire of my own mess – make the best of the mess and then things won’t seem so bad, and, who knows, they might actually get better.


Shangri-la - james hilton


I was reading someone’s account today of how they had avoided disaster by going out of their way to do so… and the first thought which came to mind was – How do they know that they avoided disaster as they avoided it so it never happened and perhaps it never was going to happen. They never risked going down the path they thought lead to disaster, so… what they avoided was all in their mind, a prediction of a possible occurrence which would forever remain just that.

In truth I was a tad envious of their certainty that they’d avoided disaster and I admired their ability to do so… I’ve never been able to avoid it, especially when I predict it and go out of my way to find a path which won’t lead there (I always end up wondering if… if I’d just taken a more direct route to it, perhaps it… wouldn’t have been…


I knew from the get-go that the chances of this working out were slim… but a slim chance is always appealing to the mind’s eye.

There were not many voices inside talking to me on the day that my mouth spoke those words which set things in motion.

And now my nostrils are filled with the strong primal scent of things just not working out. It’s hard to keep hoping they will work out when your senses are being flooded with the pheromones of truth.


“It is a fragile thing that can only live where fragile things are loved.”
― James Hilton


  1. Experience has taught me that pretty much everything I do is doomed to failure- that’s me too.
    I am very easily disappointed and this concerns people.I doubt i can read feelings and sensations correctly.But..some people are very good at pretending.There is a say in psychology pointing out you can project or read certain behavioural patterns only if you recognize them and you master them.How can you read something whose alphabeth you ignore?And of course our lies are hope based, as you say.We can’t have friends if we don’t think they are good people, or living somewhere if we don’t think its a positive place, or having a cat beause we think it’s good to love and to beloved by a pet…I think i am skeptical and realistic at the same time, if you know what I mean by the word “reality”.
    A sign of your optimism is your blog where you spent hours explaining and reassuring people who were hurt and suffering.Otherwise you wouldn’t have done it!! xxx


    • Thank you very much, seashell, for being you ❤

      I think you have a deeply insightful ability to read feelings and sensations, you're always able to pick up on what's going on with me even when I'm being cryptic. Perhaps that's what confuses you sometimes about your relationship with others – you see what's there but you also see the mask someone is wearing and you try to be considerate of both sides, the one being shown and the one behind what is shown, because people don't always pretend to deceive others, sometimes they're doing it to protect their own vulnerable self – which you can relate to as you're very in touch with the inner vulnerability of souls, of your own soul.

      That's a lot for the mind and heart to process.

      You are so amazing… and typical of naturally amazing people you can't see it.

      Why does life do that to us, make us a bit blind to our own natural ability. It's a strange complexity of being.


  2. Ursula I relate to this like you wrote it from inside me. I really relate though to the relief of finally admitting something isn’t working. I don’t know why I am like this it but I must admit that I hate to admit failure. Inside I have the feeling or thought that only if I tried harder it would have worked when any sane person would have seen clearly it was doomed from the start. I wonder after reading this it is so because we weren’t affirmed when young and so we run everything by the internalised voice that argues against who we really are, what we truly feel and what we truly need.
    I had a huge disappointment yesterday after pursuing something I knew deep down was dead in the water a while back. I am wondering if this is part of the Saturn Neptune theme at present. In any case there is a profound relief in letting go if we can leave it at that and not enter into more convoluted inner arguments. Not always easy for us.


    • Thank you very much 🙂

      I think most humans have a hard time admitting when we’ve failed at something, it hits us hard and deep and we take it very personally, sometimes to the point where it’s seen as being an identity marker and definer. We don’t see it as just having failed at one thing, we end up seeing ourselves as a failure, a failed being. We can all be dramatic when it stirs up all the stuff we have within and confuses our view of ourselves.

      The relief comes from realising that a failure isn’t the end of days – we’re always a bit afraid of that, of this being our Appointment in Samarra and that everything we did to avoid it actually made it happen.

      Astrologically – for those of us with Pluto in Virgo… when things don’t go as our ‘perfect’ ideal of them wanted them to go, we experience a descent into Hades which requires a subsequent ascent once we’ve faced our own inner hell… and realised that it’s not as bad as we thought it would be. For those with natal Uranus conjunct Pluto – freedom comes from going through hell.

      Disappointments are those fabled blessings in a curse… the journey through hell which can offer opportunity often masked as a failure of some sort. The inner arguments are how we figure out what is what… but they’re sometimes so heated that they end up taking over and then we can’t see anything because of the inner flames setting fire to all.

      The Uranus/Pluto conjunct generation never takes the easy route… and if they do, they make it difficult just for a challenge. Sigh! 😉


  3. Yup. So true. I frequently feel like a failure, too. And sometimes a fraud. Am I really capable of doing x? Or am I just lying to myself and in the process lying to others? Am I faking it until I make it??? (or not, quite often). I can really go round and round on the whole failure/fraud duo. They’re such a charming couple. 🙂


    • Ha! Yup, lots of those kinds of charming couples being social butterflies and flaunting their relationships inside of us 🙂

      I think the fraud element haunts all humans to a degree. It’s part of self-doubt, self-consciousness, identity, plus so many other things inside and outside of the psyche. We don’t really know who we are in the way that we would like to, we’d like to be more solid and consistent than we are, and there’s so much which is constantly in flux, so we make a statement about ourselves and then wonder if it’s true. It’s probably strongest when someone else tells us who they think we are and what we can do… it can rub against our own perception and that rubbing makes the fraud genie emerge.

      I saw a quirky film (While We’re Young – by the ever-talented Noah Baumbach) the other night wherein a character says to the others something like – What if we just go with not knowing something for a change – they were trying to recall the name of a food substance, but the character forbade them from looking it up on the internet, he wanted them all to either remember it with their brains or just not know it. That character turned out later to be a bit of a fraud, but his fraudulence was simply part of being a human trying to get somewhere in a human world.

      We sometimes overestimate ourselves, as do others, but we also can underestimate ourselves, as do others, and so sometimes we’re reverse-frauds, thinking we can’t do it when we can 😉


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