Hidden Beauty of the Commonplace

Hidden Beauty of the Commonplace

A nature mystic's reflections upon the true meaning of freedom

Life - lit  up by love and shaped by wisdom - is a clear and natural expression of  true freedom.


At a time of austerity and profound concern for human rights, here is a thoughtful book honouring the quiet radiance of love, sanctity of existence and silent background of being. Abiding peace awaits discovery in the midst of our difficulties; it is this simple but potent realisation that entirely changes our world-view and offers genuine hope for the future of humanity.
This work is based upon the life of Clare Cameron, a gifted English mystic and nature poet at the peak of her creative powers during the exuberant decade of the 1960s. Displaying wisdom and compassion, Clare continually challenged her readers with a fundamental question that is as vital and relevant now as it was in her own day - 'What is the true meaning of freedom?'


This book is a tribute to the late 'nature mystic' and wrier, Clare Cameron Philip resurrects her writings from the past and presents their relevance even in the present. The artificial, contrived and mechanical world of today binds us and almost suffocates us. The freedom in Clare's writings comes as a breath of fresh air, as they are not restricted by any boundaries of time. So they are eternally relevant, making her a true mystic. Philip refers to her 'same and balanced spiritual life', which believed in the all pervading 'Now', with focus on the oneness of everything. Clare's philosophy and love of wisdom brought in true freedom, for it penetrated appearances, to reach the true essence behind and within each living thing. ~ Sheela Bhojwani, East & West Series

Hidden beauty of the commonplace: A Nature Mystic’s Reflections upon the True Meaning of Freedom Written by a close friend, this inspiring work is based upon the life of Clare Cameron. An English mystic, poet and writer, as well as editor for The Middle Way during the war, here Philip Pegler provides her with a glowing tribute. Aside from a bold interest in women’s rights, it was wartime that first drove her interest into Buddhism. Initially led by a close friendship with Alan Watts, editor of Buddhism in England (later to become The Middle Way), and a later collaboration with Christmas Humphreys, her early graphical editorial of The Buddhist Society made sure it survived the intense offensive on London and teach of the difficult war years to follow. Influenced by Humphreys, she later resigned from The Middle Way as she became more attuned with her Christian uprising, evading what she considered as a rather one-pointed Buddhist approach. Regardless to her conscribed religion, she remained a keen advocate for everyday humanity and the good of ordinary people overcoming adverse conditions. Supporter of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s radical open attitude, she saw everyone as part of one reality. Her mantra became one of patience and acceptance. Endorsing an open kindness, she believed that sooner or later outlooks can be transformed and important insights gained through basic inner goodness. This is something Pegler believes to have been lost even within spiritual circles, through spiritual materialism. Touched by the beauty of nature, in much of her work she expresses a profound sense of loss and grievance at the absence of the sacred. Described graphically in her book Green Fields of England, she speaks of her disappointment at the askance reception she received as a lone women wandering through the dales by onlookers. Something quite antonymous to her quiet courtesy born of equal vision. This grief was not so much for herself, but for humanity as a whole, as it fails to retain that reverence for all life that came so naturally to her. This book therefore offers a thoughtful honouring of the quiet radiance of love, sanctity of existence and silence background of being. Being able to see good amongst encroaching evil offers genuine hope for the future. Her message: be ordinary in extraordinary ways, and to let all of life in; the happiness with the sorrow – the embrace of full (in) humanity. ~ , The Middle Way

This lovely book is based on the life, learning and developing philosophy of Clare Cameron, one of the early members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and an acquaintance of Aleister Crowley, She was also, for ten years the editor of the Buddhist magazine 'The Middle Way' and much of the work quoted here comes from her insightful editorials. Clare Cameron was, as the book jacket says, a a gifted English mystic and nature poet, who challenged her readers with a fundamental question that is as vital and relevant now as it was in her own day. What is the true meaning of freedom? The answers whe gives to this question, discovered along the path of her own seeking after truth, are both deep and subtle and as such difficult to put into words. She and her biographer manage this impressively well and the quotations from her letters, poems and articles are beautiful in their direct simplicity. Though it is organised along unconventional lines - the various parts document the development of threads of her history and philosophy, rather than following the course of her timeline - this is a wonderfully gentle book that will lift the spirits and the vibration of all who read it. ~ Karen Tucker, Paradigm Shift

Clare Cameron was an English mystic and nature poet in the tradition of John Clare, Wordsworth, Richard Jefferies and Edward Thomas. The latter two lived at the turn of the 20th century and it was during this time in music too that there was also an English flowering which saw Vaughan Williams, Buttterworth, Delius, Elgar and Finzi among others exploring in sound the beauty and glory of the English countryside. There is a profound bond between the English artist and the land Shakespeare called the 'sceptered isle'. Born in the crowded East End of London notorious for its hard living and grey skies, she rose to be one of the finest nature poets of her generation. Philip Pegler has written a sensitive and penetrating book about her life and writings. It is not a straight chronological history of her life so much as a presentation of her inner life based on his close contact with her in her last years and an intimate knowledge of her writings right from the 1920s both in prose and poetry... One cannot but admire the lyrical empathy, literary skill and graciousness of her poems and prose. The delicacy of her touch reveals more in a few adroit words than a plethora of explanations. She seems to have an innate feeling for words, a rare gift not for show but to reveal the intricacy and penetration of her insights. This is a complex and rich book about Clare and the author does her justice in his elaboration of her life, writings and his personal contact with her. The more I read the book the nore I admire her and the skill of the author to weave throughout the narrative her wonderfully evocative writings and poems along with his relationship to this most uncommon and wise woman. It is a book to inspire and is well worth the effort required to enter the spirit of her journey. One does not offer say this nowadays - this is a 'good' book in every sense of the word. ~ Christopher Quilkey, Mountain Path

Although I was fortunate to serve as editor for 'New Vision' (formerly 'Science of Though Review) I missed the privilege of meeting this remarkable poet, mystic and nature writer, Clare Cameron. And although I had long been an admirer of her work, I came to know her more fully through my conversations with Philip Pegler, the author of this book. His descriptions and insights into Clare Cameron's nature have added a valuable and lumnous dimension to the work that Henry Thomas Hamblin began in the early 1920s and still continues to this day - 90 years later. The words from this book flow into the mind in a liquid stream of light as Pegler's rendition of Clare Cameron's early life in London's East End, along with her active presence in the Buddhist Community, lends deepening threads of wisdom throughout her life journey. Reading this work, I discovered more and more about Clare that I didn't know while, throughout, her love and respect for te natural world sounds clarion clear. This is a powerful and radiant combination of writing that has both inspired and deepened me. ~ Stephanie Sorrell, New Vision

In Philip Pegler's skilful and tender account, Clare Cameron is revealed as a bright shining star of truth. Her life story is as interesting as any good novel, and Philip's comments - including his own spiritual story - reveal Clare at the heart of what it means to be human. Without flinching from the grit and grime and even horror of certain aspects of life, she recognizes all life is by definition divine. This is truly a soul-nourishing book. ~ Gangaji, Spiritual teacher and author of 'The Diamond in your Pocket'

This beautifully written book presents the extraordinary life, impressive work, beautiful poetry and unique vision of the celebrated English mystic, Clare Cameron. We owe the gifted author, Philip Pegler a great debt in bringing to our notice the many highly perceptive insights of this great woman seer - and thus refreshing the human spirit in all of us who delve into this precious spiritual treasure. ~ Alan Jacobs, President, Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK

I absolutely loved it...The words from this book flow through the reader in q liquid stream of light as author Philip Pegler's rendition of Clare Cameron's compelling work (as former Editor of the magazine, 'Science of Thought Review') unravels beautifully. I discovered more and more about Clare that I didn't know. This is a powerful and luminous combination of writing that has both inspired and deepened me. ~ Stepanie Sorrell, Prolific author and former Editor of 'New Vision', previously known as 'Science of Thought Review'.

Brilliant, both in subject and content. Through one life we are offered the opportunity to meet the one Truth. ~ Patrick Quanten MD, Teacher and author of 'The Do-it-Yourself Toolkit for Health'. Founder of Active Health

Mystic and poet Clare Cameron lived a life of inner peace, spiritual beauty and joyous love for the natural world. In today's frantic society, many cannot imagine how to develop such a tranquil outlook and can only daydream wistfully at the prospect. In 'Hidden Beauty of the Commonplace', author Philip Pegler relates how Cameron's inner grace was a constant source of strength in an ever-changing world, through her childhood in London's East End at the close of the 19th century, through the withering blitzkrieg of England during the Second World War, to the 1960s Summer of Love. Clare Cameron's transcendent wisdom came from an internal resource, nourished by the quiet splendor she found in everyday living. Her poignant words give echo to the knowledge of the Divine that exists in us, through us and around us - if only we open our eyes to it just a crack. ~ Chic & Tabatha Cicero, Chief Adepts, Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn; Authors, 'The Essential Golden Dawn

On one level Philip Pegler's book 'Hidden Beauty of the Commonplace' charts with great sensitivity and insight the life of his close friend and mentor, Clare Cameron - a remarkable woman, both a mystic and a poet - and places her in the context of a tradition of poets and seers from William Wordsworth to Richard Jefferies, Edward Thomas and, more recently, Kathleen Raine. However it is much more than that. Throughout the book, Philip weaves his own deep interest in and understanding of the perennial philosophy that lies behind all the world's great spiritual and religious traditions, giving the book a depth and richness that percolates into the reader's mind just as the title of the book implies - a gentle and penetrating distillation of natural wisdom. ~ Rupert Spira, Spiritual teacher of Non-Duality and author of 'The Transparency of Things'.

Philip Pegler
Philip Pegler Philip's grandfather was a celebrated English publisher before the Second World War and he grew up immersed in the world of books, before ev...
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