Chronic fatigue (CFS) and imposter syndrome


In a social media group for people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), someone mentioned that she sometimes feels like an imposter since she has days where she feels more normal and can do more.

As with so much of the odd and not-so-odd things related to CFS, this is something I recognzie for myself.

One of the typical things with CFS is that we have good and bad days and even weeks and months where we either have more energy or feel worse than usual.

Because of this typical feature of CFS, I also sometimes feel like an imposter. At the very least, I notice a concern that others will think I am just making it up. After all, on some days, I can go out and do things almost like I could before I got sick.

Why is that? After all, I have all the main and core symptoms of CFS, including the typical viral-infection starting point, and also an official diagnosis. And the swings is a common feature of CFS. It’s to be expected.

The main reason is probably that we still don’t have a good medical understanding of CFS. Although we know a lot about it, and know it’s a physical illness, the specific mechanisms are still a mystery.

As soon as we have a better understanding of the mechanisms, a lot will shift.

We may be on our way to good medical treatment.

Doctors, governments, and people in general will take it far more seriously and recognize it as an illness on line with any other physical illness.

And a lot of the extra stress and worry that people with CFS live with because it is, to some extent, a mystery illness, will drop away.

Say the fear instead of acting on it


This is very basic but makes a crucial difference in our life.

When I am with someone else and something is triggered in me, how do I relate to it? Do I react to it and act on that reaction? Or do I notice the fear and discomfort in me and acknowledge it to myself and perhaps the other person?

This is especially important in our close and intimate relationships. And this is also, hopefully, where we can feel more safe to practice acknowledging what’s going on.

My partner says something. It triggers a reaction in me. I notice what’s happening and perhaps the temptation to go into reactivity and defensiveness. Instead, I can find and acknowledge the fear behind what was triggered in me. And if I feel ready and safe enough, I can say it to my partner.

When you say that – when you give an ultimatum, when you make things black and white like that, when you blame me – I notice I feel scared.

The honesty of it is often enough to diffuse a situation that otherwise could be tense and go into reactivity-dynamics on both sides.

At first, it can feel less safe. But is it really? Is it safer to go into defensiveness and reactivity? Is it unsafe to be completely honest and vulnerable?

If it feels unsafe, we can examine it for ourselves in this way. And we can also talk with our partner – or another close person in our life – about it in advance. We can set the stage for trying this out in future situation. We can even support each other in this.

It can be a beautiful shift in how we relate to ourselves, the other, and perhaps each other.

When we please others, we also please (appease) our own emotional issues


When we are in the habit of pleasing others, a lot happens.

We set our own honesty and needs aside and may get disappointed, bitter, and secretly angry at ourselves, others, and life.

We may expect others to please us in turn, and get upset when it doesn’t happen.

By pleasing others, we act on our own issues telling us it’s more safe to please others, so we please – and appease – these issues in ourselves.

Beyond that, we may also get into the pattern of pleasing our own hangups and issues in general. We appease them instead of being real with them – questioning them, exposing them to the truth, and sometimes using tough love and cutting through them.

Pleasing others tends to be a pervasive pattern with a lot of – as we see when we look a bit closer – undesirable consequences.

Why do we please others?

Perhaps we want to be loved and safe. Perhaps we learned it was a strategy that worked for us when we were little. Perhaps we – somewhere in us – feel it’s unsafe to be honest and risk upsetting the other person.

What do we lose when we please others?

We lose our authenticity and honesty. We lose asking for what we really want. We lose being real. We often lose getting what we want. We lose, to some extent, our inner peace and contentment. We risk losing having the life we want.

What do we get from pleasing others?

We may superficially get what we want. We may get an easier interaction in the moment.

And we may also get quiet resentment, anger, and bitterness from having abandoned our authenticity, let go of asking or going for what we really want, prioritized others over our selves, and for what we have lost in the process.

What do we secretly wish for when we please others?

Apart from wishing for an easy interaction in the moment, we may wish or expect the other person to please us. I let go of my authenticity to please you, and you’ll do the same for me.

And when they don’t, for instance if they chose to be authentic and say “no”, we may get upset.

What’s the alternative to pleasing others?

It’s to be authentic, real, and being on our own side. We can do this with kindness and consideration, and we can seek solutions so that we both or all get what we really want. And we can do it with authenticity. We can speak with kindness and realness about what we really want, how we see the situation, and that we wish to find a strategy so we all can get our needs met. (Non-Violent Communication.)

When we please others, we inherently please our own issues

When we are in the habit of pleasing others, we do so because of our own emotional issues. We feel more safe by pleasing others, even if it is at our own cost.

In the moment we please others, we please our own issues telling us its safer to please others. We perceive and act as if these issues are true. We are no longer real with ourselves, and we are not real with our issues. We don’t expose these issues to the truth.

This may also get us into the general pattern of pleasing our issues. We perceive and act as if they are true instead of being real with them and questioning them.

What do you mean by pleasing our issues?

When we have hangups, emotional issues, and stressful beliefs come up, we can relate to them in different ways.

And when we are in a general pleasing mode and are used to pleasing, we may treat these issues in the same way. We please them. We appease them. We allow them to be as they are and run and color our lives.

The alternative is gentle tough love, truth, and cutting through the issues.

How can we be real with our issues?

It’s mainly about our orientation. Do we automatically believe what our fears tells us and act on them? Or do we notice what’s going on and question them?

It’s typically a process of noticing the fear.

Notice where we feel the fear in the body. Notice and allow the sensations, and notice they are simply physical sensations – and that the mind associates them with certain scary stories.

Listen to the fearful story behind it. See that it’s there to protect us. (It was often formed in our childhood and may no longer be as useful or appropriate for us as it was then.)

Question the stories and find what’s more true for us.

And act on what’s more true for us – with some discernment and kindness – and see what happens, while acknowledging that it can feel scary and we may be clumsy at first.

And then repeat as needed. It’s often helpful to find an ally in this and someone who can guide us through this process of being more real with ourselves, others, and our own issues.

How common is the general pleasing pattern?

I am not sure. I assume it’s relatively common. It seems to be a big part of our culture, for whatever reason. It’s probably a common strategy for getting along in a community, and it may be that Christianity – with its emphasis on martyrdom – has amplified it.

Thanks to my partner for the seed insight and reminder for this article <3

Why do some get into conspiracy theories, and why do we see a blossoming of it?


Why do some people get into conspiracy theories, almost as a lifestyle?

One answer is lack of critical thinking, media literacy, and willingness to check the sources and facts. This has partly to do with our educational system. 

Some may want to feel important, that they know something others don’t, that they can “stick it to the man”, and so on. 

It may come out of general frustration and sense of powerlessness. It may be tied to lack of opportunities in life and reflect a structural social problem.

As anything else, it’s a projection. We see in others and the world what’s in ourselves. Whatever we see out there and can set word on, we can turn it around to ourselves and find examples of it in ourselves and our own behavior as well. This, in itself, doesn’t mean it’s not also out there in the world. It’s certainly here and can also be out there. “Blind” projections – where we don’t recognize it as a projection and take care of it – can make conspiracy theories into a compulsion.

Getting into conspiracy theories can, paradoxically, be a way to feel more safe. It can feel safer if there is one simple answer to a lot of the problems we see in society today. Instead of the randomness of life and systemic problems in society, it can feel somewhat comforting if one small group of people are behind it.

It may be rooted in fear. A way for people to deal with their own unmet, unloved, and unexamined fear. It’s a way for them to try to exorcise their own demons.

I also suspect it can be rooted in trauma. It’s a way for some people to deal with the pain of their own trauma. Instead of meeting that pain and the fear behind it, it seems easier to get upset about something in the world and blame someone for it. It’s a distraction and a coping mechanism.

Why is it difficult to have a rational and grounded conversation with people who have gotten into conspiracy theories?

It may be because nothing we can say can disprove – in their mind – their views. What we say is just evidence that we are brainwashed or are actively in on the conspiracy.

Conspiracy theories tie into identies and most people want to hold onto their identities. It may also give some a sense of community.

Conspiracy theories may – for some – be a way to deal with discomfort. It may be easier to indulge in ideas, whether rooted in reality or not, than face our own discomfort, fear, sense of lack, and trauma.

Sometimes, if it’s just an innocent mistake, it may be enough to find and present more accurate information.

Other times, it may be helpful to ask questions.

For instance, what’s the source? Do they have a particular motivation?

Is there verifiable evidence? Would the evidence hold up in a court? Would it be sufficient for a serious historian or investigative reporter?

Isn’t it possible that what we see in society comes from known structural problems instead of a small group of people pulling the threads?

Why do we see a blossoming of it now?

I imagine conspiracy theories have been with humantiy since beginning of civilization and perhaps before.

And yet, there seems to be an upswing of conspiracy theories now. Why is that?

One answer is internet echo chambers and the ease of finding information and people on the internet that will support and endorse just about any view.

Before internet, most of us got our news and information from mostly or partly the same sources. We had a shared understanding of the world although our ideas about what to do with it differed. Now, we disagree on basic facts.

Some individuals actively create and spread disinformation for whatever personal reason, including entertainment and – in some cases – profit.

More seriously, some groups and organizations – including some governments like Russia through their state-sponsored troll farms – actively create and spread disinformation for political purposes. Often to sow confusion and weaken rival countries and alliances, and it’s a new version of the old divide-and-conquer strategy.

The problem with conspiracy theories seems obvious. It distracts people from actual and more serious problems in the world most of us agree are real. (Unraveling ecosystems, hunger, lack of clean water, lack of education, huge gap between a few super wealthy and the rest, poverty, Big Money influence on policies, and so on.)

And it’s a problem for our democracy and public discourse when we cannot agree on basic facts and some get fixated on things that are not grounded in critical thinking and solid evidence.

Isn’t it possible that some conspiracy theories are true?

Yes, of course. I am all for serious investigation into possible conspiracies, if it’s rooted in critical thinking, examination of the sources, and solid and verifiable information.

Most conspiracy theories seem clearly false and are perpetuated through lack of critical thinking, lack of media literacy, lack of knowledge of history and science, and a willingness to jump on an idea without first checking the sources and facts.

One thing to remember is that historically, the uncovering of actual conspiracies was done through investigation from historians, journalists, or official investigators. Not cooks people on YouTube and the internet.

Is this only about others?

No, this is about me and each of us. We all go into our own version of conspiracy theories, at least sometimes. I could as well written this as us instead of they, and that would have been more accurate and inclusive.

I sometimes take an idea as true just because others do. To some extent, that’s what makes up a culture and shared worldview.

I sometimes latch onto some information without checking it just because it fits into my worldview and what I want to be true.

I sometimes hold an idea as true – even a scary one – just because I want to and it feels good in the moment. Perhaps it’s a momentary distraction from my own fear or discomfort.

Have shared things on social media because it happened to fit into my worldview or how I want things to be and without fact checking it first.

I sometimes want to find a scapegoat even if systems, circumstances, or conditioning plays more of a role.

I sometimes want to blame someone else instead of looking at my own role in a situation.

I sometimes irrationally hold onto an idea even if a more grounded take on it would show me that something else is more true.

I sometimes tell myself I know something even if I actually don’t know or don’t know for certain.

In these and more ways, I am the conspiracy theorist. I am just like the conspiracy theorists I see out there, although the outward form it takes may be a little different.

It’s about us, not them.

Relax, nothing is under control


Relax, nothing is under control.

– unknown origin (to me)

A lot of our stress comes from wanting or trying to be in control of what we are not in control of.

In a conventional sense, we are in control of how we relate to a situation. We can do what we can to deal with it the best we can. But we are not in control over the situation itself, or other people, or the world.

The quote reminds us of this. I can take care of what I am in control of and do the best I can there. And reminding myself that I am not in control of the rest allows me to sit back a bit and relax.

I do my job, see what happens, and then I can respond to that if I need to.

I don’t know what will happen, but I can trust that I can deal with it as best I can when it does.

That’s really all that’s needed in daily life.

And yet, if we are drawn to it, we can look a little closer.

We may find that we are not in control of anything. An impulse comes up in me to act, but I am not in control of that impulse coming up or not. Nothing that happens in this human self is under “my control”. It lives its own life.

And that may show me something else. If what happens lives its own life, is there really any “I” here that has or has not control?

Adyashanti: Every story… is a painful story


Every story, in relation to pain, is a painful story.
~ Adyashanti, Silent Retreat Vol. 57 ~ Q&A

I don’t know the context of this quote, but I have found the same.

Any story – when it’s held as true – is a painful story.

Why is it painful? Because holding it as true means to identify with it and the viewpoint created by the story, and it’s just one of many viewpoints all with some validity and none with any absolute truth. Holding onto a story – any story – creates discomfort and pain because it’s out of alignment with reality. Somewhere in us, we know that. And life will remind us.

Life will create situations that rub up against the story so we feel we need to defend it (it seems like defending ourselves since we identify with it) and that, in itself, is stressful. Life will also remind us that the story is just one of many that are valid about the same topic and none hold any absolute or final truth, and we may not want to see it since holding onto the story can feel safe.

When we hold any story as true – no matter how innocent or apparently helpful and beautiful – we create stress for ourselves. We create struggle within ourselves. And that’s the inherent mechanism in that dynamic that invites and motivate us to examine what’s going on.

It invites us to examine the particular stressful story we have, see what happens when we hold it as true, find the validity in the other stories about the same topic, and hold it a little lighter. And it invites us to recognize this dynamic in all stories, no matter what they are about.

This doesn’t mean that it’s wrong to hold stories as true. We all do, to different extent, and often without even knowing it. It’s often first when life rubs up against one that we notice it. It’s natural and innocent, although it also creates stress and pain for us, and may lead us to act in ways that creates more stress and pain.

It also doesn’t mean that we need to somehow drop all beliefs in all stories at once. We can’t even if we wanted.

It’s more a process of examining the currently stressful story and find what’s more true for us, and then examine the next. It’s a gradual process, it goes over time, and it’s ongoing. There is no particular endpoint – at least not in this life – and doesn’t have to be.

Spirituality labels


Life is always more than and different from our ideas about it. That means that any spiritual tradition or practice can help us explore some facets of reality, but we may need to go beyond it – through other approaches or in other ways – to explore more of the fullness of who and what we are.

That also goes for any identities we have for ourselves. We are more than and different from any of these identities.

That’s why I have generally avoided using spirituality labels for myself, along with many other forms of labels.

Some of them can be useful in a specific situation as a short-hand to convey something. But beyond that, they are perhaps not so useful.

I am not a Buddhist since I am interested in many other traditions and don’t practice within buddhism. During the time I did, I said: I do Buddhist practice but am not a Buddhist since I knew that what it’s about goes far beyond any one — or all – traditions.

I am not really a Christian mystic, although I have a (sometimes) strong connection to Christ and resonate a lot with several Christian mystics. I don’t belong to Christianity as they did.

I am not religious since I don’t belong to any one religion, although I am interested in the history of religons and the gems of insights and pointers in all of them. And I also know that the main purpose or religons is to maintain themselves and often power and social hierarchy, and life and reality can’t be captured by any one religion or all of them combined.

I can’t call myself a light-worker since I am equally interested in different forms of metaphorical darkness – the divine feminine, my own shadow, not-knowing, and so on. (Also, it sounds silly.)

Although I always seek to discover more and continue healing, maturing, and embodying, I am not really a seeker. Mainly, I am exploring what’s here and I can equally well call myself a finder, although I don’t really resonate with either label. (Both sound too clear-cut and the reality is something in between and different from either and both.)

Am I an explorer? I have loved stories of exploration since I was a little kid, and it is a label that resonates with me. It points to an orientation and a process and is a little more open-ended than many of the other labels in spirituality. And yet, this one too is too narrow and a little misleading. For one, it’s a word and thought and what it points to is different.

Although I am interested in some New Age stuff, it’s not really my main focus. If astrology or past lives catches my interest, it’s mostly to explore it as a mirror for myself here and now.

I am into spirituality, but for me, it’s more about exploring who and what I am and reality – to the best of my ability. Spirituality hints at a certain orientation and interest, but it’s really just an exploration of what’s here and reality. It’s simpler than the label spirituality hints at, and it also goes far beyond the label.

I am an instant student of different teachers when I hear or read their words and follow their pointers. But I know that I am my own final authority, I am the one who have to explore it for myself, and what I see in them is what I have in myself. So, yes, I am always a student of some teachers, and it’s also is both simpler and not that simple.

We are all teachers for each other. When someone reads these words, they may get something out of it one way or another (it may resonate with their own experience, it may encourage their own exploration, or it may not fit their experience), and in that sense I am a temporary teacher. In another sense, I am not since I don’t particularly seek or feel I am qualified for that role – beyond being a temporary teacher as we all are teachers for each other.

When I facilitate others or do distance healing (prayer) for them, am I a healer? Perhaps yes, right there and then and in that role. But not really since I just facilitate healing. I am not doing the healing. Their own system does the healing. Life does the healing. At most, I facilitate the healing. I help set the stage for the healing. (And that too is Life’s doing, Life sets the stage for it’s own local healing.) In general, I am a lot more – and less – than that label suggests.

I also don’t avoid spirituality labels in all situations. Sometimes, they are useful. They can create a connection. They can give a rough pointer about something. They can ease or start communication. They can be useful there and then, and that’s about it.

Do I intentionally avoid being pinned down by others? Most of the time, I am OK if people want to put a label on me. Although I sometimes mention how it also doesn’t fit if that seems useuful.

Art and match with the person experiencing it


There are many ways to evaluate art: skills, technique, heart, humanity, psychology, sociology, symbolism, politics, reflection of society, impact on society, and so on.

In daily life, people often generalize based on how they experience music, paintings, writing, movies or whatever it may be, and say “this is good” or “that’s terrible”, or “these people have good taste” and “those people have terrible taste”.

For me, art is largely about match. How does someone experience and receive it? Do they get something out of it? Does it resonate with something in them? Does it help them get in touch with someting in themselves? Does it add to their life?

I love some music that few others seem to like, and that’s fine. The music means a lot to me, and that’s enough.

Similarly, I sometimes don’t like what some others like, and that’s good to. If they get something out of it, that’s very good for them and it makes the existence of that piece of art even more meaningful (beyond what it means to the one creating it).

This is very simple, and yet I am surprised by how often people seem to generalize based on how they personally perceive a piece of art, as if their individual experience says something inherently about the piece of art, and about the people who either resonate with it or not.

I assume it’s partly because we have trouble differentiating our perception from what it’s about (which we cannot say anything final or absolute about).

We may have trouble deeply realizing that we all have our own biases and backgrounds and so perceive the world differently and uniquely.

We may have trouble feeling relaxed about our own likes and dislikes, and enjoying the enjoyment of others even if it’s about somehting we personally don’t like.

It may also have to do with our identity. We often use our likes and dislikes to create an identity for ourselves, and to filter people into us and them.

The photo is of Huun-Huur-Tu from Tuva, which is one of my favorite bands and the one I have seen most often in concert. It also happens to be music many or most from the western world wouldn’t easily resonate with or like. And that’s understandable and completely OK.

Merlina the cat moves to release tension


This beatiful cat feels some stress when her person breathes as she does in this video, and Merlina moves to release tension.

She reacts to her distress through wriggling and stretching, and it also helps her release some of the tension she creates in herself when she hears the breathing sound. Based on experience, the next step for her is to either leave or bite her person.

There are many ways we can release tension. We can cry, scream, tremble, shake, sing, and move and stretch as in the video. For us humans, even talking about it can help.

Exploring this is a part of TRE — Tension & Trauma Release Exercises, which uses the natural trembling mechanism in it body to release tension.

Until the lion tells the story, the hunter will always be the hero


Until the lion tells the story, the hunter will always be the hero.

– proverb from somewhere in Africa

This is an interesting proverb in several ways.

It reminds us to listen to the story of the ones who haven’t yet told their story. If that’s not possible, for whatever reason, we can at least acknowledge there are other – perhaps equally valid – stories to be told about any situation. And sometimes, we can do our best to imagine what those stories may be.

The proverb also reminds us of our anthropocentrism. We see the world through human eyes, and sometimes ignore the viewpoint of non-human species. We – explicitly or implicitly – assume and live as if the world was created for us, and chose to ignore the myriad of other beings who want the same as us. They want to live. They, in their own way, want to be respected. If they could speak, they would tell us to take their needs into consideration as well.

In a similar way, we tend to prioritize our own needs and wishes over the needs of future generations. We are unable to listen to the voices of future generations since they are not here yet. But we can give them a voice. We can include someone who speaks for them in the decisions we collectively make. We can imagine their needs and wishes. And we can probably imagine these needs and wishes pretty well since they are the universally human ones.

The lion also represents the lion in each of us. The primal power. In our western culture, we have ignored this voice as we have ignored the metaphorical voice and viewpoints of flesh and blood lions and animals in general.

Listening to the voice and viewpoint of lions and animals, future generations, and our inner lions and voices, all go hand in hand.

How would an imagined dialog with the lion go?



What’s your view on humans?

They are not someone we would normally care much about. But they keep taking our land, and they hunt us for no reason that we can understand. We hunt because we have to eat to survive. They don’t seem to hunt for food. What else than eating can justify killing us?

It seems they brag about killing us. We don’t understand. We hunt because we have to. It’s nothing to brag about.

And they have a way to kill us at a distance. We don’t have a chance. We need to get close to kill, and they won’t allow us to get close. If we got close, and they hadn’t their way of killing us, they wouldn’t stand a chance.

And what about a dialog with the inner lion?

How does P. relate to you?

He likes the rawness and power I have and makes use of it sometimes, but otherwise tends to ignore me. He is cautious about me and has learned, from culture and family, to be cautious and often ignore me.

How do you help him?

I help him feel stronger and more in charge of how he deals with situations. I help him feel more whole. I help him get things done. He feels more whole, embodied, and alive when he taps into me.

What advice do you have for him?

You don’t need to be so cautious with me. Tap into me and bring me into your daily life more often. I can be with you more constantly, and you’ll feel stronger, grounded, and alive, and it will help you be more real with yourself, others, and life.

Footnote: It seems that giving children and students the task of writing stories from the normally voiceless – animals, plants, future generations, ecosystems, Gaia and so on – would be very interesting. It helps us imagine the world from another perspective than our own, including as human beings. I am sure some teachers and schools do this, and I would certainly have loved it.

Reflections on society, politics and nature XXX


This is one in a series of posts with brief notes on society, politics, and nature. I sometimes include short personal notes as well. Click “read more” to see all the entries.

The only white people in the Bible are the ones who executed Jesus.

John Fuglesang

For Christians who hold racist views, there must be some cognitive dissonance. And perhaps especially for white Christians, as John Fuglesang points out in that quote.

One dissonance comes from the content of the teachings of Jesus where he – in words and actions – clearly spoke about love for everyone and actively supported the minorities, outcasts, and oppressed.

The other is that Jesus was obviously a dark skinned Jew, and the only Europeans in the Bible are the ones who executed Jesus, in addition to oppressing the Jews and other people in the area, stealing their resources, and occupying their land.

As usual, the question is how this applies to me. Where in me do I find this type of cognitive dissonance? Where do I generalize to whole groups of people and subtly – or overtly – dehumanize them?

Perhaps I am doing it towards the ones I see as racists and bigots? Perhaps I am overlooking the trauma it may come from? That their views may be a way for them to cope with their own pain? Or that they just adopted views from those around them without questioning these views or having life experiences that helped them question these views?

None of that justifies racism and bigotry. None of it makes the harm from it any less real. But it helps me see them as humans as you and me. It helps me see how we are all in the same boat.

Read More

Reactivity makes us more stupid than we are


Reactivity makes us more stupid than we are.

When we are more receptive, curious, and have an open mind and heart, we learn, explore, see a situation from several angels, and we are less invested in a partcular view or in defending something or an identity. This means our natural intelligence can be put to work and yield some fruits.

When we are more reactive and want to uphold or defend an idea or identity, it tends to cloud over our natural curiosity, receptivity, and intelligence. In other words, we make ourselves more stupid than we are.

In general, receptivity and curiosity allows for our natural intelligence to function more fully, and reactivity and defensiveness clouds this over and we become a slave to our reactivity and its agenda.

When I notice I get caught in my own reactivity, this is one of the reminders that is helpful for me. Do I want to go down the reactivity path, make myself more stupid than I am, and perhaps say or do things I’ll later regret? Or do I want to give my natural intelligence a chance, be courageous and break with the reactivity pattern, and be more as I really want to be – for my own sake and the sake of the world?

This is also a reminder for me to connect with the fear behind the reactivity impulse. I notice reactivity in me and the temptation to join with it and follow it. Instead, I can connect with the fear behind the reactivity. I can find the fear. Acknowledge it’s there. Take some time – even just a few seconds – to feel it and notice where it is in my body. I can notice any fearful images or stories connected with it.

Breathe. Notice the space it all happens within, and the space within it.

And I can admit all of this to myself. Yes, I notice reactivity in myself. I notice the temptation to go with it. And I notice the fear it comes from. If it’s the right time and situation, I can even mention it to the other person if someone else is involved.

This helps me take a step back and give my receptivity and natural intelligence a chance.

Taking responsibility for our life and knowing the real author of our life


I touched on this in the previous article.

It’s good for us to take responsibility for our own actions and life in a conventional sense. It’s honest, healing, and allows us to be more in charge of our life – again, in a conventional sense.

At the same time, it’s good to know the real author of our life. To notice that everything in our life – our abilities, skills, interests, opportunities, choices, hangups, limitations, emotional issues, traumas, belongings, and so on – is given to us. Our life as a whole is given to us. 

Anything in our life has innumerable causes stretching back to beginning of time and out to the widest extent of the universe. We can always find one more cause, and one more. 

It’s all happening within and as what we are. We are capacity for our life and the world as it appears to us. There is no final identity within any of it. It’s all happening on its own. 

Taking responsibility for our life and knowing the real author are not mutually exclusive. They are two sides of the same coin. One helps us in a conventional sense. The other helps us in a more existential sense.

God: An author using pen names (and we are the pen names)


I had a conversation with my partner this morning and it got into how life – or the divine – is the author of our lives, and yet we often think we are the author. (Of course, we are responsible for our own actions and need to be good stewards of our own life, but Life is the real author of our lives.)

In a sense, God is the author of our lives and everything else. And when it comes to us as individual beings, she is an author using our names and individuality as a pen name. She is an author with innumerable pen names, and we – as human beings or any type of being – are pen names in flesh and blood. 

We sometimes exclusively identify with or as God’s pen name – as this human being, and that’s natural, understandable, and innocent. And yet, the real author is God – or life, the universe, existence, Spirit, or the divne. 

Said from another perspective, Life is the author of everything, and locally and temporarily takes itself to be this local expression of itself – this local and temporary pen name or imagined author.

It’s beautiful and a part of Life exploring and expressing itself in always new ways. And, as this local pen name, it can also create suffering and a longing for noticing the real author, and for the real author to notice itself as all there is and as this local pen name and imagined author. 

Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things XVIII


This is one in a series of posts with brief notes on healing, awakening, and personal things. These are more spontaneous and less comprehensive than the regular articles. Some may be a little rantish. And some may be made into a regular article in time.


Someone on the periphery of my life came to my mind, and I thought: She is using her insights to feel safe.

She is someone who does have some insights, and her job is to consult and give advice to others.

At the same time, I have noticed that she latches onto a small piece of information and jumps to one her insights as a remedy, without having a fuller sense of the situation. She tends to insist that the other adopts her particular solution. And she does this uninvited.

So although I don’t know the full picture (!), I imagine she is using her insights to feel safe. She may latch onto them to feel safe, and she tries to get other to agree and adopt them so she feels it’s supported by others.

And, of course, this is me. I do this too. It’s a different and perhaps slightly amplified version of how I am.

I sometimes latch onto insights – aka ideas – to feel more safe. I am happy when I find others who agree and – sometimes unwittingly – support me in latching onto these ideas for safety. And I sometimes give unsolicited advice, perhaps not so often in real life but certainly in my mind.

Click READ MORE for more of these brief notes.

Read More

Dream: adventures with my partner


Gailynn is teaching a two or three day language class. It’s in Oslo and I am attending it with Ale – my partner – and a small group of others. At some point, Gailynn sits down with me to show me something.

During a break, Ale takes me on a tour of Oslo. It’s amazing and we have a very beautiful time together. She takes me to small interesting markets and stores, and then two rides that go high up and then down again, one inside of a beautiful library.

Although I thought we were just on a long lunch break, Ale informs me with a smile that the class has ended.

I thank her for taking me to do things I would never have done on my own.

At some point, I realize I have lost my messenger bag and wallet, and have trouble remembering when I last had it and where I have been.

My partner sits down and makes me several small drawings. They are amazingly beautiful and I am very touched.

Then I realize I somehow have my bag and wallet. I am not sure if I lost them and they came back to me, or if I never had lost them.

Gailynn is a Vortex Healing teacher and my partner and I did take a class with her a couple of weeks ago. This class is a language class, but it’s not a regular human language. It’s a class about learning a different way to communicate.

For some reason, Ale seems far more familiar with Oslo and its hidden gems than I am, even if I have lived there for a while and she has not. She takes me on an amazing tour.

In waking life, I have some fear of heights. Ale takes me on two rides – kind of elevators – that go high up and then down again, one inside of a beautiful library. We go up in a small cabin with a few other people, it goes up perhaps 10-20 meters inside the large main space of the building, and as we go down my sight shimmer and shift. I realize that although I have some fear of heights, I enjoyed the ride immensely. I am grateful for my partner for taking me on these rides I would have done on my own.

My bag is missing, and then refound – or perhaps it never went missing. She makes a series of small drawings for me, and I am amazed how quickly she did it and how beautiful they are.

Some of themes here are: learning a new way to communicate, being taken on new adventures, shared and beautiful experiences, refinding something valuable to me I thought was lost, and being given a very beautiful, personal, and soulful gift.

Dream: A spiritual guide and joining the inner and outer


A spiritual guide is with my partner and I. He or she shows us what’s in us that we see in ourselves, what’s in us that we see in the world, and how we can see all of it in ourselves. We see a symbol with an outline of us, and two circles in each of us, one representing what we already see in ourselves and the other what’s in us that we see in the world.

This is one of the dreams that spells things out quite clearly. We each have two circles in us, one representing what we see in ourselves and “own” as our own, and the other representing what we see in the world that’s also in us but we may not be aware (yet) as being in. The guide helped us see both in ourselves.

Why would I have this dream? At a conscious level, I know it’s this way. And yet, last night I got caught up in some inner drama where I “forgot” it. The situation I had a struggle with mirrors something in me.

Why is the dream about me and my partner? Perhaps because the situation that triggered me last night also triggered her in a similar way, and it’s a shared situation for us. In a sense, the dream is for us both.

The stories I have about this outer situation also fit and describe me, and it helps me to examine it more in detail and find specific examples of how it’s true. I can use the outer situation to find in myself what I see there.

In my dream, the spiritual guide was a large figure without any clear features, and it was neither female or male and also had characteristics of both.

I should also mention that this is an example of the more explicit dreams I have written about before. During the first few years when I was really into Jung (in my teens and early twenties), I would have typical Jungian dreams. Then, I asked the dream-maker in me to sometimes skip the symbolism and make the dreams more explicit, and that’s what largely happened.

The upside of being average


In our culture, there is an idealization of the special or extraordinary person. At a personal level, many experience a sense of lack so we latch onto this idea of being or becoming someone special in an attempt to compensate for it. This also drives consumption since advertisers promise specialness through clothes, cars, and things in general, and special experiences like certain vacations, restaurants and so on.

How can we examine this wish to be special, famous, or extraordinary?

Examining the average and special

One way is to look at the the upside of being mediocre and in the average range, and perhaps – to the extent we have experience with it – the downsides of being special.

What’s the upside of being not famous, not extraordinary, and in the average range?

It makes it easier for me to see that we are all in the same boat. It makes it easier to connect with and understand others, and have genuine empathy.

Others are more likely to see me as their equal and it’s more of a meeting between equals. Any difference in staus or role in soceity doesn’t come between us.

I don’t have to live up to a certain image or role in order to maintain some special status. I can live more anonymously and without being scrutinized in public.

Perhaps most important, being within the average range does not preclude what’s most important for me. It does not preclude a deeply meaningful life, love, insights. It doesn’t precule being of assistance and helping others and supporting life.

And what’s the downsides of being special or extraordinary?

I’ll go back to the few instances I have experienced this, and also what I saw when I was the student of a famous artist and later the student of a wannabe rock-star type Zen master, and what I have heard and seen from others and in the media.

If you are extraordinary or famous, people tend to put you up on a pedestal. They make you special in their minds. They experience a separation from you. They see you as an image more than a real person. They idealize you or demonize you. They want something from you just because you are seen as special.

If they seek you out and want to be your friend, you cannot be certain about their motivation. Some may want to get to know you just because you are special or famous.

If you are famous, you’ll be scrutinized. The media will write about you, and often any little thing, and sometimes things that are not true. They will try to find scandals. They will interview people around you about you, whether you want or not. I imagine you’ll wake up in the morning wondering if or what someone has written about you.

If you are famous, you can’t be out in public as yourself. You always have to think of your image and how people see you.

Being extraordinary or famous does not take care of our troubles or insecurities, as innumerable stories in the media shows us. Extraordinary and famous people have their troubles, as we all do.

These examples are a little simplistic and general. It helps to find examples to a specific situation, and you may find some that are more true for you. But it’s a start of seeing through the illusion of worshipping the special, extraordinary, and famous.

Also, is it true we are not already special?

As any good mum will tell us, we are all special. It’s not just a platitute. It’s true. We – and all beings – are a unique way for the universe and life to experience itself.

Examine the lack in us

Another approach is to see where the worship of the extraordinary in us comes from. (Most likely, there is some worship of the extraordinary and of fame in ourselves since we live in this culture.)

Often, it comes from a sense of lack in ourselves, and we hope that this will somehow compensate for this. And there is a fear behind all of this.

So we can meet this sense of lack on us and the fear that comes with it. Feel the sensations. Listen to its stories. Get to know it. See what it really wants. Give it what it really wants. (Often love, respect, patience, understanding.) And see through the stories it has when they come up and not let them take us over.

If we seek to be special, extraordinary, or famous, it’s often because we hope it will make us feel OK, loved, and admired. Through this, we can take a short-cut and give that to ourselves – and the parts of us that need it – here and now.

At first, it may seem a bit disappointing since we thought we wanted or needed it from others, and perhaps a large number of others. When we explore this, we may find that there is only one who can give us this so it feels deeply satisfying, and that’s ourselves.

That identity, that’s not who you are


All those identities you have, that’s not who or what you are

– paraphrased from a friend of mine (PG)

What he actually said was, and that’s not who you are in response to someone mentioning an identity they had for themselves.

In what way is our identities not who or what we are?

It’s not who we are, as a human being, because we are so much more than that. Any identity is very small compared to the richness and fullness of who we are. Even all our identities combined are small compared with the richness and fullness of who we are.

As what we are, we are capacity for the world as it appears to us. Any identity and what it refers to happens within and as what we are. They can, at most point to something. We are not the identity or any or all of the associations we have around that identity.

As respectively who and what we are, we are different from, more than, and less than, any identity.

We are different from any identity. Any identity comes from an overlay of thought. It can be wrong in a conventional sense. It’s certainly incomplete. And no matter how accurate it may seem, what it is meant to point to is different by nature from any thought.

The fullness and richness of who and what we are is far beyond any identity and all identities. What we are aware of or can name is a drop in the ocean of who and what we are.

We are also less than any identity since any identity comes from the addition layer of thoughts. It comes from an overlay of thoughts. It’s extra.

The more we explore this for ourselves and take in what we find, the more we tend to hold any identity we have – applied to ourselves or others or anything – more lightly. They are already questions, and we get to recognize them as questions and not anything final or complete.

Read More

Center of gravity shifts into Big Mind & fear comes up


I talked with someone whose center of gravity spontaneously shifted into Big Mind yesterday, and she noticed how something in her human self was terrified of it.

Both are natural and the fear is not so unusual in a certain phase of the process.

How can we best relate to this fear?

Notice that it’s just a part of our human self that’s afraid of it. It’s not all of us and it’s something we can relate to more intentionally.

Notice that this fearful part of us already is what it’s afraid of. It is Big Mind. It is what we are. It’s afraid of its own nature, and there is a sweet innocence in that.

Listen to what this fearful part of us has to say. What is it afraid of? What is its story? What happens when we believe this? What’s more true?

Notice the sensation aspect of the fear. Notice the body sensations. Allow them to be as they are. Rest with them. Set aside any thoughts for a little while.

Identify and examine any beliefs (as mentioned above) and emotional issues behind this fear. Use whatever approach works for you.

Dialog with this fearful part and Big Mind, and perhaps even allow the two to dialog together.

Find more structured and intentional ways to shift into and explore Big Mind. This can give a sense of predictability and control – in a limited but important sense, and it can help us explore the terrain in a way that feels more safe.

For examining beliefs, I often use The Work of Byron Katie. For exploring emotional issues, Living Inquiries and Vortex Healing are both great. For dialog, Voice Dialog or the Big Mind process works well. And for shifting into Big Mind in a more intentional way, Headless experiments and the Big Mind process are both relatively simple and often effective.

Read More

No buttons pushed in a monastic setting?


In an online Vortex Healing class yesterday, the teacher mentioned that monastic living does not trigger us as much as secular life. Someone else called it a pristine setting.

I have heard this from others and always wonder: where did you experience this type of monastic living? (Probably nowhere!)

In my experience, monastic living trigger us as much as any a regular secular life. We live with the same people 24/7 and can’t so easily escape. People are as annoying in a monastic setting as any other. We bring with us our own issues. And spiritual practice in general tends to bring up whatever is unprocessed in us.

Even solitary life brings up a lot of issues as I notice when I am on my own at the cabin. I cannot escape myself so easily.

Whether we live in a monastic, secular, or solitary setting, we bring with us our own issues and these bubble up no matter what.

So the notion of monastic living somehow being pristine or peaceful or free of triggers is misguided and, most likely, perpetuated by people who have never experienced it. If monastic living was like their fantasy, it would be far more popular!

The difference between a monastic and secular setting is that the monastic setting is (ideally) designed to encourage spiritual practice. The difference is not in what or how much is triggered in us and comes to the surface.

The Dark Night of the Soul and influx of light


There are many types of dark nights. One is where the awakening process brings up what in us is still stuck in separation consciousness so this can heal, be more aligned with reality, and wake up. It’s an essential part of the awakening and embodiment process.

During this phase, we can feel overwhelmed, confused, and swamped by all that’s surfacing. To us, it usually feels very dark and it may be difficult to imagine it will ever end.

In the Dark Night of the Soul chapter from Evelyn Underhill’s Mysticism, she suggests through quotes what’s actually happening: there is a large influx of light into our system, this pushes the metaphorical darkness in us to the surface, and that’s what naturally catches our attention.

In this situation, it can be difficult or impossible to notice or be aware of the light in our system. The lack of comfort is almost an inbuilt part of the process.

In my case, since I can see energies, I did notice a clear and strong light around my body even during the darkest parts of this process, and I have seen the same in others. Still, that was a meager comfort at the time.

What we look at looks back at us


I experienced that what I looked at looked back at me.

I have heard this from a few people on the awakening path.

Most likely, it’s a middle stage between identifying as a separate being in a world of objects and all of it waking up to itself as consciousness.

Somewhere in that middle ground, we look at something, and experience that it’s looking back at us. We intuit consciousness over there, even in inanimate objects.

In reality, we are consciousness and the world as it appears to us happens within and as this consciousness. What we look at is consciousness, and if we don’t notice this clearly but intuit or sense it, it may seem as if the object is conscious and looking back at us.

I don’t think this is an inevitable phase in the awakening process, but it seems it may happen if the awakening is more gradual and happens over time. I imagine it’s intriguing and can be one of the carrots on the path.

God is primary


As Ken Wilber points out, it’s helpful for us to be able to shift between zero-, first-, second-, and third-person relationships with the divine. (I think I probably added the zero one since it acknowledges no-self more explicitly.)

When we pray or open to the divine in a second person relationship, we can do it through aspects of the divine or intermediaries – avatars, Buddha aspects, saints, angels and so on, or we can connect with God as a whole. These two approaches complement each other and give us a taste of different flavors of the divine.

God – Brahman, Big Mind, Oneness, Spirit – is primary, and all the other ones secondary. They may be entry points to the divine, but God as a whole is always the context and source. For me, it’s important to have my relationship with God as the primary and the other ones secondary.

There are several reasons for this. It reflects reality. It helps me connect with my own wholeness and what I am. In my experience, it brings in the aspects and intermediaries anyway. To put it simply, the one to trust in is God.

And I have personal reasons as well. In the initial awakening, it was the divine that woke up to itself as everything without exception. Everything was revealed as God. It was a kind of cosmic awakening. So it’s natural for me to primarily relate to God as a whole, and I notice it does myself good as well since it helps me to connect with what I am, Big Mind.

The seed of this article was a Vortex Healing teacher (RW) talking about how he prefers relationships with the aspects of the divine over a relationship to God as a whole. Perhaps it’s because his conscious connection with the divine first was through gurus and avatars? For me, it’s the reverse. Both are equally valid and different flavors of how the divine explores and experiences itself.

Dream: Taming a tiger


I am supposed to tame a huge tiger roaming around in the corridors of a hotel. It’s being filmed for a TV show and I am one in a series of people tasked to tame it. When I see the regular hotel guests going about their business and not worrying about the tiger, I start to wonder if it’s not as dangerous as I initially thought.

I have had several strong dreams over the last few days, perhaps because I have been in Vortex Healing classes, although I only remember fragments.

In this dream, I am supposed to tame and capture a huge tiger roaming around in a hotel, and then realize the guests are not worried about it so perhaps I also don’t need to worry too much. The tiger may represent something primal, vital, and powerful in me, which I am scared of and then realize I don’t need to be.


Later in the day, my partner sent me this without realizing it was connected to my dream:

The beast is instinct. Nothing more than that. To let the beast act is to let instinct work. What relationship do you have with your instinct, how do you relate to your instinct, what does your instinct ask of you? Our instinct is Divinity itself.

In the dream, the tiger represents my animal side and instinct, and it showed me that there is nothing to fear there. It’s powerful, beautiful, and easily co-exists with people.

One of the last dream images is of a small woman needing to enter a door, the tiger was inadvertently blocking the door, so she unceremoniously pushed it away and went through the door. She was obviously not concerned, so why should I?

I was much more connected with my instinct in my late teens and early twenties, and when I got married there was less place for it. I abandoned it, which was traumatic for me. And now, it’s time to connect more wholeheartedly with it again.

Iceberg of thought


Most of us are aware of our conscious verbal self-talk. Many of us are also aware that we have other thoughts and assumptions that are less conscious, and for the most part, we only have a rough idea of what they are. For instance, we may have been in a situation that showed us that our assumptions about someone or something was wrong, and we were initially not even aware of having and operating from those assumptions.

The iceberg analogy works well for thoughts. We are aware of our conscious self-talk, which is the tip of the iceberg. And we also have and operate from a large number of other thoughts that influence – and to a large extent determine – how we experience life and what choices we make.

They form our most basic assumptions about ourselves, others, and life. They color our perceptions and choices. And they color our life as a whole.

Knowing this, it makes sense to explore and make some of these conscious, especially if they don’t serve our life as we would like it to be.

What does this iceberg look like?

As mentioned above, the tip of the iceberg is our conscious self-talk.

The part of the iceberg that’s under the metaphorical water consist of verbal self-talk and visualizations, words and images.

Some of these are about more peripheral things in our daily life and the world.

And some make up our most basic assumptions – about ourselves, others, the world, and life in general.

What are some examples of the below-the-water thoughts?

The particular combination of thoughts are individual. But there are more universal themes – especially for people within the same culture and subcultures.

I have images and stories about specific people in my life. She is my partner and have these qualities and relationships with me. This is my father and he is a certain way. And so on.

I have images and stories about countries and groups of people – including cultural and political groups. My images and stories determine what I think about them, how I see myself in relation to them, and who I like and don’t like so much.

I have images and stories about who and how I am. I have these qualities, roles, and identities, and not so much these others ones. I like these and don’t like those, and wish I had more of these.

I have images and stories about situations, how I am in relation to them, and what they mean about me and for me. One I am exploring right now is noise (the closest neighbor building is going to be torn down and rebuilt), and I see stories in me about being a victim, not being in control, and somehow being damaged by noise. Behind these are some early childhood memories.

Then we have our most basic assumptions about ourselves, others, and the world. These are, at least in my experience, mostly in the form of images, although it’s usually easy enough to set words to and elaborate on these images.

For instance, I find I have images of time – in the form of a timeline separated into present, future, and past. And I fit specific images (aka memories, scenarios) into each of these categories. I also have an image of me as a human being, a man, and so on. And of the world – the universe, planet, humanity, myself – both as separate objects (from my culture) and as a seamless whole (from my own conscious explorations).

How can we make these thoughts and assumptions more conscious?

The best way I have found is through different forms of inquiry, for instance The Work of Byron Katie and Living Inquiries which is a modern version of Buddhist inquiry.

The Work helps us be more conscious about our verbal thoughts, and – depending on the skill of the facilitator – can helps us go very deep in exploring both verbal and visual thoughts.

Living Inquiries more explicitly helps us explore both images and words, and also how they combine with sensations. We get to see how sensations lend a sense of substance, solidity, and truth to the thoughts, and how thoughts give a sense of meaning to their associated sensations.

Some additional reflections

I have seen people saying “I am not a racist” as a response to the recent focus on racism in the US and around the world. For me, this is an example of not being aware of what’s below the water. Just by living in our culture, we adopt racist thoughts – and for most of us, these are below the water. Even black people have these racist stereotypes, and probably reverse ones to compensate, just from living in this culture.

The One experiencing itself as many


Through noticing what’s here in immediacy, we can find a few things….

We may notice that the One experiences itself as many.

No-thing experiences itself as something.

Consciousness experiences itself as matter.

And sometimes….

The One experiences itself as separation.

Love as not-love.

Clarity as confusion.

It can help to use a more structured form of inquiry to notice this, for instance Headless experiments, the Big Mind process, Living Inquiries, or The Work of Byron Katie.

This is all what we can notice for ourselves here and now.


And we can also see it in the universe as a whole. We can make it into a cosmology. (After all, any cosmology mirror us here and now.)

Existence is oneness experiencing itself as many. No-thing as something. Consciousness as matter.

And sometimes – locally and through us and other beings – oneness experiencing itself as separation, love as not-love, clarity as confusion.


There is easily one or several books worth of material here if we want to go into more detail. I’ll just say a few words.

I find that I am capacity for the world as it appears to me – including this human self and any me or I or observer or doer. That’s the oneness. It all happens within and as what the mind may label consciousness. Within this oneness is immense diversity. The world is many. (It’s an overlay of thought that divides the world up in this way, and it’s a very useful function of thought.)

I find that no-thing experiences itself as something. What I am is no-thing full of the world as it appears to me. No-thing full of somethings. (Again, the somethings are separated from each other through an overlay of thought.)

Similarly, consciousness experiences itself as matter. What I am – and I assume what you are to yourself – can be labeled consciousness. The world as it appears to me happens within and as consciousness. And when thoughts label some things in the world matter, and sensations come in to lend a sense of substance to those thoughts, then consciousness experiences itself as matter.

Also, when these dividing lines created by thoughts – often in the form of mental images – are held as true, there is an experience of separation. So the One experiences itself as separate, as an I here and others out there.

When thoughts are held as true, the mind can tell itself that this human has been wronged, is a victim, and so on. And then love – which is another word for oneness – experiences itself as not-love.

And when the mind takes thoughts as true, clarity – which is yet another word for oneness – can experience itself as confusion.


We can all (?) find this for ourselves, and structured forms of noticing – AKA inquiry – can help here.

Headless experiments can help us find ourselves as capacity for the world as it appears to us – including anything connected with this human self and any I or me or observer or doer.

The Big Mind process can help us find ourselves as Big Mind (AKA capacity full of the world), Big Heart, and a variety of other aspects of what and who we are.

Living Inquiry – which is based on traditional Buddhist inquiry – can help us explore in detail how thoughts (words and mental images) combine with sensations to create our experience. Specifically, it’s helpful to notice how the mind associates certain sensations with certain thoughts, and these thoughts lend a sense of meaning to the sensations, and the sensation give the thoughts a sense of substance, reality, and even truth.

The Work of Byron Katie is a great help in exploring thoughts we take as true, and in finding what’s more true for us in our own direct experience.

There are many other forms of inquiry out there as well, which may work as well or better for you. These are just the ones I happen to be familiar with.

Read More

Adyashanti: “Ready” means you are ready to come as close to the insane asylum as you will ever come


I remember reading Nisargadatta talking about two types of karma. Someone was asking, is it true that all the karma of a sage is burnt up? Nisargardatta said “There are two kinds of karma. There is the karma that’s dispelled with spiritual insight, and is dispelled by awakening and spiritual maturity. There is the other kind of karma that’s not dispelled and you have to live it out and reap the benefits or detriments thereof.”

That was the end of the conversation. That sounds clean until it comes to your life. Living through pieces of your karma is not as clean as it may sound. Often, people will have it at some point after their shift, especially when it seems that life is pretty easy, when there is not a whole lot of inner disturbance.

About that time, strangely enough, is often when a huge chunk of subterranean conditioning breaks off and raises into your conscious level. It’s almost like, “OK, now you have enough light, now you have enough stability, now you have enough presence, now you can deal with this. We hid this from you because it would have completely put you under water before, but now you are ready for it.” But “ready for it” doesn’t mean it’s purified and transformed and let go.

“Ready” means you are ready to come as close to the insane asylum as you will ever come as this piece of darkness comes through your system. You can now be tormented in a way that you never imagined you could withstand.

– Adyashanti

I am not sure what Nisargaradatta referred to when he spoke about the two types of karma. At first, it sounds like the first is the karma of conditioning, and the second is the – to us – more mysterious karma of events.

Adya seems to understand this in a slightly different way.

I wonder if what he means is that some conditioning and issues are seen through and resolve relatively easily as part of the awakening process. They fall away almost without us noticing.

With other conditioning, it’s not so easily. This is the one we, to some extent, have to live out. This may be deeper emotional issues, trauma, and conditioning that needs to come to the surface to be seen, felt, loved, recognized as the divine, and so on. It be a far more tumultuous, confusing, overwhelming, and painful process.

I see them more as parts of the same spectrum than two different things.

In our healing and awakening journey, things in us needs to come up to be met, seen, felt, loved, and recognized as who and what we are. Sometimes, this is relatively easy and even enjoyable. Other times, it can be extreme and beyond anything we thought we would ever experience.

And as Adya suggests, the more extreme version of this seems to often follow a deepening in the awakening. A more open heart and mind means it’s also more open to all the things in us that has been exiled. It’s open to what it previously was closed to.

When that surfaces, it can feel overwhelming and terrifying and it can seem as if it will never end and there is no light on the other side of the tunnel.

This is one of the dark nights we can go through on a healing and awakening journey. I have come to think of it as a dark night of trauma, a period of processing deep individual, ancestral, cultural, and universal trauma.

It’s a necessary part of the healing and awakening process. It clears out parts of us still operating from separation consciousness so they can operate more from reality and oneness.

And it’s a part of the process I have been intimately familiar with over the last several years. It’s been far more challenging than anything I thought I would ever experience. It’s deeply humbling, in a good – and often painful – way. It’s a deeply human process. Since the parts of us surfacing live within separation consciousness and are, in a sense, insane, it can feel like we are going insane.

And, in the bigger picture, it’s an amazing blessing.

Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things XVII


This is one in a series of posts with brief notes on healing, awakening, and personal things. These are more spontaneous and less comprehensive than the regular articles. Some may be a little rantish. And some may be made into a regular article in time.


When we normalize belief, we normalize leaving reality. We normalize saying that my opinion is as valid as yours, even if I know next to nothing about something and you are a scientist who have devoted your life to studying it.

We in the western world live in a Christian culture, and this is a culture where belief and faith is normalized.

In Christianity, we are asked to believe what someone tells us without having the ability to check it for ourselves. We are asked to take things on faith. And this belief and faith is praised and encouraged.

From there, it’s a small step to do the same in other areas of life.

A clear sign of this is that it’s common to use the word belief outside of religion, even when the topic is clearly something that belongs to science and not opinion or belief, or it belongs to expert advice and not opinions of random non-experts.

For instance, someone asked me do you believe in climate change? It’s not a matter of belief. It’s a matter of science, and just about all climate scientists – people who have devoted their lives to study it – agree on. It’s happening and it’s created by human fossil fuel consumption.

Another example is the question do you believe in UFOs? It’s phrased as if it’s a matter of belief, as if our belief somehow is important or relevant. In reality, UFOs are a question for science – or experience – and what we personally think or hope or fear or imagine is irrelevant. (Unless we take a psychological and sociological perspective, in which case it’s an interesting question.)

Would we see this era of conspiracy theories and fake news if Christianity hadn’t taught us to abandon rational thinking and instead believe? I am not sure. I can’t help wondering if it plays a role.

Read More

Werner Heisenberg: Only a few know, how much one must know to know how little one knows


Only a few know, how much one must know to know how little one knows.

– Werner Heisenberg (1901 – 1976)

In one sense, we don’t need to know much to know how little we know.

We just need to know that our thoughts are questions about the world, educated guesses at most. They are practical tools to help us orient and navigate in the world. Their role is not to give us any final or absolute answers to anything.

And yet, to know that, we often need to wade through a great deal of worldly knowledge. We need to know a lot about different things and see that what we know is a tiny drop in the ocean of all there is to know, and also that what we think we know often isn’t as certain or valid as we thought. Even our most basic assumptions are up for question.

At a social level, this is especially clear when we learn about the history of thought, science, and worldviews, and we see how different it is across cultures and how much all of it changes over time. What we take as a given today – about specifics and our worldview as a whole – will be seen as obsolete by future generations.

There is a shortcut to realizing how litte we know, and that is to examine our thoughts more directly. We can see how our mental “field” creates an overlay of images on the world and makes up what we think we know about ourselves, others, and the world. It’s all created in our own mind. None of it is “out there” inherent in anything. It’s all just questions about the world. None of it contains any final or absolute truth.

If we rely on knowing things to feel safe or loved or good about ourselves, then this can seem distressing. But, in reality, this realization and noticing is immensely freeing.

We get to see thoughts more as they are, and we get to see their role and function and what they can do – which is to provide some provisional and practical orientation and guidance, and what they cannot do – which is to provide any truths or final answers.

That goes for what we collective think we know and understand about the world. It applies to our personal lives and what we think we know about others, situations, and ourselves. And it applies to our most basic assumptions about existence.

John Fire Lame Deer: A medicine man should not be a saint


I am no wino but I am no saint either. A medicine man should not be a saint. He should experience and feel all the ups and downs, the despair and joy, the magic and the reality, the courage and the fear. He should be able to sink as low as a bug, or soar as high as an eagle. Unless he can experience both, he is no good as a medicine man.

You cannot be so stuck up, so inhuman that you want to be pure, your soul wrapped up in a plastic bag, all the time. You have to be God and the devil, both of them.

Being a good medicine man means being right in the midst of the turmoil, not shielding yourself from it. It means experiencing life in all its phases. It means not being afraid of cutting up and playing the fool now and then. That is sacred too.

– John Fire Lame Deer

Alison Luterman: I confess


I confess

I stalked her
in the grocery store: her crown
of snowy braids held in place by a great silver clip,
her erect bearing, radiating tenderness, watching
the way she placed yogurt and avocados in her basket,
beaming peace like the North Star.

I wanted to ask, “What aisle did you find
your serenity in, do you know
how to be married for fifty years or how to live alone,
excuse me for interrupting, but you seem to possess
some knowledge that makes the earth burn and turn on its axis—”

But we don’t request such things from strangers
nowadays. So I said, “I love your hair.”

– Alison Luterman

Mia Werger: When our fight for the future is finally over, our communities will still be here – it will be a beautiful place to start


The world may be crumbling, but I am part of a generation—a community—that gets to tackle that problem. We get to take what we’ve been given, and design it in a completely new way. When our fight for the future is finally over, our communities will still be here. It will be a beautiful place to start.

– Mia Werger in How the Climate Change Generation Is Redefining Community in Yes! Magazine

My vision is of a world where we have passer through our current ecological-social bottleneck, and where our communities are stronger for it, at least in some regions of the world.

Giving my inner demons what they want, what they really really want


I assume most of us, or all of us (?), have our inner demons, so the question is…

How do we relate to our inner demons?

Do we distract ourselves from them? Do we pretend they are not there and allow ourselves to be influenced by them without much conscious awareness of what’s going on? Do we try to fix them or get rid of them? Do we try to transcend them?

Or do we meet them, get to know them, listen to them, and see how we can create a mutually beneficial relationship?

What does the monster wants from us?

What I find is that they want what we all want, whether we are a monster or not and whether we are a child or adult.

We want attention, respect, understanding, love, and sometimes limits to our behavior.

What are some examples of inner demons?

It can be an emotion or state like anger or depression. It can be a compulsion or addiction. It can be some other distressing or undesired behavior pattern. It can be a distressing identity or belief about ourselves. It can be trauma.

Anything about us that’s there and we struggle with or don’t like is, in a sense, an inner demon.

Very broadly, we can say that any emotional issue is a kind of inner demon, as is any (stressful, as they all eventually are) belief about ourselves, others, a situation, or the world.

How does it look when we befriend an inner demon?

It can be scary, confusing, and a struggle at first, so it helps to have someone guide us through the process. Someone who has experience, skills and good tools, patience, kindness, gentle firmness, and heart.

And it can be immensely rewarding. Not only does it mean we are more free from the struggle with our demons and the way our demons impact our life. Finding a new relationship with them can be very enriching and supportive in our life.

The demons may turn out to be something quite different – and essentially more innocent and lovable – than we initially thought.

In some cases, we may find that a new partnership with them allows their qualities and abilities to be used in a constructive and enriching way in our daily life.

Befriending our demons often gives us more grounding, sense of wholeness, and realness, and we find new sides of ourselves we can draw on when the situation calls for it.

How do we befriend our demons?

There are many approaches and we each have to find the one(s) that work for us. I’ll mention the ones I happen to be familiar with and find especially useful.

emergency tools –

If I feel overwhelmed or uncertain about how to meet the demon, some emergency tools can help.

For instance, I can bring attention to my sensory experiences in general (hands, feet, smell, sight), or specifically to the sensations coming up with my inner demon. This brings attention out of the (scary) thoughts about it, and it helps me ground and have a little more space.

I can also move my body. Jump up and down. Splash my face in cold water.

In general, I can do whatever helps that doesn’t hurt.

getting to know the demon in the moment

When a demon comes up, I can notice the sensations and thoughts (images, words) coming up with it – that makes it up or reacts to it. I can notice, allow, and see it’s already allowed (by mind, life).

I can use some pointers and reminders to help me notice, allow, be with, and get to know and perhaps even befriending it.

I can say: You are welcome here. Stay as long as you want.

Thank you for protecting me. I love you.

I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you. (Ho’o.)

I can ask it a few simple questions and listen to what it has to say.

What do you want me to know?

What would you like from me?

How can I support you?

getting to know the demon more in-depth

I can also set aside time to come back to the demon and engage in a more thorough exploration. Whatever approach we use depends on what’s available to us, what we resonate with, and what we are drawn to use for that particular demon.

In my case, it can be dialog (Big Mind process, Voice Dialog etc.), inquiry (The Work, Living Inquiries), reorientation (tonglen, ho’oponopno), somatic work (TRE), and energy work (Vortex Healing).

Wendell Berry: To go in the dark


To go in the dark
with a light
is to know the light.

To know the dark,
go dark.

Go without sight,
and find that the dark,
too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet
and dark wings.

– Wendell Berry, Terrapin: Poems by Wendell Berry

This is a very beautiful poem and I wish to allow it to work on me and do its part in transforming me.

In our culture, we are used to elevate the light over the dark, physically and metaphorically. We light up our rooms from corner to corner. We light up the outside and the streets. We bring bright flashlights with us into nature.

We value knowledge over the unknown. We value knowing over not knowing. We use light as a metaphor for something good and desirable and dark as metaphor for something bad and undesirable.

What does it mean to go in the dark with a light? Physically, it can mean to bring a bright light into the dark, for instance when we are out in nature. We see things mostly as we do in the day, we lose our ability to see in the dark, we don’t see the stars as clearly, and it silences and scares away the animals that are out during the night.

In some situations, we may also miss out of realizing that we can navigate in the light of the stars and the moon, we just need to allow our eyes to adapt to the dark, pay more attention, and slow down.

If we instead go dark, we get to experience a whole different side of nature. We get to experience and know the night as it is, with its own life and animals and activities. And we may realize we don’t need to bring a light to function and navigate in the dark, we just need to adapt, pay attention, and slow down.

I am reminded of two of many memories of being in nature at night.

One of my most beautiful memories from childhood is of a Saturday when my mother was out of town, I was going to watch children’s TV in the evening, the TV broke down, and my father and I instead went into the local forest at dusk and quietly walked in the forest after dark. We listened to birds and other creatures rummaging in the forest. It was a magical experience I still remember fondly and it did something to me. At the most obvious level, it helped me appreciate nature at dark.

Another memory I have is on the same theme but different. I did a wilderness retreat in the beautiful desert in southern Utah with Kanzeon Zen Center. The moonlit landscape made it easy to get around at night at night without a flashlight and I never used one. Most people attending the retreat – including teachers – were loud, only in passing seemed to notice the amazing beauty of the starry sky and the landscape at night, and used bright lanterns and flashlights which must have ruined their night vision.

Metaphorically, going into the dark with a light can mean to meet another person, a situation, or ourselves thinking we know. We know how the other is. What the situation is. How we are. And we know what to do. We stay within what we know, unless there is grace and the situation surprises us enough to release us out of this fantasy.

To go dark means to acknowledge we don’t know, to meet the person or situation with curiosity, receptivity, and get to know what’s there as it presents itself to us. It means to slow down, listen, and learn.

This also applies to meeting metaphorically dark areas or parts of ourselves. Parts we – and perhaps our culture – don’t like. Parts we wished were not there. Parts that don’t fit how we want to see ourselves. Or parts we simply are unfamiliar with and perhaps didin’t even know were here.

If we think we know what these parts are and how we should relate to them, or mainly rely on familiar techniques and tools, we go in with a light and may miss out of something essential.

If we instead go dark, knowing we don’t know, with receptivity and listening, we may discover more of what’s there. We may discover how these parts of us experience themselves and us. What they would like and need from us. Something we don’t know and didn’t know we didn’t know. And how we can create a more fruitful and rich partnership.

We may get to know the dark more on its own terms and we may learn from it. We may also find that getting to know it in this way transforms us. We may find just the medicine we need in the dark, and it may be something entierly different from what we expected or knew from before.

Although we are mostly day creatures and the day and light – both physically and metaphorically – are important, useful and even essential, there is also value in the dark and in going dark and getting to know the dark on its own terms.

They are two sides of existence, and two faces of life and the divine.

They are both expressions of life, the divine, and who and what we are.

And while it seems that getting to know each requires a slightly different approach, what’s required is perhaps not so different. It’s slowing down, listening, receptivity, realizing we don’t know, and a willingness to discover and learn.

In that sense, the dark can teach us not only about itself, but about who and what we are and existence in other forms that just the dark.

Dream: On a stage, forgetting everything


I am on a stage with several others, and we will take turns leading a large group of people in meditation or healing or both. I have forgotten everything and I feel uncomfortable and a bit scared.

Then I realize that what I can forget is the techniques and phrases. What this is really about is what I am and what we all are, and that’s here and not forgotten. If I notice and trust that, I am OK.

All I need to do is helping others notice it for themselves.

Also, it’s OK to just be myself as I am, I don’t need to pretend or try to live up to an image. Healing and awakening is about being who and what we are – as we are.

One part of this dream interprets itself. In my daily life, and when I write or talk about these things, how would it be to rely less on memory and techniques and more on what’s alive for me here and now? Both will be here, so why not shift a bit more in the direction of relying on what comes to me and is alive for me?

It doesn’t need to look like it has in the past.

It helps to remember that healing and awakening is about noticing what’s already here. I don’t need to invent anything. I don’t need to convince anyone about anything. All I need to do is help people discover it for themselves. I serve as a reminder and pointer, and that’s all that’s needed.

Also, how is it to remind myself that it’s OK for me to be as I am. I don’t need to live up to an image. Sometimes, I stop myself from going into certain roles because I feel I don’t have the charisma or official credentials or whatever else I imagine is required. But it’s not that way. Who we are, in addition to some experience and empathy and intellectual honesty, is often sufficient.

Another thing was clear to me in the dream. I felt I didn’t have much to contribute and didn’t feel comfortable up in a stage telling people what to do. Apart from working on this as an issue and identity, there is a similar solution.

When I remind myself that all I can do is help people notice what’s already here, and what they already are, it’s simpler. I am not telling people anything they need to take my word for. I am inviting them to find it for themselves.

This dream also reminds me how my dreams have changed over time. In my teens and early twenties, when I was immersed in Jung and his apporach to finding wholeness and working with dreams, I had typical Jungian and archetypal dreams. (If I had been into Freud, perhaps I would have had more Freudian dreams.)

At some point, I asked the dream-maker in me to make the message more clear and explicit in my dreams, and the dreams since have tended to be more simple, clear, and explicit.

Dialog with a dragon


I thought I would do an imaged – and very real since it all reflects me– dialog with a dragon.



Hi, I would like to speak with you.


I understand if you don’t want to meet me or talk with you. I can assure you I am here only to talk with you and hear what you have to say. I have no weapons. There are nobody else here.

What do you want?

Hi – just to get to know you and learn how you see the world. What’s your name?

It’s unpronounceable in your language.

OK. Can you say something about your experience with humans.

I am not really interested. I and my family have nothing but an endless series of awful experiences.

You feel hurt? Misunderstood?

That’s right.

What have they done to you?

What have they not done to us? They have villified us. Made us into monsters. Tortured us. Killed us. Glorified killing us.

I am very sorry. I think humans – at least in Europe – have been very scared of you and didn’t know what to do, except try to get rid of you.

I know. It’s no excuse.

I wish to have a different relationship with you. I want to understand you better.

So you can kill me? Sounds like just another way to trick us. We know your ways.

I understand you are suspicious. You have every right to be.

You are exactly right.

What would it take for you to trust me?

I would need to get to know you and see you for a very long time.

OK. I am here.


What do you represent for humans?

On one level, monstrocity, violence, danger, death.

At another level, wisdom, fearlessness, primal power.

Yes, that sounds right. Do humans fear the second list?

Yes, at least traditionally on this continent.

Why? It sounds good to me.

It’s not good if you want to have people believe your religion, obey orders, and respect the hierarchy and the power of others.

Ah, so you mean someone decided to make you into a villain?

It’s part of it. We represent exactly that which can undo obedience and hierarchy.

We represent the characteristics in humans that make people question what they are told and the social order they have inhereted.

So for those in power, it makes sense to make us into something bad.

Some of us may have pillaged some villages and burnt some knights too, which can explain some of the hostility. But we mostly don’t do that. We are content taking a goat or two now and then.

OK. Thank you for letting me know some more. It makes sense what you say. And it seems humans have some reason to fear you?

Well, some. Although fear is very different from creating us into monsters and glorifying killing us.

Yes, agree. Perhaps a healthy respect is better.

Yes, we would like that.

As a dragon and what you represent – wisdom, power, fearlessness – how can you help humans today?

These are the qualities many humans need today to have a more fulfilling life and also to do what’s right for them and what they see as right for the world.

It will help them cut through fear and going along with outdated views and opinions.

And a more personal exploration….

How does P. relate to the dragon in him?

He is cautious although also fascinated and likes me and brings me out now and then. He feels much better when he brings me out, although he’s also a bit self-conscious when it happens.

How can you help P.?

I can help him with fearlessness, power, and fearlessly and powerfully acting on wisdom when neccesary. I help him be more fierce, real, and decisive.

How does he see that?

He likes it, although he is still finding his way. He wants to do it in a kind and wise way and being considerate of others, although it’s something he just has to jump into it. And being considerate of others isn’t always the most kind thing – to himself or others.

Seems you can have a good partnership?

Yes, as his inner dragon we can have a very good partnership. That’s what I want.

I can give him very needed primal power and fearlessness. He can give me freedom to be myself and live my life. That’s much better than being shunned, hunted, and killed.

Seems that you have gifts for him?

Yes. As his inner dragon, he needs me. He can’t really function without me. And he can certainly not have a good and real life without me.

I can help him live the life he wants to live.

How can he bring you more out?

I don’t really need to be brought out. I just need to be acknoledged and he needs to tap into me in his daily life, when it’s called for.

A big part of it is for him to be real instead of always being very considerate of others. Being truly considerate is to be real, not hiding himself and how he feels, what he wants, and how he sees things. Hiding this isn’t considerate, it’s manipulation.

When he avoids me, he becomes the dark image people have of us dragons. Manipulative. Cunning. Sneaky.

When we are free, we are not like that.

Thank you, dragon. I enjoyed getting to know you a little more.

Thank you. It wasn’t too bad. Now let’s see if you can put your words into action and stay respectful of me and what I represent, and if P. can bring me more into his daily life.

Reflections on society, politics and nature XXIX


This is one in a series of posts with brief notes on society, politics, and nature. I sometimes include short personal notes as well. Click “read more” to see all the entries.


In the beginning of the pandemic, the Norwegian government decided to not recommend face masks to reduce the spread of the virus.

If they had said we don’t have enough high-grade masks for everyone, and they are needed for people in the health profession, that would have made somewhat sense. (Although even lower grade masks lower the viral load, which is important.)

If they had said there isn’t enough research to show their effectiveness, that would also have made sense if it was true, but it wasn’t and isn’t. Masks either protect against infection or reduce the viral load, and that reduction can make the difference between a severe infection or a moderate or mild infection.

Instead, they said they won’t recommend it because people won’t know how to use masks properly. Even on the surface, this seems a deeply idiotic flawed reason.

Let’s see how this looks if we apply that argument to other things in life. For instance, does it mean we shouldn’t take medicines since we can risk taking them wrong? Or that people shouldn’t drive cars because they may not operate them properly? Or that people shouldn’t use electricity since they may stick knitting needles in the electric outlet?

In all other areas of life, we use a simple solution: education. We educate people in how to do certain things. So why not do the same with mask wearing? People have learned all the other things, so why not also something as relatively simple as wearing a face mask?

I suspect the real reason was lack of preparedness and lack of high-grade face masks for health professionals. And instead of admitting their lack of preparedness, they instead gave a flawed reason. In some ways, I secretly admire people who are willing to look stupid in public, but in this case, it also puts people at unnecessary risk, and especially those already vulnerable.

At the very least, they could have recommended face masks for certain groups of people, for instance those at high risk if they should get infected, and those who – for whatever reason – are in contact with a lot of people.


What do liberals fear? And is it different from what conservatives fear?

It seems that traditional conservatives often fear too much change. They want to keep things mostly as they are because its familiar. Change requires adjustment and it comes with unintentional and unforeseen consequences. It’s good to be a bit conservative in this way.

Another thing conservatives often fear is to lose their privelege. They don’t want others to have a bite of the cake life happened to give them.

What do liberals fear? The essence may be a fear that some people and groups are seen as out-groups and their needs are not being taken care of. For this reason, they may fear bigotry, racism, intolerance, poverty, lack of education and universal healthcare, destruction of ecosystems, loss of species, and loss of opportunities for a good life for future generations.

Another difference is that conservatives tend to take care of “their” group and think others should do the same, and liberals tend to wish to take care of everyone – often including nonhumans and future generations.

Of course, it’s not always that simple. Sometimes, conservatives see all of life as their in-group, and liberals can have their own out-groups. And there are different types of conservatives and liberals. But for traditional conservatives and liberals, there may be some general truth to this.

I have my own bias which I am sure colors how I see this, but I also see the value in both general orientations. In their sane and healthy forms, they are both needed and they complement each other.

JULY 31, 2020


I know this is a sensitive subject and I am not the right person to talk about it when it comes to other groups, but the general topic is worth addressing.

One of the effects of colonialism – apart from slavery, extraction of resources, oppression and so on – is that the oppressed took on the religion and often general worldview of the oppressor.

We see this clearly in Africa where most now are Christians, and African-Americans in North-America who also have embraced Christianity.

Historically, it makes sense. They initially took on Christianity to survive, and then their descendants took it on because it had become normal to them. And I don’t question the sincerity of their faith today.

Still, perhaps this is something to look at. Although it was a very different situation, my ancestors took on Christianity because it was more or less forced on them, sometimes even violently. So is that a reason for me to take on Christianity?

Why should I, just because it’s part of my culture and my ancestors at some point were converted, often in very questionable circumstances?

When I decided in elementary school to call myself an atheist, this was one of the reasons. Why should I take on the religion in the culture I happened to be born into? It didn’t make sense to me.

It doesn’t make sense to assume that the religion I happened to be born into should happen to be the one right one, or even the one that was the best fit for me, or the one that would make the most sense to me.

I know there are many reasons for people to take on the religion of their community. For us, as social animals, it’s often genuinely more important to fit in and belong than examining and questioning religions more throughly. It’s natural and understandable. And yet, it’s good to be honest about it.

Click READ MORE for more brief articles on society and politics.

Read More

A dialog with Lila – the dance of existence


This playfulness in inherent in you as a human being, just as it’s inherent in all life and all existence. Without me, without this playfulness, nothing would exist and certinaly nothing would evolve. I am how the universe evolved into solar systems, planets, living planets, and you and everyone and everything you know.

– from this dialog

This is one of a series of – imagined and yet real – dialogs with aspects of who and what I am. In this case, Lila – the play or dance of existence.

Hi – it’s good to talk with you!

Likewise. It’s good to talk with someone who sees me and even appreciates me.

You mean most people or beings don’t?

Yes, people like me when I appear in the way they – as a human being with ideas and conditioning – want. And they don’t like me so much when I appear in the ways they don’t like. Also, they tend to recognize me as the dance or play of life only when they themselves are in a playful mood. They don’t recognize the play or dance so much when they are in other moods. Then, they often see me more as a challenge, inconvenience, or problem. Which is fine, but it’s good when I am recognized as dance or play.

What about P., the one writing this and asking these questions, does he recognize you?

Yes and no. He does when he does, when we notices all as happening within and as consciousness and what he is. When he steps back a bit and notices the bigger picture. And he doesn’t so much when he gets caught in something smaller, when his own stressful beliefs and emotion issues are triggered and he gets caugth in it.

It doesn’t matter to me since I am always Lila and who he is and what he experiences is me too. But it does matter to his life, and when the storm passes he does switch back to noticing me.

Most of the time, I am just a simple noticing away from him. Sometimes, I am more in the foreground. And sometimes, I go more in the background when he gets caught in things.

You already hintet at it, but can you say more about what P. and his experiences and the world as it appears to him are in relation to you?

I am all of it. It’s all Lila – it’s existence exploring and experiences itself in always new ways. It’s not really a relationship since it’s all me. It’s always me whether someone or something is noticing it or not. The noticing doesn’t matter to me, but it does matter to the one noticing when they are noticning.

How does it matter? What does it do for them to notice you?

In general it helps them appreciate the dance of life. It helps them open to finding appreciation and gratitude for life as it appears to them here and now. It helps them step back a bit from their ideas of how life should and needs to be, it gives them a bit of space to those ideas, and that gives them more freedom and room for appreciating life as it is.

It depends a bit on the noticing. The noticing can be more of an idea, and then it’s an invitation for them to notice it in their immedate experience. And it can be a more direct noticing.

How is this for P.?

He did experience me directly first, in his teens, before knowing my name or that anyone else had noticed or knew about me. So that gives him some ease in his relationship to me. He knows me intimately and not primarily from what others said or wrote, and that’s still how I am for him.

He does also notice me as an idea and sometimes he is more focused on the idea than me as I am. But he does also use this idea to shift into noticing me more directly.

Do you have any advice for him?

Yes, he sometimes uses me as a reason to sit back and not intervene in situations. He sometimes leans back into me and doesn’t take care of his life as much as he could.

For the sake of his life, he needs to be a little more engaged in his life and a little more engaged in being a good steward of his life and being more actively on his own side.

It’s not a huge shift, it’s more of a tweak. But it’s important to him to make this shift more often. He is ready to do it. And it will give him more of the life he wants and a life that can benefit him and others and life more fully.

How can people find you?

Hm, good question. I am always here. In a sense, I am all they know. They just don’t always notice or recognize me.

If they wish to find me, there are several ways and each one has to find the way that works for them.

They can find me through the Universe Story and Epic of Evolution, often first more as an idea but then in a more immediate way.

They can find me through noticing the creativity of their own mind and how it filters their experience of themselves and their world, and how this is a dance and always new.

They can find me through noticing that their experience of themselves and the world happens within and as what they are, and that this is a dance and play of consciousness.

Thank you. Is there anything else you would like to say?

Just that for you, as a human being, noticing me can make a big difference. It can help you appreciate the inherent playfulness of life, even when it’s not to your liking. It can help you open to more gratitude and appreciation for what’s here as it is. It can also help you find your own inherent playfulness.

Can you say more about this playfulness?

This playfulness in inherent in you as a human being, just as it’s inherent in all life and all existence. Without me, without this playfulness, nothing would exist and certinaly nothing would evolve. I am how the universe evolved into solar systems, planets, living planets, and you and everyone and everything you know.

Because of your culture and ideas of how you should be as adults, you sometimes lose connection with this playfulness, or you think it’s only there in some situations in your life. In reality, I am always here. I am all you know. And bringing me into your life more intentionally in more situations, and even all situations, can help you a lot.

It will immensely enrich your life. It will open you up to see new opportunities and possibilities. It will help you follow your sense of what’s right in the moment, even in what you call small and ordinary activities. It will help you do things in slightly new and different ways because it feels right and you are drawn to it.

It will help you notice the inherent playfulness of life in all the different ways life appears to you. It will help you notice the inherent playfulness in how you relate to life and in how life responds to you.

This is a small shift in noticing, and what you notice is just what’s already here. And this noticing can profoundly enrich and transform your life.

Thank you. I appreciate this conversation a lot. Thank you for being you. And thank you for being me!

And thank you for being me! Without you – and all beings and all of existence – there would be no me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am immesely grateful for you. For you as you are.

I have one more question. You do sound a lot like P.?

Yes, because he is the one doing this dialog and writing these words. I am filtered through him and his experiences and biases. And that too is part of what I am that, that too is part of lila. That’s part of the richness of existence. Any other being having this type of dialog with me will do it through their own filters and experiences and it will be unique and different. I love it!