Let us be the ancestors our descendants will thank.– Winona LaDuke
When it comes to healing and awakening, I’ll try anything and use whatever works. I have never felt bound by any tradition, and instead used whatever seems useful from each one. I know there is a great value to immerse yourself in one for a lifetime, but that has not been my path this time. And there is equal value to taking what works from wherever you can find it.
I even value the lighter new age approaches. They can be very helpful stepping stones. And calling them stepping stones is not a put-down. Everything, even the most profound, deep, and powerful approaches, are stepping stones. They allow us to take a step in the direction of healing and/or awakening. They put us in a certain direction. They open up something in us.
I was reminded of this when I told my partner about some of the early influences in my own conscious spiritual path. In my mid-to-late teens, I found great value in Shirley MacLaine’s writings (Out on a Limb), Richard Bach, and others. They opened up something in me. I saw that a different way of living was possible. They inspired me. It was just the right medicine for me at the time.
Of course, I was also – and mainly – immersed in more “serious” approaches like Christian mysticism, Taoism, Tibetan Buddhism, depth psychology (Jung), and systems views. I read a lot of C.G. Jung, Jes Bertelsen, Fritjof Capra, and anything I could find on Christian mysticism, Taoism and Tibetan Buddhism (Trungpa, Chöki Nyima etc.). And I practiced prayer, Christ meditation, tai chi and chigong, and tonglen and the basic and preliminary Tibetan Buddhist practices.
Why did I feel a need to add the previous paragraph? I could say it’s because I wanted to make the picture more complete. But more honestly, it’s because a part of me still wants to keep up a certain image. While I was mostly into “serious” and traditional mystical and spiritual practices, it wasn’t so important. But I notice that with Vortex Healing, which some may view with more suspicion (since it’s divine energy healing often done at a distance), I want to be seen as grounded, serious, and using approaches I have thoroughly tested out and know works. (Which is all true.)
I am at a royal country home or retreat. A group of family and friends are there, and the British queen comes by. We are waiting for a Tibetan man, and he arrives after having been on a long journey abroad. He continues on his journey almost immediately, and there is a choice for me to come with him or not. I run after him, and when I catch up with him, he sits down and says thank God you decided to come, I had to kill four [?] people in order to get here. He shows me the bloody remains of two he had to kill. He is going on the final leg of a journey to find something that will change everything. Something that will transform my life and give deep healing, awakening, and embodiment.
This is similar to the dream I had earlier this morning. I am going with a Tibetan to find something, a kind of treasure that will change everything. I sense or know it will bring a profound transformation, healing, and awakening. A lot of sacrifices would have been in vain unless I decided to come with him on the last leg of the journey.
The place we are in is a smaller and quite old home or retreat for the royal family, somewhere in the countryside in the UK. The Tibetan is someone who knows esoteric secrets and is also a man of action. He had to kill four (or a similar number) of people to finish the journey up until coming to this place. I got the impression they were (like?) WW2 Nazis. Everything had the feeling of an Indiana Jones movie, or one of the older fantastic tales about Tibet (Tintin in Tibet, Lobsang Rampa).
There has been a lot of losses, challenges, and sacrifices in my life, and – in a sense – it has been “wasted” unless I use it all for healing, awakening, and transformation. (Although nothing is “wasted”.) In both dreams this morning, I am slightly outside the center of actions which reflects a pattern in me of feeling others have “got it” and not me. And in both dreams, I am at the same time engaged and doing what’s required to get the treasure.
I am one of four (?) people in a contest to win a treasure. After a while, it’s only me and a Swedish man left. He gives it all and is a good way ahead of me but fumbles at the end. We are done almost at the same time, and he gives me the win since – as he says – he doesn’t need the treasure.
I don’t know what the treasure is, but I know it is very valuable and will make me wealthy. The contest was partly physical and I was surprised I could keep up as well as I did. It consists of making good choices and then put in a lot of physical effort (mainly running through alleys and fields and moving through obstacle courses).
This dream follows a day where I worked with Vortex Healing clients with my partner. My partner – and our partnership in healing, awakening and other aspects of lives – is an amazing treasure for me. As is the awakening and healing that comes through Vortex Healing. Just as in the dream, I have put in a lot of effort and knew it could happen but didn’t quite expect it.
The dream is a reminder that this is a treasure and not something to take for granted.
When we work on deep-seated issues, there is often a fear of not only entering it but also of healing from it. This fear is a guardian of the treasure that’s there when we enter it, get to know it, and find healing for it. It’s a big part of what holds it in place.
The fear is also innocent, natural, and very understandable. It’s there to protect us. The protection is partly wise and partly a bit misguided. It’s wise since entering the issue without proper guidance can further traumatize us and make it worse. And can be a bit misguided since entering it with some guidance is what allows it to heal.
So when I work on deep-seated issues in myself or others, I often address this fear as well. If it’s strong, I may treat it as its own issue.
In a sense, this is a detour and slows down the process. In another sense, it’s what allows for a more real and deep healing of the issue. Slow is sometimes faster. What’s slow in the short run can be faster in the long run.
I often address this fear when I work with inquiry, Vortex Healing, and parts work (Big Mind process etc.).
I am organizing a potluck party with friends and colleagues. (At a university?) I realize that a woman nobody likes has her birthday that day, so I decide that the party will be a surprise birthday party for her. Most people have arrived and she is not there so I go to her office to remind her about the party. She is taking with someone about her new poetry collection which consists of angry, bitter poems about violence and abuse. She says she won’t come (most likely because she knows nobody likes her), so I tell her the secret, that the party is for her and it would be nice if she could come for at least a short while. She seems happily surprised.
I had this dream the night after I started working on an old pattern in me which comes from my mother. (It’s a nagging dynamic which sometimes is triggered when I am tired and/or stressed. I experience as an inner pressure, slight constant panic, and that nothing is right. And sometimes, I express it in my words and actions. It’s not something I am proud of, and it’s time to explore it and perhaps clear it now.) The woman in the dream is this part of me, which I invited to a surprise party in her honor. She, the one nobody likes (the other parts of me don’t like), is included and celebrated.
When I invited in healing for it last night, using Vortex Healing (Vortex Therapy, Angelic Heart, de-networking etc.), it felt like a deep welcoming of a part that has been exiled in me. The dream seems to reflect this welcoming and reminds me that it can even be a celebration.
What is evil? What does it refer to?
As usual, there are many answers – each with some value.
Personally, I don’t find the word very useful and rarely if ever use it, apart from when I explore it in inquiry or as I do here.
So with that caveat, here are some answers to the question: what is evil?
The easy answer is that nothing is inherently evil, and nothing is what we call it. Evil is in the label. The idea of evil is created from a mental overlay.
We could also say that it’s intentionally causing harm to others, whether as a byproduct of getting to another goal or for its own sake. This is tricky since we all cause harm to other living beings in our daily life – especially to non-human species, ecosystems, and future generations.
And that’s a reminder that what’s evil depends on who we are. If we are a human, then evil can be seen as what other humans do to us when they act in ways that systematically harm us. If we are a non-human or an ecosystem, we can say that the current behavior of humans is evil since it systematically harms non-human life. Animals are imprisoned and killed just so they can provide food or other products to humans, and they often suffer immensely in the process. Ecosystems are systematically damaged and destroyed so what’s extracted from them can temporarily support human activity. And if we are any being in the future – any future human or non-human being or ecosystem – then the current human behavior is evil. It’s destructive for all future generations. This means that, in a sense, we are all evil. Each of us is evil to someone. And our current human society, the way it’s organized, functions in an evil way. If we chose to use the word evil, and if we want to be honest with ourselves, we have to include this view.
And, related to “it’s all in the label”, evil – as anything else we see in ourselves or the wider world – is a projection. It’s an idea we put on something in the world. And the idea, as any other idea, is made up by our own mind by a combination of mental images, words, and sensations. We may feel that something is evil, because it’s connected to sensations in our body that makes the idea seem solid, real, and perhaps even true. And that, in turn, is happening because we have learned it from our parents, friends, subcultures, and our culture in general. (That’s probably why I don’t find the word very useful or compelling: I didn’t grow up in a culture where it was used much or was seen as meaningful.)
In a more pragmatic sense, what we conventionally label evil in humans is often their reaction to their own trauma and pain. Hurt people hurt people. When we see someone acting in a way we can call evil, it’s often because they themselves have deep wounds they don’t know how to deal with in a constructive way, so they react to their deep pain by inflicting pain on others. Or, at the very least, by not caring very much if they inflict pain on others. (This gives us some understanding and empathy for people acting in this way but doesn’t in any way condone their actions. It’s still our duty to do what we can to stop harmful actions.)
This lack of caring can also happen if we are very removed from the consequences of our actions. If most humans today can be seen as evil from the perspective of non-human species, ecosystems, and future generations, it’s not because we wish to inflict pain and suffering on these. It’s because the consequences of our actions are often far removed from us. We don’t see the consequences and don’t get immediate feedback. And it’s also because we live and operate within a social system that’s created in a world (in the 1800s) where the resources and garbage-absorption capacity of the natural world seemed infinite and is still – for the most part – considered infinite in our economic system. It’s not, in itself, evil, but the consequences can certainly be experienced and seen as evil.
How can I work with this in my own life?
I can explore my ideas of evil in this way, and through inquiry (The Work, Living Inquiries, Big Mind process etc.). I can find in myself the qualities and characteristics I see as evil, and see “out there” in the world and other people. (Even if what I find are perhaps much smaller or even just seeds and potentials.) I can put myself in the place of others – including non-human species, ecosystems, and future generations – and ask myself how they would see my behaviors, and perhaps use that as a correction. I can inform myself about the far-reaching and distant consequences of my actions and use this as a correction and guide for my own life. I can invite in healing for my own traumas and wounds so I am less likely to create and operate from ideologies aimed at protecting me from my own pain (racism, sexism, uncaring anthropocentrism, general dehumanization etc.), or lash out when my pain is triggered and harm myself and others.
Personally, I find my actions are evil from the perspective of nonhuman species, ecosystems, and future generations. It’s not intended to be evil, but I know it can easily be seen that way. After all, I operate within a system that doesn’t take the long term and distant effects of our actions much into consideration. It’s not incorporated, because it didn’t need to be when our system was developed. I also know I my actions have caused suffering for others, especially when I have not been able to be completely honest or in my own integrity because of my own pain and fears. That is something I am working on, both in terms of finding healing for my issues creating this behavior and preventing it by being honest, taking care of my own needs (some of it has happened because I didn’t), and be more in integrity.
This is very basic, as so much here, but the basics is often important.
When I pray for a shift in myself, healing for someone else or a situation, or something else, I stay with it until there is a clear shift, and then continue a bit longer so the shift can deepen and stabilize.
In other words, I “pray through” what often is an initial sense of lack of alignment, gruff, or things in me or the situation generally not aligned with a deep healing or flow.
And then I revisit it as often as feels needed.
Of course, I don’t always do this. But I do it when the situations feels especially important.
When I pray, my main intention is for the divine to work on me and align me more deeply with reality. (This may include emotional healing, an opening of the heart, a more genuine well-wisihing for myself and others, a more genuine receptivity, a softening or release of whatever I think “should” be, and so on.) If I pray for someone else or a situation, I may gently hold a specific outcome but mainly ask for whatever is best for the person or the situation to happen.
I personally find it helpful and interesting to sometimes explore my connection with aspects of the divine like angels (frequently), saints (St. Francis and others), avatars (Amma) and so on.
And yet, God is always primary. God is what I always return to, including in my prayers and my gratitude.
Whether we see God as Source, the wholeness of existence, that which allows and is all, as Mother and/or Father, or something else, God is primary.
Even if emphasizing aspects of the divine can be instructional, helpful, and interesting, and sometimes easier, I remember (through grace) that God is primary and I keep returning to God in my prayers and gratitude.
This is another very simple and basic topic, and yet it’s good to remember since the basics are important.
As I have written about before, when I was fifteen, a shift happened. I was absorbed into or as the Witness, a sense of being the witness of all content of experience whether it was what is conventionally described as “internal” (my “internal” life) or external (the rest of the world). After a year, this shifted into an awakening where all, without exception, was recognized as the divine, that this human self was an expression of and aspect of this divine, and that any sense of being a separate self was the play of the divine, one of the ways the divine temporarily and locally expressed and explored itself.
During this “witness” year, I read anything I could find about spirituality in the library, (Yes, this was just before the internet.) And I remember sitting outside during the summer, reading about the history of western esoteric spirituality (Theosophists, Rudolf Steiner etc.), and noticing a light around the leaves of the trees in front of me.
Initially, I thought it was just an optical illusion. But it grew stronger and was unmistakeable, and I also saw this light around all plants, animals (including humans), and things. And it was different depending on what it was around. Inanimate objects had a relatively simple structure in this light. Something more was going on around plants and the light seemed more alive. And it was even more complex around animals and humans and stretched farther out.
This was the beginning of seeing energies, and sensing energies in general, and also discovering that “I” was able to invite in healing – sometimes profound healing – through sensing and intention, and through divine grace.
A few years later, I met a slightly older woman in my tai chi class. We had an instant and deep connection, and it turned out we had grown up in the same little neighborhood in a small town outside of Oslo. She knew I could see energies and helped me trust more what I saw and sensed. For instance, we would sometimes sit in the train station while waiting for a train, look at the energies around a specific persona, and compare notes. And what we saw was the same. (When different people see or sense energies, it’s often generally the same although we may also pick up on slightly different aspects. For me, the degree of awareness is often emphasized.)
These days, when it’s needed, I typically sense at a distance (and it’s more developed than it was), while seeing energies in the way described above is less important. It still happens the rare times it’s helpful or needed, and I tune into it, but it’s usually more in the background and just part of my daily life.
I notice a (familiar) frustration with my body’s lack of energy. I want to do more but am unable to.
Along with this is a sense of pushing. Wanting to push through. Push so I can get things done. Push life so my health improves.
I notice this and know it comes from beliefs, identifications, and something that’s not felt and seen.
So I take a step back. Notice what’s here. Open to it. Allow it. Take time with it.
And notice a curiosity about what’s behind it. I notice fear. I open to this fear. Allow it. Notice where in my body I feel it and the sensations connected with it. Notice it happens in infinite space.
I also notice any fear of this fear, or feeling or opening to this fear, and include that in what I open to and allow. Whatever is here is included in what’s allowed and welcomed.
I notice a curiosity about this fear. It seems to be a fear of not being enough. Of being judged. Of not being able to take care of what needs to be taken care of. It’s a survival fear.
In the moment, this is enough. Connecting with, allowing, and befriending this more primal survival fear is enough. Something profound shifts. There is a sense of returning home, returning to what’s more real. It’s a relief. The initial frustration and pushing makes sense in a different way and identification with it softens and falls away.
I know I can keep exploring, and probably will at some point. I continue noticing any associated sensations, images, and labels. I can explore my first memories of feeling this frustration or pushing, and – more to the point – this primal survival fear.
I see it’s innocent. It’s very understandable and human. This primal fear is essential to most or nearly all living beings. It’s what has kept us alive for all these generations going back to very early organisms. It’s what has kept me alive. It’s a friend and it’s a big relief to actually and finally get to know it and befriend it.
Running away from it is innocent too and very natural. And it creates stress, pushing, a fighting with what’s here, and make me overlook the innocence in it and the primal fear behind it, and I miss out of seeing all this and making friends and peace with it.
Sometimes, “premonition dreams” are coincidences. We have a lot of different dreams, and we experience a lot in daily life, so sometimes a dream we remember corresponds to some experience in the days that follows.
And yet, sometimes, dreams do seem like actual premonition dreams.
For instance, years ago I lived in Madison, Wisconsin, with a dear friend who happened to be a cat. One morning, I had a very vivid dream of him dying. Most dreams, including stressful dreams, are clearly just regular dreams. It’s the mind processing something. But occasionally, a dream feels different. This one was different. It had the distinct feel of a premonition dream. So my wife (at the time) and I decided to keep him indoors to keep him safe. We did so for a week. And on the first day we let him out again he was hit by a car and died.
It was obviously sad, but he did have a full and rich life and knew he was loved. And it did show me that some dreams may be actual premonition dreams.
Current science tells us that what we perceive as matter is overwhelmingly space.
And that’s the same when we explore it in immediate experience.
What do I find when I explore my immediate experience of matter?
I find sensations, images, and labels. I cannot find “matter” as a real, solid thing, and I cannot find any object – like my body, or the cup in my hand, or the tree outside of the window – as a real, solid thing.
I also notice that these sensations, images, and labels that my mind uses to create its experience of “matter” all happen within and as consciousness. Or what we can call awake space.
So what contemporary science tells us, and what we (at least, I) find in immediacy, is similar. In science, matter is almost all space. And in immediate experience, it’s sensations, images, and labels (which, in turn, are made up of the same), and these happen within and as consciousness aka awake space (also, in my mind, made up of the same).
It doesn’t necessarily mean that much. It’s an interesting convergence. And it may point to the same underlying reality. But what science tells us changes over time, and what we find through inquiry seem to be similar across cultures and over the centuries. So although the science-spirituality parallels are interesting and in general worth exploring, it’s perhaps not necessary or so wise to use science to support the insights from inquiry or what I perceive in general or what the mystics say.
If I feel a need to use science to support spirituality (as I did in my teens when I read a lot of Fritjof Capra, David Bohm and others), it’s a reminder to explore that need and where in me it comes from. Is there a sense of lack? A fear that’s unmet and unloved?
Again, this is very basic and worth mentioning.
There are different types of projections.
One is what’s most often referred to. It’s the charged projections. It’s where I see something “out there” and not “in myself”, or the other way around. It’s the projections where I am blind to what I am seeing also being in me, or in me and also in others.
Another is what I think of as navigation projections. It’s the projections that helps me navigate in the world. It’s the overlay of images, labels, and stories my mind puts on (my experience of) the world to help me function in daily life. This is a neutral and necessary form of projection, and it forms the basis of the charged projections mentioned above.
Of course, we can say that the mind projects the fullness of its experience, whether it’s of “me” as this human being or “the world” out there. It’s all created by the mind for the mind. It’s all – as science sees it today – sensory input interpreted and put together in a certain way by the mind.
Finally, I guess we can say that the whole world is a projection of the universe or the divine. It’s something created out of nothing.
This is a quick note about something I notice with my physical health condition. I’ll mention it here since it points to a more general and universal pattern, and one I assume most of us experience in different areas of life.
Because of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), I sometimes physical crash. I exert myself and this is followed by a kind of physical collapse. My body shuts down.
When this happens, there is often fear. A primal survival fear is triggered.
When I notice this, I can open to and allow the fear. This allows the fear to be experienced and acknowledged (and even welcomed and thanked). It’s experienced as a part of me and not who or what I am, so I can mentally and emotionally stay neutral or even genuinely appreciative of my life.
And when I don’t notice, or don’t want to notice, there is a reaction to the fear. My mind identifies with the fear and the (sometimes catastrophic) stories related to the fear. I feel the crash it terrible and that it means something terrible about my life and future.
And that sometimes leads to a corresponding emotional crash and shutdown. This can take the form of a mix of irritability, hopelessness, catastrophic thinking, fears, depression, blame, judgment, and general turmoil.
So there is a physical crash, which triggers primal fear, which sometimes triggers a reaction to or identification with the fear, and this can lead to an emotional crash.
It does pass, both the physical and emotional crash. But it is much easier when I notice the primal fear, open to it, find some curiosity about it, and can allow and welcome it.
DISTANCE HEALING FOR THE SECOND CHAKRA – SVADHISTHANA
Welcome! We are going to work on deeply cleansing, energizing, and harmonizing our second chakra. The second chakra is located in the lower belly area below the navel and represents creativity, sensuality, and our relationships with others and life. For most people, the first two chakras are quite blocked and require special attention.
In this session, we will channel light, consciousness and Divine Intelligence to clear, energize and harmonize the first chakra. We will release karma knots – energetic structures carrying core emotional issues across incarnations – that are ready to go. We will channel blessings for each of you. We will use protocols from the highest levels of Vortex Healing. The divine will We will also channel energies from avatars, Christ, and the angels.
When: Sunday June 30 2019
Time: 10am San Francisco, 1pm New York and Miami, 6pm London, 7pm Oslo
Where: In the comfort of your own home (this is distance healing)
Healers: Alejandra Lobelo (highest level Vortex healer) & Per KL (high level Vortex healer)
Cost: 25 USD for a one hour session with additional distance work before and after
To sign up, contact Alejandra Lobelo at email@example.com
Continued from previous posts…. These posts are collections of brief notes on society, politics, and nature.
THE OTHER CLIMATE CRISIS DENIAL
When we talk about climate change (or climate crisis) denial, we usually mean denial of it happening or that it’s created by humans. This form of denial is not so widespread, fueled by money from the fossil fuel industry, and mostly involves misinformation and people who think they know better than scientists who have devoted their lives to understanding and studying it.
There is another climate change denial that’s as or more important. This is the denial of the seriousness of the climate crisis we are in. And, more to the point, a denial of the seriousness of the wider ecological crisis we are in.
Here are some of the views characterizing this denial:
It won’t be very serious. For decades, this was the default approach. I kept reading new stories about a 10-30cm ocean level rise when the reality always was going to be in the several meter range.
Other things are more important. Again, this is the default approach of many. Short term interest are more important. Group interests are more important. And we sometimes even assume that issues that are important – education, healthcare, infrastructure etc. – is more important. But to place this ahead of creating a truly sustainable global culture and society is the wrong priority. Currently, the ones who really seem to get it are the young climate rebels.
We have time. No, we don’t have time. We needed to make the changes yesterday, or a decade ago, or several decades ago. We can’t put it off.
It requires only a few peripheral adjustments. No, it requires profound and deep systemic changes in all social systems, including economics (how we think about economics and our framework for it), transportation, energy production and use, education, and more. It requires deep changes in how we see ourselves in relation to the world as a whole and future generations.
Others will do it. Others may take the lead, but we – each one of us – is required to participate. This is about humanity as a whole, not just some segments of us.
It’s mainly about climate change. No, it’s equally or more about shrinking natural ecosystems, loss of biodiversity, toxins in air, water and soil, lack of clean drinking water, and more.
It’s true that the denial of the climate crisis, or denying it’s created by humans, is serious and needs to be addressed. But the real climate denial is the one most of us are in. It’s the denial of the seriousness and acuteness of the issue and that it’s about a lot more than just climate change.Read More
When “I give a Vortex Healing session, I notice two different orientations I can operate from.
One is to gently use my intention to guide the process, notice what I sense and be receptive and adjust the session accordingly, notice that the divine is guiding and doing the healing, enjoy watching the process, and find gratitude for being allowed to be part of the process.
Another aspect of this is noticing that it all – the giver, the recipient, the channeling and everything else – is happening within and as the divine. The divine plays all the roles.
The other is to be caught in the “doing” of it. Whether it’s the minimal “doing” of using my intention, sensing what’s happening, and adjusting my approach based on that feedback. Or a more course “doing” of feeling “I” am responsible for the outcome, or overly question or be self-conscious about the process, or something else.
The first tends to come with a sense of flow and ease, and the second with stress and exhaustion. A gentler touch is not only much easier but it, most likely, allows me to be more of an open channel and not get in the way of the process.
As so often, this applies to other situations and life in general. It’s stressful and can be exhausting to be caught up in the “doing” and being a “doer”. And there is often a sense of ease and flow when we have a gentler touch and can step out of the driver’s seat in the mind.
How can we explore this more intentionally? One quite effective way is through inquiry, for instance the (Buddhist-informed) Living Inquiries. Here, I get to see how my mind creates its own experience of being a doer, how the charge in it is created (making it seem important to be a doer, and making it seem real), and perhaps the fears in stepping out of this role.
Other approaches I am familiar with is Breema which allows for this exploration and stepping out of (thinking that we are in) the driver’s seat. And the Big Mind process and Headless experiments which gives us a taste of what we are. And I assume it does tend to come naturally, over time through Vortex Healing and the feedback and awakening inherent in that process.
In general, any approach that allows for some awareness and exploration of this dynamic is likely helpful, as is any approach that invites in awakening – and healing of whatever in us thinks it needs to be a doer to stay safe.
How do we find healing for past relationships? This Star Trek Continues episode shows an approach that can be an important piece of the puzzle, and one I personally have found very helpful.
Captain Kirk is plagued by unresolved past relationships, and he finds resolution through revisiting the places and people (in the holodeck and in his mind) and a sincere and intimate dialog.
We may not have a holodeck to play out past relationships and situations, but we do have our mind and imagination. That’s where the past lives anyway. What I have found most helpful is to imagine and have a dialog with a healthy and awake version of the person. (Otherwise, I may just communicate with conditioning.)
For instance, I did this with some kids from my elementary and middle school. I revisited my uncomfortable experiences from that time. Imagined the most healthy and awake versions of those kids. Shared with them how I felt when they treated me as they sometimes did, how I wish they had treated me, and what I would like from them now. And they responded from a healthy and awake place, sharing their own pain, why they had behaved as they did, and their sincere well-wishing for me. I found it helpful to do this a few times, each time looking at different sides of the situation.
As a side note, I’ll mention that I just discovered Star Trek Continues (a fan-made follow-up to the original series), and find it as good and enjoyable as the original series. (And, of course, equally quirky, camp, and cheesy, and that’s part of the fun.)Read More
I have sold a large collection of Tolkien items, including several original notebooks and manuscripts. The buyer can’t believe his fortune and seems uncomfortable because he feels I sold it for a much too low price (a steal). I am content and happy on his behalf, but at the same time wonder if he may be right. Perhaps it would have been better if the exchange was more balanced.
This reminds me of two patterns in my life. One is that I often offer my time, presence, energy and services for free or a very low cost. (Which sometimes makes others uncomfortable and I lose out of a more balanced exchange.) The other is that I recently, over the last few years, have lost most of what I owned, including a large book collection (spirituality, ecopsychology, mysticism, nature etc.).
The second is, in many ways, a relief. But I do need to consider my wish for generally a more balanced and fair exchange.
The day before this dream, I read an article about Tolkien which is one of the seeds for the dream.
To me, healing, maturing and awakening is partly about discernment, differentiation, and clarifying in what particular ways something is true.
In modern spirituality, we sometimes hear people say that we create our own reality. This can be understood in slightly naive (misguided and less helpful) ways, but there is also some truth to it.
So how is it true for me?
In general, I see that my perception of anything is filtered through and created by an overlay of stories – of images and words. And most these are often not even noticed, unless we have spent some time exploring and noticing them intentionally.
Also, as what we are – that which any experience happens within and as – we can say that we “create” our world. Our experience of anything is an expression of the creativity of the mind.
And if we are so inclined, we can say that what we are is the divine, everything is the divine, and the divine creates all these experiences for itself.
There is a related question: are we creating the situations we find ourselves in?
Sometimes, because we live from our limited experience and perception, and sometimes our hangups, wounds, and identifications, that creates situations for us. We sometimes sit in the nest we built ourselves. This is the conventional and ordinary way of looking at it.
I mostly find it helpful to look for how I can use my current situation to heal, mature, and awaken.
It can be helpful to assume that life “wants” me to heal, mature, and awaken. Life sets up situations for me where I can see what’s left, with an invitation for me to invite in healing, maturing, and awakening for whatever in me needs it.
From a bigger perspective, we can say that life creates situations for itself that invites in local healing, maturing, and awakening through this part of itself that’s this human me.
I don’t know if it’s true in any absolute or final sense, but I find it a helpful guide.
I can also do another what if exercise. What if something in me created this situation? Which emotional issue, belief, or identification in me would create it? (This is similar to the – somewhat naive – assumption that we are creating our own situations, but the what-if angle gives it a lighter and more playful touch.)
How has this played out in my own life? This topic is current for me now in a few difficult situations. One is my health (CFS and Lyme) and another is a recent process with the government which took longer than I expected (the wait had some ripple effects).
Some may say (and have said) that I am creating the situations for myself. For instance, I have created the illness. When I try that assumption on, I find it creates stress in me and weird thought patterns. It feels more helpful to see the situation in a more conventional way and use a couple of what-if thought experiments to harvest the value in the situation.
I can look at the situation in a more finely grained way, and in a way that’s more real and honest to me. For instance:
Have I created the CFS and Lyme disease for myself? Not really as they are caused by a virus (EB) and Lyme. And yet, it may be that stress and some stressful beliefs and identifications in me weakened my system and created the conditions for these to move into a full-blown disease. It’s good to address this. It’s very helpful for me to strengthen my system in any way I am able, including through reducing stress and clearing up any chronic stressful beliefs and identifications in me.
The illness has brought to light many areas of myself where I resist my life as it is (other stressful beliefs and identifications), and it’s helpful for me and my quality of life to address these. I can use the illness and the situations I find myself in due to the illness to identify and invite healing for these parts of me.
I can ask myself what if I created this illness, where in me was it created from? (I find a victim identity, overwhelmed by life, and perhaps a desire to hide from life.)
Did I create the delay with the government process? No, I found myself in the same situation as others in the same process. The delay was caused by many social factors, including restructuring and priorities. And yet, here too, I can find stressful beliefs and identifications triggered in me by this situation and invite in healing for these. If life placed me in that situation so I can find deeper healing, which parts of me need healing? Which wounded parts of me were triggered? (Victim, hopelessness.) What did the situation say about me? (I am a victim.) And what if something in me created it, which wounded parts of me would that be? (A victim expecting things to take longer than expected.)
In this way, I acknowledge the validity in conventional ways of looking at life. I benefit from assuming that life is conspiring on my behalf and places me in situations so I can heal, mature, and awaken and find healing and awakening for more parts of me. And I can even benefit from the angle (held lightly as a what-if question) that something in me created it.
I feel that the way I write here is often like a nice church sermon. It stays on the surface, although where it comes from is often gritty, complex, and from a lived life. As long as it stays at the level of a nice and somewhat impersonal sermon, it’s less interesting to me and probably to others as well. So I want to bring more of the juiciness of a lived life into it. I want to make it more gritty. I want to be more vulnerable. I not only want but need to be more real. For me to continue writing, it needs to be more real. I want to bring more of myself into it.
A deep truth is a truth so deep that not only is it true but its exact opposite is also true.Niels Bohr, paraphrased
Yes, this is true (!) in my experience. Although, I find that any statement with some truth in it has reversals that also has some truth in it. It doesn’t have to be a deep statement. Words are only pointers, and we can find some validity in most statements about the world.
The question is specifically how something is true. When we identify that, we avoid assuming that all statements are somehow equally true (they are not) or true in the same way (they are not).
Gertrude Stein found late in life that she had read every great book, or nearly every one. She began to fear there was nothing left for her to read. Then a neighbor of hers in the French countryside died, and she bought his library, which contained many mediocre books. Stein discovered that she enjoyed reading bad books as much as she did masterpieces.Sparrow in My Book Life, Sun Magazine May 2019
I suspect this is a common part of maturing. It certainly has been for me (although I don’t consider myself that mature!). I was much more concerned with high and low, good and bad and so on in my teens and twenties. Now, I am happy to find enjoyment, insights, and value anywhere – whatever labels people may give it.
I am in the US, in a country store selling a variety of different things. I see some beautiful old-west revolvers and rifles and am fascinated by them. Especially one revolver is exactly the classic style and I find it beautiful with its silver metal, ivory (or polished bone?) shaft, and soft leather holster. It’s $90 and not very expensive. I have an innocent fascination with it, its beauty, and it’s all connected to my innocent childhood fascination with the old US west.
I start wondering if I should buy it but am reminded that I have to bring it back to Norway. I am not sure if I am allowed to import weapons to Norway, or if I need a permit in advance, and the taxes may be very high in any case. Also, I’ll need to take it to the police to have it registered, and they’ll probably want to interview me and ask why I would want to own a gun.
I decide to get it anyway since it’s such a good match with my innocent childhood fascination with the old west, and I go to the counter to pay for it. The man behind the counter makes me hesitate and I am reminded of the ugly gun-loving culture in some parts of the US. I also see some beautiful stickers and fridge-magnets, with very ugly (bigoted) sentiments written on them.
In the end, I decide to not get it. There are too many ugly associations with it. The reality of these guns is very far from the innocent fascination I initially had for them.
This dream reflects a topic that’s been on my mind my adult whole life, and also recently: there is sometimes a big gap between innocent fascinations and reality.
In this case, it’s the gap between my innocent childhood fascination with the old west and the ugly reality of European settlements in North America (genocide) and the equally ugly reality of the current gun culture in the US.
It also came up in a conversation where I mentioned the Thank U, Next song. I see the lyrics as wise and kind and am grateful that such a song became number one on the lists. My conversation partner was much more skeptical and focused more on the (very unhealthy) images and ideals in the video, and so on. My innocent enjoyment collided slightly with all the ugly things around it, which I had been aware of but chose to set aside or disregard.
I also see how I do this with people. An innocent fascination sometimes collides with a different reality, and I may chose to follow the innocent fascination for a while instead of fully taking in the reality.
I assume we all do this in different ways and different areas of life. It seems to be part of how the mind works, and resolving the difference between the innocent fascination and other sides of reality is part of growing up and aligning more fully with reality.
Our innocence is natural and a part of us our whole life, and we can find where it naturally belongs in our life. For instance, an innocent fascination with the world, innocent awe and wonder, innocent excitement in exploration and expression, and so on. And we can recognize when the innocent fascination is placed on specific objects (including people) in the world and needs to be balanced with a dose of reality.Read More
It’s all A mystery and THE mystery.
It’s all a mystery in a conventional sense. Anything in life is something to keep exploring. How we experience it and the stories we tell ourselves (and each other) about it keeps unfolding and changing. There is always more to explore. There are always new stories about it that makes as much or more sense. There are always new contexts (sets of stories) we can see it within that makes as much or more sense to us. In that way, everything is a mystery that keeps unfolding for us.
It’s all also THE mystery. That which cannot be named. (Although we have many names for it – life, Spirit, God, Godhead, void and so on.) We can say it’s all happening within and as consciousness, but that’s a label which makes it look like we understand it more than we do. We can say it’s all untouchable by words and thoughts. We can say it’s all happening within and as that which in itself is nothing but allows and is it all. We can find ourselves in immediacy as all of that. And yet, it’s all a mystery.
Recognizing either of these forms of mystery helps us find a little more of the receptivity, awe, curiosity, and sincerity in ourselves that’s always here.
The biggest barrier to awakening is the belief that it is something rare. When this barrier is dropped, or at least you start to tell yourself, “I really don’t know if my belief that awakening is difficult is true or not,” then everything becomes instantly available to you. Since this is all that exists, it can’t be rare and difficult unless we insist it is. The basis of all this is not theoretical, it is experiential. No one taught it to me, and no one can teach it to you.Adyashanti, Emptiness Dancing
I’ll write more about this in other posts, but wanted to make a quick note of it here.
When there is some degree of awakening here, this awakeness can be used to wake up other things, including emotional issues.
In my case, I connect with the awakeness (bring it to awareness), I connect with the lack of awakeness in the emotional issue, and I intend for the emotional issue to wake up. To wake up from its painful dream (the reason it’s an emotional issue is that it still lives in separation consciousness) and to reality (all as the divine and One).
When we wake up emotional issues in this way, it’s deeply healing, and it also helps us to live our awakeness in more areas and situations in life (embodiment). Instead of certain situations triggering the emotional issue, there is now more space to live from awakeness.
We can also wake up parts of the physical body or objects in the same way. The divine becomes more awake to itself as and through these objects.
This is the direct way to wake up issues and other things. And there are also other ways, including through a whole range of healing modalities such as Vortex Healing (after Core Veil is gone), the Big Mind process (shifting into Big Mind/Heart, holding a part of us still not awake, and invite it to wake up and align with reality), and different other forms of inquiry (Living Inquiry, The Work, headless experiments etc.)
A few additional notes:
How, more specifically, do I go about waking up issues? In my case, I notice the awakeness of all of existence – as it appears to me and as it stretches out indefinitely. (Some connect to the awakening in their spiritual heart, a little above the physical heart.) I then bring attention to the emotional issue – where I notice a physical contraction (there is a bodily contraction with every emotional issue), and I get a sense of the (stressful, separation-consciousness created) stories connected with it. Then, I intend for the issue to wake up – for the awakeness that’s already here to infuse the issue so it can wake up to itself as the divine. (And also, so “I” can recognize it more clearly as the divine, temporarily confused, temporarily pretending to believe in stressful stories, temporarily creating a “hook” for identification and so on.) And I stay with it until I notice the shift, and a bit longer so it can deepen and settle.
There can be a “general” and “global” awakening, and yet when we have emotional issues, as we all (?) do, these parts of us still remain in separation consciousness. They were formed from separation consciousness and still operate from separation consciousness. And life “wants” these to awaken, so it’s common that at some point after the general awakening, these confused and unawake parts surface so they can join in the awakening. To the extent we struggle with it and don’t know how to deal with it in a constructive way, it can be distressing and painful, and yet it’s an essential part of awakening and embodiment. And most of us learn, over time, how to better and more consciously dance this dance.
As I sometimes do, I have written this in a more ordinary language. It’s more accurate to say that it’s the divine waking itself up. The divine is (somewhat) awake to itself here, and uses that awakeness to wake up other parts of itself (emotional issues, parts of the body, objects in the world).
I should also add that the dynamic behind waking up issues is also why it can help to be in the presence of someone awake. That local awakeness helps the divine nearby (in the form of other people) to ripen and eventually wake up to itself.
And I want to add a few words about why I am writing about this now. I have naturally done this since the initial awakening in my teens, but it has sometimes taken a back seat since many people recommend and speak about other approaches to healing and embodiment. I have re-found courage to use this more direct approach since it’s used (in a slightly different form) in Vortex Healing, and since new people in my life have spoken about it and use it themselves. Another reason is that I overcooked myself a few months ago from giving myself and receiving a lot of energy healing, and I am unable to do much conventional energy healing right now (Vortex Healing). So what’s left is this more direct approach of awakening the issues. It doesn’t tax or strain my system nearly as much.
Awakening the issues can be very helpful and can create a big transformation. It doesn’t necessarily remove the issue, but it becomes lighter and has less charge, and since it’s more awake to itself as the divine it’s easier to relate to it more intentionally and in a healthier way. And any other healing or inquiry approach can be very helpful in conjunction with waking up the issue.
I assume when we wake up issues in this way, they wake up to the extent the “global” consciousness is awake. At the very least, we can wake up issues to the truth that the person is currently aware of and experiencing.
And we who embody the local eyes and ears and thoughts and feelings of the cosmos we’ve begun, at last, to wonder about our origins. Star stuff, contemplating the stars, organized collections of 10 billion-billion-billion atoms contemplating the evolution of matter, tracing that long path by which it arrived at consciousness here on the planet Earth and perhaps, throughout the cosmos.Carl Sagan, Cosmos, episode 13
When I was a child, I was strongly influenced by Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, and especially the quote above. It touched something in me. It resonated with a knowing in me.
Later, in my early twenties, I read The Overview Effect by Frank White, and that too resonated deeply with how I already experienced the world. In it, he describes how astronauts, when they see the Earth from space, often viscerally realize that the Earth is one seamless whole, fragile, with a thin layer of air supporting life. For some astronauts, and especially those who went further away from Earth, it was a deeply transformative experience.
All of us have access to it through photos, movies, and first-person accounts. And also through seeing the starry sky at night, and any time we are reminded of the Earth as one seamless whole. In my case, I had a profoundly transformative experience when I was 10 or 12 years old, in a sleeping bag under the vast starry sky on a mountain in Norway (Sølen) with an equally vast view of the landscape stretching
I see that Frank White has a new book coming out in a few weeks: The Cosma Hypothesis – Implications of the Overview Effect.
Following the pattern set in The Overview Effect, the book draws on interviews with astronauts about the ways in which spaceflight shifted their understanding of our relationship with the universe. The Cosma Hypothesis suggests that our purpose in exploring space should transcend focusing on how it will benefit humanity. We should ask how to create a symbiotic relationship with the universe giving back as much as we take, and spreading life, intelligence, and self-awareness throughout the solar system and beyond.From the Cosma Hypothesis book description.
I obviously haven’t read the book yet, but again it resonates with me.
As Carl Sagan said in the quote above, we are the local eyes, ears, thoughts, and feelings of the universe. We are the universe bringing itself into awareness. We do it in all the different ways we live our lives, individually and collectively, no matter how exciting and novel or mundane and familiar it seems to us. All beings are the local senses, thoughts, and feelings of the universe. All beings are the universe locally bringing itself into awareness.
And so it also is with space flight and space exploration. That too is the universe bringing itself into awareness. The universe exploring itself beyond this one living planet. It may even be how the universe spreads the life on this one living planet beyond this planet through colonization and terraforming. From the Earth’s perspective, we may well function as the reproductive organs of Earth.
The universe brought itself alive through this living planet and us, and it’s very natural for it to wish to explore itself beyond this one planet, and even to spread life beyond this one living planet, and to do so through us. We happen to be the social and physical organs of the Earth that are equipped to do just that, and the time for the first small steps happens to be now.Read More