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 made into a regular article in time.
ENJOYING DAILY LIFE EXPERIENCES
The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.– Friedrich Nietzshce
We don’t need to wait for bad memory. We can notice what’s actually happening.
The past and future only exist as images and other stories in our minds, often with some associations with sensations (emotions). Even the present only exists as sensory impressions and overlays of images and stories.
The more we perceive this, the more it becomes obvious that enjoying what’s here is the only thing that makes sense. It’s all we have, so why not find enjoyment in it.
“I AM NOT AFRAID TO DIE”
I heard someone say: “I am not afraid to die”.
My first thought is: How can you know?
You may not notice any fear now, likely because you don’t have the thought that your death is imminent. And how can you know there isn’t fear in you? How can you know that some situations won’t trigger fearful thoughts about dying, and with it fear?
It’s good to be humble about these things. What I am aware of in myself is only the very tip of the iceberg. Many parts of me perceive things very differently from my conscious view, the view I desire and identify with. And certain situations almost certainly can activate fear of dying.
This is the case for me as well. I don’t notice any fear of dying in me right now. And I know that parts of me likely have that fear and can be triggered by certain thoughts, which in turn can be triggered by certain situations.
HOW TO USE CHANNELED INFORMATION
I know someone who decided against taking the covid vaccine based on channeled information.
For me, this is close to insanity.
If I need medical advice, I go to medical professionals and solid research, not a channeler. (And solid research means reputable researchers, solid methodology, and replicated by others more than once.)
I also see it as profoundly irresponsible of the channeler. If they have no medical credentials, they should not give medical advice. Especially when it can have serious real-life consequences.
As a therapist, if a medical topic comes up in a therapy session, I keep my medical opinions to myself since I know I am not in any way qualified, and I encourage the client to go to a medical professional. I would see anything else as profoundly irresponsible and unethical.
That said, I have very occasionally received channeled sessions. Why? Because something may come up that I can work on in myself. I use it since it has the possibility of shedding light on something for me to work on. Not anything else.
If I were to put money on something, it is that channeled information typically isn’t channeled the way they say it is. It’s channeled from aspects of the channeler’s personality. And they may occasionally pick up real and valuable information, or hit upon something useful.
LEARNING TO LEARN
Life is a process of always learning new things.
So one of the most important things to learn is how to learn. And not just know it theoretically, but get it in our bones.
It’s OK to not know. Learning means we make mistakes and fail over and over, and that’s perfectly fine too. Learning requires us to be very honest about what we know and don’t know. The more transparent we are with ourselves and our coaches and guides, the more we are able to learn. There is always more to learn. No matter how much we know about something, it’s a drop in the ocean compared with what there is to know.
A CLASSIC: EMBRACE TO MAKE GO AWAY
Someone I know has the idea that if we find peace with an issue in ourselves, the situation we are in that triggers the issue will go away. And she’ll often say “dissolve any boundaries in you against it, and the situation will go away”.
This is an old classic in two ways.
First, is the idea that anything in our life and the world is a reflection of our own issues. Take care of your own issues and the world will change. (Our perception of the world will change, but if you want situations to change, then change them directly.)
A subset of this thinking is assuming that any illness comes from our own unresolved issues. Yes, it makes sense to find healing for any issues. And no, the connection is not always that simple.
The other is wanting to find peace with something to make it go away. Here, we start with the idea of wanting it to go away which comes from the part of us that hasn’t found peace with it. We are reinforcing the part of us that wants it to go away, and we try to find peace with an agenda besides just finding peace with it.
Neither of these makes very much sense to me.
For me, it makes more sense to… Act more directly to change a situation if that seems kind and be a good steward of my life. Find peace with what’s coming up in me and the triggering situation, just for the sake of peace. And then see what unfolds from finding peace with it, and if nothing changes asides from finding peace that’s fine too.
LIVING IN THE PRESENT WHILE KEEPING PERSPECTIVE
Living in the present obviously doesn’t mean disregarding thoughts about the future or past. We can still plan, refer to past events, and so on.
It means to notice that, to us, the past and future happen here and now. I can only find the past and future in my mental images that happen here and now. So when I am relating to these images, and use them for planning and referring to, I recognize they happen here and now.
We always “live in the present” whether we notice or not. The only difference is in the noticing.
And this means that we can notice we live in the present, and also keep a perspective. I experience something here and now, and know it will change. I know its a visitor. I know it has been and will be different.
She: I am afraid of disappointing people.
Me: Dissapoint people right away then. That’s my strategy.
This is a half-joke with some truth to it.
Of course, we can address these issues and beliefs head-on and find some resolution for it.
And we can also use some version of this strategy in daily life. We can be more transparent, and when we have less to hide there is less to be afraid of in terms of disappointing others (or ourselves).
OLD AND GRUMPY IN SPIRITUALITY
It’s more than three decades since the initial awakening shift, and just living for that long with it does something.
One thing that happens is that, through my own experience and what I have seen from others, I tend to have an educated guess about where people are in their own process. Obviously, it’s easy to recognize people who just are starting out. And it’s also relatively easy to recognize the typical early phase after an awakening shift. Similarly, maturity is relatively easy to recognize, although it seems I recognized that early on.
Each phase tends to have its own hangups and misconceptions. And I am sure that to those more mature in this than me, my hangups and misconceptions are equally obvious. (One of mine, which has more to do with personal psychology than awakening phases, is that I feel I don’t have much of value to contribute or share. I still write here but I do it anonymously and most people who know me don’t even know I am interested in these things.)
IS AWAKENING IN THE CONTEXT OF VORTEX HEALING THE SAME AS WHAT OTHERS TALK ABOUT?
Vortex Healing is a path both of awakening and healing, and the awakening is the awakening others talk about.
At the same time, there is a difference. The awakening that happens through Vortex Healing classes is more of an energetic shift that opens the metaphorical doors to notice and live from our nature. It opens the possibility, and we still need the commitment to notice, clarify, and live from it.
The embodiment doesn’t come for free.
UNSUPPORTED & UNSEEN
One of the central issues in my life is to feel unsupported and unseen. There are many reasons for this issue, and many examples from childhood and my early teenage years of situations that reinforced this issue. And there are also innumerable examples of situations since then that fits this pattern.
People don’t see me. They have obviously mistaken ideas about me. And because of this issue, my tendency is to not speak up or do anything to correct it.
This blog is an example of this issue as well. I chose to be anonymous. I do next to nothing to promote it. I possibly write in a way that doesn’t invite interaction. And I receive very little feedback or response. (The last comment is from several months back.)
As my wife said, one of the solutions to this pattern is to be open about it. To share that I have this issue, and ask for support.
THE DIVINE LOVES TO SUFFER
How can that be true?
If all is the divine – and the divine expressing, exploring, and experiencing itself in always new ways – then suffering is one of the ways the divine is exploring and experiencing itself. And looking at this world, it seems that the divine loves to suffer. The divine loves to experience itself as suffering.
Why? It’s one of the ways the divine can experience itself, so it will. The infinite wishes to experience itself as finite. Love wishes to experience itself covered up and express itself as what doesn’t look like love at all. The timeless wishes to experience itself as time. The spaceless wishes to experience itself as space.
Suffering comes with experiencing itself as separate. It has important functions. And it’s local and temporary and happens within the always-changing content of experience, so although it can feel very real and overwhelming when it happens, it’s also temporary and ephemeral.
FEBRUARY 21, 2022
BUDDHIST COMPASSION IS COLD?
The teacher in the Vortex Healing class I am currently taking presented, for some unknown reason, the difference between “western” and “Buddhist” forms of compassion. And it seemed almost entirely based on misconceptions.
To take just one example. She says that western compassion is “warm” and Buddhist compassion is “cold”.
I am not sure what she means by that. It always comes through a human being, and how it is expressed depends on the circumstances and the personality of the person. Often, it will be expressed in a personal and warm way, whether you are a westerner or Buddhist.
Of course, the love we are is – in a sense – impersonal and encompasses everyone and everything. That doesn’t mean it’s cold. And it’s that way whether our identity is as a westerner or Buddhist or anything else.
THE QUALITY OF PRACTICE
When I was immersed in drawing and painting in my teens and early twenties, I noticed something inescapable: The quality of my practice determined whether I made progress or not.
I did a lot of drawing and painting, many hours each day, and often copied the old masters to learn the craft. Sometimes, I would just float on my current skill level. Other times, I would be a bit more focused and ambitious and stretch myself just beyond my current default level. And that’s where I would make real progress.
It doesn’t mean that a minimum amount of quality practice is sufficient. We need both the hours and the quality. But it does mean that quality is required for real progress. And stretching ourselves just a bit further is often somewhat uncomfortable. It requires a little more of us. It stretches us.
And this goes for meditation, inquiry, and any form of similar types of exploration.
To make real progress, we need quality practice. We need to stretch ourselves just beyond our current comfort zone and what’s easy for us.
I ask myself: What’s my intention with this practice? Is it to just do it and put in the hours? Or is it to make real progress? If it’s the latter, I need to focus, be diligent and sincere, and stretch myself just a little beyond my current level.
STATES THAT AMPLIFY ONENESS
We can notice what we are in daily life and live from this noticing as best we can.
And sometimes, we may also go into states that amplify the oneness. That brings it to the foreground so we can’t miss it.
For instance, several years ago, following a period of sincere meditation and inquiry, there was a shift into a much stronger oneness state for about six months. One of the functions of this was to make my nature even more obvious to me. (Oneness became more obvious to itself.) This state did fade, of course, as all states do. And although it faded, the clarity of it helped me later notice my nature through the always-changing states.
OCCURRENCES THAT POINT TO THE DIVINE
We can experience many things that point to the oneness inherent in reality and the divine nature of reality.
Ironically, awakening may not be one of them. Awakening just means to recognize our more fundamental nature, and it doesn’t necessarily follow that our nature is the same as the nature of all of existence. The universe and all of existence may not be consciousness.
But there are other experiences.
In my life, I have experienced periods of frequent and amazing synchronicities. I can see energies around people, animals, plants, and objects, and when I check with others we confirm each others seeing. I use the pendulum now and then, and what I get is confirmed by others who also use a pendulum. (If we use a 1-10 scale, it’s usually within 0-1 points.) I can sense at a distance, especially health-related and emotional issues, and this is confirmed by others and the person. Others have sensed health and emotional issues in me which are accurate. I have done effective distance healing for others (including for animals where there is no possibility of placebo effect), and others for me.
To me, this all suggests the oneness inherent in all of existence, and the divine nature of all of existence.
And, as so often is the case, this is satisfactory for me since I have lived with and experienced this daily for decades. And it won’t be for others who have not experienced this for themselves. Life is set up to allow us to live in our own only partially overlapping reality bubbles.
TAKING RESPONSIBILITY WITHOUT TAKING CREDIT
There are innumerable things to navigate in an awakening process.
For instance, we may realize there is no “I” here. This life is just happening. There are innumerable causes for anything we experience and chose and do and these causes stretch back to beginning of time (if there is any beginning) and the widest extent of the universe (if there is any edge). And this life and all I experience, think, feel, and do is the local expression of the universe and existence. So how do we make practical sense of this? How do we best live from it?
For me, what makes the most sense is to realize I cannot take ultimate credit for anything. In a conventional and limited sense, I can take credit for things. Anything else would be false modesty. And ultimately, it’s all the gifts of existence. It’s all life living itself through and as me.
At the same time, I am responsible for this life, my words and actions, and how I relate to anything. Anything else would be irresponsible. Taking responsibility shifts how I relate to everything, hopefully in a slightly more mature direction.
The reverse is equally true, of course. And living from the reverse does not look very wise. It would mean taking some kind of personal credit for any gifts, insights, and so on for what’s here. And it means abandoning responsibility for my life.
This is an example of how something may be true in a limited sense, and unwise to use as guidance for our lived life.
The essence of this may be…
As what we are, we realize we cannot take credit for anything.
And as who we are, we realize that we need to take responsibility for our life and our actions.
COME WITH THE PROBLEM AND NOT THE SOLUTION
Some like to self-diagnose and ask for a particular solution when they see doctors, therapists, and so on.
To me, this is misguided. It makes far more sense to present the situation and allow the other – one with a lot more experience – to recommend a solution.
And if they seem to overlook a possible solution we know about, we can suggest it and see if it makes sense to the other.
ALL OUR GIFTS ARE THE GIFTS OF THE UNIVERSE
All of our gifts are the gifts of the universe.
Whatever we are, experience, and do is the universe forming itself into this.
Our insights are the local insights of the universe. Our skills are the local skills of the universe. Our love is the local love of the universe.
And the potential inherent in the universe in all of these areas is far greater than we know. It’s indefinite.
And, of course, this goes for anything, including all the things our personality may not like about ourselves or others.
FEBRUARY 28, 2022
THE EXPERIENCE OF CFS
How does it feel to have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? It varies over time and between people, but here is how it often is for me:
A feeling of cotton in the head.
A feeling of a combination of strong jet lag and having the flu (without the throat and chest symptoms), and a strong hangover. (I rarely drink alcohol, and only small amounts with food, so I am not so familiar with hangovers but it seems to fit.)
Rest typically doesn’t feel refreshing. I may even feel worse after waking up from sleep.
The feeling of having just climbed Mount Everest. Perhaps even the feeling of being in the death zone where the body struggles hugely even when resting.
Any activity – including talking, listening, watching – worsens the symptoms.
In short, it often feels almost impossible to think, to remember, to organize thoughts. (Executive functions). It can feel almost impossible to mobilize enough energy to do anything at all.
It is possible to mobilize for shorter periods of time, especially with a lot of extra rest in advance. And it can also cost a lot. And these shorter periods of mobilization can mislead people into thinking that we with CFS are not as sick as we are. They see us when we mobilize and in our best periods, and they don’t see us the 95-99.9% of the time when we are in bed unable to function.
There is also the adaption side to this. Learning to notice and follow the body’s signals. Learning to rest before, during, and after any activity. Shifting out of old identities and finding value in ourselves independent of our activity and what we do in the world. Finding gratitude for and pleasure in the life we have. Inviting others in our life to learn about CFS. And so on.
MARCH 1, 2022
Two nights ago, I looked out the window (no glass) and saw a bright light in the canyon moving in a zig-zag fashion diagonally up to the left. It lasted maybe a little over one second. I thought it was odd since it clearly wasn’t an airplane or helicopter, we heard nothing, and I couldn’t come up with an explanation for what it was.
Last night, my partner and I both saw the same in the same area of the canyon. Again, it moved in a zig-zag fashion diagonally up to the left, lasted a little over a second, and we couldn’t think of any explanation for it.
It was not an airplane or helicopter. It was not on the other side of the canyon since it moved way to fast for that. It could be a kind of lightning bug. I’ll ask locals if there are any here.
MARCH 3, 2022
Norway is invaded and occupied by Russia. I am unable to visit my family there.
This was more of an image and atmosphere than a dream with a storyline. And it’s pretty clear what the waking life seed for this dream is: The Russian invasion and likely occupation of Ukraine.
In the world:
Like most people, I am obviously concerned that this won’t stop with Ukraine. It’s a dangerously unstable situation that can go in many different directions, including a Russian invasion of neighboring countries (perhaps most likely Georgia) and a larger-scale war involving the EU and NATO.
Russia is not the superpower Putin likes to think it is, so it won’t have a chance in a conventional war with the EU and NATO. And even he may not be crazy enough to think it’s a good idea to invade countries that are a member of the EU and/or NATO and create an even more devastating large-scale war.
What does this invasion and occupation mirror in me?
In general, it mirrors when parts of me that I see as “other” “invade” my consciousness. They are triggered and come up and invade and disturb my peace. And they may also occupy me for a while, especially when I react to them, struggle with them, or fuel them with my conscious view and orientation.
QUESTION OUR THOUGHTS
Don’t just teach your children to read. Teach them to question what they read. Teach them to question everything.– George Carlin
I would add a couple of things here:
Teach them to question everything with some discernment and in a way that’s grounded in reality.
And teach them to question their own thoughts and what they tell them about themselves, others, and life.
Especially these days, we see a lot of people questioning anything “mainstream”, and do so in a way that’s not grounded very much in reality, and without questioning their own stories and assumptions.
OPTIMISM AND PESSIMISM
I find that neither optimism nor pessimism makes much sense to me.
Both are the mind telling itself a story about a situation or my life or the world, in order to create a certain experience for itself. Either a sad experience or a more elated experience.
The reality is that life is as it is, and it makes more sense to just relate to what’s here. Neither optimism or pessimism is required.
Of course, one or both may be necessary for a while, as a crutch, until they no longer are.
BEING EXPERIENCED IN SPIRITUALITY IS LIKE BEING EXPERIENCED IN ANYTHING
For whatever reason, some seem to put spirituality in a category different from other ways of exploring life or aspects of life. There is some truth to it, and there are also many ways it’s not true.
Like any other area of life, it’s something we can explore for ourselves, be guided in exploring, and get familiar with. We get good at a sport or profession through training, experimentation, and experience. And it’s the same with spirituality. We get familiar with it through training, experimentation, being guided, getting experience, and through exploring it with some sincerity and dedication.
The only way it’s different is that the focus is more central to who and what we are than anything else. It’s about what we most fundamentally are. And when we find that, it becomes the context for our whole life and all areas of our life. Nothing is left out.
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
It’s now more than 35 years since the initial awakening shift, and I have explored a relatively wide range of approaches to awakening, living from awakening, and healing as a human being.
So more and more, when I hear people talk about something, a part of me responds with been there, done that. I recognize it from my own history. I know it may be part of a certain phase. It’s not necessarily where I am anymore. And that’s fine. There is a beauty in it. And I don’t need to engage with it too much right now.
WHAT I FIND INTERESTING IN ASTROLOGY
Some seem to want to find some sense of security or safety through astrology.
They want to tell themselves they know something about their own particular psychological configuration through their birth chart. Or that they know something about what’s happening, will happen, or happened in the past. They want to make sense of themselves and the world through astrology.
That’s very understandable.
And yet, there is another way to use astrology that makes equal or more sense to me. And that is to use it all, without exception, as a mirror for myself here and now.
Astrology is full of archetypes and archetypal dynamics, and there is often a good deal of wisdom in their understanding certain psychological and social dynamics.
And independent on where my sun and moon and everything else is in my birth chart, and independent of the configurations right now, all of it mirrors me here and now. All of it is a mirror.
To me, that’s far more interesting, useful, and fascinating.
NOT AS BAD AS WE FEAR, NOT AS GOOD AS WE HOPE
A long time ago, I heard someone say this. Situations usually unfold to not be as bad as we fear, and not as good as we hope. That’s clearly true in most cases, and good to remember.
MARCH 6, 2022
THE PANDEMIC AND INSANTIY
We know from history that pandemics tend to fuel conspiracy theories. We have seen it across cultures and in any pandemic in history, and the types of pandemic-related conspiracy theories we see today mirror the ones we know from pandemics in the past. History repeats itself. And it does so largely because people don’t know history.
In a pandemic, many experience fear and insecurity. They try to find a way to deal with this fear and insecurity. And some do so by seeking safety in stories and finding someone to blame. Instead of embracing the inherent randomness and insecurity of life, and instead of looking at larger systemic factors, they find it easier to assume that their problems are due to the actions of a certain group of people with secret and sinister intentions.
It seems that this happened with Putin as well. Any person in power for more than a few years tends to become more authoritarian and detached from reality. And the pandemic seems to have pushed him even further in the direction of isolation, paranoia, and detachment from reality. (Apparently, he was personally paranoid about getting infected and largely isolated himself.) These two factors, among many more, may have set the stage for his decision to invade Ukraine.
And we see this generally in the world today. Many went into conspiracy theories during the pandemic. They reacted to their own fear and insecurity by going down internet rabbit holes, finding virtual echo chambers, and to some extent divorcing themselves from reality. They left a more grounded, sane, and nuanced view on the world and adopted a paranoid view based on flimsy logic and data.
Will they ever return? Some will and some won’t and I don’t know what the general pattern will be. Many of these people have isolated themselves and socialize with and get their information from subgroups that share their paranoia and stores about the world.
They are willing to question anything “mainstream”. At the same time, they may overlook that they have found their own mainstream, their own subgroup with its own culture and views. And they may not question their own stories and ideas about the world, the source of these ideas, and how well it’s founded in reality. If pressed, some even justify it with the obvious fallacy that “my opinion is as good as yours” and ignore the extent to which our views are grounded in solid logic and data.
LIFE IS NOT THE WAY WE SEE IT
This seems obvious, but it’s a good reminder.
Life is not the way we see it.
Our stories about what’s happening can be more or less accurate in a conventional sense. Meaning that others may agree with us, and it seems to fit the data.
Often, our stories about others are not very accurate, and they are always very incomplete. We always miss a lot of the background and context.
Our stories about ourselves and our life is similarly very incomplete and misses a lot of the bigger picture and how it would look in a different worldview and context.
Our stories about the world and life are very incomplete guesses. We are like an ant trying to comprehend the world. Existence is infinitely more than what we can grasp and have any accurate idea about.
Our stories change over time. The stories I tell myself about something now are not the same as they were one year ago, or ten years ago, or when I was twenty or ten years old. They won’t be the same as the stories I tell myself in one year, or ten years, or when I am eighty or ninety.
Our stories are guesses. They are more or less accurate in a conventional sense. They are provisional and up for revision. They are always very limited. And they are ultimately wrong.
Our stories are maps about the world. They help us orient and navigate in the world. That’s their function. Not to reflect any final or full or absolute truth.
Our stories are biased. They are biased by the evolution of our species and our biology. They are biased by our senses and nervous system including the brain. They are biased by our history and culture and the subcultures we are familiar with. They are biased by our personal experiences, preferences, and hangups.
Life is always more than and different from our stories, and also simpler.
If I forget that life is not the way I see it, I hold my stories as true and perceive and live as if they are true. That creates a lot of drama and struggle. (Which is necessary until it isn’t.)
If I remember, it helps me hold my stories more lightly and more as questions about the world. I am more aligned with the true function of thoughts, which is temporary guidelines to help us orient and function.
And if I remember, I can identify and examine any thoughts parts of me hold as true. These inevitably color my perception and life, they may not be aligned with my conscious view, and it’s helpful to identify and examine these and find what’s more true for me.
MARCH 8, 2022
DREAM: MERGING TWO PATTERNS INTO ONE
I see the head and torso of a man with a squareish beard. He looks half-way like a man and half-way like a sculpture. He is immense and with the sky as a backdrop. In his hands, he holds a green thread that forms a meandering pattern, as the threads that vertically in a woven fabric. My partner and I are on the ground, and we have a blue thread that forms an equivalent pattern that goes horizontal. The two patterns are to be woven together into one.
The figure reminds me of old middle-eastern gods. Although he is immense, there is a sense of meeting on equal footing. We have equivalent patterns, his green and vertical, and ours blue and horizontal. They are to be merged into one.
An easy way to see this is as a merging of the divine and human. But why this old type of sky-god? There is something ancient there, and even earthy even if he looked like a sky-god.
The more free we are from identifications, beliefs, and trying to live up to an image or identity, the more we are free to follow something deeper in us. We are more free to be and experience more of the infinite richness of life.
One expression of this for me is music. I love music in any genre as long as it resonates with me.
For instance, the three I listened to yesterday and today were Arvo Pärt, then the Supremes / Diana Ross, and now Rammstein. For me, it feels the most natural thing of all. I love all three.
At some level, I am aware that these are three different genres. And that, for whatever reason, some who like one may (pretend?) to not like the other one or two. And it’s not that way for me. For me, each is music I resonate with, enjoy listening to, and that brings me in touch with different sides of myself. And that’s the case with a long list of other music as well, from a wide range of genres.
PSYCH 101: DIFFERENTIATING WHAT PEOPLE DO AND ARE
This is another basic topic from mainstream psychology: Differentiate what people do and who they are.
Yes, our actions say something about our values, orientations, hangups, and so on.
And any one action, or any set of actions, does not define who we are. We are infinitely more than that. We are all far more rich than that. Our potential goes far beyond that. Situations play a big role in how we act. And if we acted on reactivity and hangups, that’s what we all do sometimes and in some areas of life, and it can change if we are ready for it and the circumstances are right.
We are still responsible for our actions. But any one action or even set of actions does not define us.
This is aligned with reality, and it’s also a pragmatic view since it gives ourselves and others more space to act from different parts of us and change our actions. It’s a grounded, pragmatic, and generous view.
LIFE 101: WHAT WORKS FOR YOU DOESN’T NECESSARILY WORK FOR OTHERS
When I find something that works for me, I know it’s something that seems to work for me now. It may be different in the future. And it may not be for others. They are in a different place, with different needs.
I’ll still make the information available to others if they ask for it. But I won’t pretend I know what’s best for others. I don’t. I don’t even know for certain what’s best for me. I just go by what seems to work and make the most sense here and now.
The reverse also applies. What works for someone else won’t necessarily work for me. We are in different situations. We are in different phases of life. We have different needs.
For me, this is the most peaceful approach. It seems the most aligned with reality.
And if I notice a “should” in me, directed at me or someone else, I know what to do. I know it comes from an unquestioned belief in me. I know it’s a reaction to unloved fear. So I can identify and question the belief. And I can meet, befriend, and find love for the fear. (And see that the fear comes from a wish to protect me, and comes from and is love.)
Although I don’t find this so interesting anymore, I had a slight curiosity about how an energy drawing would turn out now and if and how it would be different from past drawings. The main difference is in the eddies and curves under ground level. Perhaps it means there is a new kind of grounding happening? That does fit what I sense. Being in Latin America, and being tied to land here, gives me a different sense of grounding.
MARCH 23, 2022
Our nature can create an experience for itself of not only witnessing but also being a witness.
This is what Adya calls a basic and simple duality. What I am is a witness and I am witnessing any content of experience.
In reality, any sense of being a witness is also part of the content of experience. It’s created by a mental overlay – mental images and words – creating the appearance of a witness and then being this witness. The mind creates the idea of a witness and identifies with the apparent viewpoint of this witness.
In an awakening process, this is one of many appearances we can explore through inquiry. We can find that that any sense of being an witness, and any sense of a witness, happens within and as what we are. It comes and goes as any other content of experience. We can explore the specific mental images and words making up this sense of a witness and any physical sensations the mind associates with these mental representations. And so on. We can also find our nature as capacity for this too as it is capacity for any other content of experience.
In my case, the first awakening shift that happened when I was fifteen seems to have been a shift into identifying as a witness. I am a witness witnessing any (other) content of experience including this human self and anything associated with this human self and the wider world. The next shift, one year later, was out of this and recognizing this too as content of experience, as an appearance, as something the divine can identify as, and as the play the divine sometimes plays with itself.
MARCH 24, 2022
HOW DO WE SEE THOSE FURTHER ALONG THAN OURSELVES?
How do we see those further along than ourselves? Whether it’s awakening or something else?
We may admire and want to be more like them. We may see our own potential in them. And we may actively learn from them.
We may ignore them and what they are more skilled at. It seems irrelevant to us. (Which is fair. We may be in a very different place in our own process.)
We may feel threatened by them, their life, and their words. And instead of dealing with our issues more directly, we actively dismiss and reject the person or their words, try to put it down, or go even further in trying to suppress it.
ALWAYS A BEGINNER
In what ways am I always a beginner?
There is always further to go. What I am familiar with in any area of life, including what I write about here, is a drop in the ocean compared to what there is to explore, discover, and learn.
I always have more blind spots, wounds, beliefs, unquestioned assumptions, and hangups to discover and get to know in myself.
What’s here now is all there is. I can find the past and future, and my ideas about the present, only in my mental representations here and now. And the content of experience is always new, fresh, and different.
And there are also some ways I am not always a beginner.
Over time, I gain some experience and familiarity with certain areas of life. And, if I am lucky, perhaps even a small measure of maturity.
MAY 8, 2022
I have had some premonition dreams in my life, and they have a distinct and unmistakable quality.
One was in my teens. I had a vivid dream of me in the future, living in the Northwest of the US in an area with lush nature and in a community of like-minded people working on sustainability, holistic healing, and so on. In the dream, I saw the location on a map and when I woke up, checked with a physical map and saw it was in Oregon. At the time, I lived in Norway and had absolutely no intention of ever living in the US or even visiting the US. About fifteen years later, I found myself – through a series of events – living in Oregon in the landscape and community of the dream.
In my mid-twenties, I had another dream with a similar quality. I saw myself in the future and saw the location on a map. I lived in the north of South America and was involved in a local school. I saw the buildings, how the school was set in the landscape, and I was involved in improving the school and organizing different types of workshops and training for the children. Again, there was a community feel to the dream, although a smaller community than the other dream. And living in South America seemed very foreign to my current mindset and plans. It’s now twenty-seven years later, I recently married a woman from the north of South America, and we bought land in the Andes mountains. Next to this land is a school, and it looks exactly like the school from this dream. The main difference is that it has one building, while in the dream there were three or four. Perhaps these will be built? And independent of anything from my side, I know several people already involved in projects for this school. As I learn the language better, and after we get our house built, I won’t be surprised if I too will be involved, just like in the dream.
DREAM: SIMON & GARFUNKEL MOVE BACK TO THE EAST COAST
I am on the US west coast, and Simon & Garfunkel live there as well. I find a very good connection with them and we have good conversations. They inform me they don’t belong on the west coast, and are moving back to the East coast and New York. I tell them I know, and support them.
I am not sure what this dream is about. I do miss a sense of community and having closer connections with likeminded people.
Day residue: Watching a mini-documentary about Simon & Garfunkel a couple of days earlier.
MAY 23, 2022
DREAMS: WAR IN NORWAY
Dream 1: I am in Norway, in the neighbrohood I grew up in. It’s war and I am some neighbors are seeking shelter.
Dream 2: I am in Norway, in the neighborhood I grew up in. We are preparing for a war we know will come within a few days.
These dreams are very likely triggered by what’s happening in Ukraine. I have felt a strong fellowship with the Ukrainians and imagined how it would be for me in that situation.
These dreams also reflect me. They reflect what happens when there is a kind of inner war. When I go into reactivity towards parts of me and my experience.
Sometimes, I have premonition dreams. Are these premonitions? They don’t have the same quality as my premonition dreams have. And it seems very unlikely that Russia will go to war against Norway. They don’t have the capacity. The only exception may be if Russia’s war against Ukraine becomes even more disastrous for Putin than it already is, and Putin goes even more insane and starts using biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons.
Update: It’s now a couple of weeks later, and it seems that these dreams mostly reflected a dynamic in myself and in my relationship. For both of us, something (different things) has been simmering for a while without real resolution, so it peaked in the form of a kind of war, and we have now been able to talk about it more thoroughly and we are finding resolutions.
JUNE 3, 2022
Someone mentioned channeling in a conversation with me yesterday.
It’s not something I am very interested in, although I do have some exposure to it.
Why am I not drawn to it?
Mainly, what I am really longing for is already here.
Also, channeled information is often either irrelevant or what I already have heard from other sources.
And the source of channeled information is obviously dubious. I suspect people are mostly channeling parts of themselves, perhaps with some guidance from sensing and intuition.
In Voice Dialog or the Big Mind process, we are channeling parts of ourselves, and what comes out is often every bit as wise and insightful as anything “officially” channeled.
The trinity of Christianity is not something that has resonated with me so much.
But if I were to look for some kind of trinity in my own experience, what do I find?
The son of man may point to our human self. That one is pretty simple.
The Godhead is not explicitly part of the trinity, it’s more an aspect of God. But I can find it as capacity. My fundamental nature, in my own first-person experience, is as capacity for all my experiences, for the world as it appears to me here and now.
God for me is all there is. It’s finding myself as what the world to e happens within and as. It’s capacity and consciousness and the world as it appears to me happening within and as what I am, within and as what a thought can call consciousness.
I am not sure what the holy spirit points at, to be honest. Perhaps it’s the consciousness aspect that everything, to me, happens within and as?
And that’s why I don’t write much about the trinity. I just end up being confused.
For me, another division makes more sense.
(a) This human self in the world. This human self as it appears in my sense fields, including my mental field as mental representations. (b) Capacity for all of it, for the world, as it appears to me. (c) The consciousness that’s the essence and nature of all my experiences. (d) The world happening within and as what I am, within and as consciousness. The forms consciousness takes for itself. What consciousness forms itself into. The oneness I am taking the form of any and all content of experience.
AUGUST 25, 2022
QUESTIONING THE BASIC ASSUMPTIONS IN GROUPS
I have a tendency to question the basic assumptions in the groups I am in, at least if they seem unhelpful and unaddressed.
For instance, at Kanzeon Zen Center, I saw what seemed like very unhealthy dynamics. The main teacher would appoint his new wife to the board even if she had very little background in or interest in Zen or anything else. He seemed fascinated by fame and status, and would make someone with social status a teacher long before they were ready, and ignore others who had a great deal more experience and maturity. I spoke up about this and more, and obviously got into trouble because of it. These were taboo topics since they pointed to issues with the main teacher. (The center imploded a few years later after a predictable scandal with the same teacher. I love him as a teacher and even as a person, but he did have some serious blindspots.)
At the Center for Sacred Sciences, it seems that one of their assumptions is that awakening is difficult and when it happens there is nothing more to do than just live from it. For me, it seems the reverse. It’s easy to notice our nature, especially when guided by the Big Mind process and similar approaches. And the work is in keeping noticing it, and especially inviting all the different parts of us that still operate from separation consciousness to join with it. (I realize that the main teacher likely sees it because that was his experience and path, and I see it the way I do because that’s my experience and path.)
Although I was only peripherally involved in the informal integral community, I was put off by certain of Ken Wilber’s apparent hangups which his followers seemed to adopt. For instance, he seemed to habitually misrepresent certain approaches. He seemed obsessed with disparaging and putting down much of the green level of development. (And again misrepresenting how many at that level operate.) And he seemed to have an inferiority complex he was trying to compensate for. Although I completely loved Wilber’s approach in my teens and twenties, I haven’t been very active in that world for a while for these and other reasons.
There are also groups I love and where I haven’t found any major assumptions to question. (Perhaps because I haven’t been actively and deeply enough involved for long enough?) These include Jes Bertelsen’s Vækstsenter in Denmark, the Headless community (Richard Lang), and largely the The Work community and Byron Katie.
Of course, we all operate from unquestioned assumptions, whether we are individuals or groups. The question is whether we actively seek out and examine these assumptions or not, and how we relate to it when life shows us these assumptions. (And I am not any better at this than what I see in others.)
SEPTEMBER 28, 2022
“OUR PROCESSES ARE VERY SIMILAR”
I talked with a friend of mine who said: “Our processes are very similar with a very similar timeline”. (Speaking about our awakening and healing journeys.)
For me, this was a reflection not just of our similar processes (there are many similarities) but of something else. I tend to match the person I am talking with. I reflect back what they are talking about, add a bit, and may share something about my own process. So it will seem that we are on a similar path and on a similar timeline.
In this case, as so often, what she has shared are things I have explored for two or three decades longer. And she got the impression that I discover it on the same timeline as her since I only or mostly talk about it when she talks about it first.
Yes, it’s good to match and reflect back what people talk about, especially when they share their own processes. No, it doesn’t mean our processes are as similar as they may seem.
And this is also a reminder that I very often, in social settings, hide. I mostly bring out what matches what the other person talks about. This has to do with my social anxiety and low social confidence. And it means I hold back a lot, including some things that may be of value to the other.
It also brings up something that comes up now and then. I often feel I haven’t matured and developed very much since my teens. Most of what I explore and write about here is largely the same as in my late teens and early twenties. Things that were revealed to me during the first few years of the awakening process. (And I much later found others who wrote and spoke about.)
OCTOBER 6, 2022
A NEW WORLD
In waking life, my parents are married and have been since long before my birth.
And recently, it has come to me to imagine my parents as divorced a long time and with new families.
In that context, I find myself as new as well, and I am enjoying it.
I enjoy feeling into it and allowing it to work on me and perhaps even transform me.
As with so much else, this is something that has emerged on its own and lives its own life. I am mostly just noticing and joining in with it.
Why has this emerged? Perhaps because I now and then have consciously explored how it would be if my parents divorced. I imagine it could have been good for me, in some ways, since there are dynamics between them that have been difficult for me.
Why is it enjoyable to live in this new world with divorced parents? For the same reason. It feels lighter. Freer.
Since I don’t live with them, my inner world is where they mostly live. And in my inner world, they can be anyone. So why not choose something that feels healing and live in that world for a while and allow it to work on me?
This is a kind of exploration that is metaphorically reflected in our culture’s current interest in alternate realities, alternate history, parallel worlds, and multiverses.
[Made into a regular and slightly modified and expanded article]
AS IN MUSIC, SO IN LIFE?
Very occasionally, and with long breaks inbetween, I make some music on my computer.
A pattern I notice is that I am happy with the beginning, get a bit lost in the middle, and then find something I enjoy much more towards the end.
I have wondered if this is reflected in my life.
It started well in many ways. I have felt a bit lost in the middle. (The chaos of the dark night is a big part of it.) And who knows what will happen towards the end, we’ll see.
Most of the little music I have made is on SoundCloud.
OCTOBER 10, 2022
I check in with an evolutionary perspective to see how it may shed light on just about anything.
My wife and I bought beautiful land in the Andes mountains, and I am wondering why I feel such a connection with it.
On the one hand, it was as if that particular piece of land picked us. The spirit of the land is strong and noticeable, and it feels connected with us somehow.
And the area in general looks a lot like the “cradle of humanity” – Rift Valley – where our prehuman ancestors lived and we decide humanity was born. In many ways, we are designed through evolution to feel at home in that type of land. We are designed to love nature in general, and especially that particular landscape.
The photo above is from the land, and searching on Rift Valley online will bring up images from that place.
OCTOBER 11, 2022
WHAT DOES THE LAND WANT FROM ME?
I like to connect with the land we are stewards of and ask it what it wants from me.
Mostly, the answer is vibrancy. It wants to be alive and vibrant.
And we can help it. We are planting trees. We want to learn more about the local ecology and how the natural succession looks there, and what we can do to support it.
It seems that hiccups are a bit of a mystery. For me and in my case, it’s pretty clear when they happen: When I eat something dry and haven’t had enough water. That’s why drinking water helps. That part of it is not a mystery.
NOVEMBER 18, 2022
SLEEP AND WAKE CYCLES
I have lived in many different environments from big cities to far removed from people in nature, and the range in between.
What I notice is that I tend to go to bed and wake up later in the city, and go to bed and wake earlier in nature.
This is not surprising. In a city, I tend to be less aware of nature and I am not so attentive to the natural cycles and when the sun rises and goes down. And I am more focused on what’s human-made, which is available long after the sun sets. So my own cycles tend to shift and lag the natural cycles.
In nature, I am far more aware of the natural cycles so it’s more natural for me to follow these cycles. As far as possible, I tend to go to bed not long after the sun sets and I wake up and sometimes get up along with the sun.
One of the things I love about being in nature is that I tend to go to bed and get up earlier. I love getting up with the sun. Early mornings have a special quality and it’s amazing to notice it’s noon and I have already done most or all of what I wanted to do that day.
This shift in my sleep and wake cycle is a general tendency and there are obviously exceptions. In general, I would say the shift is between two and four hours.
These days, I notice it since I shift between being in a large city (staying up later), a rural town or countryside (going to bed earlier), the cabin in Norway (it’s without electricity so it’s natural to go to bed when it gets dark), and a smallish town in Norway (somewhere in between).