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.
OCTOBER 14, 2023
SUPERSTITIONS WE ALL ENGAGE IN
There is a solar eclipse today where I am, and someone told me to not go outside during the eclipse because it will damage my health. Apparently, that’s what some in India think.
To me, with my Western mind, it doesn’t quite make sense.
If it were true, we would see an upswing in illnesses following a solar eclipse, which would be picked up by the healthcare system. And I am not aware of that. There is nothing in the medical journals, apart from a predictable upswing in eye damage. (There is a small change that there is something in the data that nobody has explored statistically in connection with eclipses, or that there is a delayed manifestation of the illnesses.)
Also, it doesn’t quite make logical sense. A solar eclipse is just the moon getting between the Earth and the sun for a brief period, so a shade is cast on the ground. I don’t see how that could influence us. (Unless there is something in the brief line-up that has nothing to do with the eclipse itself as we experience it with an occultation of the sun.)
To my Western mind, this seems like a superstition someone started to reduce the cases of eye damage at a time before easy access to eclipse glasses. They noticed eye damage from people looking at the sun during an eclipse and started and propagated this rumor to shape people’s behavior. In some cultures, I assume it would be reasonably effective.
Or it’s just the typical old-fashioned superstitions where people make up stories around phenomena they don’t understand. (In this case, where they made up stores before science explained it to us.)
Of course, we still do that. We still individually and collectively make up stories about things we don’t fully understand, whether it’s about ourselves, others, the behavior of someone in our life, the world, or anything else. We try to make sense of things, so we make guesses about the world. These guesses are more or less grounded in solid logic and data. And the world is always more than and different from our stories about it.
OCTOBER 16, 2023
STORIES ABOUT HEALING & AWAKENING
Our minds seem to love to make up stories about healing and awakening, and especially of those we are invested in one way or another.
This session was so powerful! My old issue is completely transformed. This transmission shifts your system in that way. This awakening is forever. And so on.
Personally, I am happy to entertain the possibility of all these things. But I also know that I don’t know. I cannot know for certain. A lot of different things can explain what I observe. And it’s very tempting for the mind to create happy stories so it can feel better about itself, life, and what’s happening.
I also realize that early in the journey, and perhaps with some things, it’s comforting to hold onto desirable stories about what’s happening. And, at some point, it’s more comfortable to hold hold it lightly.
For me, what’s more honest is that I don’t know. I notice I am draw to something, and I do it or don’t do it, and that’s enough. I receive healing sessions from certain people for certain issues at certain times, because it feels right. And that’s enough. I don’t need to create a lot of others stories around it.
HAVE TO / WANT TO
I removed “have to” from my vocabulary a long time ago.
In our culture, “have to” is something we use to make it look as if we didn’t make a choice. Don’t blame me, I am doing it because I have to!
For me, it’s more honest to say that I want to. I don’t “have to” do anything. But I want to do some things.
Someone points a gun at me and tells me to do something, and I choose to do it or not. I pay taxes because I want to, not because I have to. I emerge from diving underwater because I want to breathe air, not because I have to. I rest because I want to, not because I have to. I do things to keep this human self alive and comfortable and avoid too much trouble because I want to, not because I have to.
[Read on for more of these.]
CHRONIC FATIGUE AND FILLING UP THE ENERGY RESERVOIR
I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and have learned to manage my activity and energy levels to some extent. I rest before, during, and after an activity, and extra. I recognize the symptoms of needing to rest, and rest. I minimize or avoid situations where it may be difficult for me to find rest when I need to. I do any activity in smaller chunks. And so on.
Another side of this is to charge the battery extra. It’s tempting to use whatever energy I have when I need it. And that does not give me much buffer if something unexpected happens. Or for my body to have extra energy to heal itself. So it’s good to charge the battery extra.
This is similar to having money in the bank. It may be tempting to use whatever money is there right away. But that doesn’t give me any buffer if something unexpected happens. And it also doesn’t give me savings I can later use for bigger projects. (In this case, the bigger project is actual healing.)
Will my body heal itself with extra energy and extra metaphorical money in the bank? I don’t know, but it doesn’t hurt to give it its best chance and see what happens.
I should add that there have been periods for me when resting doesn’t seem to help very much. It doesn’t seem to charge any batteries. Whatever energy is here just seems to run out like water in the bathtub. Here too, rest is the medicine and often we don’t have any other options. And it may also mean we need something more – support for better sleep, more nourishing food (bone broth?), nourishing herbal medicine (Siberian ginseng), energy healing, and so on.
REGRET & LOSS
Change and death have been up in my system lately.
My parents don’t have much time left.
We are selling my childhood home.
I am uncertain about the land and house in the Andes, for several reasons. It doesn’t feel like a place I where I have solid footing or can expect to have solid footing.
A friend and mentor from the ’90s died recently. (Brian J.) Another mentor and kindred spirit died a few days ago. (Michal D.) A non-dual teacher I had a deep resonance with and a good connection with died last year. (Bonnie G.) All of them completely amazing human beings I feel blessed to have known, and who will be with me always.
I think my system is coming more to terms with the possible end of civilization and humanity, perhaps within our lifetime. (Some will say likely.)
I see how much regret I have in my life. My life got completely sidetracked during my first marriage. I left just about everything that meant the most to me. (Drawing, painting, a PhD in clinical psychology, a sangha, friends.) I missed out on several relationship opportunities that felt deeply right to me because I was too shy, and really too scared, and too certain I was not worth it. (And that they deserved better, even if another part of me knows that’s just a painful illusion.)
So often, there has been an amazing start on something, and it abruptly falls apart. So often, I have had amazing opportunities I have not taken. There is so much I didn’t even get to try or live.
My health is not good. I suspect it collapsed partly from feeling so profoundly off track in my first marriage. There is so much I would like to do that I am unable to.
And still, life is amazing. And it has been an amazing life, in many ways.
All I write about here in these articles is important in my life, and helpful in different ways. And yet, it doesn’t touch acting from kindness, love, and integrity, and following my inner guidance. That’s where contentment and a feeling of deep rightness come from. (And when I don’t do it, that’s where regret and a sense of being out of alignment comes from, and no amount of healing and inquiry will change the essence of that.)
OCTOBER 22, 2023
Adyashanti retired from in-person teaching a few weeks ago, and I see people talking about it and how it impacts them.
For me, it’s less of an impact, although I did feel a little sad after his last regular online talk. What he has produced is still out there in writing, audio, and video, and the content is timeless although obviously also colored by our times and culture. He is not retiring from teaching. He will likely still write books, record audio on certain topics, and he may even create workshops and classes on specific topics. It’s just the regular in-person teaching he will retire from, and I completely understand that it may be a relief for him to do that and leave it to others.
Who knows what he will be moved to do in the future. Retiring in this way opens the space for something else, and neither he nor us may know what that is yet.
In general, it’s just another example of impermanence. Some of those who had a big impact on me earlier in my life have died: Arne Næss, Bonnie Greenwell, and so on. Some are still alive: Fritjof Capra, Jes Bertelsen, Genpo Roshi, Joanna Macy – but they are getting up there in age.
Death is the price we pay for life. Death is the price anything pays for existing for a while. Death is how anything exists at all. Death is how we are here.
[Made into a regular article]
I have seen articles about a guy who spent decades arriving at the conclusion that we have no free will.
With these types of things, it’s the process that’s interesting, not necessarily what we arrive at.
And yet, to arrive at us not having free will doesn’t need to take decades.
Everything that happens has infinite causes. We can always find one more, and one more, going back to the apparent beginning of time and stretching out to the widest extent of existence.
So where is there room for free will?
Also, the experience of free will only seems to happen when there is identification with and as the mental representations of an I, doer, free will, and so on. When this identification. issoftened or released, and our nature recognizes itself more clearly, our human self happens within content of experience as anything else. Our human self lives its own life. It’s happening on its own. There is no experience of free will. Similarly to above, there is no room for free will. The idea of free will or not seem irrelevant.
We may have the experience of free will. Our mind uses mental representations to create a sense of I and free will and a me that operates according to that free will. That requires a lot of mental gymnastics, but it can appear convincing. This human self does something, and there is a thought saying: “I did that”. There is the experience of free will, but that doesn’t mean there is free will.
At the same time, it seems good for us to think and experience that we have free will. I imagine that helps many of us to be slightly better stewards of our lives.
[Made into regular article]
OCTOBER 24, 2023
WHY DO I WRITE HERE?
Why do I write here?
It’s not because I think my ideas and views are more important or valid than those of anyone else. (Although I do have more experience than average in some areas, so it may have a little more weight there. Conversely, some others have more experience than me in those areas, so their views have a little more weight than mine.)
It’s because it’s one voice in literally billions, so why not share it?
It also helps me organize how I look at things, and it invites me to look a little more closely. For me, writing is exploration. And it invites exploration in my life.
And if someone gets something out of it, even if it’s just one person once, that in itself would make the sharing worth it.
THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS BELONG TO THE WORLD
I was on a Headless Way Zoom meeting for the first time this Sunday, and Richard (Lang) mentioned what someone else had said: Thoughts and feelings belong to the world.
That’s one of the things I love about finding my nature as well.
Thoughts, feelings, sensations, and anything connected with this human self, belong to the world. It’s out there in the world. It’s part of what comes and goes.
It’s part of the field of experience.
What I more fundamentally am is not touched by any of it. I am what allows it all to come and go. I am what momentarily forms itself into all of it. It’s all happening within and as what I am.
[Made into a regular article]
OCTOBER 25, 2023
LIFE IS LIKE A DREAM
The world is like a dream in a few different ways.
In our experience, life is like a dream. Every moment, it’s new. What was here is gone, just like a dream. At best, we have a vague memory for a while, and then that’s gone too.
To ourselves, we are most fundamentally consciousness, and the world – to us – happens within and as that consciousness. That too is like a night dream. Night dreams and waking life happens within and as the consciousness we are.
It looks like this universe and existence itself is like a dream. Every moment it’s new. What was here is gone, just like a dream. And it’s possible that all is happening within and as consciousness. (AKA Brahman, God, Spirit.) Life is the dream of this universe. Life is, perhaps, the dream of God, the divine, Spirit, Brahman.
[Made into a regular article]
CONSCIOUS THROUGH DEEP SLEEP
In the mid-2000s, I set the intention to see if consciousness (the consciousness I am) could be conscious through deep sleep and throughout the night.
It worked. Consciousness – the consciousness I am – observed this human self fall asleep. There was consciousness through the night, including through the deep sleep. It was not aware of anything in particular – apart from perhaps a very faint (subtle) content of experience. There wasn’t much time. Nothing much happening. Then some dreams, and then the waking world.
It was fun but I didn’t see much use for it, and this human self prefers awareness to be “gone” during the deep sleep, so I didn’t pursue it further.
This is similar to a few other things.
When I was little, maybe five or six years old, and set the intention to be aware that I am dreaming while dreaming. That too worked. I dreamt I was in a big barn (US style for some reason), and a large group of people with pitchforks were chasing me. I ran out towards a steep drop. I also knew I was dreaming, so it didn’t matter so much that I had no escape. Knowing it was a dream was escape enough.
I sometimes am consciously aware of the dreaming process while awake, which I wrote about some days ago.
And it’s similar to my apparent memory from between lives. Here too, there wasn’t too much content of experience. (Apart from the golden light and some occasional communication with other disembodied entities.) There was very little awareness of time – it seemed very far away. (This memory came as occasional flashbacks when I was very little, before school age.)
I hardly ever talk about these things since it’s not much to talk about, and people tend to see it as weird. But I do talk about it if I meet someone else who has similar experiences. It’s fun to explore and compare notes.
[Made into a regular article]
Traditional songs have many functions. They may pass on wisdom or knowledge. They may pass on a certain worldview and set of values. They may be entertaining. They may poke at authority figures.
Some are also therapeutic.
I love Rosensfole, the album by Agnes Buen Garnås and Jan Garbarek of Norwegian folk songs with contemporary instrumentation.
Right now, I am listening to Margjit og Targjei Risvollo. Leaving aside the supernatural aspects of the text, it’s about a woman who gives birth to twins outside of marriage. The father is not her fiancé. Her fiancé takes the babies to be Christened, and returns to tell her they are dead. It’s unclear if they died naturally or if he killed them to avoid trouble. (There is more to the song but that’s the essence.)
I imagine many women at the time experienced similar and equally traumatizing situations. The song gives them a sense of fellowship with others who have experienced similar things. It gives them an opportunity for comfort and perhaps even healing.
OCTOBER 28, 2023
I apparently lived with the Epstein-Barr virus in my system for more than thirty years, which contributed to (or caused?) the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). This virus was removed by some of the teachers in Vortex Healing a few years back (2018?).
This chronic infection likely impacted my whole body and many organs and systems. For instance, my kidneys were in very bad shape and still need more work. I have also received a lot of sessions for my energy system in general. All of it has helped but there is further to go.
I have received several sessions for my liver over the last two or three weeks. It was at a six out of ten in terms of its functionality and is now around nine which is quite good.
My system tends to respond and react strongly to healing sessions, whether it’s Vortex Healing or something else. Often, I end up in bed for one or more days, and sometimes one or more weeks.
I am wondering if that’s partly because my liver was unable to clean out the body efficiently. It will be interesting to see if it changes in the coming weeks and months.
I know my system is also very sensitive in general, so that’s likely another reason.
A small digression: The upsides of this sensitivity are many.
I can immediately sense how certain foods impact my system, even before I eat it.
I can see energies. I can sense what’s going on, to some extent, with someone’s system at a distance.
I quickly notice the effects of spiritual and healing practices, and the effects are quite strong.
I seem quite attuned to non-human beings and seem to understand, better than most, how they experience the world.
I love to live a simple life in tune with nature: Getting ready for sleep when it gets dark. Getting up at dawn. Eating unprocessed simple foods. Enjoy silence. And so on. (Of course, there are exceptions. After all, I live in this civilization.)
OCTOBER 29, 2023
CHOCOLATE AND INTUITION
Last night, I had some chocolate-covered cacao beans.
And later, I noticed what I typically notice after eating those things.
It’s difficult to connect with my inner guidance. It’s difficult to connect clearly with anything.
That goes for chocolate – and to some extent sugar, caffeine, and refined foods – and it depends a bit on what it’s combined with and if I eat it on an empty stomach (worse) or not.
It’s good to notice.
CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME VS DEPRESSION
Someone in a CFS group on social media asked about the difference between CFS and depression.
The most simple and clear difference may be post-exertion malaise (PEM). With CFS, we get worse and may crash after activity, and not so with depression as far as I know. Also, I think many of us with CFS have a lot of desires and wishes for our lives, but we can’t do it because of our physical health.
The two can also co-exist, which can confuse the picture at first glance. For instance, living with CFS – and how our mind responds to it – can lead to depression. But we can still separate out the two, especially by looking at PEM.
It’s worth mentioning that it is possible to adjust and find and even enjoy a new life within the context of CFS.
MISSING COMMUNITY AND EXCHANGES
My whole life, since the oneness shift in my teens, I have missed a real sense of community around exploring our nature. I have joined several groups and enjoyed the social aspect, but never found a real sense of community where I feel safe to talk about it openly and freely with others.
That’s more about me than the communities.
It’s because it did not feel safe for me to speak up in my family. If I spoke my sincere truth, at least on some topics, it would be met with anger or dismissal, and it’s still that way. And the same happened in school from elementary through middle school.
After the oneness shift at age sixteen, I similarly found I couldn’t speak freely or openly about my experience and what was happening. People didn’t understand. And some reacted with strong anger to what I thought was an innocent sharing of my own experience. (This was before the web so I couldn’t find a community that way, and I grew up in a small town in Norway where nobody I knew – and likely very few in general – had any interest in these things.)
This developmental trauma is quite deeply ingrained in my system. Speaking with others brings up fear in me, and I am unable to express myself very clearly.
I noticed this earlier today in a Headless Way Zoom call. (My fourth one so far.) I love that approach and the community, and I deeply wish for a sense of community. And there too, I freeze and when I speak, it comes out unformed and incoherent and not in any way as it would be if I wrote it down.
I understand that too. One of my coping mechanisms has been to present myself as a beginner in the different groups I have been involved with. That puts far less pressure on me, and I can take the role of a listener and someone asking questions rather than someone genuinely sharing my experiences and my own path. (I love listening to how people express it, so that side of it is not a problem.)
That strategy is very understandable based on my childhood and teenage years. It does help me avoid some unpleasant experiences. And it also comes with obvious downsides. It prevents me from engaging with others on these topics in a genuine and deep way, and in a way that could help me mature and grow. (Maybe it could be of interest and help to them too, who knows.)
OCTOBER 30, 2023
I TOLD YOU SO
I often find myself in an “I told you so” situation.
Some years ago, I told my parents that an obvious and big mistake by their municipality would lessen the value of their property, and had a lawyer ready to go on the sake. (She said it was a clear case and they would likely get a significant compensation.) They denied the situation and refused to go further with it. Now, it turns out I was right and that we should have done what I suggested back then.
In building the tiny house, I told the others involved that it would be better if I did the initial design, and then get a local architect to look it over, suggest any changes, and draw up the final plans. (I have lived and breathed architecture my whole life and have done an MA training in architecture at one of the best universities in the US.) They refused and wanted a local architect to do it all from scratch. That ended up being a disaster, and we are now looking into rebuilding the house to fit my initial design which they now agree would have been much better.
And so on and so on. There are innumerable examples.
In the bigger picture, I imagine this will also be the case with global ecological overshoot and collapse. I have mentioned it since my teens in the ’80s. Most reject it as something that won’t happen. And it very likely will.
Why do I keep finding myself in this situation? It’s a pattern from my upbringing. Most of the time, my family and schoolmates would reject what I said and suggested. (My family still does.) Often, it turned out that my suggestion made a lot of sense and was a good idea. (With my schoolmates, someone else would typically suggest the same a few minutes later and they all said “yes, let’s do it!”.)
I definitely have an issue with not being seen, heard, and understood. A part of me expects it and gives up in advance, so I likely communicate in a way that makes it easier for people to not take it seriously and reject it. This part of me thinks it’s their fault for not taking it seriously, which is not wrong, but overlooks that it’s my responsibility to make sure they understand and do take it seriously.
A part of me has given up on the effort of wanting to make sure others understand and take what I say seriously.
DIFFERENT WAYS OF BEING MET
I have met many spiritual teachers and groups over the last thirty-five years, and also people who are into spirituality. I seem to notice three general types of responses.
One is that they immediately recognize what’s happening in my system. They recognize that my nature recognizes itself, and there is a joyful sense of mutual recognition. This doesn’t happen that often, but often enough. The first time was my friend Birgitte H. in Norway when I was nineteen who recognized it (in a Tai Chi class) before we had met and made connection because of it. The second was when I was nineteen or twenty, with Jes Bertelsen’s then-wife (Hanne Bertelsen). She also recognized it before we had interacted and ran up to me in excitement. It also happened with Bonnie Greenwell, Adyashanti, and others Adya has asked to teach. And it has happened with people who don’t have any particular role. In most of these cases, mutual recognition happens before we talk or interact. This tends to happen with people whose system has a lot of awakeness in it, and who are sensitive to it in others. (For whatever reason, I can see it visually in addition to sense it other ways.)
Another response is receptivity and curiosity. This happens with people who tend to be more mature and independent of awakening or sensitivity in their system. This also makes for an enjoyable and often interesting interaction.
The third response is more uncomfortable for my personality. It’s a variation of being met with strong assumptions, a top-down orientation, and perhaps a strong identification with a teacher role. For me, this creates more of a sense of distance and not being seen. I have experienced this several times as well, for instance with Vigdis G. in Oslo and at CSS in Oregon. (The first seemed strongly identified with the teacher role, the second with an idea that new members have no previous experience.)
How do I respond when I meet others? The first one is definitely there. And I hope I generally fall into the second category of meeting people as friends and with receptivity and curiosity. (Sometimes, I suspect that my social anxiety makes me seem quiet and withdrawn. That happens more often if it’s a larger group, or if I experience the third way of being met.)
[Mae into a regular article]
HOW I EXPERIENCE THINGS
I thought I would share a few examples of how I have experienced things after the oneness shift in my teens. From what I hear from others, it seems that these are pretty universal.
The world moves through me. The world moves through this wide open space. (When this human self moves, walks, is in a car etc.)
When I close my eyes, I cannot find my body apart from some mental images and sensations happening in space. That’s the same with eyes open, with the addition of visual images.
What I see is seamless and I notice mental images on top of it to make sense of what’s there. (The visual field is inherently seamless, just like a photo or painting is seamless, which I assume is how it is for anyone whether they notice or not.)
When I close my eyes, it’s easy to notice mental images of the past, future, and present, and when I open my eyes, I also notice this overlay helping me to make sense of the world.
When I see, there is no distance. It’s all happening here. A mental overlay tells me that there is different distance to different things, again to help me orient and function in the world. (There is no distance inherent in the visual field.)
The world seems like a dream. It’s as if I can put my hand through it. To me, it’s happening within and as the consciousness I am, just like a night dream.
This human self is living it’s own life. It’s happening on its own. Thoughts, emotions, choices, actions are happening on their own just like anything else.
This is here whether it’s consciously noticed or not. Sometimes attention is on it, like now since I am putting it into words. Other times, attention is on something else, usually daily life tasks.
After this shift, I did notice these things and wrote much of it down. That was years before I found anyone else talking about it. It took 10-15 years before I found Genpo Roshi and the Big Mind process which allows us to explore and talk about some of this in community. (I was lucky enough to be there when he developed it.) And it took another ten years before I found someone talking about this even more explicitly – Douglas Harding and the Headless Way. It’s been fun for me to explore his experiments to bring these things into the foreground of attention. Exploring the sense fields, especially through modern versions of traditional Buddhist inquiry (Kiloby Inquiries), has also brought more attention to aspects of this, and it helps more parts of me get it more viscerally.
I am immensely grateful for Douglas Harding for putting these things into words so simply, developing and offering the experiments (to bring it into the foreground), and for creating a community of people who share in these explorations. For many years, I felt very alone with this at a human level.
WAITING TO BE SAVED
Hindus have been waiting for Kalki for 3,700 years.
Buddhists have been waiting for Maitreya for 2,600 years.
The Jews have been waiting for the Messiah for 2,500 years.
Christians have been waiting for Jesus for 2,000 years.
The Sunnah has been waiting for Prophet Issa for 1,400 years.
Muslims have been waiting for a Messiah from the line of Muhammad for 1,300 years.
The Shiites have been waiting for the Mahdi for 1,080 years.
Druze have been waiting for Hamza Ibn Ali for 1,000 years.
Most embrace the idea of a “savior” and claim that the world will remain full of wickedness until this savior comes and fills it with goodness and justice.
Maybe our problem on this planet is that people are waiting for someone else to come and solve their problems, rather than doing it themselves.– Imtiaz Mahmood
Why do we feel a need to be saved? It must be because what’s here is uncomfortable, and perhaps even apparently unbearable. If we envision something as big as divinity saving us, it must be because our discomfort appears equally big. (I am obviously talking very generally here.)
It’s also interesting how our human mind often wants to be saved by something “out there” – somewhere else and/or in the future. It’s understandable, of course. It would be nice. And most of us did experience something similar in infancy so it is perhaps deeply ingrained in us.
There is some truth to it too. We may find something or someone that makes us feel better for a while. We may find some comfort, love, safety, and so on. That’s wonderful.
And yet, it comes with some inherent drawbacks. It won’t last. It’s dependent on circumstances. It doesn’t go quite as deep as we really wish for. And it may not happen in the first place.
So what’s the solution?
I can only speak for myself and as it looks to me now.
As so often, the answer may appear a bit boring and sobering.
The answer is that I am my own savior. I am the one I have been looking for. My mind is projecting this part of myself out there in space or time, while it’s here all along.
Why can it seem like a disappointing answer? It may not seem true to us. Or we may think there is some truth to it, but we don’t know how to do it. Or we try and it doesn’t seem to do much. Or perhaps our mind has invested so much energy into images of saviors out there that anything else seems pale in comparison.
And yet, it is true in my limited experience, and it’s also what others report. (Our experience is always limited, no matter how much we have explored something.)
How do I save myself?
It depends to some extent on the situation.
In some situations, action is required to make a change. In this case, I can (partially) save myself by taking action or asking someone to take action on my behalf.
In some situations, it may be through asking for help.
And parallel with that, it’s in how I meet my own experience.
When I experience distress, I often ask myself: How would a good – wise, kind – parent comfort a child in this situation? What would she or he say? How would he or she meet the child? And then relate to the suffering parts of myself in that way.
These parts of us are here to try to protect me. So I can say: Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your love for me.
I can also say: You are allowed to be here. Stay as long as you want.
I can dialog with these parts of me. How do they see me? What function do they have? How would they like me to treat them? What do they need from me? The Big Mind process is very good for this.
I can do heart-centered practices, including towards myself and these painful parts of me. For instance, ho’o and tonglen.
What I am trying to be saved from is typically stressful thoughts and associated unpleasant sensations, so I can identify and investigate these thoughts (The Work of Byron Katie) and notice and allow the sensations. I can also investigate more thoroughly how thoughts and sensations combine, and how the mind creates identifications out of it, for instance through the Kiloby Inquiries.
I can invite in healing for these parts of me – the wounded, scared, traumatized parts – in whatever ways work for me.
I can notice my nature and rest in and as it. I can notice that these parts of me, the scary thoughts and uncomfortable sensations, have the same nature as me. It’s consciousness, the consciousness I am, forming itself into all of it. What happens if I rest in and as that noticing?
There is usually an immediate shift from these explorations. And my experience is that it also takes time. My system mirrors a culture and family that trained me to look outside myself for solutions. So it takes time to turn the ship. It’s ongoing. But it does seem to get fuller, deeper, and richer over time.
None of these are mutually exclusive. If I find some of what I am looking for in someone or something, I can enjoy that. (Knowing it depends on circumstances and may not last.) And I can also give myself more directly what I need and be my own savior in that way.
[Made into a regular article]
OCTOBER 32, 2023
THE NOW THAT’S ALWAYS HERE
It’s difficult to talk about our nature, and also the present or now.
It’s not because it’s more mysterious than anything else, or distant or something we are unfamiliar with.
It’s because words are designed to make distinctions, and this is what all distinctions happen within and as. It’s because most of us, including me, are not used to talking about it. And it’s also because it’s so familiar to us it may be difficult to recognize. It’s all we have ever known.
So how to talk about now?
It’s easy to say what it’s not. It’s not my ideas of the present or now. It’s also, obviously, not my mental images and representations about the past or future.
It’s what these mental representations happen within and as. It’s what anything I have ever experienced happen within and as.
The now that’s here is the now that’s always been here.
We can say that it’s always changing, which is not wrong. And yet, I only know about that change by comparing mental images of what’s here now (or just passed), and what was a few moments ago, and perhaps even what may happen in the immediate future.
That’s where it gets a little difficult to talk about.
Maybe it’s easier to say that…
The whole field of experience happens within and as what I am. That includes any mental representations of past, future, and present. It also includes any mental representations of change, and of an always changing now, that comes about by comparing mental representations of what’s here, what just was, and what may very soon be.
Or…. I am space for what’s here, which includes my ideas of past, future, and present. And what’s here is always changing. It’s never the same. It’s always new, fresh, and different.
It’s very simple. It’s what I already am most familiar with. And yet, I find it difficult to put into words. For the words to be more accurate, they also tend to get convoluted, at least when I try to do it.
THE TWO SIDES OF AN UNEXPECTED ONENESS SHIFT
When I was fifteen, there was a shift where the whole world – thoughts, feelings, sensations, others, the wider world – seemed very distant and far away. One year later, there was a shift into oneness where all – without exception – was revealed as God.
This human self was an atheist at the time, although with some curiosity about ESP and similar things. I lived in a small town in Norway, and it was the ’80s before the web, so I knew nothing about anything related to this. I knew nobody interested in it. There was no internet to go on to find info. I couldn’t even find any books since the local library didn’t have anything about it, and I didn’t even know what search terms to use.
So on the one hand, it was a profound sense of coming home. It was a homecoming to something completely unexpected (to this human self) and profoundly familiar (to my nature). It was clear, it was obvious. Everything is God, without exception. And that includes this human self and any sense of being this human self. It was all what God has formed itself into. In this, there is no room for problems.
At the same time, at my human level, there were a lot of problems. I had a mysterious disease. (Which later was identified as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.) I had a huge amount of anxiety and hangups due to family and school dynamics. Huge amounts of energy was running through my system 24/7 for years, it felt like high voltage being sent through ordinary housing wires. I had nobody to talk about these things with at all.
It wasn’t until a few years later that I found a book by Meister Eckhart in the main library in Oslo, where I saw glimmers of someone who had recognized the same, filtered by another time and culture and said by someone who obviously wanted to be careful about how he expressed it. (1) I also met a couple of people who immediately recognized it in me from themselves, and where I recognized it in them from myself. That happened when I was nineteen and twenty and was a big relief for this human self.
(1) I also read a lot about systems view, mainly by Fritjof Capra, that hinted at it but didn’t seem to come from a direct noticing. And I also read a lot of books by C.G. Jung which also hinted at it, but again were not written from a direct noticing.
NOVEMBER 3, 2023
THE DARK NIGHT AND ONE DAY IN THE DARK NIGHT
I have been in a dark kind of dark night for about fifteen years now, and a milder one for about ten years before then.
The dark version started when I got severely sick with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) about fifteen years ago.
This led to a series of events:
I missed out on my dream job. (As a regional coordinator for the Northwest Earth Institute which I had volunteered with for fifteen years.)
Divorce (which needed to happen).
Loss of literally everything I owned apart from clothes in a suitcase. (I went back to Norway to live with my parents for a while and was severely sick in bed. My wife went to a judge in Oregon where we had shared a house and property together, told him that she didn’t know where I was and was unreachable – both of this was a lie – and managed to get all the money, several hundred thousand dollars, from the sale of the house. She also threw out all my belongings including a collection of several thousand books on mysticism, spirituality, spiritual traditions, depth psychology, systems and integral views, and so on.)
I found myself severely sick, without money, without belongings, and at my parent’s house.
I lost my community in Oregon.
In a strange moment of hubris, I asked the divine to “show me what’s left” which led to an enormous amount of old trauma surfacing. (To the extent I almost couldn’t sleep or function for nine months, and I am still traumatized by the overwhelming and apparently unbearable amount of trauma that surfaced.)
At one point, I started a relationship that seemed profoundly right, which fell apart after a few months. (Likely because of the turmoil I was going through.)
I hoped to do a PhD in clinical psychology at California Institute for Integral Studies (CIIS), which was my deepest dream, and the Norwegian government would pay for it. I applied, and then the program lost its AAP accreditation so I wouldn’t receive any money from the Norwegian government to cover tuition and living cost. I had to drop it, and applied to another private university in the Bay Area that had AAP accreditation and looked like a decent second option. I traveled halfway around the world to talk with them, it seemed that I had a very good chance of being accepted, applied, and didn’t hear anything from them. Later, it turned out the University in Oslo had made a mistake and sent the wrong transcript to them, so the university in the Bay area hadn’t even processed my application since it wasn’t complete, and they didn’t tell me. I applied again the next year, and then the Norwegian government changed their policy so they didn’t support PhDs at private universities anymore.
I lost my residency in the US since I had to be in Norway for a while to deal with things there, and had no way to get back to the US. This, again, crushed my dream of living in New Mexico and the four corners area which I deeply love. I feel like a whole other person there – far more alive and myself.
I lived in the US for almost twenty years, and wanted to become a citizen but Norway was one of the very few countries in the world not allowing double citizenship. They allowed it exactly at the time where I found myself in this impossible situation where I eventually lost my residency. Just as I could have received my citizenship, I lost my residency.
These are just a few examples. There was a lot more going on. Over and over, I seemed to start on what felt profoundly right and was a deep dream coming through, and it fell apart.
This is continuing.
Here are a few highlights of what’s going on right now:
I got sick with quite severe symptoms, and am bedridden. A few meters from where I am staying (5-10 meters), several very noisy construction machines going on from early morning to night, making it impossible to rest. The owners of the house we are renting wanted to have it cleaned, so I had to leave my bed and room even if I was almost unable to walk. When I returned, it turned out they had used chemicals to clean the room and wash the sheets, and I have strong chemical sensitivity so it’s impossible for me to be there. Also, we are renting this house for two weeks, I had planned to spend this time to work on several online projects that require good internet connection, and the internet here was taken out by a lightning strike as soon as we arrived. It has still not been repaired. I only have a poor and intermittent data connection through my cell phone, with limited data.
I am in the Andes mountains and am lending my car in Norway to a friend there. He took it to a random mechanic instead of the one I have used (which is very reliable). When the car came back, it had a severe problem with the steering. Another mechanic said it would cost $6000 to repair, and verbally said the previous mechanic must have done it while it was in their shop. They were not willing to put it in writing, so we have no way to get the first mechanic to repair it or pay for the repair. The first mechanic does not respond to phone calls or emails, and the boss is never in when my friend goes there to talk with them. I don’t have the money to repair it, and we need the car if we are going to be in Norway in the future. (We only have the small cabin to live in there after the house is hopefully sold, and it can only be accessed by car.) (In general, it’s very common for me to have my most valuable belongings damaged or thrown out – usually by accident – by others. Seems that as soon as I get something I really like, it’s damaged one way or another, typically by something outside of my control and something I didn’t foresee.)
We are trying to sell my parents’ house, a portion of which will be my inheritance, and the housing market there more or less collapsed over the last few months. (I suspected it would since that’s the kind of timing that’s happened in my life over the last fifteen years.)
The municipality there put sewage lines in the wrong place some years ago, breaking a written contract, which has reduced the value of the property by likely several hundred thousand dollars. Back then, I found a highly recommended lawyer who specialized on those cases. She said we had a strong case, could expect a solid compensation, and would do it pro bono. My father refused to cooperate, and even reversed and started denying that it was a problem at all and there was no loss of value to the property. Now that the house is on the market, we have solid proof that it indeed is a big problem and the value of the property is significantly reduced. Again, I have found a lawyer who can do it pro bono. And again, my father – and now also my brother – refuse to go ahead with it. They won’t even give me the information and documents I need to move forward in the case. It makes no sense to me since we have nothing to lose and everything to gain. They don’t need to do anything apart from agreeing that it’s worth a try, and don’t need to be involved in any way in the process. This is a common pattern in my family where they automatically reject whatever I suggest even if it makes good sense, doesn’t cost much to try, and later turns out to be correct or to have been a better path. This is my inheritance, and I need it to repay the loan I took for the land and house here in South America. (My father and brother do not need the money which is likely why they don’t want to do anything.)
We found the perfect land to build our house, in a peaceful neighborhood and with a beautiful view. Now, it turns out that a giant hotel (700 rooms and several swimming pools) is being built right across from us, in the worst possible location. The hotel is most likely an attempt to whitewash money from crime, and it came about through corruption. It makes absolutely no sense to build this hotel here.
We are having a lot of problems with our little house built last year. The process with the architects was a nightmare (they consistently did the oppsite of what I said we wanted, and then refused to change it.) Just about every concern I brought up with them, and they dismissed, turned out to be well founded and it did turn out to be a problem exactly as I predicted. Now, they refuse to take responsibility for anything, including things they clearly are responsible for. (It’s impossible to open one of the cabinets in the kitchen because of a design flaw, the long kithchen window has an absurd design and is very difficult to open and close, there is no drain for the water in the shower which is damaging the house, and so on.)
When I came back to the little house, I discovered that crafts (beautiful indigenous crafts) was damaged and many of my clothes were eaten by insects.
These are also just some highlights. There are equally or more difficult and complicated things going on that I won’t go into here. And this is not unusual. This is how my life has been for the last fifteen years.
Before this, and especially in my twenties, my life was different. I was in a kind of honeymoon following the initial oneness shift in my teens, and things fell into place in amazing ways. These days, things fall apart in equally amazing ways.
THE PERFECT BODY?
I saw a physiotherapist on FB advertising: How to get your perfect body!
How do I get my perfect body?
By questioning my thoughts about my body.
When I do, I find that my body already is perfect and beyond perfect and that the idea doesn’t even have much meaning.
It’s functioning perfectly. It’s doing the best it can with what it has. It’s functioning perfectly given the setup it has. (Genetics, biography, environment, mind, and so on.)
It’s amazing that bodies exist and can be alive. It’s amazing that this body has been alive for as long as it has. It’s amazing how it functions. It’s beyond comprehension. There is an amazing perfection there.
It’s perfectly giving me symptoms for what’s going on with it. I may not always understand the symptoms, and even doctors may not always understand. But it’s communicating perfectly.
I notice this opens for gratitude and tenderness towards my body, awe and gratitude for this life and existence as it is, and humility.
The idea of what’s perfect is an idea. It’s not inherent in life. It’s something our minds have come up with and it reflects our culture and much more. It has some practical functions, it comes with a lot of drawbacks, and it’s good to find what’s more true for me. Life – and my body – lives its own life as it does independent of my thoughts about it.
And, of course, this doesn’t replace otherwise being a good steward of my body, health, and life. Taking care of my thoughts about my body, and taking care of my body, go hand in hand.
I have done many inquiries on topics related to my body, health, illness, symptoms, what it means for my life, and so on. Mostly using The Work of Byron Katie, and also using the Kiloby Inquiries, the Big Mind process, and a more open and intuitive inquiry. I know there is a lot more to explore. The more thorough the inquiry and exploration, the more visceral the result.
What I wrote above is pretty visceral for me most of the time. And, sometimes, things happen that trigger parts of me not (yet) quite aligned with it. That’s an invitation to take a closer look.
AWAKENING SHIFTS SEEM TO HAVE WORLD IMPORTANCE
When there is an awakening shift, it seems not uncommon for our human self to respond with a sense that this has a kind of world importance. Perhaps especially if it happens out of the blue without any apparent preparation. (If we are trained within a tradition, I assume it often looks a bit different.)
That’s an interpretation by the mind, of course. It’s one of the ways our human self and human psyche can respond to it.
It’s not wrong. To us and our world, it definitely has world importance. It changes our whole world.
And in a more literal and conventional sense, it may not be that true. Nobody really cares. And even if we write books, give talks, arrange workshops and retreats, and so on, it may have a big impact on a few people but not much on the world at large. (At least, that’s how it seems. Who knows.)
Usually, when there is a sense of world importance, I assume it fades with time and maturity.
How was it for me? Hm, it did actually happen here too. It seemed so momentous that it was difficult to imagine it wouldn’t mean something for the larger whole. And I also recognized the projection and hubris within it, and that it was an idea this mind had created for itself. It wore off with time.
I prefer just admitting I cannot know for certain one way or another, and that’s the most comfortable place to be. It’s most honest and most aligned with reality.
LEARNING TO LIVE WELL WITH WHAT’S HERE
We can deal with trauma in a couple of general ways.
We can try to find healing for it. And we can find healing for how we relate to it.
In my experience, the two go hand-in-hand and support each other.
I don’t know how long it will take to find healing for the trauma. I don’t know how much trauma is here and how many layers and aspects of it there are. I don’t even really know if something has healed, or it it just appears that way for whatever reason. (For instance, that I shifted into another part of me for a while that’s apparently free of it.) So it makes sense for me to learn to live better with it. To find peace with it. To have a good life even when it’s here. Also, finding more peace with it, in itself, can help it healing.
Similarly, it makes sense for me to invite in healing for the trauma itself. That makes it easier to live well with it while it’s here.
If I do only one of these approaches, I miss out on an important piece and there are some drawbacks to each alone.
If I only invite in shifts in how I relate to it, I obviously miss out on the benefits of healing the trauma itself.
If I only focus on finding healing for the trauma, I miss out on finding an easier and more enjoyable life while it’s still here. It can become a strategy of getting rid of things to feel better, which has some obvious downsides.
This applies to more than trauma, of course. It applies to any mind-body issue. And it applies to just about anything in my life that bothers me.
It makes sense to invite in shifts in how I relate to it. And, depending on what it is and the situation, it can make sense to invite in shifts in the thing itself.
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NOVEMBER 6, 2023
THINKING FOR OURSELVES?
I sometimes see people talking about thinking for ourselves.
I was into that too in my mid-teens, as most teenagers are. (At least, it was a big topic when I was that age.)
It’s natural for us to branch out and explore ideas, information, and worldviews outside of what we grew up with. It’s part of growing up. And it’s good to examine and re-examine our own ideas, assumptions, worldview, and the information we operate on.
But are we really thinking for ourselves? We often just adopt different views, orientations, and worldviews, and these come from somewhere. They come from others, they come from other subcultures and sometimes cultures. That’s not bad or wrong. It’s good for us to explore and find what matches us and our situation better.
We can also examine our thoughts more thoroughly, for instance through inquiry. Here, we find what’s more true for us than our initial assumptions. We find the nature and limits of thoughts, which can be very helpful.
We may even find that we are never “thinking for ourselves”. Thoughts happen. They live their own life as anything else.
And we may find that anything appears to have infinite causes. We can always find one more, and one more, stretching back to beginning of time and out to the widest extent of space. In that sense, “we” are not thinking. It’s all of existence thinking locally here in and as this mind.
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That’s a nice thought. But is it true?
How do you know? I know I cannot know any of those things for certain.
What I see is that the universe is doing all sorts of things. Some of which superficially seem nice – like butterflies, pearls, and diamonds. Some of which superficially seem not so nice – like death, disease, and violence. It’s all part of a much larger whole and a seamless dynamic system. And my ideas about what’s desirable and not seems to have no relevance to how the universe unfolds.
I don’t expect some kind of progress in this life or over lifetimes (if there are more than one). Why would life conform to my ideas of progress? Why would there be some kind of progress, according to how I or humans see it?
For me, it’s more peaceful to leave it open. The reality is that I cannot know and I don’t need to know. If there is some kind of progress or not, it’s life’s business, not mine.
What I can do is live my own life the best I can.
I AM A CREPUSCULAR CREATURE?
When I am in nature, I seem to become a crepuscular creature.
I love dawn and dusk and often sleep in between.
I often get up at dawn, and sometimes at the first light on the horizon.
I love being outside during dusk.
I often sleep a bit during the day. And I sleep when it’s dark.
I love these rhythms. I love being crepuscular.
ALL-INCLUSIVE GRATITUDE PRACTICE
I am doing an all-inclusive gratitude practice again and love it. It feels deeply right. And I notice how it shifts my orientation and opens my mind to the genuine gifts in what’s happening, including that which my personality doesn’t like very much.
I am doing more ho’o again and love that too. I notice how it shifts my orientation and opens my mind and heart to others and myself. It’s a reminder that to me, the whole world and all others happen within myself. It happens within and as the consciousness I am. So it only makes sense to apologize for how I have treated those beings and find gratitude and love for all.
NOVEMBER 8, 2023
AWAKENING IS COMPLEX
The more you are familiar with something, the more you know all the complexities of it, and so also with awakening.
At first glance, it may seem simple. If your more fundamental nature recognizes itself, we can label it awakening. That’s not wrong, and yet, there is a lot more to it.
For me, since my teens, it’s been more about how much awakeness there is in the system. When I look at the energy system, how far out from the body does the awakening go? How clear is it? The more awakening in the system the further out it goes (infinitely far normally) and the more “thin” and high-frequency it is. (It’s difficult to find the right words to describe it.)
In a more conventional sense, there is also a lot to it.
Where is the center of gravity? (Is there a shift into our nature recognizing itself? Is that where we mostly live from?) How visceral is it? How much of the psyche is on board with it?
THE MORE WE KNOW
The more we know the more we know how little we know. That goes for just about anything in life. Over time, we get it more viscerally in a general way. We get that it’s like that with everything. And that includes any of our ideas about ourselves, others, daily life situations, and the world in general.
It doesn’t at all mean we get paralyzed. It just means we hold our ideas more lightly. We recognize them for what they are: questions about the world.
I think I got lucky (?) here, in some ways. I remember asking my father: how do you know that? How do you know that? And so on. At some point, he said: I don’t know anything for certain. I must have been about five years old and somehow it sank it. I somehow got – at some level – that I don’t know anything for certain, and that’s been a guide for me in my life. (Of course, parts of my psyche still latched on to painful stories so it has taken time to identify and examine these thoroughly, and there are more left.)
A HEADLESS WAY SYNCHRONICITY
I told my wife this morning that I want to join more of the Headless Zoom meetings.
She said: Yes, it’s important.
And Siri responded with emphasis: Mhm.
I keep exploring family patterns and how they are mirrored in my own psyche and life.
For instance, my mother grew up in a small village on the west coast of Norway (Sognefjorden). Her father left her and her sisters and mother when she was little and left them in relative poverty. He had bipolar disorder and moved in with another woman in the same area. There was likely a lot of gossip going around. She has a fear of abandonment and poverty, and she seems terrified of what others may think or say about her. All of that is very understandable considering her background.
She never told me any of this. I had to hear it from other family members and also read about it in a local history book.
My father grew up in a small village in the eastern part of Norway (Hedmark). His father joined the Nazi party during WW2 and was put on trial and sent to a prison camp after the war. The family had to move to another place where people didn’t know them or their history. I assume this was mortifying for the family. He has lived his life being an upstanding citizen that nobody can criticize. (He worked as an architect and artist and did everything expected of him.)
He also never talked about this. I had to hear about it from other family members.
All of this explains a lot of the dynamics and patterns in my family.
For instance, my parents seem terrified of the truth. There is a lot hidden and not talked about, and when I have brought some of it up, they have responded with strong anger and denial. My father seems terrified of psychologists, lawyers, and court cases. That’s all understandable.
The secrecy also makes for some difficult family dynamics. What’s hidden festers and colors everything in weird ways. And what’s out in the open can be aired out and sterilized by sunshine. It has a chance to breathe and heal, and we have a chance to deal with it more consciously and intentionally.
It seems that my brother has largely consciously bought into this family pattern. But I can still explore, air it out, and expose it to the sunlight.
NOVEMBER 12, 2023
I find I am fundamentally capacity for the world as it appears to me.
I am fundamentally what allows any and all content in this field of experience.
There isn’t much to say about it. It’s just something to notice, and not even notice but kind of touching on noticing since this is not content of experience.
This nothing is kind of everywhere. It’s as if it’s inherent in all.
It’s always here. Sometimes, it comes to the foreground of attention. Sometimes, it’s more in the background while attention is on something else. (And even then, it’s kind of noticed.) Sometimes, it’s even more in the foreground, for instance when there is consciousness through dreamless sleep.
Words come short in describing it, as words come short in describing anything. I can say it’s absolute stillness, a kind of absolute stillness that’s in and takes the form of everything.
It’s not special. I assume any “conscious being”, to themselves, are consciousness, and also are capacity in this way. It’s likely universal. It’s difficult to see that it can be any other way.
Here, it’s been consciously noticed for about 37 years so this human self is used to it. It’s familiar for this human self. That too makes it not so much to talk about.
Is it important? It’s important since there would be no experience without it. It’s what allows any experience. It’s what takes the form of any experience. It’s even what seems to allow and take the form of consciousness itself. It’s kind of a scent that permeates everything.
Is it important to notice it? Or for it to kind of notice itself? Apparently not since it doesn’t seem to be something most consciousnesses focus much on. It seems that it’s perfectly fine for it to be in the background and not consciously noticed or recognized so much. For this consciousness, it’s fun and interesting to notice, and here too, it’s very rarely talked about. Very occasionally, there may be some words written here, and I don’t think I have talked to anyone about it unless briefly when it’s clear we both recognize it.
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WHY IT’S DIFFICULT TO PUT INTO WORDS
Anything that has to do with our more fundamental nature is difficult to put into words.
Why? It’s not because it’s unfamiliar or distant or just for someone special. It’s what’s most familiar to us.
It’s because words can only point, they cannot really capture anything. It’s the nature of words that makes it difficult to put it into words. It’s not so much our own nature.
It’s the same with anything. Words cannot properly capture it.
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COMMUNICATING WITH NATURE SPIRITS
When we first saw Finca Milagros (then Santa Lucia), we were both stunned by the magic and beauty of the place, and we felt deeply that this land wanted us here to protect and support it. It was as if the divine and the nature spirit(s) of this land clearly communicated with us.
I felt strongly that we were meant to be here, but it seemed impossible to buy the land for a few different reasons. It seemed too big for us and it had no car access. We were able to find more financial help, and we were able to buy access with the help of a friend. All of it seemed like a miracle.
I have never experienced this particular connection with a land before, and I experience it all the time when I am here.
This morning, I sprinkled water on the land around the house to energetically clear the ground. (We channel into the water, and then sprinkle it.) This too felt like a clear guidance from the divine and the nature spirit(s) here, and when I walked around with the water, I was guided as to where to sprinkle and if some areas needed more. It feels like the divine and the nature spirit(s) here wanted me to do it so they could do their work through the water. My wife sense the same.
I also communicate with the nature spirit(s) here. I tell it our intention and plans. I ask for support and guidance. And there is a clear sense of two-way communication.
I know all of this can seem a bit weird, especially in our culture, and perhaps also from a well-educated science-oriented guy like me. For me, it’s so clear that I cannot ignore it.
Also, it fits with a more general sensing and communication. I can sense, to some extent, what’s going on in the system of others at a distance, and when I check, it’s accurate. I can see energies around people, animals, plants, and inanimate objects. I can see the level of awakening in someone’s system. I can invite in healing at a distance, and it often works well. And so on. Communicating with nature spirits is just a part of this general experience.
Why do I write nature spirit(s)? It’s because I both sense the spirit of this land as one and many. It’s both at the same time, and it’s connected to the spirit of the larger region and of this living planet as a whole. It’s also an expression of the divine as anything else.
This is one of the things I don’t talk much about, unless I meet someone else who also live it.
WHEN IT BECOMES VISCERAL
It’s not uncommon for something to start as a mental understanding or a glimpse or taste, and then become more visceral as we get more familiar with it.
So also with our nature recognizing itself. Sometimes, it takes time. It takes time for it to explore itself and especially to explore how to have this human self live from and as it.
For instance, my world is happening within and as what I am. My world is created by my mind. It’s processing and interpreting everything and creating a more-or-less coherent world out of it. That’s a view aligned with mainstream psychology and neuroscience. (And common sense.)
In a more phenomenological sense, I can say that to myself, I am consciousness and the world to me happens within and as consciousness. It’s happening within the consciousness I am. The consciousness I am forms itself into any and all experience, into the world as it appears to me. In a very real way, it is me.
We can get this in different ways. We can get the idea of it, through mental representations. We can notice it when we look and things are not too triggered in us. And we can get it more viscerally and in more areas of life and daily life situations, even when something is triggered in us. There is a deepening here over time and with noticing and experience.
Also, at times, our system can shift into a state where this is strongly in the foreground and everything else is in the background, which helps us recognize it and become familiar with it. When these states fade, we may need to work more intentionally to notice and live from it, and deepen into it.
In this example, the noticing doesn’t necessarily change the experience itself. It changes the context of the experience. That can change how our human self relates to it, and the more viscerally we get it at a human level, the more it influences how our human self responds and relates.
NOVEMBER 17, 2023
WHO WE LEARN FROM
I was on a Zoom call with people connected with the old Kanzeon Sangha in Salt Lake City.
One of them said what I have noticed as well. Of course, I learned from the formal teachers, but I learned as much from the regular students. I learned as much if not more from the Sangha.
NOVEMBER 22, 2023
A CAT SYNCHRONICITY (?)
A few days ago, I mentioned to my wife that Luna, my cat in Oregon, used to rub up against me after I gave her food as if to thank me before starting to eat. I also mentioned that Merlina, our cat here, doesn’t do that, and I think I playfully said something to Merlina about that.
This morning, after giving Merlina food, she rubbed up against me before eating, for the first time.
It’s a kind of synchronicity, I guess. A meaningful coincidence. I also suspect that Merlina may have picked up on something and responded. She seems to do that quite a lot.
THE MIDDLE WAY
In Buddhism, they talk about the middle way. What does it point to?
I am not a Buddhist scholar so I can only say what comes up for me.
To me, it’s what happens when I recognize stories as stories. I hold them more lightly. I use them as pointers. I can find the validity in each of them, and the type of limited validity each has.
It doesn’t mean finding something in the middle. It means to embrace it all, including all the polarities and the poles in each polarity.
NOVEMBER 23, 2023
SEEING IN THE DARK
In the mid-2000s, I got into diksha in parallel with a deepening in meditation.
A lot of things happened that were unusual in a conventional sense and perhaps more understandable in an awakening process.
I have seen energies since my mid-teens, in and around living beings and objects. I have especially seen the level or degree of awakening in someone’s system.
Following some diksha transmissions, this got stronger to the point where I could relatively easily see the energy of beings and objects in the dark. I could walk through a forest on a cloudless dark night by seeing the energy of the vegetation on either side of the path. I could navigate in a pitch-dark room in the same way, although not quite as easily since living things light up more.
It was interesting but not that interesting since seeing energies was not new to me, so I didn’t pursue it much beyond this.
HOW DO WE VISUALIZE AWAKENING?
How do I visualize awakening?
It’s an absurd question, in a way, since any imagination falls short as it always does for anything.
And yet, we inevitably visualize something and it’s good to notice.
For me, the visualization is an opening up downwards and in all directions. It’s a falling away. It’s an opening up to the awake space that’s here and has no boundary in any direction.
It’s a falling away revealing the ground of awake space that’s always here.
NOVEMBER 26, 2023
WHY DO PEOPLE INTO AWAKENING TEND TO BE MORE PROGRESSIVE?
People who are on an awakening path seem to be more progressive and liberal.
Why is that?
I imagine there may be many reasons.
One answer is likely selection bias. I tend to know people like me. I know the US West Coast folks into awakening, and they tend to be more progressive and liberal because of their culture. Similarly, I tend to know people who are not so tied to any one spiritual tradition, and I imagine that types of folks may generally be more progressive and liberal. If I lived in another culture, and if I belonged to a spiritual tradition, my impression may be different.
The ones on an awakening path who have a more conservative outlook may feel like outsiders and not speak up so much, at least in the West. There may be more than I imagine.
It may also be something inherent in the awakening path. It tends to open our minds and hearts. We seek to understand others, to put ourselves in their situation, and so on. We tend to include more in the “circle of us”, perhaps all beings and all of existence. And that tends to fit a more progressive and liberal orientation. (Of course, all of those assumptions reflect my own bias.)
I imagine the reality is that throughout history and across cultures, there may be about as many liberals and conservatives on an awakening path. Being on an awakening path doesn’t necessarily change our general orientation to society and politics. Whether we are more one or the other tends to reflect our culture, genetics, and personal experiences, and it’s more likely that our view on society and politics stay generally liberal or conservative, and perhaps change flavor and color a bit.
Another question is: Are more people awakening now than before?
If we have that impression, that may also be because of biases. I imagine that the vast majority of people throughout history who were on an awakening path are unknown to us today. We only know the few who became more public and whose stories were passed on to us.
I assume there are no more on an awakening path now than before. I don’t have any reason to assume there are. It may look that way, but that’s easily explained by survivor bias.
TYPICAL GRATITUDE LIST
I am doing the daily all-inclusive gratitude practice with a friend these days.
Here is my list for today. It’s always different, of course, usually with a mix of things my personality likes and doesn’t like. This one is more about what my personality doesn’t like.
I am grateful for noticing that my memory was selective last night (I had forgotten several things that were more challenging for me earlier in the day)
I am grateful for a neighbor playing loud music the whole day
I am grateful for having distress come up in me because of it
I am grateful for retreating into earbuds and music to block it out
I am grateful for my browser being slow and not typing out the letters until 10-20 seconds after I write
I am grateful for feeling out of it today and not knowing why
I am grateful for having survival fear come up regularly
I am grateful for remembering the croissants in the freezer and warming and eating them just now
I am grateful for the mix of things in life my personality likes and doesn’t like
I am grateful for being able to rest most of the day
I am grateful for seeing how my personality sometimes goes into arrogance to feel safe
I am grateful for seeing how that arrogance takes the form of both dismissing and elevating myself
I am grateful for seeing that I likely write on my blog to feel better about myself and my life
I am grateful to see that the writing helps me feel I understand and helps me feel I have some control
I am grateful to see that it’s not true
NOVEMBER 27, 2023
One of the things I find mostly silly and occasionally slightly interesting is the deserted island question. What would you bring with you to a deserted island?
In terms of music and books, I would definitely bring Arvo Pärt and Adyashanti. That’s where I find the most richness.
As for what to eat and drink, clean water and lots of vegetables and greens.
If we have an issue of feeling less than, our psyche can take something to make itself feel better. It can use something to feel better-than to compensate for feeling less.
That also happens in an awakening process. Our psyche can take aspects of the awakening process and use it to feel better about itself.
That’s normal and understandable, and good to notice.
In the more extreme cases, our psyche can go into ideas of being a kind of world savior, a chosen one, and so on.
Those ideas are accurate, in a certain sense. We save our own world. We are the chosen one in our own life. It’s a matter of seeing how they are accurate.
GOING AGAINST SUPERSTITIOUS COMPULSIONS
In my teens, I remember hearing an interview with a psychologist who talked about superstitious compulsions and how most of us experience them now and then.
I decided to go against them if I ever noticed any impulse in me for superstitious compulsions. It seems better to take the bull by the horns. In the following years, I did notice some impulses now and then, especially in situations that seemed important and uncertain to me. (These superstitions are a way to feel we have control when we don’t really.) And I did act contrary to what the thought in me says I should do. (I decided that if I was going to have a superstitious compulsion, it would be to do the opposite of what any thought in me said I should do!) For me, this seems to have been a relatively effective way to not fuel them.
This reminds me of something else I have done a few times. If I notice an addictive tendency for certain foods, and it’s an addictive tendency I would rather not have, I have intentionally indulged in that food until I felt sick and didn’t want it anymore. Once is enough. I did that with some delicious giant chocolate plates in Norway, and it’s been freeing to not be attracted to that food very much anymore.
Of course, this has likely worked because the compulsions and impulses were not terribly strong.
NOVEMBER 30, 2023
GIVING IT ALL TO THE DIVINE
Since my teens, one of my explorations and practices has been to give it all over to the divine.
This whole system, anything to do with this human self, anything to do with this life, any emotional issues and hangups, any sense of being an I or observer or doer. I give it all over to the divine.
And really, it’s just a noticing that it’s all already the divine. It’s all the local expressions of the divine. This world is the divine. What I give up is anything in my system that’s not aligned with that.
BEING ON TRACK
two ways, ask the divine, allow to transform me, be open for it looking differently in the past or how I imagine
THE ESSENCE OF REACTIVITY
fear, stressful stories, wanting to protect me, don’t have to fight, can understand,
Image created by me and Midjourney.
HEALING EXPERIENCE WITH VORTEX HEALING
LIFE PRIORTIZES INNER GROWTH?
IS DRAMA EXCITING?
OCTOBER 12, 2023
FINDING OURSELVES IN THE SITUATION WE LEAST WOULD LIKE TO BE IN
A common strategy for story-writers is to put a character in the situation they least would like to be in. If someone is strongly identified with something, take that away from them. If they hate something, let them spend time with it. It’s interesting and sometimes entertaining to see how people deal with being put in situations they don’t like.
That’s life as well. I assume we all frequently find ourselves in situations our personality really doesn’t like.
For instance, I have sound sensitivity and love silence, and now I am finding myself in an apartment with very noisy streets directly outside. On top of that, the apartment was freshly painted with oil-based paint and I have chemical sensitivities, so I need to have all windows open. I was supposed to be here for just a few days, and now it looks more like weeks due to circumstances outside of my control.
I was also identified with my intellect, productivity, and doing a PhD, and all of that fell away due to the onset of strong Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) some years ago. I was identified with an extensive library I had built up over a couple of decades (books you wouldn’t find in a regular library) and lost it and everything I owned.
The examples from now and the past are endless.
So what can we do when we find ourselves in these situations?