Shapeshifting and what it says about our more fundamental nature

I am reading The Book of Symbols: Reflections on Archetypal Images and love the content and format, and just about every paragraph is a pointer for several types of explorations.

For instance, there is a chapter on shapeshifting. (One expression of this is shamans experiencing themselves as a jaguar, condor, bat, or whatever it may be during their shamanic journeys.)


For me, that’s a reminder of our more fundamental nature.

Yes, in one sense I am this human self. And more fundamentally, I am consciousness. I am the consciousness that this whole field of experience – the wider world, this human self, and anything else – happens within and as.

I can take on any perspective.

I can create an identity out of any perspective and mental representation. I can imagine myself as it, and perceive and feel as if it’s true.

Most of the time, the consciousness we are is identified with and as our human self. Why? Because that’s what others do, and when we grow up we do as others do. If we were connected with the body of a different species, and we grew up in a society where people had that type of body, then that would be our typical identification.

This identification works pretty well in daily life, so most of us don’t have any strong incentives to question it. (It does come with inherent friction and stress since it’s somewhat out of alignment with reality, but most of us don’t realize the root cause of that discomfort.)

The ones who tend to move outside of this typical identification are the outsiders in society, the insane, mystics, and shamans.


How can we explore this for ourselves?

The Big Mind process is perhaps the most direct and effective way to explore this. We can explore taking on a wide range of perspectives. If we can imagine something, we can imagine into that perspective. We can explore what happens when we identify with and as a particular perspective. We can even find our more fundamental nature and explore how it all looks from there.

We can also get a taste of our more fundamental nature through the Headless experiments, and explore identities and how we are not – more fundamentally – any of it.

We can dismantle of identifications through The Work of Byron Katie.

We can explore how our mind creates perspectives and identifications through the sense fields and how they combine, for instance, guided by the Kiloby Inquiries.

And there are many other approaches. Just find the one(s) that resonate with you.


My path into this was perhaps a bit unusual and had some shamanic elements.

At age, fifteen, something shifted so it felt like the world – any content of experience including this human self, feelings, thoughts, states, and so on – felt very distanced. It all felt very far away. At the time, I had absolutely no interest in spirituality (I was a self-identified atheist), what happened was scary and didn’t make any sense, and the doctors and specialists couldn’t figure out what was going on either.

Already here, life showed me my nature. It showed me that I wasn’t fundamentally anything within the sense fields, within the field of experience. Because of my background, I didn’t get it which is normal and fine.

Almost exactly one year later, there was another shift. This time into oneness. Here, all was revealed as God, Spirit, the divine. The whole field of experience and the consciousness it happened within and as was revealed – as consciousness, Spirit, the divine, or whatever we want to call it.

This didn’t go away and led to an intense process over several years for my human self.

I have continued to explore this – through Buddhist practice, Taoist practice, Christian practice, parts work, several forms of inquiry, energy work, and so on. I even dipped into shamanism a few times, but not seriously. (Although I love it and am very happy people go into it deeply.)

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Noise as also the voice of the divine

I am in a place with more traffic noise than I am used to.

My personality doesn’t like it very much.

And I am also exploring something.

What if this is the voice of the divine too?

Can I find it as the voice of the divine?

How is it to notice it as the voice of the divine?

How is it to find it as the divine expressing, exploring, and experiencing itself as that too? As the traffic noise. The traffic. This human self responding to it.


In exploring this, there is of course a lot more happening.

I find I can do it more easily when I am rested and have more resources available.

I notice parts of me frustrated with the noise. I see what happens when I thank these parts of me for protecting me, and relate to them as a good friend or a good parent to a child. I notice that this too is a flavor of the divine, just like the noise itself.

I notice that the noise only exists, for me, as something within my sound field, within my sensory fields. It happens within and as what I am. I cannot find it “outside”. Even any image I have of “outside” happens within my mental field.

If my human self feels tired, I am kind to my human self and put on headphones or put in earbuds and listen to some music.

And I also just allow myself to be frustrated by the noise and complain or make a joke about it.

Image: Me and Midjourney

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Others are likely like me: we are all fundamentally consciousness to ourselves

It’s not wrong that I am this human self in the world with all sorts of characteristics, identities, and so on. And yet, when I look, I find I am more fundamentally something else. I am more fundamentally what this field of experience happens within and as. I am what the world, to me, happens within and as. I am capacity for it all.

A thought may call this consciousness. To myself, I am consciousness and the world to me happens within and as the consciousness I am.

And that’s likely the same for others as well.

If a creature “has” consciousness, then to themselves they ARE consciousness. And the world, as it appears to them, happens within and as the consciousness they are.

The only difference is the particular body-mind this consciousness operates through and as. It may be another human being. It may be a bird. It may be an insect.

To me, this is very beautiful. Even if they may not consciously recognize their nature, I can recognize it. I can imagine it based on what I find here.

Why the halo or nimbus in these images? Why the circle around the head or body?

I can find three reasons.

One is tradition. In European and Asian art, it’s traditionally used to indicate sacredness.

It’s also something we can see. I have seen energies around people and any living and even non-living thing since my mid-teens. (I first saw it around the leaves of a birch tree.)

And it’s also metaphorical. Here, I used it to suggest consciousness and that we all fundamentally are consciousness to ourselves, whether we notice or not.

I made these images with Midjourney, and they are really created by our collective humanity and the existence as a whole just like anything expressed through each of us.

Arctic visions – AI images

A collection of images from the Arctic (northern Norway and Iceland) imagined by me and Midjourney. Click on the images to see a larger size.

It’s fun to explore what the AI can do, and although I like the general feel of some of these images, there is room for improvement when it comes to textures and atmospheric perspective.

For more of my AI imaginations, see my AI Instagram account.

Dream: Find my own way to do it

I am in Norway in the forest (Hebekskogen / Radiostasjonen) near where I grew up. I am back with the ones I grew up with, and we are all adults now. Every year, we return for a run of ten laps. We need to follow a path that’s similar to a Norwegian tourist attraction sign. I try to do it extremely conscientiously and notice it takes a lot of work and time. I even have to go by my parents’ house for each lap. I talk with the organizer. He seems a good guy and says: “Don’t worry! I don’t care about that at all, just do it your own way. Find your own way to do it, that’s all.” 

Many of my dreams are quite direct and don’t seem to need a lot of interpretation. (Even when they need interpretation it’s more in the form of going back into the dream and feeling into what resonates and possibly also interacting with the different dream elements – active imagination.)

In this case, I am back where I grew up. I am back into something basic in me from childhood.

Why in the forest? Perhaps because I have gone for many walks there through my life and love that forest, even if it’s not very wild. Also, we would often go there with my school to do different activities from nature-related quizzes to running and skiing.

We are all returning for an annual run of ten laps. This feels like the tasks we all need to do in adult life. Making sure the basic necessities are in place, pay the bills, eat reasonably healthy, go to the doctor, and so on. (I am doing a lot of those things right now.)

The lap is in the shape of a Norwegian tourist attraction sign. It reminds me of an infinity sign. Maybe it’s a reminder that life is, in a sense, infinite. There is nowhere to arrive. When it comes to the business of living, there is no place to arrive. Also, the sign is a bit convoluted which life often is. And life is a kind of sightseeing adventure.

The path goes by my parents’ house, which makes sense. A lot of my internalized shoulds come from them and were instilled in me there.

I try to do the run very conscientiously, as I often do in life. I try to follow the rules and expectations. I try to go beyond what’s expected of me. It’s exhausting.

The organizer is a very nice guy (not anyone I know from waking life) and says: “Don’t worry! Find your own way to do it.” Nobody cares if I do it exactly the way I think it should be done.

I don’t have to go by my parents’ house. I don’t need to follow the shape. I don’t need to make the lap big.

When I check in with him now, he says: No worries. The shoulds are only shoulds. Find a way to do it that’s comfortable for you and that you enjoy. Find a juicy and enjoyable way to do it.

It seems that my inner organizer – my inner conductor/director/captain – has a pretty chill side and would like to see me find my own way, find freedom from shoulds, and relax and enjoy life more. It’s a complement to – and in this case correction to – the overly conscientious side of me.

Of course, it makes sense to do some things conscientiously like paying bills and taxes. But in general, notice the shoulds and let them just be what they are. Find your own enjoyable way to do it.

It’s good medicine for me since I definitely have internalized shoulds from society (as we all do), have a strong conscientious and perfectionist tendency in me, and live a life that doesn’t fit the norms very much. (Just being a Norwegian living in the Andes mountains with a largish regeneration project there is outside of the norm!)

Yesterday, I took a day off from any shoulds. I set it all aside and didn’t think of anything on my to-do list. Instead, I just enjoyed myself, created some AI images, made some good food, watched a good movie, and went to bed early. I felt I needed it. I also noticed a voice in me saying: “You should really do all of those things on your to-do list. Better do it today than later.” Maybe that’s a kind of day residue for this dream?

Also, I am currently locked out from my bank account and had planned to pay two bills today which I am unable to do. I notice a part of me stressing out since I had said I would do it today and now seem unable to. How can I relate to this in a more comfortable way? The first is to remind myself that there is no actual deadline on these bills, and I have options. One option is to just let them know it will be a day later than I said. The other is asking someone to pay it for me, and then pay them back. I think I’ll go with the first option and explore finding comfort with it, even if – or perhaps since – it goes against my habitual pattern. (My habitual pattern is to find a way to follow through on what I had said I would do, even if it is more involved and effortful.) Today, I’ll choose the simple option.

Note: I feel what I wrote above became quite fragmented. It’s because I kept adding little things here and there as it came to me, and I didn’t organize it much as a whole.

Update: It’s now a few days later and I am still exploring this dream. Of course, I want to be a good steward of my life and a good citizen, however that looks. And, at the same time, I want to follow the example of the organizer. I want to see that I don’t need to follow any shoulds or expectations from myself or others. I am free to find a different way to do it. One that makes sense in the situation and makes sense to me.

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Deep time overlay in daily life

All of us are informed by a myriad of mental images and words in daily life. Many or most of these operate without being consciously noticed although we can train ourselves to notice more.


Since I know my own world best, I’ll use myself as an example.

In my daily life, I often notice mental images and words relating to deep time.

My mind is creating an overlay from history, evolutionary psychology, and the universe story, and it’s using it to make sense of the world.


I often check in with evolutionary psychology if I see a behavior I am curious about.

For instance, when I hear or hear about the stress many experience, it’s natural to check it with an image of how our distant ancestors lived – in smaller groups and a much simpler life focused on gathering and hunting. That life had challenges too, of course, but it is simpler than our life so contrasting the two immediately gives us some understanding of why modern humans experience so much stress, anxiety, and depression.

When I see people who are overweight, or hear about eating disorders, or walk into a grocery store full of sugary things, I am also reminded of the environment we evolved in. We evolved to love sugary things since they were fruits, we didn’t so often come across fruits and they are full of valuable nutrients and energy, so it was good for us to have a strong desire to eat them. These days, that impulse is hijacked by the modern food industry where we are surrounded by sugary temptations and it’s not so easy for many of us to resist.


When the pandemic happened, I was not surprised for long by most of what unfolded.

I knew that pandemics happen roughly one hundred years apart (there are obviously exceptions) so this one came right on time. (A century after the Spanish Flu.)

I have read and studied some epidemiology since my teens, so I knew what works in terms of measures we collectively can take to reduce the impact. So I was not surprised by the measures taken by most governments. They just followed standard pandemic guidelines based on what we know works from history. (There were some variations, of course, with Sweden and China as polar opposites. And that’s very good. That allows us to study and learn from it in hindsight.)

I was also not surprised by the upswing in conspiracy theories and groups of people being upset about some of our collective measures. In pandemics or other collective crises, there is an upswing in conspiracy theories, scapegoating, and fear relating to any change. (I was disappointed that some of my friends fell into it without apparently much awareness of how they were just repeating patterns from history.)


Sitting here, and often in daily life, I am also aware of how I am literally stardust.

I and all of Earth are created from matter forged in ancient stars.

I am aware of my distant ancestors going back. to the very first single-celled beings Earth formed itself into.

I am aware of my intimate relationship with all Earth life.

I am aware that the universe has formed itself into all I am and all I am aware of.


There is another aspect here that is not really deep time, but maybe more a (kind of) deep psychology.

For a few decades now, I have found myself most fundamentally as consciousness.

To me, the world happens within and as this consciousness. (That includes anything within the content of experience, including this human self, any thoughts and emotions, any sense of a doer, observer, and so on.)

So when I see or imagine other beings, I assume that’s how it is for them too, whether they are consciously aware of it or not. I see an image of them too most fundamentally being consciousness, operating through and as the body-mind they function through and as.

That gives another depth to my world.


All of this is how my mental field gives some depth to my world.

And it’s very good to notice.

It’s good to notice that it is a mental overlay.

Although it gives depth and richness, and my personality mostly likes it, it’s good to hold it all lightly.


We can train ourselves to notice these mental field overlays.

For instance, as I am sitting here I am aware of my mental images of the world beyond what I can take in with my senses, I am aware of mental images overlaying my visual field, I am aware of words and images roughly outlining the next few paragraphs, and so on.

The most effective way to learn to notice this that I have found is traditional sense field explorations and modern variations like the Kiloby inquiries.

And this helps us hold it all a little more lightly. Or, at least, notice when we don’t!


How do we develop a more of a deep time overlay on the world?

What resonates the most with you? What do you have curiosity, fascination, or passion about? What are you drawn to?

If you like history, take a look at Big History.

If it’s nature and the Earth, then deep ecology may be a good place to start.

If it’s spirituality, then just about all religions have an ecospirituality wing. You can also explore pagan or shamanic approaches.

If it’s science in general, systems views and an integral approach may be a good fit.

If it’s evolution, check out the epic of evolution and evolutionary psychology.

If it’s awe and a connection with the universe and existence as a whole, try the Universe Story.

If you are more interested in a direct and experiential approach, try Practices to Reconnect and different forms of inquiry (Kiloby Inquiries, the Big Mind process, perhaps also The Work of Byron Katie and Headless experiments).

Searching on any of these will bring up online groups, videos, podcasts, websites, books, and other good starting points. There is a lot out there on these topics.

Personally, I got into the Universe Story first, through Carl Sagan’s Cosmos when I was about ten. It changed my life and set me on this course. In my mid-teens, I got into deep ecology and systems views through Arne Næss and Fritjof Capra. I read everything I could get my hands on. In my twenties, I got into evolutionary psychology (as part of my psychology studies), Practices to Reconnect (Joanna Macy), the Universe Story, and the Epic of Evolution. I have organized several events where we used the Practices to Reconnect.

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Yokai AI images

A collection of yokai sculptures imagined by me and Midjourney. Click on the images to see the full image. And click “Read More” below to see a few more yokai sculptures.

Yokai are supernatural entities and spirits from Japanese folklore and come in a great variety of forms, from silly to helpful to scary.

For more of my AI imaginations, see my AI Instagram account.


I see these AI images as not so interesting in themselves, but more as: “Wouldn’t it be cool if these were real sculptures?”

Also, I see them as a joint creation of not only me and Midjourney, but all of humanity (the AI is trained on images created by innumerable people around the world) and really all of existence. Without all of existence and the evolution of the Universe, they would not exist. That’s the same with any human creation and made even more obvious with AI-generated images, text, and music.

AI images or AI in general will never replace good artists. They are statistical programs predicting what’s likely to go together (in the case of images) and what comes next (in the case of text). The AI is not in any way intelligent. They are trained on a large number of images and texts so produce something that’s average good, not exceptional. They are tools.

And yes, AI will lead to the loss of some jobs (less skilled image-creators and writers) and it will create a lot of new jobs (people who know how to use AI effectively and well).

As usual, the consequences of this particular tool and revolution will likely not be as bad as some fear, and it not be as good as some hope.

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Are yokai real? (And a little about AI)

I recently explored what Midjourney would come up with in terms of yokai images, and it brought up some reflections in me.


Yokai are supernatural entities and spirits from Japanese mythology and they come in great variety.

Is there any truth to the yokai?

The modern mind may say “obviously not” or go into a binary discussion. For me, that’s missing the juiciness of it.

If we go into that binary discussion of whether they are real or not, then the answer is “we don’t know” and “it’s a question for science”.

We can also say that if yokai are real to someone, then they are – for all practical purposes – real to that person. They live within a world where they exist and live their life accordingly.

We can explore what happens when people live within a world where yokai are real. How does it influence and color their decisions and life?

We can explore reasons for why people possibly invented and created stories about yokai. Was it to create a more rich and interesting world for themselves and those around them? Was it to scare children? To try to control the behavior of children and possibly adults? Was it to try to make sense of something that didn’t quite make sense, or where the randomness of life wasn’t a satisfying answer? Or all of those and more?

We can study yokai as possibly a real phenomenon. We can interview people who say they have seen and interacted with them. We can look for patterns. (There is an amazing documentary called The Fairy Faith that takes this approach.)

We can explore possible communication with and guidance from nature spirits. What do we find through interviews and case studies (e.g. Findhorn)? What alternate explanations are there? What do we find if we explore it for ourselves, possibly under guidance from someone more experienced?

We can look at how – to us – we are consciousness, and – to us – the world happens within and as that consciousness. To us, the world appears as consciousness and waking life and night dreams are no different in that way. If we don’t notice this directly, we may interpret it as “spirit in nature” (animism) and as if nature and objects have consciousness. And from here, it’s easy to imagine nature spirits and conscious spirits all around us.

We can explore whether, in any meaningful way, the universe IS consciousness (AKA Spirit, the divine, Brahman, God.) If so, maybe yokai fits more easily into our worldview. They would not necessarily be a surprise or anomaly.

Each of these views, and many more, has validity and invites interesting explorations. And exploring each one and all of them together requires some sincerity and intellectual honesty, which is an interesting exploration in itself.


Then a little about AI.

I wouldn’t call what I and Midjourney come up with “art”.

For me, it’s more of a fun exploration to see what comes out of it. And, for instance, in the case of the yokai images, it’s more “wouldn’t it be cool if these were real sculptures?”.

I create images with Midjourney of things I would like to see in physical reality, for instance, as a real sculpture or painting.

Image: Created by me and Midjourney and really the creativity of humanity as a whole and the universe expressed through and as us.

The best politician?

The leader of the conservative party in Norway (Erna Solberg) is in hot water these days. Her husband clearly used inside information from her and her government to work the stock market. He bought and sold large amounts of stocks at crucial moments, often the day before her government announced policies that significantly influenced the value of those stocks. She has thrown him under the bus and abandoned any responsibility for this situation, even if she – crucially – is legally responsible for making sure these things don’t happen. And she has received a lot of criticism for it.

A friend of mine on social media says he doesn’t agree politically with her in everything but feels sad since she sees her as the best politician in Norway.


In many ways, I admire that approach.

He discerns between political skills and the content of politics.

He acknowledges that she has skills and characteristics many would like to see in a politician, even if we don’t agree with all or most of the content of her politics.

It’s a useful distinction and it reflects sincerity and intellectual honesty.


Yes, she may have skills and characteristics many would like to see in a politician.

At the same time, she clearly does not embody certain skills I see as crucial for a politician.

She does not seem to have much interest in thinking in the big picture and long term.

She chooses to ignore the dire warnings of scientists.

As I see it, this shows that she lacks crucial political skills.


Is she the best politician if she is ignoring the warnings from tens of thousands of scientists? If she is not taking what they say seriously and is not prioritizing deep and profound changes in all our social systems. (Not the least our economic system which is blind to existing within an ecosystem with limited ability to produce resources and absorb the products of civilization.) Is she the best politician if she lives with her head in the sand and pretends it’s all mostly OK with just a few problems here and there that can be fixed with minor tweaks? Will future generations see her as the best politician? *

Yes, she may be skilled in some facets of being a politician. And can she be the “best” if she is ignoring scientists and the biggest issue humanity is facing today? Can she be the best politician if she is ignoring that humanity is using far more resources than Earth’s ecosystems can keep up with? If she is ignoring – to take just one of many examples – that the acidification of the oceans may lead them to collapse with disastrous consequences for all of humanity and most life on Earth?


I know that this sounds, in some way, like the talk of a teenager, and it’s exactly the kind of things I said as a teenager in the ’80s.

Some will say that what I am bringing up is beside the point. He obviously talked about certain skills independent of politics, and I switched the focus to the content of politics. That is, in some ways, a derailing of the original conversation.

And yet, what do we see as included in essential and crucial political skills? Isn’t taking science seriously an essential political skill in our modern world? Isn’t looking at the big picture and thinking long-term an essential political skill?

When we talk about these things, do we choose myopia? Or do we look at the bigger picture? Can we afford to leave the bigger picture out of the conversation?

* No party in Norway is really taking this as seriously as they need to. Even the Green Party is watering it down to make it more palatable for more people. And that says more about the voters than the political parties. They are the ones who prefer to not look at the reality.

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Dream: Unlimited embodiment

I read a book called “Unlimited Embodiment”. It’s very good and written by someone with extensive experience with embodiment and awakening, and a background from Vajrayana Buddhism (likely Bhutan).

This was more of a dream image than a narrative dream.

I would very much like to read a book with that title, written by someone with extensive experience.

Embodiment is very interesting to me. Awakening and embodiment go hand-in-hand and are really two sides of the same process. Embodiment is part of the awakening process. It clarifies and grounds the awakening. The natural movement of awakening is embodiment.

What is awakening? For me, it’s noticing what I more fundamentally am, and noticing that it’s my more fundamental nature noticing itself.

What is embodiment? It’s living from and as my more fundamental nature recognizing itself.

To me, it seems that both are endless. There is always more to notice and clarity. There is always further to go in living from it. Our human self – body, mind, and life in the world – keeps transforming and maturing in this process.

So yes, embodiment is unlimited.

Why Vajrayana Buddhism? I have a deep resonance with Vajrayana Buddhism with its inclusivity, Earthiness, and shamanic elements. I love it and have a lot of respect for it. (And did practice within it for a while a long time ago.) To me, it seems grounded and Earthy and seems to emphasize or reflect embodiment more than many other traditions.

Why Bhutan? Perhaps because their Buddhist tradition is more unbroken? (In Tibet, China has interfered a lot with Buddhism and Buddhist life and practice.)

Why did this dream come now? I am not sure. Perhaps to show me that it’s happening more than I sometimes think? I have worked a lot on healing issues in me, and that’s an important part of embodiment. It opens space for a more real and effortless embodiment.

Yesterday, I noticed that several things seemed more gone than I had noticed before, especially my dreams about the future, the things I wanted to do and achieve, and my role in the world. (These wore off since my life took another path due to my physical condition.) I am more just living here and now and enjoying a simple life. That’s part of the embodiment, and perhaps the dream is reminding me of this.

Another thing I notice is that I would love to write a book on embodiment, and Unlimited Embodiment seems a great title.

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Dream: I am retiring

I am retiring even if I am still relatively young. I am surprised by everyone showing up to celebrate (or acknowledge) the retirement. Most of them are from an eclectic spiritual group. I feel a bit isolated and like and outsider, and am touched that even the ones I don’t know very well seem to care.

What am I retiring from? What does retirement in the dream reflect? My sense is that it has to do with retiring from the many dreams and plans I used to have about the future. (Doing a Ph.D., writing books, doing art more full time again, living in New Mexico, and so on.) Something in me seems to release its grip on those dreams and visions, and it feels good. Maybe I am retiring from my old dreams and into the life I have? That feels most resonant with the dream.

In the dream, I feel a bit isolated and an outsider. My conscious part may be a bit isolated from the rest of me, perhaps because I have spent the last few months focusing on daily life tasks and less on intentionally connecting with the many parts of me. Also, this reflects a pattern in me from childhood. I have always felt a bit isolated and like an outsider, including in whatever spiritual group I have been involved in.

What about the people showing up to celebrate or mark the retirement? They are from a spiritual group I am involved with that’s pragmatic and eclectic and take a similar approach to me. They all seem to care and support me in the transition. These must be parts of me aligned with awakening (?) that support this retirement.

The night before this dream, I did mention to another that I used to invest energy and happiness in my dreams about the future (in my early twenties especially), and I cannot find that so much anymore. Also, I cannot find much investment in my old dreams of doing a Ph.D. and the other projects I had envisioned for myself.

Instead, I have new projects – like the regeneration project in the Andes – and notice I don’t invest energy in these new projects as I used to. I take a more pragmatic approach and know it can all change in a moment. I am engaged in it and do what’s needed to be a good steward of these projects, but I don’t seem to add so much of an extra charge to it as I did earlier in life.

I am very aware that this is just what it looks to my conscious side. I don’t really know what’s going on. But the change I seem to notice feels freeing. It feels more real. More aligned with reality. A bit more mature perhaps.

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Divine awareness is in all things?

Divine awareness is in all things

– NW in a Vortex Healing forum

These kinds of simple statements can be fertile ground for exploration.


When people say these things, it can come from two places.

It can come from a mental representation, often formed by exposure to what others say and write.

And it can come from a direct noticing.

In this case, I know the person who wrote it so I assume it comes from a combination. He directly perceives it and is also guided by what he has heard others say.


Where does that perception come from?

Rationally, we see that we are consciousness. If we “have” consciousness, then – to ourselves – we ARE consciousness. And that also means that the world, to us, happens within and as the consciousness we are.

We can also find this in direct perception. Yes, in some ways, I am this human self in the world as others see it and my passport suggests. When I take a closer look, I find something else. I find I more fundamentally am what this whole field of experience happens within and as. I am what – to me – the world and this human self and any content of experience happens within and as. And that can be called consciousness.

When the world, to me, happens within and as what I am AKA consciousness, then the world, to me, appears to be made up of consciousness. The consciousness I am forms itself into the whole field of experience, including of the wider world. The world, to me, appears as consciousness. It appears as a night dream since both night dreams and waking life happen within and as consciousness.

And from there, it’s easy to also call it the divine or Spirit. The world, to me, inevitably appears to have the characteristics of the divine. It’s one. It’s consciousness. It’s “alive” in that sense.


So what’s really going on here?

If the world, to me, inevitably APPEARS as consciousness, does that mean the world, in itself, IS consciousness? That it is what we can call Spirit or the divine?

Most mystics will say so, and many spiritual traditions say so as well. But that’s just what someone says.

There are also many hints suggesting all is Spirit. For instance, sensing at a distance, distance healing, seeing energies, amazing synchronicities, reports of near-death experiences, memories from before this life, and so on. All of this fits into seeing all as Spirit, but it can also be understood in other ways. It’s not conclusive.

So for me, it makes sense to use two different understandings of what’s going on.

One is the small interpretation. It’s based on what’s described in the previous section: to ourselves, we inevitably are consciousness, and the world, to us, inevitably appears as consciousness. That’s all we can say for certain. Anything else is speculation and assumptions, although some views may be more compatible with the data than other views.

It’s possible that the materialistic view is correct. In an outside and third-person view, we and the rest of existence may fundamentally be matter and it just appears to us as if all things are consciousness.

It’s also possible that all is Spirit, and our nature and the nature of all things is the same. We cannot know for certain. We hold the possibilities open.

The upside of this view is that it’s honest. It allows for a range of possibilities when it comes to the nature of all things. It leaves the door open for anyone to explore their own nature independent of their existing worldview. (A Marxist or materialist can do it as well as a Christian or Hindu.) The downside is that it can seem a little dry. (Although not to me, I find it fascinating.)

The other is the big interpretation. The nature of reality itself is the same as my own nature. Not only does all things appear as consciousness, it also IS consciousness. It’s all Spirit, the divine, Brahman, Allah, and so on. The upside of this view is that it’s inspiring, and it’s familiar and fits what mystics and many spiritual traditions say. The downside is that it can put some people off, and it taken as is, it may not be entirely honest.


To me, what makes the most sense is to use both of these views. They complement each other. Each one has upsides and downsides. And it just feels more comfortable and honest.

The small view is more inviting for a wider range of people, and it also fits better in an academic context. It makes it easier to study awakening and the experience of mystics in an academic setting.

The big view is more familiar to many, fits many traditions, fits more data, and is often more inspiring.

As I see it, the small view is more honest to our own experience. And the big view may be more accurate in the bigger picture.


Why don’t more people differentiate between these two views? (I actually don’t know of anyone who does, although I am sure there must be many out there. This is just something that makes sense to me.)

This view seems so obvious to me and makes so much sense, so I am honestly a little baffled why others don’t seem to talk about it.

The obvious answer is that many do, I just don’t know about it. I have been out of touch with these kinds of explorations in the wider world for several years due to my health.

Also, some may talk about it outside of the public view. They may see it as a refinement not necessary for most explorers, and something that may confuse people starting out on their own exploration. (I see it as something that could clarify and guide.)

Some may use these views for themselves without speaking about it very much. (I usually don’t mention it apart from in these writings.)

Some may find comfort in using the traditional language and ways of talking about it.

And some may not have explored this very much. They may not find it interesting or useful. (I obviously find it both useful and interesting. Also, exploring the sense fields and projections has been a central part of my path since my teens so this may come more naturally to me. I am biased in this direction.)

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Ken Wilber’s bashing of “unhealthy green”

When I see people do green-bashing, it looks a lot like they are fighting their own shadow.

First, what am I talking about?

Ken Wilber has popularized Spiral Dynamics which is a model of adult value development. What do we value? How does this tend to change as we grow and mature?

One of the stages described in this model is the green stage. The values here are inclusivity, taking care of nature, considering the needs of future generations, and so on. Many who are into sustainability or intentional communities are here or have it as part of their value package.

Predictably, this is a set of values that tend to come after – or be added onto – a typical modern mindset where we value democracy, science, and so on. We see that although there is much good here, it’s not quite sufficient. We also need to take care of life.

What people tend to mature into after the green values is a more integral approach, an approach where we see the function and value of the many different value-sets people operate from. Here, we can find it all in ourselves, make use of whatever makes sense in the situation, and see a bigger picture of how it all fits together.

What’s peculiar about Ken Wilber is his green-bashing. He often talks about “unhealthy green” which is not a problem in itself. If we want, we can easily find apparently unhealthy expressions of each of the different value-sets. So why is he so focused on it? Why does it seem to have an emotional charge for him? Why does he seem reactive? Why does it appear to be a hangup for him?

One answer may be his own personal experiences. I don’t know him or his life so I cannot say much about it. But I guess that he may have interacted with people who fit into an “unhealthy green” category in his mind, and he hurt himself in how he reacted to what they said and did.

To me, the green-bashing of Ken Wilber and his followers looks like shadowboxing. It looks like they are fighting their own shadow. It looks like they are fighting these sides of themselves.

And why do people mimic Ken Wilber in this? Again, I am not sure. One possibility is that they admire him and perhaps have their own identity mixed in with his, so they want to follow in his footsteps also here.


Models like Spiral Dynamics have their value. They can help us organize data and find patterns. At the same time, they also have their limits. They are all models. They are mental representations of phenomena that are far more rich and complex and also different in nature from these representations. They are to be held lightly and used carefully.

Why don’t I engage in green-bashing? Because it seems a bit silly to me. It looks so obviously like a shadow hangup. Also, I don’t have much personal experience with the “unhealthy” side of green. And what KW and others do tastes a bit of bullying and I am much more likely to go after the bully than to join in with the bullying.

What’s my history with Ken Wilber? I absolutely loved No Boundary when I found it in the ’80s and devoured everything he published for a couple of decades after that. In the late 2000s, I got into some online integral communities and quickly got disenchanted with it all. I am sure his more recent books have value but I haven’t read them.

Why did I get disenchanted? One aspect is seeing how he obviously (and apparently unnecessarily) misrepresented certain people and approaches in his own books. That gave me a bad taste in the mouth. Another is the green bashing he and his followers engaged in. I also noticed how some of his followers seemed to use integral theory to put others down and elevate themselves, and how they seemed to take models as gospel truth instead of recognizing them as questions about the world.

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Why do I love woke?

I love woke.

I know it’s popular to criticize woke these days, even among progressives and liberals. *

So why do I love woke?


I could say that I don’t love all of it. I don’t love some of the weird and obviously misguided and overzealous expressions of it. But that’s not completely true.

I even love the misguided parts of it. It’s what always happens when something new is adopted on a larger scale. It’s something for people to digest and process. And it’s something for us individually and collectively to learn from.


Why do I love it?

It’s a huge step forward compared to most of what we have seen in human history and most of what we see in the world today.

It may be just a glimpse of a more radical inclusivity in human history. Who knows what will happen in the future.

And I love inclusivity.

It allows for a far more rich society and for us to benefit from that richness. I love seeing minorities respected and included.

It feels good to treat people as I would like to be treated, with respect, welcome, and an acknowledgment that I too am valuable and have something to contribute.

It allows me to feel more included with my own peculiarities. And we all have those peculiarities. Even if we think we don’t, we may. And, at the very least, we have a very real potential to be in the minority in the future in one way or another. (In my case, it’s a disability.)

It’s a mirror for inner inclusivity. It’s an invitation for me to embrace more of my inner diversity. To get to know and consciously embrace more parts of me, which makes my own life far richer and opens up new possibilities for how to live my life in the world. If I want to explore and embrace my own richness, how can I not also do it in society?


Is this a naive view?

Perhaps, but I don’t think so.

I am very aware of many of the misguided and slightly ridiculous expressions of it.

And I am certainly not naive about how rare it is in human history and culture. It’s rare to find that kind of humanity and intentional inclusivity.


* This is an example of how something starts at the far right, and then for whatever reason is adopted by liberals and progressives. Are they aware that they are adopting ideas from the far right? Are they aware that they do exactly what the far right wants them to do? Are they aware that they often, perhaps without noticing, allow themselves to be shamed into it?

Are they aware that the right-wing folks who started with the woke-bashing do so in order to try to maintain their (often white male) privilege? And to justify continued bigotry and marginalization of large groups of people in society?

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Headless experiments only give a temporary glimpse?

I recently mentioned the Headless experiments to someone, and he said that they are fun but they only give a temporary glimpse of our nature.


That’s not my experience. For me, the experiments bring my more fundamental nature more into the foreground of attention.

My nature recognizing itself is always there. Sometimes it’s in the background of attention, when attention is on more daily life tasks. And sometimes in the foreground of attention, sometimes helped by the Headless experiments.


Also, I have experienced Headless experiments shifting my system more fundamentally. About fifteen years ago, it brought the no-self aspect of my nature strongly and clearly into the foreground for about six months, and that has made it much easier to find since then. It’s more available to notice.


And I also suspect that a habit of glimpsing our nature – through Headless experiments or anything else – brings about a shift over time. It becomes easier and easier to notice our more fundamental nature. Our nature more easily recognizes itself through daily life situations. And our metaphorical center of gravity shifts more and more into our nature recognizing itself.


I understand why he said what he did. It’s likely his experience, and he may not be drawn to exploring the Headless experiments regularly or over time. It may not be for him. And that’s more than fine.

And it’s different for others. For others, it shifts our nature recognizing itself into the foreground. Or repeated explorations and glimpses shift into a more stable recognition and living from and as that recognition.

Making pragmatic use of the idea of reincarnation and rebirth

Jeg liker å se på dette og alt annet som projeksjoner. Kan jeg finne gjenfødelse her og nå? Ja, jeg finner at for meg så gjenfødes min verden og dette selvet hele tiden. Det “dør” som det var og gjenfødes som noe nytt, selv om tankene innimellom sier “det er det samme”. Så ja, for meg er gjenfødelse reelt. Og det er ikke viktig om det finnes gjenfødelse eller ikke på den måte folk flest tenker på det.

– my answer, in Norwegian, to a question in a Buddhist group on social media

I recently joined a Buddhist group on social media, just to see what’s going on there.

Someone asked if reincarnation exists, and a discussion ensued arguing one side or the other.

To me, that’s missing the point a bit, and I prefer to take a more pragmatic approach.


Yes, it’s an important topic in a conventional sense. Does reincarnation – as most people think about it – exist? That’s a question for science. There is some research that suggests that it may exist, but other explanations are possible, and a lot more research is needed for us to say anything more about it.


Then there are the practical effects of the idea of reincarnation.

What happens when we hold that idea as pointing to something real?

In the best case, it can help people act with a little more kindness and with a little more consideration of the effects of the action. (To others, to ourselves here and now, and possibly ourselves in the future.)

In the worst case, it can be used to justify social injustice, inactivity when faced with suffering and structural problems, and so on.


I like to explore any ideas as a projection.

Whether it’s “out there” or not, it’s (also) here in my immediate experience.

Can I find reincarnation in immediacy?

What does it point to here and now?

I find that to me, my whole field of experience goes away (dies) and is reborn as something else. It happens every (imaginary) moment. The wider world and this human self continuously dies and is reborn in a different form.

I have a mental representation of what just was, and it’s different from my mental representation of what’s here now. (I also notice that these mental representations are always behind, even the one that supposedly reflects what’s here now is about the past. What it points to is already gone.)

This is impermanence. If my whole field of experience, including this human self, is ephemeral, can I more fundamentally be any of it?

When I look in immediacy, I find that I more fundamentally am something else. I find I more fundamentally am what it all happens within and as.

How do I go about exploring this? I have mostly used a combination of basic meditation (notice and allow) and different forms of inquiry (traditional Buddhist sense-field inquiry, Kiloby Inquiries, Big Mind process, Headless experiments).


It may be worth mentioning that there is a distinction between reincarnation and rebirth. Reincarnation is often meant to refer to an “entity” (soul etc.) that reincarnates. And rebirth i more of a rebirth of patterns, not of an entity.

To me, it doesn’t matter so much since in either case – whether we talk about patterns or an apparent entity – it’s not what we most fundamentally are.

Similarly, when I explore reincarnation/rebirth in my sense fields here and now, I am exploring something that’s happening within and as what I am. None of it is what I more fundamentally am.

When a non-dual teacher appears one-sided

I have seen Rupert Spira talk about “non-existent self” in a few quotes, and don’t know enough about him to know if he, in other situations, also talks about the other side(s) of it and the bigger picture.

In any case, it’s a reminder that some non-dual teachers speak in a slightly one-sided way and that some folks like and are attracted to it.


Why do some prefer or like that?

Likely because it’s easier to grasp mentally. It allows our mental aspect to function in a familiar (simplistic) way.

And they may, at some level, assume that grasping it intellectually is what it is about, even if many point out the contrary.


It may be just the medicine they need there and then. It may help them release out of taking themselves as most fundamentally a self, an object within the field of experience. It may be a helpful stepping stone.

Through grace – they may engage in practices and explorations that – through grace – give them a direct conscious taste of what they are in spite of the one-sided pointers.


So why do some non-dual teachers talk in a one-sided way?

It may appear they do it because we have limited information. We have just a small window into how they interact with others. They may be far more fluid and explore from many more views.

They may want to make it simple for the students, although that seems misguided. (It’s far better to be honest and not make it simple where it isn’t simple. What it points to is simple. Talking about it is not.)

They may fall into a lazy habit of using familiar phrases and ways of talking about it.

They may be focused on a simple mental representation of our nature rather than trying to put words on an immediate noticing.


I have already mentioned some upsides.

It can be a useful stepping stone. And it may not get in the way of their nature recognizing itself.

I have also hinted at some downsides.

It can give the impression that this, and anything, is something that can be grasped mentally.

And that tends to reinforce a habit of holding mental representations as true.

When we hold mental representations as true, there is an identification with the viewpoint of that or those mental representations. That’s an identification with something within the field of experience, and it creates a sense of “I” and “other”.

There is nothing wrong with that. It’s natural and innocent.

And yet, if we want to explore what we more fundamentally are, it’s a side track (or a stepping stone). It’s a distraction from our nature recognizing itself, and learning to allow this human self to function in the world and live from and as that recognition.


If we are more fluid and flexible in how we talk about things, we are coming at the same issue in several different ways. We look at it from many different sides and in different contexts. We adapt how we talk about something to the person, situation, and context. We use words and pointers as medicine for specific conditions, and those conditions are different depending on the person and situation. *

We are typically more focused on our immediate noticing, and finding words that – in that moment – reflect what we are noticing, rather than using habitual phrases.

We don’t use pat answers. What we talk about cannot easily be pinned down.

And that may be less attractive to students who want simple answers (they can mentally understand and memorize) rather than what the pointers point to.


* Said another way… We know that mental representations can never capture what they point to. Life and reality is far too rich for that. There can be, and often is, validity in a mental representation, and it’s not any full, final, or absolute truth. We know it in our gut through direct noticing and lived experience.

Mental representations are about pragmatics, pointers, and navigating in the world. Their nature is not to capture any full or final truth. And that goes for anything that mental representations point to, whether it is our more fundamental nature, a human being, gravity, a rock, or an ice cream dessert.

Life unfolds as me taking charge

Yes, life unfolds and what’s happening locally – including through and as this human self – is an expression of movements within the infinitely larger whole. At the same time, that unfolding can take the form of this human self taking charge and taking the steering wheel in an ordinary and healthy way.

– from Why I have written less lately & a medicine for me

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have a tendency to fold* and it comes from some issues that are still in me. I have an issue of not wanting to be here. Of not wanting to be visible and seen. (Fear of what may happen if I am visible and seen, which is both a family pattern and something I learned as a survival strategy in school.) And of not speaking and standing up for myself. (Fear of what may happen if I do, again as a survival strategy learned in childhood, mostly in response to unhealthy family dynamics.)

So what’s the medicine?


One aspect is obviously to explore and find healing for these issues in me, and especially in how I relate to them. Just relating to them more consciously and with more understanding, kindness, and firmness, makes a big difference.


Another is to act contrary to these patterns in me. When I notice them come up, I can relate to them more consciously and with kindness and firmness, and also choose to act contrary to them even if it’s uncomfortable and maybe a bit clumsy.


And yet another aspect of this is seeing how it ties into my worldviews and how I relate to them.

I notice that life and this human self lives its own life. Thoughts, emotions, choices, words, actions, is happening on its own. It lives its own life. That’s accurate enough.

My mind then reflects it into mental representations, which is natural and, in many ways, useful.

Then there is a tendency for a part of me to take that and hijack it. It uses it as an excuse to follow and act as those issues in me tell me to act to stay safe. (Stay invisible, don’t speak up for yourself, don’t stand up for yourself.)

So what’s the remedy at that level? One part of the remedy is to see that yes, life unfolds locally as this human self and it is, in a sense, all happening on its own. It lives its own life.

And, crucially, the WAY life unfolds locally can be this human self taking charge and standing and speaking up for himself.


* I initially called it “passivity” and it’s passivity in a very specific context. It’s a passivity that happens when I meet resistance from others. It’s more of a folding. Giving up. Even if I know the other person may be coming from their own issue, mistaken assumptions, or missing information. I have done it repeatedly in life, and the consequences have not been pleasant to me.

Why I have written less lately & a caveat about not knowing

Why have I written less here recently?

There may be many reasons.


I spent half a year in Norway getting my parent’s house ready for sale, and since I have limited energy, I chose to focus on that task – and also take the opportunity to enjoy Norway – and do less of other activities.

I have written more in the two “brief notes” categories – Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasionally personal things and Reflections on society, politics, and nature. Sometimes, it’s easier and quicker to put something there rather than make it into a regular article.

I have had stronger brain fog lately. Some of it is from covid last year. Some is from CFS. And some is from my diet. (Which is generally good and occasionally fun but not optimal.)

A part of me got slightly bored from feeling that I tend to repeat myself here. It started to feel less fresh. Maybe the break can be a kind of gear change?

In any case, I am now back in the Andes so it may be that I’ll find myself writing more again. We’ll see.


The honest answer is that I may guess why I have written less and if I’ll write more (and also if I’ll channel the writing energy into a book instead of articles), and I don’t know any of it. I find myself doing one thing more, and then another.

Even if I have guesses about why, I don’t really know, it’s life locally unfolding and taking all these forms.


In writing this, I notice a tendency in me. Something in me likes to use “don’t know” as an excuse for passivity, something in me has that tendency. (It may tie into issues of not wanting to be here, of not wanting to be visible, and also not speaking up and standing up for myself.)

I would like to not do that. I don’t want to use it as an excuse for passivity and allow life to unfold without, in an ordinary sense, taking charge and steering things.


Yes, life unfolds and what’s happening locally – including through and as this human self – is an expression of movements within the infinitely larger whole.

At the same time, that unfolding can take the form of this human self taking charge and taking the steering wheel in an ordinary and healthy way.

The divine is also me taking charge of my life.

The divine is also me learning to be an even better steward of my life.

That’s the medicine for me right now.

Non-existent self?

The tragedy and comedy of the human condition is that we spend most of our lives thinking, feeling, acting, perceiving and relating on behalf of a non-existent self.

– Rupert Spira

To me, talking about a non-existent self seems a little one-sided.


If we experience a self, then for all practical purposes there is a self.

It may not exist the way we think it does, and it may not be what we think and assume it is, but it’s real to us.

For practical purposes, there is a human self here functioning in the world, and what the passport tells us about this self and the identities we have created for it all has some validity.

More essentially, there is also the appearance of a doer and observer. If I have the experience of a doer and observer, and perhaps even being this doer and observer, then that’s real for me.


At the same time, it’s not what I more fundamentally am. When I look, I find I more fundamentally am what this whole field of experience – which includes the wider world and this human self – happens within and as what I am.

For lack of a better way to talk about it, I may call that consciousness. To myself, I am more fundamentally this consciousness that any content of experience – to me – happens within and as.


The consciousness I am forms itself into an experience of the wider world and this human self, and perhaps also a doer and an observer, and sometimes also into BEING this doer, observer, and/or human self. (It may even form itself into an experience of being the IDEA of consciousness, which then distracts from a more direct noticing.)

This is all the play of the consciousness I am. It’s some of the many ways it’s expressing, exploring, and experiencing itself and it’s apparently infinite potential.


I assume Rupert Spira talks about a non-existent self as medicine for a condition.

It’s medicine for the condition of being stuck in the idea that there is a self here and that it’s what we most fundamentally are.

I also assume that his phrasing is intentional and that he in other situations talks about it in other ways and addresses the other side(s) and the bigger picture.


The alternative is that he is stuck in the idea of a non-existent self.

He may be stuck out of a phrasing habit while really knowing better.

Or he may actually be stuck in the idea, which then distracts from a more direct noticing and a more fluid way of talking about it.

I don’t know him or his way of talking well enough to say. (I have never been drawn to his pointers too much, perhaps because they seem a bit one-sided?)

In any case, I prefer to take the more generous view. I’ll assume it’s intentional and that his direct noticing is more sincere and that his talking is generally more fluid and inclusive.

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Dream: A device that erases the painful charge of past events

My partner and I try a device that erases the painful charge of past events between us, and our relationship is far more fun, easy, creative, and flowing.

This was more of an image or a brief sequence than an unfolding story. My wife and I try a device that erases the charge we experienced from past painful dynamics between us, and our relationship feels fresh and new and has much more ease.

Some dreams are quite literal and to the point, and this is one of those. In waking life, my partner and I are very aware that our current relationship is colored by painful past dynamics, and we both need to work more on it.

Currently, I am using ho’oponopono to help me shift my relationship to those dynamics, her, and me. I visualize us in one of those past situations and say the four sentences. Ho’o is a good start, and to go deeper, we’ll need inquiry and perhaps energy work, in addition to conversations and actually changing how we act when things are triggered in each of us.

It’s not about forgetting anything. It’s about seeing more clearly what’s here. The charge reflects that something is unresolved, and the more resolved, the less need there is for that charge.

At one level, what’s happening is an interaction between her and my old hangups. We both have parts of us that are suffering and that, in some situations, get triggered. This is good in that they are brought to the surface. It can destroy our relationship if we don’t examine what’s going on. And it is an invitation and opportunity for each of us to examine what’s coming up in us, get to know it, befriend these suffering parts in us, find some healing in how we relate to what’s triggered (in us) and the trigger (in the other), and so on.

So why did this dream come up? It partly reflects what I and we are consciously working on. And it’s an image that serves as a reminder and reference point for me.

How CFS feels

This perfectly captures how it feels to live with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

I may look fine or OK to others. I am often able to mobilize for short periods and appear relatively normal. And my experience of myself is very different.


How does it feel? It’s almost impossible to describe, but here are some attempts:

It feels like having severe influenza minus the congestion and fever. It’s equally difficult to think and get up from bed and do things.

I have strong brain fog: It feels like cotton in and around my head. It’s difficult to remember things. It’s difficult to make good decisions. (Sometimes, it’s difficult to make even the simplest decisions.) It’s difficult to take in information. It’s difficult to stay focused for more than five or ten minutes. (I typically have to watch movies in short segments over several days.) It’s difficult to string together words. (which is why these writings are short, choppy, and feel like a list of points.) It’s often difficult to find words. In bad periods, it’s difficult to relate to life and what comes up in the way I do when I have more energy. In short, the executive functions are impaired and it gets worse the worse the CFS is.

I get worse after just about any activity, and sometimes a lot worse. Any type of “explosive” activity (walking fast, heavy lifting, etc.) is just about impossible since it causes a severe crash. And any type of activity at all worsens the symptoms and requires a period of recovery. Simple and essential daily life activities are often all I can do. And, in periods, even that’s very difficult.

I have to schedule extra rest before, during, and after any planned activity. If I am meeting someone, or if I have an appointment of any type, I typically have to rest for days before and after. I have learned to do things slowly.

It takes a long time to recover from infections and other illnesses.

In short, my system lacks resources. It lacks the resources to do things. To have conversations. To take in information. To process. To think. To consciously and intentionally relate to life and what’s coming up in me. To recover after other illnesses. And so on.

At an energetic level, I and others have found a pattern: My system seems very disorganized when I have a crash. That’s perhaps not surprising. It takes energy to keep a mind-body system organized. When it’s energized (using Vortex Healing), my system again becomes more organized.


This is challenging enough in itself. On top of this are the social, medical, and political aspects.

Most people don’t understand it very well and may assume it’s just mild tiredness. They typically see me when I am able to mobilize for a few hours, or in the better periods, and they don’t see what’s happening the rest of the time. Some get upset that I have to cancel appointments, and don’t realize how much effort I put into trying to make it happen. Or they think that my long periods of not staying in touch mean I don’t value the connection.

CFS is a kind of “pariah” illness. It’s poorly understood. There isn’t much research. Politicians and policymakers don’t take it very seriously. Many doctors don’t know much about it. There is no mainstream medical treatment. (In Norway, the largest newspaper – Dagbladet – seems to have a campaign to show that CFS is just a matter of “pulling yourself together”.)

This will very likely change. I am sure they will understand the mechanisms better. (The trigger seems to often be a combination of physical and/or psychological stress, often involving a viral infection.) They may even find an effective treatment or cure. If or when that happens, CFS will be included among the acknowledged and understood diseases. (There will still be diseases in the pariah category going through a similar process.)


I have lived with this since my teens, and I have tried a wide range of approaches.

I have found a diet that works for me. (Eating low on the food chain. Reduce or avoid sugar, wheat, and dairy. Drink lots of water / herbal teas. Have bone broth daily. And so on.)

I have found that sun and moderate to warm climate work well for me. (Cold weather impacts my system strongly, as does very hot weather. Both place an extra demand on the very limited resources of my system.)

I have learned to rest before, during, and after activities. I have learned to portion out tasks over time and move slowly.

I have used a wide range of herbal medicines. For instance, a combination of Siberian ginseng (eleuthero) and echinacea seems to work well. (I fill my own capsules and have around five large ones daily. Siberian ginseng gives energy and echinacea helps my immune system. I have used this for long periods, and am now taking a break.)

I discovered that hyperthermia treatment seemed to help me greatly for several months. (I would like to try it again but it’s expensive and I need to travel quite a distance for it.)

I have tried a wide range of alternative treatments. What seems to work the best is Five Element Acupuncture. (Helps for a day or a few days.) Breema. (Gives an amazing sense of health and wholeness beyond the struggles of this human self). And Vortex Healing. (Energization and removing pathogens.)

And I have also found different forms of inquiry to be very helpful. (The Work of Byron Katie, Kiloby inquiry, Headless experiments, Big Mind process, and so on.)


There are also upsides. It has been an invitation for exploration and transformation. It’s an invitation to find my value independent of my resume or activities in the world. To be more authentic and transparent. To find value in rest. To find the gift in asking for and receiving help. And so on.

In many ways, CFS is an invitation to examine and see through many of the assumptions in our society and find what’s more true for us.

It can bring a correction to some of the lopsidedness of our current civilization. (Including valuing people according to their resume or activities, valuing doing over resting, and so on.)

Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things – vol. 44

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.


Why would I want to forgive? For me, the answer is that it feels better.

Does forgiveness mean not having boundaries? Not at all. Forgiveness and boundaries go hand in hand.

How can I find forgiveness?

One answer is specific approaches like understanding, heart-centered practices (tonglen, ho’o, metta), inquiry like The Work of Byron Katie, and so on.

Another answer is more general. I find it through finding forgiveness for myself. The more I can forgive myself, and live in that forgiveness, the more I can find forgiveness for others.

Is it easy? Not necessarily. Wounds can go deep, and wounds make it difficult to find genuine forgiveness. Healing opens up for forgiveness. Those two too go hand in hand.



How do I experience the brain fog?

It has several aspects.

It feels like cotton in and around my head.

It makes it difficult to remember.

It makes it difficult to take in information. (And my brain gets tired quickly.)

It makes it difficult to process information.

It makes it difficult to string words together and communicate.

In general, the more drained and exhausted my system is, the less energy there is for my executive cognitive functions. (Thinking, talking, making decisions, intentionally relating to what’s coming up, etc.)

It really seems that life wants to experience brain fog through and as me these days.

The baseline brain fog is from the onset of CFS in my teens, following a mono-infection.

When the CFS dramatically worsened 10-15 years ago, following severe and long-lasting pneumonia, it got a lot worse. My memory got a lot worse after Covid last year. (Teflon brain.)

And I suspect severe Lyme some years ago and septic shock last summer also play a role.

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AI & consciousness

With the recent public AI boom, there has been a renewed discussion on whether AI is conscious or can become conscious.

To me, that’s missing the point a bit.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an opportunity to differentiate between (a) consciousness and (b) the content of consciousness.


AI is about the content of consciousness, which can – to some extent – be mimicked by machines. AI can produce text, images, music, videos, etc. that look like they could have been made by humans.


Consciousness itself is very different.

Consciousness is what we are. It’s what, to us, any content of experience happens within and as. It’s what forms itself into any and all content of experience 


In general, I think the name “artificial intelligence” is slightly misleading. It’s overselling it a bit. It’s more accurate to call it predictive text, or predictive music and image generation.

It’s statistics, not intelligence. It’s the product of intelligence, not intelligence itself.


What do I mean by the content of consciousness? Whatever is produced by AI is similar to what’s produced by consciousness, at least consciousness operating through a human self. It’s images, words, sounds, and so on. It’s all content of consciousness. It’s all an experience that comes and goes.

What do I mean by consciousness? To ourselves, we are consciousness. If we “have” consciousness, it means that to ourselves, we ARE conscousness. To us, the world and any experience happen within and as the consciousness we are. (Night dreams and waking life are the same in that way.) Consciousness itself is distinctly different from any particular content of consciousness. Even as, to us, any content of consciousness is consciousness.

What about the AI name? There is nothing wrong with it, and it is sexy and catchy so I understand why people use it. I just think it’s important to include a more accurate and boring description as well, like “predictive text” and “predictive image generation”. It brings it down to earth a bit. It sobers it up.


There is a bigger picture here.

AI is the product of the inherent intelligence of existence. It’s a product of 13.8 billion years of evolution of the seamless system we call the universe, locally expressed as this living planet and human biology, technology, and civilization. The intelligence of existence is expressed in all we see and know, including AI.

And if the universe itself IS consciousness, then AI is perhaps more similar to us than most of us imagine. Then AI too is a typical content of consciousness (words, images, etc.) happening within and as consciousness.

Image: A sacred bronze sculpture imagined by me and Midjourney earlier this year.

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Working on infections with Vortex Healing

Vortex Healing is surprisingly effective for a range of things: energization, emotional issues (can take time if it’s deep and woven into networks of related issues), clearing spaces, and more.

One of the things it’s often very effective for is infections.

When I had just started on my Vortex Healing journey, there were a couple of times when I got a strong influenza at very inconvenient times. (Once, the day before my flight from London to Oslo.) I contacted a senior healer, received a session, went through the typical symptoms in a few hours, and came out on the other side. For me, flus typically takes at least a week to go through the full cycle, and VH seemed to speed up the whole process dramatically.

I experienced that again a couple of days ago. I got Covid. It was moderately strong with periods of 40 Celsius fevers. I contacted a Vortex healer who gave me a five-hour (!) session, I went through a quick succession of symptoms during and shortly after the session. And woke up later that morning feeling much lighter and free of fever and most of the acute symptoms. (The remaining symptoms may have to do with the die-off of the virus – headache and brain fog – and these cleared up too.)

Without VH, I would expect it to last 5-7 days, and in this case, it ended immediately after the session. I am still recovering since it did hit me pretty strongly, and my system is already weak from CFS, but I clearly don’t have Covid anymore.

This is obviously not medical advice. And I and any responsible Vortex Healer will always tell you to get medical attention if you need to and follow the advice and treatment plan of your doctor. But it doesn’t hurt to try. I have had consistently good results with VH for infections over more than eight years now. (It also helped me get rid of an apparently chronic Epstein-Barr in my kidneys and a Lyme infection.)

That said, Covid-19 is a bit unusual when we work on it using Vortex Healing. Most infections require one or two sessions (one or two hours). C-19 can require a lot more than that. It seems to multiply very quickly and have an unusually strong “desire” to survive. Some VH practitioners have more experience and a more effective approach than others.

Also, why don’t I work on it myself? Why ask another healer? The main reason is that when I have an infection, I often don’t feel I have the capacity to channel much so it’s easier for me if someone else can do it.

The essence of climate change: We need to transform our civilization anyway


There is a simple common-sense approach to climate change:

These are changes we need to transform our civilization no matter what. Human-created climate change or not, we need to shift our civilization into being ecologically sustainable. We need to take ecological realities into account in every aspect of how we collectively live.

We use nearly two Earths’ worth of resources at any moment, which means all of the resources will eventually be depleted unless we make drastic changes. We use more resources than Earth has the capacity to regenerate, and we depend on those resources for our life and survival.


The discussion about whether climate change is happening (it is) and whether it’s created by humans (it is) has little to no practical relevance in this context. It’s a distraction and a side track.

That said, I will pretend it does mean something in the following points:

It makes sense to follow the precautionary principle. If something has potentially serious consequences, we need to take it seriously. We need to prepare for it. We need to act as if it’s going to happen. That’s what we do in other areas of life, so why not with something as potentially disastrous as climate change?

Experts in the field all agree: (i) We are in the middle of climate change. (ii) It’s created by human activities. And (iii) it likely has severe consequences for our civilization. In other areas of life, we listen to and generally trust experts, especially when they all say the same. So why not also here?

The ones disagreeing are typically not experts in the field, they are amateurs. Many are on the payroll of the oil companies. And we know that the oil companies have had an intentional disinformation campaign going for decades. So why trust what they say?

The changes in climate we currently see closely fit predictions from the early climate change models from the 1970s. They fit what we expect to see if (i) there is climate change, (ii) it’s human-created, and (iii) we don’t do much to change it. It does not fit natural cycles explained by solar activity etc. It does not fit what we would expect if it was natural and not created by civilization.

Although the climate is immensely complex, the basic principles of climate change are simple. Even a child can understand and observe it, and people predicted it more than a hundred years ago. In a greenhouse, short waves (light) enter through the glass, hit a surface and become longer waves (heat), and that heat is partially trapped by the glass. There is a net gain of heat. And greenhouse gasses do the same. Short waves (sunlight) pass through our atmosphere, hit a surface and become heat, and the greenhouse gasses trap the heat. Just like a greenhouse heats up because of the glass, the atmosphere and planet heats up because of greenhouse gasses. Our civilization produces a lot of greenhouse gasses and changes the composition of the atmosphere. What we are seeing is exactly what we would expect to see.


This is not a new or uncommon way to look at it.

To me, it’s just common sense, and I have seen it this way since my teens in the ’80s. I remember a conversation with a teacher about this in my high school where I pointed out that climate change is irrelevant since we need to make the same changes anyway. (He disagreed and I probably remember it since it seemed odd to me.)


For whatever reason, there is still a lot of denial around this.

In the past, some denied climate change is happening but that’s not possible anymore. (Unless you want to deny the climate data and what you can see around you with your own eyes.)

These days, some like to deny it’s related to human activity.

Why do some deny that it’s human-created? Because it’s too scary? Or require a deep transformation of our worldview and our civilization? Or because it’s a threat to your identity to admit that scientists and progressives were right? None of those seem a good reason to me.


Even if most of us agree it’s happening and it’s serious, we collectively don’t do much to change it. We deny its seriousness and that we need a profound transformation in our collective and individual lives.

Why don’t we collectively do enough to change it?

There are many reasons for this.

Systems inherently try to keep stable. Systems stay dynamically stable until they reach a tipping point, and denial is an expression of the system trying to maintain its current (outdated) state. The denial and complacency are expressions of this dynamic inherent in all systems.

Election cycles are typically between two and six years, and addressing climate change requires planning on a much longer timespan – decades and centuries. If politicians do something now, we won’t see the effects until decades later so even if they personally would like to work on it, they don’t have systemic incentives to do so.

We think someone else will take care of it, either other people alive today or future generations.

We think the crisis will happen in the future, so we push the problem onto future generations. (Even if we are right in the middle of it already.)

Many are voiceless in our system. Non-human beings and future generations don’t have an effective voice in our society, in our politics, and in business decisions. The ones who have the strongest reasons to want a change have no voice. (We can give them a voice by appointing advocates for them who have a real say in politics and business decisions.)

We think someone will come up with a simple technological solution, so we don’t need any fundamental changes in our worldview and how we collectively organize ourselves. (We may find technological solutions, but they will never be enough on their own.)

Collectively and individually, we are busy dealing with our day-to-day life and challenges We may end up using most of our resources to deal with immediate climate crisis challenges, and find it difficult to make the real and systemic changes required.

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Form is emptiness, emptiness is form

This is a well-known phrase from the Heart Sutra.

At one level, it doesn’t really make sense to analyze it or even put words on it. It’s just how it is in direct perception. Words move away from the simplicity of direct noticing.

And if I were to try to put it into words, I could say…

What I am allows this content of experience that’s here, and it forms itself into the content of experience that’s here. It forms itself into the visuals of this computer, the table, the room and so on, the sounds, the smell and taste, and whatever happens within the sense fields.

The consciousness I am allows any and all experience, which our mental field can call “empty”. It’s inherently empty of any form, so it can take any form.

And it forms itself into the content of experience that’s here, whatever it is.

Night dreams and waking life both happen within and as the consciousness I am.

Form is empty. It’s made up of the consciousness I am which is inherently empty of any particular form.

Emptiness is form. The consciousness I am forms itself into the content of experience that’s here.

The direct noticing is very simple. It’s beyond simple. And whenever it’s reflected in our mental field and made into words, it seems far more complicated and exotic than it really is.

There are also other ways to talk about it. For instance, any sense of “I” or “me” is not what I more fundamentally am. Yes, it’s here. The mental representation of an I or me helps this human self orient and function in the world. And it’s not what’s more fundamentally here. The consciousness I am is metaphorically empty of a fundamental I or me. It’s what allows the experience of it, and the experience of anything at all. It’s what allows the sense of I or me – in whatever forms it takes – to come and go. It’s what temporarily forms itself into innumerable versions of images of an I or me.

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Dream: A very good young magician

I get tickets for a massive magic show in a large public library. I get there early, and realize the magician is a sixteen year old boy and his show is part of a school project. I am disappointed and then remember I only paid $15 for the ticket so it may be worth it anyway. When he starts performing, I realize he is very good. He has lots of charisma and natural confidence. What he is doing is world class magic and performance, and he seems mature, grounded, and insightful. I am also impressed by his team which involves most of the students in his school and parents and grandparents. They are all serving important functions in the project, and they are all there to fully support him. He is performing in a relatively small room, and his image and sound is projected holographically into other spaces in the building. The building is stone, similar to the main public library in New York, and it is somewhere in the US.

What is this dream about?

What made the most impression on me in the dream was his skills, maturity, and groundedness, and that he had so many people wholeheartedly supporting him.

In my life, the oneness shift happened when this human self was sixteen. It was a kind of magic and a lot of the magic of existence was revealed to me. (Most of what I write about in these articles was revealed, at least the essence of it.) In some areas – in my orientation towards life – I was also quite mature and grounded at the time, and I was quite skilled in certain areas (art).

In my teens, and especially around ages fifteen and sixteen, I felt like an outsider and unsupported. And I preferred to not be so visible or “out there” with myself and my insights and skills. (That pattern is still with me.)

In that area, the magician in the dream is the opposite of how I was and to some extent still am. He was completely supported by his community, in a way I didn’t experience in my teens. And he was very comfortable taking center stage, in a way I was not and still am not.

I have explored, over years and decades, finding more support for (and from) the different parts of me, and that may be reflected in this dream. The dream may show me the inner support I now have, and – in waking life – the support from my partner and some friends. My inner community is a supportive team, at least in this dream.

Why New York? I am not sure. We did talk about New York a couple of days ago. (Vortex Healing classes there.) And I like the central public library. (Which is one block from where the Vortex Classes are held.)

Why magic? Life and existence is magic. It’s an utter mystery. Also, what’s revealed in awakening can appear like magic to our psyche, as can the awakening shift(s) itself.

Why a performance? Living is a kind of performance. This human self performs its life on the stage of the world. These days, one of my medicines may be to act with more confidence and be more visible. How would it be to be more like this magician? How would it be to connect with and bring more out this part of me?

Why the holographic projections? Again, I am not sure. He was in one place and many places at once. All the different parts of our psyche – each of our subpersonalities – color the whole of our psyche. They are, metaphorically, in one place and in many places at once. (It partially also fits how our consciousness works. It’s everywhere in our experience of the world, since all of it is happening within and as the consciousness we are. And what more essential or greater magician, to us, than the consciousness we are. Life and existence itself seems to be like this, it’s in each place and everywhere at once.)

I am sure there is a lot more here so I’ll stay with the dream for a bit longer. That will also allow it to work on me, even if I don’t consciously get (all of) what it may be about.

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Dream: The house I grew up in

I live with my wife in an idyllic village (or small town) in Norway. It has beautiful green nature all around and overlooks a large lake. We love living there. When I was around twenty, I learned I had initially grown up with different people, and my father and mother had taken me from there when I was four or five years old. The house I grew up in until four or five was on the other side of the village, but I had not visited since I was there in early childhood. My wife and I go to visit. The building is large, circular, and with organic forms. The main room is spacious (double or triple height), and the large windows give a view to the lake. The other half of the building is two or three levels with smaller rooms. The building is a kind of community space and it’s full of life – familes, children, visitors – all enjoying themselves and engaging in different activities. The style is similar to Frank Lloyd Wright, and I now understand why I love this type of architecture and view so much. I had grown up with it. I am surprised I didn’t visit earlier since it was so close and I enjoy being there so much. I then visit the part of my family that’s still there. They are a bit formal and dry. One of them is my aunt. I am reminded of how different I am in my views, partly from having lived in several different parts of the world.

This dream has a lot of elements to it.

My wife and I live in an idyllic village in beautiful nature in Norway. That fits how I mostly experience my life. We are now in Norway, and it is beautiful. We have land and house in beautiful nature and by an idyllic village in the Andes. My cabin is by a lake, much like in the dream. The dream is a combination of these things, and may also mirror (aspects of) my inner landscape and village.

The building I grew up in is also beautiful and in a style of architecture I enjoy. (There is a waking-life connection here too: I used to be a member of the Unitarian Society in Madison and go to the building there designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.) It’s spacious, with a beautiful view, and it’s full of life and activities. It’s a community building. This mirrors what I enjoy in life, and again may mirror aspects of my inner world.

My family there is a little dry and formal, and one of my aunts (LK) from waking life is there. This part of my waking life family is quite Christian, in the old-fashioned Norwegian way, and I have always taken my distance from it. They too mirror something in me, passed on through my father’s family. (And probably my mother’s too since this is how most people in Norway lived some generations ago.) I don’t like this side of me very much.

The large building may represent my life before school age. It seemed larger and more expansive, and then I left it along with my parents. I knew about it in my twenties, and now I may be visiting it again more fully (?).

What’s the invitation in this dream? It may be to remember this more expansive life, visit it more often, and bring it into my life more fully. And also to more intentionally befriend the more dry and formal side of myself, embrace it, and include it in my conscious view and experience of myself. If or when I do, it will transform and become a more engaged part of the community.

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What is cosmic consciousness?

What is cosmic consciousness?

If it’s “just” a direct experience of all of cosmos being one and consciousness, then that’s inevitable when we notice our nature.

To ourselves, we are consciousness. And to us, all of existence happens within and as the consciousenss we are.

That’s how it always and already is. And when we notice, then it may appear to us as all of cosmos is the consciousness we are. It’s all one and consciousness. And we may call that Spirit, the divine, God, Brahman, Big Mind, and so on.

Does it mean that all of existence IS consciousness? That it has the same nature as me? Maybe, but if I am honest with myself, I know I cannot know for certain.

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Synchronicity: Transforming my inner parents and a visit

My wife and I are at my parents’ house this summer to get it ready for sale. We are sorting through a lifetime of things, including some of mine from early in my life. My parents moved into an assisted living apartment earlier in the summer.

I have been working on being a more conscious father and mother for myself for a long time, and continue that exploration. It’s heightened, in some ways, because of the sorting and cleaning which feels symbolic in itself.

Yesterday, someone I know through social media contacted me. He is a Vortex Healer from Sweden and will be in Oslo for a few days, and asked if we had a place for him to stay one or a few nights. We said yes, especially as he can stay in my father’s room which we just cleaned.

Our visitor is a healer and therapist and seems like a wise, kind, and grounded person.

Just now, I realized that his first name is the same as my father’s name (it’s an old Norwegian name although it’s not very common these days), and he will be sleeping in the bed of my father. He will, quite literally, and for a few days, replace my father.

This feels like a synchronicity. I have done a lot of work on being a more conscious, kind, and wise father and mother for myself. (To talk with and relate to myself as a good father and mother would.) And now, another person with my father’s name, who seem to have those characteristics, will visit and sleep in his bed for a few days.

Update with a few more aspects to the synchronicity: It turns out that his father’s first name is the same as mine, and the name of the town in Sweden he is from is part of my last name and it was my father’s full last name growing up.

Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things – vol. 43

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.


I mostly write about awakening, healing, and CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) here. So if you know me just from these writings, it may seem that this is my whole life.

Of course, from my perspective, it’s quite different. These are aspects of my life, and far from my whole life. Most of the time, I am just living an ordinary life where I go to the store, talk with people about practical things or nothing very important, make or laugh at a joke, enjoy simple things in daily life, deal with ordinary life challenges, and so on.


I live with a disability. (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / CFS.)

It doesn’t mean that it’s who or what I am.

It doesn’t mean it defines me as a whole or fully.

It’s not even close to being all of my life.

It’s a part of my life. It’s something I live with.

That’s just about it.

It’s the same with a lot of other things in my life: my gender, ethnicity, age, education, politics, and so on. It’s part of my life, but it doesn’t define me and it’s not even close to being all of who or what I am.

And none of it is what I more fundamentally am. What I am is what allows all of it, and forms itself into all of it.


When I write about my nature, is it philosophy?

In a sense, yes. Anything that’s mirrored in our mental field becomes philosophy.

And a more real answer is that it depends. It depends on the receiver.

If we use it as a practical pointer to look and expore here and now, then it’s a practical pointer.

If we let it stay in the realm of mental representations, then it’s a philosophy.

It’s up to each of us if it’s one or the other.

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Reflections on society, politics and nature – vol. 66

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


My wife and I have land in the Andes mountains, and we are in the process of helping the land become as vibrant as possible. We are planting native flowers, bushes, cactuses, trees, and more. We are creating a food forest that will provide food for birds, animals, and humans. And we are doing some very limited landscaping to collect water and prevent soil runoff.

On these fifteen hectares, millions of being live, and many more will live there in the future. To me, supporting all those lives is immensely meaningful. I cannot imagine much that’s more meaningful.

That, in itself, will make my life more than worth it.


I saw a video with Tom Scott where he says that “death is bad” and he implies that (scientifically) striving for eternal life for humans is a good thing.

I can understand that from the perspective of your own life or those close to you.

But in the bigger picture, it’s different. Death is why we are here. Without death, we would soon run out of space on this already overcrowded planet, and we would run out of resources even more quickly than we already are. Death is what allows for new generations, new species, and new life. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the death of past species, past generations, and – going even further back – the death of early stars in our area of the galaxy and universe.

We are made up of dead stars. The death of previous species gave space for new species, including our own and those leading to our own. The death of individuals gives space for us. Our individual death gives space for new individuals, the death of our species will give space for new species, and so on.

Without death, no evolution and no life.

Even more essentially, without the metaphorical death of this moment, there wouldn’t be the next moment. What’s here dies and allows for something fresh and new. That’s happening always.

(How do I know this moment dies and is reborn as something else? It’s because I notice what’s here in. my sense fields, make a mental image of it, and compare that mental image with another mental image I call “previous moment” or “recent past”. And there is no “I” here apart from in other mental representations, it’s just happening.)

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Brief notes on healing and awakening and occasional personal things – vol. 42

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.


Some people like to use the movie screen analogy for consciousness.

Just like a movie is projected onto a screen without affecting the screen, our consciousness experiences all sorts of things without being affected.

That’s true enough, and the analogy may be useful to highlight just that.

But, in general, I prefer not to use the analogy. It can mislead more than enlighten.

For instance, a screen is physical and consciousness is not. And the light hitting the screen comes from somewhere else while consciousness forms itself into its own experience.

I prefer to use dreams since it’s an example and not an analogy.

To ourselves, we are consciousness, and to us, the world happens within and as the consciousness we are. That happens in dreams and it happens in waking life. Waking life is, in that way, no different from a dream. The difference is that it tends to be a bit more consistent than dreams. There is more continuity there.


Does awakening take care of traumas?

Not necessarily, and perhaps not even typically.

I suspect most still need to actively work on emotional issues and traumas, even within our nature recognizing itself.

At least, that’s how it has been for me. My nature recognizing itself does not give me a free pass.


I sometimes talk with people early in an awakening or healing process who says: “it’s completely healed”, “it’s gone”, “this technique healed it completely”. (When I say “early”, it may be within the first five or ten or fifteen years of the process depending on a lot of things.)

To me, that seems like wishful thinking. It brings to mind I Ching’s Youthful Folly hexagram.

How can you know? Yes, a certain issue may not seem to be up right now, but how do you know it’s healed? How do you know it won’t come up again later? How do you know there are not more layers? How do you know it’s not connected to a much larger network of similar and supporting issues?

My sense is that with maturity, we learn to hold all of this with a grain of sand. We see it more as questions than statements. We know that the mind sometimes wants things to be over and goes into wishful thinking. (Which can be comforting on the surface and for a while, and also makes the contrast stronger when life goes in another direction. It may also go against our deeper knowing.) We know that life has a way of surprising us.

And we may also see that this is what’s happening during a certain phase of the process. It’s innocent and natural. It’s not wrong. It’s part of the process.

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Many and one onenesses

I like to differentiate between a small (psychological) and a big (spiritual) understanding of awakening. Each view adds and highlights something important.

For instance, are we one or many?


From a big or spiritual understanding of awakening, we can say that the divine is one and yet takes innumerable forms, including as any and all beings.

There is nothing wrong with that view. That’s how I see it too.


And a small or psychological understanding of awakening adds something important.

Here, we focus more on our own experience and don’t assume that existence as a whole is as it appears to us.

To myself, I am consciousness, and the world to me happens within and as the consciousness I am. This consciousness and experience of the world is one. I am the oneness the world, to me, happens within and as.

I assume it’s the same for others. They too are fundamentally consciousness, operating through whatever body and psyche is there. They too are oneness to themselves.

From this view, we are all one. The world inevitably appears as one to us. We are many onenesses.

We can also say that existence, most likely, in itself is one. We can add the view from science, which tells us existence is one in that it’s a seamless system. And we can add the view from the big understanding of awakening, telling us it’s all one in that it’s all Spirit, the divine, Brahman, and so on.


In a sense, we are many and one onenesses.

In my immediate experience, I am one, and the world to me happens within and as that oneness.

From a small understanding of awakening, I assume others too are fundamentally consciousness to themselves. They too are a oneness and the world, to them, happens within and as that oneness.

From science, it makes sense to see the universe and all of existence as one system and a seamless whole.

And from a big understanding of awakening, I see all as Spirit. It’s all the play of Spirit or the divine, including when it takes the local form of this being and all beings.


How has this played out for me?

The initial oneness shift happened when I was sixteen. In my direct perception, all was one. And to make sense of it through my mental representations, I definitely fell into the big understanding. I saw it all as God and Spirit taking any and all forms, including anything about this human self.

I was already into systems views (I loved Fritjof Capra’s writings which I discovered when I was fourteen or fifteen). So intellectually, I saw the universe as one seamless system. A holarchy made up of innumerable holons.

The small or psychological understanding of awakening was there, somewhere in the background, but I didn’t emphasize it so much and I didn’t differentiate the two as clearly as I do now. That came more over time, especially as I saw how useful it can be to make that differentiation.

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Ale’s cosmic dreams and one of mine

It’s night and I see long spiral chains (DNA?) coming down from the sky. They are made up of bright radiant golden light. I see them as immensely beautiful. When they reach the ground, they turn into my parents and my aunts and uncles.

– Ale’s dream #1

I am in the hammock on our land in the Andes mountains. It’s night. I open the eyes and I see one UFO in the sky. There are then hundreds of UFOs moving around in the sky creating sacred geometry patterns. My parents and aunts and uncles are there and we all see them.

– Ale’s dream #2 a couple of days later

The night sky is full of UFOs in a kind of grid pattern. They all blink synchronously. The whole world sees it and know that a big shift is coming. It’s a new era for humanity and civilization. We go from only knowing about ourselves to be part of a cosmic community of beings.

– my dream when I was in my late teens or early twenties

These are all dreams with a cosmic flair.

So what do they mean? What processes in the psyche do they reflect?

Ale’s first dream may be the most straight forward. She has worked a lot on healing her relationship with her family and finding healing for family and ancestral patterns. The dream may reflect that healing process. Her DNA is golden (divine) and descends from the sky, and it turns into her close family.

The two UFO dreams are a little more puzzling. My best guess is that they are expressions of a shift in consciousness. Perhaps a visceral shift in our worldview, in how we relate to existence and life in general, and/or in how we experience our own nature. (All of those tend to go together.) These shifts tend to come out of an awakening or healing process, and each one is one of many in the larger process.

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We see others as we see ourselves

We see others as we see ourselves.


If we take ourselves to primarily be an object within consciousness, then we tend to see others that way.

We see ourselves as this body and psyche, and see others as primarily that body and psyche.

We see ourselves as a doer and observer and see others as doers and observers.

We quite literally objectify others and ourselves.

That’s understandable since we do as others do, and that’s what most people do these days.


If we find ourselves fundamentally as consciousness, then we tend to see others as that.

We see ourselves as fundamentally consciousness operating through this body and psyche, and others as consciousness operating through that particular body and psyche.

To us, the world happens within and as the consciousness we are, and we assume that’s how it is for others as well. (Based on their reports and what makes logical sense.)

We find ourselves as what the world, to us, happens within and as, and assume that’s how it is for others.

We find ourselves as oneness and assume others are onenesses as well, whether they notice or not.


What effect does it have to viscerally find ourselves as one or the other, and see others as the same?

If we see ourselves and others as fundamentally objects, then we literally objectify ourselves and others. We assume that the limited and distorted stories we have about ourselves and others are accurate and perhaps even all there is. We see ourselves as objects in the world at the mercy of other objects and living within time and space. We experience that we move through the world. We experience distance and time as real and inherent in the world. We experience the world as fundamentally matter.

If we find ourselves as fundamentally consciousness, then a lot changes. We realize that any story is a story and question about ourselves, others, and the world. They cannot hold any full, final, or absolute truth. We find ourselves as what time and space, to us, happens within and as. In a car or when walking, we experience that the world moves through us. We experience the world as fundamentally consciousness since, to us, it happens within and as the consciousness we are.


I can dip and imagine into the first way of experiencing myself, others, and the world. And parts of my psyche still operate from it. But in general, it’s so long since the initial oneness shift that I have problems connecting with it in a strong and solid way.

In general, I viscerally find myself as consciousness. The world happens within and as the consciousness I am. This body happens within and as consciousness, just like anything else. It all happens like a night dream, within and as consciousness.

I imagine others as that too, and that gets stronger and more clear when I bring attention to it. To me, they too are consciousness. They are consciousness operating through that particular body and psyche. (That’s exciting, the differences and “otherness” of it is exciting.) And that opens for compassion and empathy. They are like me (they are consciousness to themselves) and (like me) operate through a unique body and psyche.

And there is always further to go and more to explore within this.


I’ll add a couple of short notes.

This is all about projections. I find myself as something and assume others are like that too. It’s an assumption – whether I assume they are fundamentally objects or fundamentally consciousness.

This is also about where our “center of gravity” is. It’s about what we viscerally find ourselves to be. Knowing about it or glimpses of it are good first steps, and – through grace and often intention and explorations – it becomes something that’s immediate and visceral.

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Dream: A more nuanced Buddha

I am with an English Buddhist group. They have two images of Buddha side-by-side. One is a grey and white tone image with not much details. The other is the same, but with colors and a lot more details. It shows an attention to the nuances and details of awakening and living from and as our nature noticing itself.

I connected by accident with an English-affiliated Buddhist group in Oslo. (I walked along a street, saw it, walked in, and had a very good conversation with the guy running it.) I liked their approach. They seem pragmatic and down-to-earth without losing the essence of what it’s about. The group in the dream has a similar vibe.

The images are similar to Roy Lichtenstein paintings: large blow-up versions of printed comic books where you can see the dots making up the images. The first is white and grey with a little yellow. The second is exactly the same but with a lot of details within each of the dots making up the main image, and with more and brighter colors.

I love both the simple picture of awakening and going into the details. Over the last few months, I have explored the simple image in my writings here. Maybe the dream is inviting me to go back to explore the details and nuances more?

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The banality of awakening

There is a certain banality to awakening.


It’s what we are noticing itself. It’s our nature awakening to itself. And our nature is completely ordinary. It’s all we have ever known and all we will ever know.

When our nature recognizes itself and gets used to it, it becomes ordinary. It can even, at times, seem a bit banal. (That’s part of how our human self may relate to it.)

It’s also banal in that it’s not so difficult to notice. Through guidance and pointers, just about anyone can notice it and get a taste of it. The most effective approaches I have found are The Big Mind process and the Headless experiments. These can give a direct taste within minutes or seconds. The Kiloby Inquiries (based on traditional Buddhist inquiry) are also effective, although it’s often a slightly longer process.

So it’s banal in that it’s our nature – what we already are – noticing itself. It’s banal in that this too gets ordinary over time. And it’s banal in that it’s not so difficult to find and notice, with the right guidance.


What’s awakening about?

In a conventional sense, we are this human self living its life in the world. That’s not wrong, and it’s an assumption that works relatively well. It matches reality well enough. And the ways it doesn’t match is where it that assumption creates discomfort and unease and perhaps even suffering.

More fundamentally, we are something else.

In my own immediate experience, I find I am more fundamentally capacity for any and all experience. I am what the whole field of experience, all content of experience, happens within and as. This human self and the wider world happen within and as what I am.

Logically, I find the same. If I “have” consciousness, it means I – to myself – AM consciousness. And it also means that, to me, the world happens within and as what I am. I am this field of consciousness any and all experience happens within and as. Logically, it cannot be any other way.

When we find ourselves as more fundamentally consciousness, we also notice what mystics across time and cultures describe. We find oneness. We find that the world, inevitably, appears as consciousness, and if we are so inclined we may call that the divine, Spirit, God, Brahman, and so on. (The world appears as consciousness to me since, to me, it happens within and as the consciousness I am. That doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the nature of all that exists.) We find a love that’s all-inclusive and doesn’t depend on emotions or shifting content of experience. (And which may be covered up or sidetracked by the hangups and biases of this human self.)

What’s my connection with this human self? There is a special connection with this particular human self. I receive sense information through the physical senses of this human self. It seems that thoughts and emotions are connected with – and perhaps generated by – this human self. This human self is around all the time during (what we call) waking consciousness. This human self is what many others see me as. In a way, it’s my vehicle in the world. And it’s not what I most fundamentally am, in my own experience.


There is also something extraordinary to it.

There is something extraordinary in that anything exists at all. How come there is something rather than nothing? How come there is consciousness? How come there is an apparent world? That’s completely baffling to me and the question stops my mind. (1)

If the oneness we are has taken itself as something in particular within its field of experience (this human self, an observer, a doer, etc.), and it recognizes its nature, then it tends to be experienced as amazing and extraordinary. It’s typically both very familiar and feels like coming home and it’s something we have always, somehow, known, and it also seems completely amazing and extraordinary. And it does become ordinary after a while, which is good since it allows us to focus on something else instead of being distracted by our experience of the extraordinariness of it.

As with just about anything else, there is no end to wrinkles and intricacies of awakening and how to explore and live from it. In that sense, it’s anything but banal.


When the oneness shift happened when I was sixteen, it did seem absolutely amazing. It turned my (experience of) the world and myself inside-out and upside-down. My human self and psyche responded to it by seeing it as amazing and extraordinary for many years, even as I kept exploring it. (My nature, how it interfaces with my human self, how to live from and as it, and so on). It took some years before I found anyone talking about this or describing it, and although what I found at first was filtered through a culture different from my own, I found it fascinating to see how people talked about it.

After a while, it became more ordinary – and sometimes even banal. This took a couple of decades in my case (!), perhaps because this human self tends to be fascinated by the mystery of it all. It’s an ongoing process that’s always new and fresh and keeps revealing new sides of itself.

I am still baffled that anything exists, and I continue to be fascinated by the intricacies and the ongoing exploration process. (Part of that exploration process is to invite more of my human self and psyche to align with the awakening. This too is an ongoing, and sometimes challenging, process.)

(1) Some misunderstand and say: “It’s because it’s created by God”. But God too is something rather than nothing.

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Dream: A neighboring intentional community is moving

I am on a big lush land owned by me and my wife. We have it as a nature preserve, regeneration project, and grow food there through food forests and vegetable gardens. It’s somewhere in North-America, maybe the North-East of the US.

A group of neighbors are visiting, about fifteen people mostly young(ish) adults. They have an intentional community combining farming and spirituality, and tell us that they are about to relocate to England. I am surprised I didn’t know about them since we are neighbors and doing very similar things. My wife knew about them and have had contact with them.

I notice my memory and cognition doesn’t work very well, and mention to my wife that it’s difficult for me to socialize as much as before for that reason.

I also imagine they do more formalized spiritual practices, and notice that I am more interested in fluid and organic explorations these days. (Informed by all the structured practices I have done in the past.)

One of them begin a free movement exploration. I join in, and go into a deep process where I relive – viscerally and through movement and images – the evolutionary process of our ancestors starting with single celled organisms and up through the generations. I enjoy it a lot.

We then sit outside in chairs where we used to have a café and talk and enjoy ourselves. I notice I will miss them a lot.

This was a quite strong dream, a small “big dream” that stayed with me for a long time.


This land is very similar to our waking-life land in the Andes mountains in size and intention, just located further north and more lush.

The intentional community is similar to Lost Valley in Oregon and other communities I have had connections with and love. (I love the idea behind it and when it functions well and even sometimes the messiness of it since the intention behind is good.)

My wife knew about them and I didn’t, which is similar to my experience with our land in the Andes mountains. Since my Spanish is not yet very good, she tends to know a lot more about what’s going on than I do.

My thought about structured practices mirrors my waking life these days. I am more interested in a more fluid and organic exploration, and just being and living my life. One of them starts just such a more fluid and visceral exploration, I join in, and enjoy it a lot. I was obviously wrong in my assumptions about their approach.

Why the visceral exploration of the evolution of our ancestors? It’s something I have always been drawn to and connected with. I was fascinated by it from early childhood, and later found and loved ways to explore it. (Systems views, Deep Ecology, eco-spirituality, Big History, the Universe Story, the Epic of Evolution, and Joanna Macy’s practices to reconnect.)

I have the same memory and cognitive problems in my waking life as in this dream. It’s partly from CFS and partly a long-term effect from when I had covid last year. This summer, I have felt it has changed how I interact with people and I have been more self-conscious about it.

I will miss the community, which mirrors that I miss these types of communities in my waking life. The place where I live in the Andes mountains has some of the characteristics of an intentional community since it’s quite small and there are many there working on regeneration, sustainable food production, yoga, meditation, and so on. I want and plan to be more engaged and involved in this community.

One of the people in the group was Devon which I knew somewhat in waking life. She was involved in these kinds of things in Oregon and I knew her through that loose community of like-minded people. I wonder if that has to do with the community moving to England, perhaps to Devon? (I lived in Devon for six months some years ago and loved the communities I found there and the combination of earthy spirituality and taking care of nature.)

These are some of the connections with my waking life.


If I see the dream as all me, what do I find?

The land represents something I am protecting and taking care of in myself, and which is lush and nourishing.

I may miss my inner intentional community since I have been more focused on practical everyday things the last few weeks. (Getting a house ready for sale.) I have limited energy, so I have set aside inner work and my inner community. The dream may remind me that I enjoy my inner community and miss that connection.

Why was I not aware of the intentional community? Is it because I haven’t focused on it – “forgotten” it – for a few weeks now? Maybe the feminine side of me keeps being aware of it, while I consciously set it aside?

What does it mean that the community is moving? Why England? I am not sure.

I will be with the dream more and see what comes up.

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