Reflections

Wordy, wordy… the Message in the Medium…

I use too many words to express how I feel, to say what I mean, to get my point across…  If you follow me at all regularly, you know this.  I often meander way off track to get to where I’m going, taking the scenic path through unnecessary landscapes, just to prolong the journey.  I know this about myself.  I’ve heard it all my life.  It’s one of the reasons I’d never make it as a published writer, because I refuse to let those extra words go, and I will not allow my message to be biased by arbitrary (even if well-reasoned) word count limits…

So to be told by someone that I “sure take a round about way to make a simple statement” shouldn’t “hurt,” right?  But it does…  It feels like a rebuke.  Because it is one.  It also happens to be true!

My response?  Immediately shut up while silently going on the defensive…

[But I love words!  I want to use them…]

[So what?  No one is requiring you to hear me out…  I’m just making conversation, after all.]

[Sorry… My bad…]

And then I retire with my cup of coffee to mull it over…  And over…  And over again… [Just to be sure, you understand…?*]…

(* note where the comma is placed; it’s important.)

And then I ask myself, “what does it matter?”  If this is who I am (and I like that), what difference does it make?  People are free to walk away any time.  Why should this even bother me?

But it does…  Which tells me something more than mere words is happening here; some truth is trying to reveal itself to me.  So let’s chew on this some more…

Why do I need so many words to express my self?  [Oh, is there an extra space there, dividing the word “myself”?  ;)]  Why can’t I be content just saying what I mean?  Why does almost every direct statement feel incomplete?

Is it just my ego revelling in the sound of my own voice?  Is it my insecurity attempting to hold someone’s attention, now that they’re finally listening to me?  Or is there something more going on with Me? [Yes, that capital “M” was intended; it’s not a typo.]

The truth is all those “extra” words serve a purpose in the end.  They provide background, context, for what the words are “supposed” to mean, at this time, in this place… all relative, you see…?  They provide history (how I got to the point I’m trying to make), and connotative context (how and why I feel about what I’m about to say).  But mostly, all those extra syllables are there to illustrate the complexity and design behind simple statements, to show how Truth cuts through dimensional barriers, existing every where, every time, simultaneously, without contradiction.  That fact never ceases to create a sense of awe and wonder in me, and it is the closest thing (I’ve ever experienced) to the feeling known as “faith.”

I, personally, have never “trusted” an outsider to “take care of me.”  I’ve never believed that any human, god or cosmic plan existed with my best interests at heart, even in the best of times.  I’ve always waited for the other shoe to drop – the expectation, the exhortation, the exploitation…  It always comes…  Eventually.

And maybe that’s just the way life is done – an exchange of energy essential to keep things moving along.  Too much flowing in one direction creates an imbalance, requires correction.  Nature abhors a vacuum, right?

So… who’s to say all these extra words are not necessary after all?  If only in the way they hold the space, preventing any lesser truth (or greater falsehood) from sneaking in behind to fill the void.  So much left unsaid when word counts start to matter.  So much left open to interpret, outside my purposeful intent.  Yes, indeed, there are times for that.  But that’s what poetry is for…

And when carefully constructed poetry (or random intuitive ramblings) draw forth too literal responses (“what a lovely picture you paint with your words!”), however well-meaning and sincere…  Well, let’s just chalk that up to the Failed column, with so many other wasted words, because [clearly!] you didn’t get my point at all…

*** deep sigh ***

Words are easy… Communication is not.

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About the Otherhood, Conversations

Q & A: The Experience of Otherhood

The following questions were asked by Jerry (rawgod) as part of a comment on another post.  They are insightful and involved, and so I thought they should be addressed in their own post.  Please feel free to jump into the conversation if you are so inclined.  😀

The questions themselves have to do with my experiences with my Others, and the Center Space where we can meet and converse as others, while still retaining an identity of being…

 
Q: “1) Do you really identify with more than one ego at a time, or when you switch egos do you do that instanstaneously and completely? I guess what I am asking, when you are acting as Prime Personality, then suddenly switch to Personality B, are you still aware of being Prime Personality, or is the switch total, and Prime Personality does not exist anymore?”

A:  The simple answer to this question is that I retain a single ego, regardless of which personality I am experiencing.  I like the way you differentiate between Prime and Personality B, etc., as it truly captures the essence of what it’s like, so I’m going to use that framework to discuss this.

So I will immerse my consciousness in B’s life, but still feel, react and be Me (Prime), which requires a certain period of adjustment each time I visit.  I will remember Prime’s (Lisa’s) memories, morality, etc. throughout my “time” there, but I will also have access to B’s memories, morality, etc.  More often than not, I am drawn into B’s life during a significant period, and “I” (we) will use our combined wisdom to navigate the situations that arise…

What makes it interesting is that while I have not bodily crossed over into that timeline (not for lack of trying, I assure you! Lol!), I still experience everything as “real.” Every sensation, every feeling, every lesson learned becomes a part of Prime’s experience as well.  The only noticeable difference is the way time operates, as Prime is able to skip around more easily within B’s life history, seeking memories (with added realism) that might be needed to proceed in B’s current time…

 
Q: “2) From what I read, Prime Personality has at least some memory of being Other personalities, but there is no direct connection between them. People with Multiple Personalities can supposedly switch from one personality to another under certain situations or stressors. Can you do this?”

A: Are you asking if I can consciously immerse myself in an Other’s life?  Sometimes, yes, but I wouldn’t say it happens always “at will.”  In fact, the mechanism that used to allow me such complete immersion seems to have been broken for the last decade or so.  I have been able to look in, but I have not been able to actually visit.  Instead, we often meet in some neutral location and converse like real people; all the posts on my blog tagged or categorized as “conversations” are “real” experiences I’ve had with the others.

And no, I do not have multiple personality disorder (MPD).  MPD’s usually “become” alternates in their current life (timeline), while I “travel” to the Others’ lives to experience being them.  While they may be perceived as MPD because Prime claims dominance there, I retain memories, traits and characteristics of both.

To be fair, though, there is definitely a sharing going on.  Traits usually associated with B will become apparent in Prime’s life when we are in close contact, and since some of the Other’s are very different from me, it can be quite noticeable.  It explains why MPD was originally considered a possible diagnosis that was quickly ruled out; straight up schizophrenia won the title in the end.

What is important to acknowledge is the place of ego in this exchange.  Because there is a central being expressing itself in different forms, there is a consistency of experience across all timelines, a root or baseline that learns and adjusts (changes), while still remaining “the same.”  Simultaneous co-existence without contradiction.

 
Q: “3) When you do make a switch, from say Prime to B, is there any loss of time for Prime when you switch back?”

A: Yes.  Definitely.  But it’s hard to explain or define, because my body (Prime) continues to live my life while I am out being the Others.  Basically it means that when I return consciously to my life, I have some “catching up” to do, and some time that will never be recovered.  I usually am confronted multiple times after returning about things I don’t remember at all – conversations had, plans made, incidents that occurred, etc.  People are mad at me and I have no understanding why.  Or I missed work and didn’t call in.  Or I had some “meaningful” encounter with someone who I will not even recognize next time we meet.  You get the idea…

It was one of the things I had to learn to cope with, as it made me extremely vulnerable.  Admitting I wasn’t “here” was not an acceptable excuse, but it did give others an opportunity to make stuff up which I could neither confirm nor deny.  I learned to “play it cool,” look for clues, and my journals became critical for piecing together the jumbled timelines.  Eventually it was a practice the Others adopted to make the transitions easier on all of us…

 

Q: “4) This one is hard for me to comprehend or properly ask (presuming that the answer to question 3 is negative as I believe it must be) but what happens during the lives of personalities B, C, D, Etc while you are living as Prime? Surely their lives do not stop happening? So, obvious question, based on above scenarios being correct:
4a) Do these sub-personalities have their own egos while YOU are not with them? If Yes, do you then share the ego? Or, if no, what happens to the sub-egos while you are controlling their minds? And how do they feel about it, if they know about it? (Actually, this last question seems to be very similar to part of Question 1, so you may have already answered it. If so, no need to repeat. But is there is a difference you can see, I would love to hear it. Thanks.)”

A: Ok, I’m going to try to tackle this one as a whole…

Each of us is living a life, complete, coherent, unique in time and space.  What happens during the “visits” is that Prime (Lisa) steps into an’Other’s life, and lives it for a while.  The Other is there, or sometimes not, but their personality, memories, sensations, talents, are all accessible to me (Prime), yet somehow foreign.  I am actually me being them, and so influencing their lives.  Where they go or how they feel about my intrusion is unknown to me.  Only when we meet in conversation do we interact as other, rather than as one.

Have they occasionally visited me?  Yes! And that is something I rarely talk about.  But in the beginning, when this first started happening for me, it was almost always the other way around; they came and lived my life for a while.

While they were here, I was merely an observer in my life, sitting back to see what they would do.  Sometimes I cheered them on, knowing they were doing for me what I could not do for myself.  Other times I fought them, fearing the damage they would undoubtedly cause.  Because the decisions they made, the interactions they had while here created real consequences that Lisa would have to deal with when they left.

Eventually Lisa learned enough engaging with less linear forms of self to be able to “control” the process, more or less.  I’m not sure how to explain that really, other than compare it to installing a one-way door; I could get to them directly, but they could not then get to me without invitation.  It was at that point that Lisa likely became Prime; not because my life is more important or significant, but because my understanding of the process gained me more control over it.

***     ***     ***

And this, then, is why I have procrastinated so long in answering these questions.  Because in the beginning Lisa was not Prime at all!  There was an’Other who ripped me from my timeline when I was 9 or 10 years old.  She was much older than me (an adult), and she taught me much about life I might have preferred not to know.  Sometimes she came to me and simply messed with my life, forcing me to clean it up and learn as I did so.  Other times she took me to her own life, living out various scenarios that would later impact directly on my timeline.  But she was always in control of the process…

As a teenager, I started to resist her, alternately “loving” her for her honesty and “hating” her for her brutality in communicating it.  I used a variety of techniques (drugs, alcohol, sex, meditation, etc) to try and gain the upper hand in our interactions.  Ultimately those techniques failed because I could not control myself much less her.  Once I set aside drugs and alcohol, the scales began to balance, and with adulthood (and the wisdom it brought), I sought to understand the process itself.  That’s when it began to tip in my favor…

As an adult, I better understood the “teaching” she had tried to impart, and I used the clarity gained in sobriety to explore the implications.  I began to see her more as “human,” with faults, frailties, and baggage, rather than super-human as my child self had assumed.  I started to see her as a peer, an equal.  And then I took on the gargantuan task of “capturing” our interaction…

As I mentioned before, I wrote a book about it (a couple actually), although one was simply a “recording” of our transitions.  In that book, I consciously stepped into her life (by my choice) and recorded what occurred there.  Through that process I learned just how “damaged” her personality was, forever stripping her of super-human status in my mind.  I also encountered another self entirely whom I had never met before, who taught me directly about Time, Space and Movement (Change), thus explaining how these interactions were possible at all.  That self also brought me home to Center, where interactions could occur without co-opting each Others’ lives.

And that is when Lisa became Prime…

That book is available in digital format (free) if you want a copy.  I can email it to you if you are interested.  My understanding (though I remain technology challenged) is that it is a PDF file, and not any e-book format.

Hopefully, these answers are sufficient, and will ennable us to continue discussing this and related topics.

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Essay, Reflections

“The snakes are coming!! Step away from the road!”…

“Knowledge” is a peculiar thing, really.  I mean, if you think about it.  There are different ways of “knowing” and different levels of “what is known” (aka knowledge).  At some point (and I can’t say when or where with any consistency or accuracy), hunches, intuitions, dreams, prophecies, facts, data, and wisdom somehow combine and/or crystallize into “knowledge.”  And by doing so, said hunches, intuitions, dreams, prophecies, facts, data and/or wisdom become something else entirely.  They become real…

Perhaps that’s all there is to it, then.  Maybe.  Maybe it’s as simple as becoming “real,” and “knowledge” (that which is known) is the accumulation of what has become real.  In which case the transformation between supposition and belief into knowledge occurs entirely at the quantum level, when an actual path is “chosen” and made real…

What intrigues me about this possibility is that all true “knowledge” becomes past tense the instant it transforms into said knowledge; no longer a possibility or a choice, but a path already taken.  Hmm…

Why does any of this matter now anyway (other than to amuse my self)?  Because this is the time of year when prophecies abound, when speculation looms heavy in the public mind, when everyone looks forward to what may be coming, and tries to position themselves accordingly.  We are a forward looking species, who make decisions and resolutions based on past occurances.  Trusting, somehow, that there is a consistency or pattern to reality such that there will be similarities between how things happened before, and how they are developing now.

It’s not our fault, really; it’s simply how our minds work.  We (humans, anyway) reason by analogy.  We see “patterns,” and those patterns allow us to extrapolate, to draw conclusions.  Not always accurate, of course, but accurate enough to allow us to learn.  And we are not the only species capable of such learning, though we often credit ourselves with being the “best” at it.  Higher order thinking.  Cause and effect.  Symbolic representation.  These are hallmarks of human existence, though not limited to human use exclusively.

There is a saying (I have no idea who to credit with it) that says “insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.”  And “insanity” is, by definition, irrational; it does not make “sense,” it does not pass “go” or collect $200.  “Insanity” is the antithesis of reason and/or knowledge.

Or is it?

Because if reason is based on analogy, then it is, in fact, learning gained by mimicking past maneuvers.  Knowledge itself may be a past tense phenomenon.  So perpetuating “bad” ideas, habits of thought and action, and mistaken assumptions would be par for the course.

To be fair, of course, the key word in the saying is not “insanity” but “same.”  It acknowledges that true learning occurs when subtle changes are introduced, prompting different outcomes.  Sometimes those changes are not subtle at all, revolutionizing both our thoughts and our actions, and creating a whole “new” system of belief, action, choice and knowledge.  People (and their circumstances) can change…

Maybe…

***     ***     ***

So I’m wandering through this world today, observing Others (as I tend to do), and I notice things.  I notice, for example, that people are swinging on vines of belief between extreme certainty and extreme confusion.  The world we live in has become so adept at denying “reality” and sowing doubt that humans cannot seem to accumulate anything resembling knowledge.  They vacillate between shrugging their shoulders and shaking their heads in defeat, and defending, vociferously, that which directly opposes the observable.  Red is not blue, and blue is not red, no matter how much you want to believe, or how loudly (or meanly) you defend your point of view; it simply isn’t -period.

But the real confusion and chaos arises from the “fact” that it isn’t any one group or individual swinging between these extremes, but everyone!  Every single human I meet today exhibits these symptoms – one minute totally confused and unsure of what to expect, and the next minute defending the indefensible belief most currently guiding their actions!  Myself included, as I recently heard myself explaining to someone that my words, however confidently they were presented, should be taken as my opinion only; I don’t know anything, but I have lots of beliefs and opinions…

“Fake news.” “False flags.” “Doubt everything!”  “Research yourself.” “Ulterior motives.”  “Trust no one!”  Clarion calls and slogans for the “new age” of enlightenment.  And impossible to implement.  How do you truly research anything, when all data, all information, is merely an expression of someone’s beliefs?  How can knowledge exist if no one can make a decision about what is “real,” or if we cannot agree on those basic assumptions?  We can’t.  We can only create and defend our own little worlds.  But we cannot change others’ without some willingness or ability to achieve consensus.  And that would entail accepting belief and opinion over knowledge.  Until that belief and opinion transformed into knowledge…

But then, knowledge would not equal Truth…

So be it…  And change, if it is to be achieved, must occur pre-knowledge, proliferating only in the realm of supposition, belief and opinion.  Hunches, intuitions, dreams, prophecies become seeds of potential change; when acted upon they find resonance and connection in the “real” world, creating facts and data, acceptance of which mimics “wisdom.”  And when all of that combines into a quantum choice, “knowledge” is born…

***     ***     ***

I had a series of dreams today, all vaguely connected, though dreamed seperately.  They seem relevant to this discussion somehow…

Dream 1:  I am at some sort of huge gathering of people with my “group” (family, friends, tribe or clan).  Everyone is excited about what is about to transpire; hope, love and happiness infect the crowds like drugs or disease.  I’m wandering around, observing, but not engaging.  Eventually I arrive at where my group is gathered, unpacking for the upcoming events…

I notice at once that they are annoyed with me, even angry.  They tell me my role, my purpose within the group, is to speak (the/my) truth, to “inform” them about what is happening, and what is coming.  They are angry about my continued silence…

I try to explain that no one is listening, that no one wants to hear what I have to say, that I am simply wasting my breath when I try… but that does not appease them.  So I give in, I capitulate, I begin to speak of what I “know.”

And they completely ignore me, refusing to acknowledge even the sound of my voice, much less what I’m saying.  I carry on, valiantly trying to speak and be heard over the crowd and their personal chatter, but I fail.  So I wander off, to be woken by my cat entering my dream to get my attention; I wake to find my cat waiting expectantly, as it’s my normal time to arise…

Dream 2: (only vaguely remembered, as it was sandwiched between the other two)  I am somewhere with a small group of people, in proximity, if not in thought.  I am coloring, filling in patterns with colors that please me, not worried at all if they reflect reality.  Others around me are doing the same.  We occasionally glance at each others’ pictures, commenting on color choices and such, but none are affected by the others’ opinions, content to carry on in our own creations.  I am very happy…

Dream 3:  Another huge gathering on a beautiful day, only this one is not organized.  This is small groups – families, couples, individuals – out enjoying lovely weather in a pretty city park and surrounding streets.  Everyone is focused on who they are with, though pleasantly acknowledging others who cross their path.  The weather begins to change, skies darkening and wind rising…

I hear a distant announcement, barely audible above the sounds of crowd and wind, warning people. “The snakes are coming; step away from the road!”  Most people around me seem not to hear it, or react to it…

In my mind’s eye I see a water containment system (a dam, levee or water tank) let go, and a flood of water rushes down the main street, washing away everything in its path.  I realize the announcement is attempting to save lives, though most are oblivious.  A few random individuals have picked up the message and are attempting to pass it on, telling everyone they pass that the snakes are coming, as they, themselves, move away from the street.  But the strangers do not understand the message, first staring at the messengers, confused, then shaking off their warnings as irrelevant to them.

So I pick up the call, yelling at maximum volume: “The snakes are coming!!  Step away from the road!  For your own safety, move away from the road!”  I walk along the road, shouting, trying to reach as many as possible.  Some move away, if only to avoid the crazy lady walking down the sidewalk yelling about snakes…

Suddenly I see the water coming, rushing down the street, overwhelming all in its path.  As it passes me, I notice the foam in front looks distinctly like two snake heads roaring at all they pass.  Their fangs and their eyes flash in the fading light, while their intertwined bodies eventually merge into a single body of water.  And suddenly I understand the warning…

I smile as I move away from the road, unhurried…

***     ***     ***

Higher order thinking.  Cause and effect.  Symbolic representation.  All hallmarks of human existence…

Depending on your beliefs, snakes can represent healing, transformation, or knowledge.  And depending on your opinion, they can represent “good” or “evil.”

Knowledge is, after all, a peculiar thing…

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Conversations, Reflections, Visions

Conversations With… a Stuffed Elephant…?

So, I’m sitting here, in my fevered sickbed haze, minding my own business, mulling over the revelations I’ve had today…  When suddenly I discover I’m having a “conversation.”  Not with the usual participants, mind you; no, this time it’s a small, but adorable, stuffed elephant speaking to me.

Why?  I have no idea!  I don’t even own a stuffed elephant, though I think I would want this one if I did; soft, cuddly, and pale yellow, with a lovely light floral print inside his floppy ears, and along his chest and belly…  He is sitting in a white rocking chair that is several sizes too large for him, all seriousness and sincerity.  I cannot help but laugh at the absurdity of this encounter!  (To which he takes offense, of course!)

Elephant:  You find this amusing, do you?!  Why?  Do I not fit your preconceived notions of sage wisdom?

Me:  Ummm…  Actually…  Well, of course not, you adorable creature!  But that doesn’t mean I won’t talk to you!  In fact, I’m really looking forward to it now…

Elephant:  [trying to hide a grin beneath his oversized trunk…]  And why is that?  Are you willing to take me seriously, or are you merely looking ahead to the many potential opportunities to make fun of me?

Me:  [laughing aloud…]  I don’t need to wait for such opportunities, my friend, as they are abundant and clear from the get-go!  But to answer your other questions, of course I’m willing to take you seriously, and I am grateful to have you here.  My anticipation stems from the unexpectedness of the visit, as well as the form you’ve taken; my experience tells me that such randomness, or blatant distortion of expectation, often leads to “breakthrough” moments, and that is what excites me…

Elephant:  [adjusting the round spectacles he is now wearing more comfortably across a trunk too thick to hold them…]  Well, then.  Let’s get to it, shall we?

[I can only nod, eagerly…]

Your last post had to do with the “axis of power.”  You discussed the Figure-8 Cross in terms of two intersecting paths…

[I nod, somewhat baffled by his desire to bring that up here…]

Yet the picture you later added has three (!) intersecting paths.  Was that a mistake on your part?  Or did you intend to muddy the waters that way?

Me:  Umm…  Neither, actually.  The picture was posted as an attempt to illustrate the discussion.  It just happens to be a more recent model I built (within the last decade) to help me explore the topic.  At the time I was trying to visualize how more figure-8’s (planes of activity) could be incorporated into the model, and I was having trouble doing so.  This physical model forced me to actually make the connections, but I could only physically create the three before it became a hot mess.  Still, it allowed me a little more room to expand my thought process…

Elephant:  And what did your mental model look like when all was said and done?

Me:  It becomes a sphere in the end, created of intersecting figure-8’s that each bisect the Whole.  The outer loops are what give the Sphere its curved shape…

But…  Why is this important?

Elephant:  Hmm… ? [looking up, distractedly, from the notes he has been taking…  Removing his spectacles, he taps them rhythmically against his trunk…]  A sphere, you say?  Now, that’s interesting!

Me:  [confused…]  Ok…  Why?

Elephant:  Now…  Talk to me about those trees!

Me:  The trees?!  What do they have to do with all this?

Elephant:  Well… [shifting in his seat, somewhat annoyed with me]  Indeed what?!…

Do they not possess both vertical and horizontal axis to be explored?  Do they not present a curved canopy to the outside world (more or less anyway, as their trunks hold up their tops, while their roots spread out beneath)?  Have they not been seeking to express themselves in the world in which you live?  Have they not accepted an offer of partnership in moving forward through that world?!

Hmmph!  [Shaking his head, annoyed…]

Sometimes!  I swear!…

[I can only stare at him; I have no coherent response as yet…)

Me:  So… [thoughtfully…]  Is this the point (notice I don’t use “time” here), that we acknowledge the elephant standing in the middle of the room…?

Elephant:  If you insist, of course.  Personally, I never forgot it!

[And winking at me, his image fades…]

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Essay, Reflections

A Question of Competence… or is it Commitment?

I notice these days that there are a lot of people out there “selling” belief.  I get inundated every day with emails and ads, suggestions for how to improve every aspect of my life through holistic healing, energy work, prayer, divination, spirit guidance, contemplation practices and fitness regimes.  Everyone has an angle that they guarantee will work for me.

But I’m not sure I agree…  Why?

Why can’t I embrace any of these techniques?  Why can’t I even bring myself to try them out?  Clearly my life needs healing in so many ways, and I’ve always been open to both mainstream and alternative means.  Non-judgmental.  Yep, that’s me…

Or is it?  Because I find myself discounting these believers and teachers without even attempting to test their theories.  I find myself hitting “delete” without even listening to their spiel.  Is it just a question of competency?

To be sure, times have definitely changed.  I remember, not so long ago, when “experts” in any field were judged by the length of time they had invested in an area of study, as well as by the efficacy of their results.  Anyone new to a particular field had to “earn” their stripes, so to speak.

But in this digital era of instant gratification, and You Tube, everyone becomes an “expert” by saying they are, and by earning a “following.”  An interested party does an internet search on their topic, then chooses what site(s) to visit, or what videos to watch, not so much by researching qualifications, but by the number of “hits” or “followers” that “teacher” has.  “Mob rules” defined and practiced…

But I’ve never really been a follower type, preferring to take someone’s idea or theory and research it on my own.  Always looking for flaws in reasoning or data, critical in my assessments, judging what part(s) appear to work, or not, for me.  Self-defined reality…

And I can’t honestly state which path is “better” or makes more sense in the end, because both ways have their pros and cons.  Self-definition provides flexibility and adaptability to any path or belief system, but it also prevents any commitment or benefits of dedicated practice; you basically believe or do what you want, while discarding the rest, and that rarely leads to deep knowledge or wisdom.  But mob rule, while clearly directing your practice and belief, without requiring deep contemplation, also requires you to accept a whole lot of stuff you might not normally agree with; much harm has been perpetrated by those following a path too strictly, without regard for how it may affect the lives of others…

Hmm…

I know that in these tumultuous times people are desperate for something hopeful to believe in.  I know everyone wants to feel empowered, capable and competent.  We no longer believe in the “system” to provide for our needs consistently and competently, and we are correct in questioning it; the society we knew and trusted is collapsing around us.  So spirituality has become big business, and gurus are hawking every corner.  And many are providing (and feeling) some relief.  That’s good, right?

Too bad it doesn’t feel that way.  At least to me…

I have been asked twice in the last week or so, to offer my advice/guidance in a public setting; to “teach” on topics I used to be well versed in and confident to teach.  I have refused both opportunities, claiming “incompetence” as my excuse.  I no longer feel “qualified” to offer advice, even on those topics in which I was formerly an “expert,” recognized by both “time in” and “results of.”  And I find the whole situation rather amusing; but then, I’ve always had a twisted perception of reality, and a great appreciation for irony.

The bottom line for me today is that I no longer know what is “real” or not, or what is worthy of believing anymore.  My daily life is so overrun with time inconsistencies, and “bleed-through” from other realities, that I feel like it’s one continuous, unsubstantial, channel surfing adventure.  It’s like being on one of those rides at Disney World, where you sit in a little car that takes you through different scenes, changing rapidly, each trying to capture your imagination and “feel” real, while a part of you remains focused on the hard plastic seat you’re sitting on, and the wealth of darkness framing every scene.  You want to throw yourself into it, to wholly embrace the vision before you, but that seat is so uncomfortable, and the people behind you won’t stop talking, and your stomach is growling (oh, did I forget to eat again today?), and…  well, you get the drift.

I had a dream recently…

In the dream I was one of a half dozen people or so invited to attend a special retreat.  At that retreat we were to be trained on how to “pray” for others, and to teach them how to pray for themselves.  In this case, though, “prayer” referred to the actual practice of miracles; in other words, we would be taught how to manifest real change in the world, and how to pass that skill to others.

At first, I was excited, but then the doubt set in.  I knew that these prayers (this technique) came from a tradition I was familiar with, but not a follower of.  I began questioning whether I had a “right” to attend, coming as I was from curiosity rather than belief.  I found myself speaking about my concerns to a friend I know in real life.  We do not “believe” the same, but we share a mutual respect for each other that often allows us to discuss ethical or moral concerns, and actually learn from each others’ perspective.  When I finished explaining the situation to him (in the dream), he grew very stern, pointed his finger at me accusingly, and said, quite seriously, “you better make damn sure you can commit to this, Lisa, before you go; otherwise, don’t go!”  His whole demeanor spoke of dire warning, as though this were not some trifling matter, which is very unlike him in real life.  I woke, telling myself I’d better test my commitment to this path before attending the retreat…

When I shared this dream with him in real life, he pointed out my use of present tense in the waking world (as in “I’d better be sure before attending…”).  I started to say that it was just a grammar/language error, then stopped myself.  He laughed, quick to catch that, as we both know how careful I am with words in the real world.  I believe our language affects our reality, so I am meticulous about saying what I mean, and meaning what I say.  So there is no room for such a “slip of the tongue” in my world, especially when speaking to him; he will call me on any bullshit he hears…

So…

It’s not really a question of competency plaguing me, I think, but one of commitment.  I know I could learn these “techniques,” whatever they are; I’m basically intelligent, well studied, and own a long tradition of learning and practicing competently.  I am a born teacher.  But I am hesitating, even knowing that such “techniques” may bring actual relief…  Why?

Because I am reluctant to commit to any particular path these days.  I am thoroughly enjoying the free flowing nature of my reality these days.  Because I do not want to be restricted by rules or expectations if something new and more appealing reveals itself to me.  Because I do not want to accept responsibility…

Ahh…  That’s it, then, isn’t it?

Commitment comes with responsibility, and I do not want that in my life.  I do not want to be responsible for others, to be held accountable for what they do with any knowledge (complete or not) they may gain from our interaction.  And that’s what’s missing in the wealth of big business based spirituality, too.  No one wants to be responsible.  No one wants to be held accountable for the “wrongs” committed by their beliefs and believers.  And while I have always believed that people should be held accountable for their own actions, rather than blaming their past or their preacher/teacher, I recognize that there is a line marking where such independence becomes hypocrisy. Because some people truly do influence others who want to be influenced, and we do become at least partially responsible for anything they do “in our name”…

Could I actually learn to change the world?  Could I make it a better place? Could I then competently teach others to do the same?

Can I wholeheartedly commit to finding out?

That is the question, isn’t it?

 

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Conversations, Reflections, Stories..., Visions

“A Lesson on the Evolution of Rocks… and things.”

The Teacher led us to a rocky ledge, basking in the early morning sun, and bade us sit and make ourselves comfortable.  “Steady your breathing and claim your space,” she instructed us.

After some time had passed, she sighed deeply, and began to speak…

This stone I’m sitting upon is warming beneath me…,” she said.  “It’s almost as if it’s absorbing my own heat energy and reflecting it back to me.  Why do you suppose that is?”

No one responded…

Hmm…,” she mused aloud.  “Rocks evolve in a crucible of heat and pressure.  When the proper levels of each are achieved, they transform themselves into entirely different form.  Same matter, maybe (?), but a totally different expression of it, with different qualities, different strengths, different weaknesses…  The same, but different…”

She paused a moment, seemingly lost in thought.  Silence reigned upon the rocky knoll…

So the question then becomes, for me anyway… [a smile tugged at the corner of her mouth] … are the rocks then feeding me (by warming me), or are they feeding off me (by draining off my heat energy in the first place)?  Is the growing heat beneath me reflective of my healing or my weakening?”

Silence held the listeners’ tongues…  Laughing, she turned to look at each of us in turn…

Did you all follow me up here to listen to me talk to myself?”

One seeker spoke up, hesitating and awkward…  “I feel only good coming from the rock I’m with.  The experience is pleasant, comforting, blissful…  I feel more grounded, more centered, more… whole somehow…  I think the rock is helping, rather than hurting me,” he concluded quietly.

Ok, then,” the Teacher responded.  “From your perspective the rock is serving you…  Beautiful!  Wonderful!  How empowering and validating it must be to be loved in this manner!…”  She turned and looked sharply at the speaker.  “But why do you suppose the rock should choose to serve you this way?  Does it gain nothing from its interaction with you?”

Another seeker spoke up…  “Perhaps the good feelings are merely a side effect of the draining of energy…?  Some predators drug their victims so they don’t realize they’re in danger until they are too weak to respond,” she suggested.

Ahhh…,” responded the Teacher.  “In which case, the very rocks upon this Earth may be our enemies, draining us, enslaving us to fuel their evolution…?”

The student did not respond…

Seems curious to me,” mused the Teacher, “that we have so many ‘stone masters’ in our collective human history, if we are indeed their slaves.  Perhaps that is part of the shared delusion the stones create to bend us to their will…?”

Silence settled once more upon the small group.  The sun warmed as it rose higher in the morning sky.  The humans warmed,  absorbing its heat and light.  The rocks warmed, creating a haven of peace and serenity, soothing city souls…

“It seems to me,” a third seeker began, “that everything in the Universe, in Nature, revolves around the principle of exchange…  From the grossest planetary matter, to the tiniest sub-atomic particles, all forms freely exchange energy.  Each expression of matter may use that energy differently, but we are all using the same energy…  Why, then, would this be any different?  Why cast it as an either/or question?”

He looked directly at the Teacher…  And continued.

“Can we not suppose, perhaps, that the exchange of heat energy between us and the rocks is of mutual benefit somehow?”

Interesting question,” the Teacher responded.  “Perhaps we could explore that a bit…?”

When no objections were voiced, she began to speculate aloud…

So, the rock absorbs my heat energy to use for some internal process, and then returns that heat energy to me, making me feel good…?”

No one in the small gathering responded…

But is there then a purpose to this exchange, beyond the mere cycling, or recycling, of energy…?”  Chuckling softly, she continued, mostly to herself.  “Talk about the proverbial waste of time…”

“Unless…,” the third seeker began.  “Unless the rocks transform my heat energy in some manner before returning it to me…?  In which case, it’s not precisely the same energy…?”

Smiling broadly, the Teacher looked directly at the third seeker…  “From which we might conclude that we also transform such energy before passing it back to the stones…?  Or other beings we might encounter along our way?”

“Like bees!,” another seeker exclaimed.  “We, as humans, have mobility that the stones do not innately possess.  I mean, they move, of course, but not nearly as easily as we do.  Perhaps our mutual exchange allows us to carry the stone-transformed energy elsewhere, while leaving some residue of our travels behind!  Such an exchange would benefit both parties, empowering, informing, even directing the evolution of all matter…”

Another seeker jumped in, excitedly… “Gently pushing us all in the same general direction…”

And yet another seeker found her voice…  “Both pushing us forward while reigning us in, so no one form alters too dramatically in a single step!”

All eyes focused on the Teacher…

She sighed deeply, drawing in the early summer morning, then lay back upon her warmed rock.  The seekers waited, expectantly, though none could voice their need.

The same… but different,” she murmured softly.

Soon the Teacher’s gentle snoring became part of the ambient summer soundscape…

 

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Dreams, Reflections, Visions

“If you want to lead…”

Interesting dreams and experiences this week, summed up by my dreams last night.  I don’t remember details so much, but the message was clear…

“If you want to lead… lead.

If you want to teach… teach.

If you want to heal… heal.

If you want to speak… speak.”

***

For months now, the messages I’ve gotten have been consistently about stepping back and allowing Others the space they need to decide their own course of development.  I’ve actually become quite proficient at minding my own business.  Not perfect, by any means, as there are always times and situations that create a compelling urge to react, but much better than I previously did.

And now that energy has shifted.  Now, I’m told, we may begin act-ing again, though perhaps not in the traditional sense.  For example, if we envisioned our selves as leaders in this “new” world we wish to co-create, we will not achieve that end by handing down orders or controlling others, as leaders did in the old world; rather, we shall lead by example only.  Get your hands dirty, or get out of the garden!

Likewise, if we fancied our selves as teachers, then we must live our truths rather than preach them.  Words mean nothing today without action.

If we imagined our selves as healers, then the work must begin within.  It is not enough to use words like “should” and “ought to” to describe the path to wholeness.  We must become whole ourselves, and guide others by those actions…

And if we have something to say, we must take responsibility for both the words and the tone of our messages.  Communication is a two-way street, and while we cannot take responsibility for how another interprets our words, we must endeavor at all times to say what we mean, and mean what we say.  Freedom of speech is not a free-for-all arena anymore, by which anyone can justify and legitimize whatever stray thoughts may leak out; consequences will occur…

That being said, I feel lighter and more energized than I have in months.  Obviously, these have always been goals, but now they are imperatives.  And with that comfort of certainty, that awareness that rightful action can once again lead to just outcomes, I feel relief as well as a tightening of the reins of self-discipline.

We are, as always, who we choose to be, and we are free now to reclaim the power of becoming who we’ve always wanted to be.  Be brave.  Be wise.  Be responsible, my friends.  And be free!

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