Spent last Sunday morning giving a little talk at the Celebration, a spiritual congregation in Santa Fe. I told them about some spiritual experiences that I had last fall. Those of you who are interested in this sort of thing might enjoy giving my talk a listen. Of course, being a Pisces, I got choked up with emotion several times.
It’s 12:36 in the morning on St. Patrick’s Day, and I’m sitting at my desktop computer typing this because it’s been too long since I’ve worked on this blog and my restless legs syndrome is keeping me awake. In the room here with me, watching a video on his laptop computer, is John, my new friend and lover.
It has been so long since I had been able to open my heart to any kind of intimacy that when I met John it was like a bolt from the blue. Only a week before we met, I told an acquaintance quite seriously that I knew for a fact that I would never have a partner again in this life. I was too screwed up, too fat, too old, and too arthritic for any gay man to find me attractive. Tonight, here is John, broad shouldered and hairy with a child’s huge eyes and the beard of a conquistador, smart, funny, sweet John, who finds me beautiful and makes my skin sing when he touches me.
Some spiritual experiences not too long ago gave me visions of divine Love and made me realize that only this eternal Love is enough to fill the holes in my heart, the holes I have been attempting to fill for years with food, religion, overwork, and counseling. So I decided to make seeking connection with this Love my focus from now on. I asked my Greater Self to open my heart fully to all the love available, and now here is John, astonishingly, improbably, fond of me and I of him.
Of course I know nothing lasts forever in physical reality. Forms change, constantly and inevitably. But divine Love does not. No matter whom you have loved and lost, no matter how empty your heart feels due to past pain and loss, no matter how many loved ones have been swept from your embrace by time or illness or disaffection or death, divine Love will always be there, ready to fill the open heart again. Openheartedness is not for sissies. It can hurt a lot. But it also makes joy possible. Ask for it. Call it up from within you. Take the risk. For no matter what happens, ultimately you and I and everyone is safe.
The ex-wife of a friend of mine came up with this variation on a familiar nursery song. I often imagine my Greater Self, my divine Lover, singing it to me when I am scared and sad:
Rock-a-bye baby, on the treetop,
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock;
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,
And I’ll be there to catch you, cradle and all.
— Copyright 2014 Rand B. Lee.
Here’s to an awesome 2014 for each of you! I hope you’re staying warm – at least it isn’t -7°!!!
Our wonderful physic/Tarot expert Rand Lee has a lovely kickoff to 2014 planned for you. At 2pm on January 25 he’ll be discussing The Tarot of You: Understanding Your Multidimensional Nature. In the conference room at HIllside, the magical shop and tearoom on Old Las Vegas Hwy.
More info, please? Certainly!
Can’t come, but realize that a private session is just what you need? Call Rand at 505-469-9782.
There are more events planned for later in the Spring, but Rand wanted you to have a heads-up ASAP about this one. More information will be coming your way shortly.
Santa Fe, NM
A few days ago an act of casual, impulsive malice on my part caused a possibly irreparable rift between me and a dear, emotionally vulnerable friend. The impulse to hurt this person’s feelings did not come from the Devil; it came from a part of myself that I consistently refuse to acknowledge and give safe voice to, a part of me that some call the Shadow, others the Wounded Child, still others the Beast Within.
As an abuse and neglect survivor with PTSD, I prefer to think of myself as an abuse victim in recovery, not an abuser. And in general I do not go out of my way to hurt people. But my coping mechanism as a child in an alcoholic incestuous home was to be the Good Boy, which meant shoving under the surface all my unacceptable feelings and thoughts: jealousy of my mother’s preference for my baby brother; rage toward my father for his scary emotional aloofness and abandonment of me to the care of my pedophile mother; loathing of myself for my sensitivity, which my culture termed girlish—and bear in mind that in the gynephobic 1950’s, when I was a child, the worst thing one could say about a boy was that he acted like a girl. So as a child I became a compulsive eater, using sugar to shove my bad feelings down as deep as they would go. Later I became a compulsive self-castigator, criticizing my every thought and move, turning my anger upon myself because I could not feel safe expressing it toward those whom I felt had harmed me.
Needless to say, these tactics did not give me more than transitory relief from the storm inside me. It is a well-known metaphysical principle that if you wish to make a spell or sacred object more powerful, hide it out of sight. This is one of the reasons sacred objects are found buried all over the world, and sacred Paleolithic art, aimed at attracting game to the hunt and fertility to the community, was created in nearly inaccessible caves. Stuffing shadow with food or sex or overwork or gambling or alcohol or heroin or any other numbing substance or activity merely makes that shadow stronger, so that when it resurfaces, it does so with a power impossible to contain completely by an act of will alone.
I’ve done a lot of work with mentors and healers over the years. Through my Twelve Step programs I have opened successive chambers of my heart to Divine Love, and in my art therapy work with the Solace Crisis Intervention Clinic in Santa Fe I have taken major strides toward acknowledging the terror and pain of my inner self. But I can still be blindsided by my shadow, and in the case of my relationship to this dear friend, the unrequited sexual attraction I felt for my friend, my unconscious social and professional competition with my friend, and my growing emotional dependency upon my friend, changed to resentment when—and I am loath to admit this publicly—a series of tragedies in my friend’s family made my friend unavailable to me for much of the summer. So I posted several snarky and suggestive “jokes” on my friend’s webpage, despite the fact that my friend’s family (including a 12 year old niece) would have access to them; and I posted a comment on the webpage of a Meetup group my friend had organized suggesting edits to the website opening page that lessened recognition of my friend’s role as founder in the interest of “helping” the current facilitator of the group to achieve more public recognition (a recognition that worthy has never sought).
In deep grief and pain over the loss of beloved relatives, my friend—with uncharacteristic verbal and emotional violence—severed relationship with me. My friend had been under so much emotional pressure that finding my posts on the website was too much to bear with equanimity. So I, who hate to think that in me lies the potential to abuse others, have had to face the fact that under the right circumstances, my Shadow can arise and take control, suborning my empathy, muting my memory of shared kindnesses, and unleashing in me my repressed desires for revenge against my childhood caregivers. I have had to face the fact that, while I never intended to devastate my friend, I had intended to punish my friend a little bit for not meeting my infant needs—punish my friend just enough that my friend would pay more attention to me. I underestimated my friend’s emotional alertness and vulnerability.
Did I plan to hurt my friend, as my friend has accused me of doing? No. My posts were action of impulse, and I “forgot” or minimized the possible alienating effects of them as soon as I had made them. Am I responsible for the intensity of my friend’s grief and rage toward me? No. I had underestimated my friend’s vulnerability, and had had no inkling of the possibly far-reaching effects of my actions. But my shots, having been fired, cannot be taken back. They found their target. And the result has been disastrous.
However unintentioned the scope of the wound I have given my friend, and however intermixed with other wounds my friend carries from other betrayals and abuses, I have lost the privilege of our friendship. And I’m sorry. •
On November 15th I gave a talk in Santa Fe on the ten levels of consciousness I’ve been blogging about here for some time now. During the meeting I pointed out that all too often in New Age circles well-meaning people tell abuse sufferers to let go of their pain and forgive their abusers, before the sufferers have been able to even feel and find solace for the extent of their inner wounds. I told the group I felt that this pathologized the very healthy rage abuse survivors feel, a rage that if felt fully and expressed safely can eventually lead one to such a strong sense of self that the effects of one’s abuse soften and become part of one’s inner landscape.
In response to this, one attender shared with us his experience of having forgiven his childhood abuser, and how it freed him from the damage the abuse had done to him as no other therapeutic technique had before then. He said he had spoken directly to his abuser and told him, “I thank you for the abuse, because the lessons I have learned from the experience have been so valuable,” whereupon a weight, he said, had lifted from him. (He would not tell us what abuse had been done to him, only that it had been extremely severe.) He shared this in a genuinely nonjudgmental and loving manner. I thanked the attender for his share and admitted that although I have forgiven my parents, I was not at a place where I could say I was grateful for what my abuse history has taught me, and might never be.
During the guided meditation at the end, which I led, I invited the group to join me in raising ourselves from the consciousness levels of Force, Threat, and Blame to the consciousness levels of Acceptance, Understanding, Giving, and Loving. As usually happens when I lead a meditation, I got a lot out of it myself. On this occasion, the purified essences of my birth parents came to me and showed me their acceptance, love, and regret for what their shadows had done to me while they had been alive. Their love for me shone brilliantly, and I let it in. This is the very first time I have ever felt any such connection to them, and I was flabbergasted by the experience; it came entirely unexpectedly, on a wave of attar of rose (a diluted essence of which I had passed around the room therapeutically).
Today I have been lonely, isolating, and eating compulsively. I napped and dreamed of Blessing, my dead husky: of a ridge where a crowd of people was gathered, all with their backs to me. I moved among them and saw beyond them thick dense woods, and I knew that Blessing was running free in the woods. And I longed for her, and called to her, hoping she would hear me and come back to me. I awoke in a bad sweat. Is this what happens when we let Love in, that it stirs up the next layer of grief sediment in an effort to flush it from our systems? It seems so.
Thank you, housemate Leo Richard, for letting me take care of your big brown dog Horseshoe today. Playing ball with your dog, and hugging him, and giving him pieces of chicken, I felt a connection to Earth and Earth love, and it consoled me. Mother of Wolves have mercy on all of us, your cubs, and bring us safe home to Your den when our time comes. Amen.
“Fear is the mind-killer” as one of your writers has said. Fear paralyzes. Fear energizes. Fear eats away at reality, shrinking it until there is no room in it left to breathe. Awareness of fear is the first step in learning to overcome fear. Listening to fear, and learning from it, is essential if one is not to be ruled by fear.
Fear comes from a sense of vulnerability, a belief that something essential can be taken away from one by another. Underlying this meme are the assumptions that there is a difference between self and other, and that self and other are opposed. In fact this is not true in most cases. In most cases, the forces that appear arrayed against one are not enemies at all. They are simply obstacles. They do not threaten out of malign intent. They simply exist for their own purposes, which appear to run counter to one’s own.
Consider the career criminal who makes a habit of mugging old ladies. Or the violent police officer on the lookout for a victim. These are forces of nature, mindless, purposeless, driven by chemistry and morphology to seek out and inflict pain upon others. They are Pan in the Tarot deck, physical reality as God: accidental, unavoidable.
Or so they seem. In fact most terrors can be avoided if they are heeded and learned from.
Mister Rand finds this assertion appalling. He is driven by the belief that those who inflicted pain upon him intended him harm. What he does not understand fully yet is that abusers do not really see their victims. They see only themselves. Abusers are always intent upon destroying something in themselves that they believe has caused them pain, and it is this they are attempting to destroy when inflicting abuse upon their victims.
Mister Rand says, “But for practical purposes they are enemies. It is they who hit, or cut, or rape, or destroy, or gas one to death. You are splitting hairs,” he says. Yet we say that it is useful to separate out the personal from the abuse situation. Much of the true harm of the abuse comes from the abused taking the abuse personally; i.e., believing that I have brought the abuse upon myself because of something bad in me that deserves punishment. Is it not rather that the abuser would abuse anyone over which he or she felt he or she had power? Then your victimization is not the result of anything in you good or bad. You are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time from your viewpoint, like a small creature who happens to stray into a roadway just as a tank bears down upon it.
The first clue to recovery from abuse is as we see it: do not take it personally. You are not the cause, no matter what the abuser has told you. You are simply the convenient outlet for passions and frustrations that have nothing really to do with you at all. This is a hard thing to hear, and harder to accept, for as your psychologists have said, a child would rather be abused by a parent than ignored completely. But abusers do not see their victims. They see only themselves.
We will speak further on this.
— Channeled 6 November 2013.
You are safe.
You are worth loving.
You are moving towards greater and greater security and prosperity.
You deserve love and peace and plenty.
Your Higher Power will never forsake you, including after death.
You have the right to say NO to those who ask you for help, love, or attention.
The healthier you get, the stronger and safer you will be.
You will see your loved ones again some day.
You can comfort yourself.
You are safe.
On those who have gone before there is much to say and little: much, because, from our viewpoint in the plane of light and sound, the joyous celebration of complexity and union that is physical and nonphysical reality proliferates endlessly in a dance rich with meaning and worthiness; little, because all this, at core, is known to all and each of you and us both. For this is the way of things.
Mister Rand grieves for those who have left the body before him. Grief is a hard, cold thing, or can be, when it sits in the throat like a stone unexpelled. Or it can be a hot rushing thing when first felt in its entirety of passion, welling up and spilling over in a hot rush of tears and wailing. Your society permits little of this grief-show, and that is a limitation of your society; public demonstrations of grief serve a grieving one and the society both, as demonstrations of how personal loss is also public loss: the loss of a brother, sister, father, mother, wife, husband, child, animal friend marking both a personal intimate change and a change in the composition of the group.
When what is felt by each is felt by all, grief is easier to bear. But in your culture, grief is hidden or expected to be quickly moved on.
Nevertheless, the grief that Mister Rand feels, say, over the unbodiment of his friend and once-brother Jeffrey Robert, is largely a grief of the body. When two beings have been raised together in close proximity, chemistries mesh; body patterns mirror one another, smells converge, chemistries ape one another, rhythms of sleep and wakefulness converge. Bodies harmonize within close proximity, and when one of two die, the body that remains is torn loose from its patterns and cast adrift, whether the loss has been of spouse or sibling or child or pet: bodies communicate with one another, and grieve for one another. So much of the grief felt by one who has lost a beloved is grief of the body.
And there is grief of the heart. “I only have escaped alone to tell thee,” says the comforter in the Book of Iyyob. Aloneness is the shadow of oneness and its pain is keen. The Divine is One but It is never alone. In truth, neither are you truly alone, and Mister Rand, his perceptions having been keened by his psychic practice, is aware of the presence of his friend whom he knew as his brother Jeffrey, and so is somewhat comforted, when his intellect does not prevent him from accepting and acknowledging that comfort. For the intellect, whose job it is to enable beings to create and thrive in physical reality, has only limited ability to make sense of the vast light reaches.
What is Heaven like? you ask. Heaven, we say, is noisy, joyous, full of argument and banter and explosions of love. Heaven is a carnival, though not a carnivale. Heaven is a peaceful glade with a stream running through it, and rabbit-birds giggling just out of sight. Heaven is your best friend.
— Channeled 19 October 2013, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Mister Rand has been involved of late with much pain concerning loves lost, ignored, feared, or missed. He wonders whether he will ever find freedom from his inner child’s need to cleave to another and depend upon another totally for his sustenance, a need that has interfered with Mister Rand’s ability to relate to a beloved equal to equal. So he asks, What is it that I am fated for? Am I fated never to find a partner because of my wounds? And we know that many people ask similar questions much of the time.
We cannot provide Mister Rand [with] an answer that will satisfy him emotionally, because from our viewpoint, and the viewpoint of the Greater Self, Mister Rand is surrounded, filled, and made by Love for Itself, just [as] are all beings that exist in physical reality…And from the Greater Self’s point of view, love is never lost. It cannot be lost, because it is the stuff of which realities are constructed. It is reality itself.
But how can this be true? asks Mister Rand. In physical reality there is so much hate and pain. How can Love lie at the heart of all realities when this reality has so much evil in it? And again we say, there is no answer that can satisfy Mister Rand on the heart chakra level. For in part he still cleaves to the notion of God as omnipotent and separate from both Mister Rand and creation itself. And we do not see this as the truth.
As your writer George Macdonald once wrote, God is made of Love in all parts of Himself, and thinks nothing of Himself, but only of how He may woo His Creation back to Himself. For God does not need anyone to love God. For God, it is enough that you love yourselves, for God does not see the divine nature as separate from you. Love one another and you love God. Love the animals and you love God. Love the trees and you love God. Love those who hate and persecute you, for they are trapped in the endless cycle of force threat and blame which narrows and narrows and narrows their consciousness until the only thing that exists for them is raw unfulfillable need. This state of raw unfulfillable need is what your writers sometimes refer to as Hell, and as Mister Rand knows only too well, one can be in Hell while still on Earth.
But there is hope. For returning to Love is inevitable. In the end, everyone and everything is safe. Though your corporations destroy this world a thousand times over, it will be reborn. Though your religious individuals quarrel and condemn and are condemned in turn by your nonreligious individuals, beneath all this furor Love is still present. And the way one can know this is true is simply by observing that, when Love is accepted as a foundation for all one’s dealings, all one’s dealings thrive. If Love were illusory, loving others and oneself would not produce happiness and joy. They would produce only hunger for more love. For understand this: the yearning-love of which Mister Rand speaks is not Love in the way we see things.
Yearning-Love is a state of consciousness that arises when one fears to believe that one is worthy of being loved. It is a state of consciousness that arises when one demands that God prove to one that one is lovable by sending one the perfect match. And there is no such creature on Earth or in Heaven except Love itself.
We are sorry that Mister Rand is in pain. We are sorry that he thinks that because he has more flesh on his skeleton than is healthy for him that he is an abomination and desolation; that because he is homosexual God does not want him; that because he did not save his brothers or mother or father or lover or dogs from their illnesses and deaths that he has failed Love. Physical reality is the only reality where pain is available, but its wonders are far more numerous than its pains. One must however be willing and able to see the goodness and love around one, and until one has felt fully one’s force threat and blame wounds, given them a voice, treated them with tenderness and consolation, and cradled them not to cling to them but to parent them as they were never parented, until one is willing to do this, one will feel cut off from the Love that is at the center of oneself and everything else.
And so we encourage all who suffer from unsatisfied longing for love: breathe into your heart and let out the breath slowly. Let yourself relax and soften around the clenched fist within you. Let yourself feel a bit more of the pain you are pushing out of sight, give it a voice, paint its picture, write down what it says to you. And invite Love into it. Try this with yourself for a month, and see how you feel at the end of this time. And we thank you for sharing.
Recorded in trance session, Oct. 14, 2013.
To Know That One Already Has is the tenth and most creative level of consciousness available to beings in physical reality. It is a divine state of sureness in which one knows that one possesses everything one needs, has needed, and will ever need to overflow with happiness, safety, and joy. I know it is possible to experience such a level of consciousness while still in physical reality because I experienced such a state once, during a vision that came to me while I was working as office assistant to an environmental lawyer (see my blog entitled “To Love”). In this vision I felt suspended in a sea of light which knew me utterly, supported me without question, and desired nothing from me. At that instant I felt safe for the first time in my life, and I burst into tears of relief. At that instant, I knew that I already possessed everything I needed for happiness and joy. I felt complete.
It was not a state in which I was able to remain. I was and am still too bound up with my force, threat, and blame wounds to do that. But I know that, having experienced once, the consciousness of my completeness remains within me available to me again when I am ready for it.
Since I had this experience I have run into other people who have had it, too. Some of them have experienced it while on drugs; others, in meditation. Many religions report mystics, saints, and devotees experiencing such states of completion, and record the ecstasies that arise from the experience of such states.
The state of knowing that one already has is, I believe, our true state. It is a deep state of rest. And that is why some mystics, saints, and devotees can demonstrate, while still in the physical body, acts of divine compassion and apparent self-sacrifice. I say “apparent” because, when one has achieved awareness of one’s essential completeness and safety, one knows, deep down in one’s core, that food, clothing, status, money, physical possessions, even the body itself, are not who one really is. They are accompaniments, adornments, temporarily useful perhaps, but ultimately releasable because I recognize the real me already possesses—and always will possess—deepest, eternal safety within the Divine Heart of Love.
Self-sacrifice that arises from the consciousness That One Already Has is very different from self-sacrifice that arises from force, threat, or blame. Force, threat, and blame triggered self-sacrifice is an act of violence against the self, a decision to deny oneself what one needs for happiness and joy so that others will prosper instead. And such self-sacrifice is invariably accompanied by buried resentment. Psychologists sometimes call a pattern of resentful self-sacrifice “codependency“: an addictive pattern of denying myself what I need in hopes that my giving to another will prompt him or her to give me what I need.
And so the cycle of self-examination continues, leading me back again and again to the necessity To Accept With Intent To Learn, so that I might Understand Physically, Understand Spiritually, Give myself what I need, and ultimately Know That I Already Have everything I require for happiness and joy: Love Itself, Who is eternal, changeless, undiminishable, and intensely, supremely personal.