Do You Believe In Fairies? Clap Your Hands

Spoiler Alert: Last night, on Netflix, I watched a British film called “Hippopotamus”. The main character and narrator is a  late middle aged British critic whose sardonic skepticism is equaled only by his sense of personal failure and self-loathing. In the film, he is called to an aristocratic country home to investigate rumors that a younger son there—the critic’s godson—has developed supernatural healing abilities. A man, a horse, and several women have been reported as cured of life-threatening illnesses when the boy laid hands upon them.

“Hippopotamus” is well scripted and well acted. The main character’s acerbic wit both appeals and appalls. But the ending is predictable. The critic—a former poet plagued with writer’s block for decades—unmasks the “healings” as a con on the part of the boy: one of the women dies, and the others’ symptoms return, except for the horse’s, who turns out to have been suffering from nothing worse than a hangover brought on by lapping up an alcoholic beverage accidentally dumped into its water bucket by the critic.

There is a happy ending of sorts: the boy admits to the con; is reconciled with his father, whom the con had been designed to impress; the critic’s writer’s block dissolves; and he starts making poems again. But the underlying assumptions of the film are what I’ve come to expect from modern secular media: there is no God; “miracles” are simply chance occurrences explicable by natural law; and anyone who believes in God, the supernatural, faith, or life after death is a self-deluded lamebrain.

True confession time: The movie depressed me. Against all experience and true expectation, I had deep down hoped that the main character would at least have been left with some doubts about the certitude of his materialism. When the hope was dashed, my ancient doubts concerning the true nature of my own mystical and psychic experiences rose up chattering. This is nothing new—my mind has always been a house divided, rationalist on one side, mystic on the other—and when such dark moods descend on me, I feel like a charlatan who has wasted his life living in a dream world.

Oddly enough, when I go into trance, or throw the cards for a client, or am in the presence of others who have had mystical experiences, my doubts recede, and the quiet joy of knowing that Divine Love is real, and that we are all,  ultimately, safe, returns.  But when I am alone in my flat, at night, it is more difficult to recapture that startling sense of peace I experience in the day.

This dualism is in part inherited: My father was an agnostic and purported rationalist; my mother, a high church Episcopalian who taught me from an early age “If I should die before I wake, I pray my Lord my soul to take.” I always felt torn between them, to the point where, as a child, I taught myself to sleep on my back rather than on my left or right side, because Daddy slept on the left side of the bed he shared with Mommy, and Mommy slept on the right side, and I felt if I chose right or left I would be siding with one parent against the other.

Tonight, as I lay in bed suffocating beneath the dread that the materialists are right, and that my mystic experiences are nothing more than brain farts, I could understand how some people believe in demon oppression or soulsucking negative thoughtform attacks—because I felt attacked, not by demons, but by the overwhelmingly pessimistic materialism of modern secular intellectual culture. And the thought came to me: You don’t have to give in to these doubts. You have a choice, based upon your experience, to believe in spirit guides, nature spirits, ghosts, reincarnation, soul travel, ESP, Tarot, channeling, and other manifestations of nonlinear consciousness, or not to believe in them. Which choice makes your life run more smoothly while not violating either your reason or your intuition? Choose now.

My lifelong difficulty reconciling my father’s agnosticism with my mother’s emotional religiosity was predicted, many years ago, when I was a sophomore at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. I developed a crush on a bisexual upperclassman who dabbled in the occult, inspired by the characters in John Fowles’ The Magus. One day, while in a pot-fueled trance, he predicted that I would spend my life standing on the crossroads showing the way for others to follow, while never taking that path myself.

Tonight I say: I choose to believe that life is more than a molecular dance, wondrous though that dance may be. Tonight I choose to believe that Spirit is real, and that my experiences of It are glimpses of a truth underlying, upholding, and surrounding the truths of physical reality. To put it another way, words deliberately chosen to irritate the the sophisticated atheist who lives inside me: tonight I choose to believe in fairies. And if you choose to believe in them, too? Why, do what Peter Pan invited us to do when Tinker Bell lay at death’s door. If you believe in fairies, clap your hands. •

 

A Message From “The Family”: On the Power of Belief

Mister Rand has asked us to share our perceptions of the power of belief to tweak probability lines and render some outcomes more probable than they might have been without the actions of belief upon them. Belief—which can be described, if not precisely defined, as [involving] emotional and intellectual investment in a specific [concept], person, cause, or positive [goal]—is often used interchangeably with the words “faith” rider_in_the_mistand “trust”. As we see things, however, belief is closer in meaning to a way of seeing the world that shapes expectations and provides a framework within which the believer interprets everything that happens.

There are some people, for example, who believe that if they ask their deity to provide them with a convenient parking place in a crowded or busy lot, that parking space will materialize almost at once. This belief is buttressed by those times when indeed a parking space does materialize within several minutes of the prayer. Those times when the parking space does not materialize are then interpreted according to the framework of the belief. So if the driver’s belief includes the belief that their God rewards them when they do something good and chastises them when they fail to do something good, the driver may conclude that the parking space did not materialize at once because the driver had done something to piss God off.

Or if the driver’s belief … includes the notion that their God is unconditionally loving, the driver can assume that, with a finite number of convenient parkings spaces available at any given moment, their God had denied our driver the parking space because God know that another driver… had a deeper and greater need for … the gift of the parking spot. Because the God knows the big picture, and knows that, in the most probable future available, if our second driver [had been] denied the parking spot [prayed for by] our first driver, a probability line would have come into being that, down the road a ways, might bring the second driver into disaster. In this way the first driver, who believes in an unconditionally loving deity, can console him- or herself that somehow the greater good was served by the desired parking spot going to somebody else.

Victorian_seanceMister Rand asks, “Can belief in a desired outcome draw to the believer a future in which that desired outcome is more probable? Or does a person’s beliefs have no power to affect probability lines unless the believer takes practical steps to make the desired future take place?” Mister Rand [refers to] the movie “The Secret”, which claims that if one believes strongly and vividly enough in a future where one’s deepest desires are satisfied, then that future is assuredly going to happen just as one hoped it would. Desire a bicycle? Pretend you already have it, [says “The Secret”]. Imagine as vividly as you can how the bicycle looks, how it feels under the hand, and how it makes you feel riding it. Do this long enough, and strongly enough, says “The Secret”, and the bicycle will come to you—possibly from an unexpected direction and with no further efforts on your part. “Does this visualization/manifestation technique really work?” asks Mister Rand.

Our answer to this is, sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. But one can increase the likelihood of that bicycle materializing by bringing in at least three other persons who share one’s belief in “The Secret” technique. All four believers sitting together, praying for the same outcome or visualizing the same good fortune, often subtly tweaks a probability line so that the desired outcome does takes place.

According to our observations in the life of Mister Rand and the lives of those he has encountered, the more persons believe in a desired outcome, the more likely it will materialize, as long as certain conditions are met (see below).

If one brings in a faith circle to assist in the manifestation process, and still the desired outcome does not materialize, it may be because

  1. materializing the desired outcome might prove harmful to the believer or the greater good;
  2. there are additional actions the believer should take in order to position him- or herself to receive the desired outcome, actions which the believer might be reluctant to take because of fear, laziness, or pride;
  3. deep down the believer believes that he or she does not deserve to experience the desired outcome, and so unconsciously is blocking its manifestation;
  4. there is another outcome which the believer desires as much or more than the outcome the faith circle is attempting to materialize, and the materialization of one outcome would cancel out the likelihood of the other materializing;
  5. what the believer wants would, if manifested, violate the laws of spacetime;
  6. the mass consciousness of the faith group, family, or society in which the believer is embedded is bent on materializing a future incompatible with the outcome the believer desires;
  7. or a combination of the above factors.

Whatever the outcome, one can turn over the matter to Divine Love, which, being complete in Itself, desires only your good without thought of thanks, worship, or return. Ask questions, expect answers from any direction at the proper time, and your way through the dilemma will be made clear.

And we thank you for sharing. 

— Channeled February 3, 2017 by Rand Lee.

 

 

 

A Message From “The Family”: On Human Goodness

Jeffrey Robert Lee (L); Rand Benjamin Lee (R)

Jeffrey Robert Lee (L); Rand Benjamin Lee (R)

Mister Rand has found himself deeply upset by the carnage in Florida’s gay and Lesbian nightclub, the club in which half a hundred individuals lost their physical bodies to bullets and many more were traumatized. Understand that evil is an act, not a condition; that one can say, out of rage and fear, that so-and-so is evil to have done such a terrible thing unmoved, but at root humans still are good, as all things at root are good; i.e., worthy of existing, for they have been born from the womb of God and return to it at death.

Why, then, does evil take place? It is possible to reduce one’s consciousness to a level so uncreative and closed to the value of others that one achieves a consciousness level we call To Control Absolutely, the least creative and least loving of all consciousness levels. While To Control Absolutely is no longer a level of consciousness sanctioned by the mass will of humanity as a normative attitude, nonetheless certain individuals, spurred on by fear of victimization by others, are trapped in the attitude that tells them, “The only way you will be safe is to control everyone and everything around you at all times.”

At this consciousness level, one sees everyone and everything one encounters as a character in one’s private play; a tool to use for one’s sensory and physical gratification and safety.Particularly if there is something in oneself that mirrors an attribute in the other, one may wish to harm or even kill the other as a symbolic means of harming or killing the trait within oneself that one loathes.

Many individuals speak with disapproval of how the media glorifies mass killers and similar criminals by devoting seemingly endless coverage to them. Many individuals feel that by doing so, the media encourages other individuals to commit atrocities so that they will enjoy worldwide fame, too. In certain cases this is indeed the effect that media obsession with individual criminals exerts. There is also in our view a sexual component to human interest in death: not only the desire to penetrate (with penis, bullet, etc.) and change forever the one penetrated (through unwanted pregnancy, through destruction of the victim’s mental health, through the victim’s death), but also the desire to feel godlike—to feel that one has the supreme power to bypass all moral systems and commit acts of devastation that will forever draw attention to one’s Self. These yearnings are all connected with the consciousness levels of To Control Absolutely and, to a lesser extent, of To Force.

Why does God allow acts of atrocity? We have no general answer to this. Some acts of atrocity are due to “natural” causes: geographic upheaval, weather, “accident,” and disease. Mister Rand’s brother Jeffrey died of AIDS in 1990, a virus he contracted in Key West, Florida during his time there. This was a very spiritually evolved individual who helped introduce Mister Rand to spiritualism, yet he died at age 35 a year after his beloved dog died. Mister Rand has since dreamed of him joyous and free, and has come to realize that Mister Jeffrey and their mother Kaye had business between them to complete, business that Mister Jeffrey chose to pursue by staying in Ireland and caring for her, even though, about a year before [his death], he predicted to a family friend that his mother “would be the death of” him. (Ireland had few resources at the time for caring for persons living with AIDS, and the medications now available that assist persons with AIDS to live longer did not then exist.) And of course many other deaths from disease, car accident, accident and so forth take place every minute of the human day, and to those experiencing them, or to those loving the victims of these situations, these losses can be unconsolable. If a God of Love existed, why would She permit any creature to suffer at all for any reason? All that we know is, each situation with each individual person must be taken individually for it to be understood.

Mister Rand is horrified by this statement. Are we saying, he asks, that some individuals choose [before they are born] to die horribly in the life to come, or deserve to die horribly because of bad things they have done in this life or a past life? No wonder there are angry atheists in the world, Mister Rand says, with so many religions trying to come up with excuses for why their deities have permitted evil to flourish. To this we say, the gods Mister Rand speaks of do not know pain. They do not know helplessness. They do not know victimization. In their level of reality, only love exists. To them, death is simply the walking through of a door, or an awakening from dreams. The only beings who can know what it is like to die are beings with physical bodies. And one of the reasons for incarnation is to bring the power of Love to bear against the consciousness levels of To Control Absolutely, To Force, To Threaten, and To Blame, the consciousness levels that give rise to Dachau, and Orlando, and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. The purpose of incarnation is the integration of Love consciousness with the mechanisms of the physical universe, so that reason and intuition, fueled by compassion, can soften spacetime’s hard edges.

For you are Good. You are Good. You are Good.•

— Channeled 6/25/16 by Rand B. Lee. All rights reserved. “The Family” is a nonhierarchical, nonauthoritarian secondary persona of  Mister Rand, created by him to convey information he cannot access readily via his conscious mind. See sidebar for  contact information.

On Chance As A Face of God

stained_glass_spiralA good friend gave me an intriguing Christmas present today, a book entitled, The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day. The author is David J. Hand, emeritus professor of mathematics and a senior research investigator at Imperial College London. His book aims to explain, via statistics, how the uncertainty that lies at the core of Nature gives rise to statistically mappable, wildly improbable, seemingly miraculous events. “The universe has laws which describe the way it works,” writes Hand, “… The same applies to exceedingly unlikely events. The Improbability Principle is my name for a set of laws of chance which, together, tell us that we should expect the unexpected, and why.” Some seeming improbabilities arise, Hand says, from “fundamental aspects of the way the universe is constructed;” others, from “deep properties of what we mean by probability;” still others, from the mechanism of the human brain as it expresses itself in human psychology. Events that we deem improbable, says Hand, only seem so because of errors in our research or thinking; once those errors are corrected, the improbable is revealed as probable.

Probability interests me, because as a psychic, I’m in the business of sussing out the probable for clients. A client comes to me and asks me what her chances are of finding a loving partner through (let’s say) Match.com. I throw the cards and they say, “Success!”, or “NO way,” or “Um, it might work, but…” If you stop the reading there, you leave the client more or less a victim of fate. But if you ask, “Why is success predicted here?”, or, “Why is this absolutely the wrong approach for her?”, or, “What can she do to maximize her chances of making this work?”, then you get information the client can really learn from and use to make decisions that will load the deck in her favor.

I am severely challenged mathematically, so I cannot and probably never will be able to give you a fair assessment of his research, thinking, or worldview. From a cursory flip through the material, however, it seems clear that, as a statistician, he is convinced that everything has an explanation consonant with mathematics and impersonal physical law. In other words, from Hand’s viewpoint, the fact that you happened to get a client who paid you by PayPal the very day you had run out of money for food was not the result of a supernatural entity answering your previous evening’s pleas for cash, it was the logical outcome of a complex series of events, some of which you had a conscious part in (such as having sent out a Thanksgiving card to all your clients wishing them a good year ahead), some of which had to do with the time of year (post-Christmas letdown), some of which had to do with that client’s choices and circumstances (end of year stimulates desires for a new start), and some of which were entirely accidental. According to this view, then, your getting paid right when you needed it most was not therefore necessarily evidence that a loving Higher Power exists who responds to your pragmatic needs when asked, but only that, sooner or later, given your many years in the psychic business and your wide reputation, it was inevitable that some client would have called you at some point after Christmas, and it just happened to be on the day you needed the moolah. So this would make my attributing these events to a loving Higher Power not the result of faith rewarded or intuition triumphant, but fantasy thinking arising from my very human need to imagine an Invisible Sky Daddy who will take care of me when I am in trouble.

On the other hand, one of the Major Trumps of the Tarot deck is The Fool, which in my experience represents serendipity—chance—as one of the faces of God; that is, chance as one of the ways Divine Love expresses itself in spacetime. The laws of probability and improbability are built into the mechanism of spacetime by the great consciousness of All-That-Is, Who exists both within and outside of spacetime simultaneously (since spacetime is an expression of Itself). So everything about me—when I was born, the family into which I was born, the troubles that led me to get involved in psychic work, the clients I’ve attracted, my difficulty saving money, my making myself available to Spirit, my asking for some cash, the souls I connect with as clients, what happens next week, what happens when I die—while not predetermined, can nonetheless be seen outside of time by the Divine as a complete, fully faceted, jewel of event and experience bound together as the artwork that is me, in this life, this time around.

Or maybe not. •

(The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day. New York: Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, copyright 2014 by David J. Hand; paperback, 269 pages, $17.50; ISBN 978-0-374-53500-1)

 

A Message From “The Family”: On Prayer

praying_handsMister Rand has asked us to speak to him and you concerning the matter of prayer; i.e., asking Higher Power, or God, or Goddess, or the Universe, or the Greater Self, or the Buddha, or Invisible Sky Friend, to intervene in physical reality in order to bring the one who prays a desired outcome. The issue is more complicated than perhaps it first appears, not because prayer is complicated, but because the reality that permits prayer to be answered takes some explaining.

We can assert with confidence, based upon the experience of our incarnated selves and the selves of others, that when certain inner and outer circumstances are met, requests for divine intervention inhuman affairs are frequently answered. And the answers, as certain 12th Step Program literature reminds us, can be (1) yes; (2) no; or (3) not yet. Of course, the latter two answers are not the ones desirous to he or she who prays unless he or she who prays has the confidence that their Higher Power is unconditionally loving and supremely wise. Then “not yet” or “no” can be perceived as what they are, which is to say blessings in disguise.

How often has Mister Rand wished sincerely for something and that something has not materialized no matter how hard he has worked for it? Critics often jump to the conclusion, “You have not had your prayer answered because you do not have enough faith;” or, “You have not had your prayer answered because you are not praying to the correct deity;” or, “You have not had your prayer answered because you have not put in the necessary effort to do your part;” or, “You have not had your prayer answered because you have sinned in this life or a past life and your suffering is the result of that sin.” And although in some cases, perhaps, these objections might have some small merit, in most cases we observe that the reasons sincere prayers are not answered immediately is a combination  of factors, chief of which very often is, “The time is not yet right for the experience you are praying for to download from the Dream State into physical reality.”

What, Mister Rand asks, are the optimal conditions for a desired experience to manifest as the result of sincere prayers? We see them as sevenfold:

(1) There must be room in your life for the experience you are requesting. That is, you must be entirely ready to enjoy this path you have chosen. This sounds obvious, but the human heart has many chambers, and in some of those chambers, fear and shame rule. For Mister Rand, it is fear that if something good happens to him, something bad will happen as a way of God punishing him or physical reality exerting itself to bring his good fortune back to a state of nonrealization. For everything is connected. There is also shame: Mister Rand is frequently ashamed that he enjoys so much prosperity compared to the nations of the world. So adding more prosperity to that which he has already seems to him unjust.

(2) There must be sufficient time allotted for the experience to manifest. Another factor that can clutter the space to be occupied by the desired experience is the factor of time. Physical reality is to all intents and purposes linear, that is, it progresses slowly and methodically from one choice to another to ‘final’ outcome. At 64 Mister Rand might wish to be a millionaire stage actor, but most persons do not become millionaires overnight, and success in theater often takes years to develop. In other words, Mister Rand’s wish to be a millionaire stage actor might have been appropriate to pray for when he was in his 30s rather than now, when he is in his 60s.

(3) There must be trust in a Power greater than oneself, and a willingness to turn the results of one’s prayer over to that benevolent Power. It is often said in Mister Rand’s twelve-step group that God answers prayers one of three ways: “yes,” “no, I have something better in mind for you,” or “not yet.” Many individuals assume, when their prayers are not answered, that God is angry with them, or that God does not exist. These conclusions do not take into account the limitations of human understanding of the vast intricate network of potentialities that makes up the web of coincidence and meaning humans call spacetime or physical reality. If one desires the assistance of one’s God—whether one sees that God as a master, parent, consoler-protector, transcendent consciousness, or mythic symbol of the internal creative power of the person praying—then one must be willing to relinquish control of the prayer’s outcome to that God, confident that in time understanding of the desired manifestation or nonmanifestation will come if one is patient. And one of the major things one must trust is that if one’s God says, “No, I have something better in mind for you,” that it is the truth. For often Mister Rand wants something that he thinks will give him a certain experience, but his Higher Power knows that it will not. If Rand trusts that Higher Power, he can ask, “If something else will give me the experience I desire, please show me.”

(4) One must pray for what one truly wants, not what one thinks one deserves or can get. And one must be willing to face, listen to, and soften around any intrusive fears, shame, anger, envy, and catastrophic thinking that may come up when one asks for what one truly wants. As Mister Rand has learned to say, one does not have to be better or worse than anyone else in order to deserve the same amount of care, kindness, health, love, and safety as anyone else.

(5) One must persist in one’s prayers. Mister Rand informs his clients that in the Greek of the New Testament, the quote attributed to Jesus that in English begins, “Ask and ye shall receive” is more literally translated “Ask and keep on asking and ye shall receive.”

(6) One must take responsibility for being a co-creator with God of the experience one desires. In other words, one will enjoy faster and truer and surer results if one prays, “Higher Power, please show me today what step today to take, the step that will get me one step closer to my goal.” Some may say, “This is blasphemy, to treat God as an equal.” We say, God does not have low self-esteem. God does not need praise. God does not need worship. God does not need sacrifices. These are all human needs projected onto God. God is Love in all parts of God’s self, and thinks nothing of God’s self, but only of God’s creation, and how God can wean it back into God’s loving embrace.

(7) Consider this truth: that only in spacetime can there be the illusion that one is imperfect, incomplete, vulnerable to diminishment, and able to suffer loss. In the great Light reaches, where the core of each entity dwells (including you), there is full awareness that one is completely filled to the brim with Love, and that Love cannot be diminished or removed by enemy, plague, misfortune, or time. When Mister Rand had his vision of the Plane of Superimplicate Order in fall of 2013, he experienced it as a calm, quiet, still place of pure consciousness that felt entirely familiar. And that is because he had briefly awakened from the dream of spacetime to reconnect with the wonderful fact that in the end, no matter what happens to the body or waking mind, one is and will always be safe. •

A Love Letter To Alex, On the Anniversary of His Suicide

Dear  Alex,

Today, January 27th, is the anniversary of the day I found you dead on your bed in 1988. My elderly cat has been sick, and though I love him dearly and will miss him terribly when it is his time to pass, my weeping was so intense today, and my feelings of guilt and shame so pronounced, that I knew what I was feeling had to be about earlier losses, too. Hence this letter.

It’s not the only letter I’ve written to you, by any means; for years I struggled with the persistent notion that I could have saved you from your suicide; that somehow you had killed yourself because I had failed as a partner and lover. Now, so many years, therapies, 12 Step programs, and heart-openings later, I know that your story was not my story. Had I opened the door that night at 10pm when I returned from work to find the light on under your door, I might have delayed your death, for the coroner told me you had died around midnight that night. But in the end, if death is what you wished for (and your ex-wife told me over the phone you had attempted it before, during your marriage to her), you would have found a way to hasten it. After all, a month before you died you warned me what was going to happen.

We were in the car going somewhere, you driving, me in the front passenger seat. You said, “I had a funny dream last night. I dreamed we were in a hospital room. I was lying in bed in a coma, and you were sitting on the chair next to the bed. And I knew that you were all right with my condition, because I’d told you many times that the place where I go when I do deep trance is so beautiful that some day I may not want to come back.” Maybe it was that dream (if it was a dream and not your way of hinting what was to come) that prompted me on some level to realize our time together remaining would be curtailed, for it was in mid-January that I sprung on you that surprise birthday party, where all our friends gathered, and we played a game, and you had cake, and laughed, and said, “No one has ever had a birthday party for me before.” Less than two weeks later you were dead.

My inner child has always been terrified of death. Death, in fact, is my Life Theme, the greatest truth this incarnation of mine has been learning to accept, assimilate, and adapt to. Maybe that’s one reason I was attracted to metaphysics after my rationalist upbringing and my ensuing 7 years as a Fundamentalist Christian—I sought to find evidence that the body is not all of us; that physical death is not the death of something deeper and more core in us; and that somehow Tarot, trancework, channeling and so forth would console me in ways that conventional religion failed to do. And it has helped. After my little brother Jeff, you were the greatest spiritual inspiration in my life. Your deep-trance channelings, which I (suspiciously at first, then more and more credulously) helped you attain with my guided meditations, changed my life completely. My entire spiritual world view has evolved from the talks you gave in your spirit-persona of  “Alexandra”, and I’m not the only one you helped by any means.

I can still recall clearly the sense of peace and nurture that flowed through your Alexandra persona to me and everyone else who attended our meetings in Key West, Florida, Ireland, and later Santa Fe, New Mexico, where you died. And I can recall vividly that the morning I found you, the moment I put my hand on your doorknob at 10am to rouse you for a meeting with a client we had scheduled for 11, I knew you were dead. I opened the door, saw you on the bed, and felt you and Alexandra—not the same person, but two personas—”floating” near the ceiling, witnessing me. I’ve had spiritual experiences since then, several in which I caught a glimpse of that Heaven of Light and Sound which made you so blissful whenever you tranced. But the experience I had that morning was my Lightning-Struck Tower.

Thank you for all you gave me. Thank you for my sense of your continuing presence in my life. I have loved other men since I met you, but you remain uniquely precious.

P.S. Please watch over my cat, and help me release him to the arms of Love when it comes his time to rise. •

Alex_with_Christmas_tree.IMG

On Giving Up Theology

MAJORTRUMPS.XII.TheHermitI tend to continually compare my idealized inner picture of the world as I feel it should be with the reality I perceive around me. As a result, I am usually disappointed, because physical reality has its own rules and patterns that often do not square with my idealized inner picture. In an attempt to discover and understand these rules and patterns, I have spent most of my life exploring different philosophies, religions, and lifestyles, hoping to find one that would feel like home.

The Good Boy

As a child, I thought by being “good” according to my familial value-set, I would be rewarded with the love, safety, and belonging that I craved. When that didn’t work, I asked my Dad to send me to a psychiatrist, because I felt something was wrong with me, and if I just fixed it, everything would be smooth sailing from then on. That didn’t work, either.

Bible College

My father died suddenly, and I had a psychological snapping experience: I converted to Fundamentalist Christianity. I found a community of Bible-believing Christians who were really trying to live their faith. I did my best to follow the rules, which entailed giving up sexuality, dressing conservatively, and accepting the doctrine that I was bad through and through, a sinner deserving of eternal punishment in Hell. I even went to Bible College at my pastor’s urging and with my family’s money. But in the end, I found that no matter how hard I tried, the Fundamentalist doctrinal system was not for me the doorway into the unconditional love I’d been craving. I would pray and pray and confess sinful thought after sinful thought, but I never felt the love of Christ we sang about in chapel.

Coming Out

After that, I got into looking for love big time. I lost weight and sought out other gay men. I figured as long as I stayed slim, placed enough personal ads, and had sexual encounters in which I put my partners’ sexual needs before my own, the Universe would reward me with a longterm lover. I did find a lover, Alex, and we were together for two years, working as psychics, before his sudden suicide put an end to our earthly relationship. But if truth be told, having a lover did not satisfy me either. Almost as soon as Alex and I had moved in together, I had started gaining weight again in an unconscious attempt to put a shell of protection around myself. Inside I was still convinced I was ugly, unloveable, weak, bad, and a failure at being a man. Furthermore, I had failed to save him, so I was a failure as a partner as well.

Opening To Channel

After my lover’s death, I tried to practice, and expand upon, the the spiritual system Alex had channeled. I began doing trancework myself, and gradually, as I got better at opening my heart and mind to spirit, I felt a measure of that peace I had been seeking as long as I stayed in trance. But you can’t stay in trance twenty-four hours a day and function in physical reality. When I wasn’t channeling, I still found myself miserable, lonely, and scared.

Twelve Steps

After bulking up to over 360 pounds, in 1998 I got into a Twelve Step program for compulsive overeaters. I followed that system’s rules and procedures, and worked the Twelve Steps, a series of introspective spiritual surrender exercises. Suddenly, I started for the first time sensing a Higher Power’s benign presence around me, and lost half my body weight in 2 years. So there I was, thin again, and guess what happened? Despite my spiritual progress in the program, I still felt ugly and unloveable inside. So I left my Twelve Step program, and, increasingly tormented by the fear that the Universe was just an unconscious meat machine with no Divine Love, no survival of consciousness after death of the body, and no inherent purpose, I started overeating again. I ended up regaining all but around 60 pounds of the weight I had lost.

Letting Love In

Last November, at 302 pounds, I finally gave up the idea that any single system of philosophy or psychiatry or theology or spirituality was going to save me from my internal pain. I realized, finally, on a deepest gut level, that I had been embracing systems in an attempt to gain some control over my life.  So one day I threw up my hands and said to Divine Love, “I give up my illusion of control over my life and death. I open my heart to You fully. I realize that all the love and safety I had been seeking in a constantly and inexorably changing physical reality is only found in You. Please fill me with Yourself.” Then I went about my normal business.

But a few weeks later, something unexpected happened. While leading a group of clients in a Heart Chakra meditation, I suddenly had the first of a series of spiritual experiences that left me breathless with a genuine, transformative awareness that Divine Love is real—and not only real, but unconditional, for It is complete in Itself and needs nothing from me, only seeking my good. And the Love felt familiar—it felt like home. I thought, “How could I have forgotten You’ve been there with me all this time and I never noticed?” It was that real. Again, the high did not last for more than a few months. But in the course of it I started a love relationship with another gay man. When the Divine Love high wore off, all my incest trauma crap came rushing up, and I was forced by my escalating terror to terminate the romantic aspects of my relationship with him. I thought, “How could I have been so stupid as to think my so-called Divine Love experiences were real? The atheist materialists must be right. Spiritual experiences are just brain farts with no inherent meaning.”

Love and Flesh

celloatSarajevoIt’s been several months since my breakup with my lover and my fresh cascade of self-disappointment. I’ve calmed down a bit, and have realized a few things. Just as I had tried for years to immerse myself in systems and communities so I would not feel ugly and lonely, I had been trying to stay in the high of my visions so I wouldn’t have to feel the pain that physical reality often triggers in me. I had become, in a sense, addicted to spiritual bliss. I was using spiritual bliss to numb my pain and keep me in a protective shell where nothing could touch me, exactly the way I had once used sugar. I was trying to use spiritual bliss to protect my heart chakra from pain.

I realize now that my visionary experience of Divine Love last fall was not a brain fart, or withdrawn because I am a sinner. I know that that Love still exists whether I feel it or not. And because It is Truth as well as Love, Love refuses to be used by me to close my heart to my own pain and the pain of others. Love knows that, ultimately, I am safe; and that, ultimately, I will learn to keep my heart open to It even when I feel lost and abandoned. And I do not have to learn in isolation. Divine Love is expressed not only in visions, but through people, animals, and Nature as well. Recognizing Divine Love in the world around me is now my stated goal, and my prayer.

How have you experienced Divine Love? I would like very much to hear your story. •