I’ve spent most of my sixty-five years of life looking for a person, doctrine, or organization that I could build my life around. I started out looking to my parents to fulfill this role. I found early on that I could depend upon my father to provide us with shelter, clothing, food, and the luxuries of upper middle class Anglo life, but that he was largely unavailable emotionally and could not protect me from my abusive older brother. My mother I found I could depend upon to provide me with delicious meals, delightful books, affection, and consolation, except when her alcoholism and borderline personality disorder symptoms turned her manipulative, vindictive, and sexually abusive.
For years I felt torn between the two of them, and my ambivalence took an odd turn.
Mother put pressure on me to choose her over my father, which—let’s be frank—it wasn’t hard to do, given his loud, gritted-teeth complaints, self-isolation, and demands for absolute obedience. But I liked the fact that he was a writer, and I think I sensed his self-loathing, and I identified with him more than I liked to admit at the time. Now in the bedroom they shared, my father slept on the left side of the bed, my mother on the right. So at night I felt torn. If I slept on the left side of my bed, would I be symbolically choosing my father over my mother? If I slept on the right side of my bed, would I be symbolically choosing my mother over my father? So I compromised: I taught myself to sleep flat on my back, a habit I tend to follow to this day.
Once I entered adolescence, I more or less gave up trying to find refuge in my parents’ world and I sought refuge in my private dream world of comic books, science fiction, fantasy, mythology, and chaste fantasies of joining Robin Hood’s band of Merry Men, or being adopted as innocent school mascot by my brother Anthony’s Air Force Academy classmates. When I became aware of my homosexuality, I began fantasizing about finding a Mister Right, the perfect man who, in exchange for my exclusive devotion and access to my body, would console, protect, and give shape and direction to the rest of my life.
The problem was that, owing to incest trauma, I felt sex was dirty—not just homosexuality, but all sex. I got this feeling from my mother. So I decided that I did not want to be sexual at all. After my father’s sudden death in early 1971, I sought out the sexuality-free surrogate family I’d always fantasized about: I became a celibate Fundamentalist Christian for seven years.
The people with whom I worshiped were good people, genuinely trying to live by Jesus’s teachings of love and forgiveness. Although my self-betrayal ate away at me, the love and acceptance they showed me had a healing effect on me. They gave me a refuge from the storm of my life. But in the end I left the church, and Fundamentalism, in large part because I felt I had been putting on an act. Though I was indeed celibate for most of the seven years I was with them, I now know the difference between celibacy, born of lifestyle conviction, and sexual anorexia born of abuse trauma. And I was not the only one who left. Several years ago I discovered that the pastor of the last church I attended had been gay, and had committed suicide because he had not been able to reconcile his faith with his physicality.
All this took place many decades ago. Today, at 65 years old, five feet seven inches tall, and 290 pounds, I am far from healed; I like to joke that I have more issues than National Geographic. But I have a renewed faith in Divine Love, from Whose womb I was born and to Whose womb I shall return, and for Whom my homosexuality is a natural species variation, not a monstrosity or a curse worthy of damnation. And I have been fortunate in meeting numerous fellow travelers, straight, gay, in between, and undecided, whose kindness has consistently reached out to me in dark times.
So if you are tempted to give up who you are to get love, don’t give in to that temptation. Start asking for help, and keep on asking until you start getting it. It can and does get better, but only if you refuse to let your abusers win. •
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.
Mister Rand has long suffered from what is termed an “eating disorder,” in his case the compulsion to eat more than his body requires especially of carbohydrates, sugars, and fat-laden proteins. As a result, he has developed a deformity of the torso that weighs him down and prevents him, he thinks, from finding love and acceptance from others whose opinions he cherishes.
Eating disorders are, as we see it, at core, disorders of the heart chakra, and they can come in many forms, such as compulsive overeating and vomiting; compulsive undereating and self-starvation; and compulsive exercising and dieting. To bring these disorders into balance, it is necessary for the sufferer to identify the core need, which is love; and to develop strategies for opening the heart both to Divine Love and to human love as well.
In the Twelve Step group “Overeaters Anonymous,” there is a series of contemplative exercises designed to accomplish just the sort of heart opening to which we refer. At root, they involve:
(1) admission of powerlessness over the addictive urge when it strikes;
(2) acknowledging that Divine Love exists and is eager to relieve any and all self-harm compulsions if that is what the sufferer truly wishes;
(3) a commitment by the sufferer to placing one’s will and life into the loving care of the Divine Healer on a daily basis;
(4) listing all the ways one’s pain and loneliness have manifested in waking life;
(5) breaking silence by sharing this list with another human being;
(6) agreeing, one day at a time, to permitting the Divine Healer complete access to one’s innermost core being, for the purpose of adjusting one’s attitudes and actions so that they reflect our beauty rather than our pain;
(7) performing a ritual in which one formally invites Divine Healer access to one’s core;
(8) making a list of any persons we have harmed, and becoming willing to make amends to them all;
(9) making amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others;
(10) working daily to keep one’s heart open to the Divine Healer’s correction when one acts towards others out of a consciousness level of force, threat, and blame rather than the consciousness levels of acceptance with intent to learn, understanding, giving, loving, and knowing that one is intrinsically whole;
(11) communing consciously with the Divine Healer on a daily basis, so that we may receive the daily power and blessings that Divine Love wishes to pour upon us; and
(12) offering oneself as a channel of Divine Love to other sufferers on a daily basis as opportunities arise.
It is vital to recognize that the process of recovering from eating disorders cannot take place in isolation: one must become so sick of being sick that one is willing to ask for help, despite one’s shame and inner accusers. This is why Mister Rand attends a Twelve Step meeting designed for compulsive overeaters; he has found, over time, his fear of being seen and harmed by others has diminished considerably owing to the consistent, nonintrusive love shown him by other members of the group.
Furthermore, any healing of the heart results in increased awareness of feelings, inevitably including feelings one does not wish to feel, such as shame, fear, resentment, anger, and other responses to the illusion that one is starving emotionally. A daily choice must be made to allow these feelings to come to consciousness, and to use various tools, such as writing and sharing verbally with others one can trust, for the purpose of acknowledging these feelings and releasing them on a daily basis into the love of the Divine Healer. For it is the Divine Healer alone Who can repair the damaged heart chakra; bring peace, love, and resilience to the emotional body; and silence the voice of the inner accuser who calls Mister Rand a failure and a troll.
And we thank you for sharing.•
For further information about Twelve Step programs for compulsive eaters, check out the website http://www.oa.org.
My landlord’s dog is a white female American bulldog named Julie. She is 8 years old, and exudes sweetness and love to such an extent that nearly everyone who meets her tells my landlord, whom I’ll call Jim, “If you ever decide to give her up, I’ll take her.” I rent a room in Jim’s house, and when my cat Urdwill was alive, Julie accepted him as one of the pack; if anything, he, not she, was the more aggressive and territorial of the two.
For the past few days I have been caring for Julie. About 4 days ago, Jim was taken to the hospital, where he has been ever since, with a cracked pelvis from a fall, a deep upper leg infection, and urinary difficulties. Jim is a very large man, and it took a four-man team of paramedics and firefighters to transport him from the upper tier of the bunk bed where he sleeps down to the gurney they had waiting for him. When I spoke to him on the telephone yesterday, he sounded disoriented and frightened. In his deep bass voice he said, “I’ve never felt so helpless before.”
I can believe it. Jim is 74, with a lifetime of international sales, business ownership, and professional rugby behind him. When I met him, about 2 years ago, he had been reduced to spending most of his time in a chair in front of his large screen TV, watching sports programs. I learned that some years back he developed a brain embolism that impaired his hearing, eyesight, balance, short term memory, and completely erased his sense of smell, which in turn has reduced considerably his ability to taste anything. A Type Two diabetic, and a heavy nighttime vodka-and-cranberry-juice-cocktail drinker, he is also a hoarder. Nearly every square inch of his house is filled with sports equipment, boxes of books, clothing, heaps of old bills and letters, tools, memorabilia, and trash, and the yards around his house sport several huge, inoperative vehicles, including a chartreuse van and two trucks, one of which has a mobile hot tub attached to it. (In the Seventies, Jim used to drive this rig around Santa Fe, renting it out to partying hippies.)
Despite his brain damage and short term memory loss, Jim notices at once if anything new appears in his vicinity, or if anything is thrown away or moved from one spot to another. “Is that your towel on the washing machine?” he asks. “Did you move that [tiny scarlet] tag from the desk to the side table?” Severely depressed, he goes to bed around midnight and gets up around 1 or 2 in the afternoon. “It just doesn’t seem worth it most days to get out of bed,” he told me.
Jim is on Medicare, and has had a string of caseworkers who come by now and again, disappear, and are replaced by new caseworkers. This is not because Jim is a difficult client to deal with; he is remarkably sweet tempered for a man with his background and in his condition. It’s because New Mexico, one of the poorest states of the Union, does not allocate much money to social services, and typically caseworkers are paid little, overworked, and overscrutinized by middle management longtermers anxious not to lose their jobs. Still, it’s a good thing Jim has Medicare, as he tells me he will be in hospital for at least another week, and in the meantime I am more or less in charge of taking care of Julie. “She misses you a lot, Jim,” I told him. “I miss her a lot, too,” he said, and his voice broke.
I find myself grieving, for Jim’s pain, certainly, but also for my own. My father, pictured above, was a big man, too, with a bass voice, and like Jim had little liking or talent for asking for help. Tonight I miss my father keenly. I was scared of him, much of the time, and angry with him, much of the time, and yearned for his approval and acceptance all of the time. He filled the house I grew up in with his presence just as Bill fills this house with his, and after my father died, of the last in a string of heart attacks back in 1971, the house loomed vast and empty without him in it.
I have no reason to believe that Jim will die, not this time, anyhow, though the events of the past week are clearly a wakeup call for him: change your ways of handling your pain, or make a humiliating, and possibly protracted, exit, stage right. But however long he is in hospital or rehab, and however many changes must take place in his house for it to accommodate his new fragilities, for now, I am here with his dog Julie; and our hearts, both hers and mine, are aching. •
Mister Rand is today facing the possibility that his pet feline, Urdwill, may have more cancerous tumors growing upon his body. They may be malignant or they may be nonmalignant, but in any event Mister Rand’s cat is not eating, although he is drinking water. Mister Rand is remembering all the pets, and all the humans, he has lost to death over the decades, and has been showing great signs of anxiety, guilt, and shame, because part of himself feels (1) that males should not feel such feelings, (2) that he ought to have “saved” his transformed loved ones from death; and (3) that his future spiritual belongingness–whether “God” accepts him after death or not–depends upon his being perfect in all his thoughts, words, and deeds. He even believes that we may be fictions, or worse still, Satanic messengers sent to draw him and those who read his blogs away from the One True God. Mister Rand does not believe any of these things consciously. But all selves exist within the Self, including younger versions of the self, and all their voices sometimes sound within Mister Rand’s heart at once, contradicting the quieter voices of his reason and spiritual insight.
Mister Rand has vowed, when ever it is Urdwill the cat’s true time of leave taking the body, never to have another pet, because he says he “cannot bear” the thought of watching another pet die, or worse still, causing their death by having them euthenased by injection at a vet’s office. Mister Rand says that his grief is too great to bear, since (as he is aware) his grief over losing a pet is also grief over his losses of all the animals and humans in his life (and other lives as well, though he may not know this consciously). There are times when he even feels guilty over having a pet at all, both because of the impact pet-rearing can have on the environment and because he wonders whether it is good for an animal to be shoehorned into a human’s life rather than be permitted to live out its lifespan in a natural environment. Yet even in these things he knows the truth: that there are no natural environments, for your world has been made and remade by Humans repeatedly over the millennia; that in the “wild,” animals live a much shorter time than in “captivity;” and that humans can bring enormous comfort and fun into a domesticated animal’s life.
Mr. Urdwill has lived a reasonably long life for a cat of his size and genetic makeup: 14 years by Mister Rand’s present count. For all but 8 months of those years, Mister Urdwill has roamed free within his territory, Mister Rand’s backyard. He has enjoyed much fresh air, sleeping under datura leaves, chasing toads, terrorizing Mister Rand’s dogs (<-this is a joke>).
[Broken off because of need to take Urdwill to vet; resumed early next morning]
The purpose of the communion between “pets” and humans varies from pet to pet and human to human. Why did Mr. Urdwill choose Mr. Rand as his human companion that day at the pound in 2002, when Mister Rand, following an image of a black cat that had persisted in coming to him, visited the pound and experienced the black Abyssinian mix cat open the door of its cage, walk out, and sit upon Mister Rand’s foot? Mr. Urdwill wished freedom from enclosure. And freedom from enclosure is what Mister Rand gave him, for most of the years of their time together. Both cat and human also wished love, for all beings wish love, even rodents, which humans frequently despise because they closely resemble humans in some of their habits; and lizards, which being “cold blooded” are thought to have no need for love, only sex and food. It is just that Love takes different forms amongst different beings.
What Mister Rand really wants to know is, did he love Urdwill and his family and friends who have passed, truly love them “enough” for God to forgive him for not having been perfect? For having resented and quarreled with his beloved younger brother who died of AIDS in 1990? For having hated his abusive-seductive mother, who nonetheless had loved him in her way and he had loved her in his? For having heeded his lover Alex’s psychic command not to enter Alex’s room the evening of Alex’s suicide, when Mister Rand had returned from a gig the both of them had been scheduled to lead? We say, Yes, you have loved truly. Yes, you have expressed this love at times imperfectly. That is because one purpose for incarnation, the great task of incarnating in physical reality, is to learn to integrate the Divine Love at one’s core with one’s physical self and circumstances. And all students perform imperfectly—they are learning.
Mister Urdwill’s life is drawing to a close due to cancer and complications therefrom. Grief is difficult for many humans to express and bear, for it makes them feel weak and vulnerable and foolish in the eyes of other adults. We ask for all who experience grief over the loss of a companion animal or human relative or friend that you pray for Divine Love to help you forgive yourselves for being students of Love rather than masters thereof. And we thank you for sharing. •
— Channeled April 14-15, 2015, Santa Fe, New Mexico
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. •