My Landlord’s Dog

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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. •

 

 

 

 

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 Message From “The Family”: On Reincarnation

On the subject of reincarnation there are many views, and the views we express herein are not meant to be interpreted as Truth for all beings. Take what feels right and leave the rest. But it is our observation and experience from our vantage point both in the nonphysical and physical that religious or philosophical systems that attempt to exclude certain experiences of the unseen as valid and others as invalid are seldom religions or philosophical systems that remain in the long term without change. So we discuss here the doctrine of reincarnation.

As commonly stated in American New Age circles, reincarnation is the teaching that souls live many lives in order to work on spiritual, emotional, or physical issues that are keeping them from full awareness of their perfection and divine natures. These many lives are often spoken of as sequential: that is, taking place one after another according to linear timescales. So MAJORTRUMPS.X.TheWheelofFortuneearlier and later are terms applied to incarnational experiences: i.e., Sister Susan was a sea captain in 1722; then she was a satellite technician in 1967; one day she will be a pot farmer on a space station in 2341. From our viewpoint, this view of incarnation is limited by its emphasis on linearity. From the point of view of the Greater Self, the aspect of the incarnated self that is fully conscious of its divinity, all incarnations appear simultaneous, like beads on a string, whether they be past, present, or future from the linear human viewpoint.

And past, present, and future are not the only frameworks for incarnation. Parallel universes exist where events transpire differently than they transpire in the universe where Mr Rand is channeling these words, and a soul can incarnate as readily in such parallel universes as it can in the one with whim Mr Rand is currently familiar. So from this viewpoint, Sister Susan is simultaneously a physician serving a hospital in an America where the War Between the States never took place and slavery has persisted into the 21st Century. She may also be, in a different life, a police officer gunned down in a[n anti-semitic] “race” riot in a U.S.A. dominated by Nazi Germany; and a beggar in a U.S.A. reduced to a radioactive shambles in the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Souls can also incarnate in the same universe in such a way that their lives intersect briefly. Mister Rand’s partner Mister Alex Lucker years ago met a young man who was Alex in a different incarnation. Alex and he felt a connection, and attempted to date, but each time they got together they found themselves literally incapable of interaction: at a movie theatre, the young man instantly went to sleep at the start of the film and did not awaken until it was over; at a restaurant, the waitperson brought the young man and Alex menus, and the next thing Mister Alex knew, she was standing there by the table with a frown on her face saying, “Is there something wrong? You two have just been sitting there silently for twenty minutes.” So Mister Alex and the young man gave up attempting to date, and Mister Alex drew the conclusion from this that a soul who meets [a previous or future self] in the same universe in the same time period is generally speaking unable to interact in any way creative enough to generate expansive experience. And this is, we believe, the case.

Souls can also incarnate as nonhumans. Mister Alex once channeled that animals are natives to physical reality, spiritually, emotionally, and physically at home here, so human souls, who are at home in a level of reality we call The Plane of Light and Sound, cannot take on animal bodies as such, but rather “hitchhike” psychically in an animal’s soul if they wish to experience life from an animal’s viewpoint. Souls can also incarnate as sentient self-aware beings dwelling not in the Sol System where Earth is located but other star systems hundreds, thousands, even millions of light years distant physically from Earth. In such cases, memories of these extraterrestrial incarnations may be difficult to access, particularly if the species in which one incarnates has a brain and mind structure very very different from the human. But some “alien abduction” trauma memories are in fact distorted memories not of aliens kidnapping the human and taking him or her away to experiment on, but the reverse: they are distorted memories of the decision of a nonhuman soul to leave its familiar extraterrestrial context and incarnate as Homo sapiens for a lifetime—an often traumatic experience for that nonhuman soul.

In other words, reincarnation is not mandated, but optional, and it can take many different forms. It is the Greater Self who chooses that a soul reincarnate or not. There are some souls that never reincarnate, but [after one or two incarnations] are content to expand their experience via creative expression in the nonphysical realms. Often such souls enter physical reality in the first place mainly because the mass consciousness has requested their presence there for a specific purpose. That purpose fulfilled, the mass consciousness no longer requires their presence, so the souls return to their native country, which is made of consciousness rather than matter.

Mister Rand is anxious that we do not alienate any readers who belong to religions in which reincarnation is a mandated experience or in which reincarnation is considered a fantasy or myth. Beliefs and belief systems exist to assist a soul in experiencing the world from a viewpoint shaped by the belief system. So atheism is as valid a belief system as theism; the atheist is an atheist partly because s/he requires certain experiences that only being an atheist can give him or her. And it is the same with the soul incarnated as a Fundamentalist Christian, or radical Muslim, or Buddhist nun, and so forth.

And we thank you for sharing. •

— Channeled Thursday, May 14, 2015 by Rand B. Lee.

A Message From “The Family”: On Reality

light_the_night copyReality is not what is, but what the mass consciousness prefers to consider true at the moment. The word itself, as Mister Rand has discovered through his dictionary, ultimately derives from an ancient “Indo-European” root re-, to bestow or endow, as in a legacy. And so the mass consciousness creates, then passes on to its members and their “descendants”, its decisions regarding what ideas, constructions, assumptions, and experiences the mass consciousness chooses to consider true and valid and which the mass consciousness chooses to consider unreal and invalid. In this view, “real” means “a thing,” that which can be held, felt, seen, heard, touched, smellt, manipulated, weighed, measured, and—paradoxically, considering the thingness of the so-called “real”—that which inevitably will pass away or transform into the next thing the mass consciousness considers “real.”

Therefore “reality” or the Real is what the mass consciousness chooses to consider available for its use in creating group and individual experiences.

Mister Rand objects. “What about natural law, the intrinsic rules of physical reality? Are they not foundational, irreplaceable, unchangeable, always true no matter what the mass conscousness decides to create for its experience?” To this we say, “No more than any convention or agreement, natural law or the laws of physical nature or reality are temporary. For eventually, from the linear time perspective, physical reality itself will pass away in its present form; or change into a “reality” where the rules are different than they are now. So although natural law is an agreement that will persist (from the linear time perspective) much longer than any of the more fleeting agreements the mass (or individual) consciousness makes, it, too, is subject to the much greater agreement within the Greatest Self that expansion equals life. For the Greatest Self in all of Its facets constantly seeks to expand its perceptions and experiences of Itself.

One of those experiences the Greatest Self seeks is the experience of no-Self. And so Death came into the world. For the Greatest Self, Death is a suspension of consciousness. But even this suspension of consciousness does not cut off the Greatest Self from Love. For Love, the Unmoved Mover, is changeless. It lies at the core of every thing and non-thing.

And we thank you for sharing. •

—Channeled May 4, 2015, 3:41 am, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Aftermaths

MAJORTRUMPS.XXI.DeathOne of the most painful things about the death of a beloved is not how much difference it makes in one’s days afterwards, but how little. My sweet 14-year-old cat, Urdwill (a.k.a. Burd), was as much part of my day and night as any close family member might have been; but I still have to get up in the morning as usual; shower as usual; make my basic three daily meals as usual; go to my Twelve Step meeting, counseling sessions, and supermarket as usual. I spent part of this week repotting sweet peppers and tomatoes I am raising from seed; shmoozing with my landlord’s sweet American bulldog, Julie; accessing and returning my friend Lee’s car, all as usual. How, I ask myself, could I have gotten over my pet’s demise so quickly? “You never really loved him, that’s how,” the Accuser whispers.

Of course that is not true. The mourning that began with wails of grief has simply shifted, that’s all, downsized itself, gone largely underground. My rented room feels empty, now, without him. When I am out chatting with a friend I think, “Oh, I had better get home now, Burd will need his dinner,” then remember that Burd’s dinner is no longer my concern. When I come back to my landlord’s house and unlock the outer door, I automatically check the area around my feet to see if Urdwill is crouching there, ready to spring past me into the street. At night, whenever I would wake (and I wake up several times a night), Urdwill would be there, ready for affection, action, food; I sometimes nearly tripped over his black-furred body, invisible as it was in the darkened room. The relaxation of my hypervigilance concerning him—the relaxation issuing directly from his death—has been a relief. But it has also been a source of enormous feelings of guilt. How, I ask myself, could I be so heartless as to feel relief over Urdwill’s passing? “You never really loved him, that’s how,” the Accuser whispers again.

Such accusations would have no power to affect me were there not a long, old history behind them. In Ireland, where they had lived for six or seven years, my mother died of alcoholism in 1991, a year after my younger brother Jeffrey, her caretaker, died of AIDS. I hated my mother for having emotionally and sexually abused me, and I felt as liberated by her death as I had felt devastated by my brother’s. It took years before I could acknowledge my love for the part of her that was good and kind, and feel any  grief over her passing. “You could have saved her from drinking herself to death,” the Accusers whispered at the time, but this was a lie easier to shrug off; I knew by this time that alcoholism is a progressive illness, and that she had not been willing to do the 12 Step work that could have helped her find relief from it. The Accuser’s other whisper, “You could have saved Jeffrey from dying of AIDS by insisting he return to the USA for treatment,” was harder to shrug off. At the time in Ireland, so strong were the laws against birth control that one needed a doctor’s prescription even to buy condoms in Ireland; AIDS treatment was even more primitive and limited by public prejudice than it was in the US, where our present cocktail of meds had not yet become available.

In the end I have been forced to the conclusion that my brother, my mother, and my beloved cat Urdwill had their own paths to follow, their own stories, and their own Higher Powers. I have been asked by Spirit to accept that I, like they, am a student of Love rather than a master; and that no matter what the Accuser says, I could no more have rescued my little brother from AIDS than I could have cured my cat’s cancer. The only power I have is in the here and now: the power to choose Love right now, today. •

A Message From “The Family”: On Pets

Rand.UrdwillMister 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

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. •

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Blog Topics For 2015

Welcome to the New Year! I thought I’d run by you my first-ever poll on which topics you’d like to see explored on this blog during the next year. Vote for as many as you like! There’s even a space at the end for you to suggest a topic not covered above. When you’re done, just click on the VOTE button on the bottom right of the poll. Here goes….

Breathe and Release

I don’t know about you, but I find the holiday season pretty stressful. I have to remind myself all the time these days that I don’t need to be perfect in order to be acceptable to Spirit or myself. I can’t please all the people all of the time; and 5 minutes taken out of every hour to stretch and take some deep breaths can help me soften around my tension and make me 10 times more productive than if I just gritted my teeth and barreled through my days.
My brother Jeff, 1954-1990

My brother Jeff, 1954-1990

Another thing that comes up for me at the holidays is sadness over loved ones who have died or moved far away. I particularly miss my brother Jeff, who died of AIDS at age 35 in 1990. In the past I used to try to stuff such feelings with food, overspending, or overwork. Now I ask Spirit to help me relax around my grief, and let myself feel it, offering it to the Heart of Love as I weep.

And I let myself remember Jeff in the good times, when we laughed and sang Gilbert & Sullivan songs together. Remembering the good times I had with one I have lost can be very painful, too, because such memories seem to make my grief worse for a while. But this I think is an illusion. What good memories do is reconnect me with Love, which makes my heart feel safe enough to show me what it has already been feeling underneath my consciousness. Bumper Sticker Of the Day: “There is no healing without feeling.” The best is yet to come!
-Dec. 15, 2014
P.S. Looking for the perfect stocking stuffer? Click on the image below to order via PayPal a 20-minute psychic reading with Rand! Or give him a call to place your order at 505-469-9782, including the name and email or snailmail address(es) of your chosen recipient(s). When payment is received, Rand will send each recipient a gift card bearing the message of your choice. Good for New Year’s, too!

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