Why Do We Suffer?

eyeless_girlVarious explanations have been offered down through the ages to explain the suffering experienced by so many in physical reality. In some traditions, there are good gods and evil gods, constantly vying for supremacy over their Creation. In Fundamentalist Christian tradition, it’s humans’ fault that pain and hardship exists in the world, which was cursed because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience at the dawn of time; catastrophe is frequently seen in this tradition as God’s punishment for unrepentant human sin. In traditions where reincarnation is espoused, pain and suffering is often explained as the logical outcome of misdeeds done by the sufferer in past lives.

In atheist materialist tradition, physical reality is a mindless mechanism unaware of and unconcerned with the suffering of its creatures. Stephen Fry, noted British actor, writer, and outspoken atheist, recently said in an interview that in light of all the horrors that exist in this world (such as certain insects that can burrow into childrens’ eyes), a compassionate loving God could not possibly exist. The argument is simple and compelling: as God, the deity is presumably omnipotent and omnipresent; as a loving God, the deity is presumably concerned with the suffering of others. Logically, then, if God created insects that burrow into children’s eyes, God is either not loving, or It does not exist.

The visions I experienced in the fall of 2013 showed me unmistakably that a multiversal Consciousness (which many call “God”) does exist, and that Its nature is love and light. These visionary experiences I have since learned resemble those of many religious and non-religious individuals down through history and across all cultures. The symbols vary from person to person and culture to culture, but the gist is the same: that we are each of us known, accepted, and supported by a universal consciousness that is personal without being individual, and that is utterly familiar without being comprehensible. [For a compelling examination of mystical experience from the viewpoint of a nonmaterialist neuroscientist, see The Spiritual Brain by Mario Beauregard and Denyse O’Leary (New York: HarperOne, ISBN 978-0-06-162598-5, paperback $14.99), available through Amazon.com.]

My visions have given me hope that ultimately, whatever happens to my body, the core of me is eternally loved and safe. But my visions did not give me any theology with which to understand why life in physical reality involves so much suffering, or why “God” appears to do nothing about this.

The Kinds of Suffering

Not all my suffering arises from the same vectors or conditions. I’ve broken down the stuff that causes me the most pain into several categories, organized according to the forces and actions involved in the suffering I experience.

Suffering That Results Partially or Primarily from the Actions of Natural Forces: My severe juniper pollen allergy, worse this winter than ever before in living memory; my genetic predispositions towards osteoarthritis, depression, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes; the aches and pains that come from the natural aging of my body; my spinal damage due to a mild case of polio as a child in the Fifties; the physical distances between things and people; the deaths of loved ones from AIDS, alcoholism, and heart attack.

Suffering That Results Partially or Primarily from the Actions of Others: My ongoing PTSD, the result of my upbringing in a dysfunctional family with an alcoholic pedophile mother, an angry chronically depressed father, and a sadistic, mentally ill older brother; the economic and sociopolitical forces operative nationally and in New Mexico that make access to employment and medical care difficult for low-income people like me; my struggle for self-acceptance as a gay man in a homophobic culture; Santa Fe’s socioeconomic stratification; the high cost of education; the suicide of my lover Stuart.

Suffering That Results Partially or Primarily from My Own Actions or Inactions: My years of resistance to acknowledging, and seeking help for, my incest background and eating disorder; my poverty, which partially results from my having made unwise education choices as a young man; my loneliness, the result of self-imposed social isolation; my perfectionism; my attempts at controlling a physical reality that is naturally in a constant state of change; my lifelong tendency to resist exercise;  my lifelong practice of eating foods that harm me; the harms I have done to others; the depression that comes from my insistence upon listening to radio news and reading newspaper accounts of the world’s pain; my resistance to acknowledging the good things in my life because I’m so pissed off by the bad things; my resistance to asking for help from God and others.

I recognize that I have not experienced horrors and brutalities that so many of the world’s peoples experience on a daily basis. Nonetheless, suffering is suffering. What kind of help can I expect the “God” of my visions to give me in dealing with the sufferings of everyday life? To what extent can the “God” of my visions directly affect or mitigate the hardships spacetime affords me? And how can I best access this help? We’ll look at this issue in the next blog.

Next: Accessing Divine Help In Spacetime.

 

 

 

 

 

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

A Message From “The Family”: On Accepting Change In Physical Reality

MAJORTRUMPS.XIV.TheBoltMr Rand has asked us why it is so hard for him to accept change when it occurs in physical reality. We reply that it is because you [originally] come from a [nonphysical] reality where nothing changes; or at least, nothing changes in such a way as to cause pain and torment. In [physical] reality everything is constantly changing, sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly; and whether this change is experienced in pain, neutrality or pleasure depends upon the physical forces involved (physical reality has hard edges) and the viewpoint of the organism being subjected to the change. To an ant living in the yard outside Mr Rand’s door, Mr Rand is one of the changeless experiences of that ant. The ant lives life so quickly, and its life is so brief compared to human lives, that generations of ants may experience Mr Rand over the course of a few years.

Animals accept change because animals are unable to do things with their hands as well as humans can (with some exceptions, such as certain birds and pongids). So animals by and large do not labor under the assumption that they can control anything much except access to their foodstores or foodgathering territory. Animals have a sense of purpose and a sense of time, but these too are very different from the human sense of purpose and time. An animal’s sense of purpose is, firstly, survival of its young; and secondly, survival of itself. So animals do not have great plans that they feel they must protect.

Mr Rand asks, why is accepting change so difficult for me? And we reply, as we see it, you fear change because you fear you will lose access to Love. But Love is always available. Love is the core of everything, and surrounds everything, and is complete in itself so it needs nothing back. It simply loves. So ultimately, everyone and everything is safe.

But bodies are not safe in physical reality. Disease, damage, death all threaten human bodies, and animal ones, too. Physical reality is the one reality in which the experiment of individuation necessitates the human psyche be able to pretend that [1] the nonphysical does not exist and that [2] the Divine Womb is a fantasy of nincompoops and emotionals. [An individual in physical reality] struggles against change because all changes, however minor, remind us that in physical reality, nothing stays the same for long, including the human body and the human brain and the individual soul’s investment in an individual life incarnation. And you would not be in physical reality if you did not have experiences here that you desired [when you were] in the nonphysical.

Understand we speak in human time terms here. From the viewpoint of the nonphysical, time is not linear. There is no before or after, I am [or] I am not, past or future, love or hate in the human sense, success or failure; in the nonphysical, awareness of Divine Love is constantly available and even obvious to the individual soul, as witness the fact that when Mister Rand had his visions of agapé (love) last fall, the Divine Lover felt familiar, like an old friend whom he had forgotten was and always had been and always would be “standing right behind my left shoulder,” as it were.

sow_mother_and_child copySo attachment to one’s goal of expanding one’s experience is needed if one is to approach fulfilling that goal in a spacetime context. Spacetime contains entropy, the force that brings all moving things eventually to rest. Everything that rises must converge. Everything in motion must eventually find rest. Everything living must eventually die and be returned to its undifferentiated state of We not I. So the human soul must struggle to stay focused in physical reality. Attachment of the ego to a spacetime experience is therefore a tool useful for the soul to stay focused enough in spacetime that its pains will not stop it from the experiences that soul needs. [RAND: The ego keeps us in physical reality long enough for us to fulfill the experiences we selected when we were in the nonphysical.]

The human body knows spirit, but on a level that is not usually readily accessible by human consciousness. For humans, the body behaves as though all it knows is physical existence. So to the body, physical reality is all that exists. Much of the pain of physical reality comes from natural disasters such as earthquakes and climate changes, but many changes are caused by humans themselves in their efforts to find ultimate contentment, safety, and nurture. To find these things in a physical context, embodied souls tend to seek power over reality, rather than the more useful approach: that of seeking cooperation with reality.

[NEXT: How to cooperate with physical reality.]

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. •

A Message From “The Family”: On Ghosts, Aliens, Spirit Guides and Hauntings, Part 2: Spirits of Action, Support, and Communion

Hubble_snow_angelNothing matters to humans but life and death. We are speaking of physical life and physical death. Mister Rand has struggled all his life with terror of death, ever since early childhood, when he encountered the shredded corpses of his pet rabbits strewn across the lawn of his childhood home. Nothing is more terrifying to him, and to many humans, than the thought of dying alone and unloved, under painful and lonesome circumstances.

He is a Pisces, and prone to such extremes of thought. In response to his fears we say, “You are safe. Everyone is safe. At root, Love is unconquerable, immutable, the force that binds all the realities together in a whirling balance of constant expansion. Yet no matter how many changes develop in physical reality, including changes that bring unimaginable pain to those involved in them, there are agents of Love waiting to bring consolation to the sufferer.”

And so Mister Rand need not fear a lonely death. As he has been present at the deaths of his beloved dogs, so will his spiritual guides attend his transformation back into his truest Self.

We continue to describe  some of these spiritual agents or helpers by examin[ing] Spirits of Action, Support, and Communion.

Spirits of Action: Spirits of Action are spirit helpers called in to assist a human with decisions, transitions, and exertion[s]. Like the angels who came in disguise to the door of Lot in the Bible, so these beings can take the forms of humans. So it is true what the Bible says when it asserts, “We entertain angels unawares.” Some such spirits temporarily inhabit the energy fields of living humans, who agree to speak and act to help the human in need. Whenever a person requires events to take a specific turn, angels of action appear to encourage that person to take the necessary action to bring the desired result about. Such spirits of action can take the form of books, or words spoken by teachers, or therapists, or twelve step individuals, or simply make themselves felt as powerful urges to do this or to do that.

Spirits of Support help individuals connect to their “tribe,” that is, their circle of support systems who are energetically and emotionally and intellectually and evaluatively able to help that individual find resources for achieving his or her goals in physical reality. The Greek god Eros, or Cupid in Roman myth, was a depiction of just such a spirit; but Cupid is not simply an agent to bring lovers together. He is also an agent for bringing “likers” together—platonic soulmates, if you will. For the divine heart of love can take many different forms within the context of physical experience. Spirits of support can also assist humans in getting practical needs met such as finding a new home, or connecting to a new teacher, or finding the counseling support or spiritual support that person requires at this particular time in his or her life.

There is truth to the New Testament statement attributed to Jesu, and that is, “You ask not and therefore you have not;” and in Jesu’s statement, “Ask and keep on asking and you shall receive; knock and keep on knocking and the door shall be opened; seek and keep on seeking and [you shall] find.” For the verbs used in these statements [as they appear in the King James Bible] are not translated correctly for English. In the ancient common [koiné] Greek of Jesu’s day, the verb can take not only a simple present form—I am seeking or I seek—but it can also take what is called by grammarians a continuing present form: I am [continually] seeking. And this is an important difference.

Why does Spirit require one to keep on seeking? Is that because Spirit has limited resources and does not wish to give us help unless we beg for it? We do not see things this way. One must keep on asking, seeking, and knocking in order to overcome inner resistance to receiving what [we]claim [we] desire (but may not deep down actually desire). So persistence in asking, seeking, and knocking puts out into the multiverse a strong probability line attraction—as long as the individual seeking, asking, and knocking is not afraid of the consequences of getting what she or he says she or he wants.

Spirits of Communion are spirits summoned with messages from the Greater Self to the physicalized self; or, if you prefer in your symbol system, messages from your inner self to your conscious self. These messages are not simply information, however. They are experiences of communion with the Divine Heart of Love, and they do not come at a summons or calling. They well up within the seeker as the result of the seeker staying in the heart center and practising acceptance with intent to learn. Such spirits can also come in dreams of a loved one consoling the dreamer, or as passages in a religious text which “jump out at you” as people say. Mister Rand has even experienced such communion while getting out of his seat in a 12 step meeting in a state of complaint over not  understanding or feeling the presence of a Grater or Higher Self. Once such a message, which is a complete meme that is not easily expressed in linear terms, is felt by the individual, it is almost never forgotten, even if the bliss the spirit of communion conveys fades from the emotional body.

NEXT: What Ghosts Are.

Channeled 8/18/2014 by Rand B. Lee

On Casual Malice

A few days ago an act of casual, impulsive malice on my part caused a possibly irreparable rift between me and a dear, emotionally vulnerable friend. The impulse to hurt this person’s feelings did not come from the Devil; it came from a part of myself that I consistently refuse to acknowledge and give safe voice to, a part of me that some call the Shadow, others the Wounded Child, still others the Beast Within.

ImageAs an abuse and neglect survivor with PTSD, I prefer to think of myself as an abuse victim in recovery, not an abuser. And in general I do not go out of my way to hurt people. But my coping mechanism as a child in an alcoholic incestuous home was to be the Good Boy, which meant shoving under the surface all my unacceptable feelings and thoughts: jealousy of my mother’s preference for my baby brother; rage toward my father for his scary emotional aloofness and abandonment of me to the care of my pedophile mother; loathing of myself for my sensitivity, which my culture termed girlish—and bear in mind that in the gynephobic 1950’s, when I was a child, the worst thing one could say about a boy was that he acted like a girl. So as a child I became a compulsive eater, using sugar to shove my bad feelings down as deep as they would go. Later I became a compulsive self-castigator, criticizing my every thought and move, turning my anger upon myself because I could not feel safe expressing it toward those whom I felt had harmed me.

Needless to say, these tactics did not give me more than transitory relief from the storm inside me. It is a well-known metaphysical principle that if you wish to make a spell or sacred object more powerful, hide it out of sight. This is one of the reasons sacred objects are found buried all over the world, and sacred Paleolithic art, aimed at attracting game to the hunt and fertility to the community, was created in nearly inaccessible caves. Stuffing shadow with food or sex or overwork or gambling or alcohol or heroin or any other numbing substance or activity merely makes that shadow stronger, so that when it resurfaces, it does so with a power impossible to contain completely by an act of will alone.

I’ve done a lot of work with mentors and healers over the years. Through my Twelve Step programs I have opened successive chambers of my heart to Divine Love, and in my art therapy work with the Solace Crisis Intervention Clinic in Santa Fe I have taken major strides toward acknowledging the terror and pain of my inner self. But I can still be blindsided by my shadow, and in the case of my relationship to this dear friend, the unrequited sexual attraction I felt for my friend, my unconscious social and professional competition with my friend, and my growing emotional dependency upon my friend, changed to resentment when—and I am loath to admit this publicly—a series of tragedies in my friend’s family made my friend unavailable to me for much of the summer. So I posted several snarky and suggestive “jokes” on my friend’s webpage, despite the fact that my friend’s family (including a 12 year old niece) would have access to them; and I posted a comment on the webpage of a Meetup group my friend had organized suggesting edits to the website opening page that lessened recognition of my friend’s role as founder in the interest of “helping” the current facilitator of the group to achieve more public recognition (a recognition that worthy has never sought).

ImageIn deep grief and pain over the loss of beloved relatives, my friend—with uncharacteristic verbal and emotional violence—severed relationship with me. My friend had been under so much emotional pressure that finding my posts on the website was too much to bear with equanimity. So I, who hate to think that in me lies the potential to abuse others, have had to face the fact that under the right circumstances, my Shadow can arise and take control, suborning my empathy, muting my memory of shared kindnesses, and unleashing in me my repressed desires for revenge against my childhood caregivers. I have had to face the fact that, while I never intended to devastate my friend, I had intended to punish my friend a little bit for not meeting my infant needs—punish my friend just enough that my friend would pay more attention to me. I underestimated my friend’s emotional alertness and vulnerability.

Did I plan to hurt my friend, as my friend has accused me of doing? No. My posts were action of impulse, and I “forgot” or minimized the possible alienating effects of them as soon as I had made them. Am I responsible for the intensity of my friend’s grief and rage toward me? No. I had underestimated my friend’s vulnerability, and had had no inkling of the possibly far-reaching effects of my actions. But my shots, having been fired, cannot be taken back. They found their target. And the result has been disastrous.

However unintentioned the scope of the wound I have given my friend, and however intermixed with other wounds my friend carries from other betrayals and abuses, I have lost the privilege of our friendship. And I’m sorry. •

On Thanking One’s Abusers

wolfloveOn November 15th I gave a talk in Santa Fe on the ten levels of consciousness I’ve been blogging about here for some time now. During the meeting I pointed out that all too often in New Age circles well-meaning people tell abuse sufferers to let go of their pain and forgive their abusers, before the sufferers have been able to even feel and find solace for the extent of their inner wounds. I told the group I felt that this pathologized the very healthy rage abuse survivors feel, a rage that if felt fully and expressed safely can eventually lead one to such a strong sense of self that the effects of one’s abuse soften and become part of one’s inner landscape.

In response to this, one attender shared with us his experience of having forgiven his childhood abuser, and how it freed him from the damage the abuse had done to him as no other therapeutic technique had before then. He said he had spoken directly to his abuser and told him, “I thank you for the abuse, because the lessons I have learned from the experience have been so valuable,” whereupon a weight, he said, had lifted from him. (He would not tell us what abuse had been done to him, only that it had been extremely severe.) He shared this in a genuinely nonjudgmental and loving manner. I thanked the attender for his share and admitted that although I have forgiven my parents, I was not at a place where I could say I was grateful for what my abuse history has taught me, and might never be.

During the guided meditation at the end, which I led, I invited the group to join me in raising ourselves from the consciousness levels of Force, Threat, and Blame to the consciousness levels of Acceptance, Understanding, Giving, and Loving. As usually happens when I lead a meditation, I got a lot out of it myself. On this occasion, the purified essences of my birth parents came to me and showed me their acceptance, love, and regret for what their shadows had done to me while they had been alive. Their love for me shone brilliantly, and I let it in. This is the very first time I have ever felt any such connection to them, and I was flabbergasted by the experience; it came entirely unexpectedly, on a wave of attar of rose (a diluted essence of which I had passed around the room therapeutically).

Today I have been lonely, isolating, and eating compulsively. I napped and dreamed of Blessing, my dead husky: of a ridge where a crowd of people was gathered, all with their backs to me. I moved among them and saw beyond them thick dense woods, and I knew that Blessing was running free in the woods. And I longed for her, and called to her, hoping she would hear me and come back to me. I awoke in a bad sweat. Is this what happens when we let Love in, that it stirs up the next layer of grief sediment in an effort to flush it from our systems? It seems so.

Thank you, housemate Leo Richard, for letting me take care of your big brown dog Horseshoe today. Playing ball with your dog, and hugging him, and giving him pieces of chicken, I felt a connection to Earth and Earth love, and it consoled me. Mother of Wolves have mercy on all of us, your cubs, and bring us safe home to Your den when our time comes. Amen.

A Message From “The Family”: On Living Without Fear

surrender“Fear is the mind-killer” as one of your writers has said. Fear paralyzes. Fear energizes. Fear eats away at reality, shrinking it until there is no room in it left to breathe. Awareness of fear is the first step in learning to overcome fear. Listening to fear, and learning from it, is essential if one is not to be ruled by fear.

Fear comes from a sense of vulnerability, a belief that something essential can be taken away from one by another. Underlying this meme are the assumptions that there is a difference between self and other, and that self and other are opposed. In fact this is not true in most cases. In most cases, the forces that appear arrayed against one are not enemies at all. They are simply obstacles. They do not threaten out of malign intent. They simply exist for their own purposes, which appear to run counter to one’s own.

Consider the career criminal who makes a habit of mugging old ladies. Or the violent police officer on the lookout for a victim. These are forces of nature, mindless, purposeless, driven by chemistry and morphology to seek out and inflict pain upon others. They are Pan in the Tarot deck, physical reality as God: accidental, unavoidable.

Or so they seem. In fact most terrors can be avoided if they are heeded and learned from.

Mister Rand finds this assertion appalling. He is driven by the belief that those who inflicted pain upon him intended him harm. What he does not understand fully yet is that abusers do not really see their victims. They see only themselves. Abusers are always intent upon destroying something in themselves that they believe has caused them pain, and it is this they are attempting to destroy when inflicting abuse upon their victims.

Mister Rand says, “But for practical purposes they are enemies. It is they who hit, or cut, or rape, or destroy, or gas one to death. You are splitting hairs,” he says. Yet we say that it is useful to separate out the personal from the abuse situation. Much of the true harm of the abuse comes from the abused taking the abuse personally; i.e., believing that I have brought the abuse upon myself because of something bad in me that deserves punishment. Is it not rather that the abuser would abuse anyone over which he or she felt he or she had power? Then your victimization is not the result of anything in you good or bad. You are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time from your viewpoint, like a small creature who happens to stray into a roadway just as a tank bears down upon it.

The first clue to recovery from abuse is as we see it: do not take it personally. You are not the cause, no matter what the abuser has told you. You are simply the convenient outlet for passions and frustrations that have nothing really to do with you at all. This is a hard thing to hear, and harder to accept, for as your psychologists have said, a child would rather be abused by a parent than ignored completely. But abusers do not see their victims. They see only themselves.

We will speak further on this.

— Channeled 6 November 2013.

A Message from “The Family”: On Those Who Have Gone Before

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

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

On those who have gone before there is much to say and little: much, because, from our viewpoint in the plane of light and sound, the joyous celebration of complexity and union that is physical and nonphysical reality proliferates endlessly in a dance rich with meaning and worthiness; little, because all this, at core, is known to all and each of you and us both. For this is the way of things.

Mister Rand grieves for those who have left the body before him. Grief is a hard, cold thing, or can be, when it sits in the throat like a stone unexpelled. Or it can be a hot rushing thing when first felt in its entirety of passion, welling up and spilling over in a hot rush of tears and wailing. Your society permits little of this grief-show, and that is a limitation of your society; public demonstrations of grief serve a grieving one and the society both, as demonstrations of how personal loss is also public loss: the loss of a brother, sister, father, mother, wife, husband, child, animal friend marking both a personal intimate change and a change in the composition of the group.

When what is felt by each is felt by all, grief is easier to bear. But in your culture, grief is hidden or expected to be quickly moved on.

Nevertheless, the grief that Mister Rand feels, say, over the unbodiment of his friend and once-brother Jeffrey Robert, is largely a grief of the body. When two beings have been raised together in close proximity, chemistries mesh; body patterns mirror one another, smells converge, chemistries ape one another, rhythms of sleep and wakefulness converge. Bodies harmonize within close proximity, and when one of two die, the body that remains is torn loose from its patterns and cast adrift, whether the loss has been of spouse or sibling or child or pet: bodies communicate with one another, and grieve for one another. So much of the grief felt by one who has lost a beloved is grief of the body.

And there is grief of the heart. “I only have escaped alone to tell thee,” says the comforter in the Book of Iyyob. Aloneness is the shadow of oneness and its pain is keen. The Divine is One but It is never alone. In truth, neither are you truly alone, and Mister Rand, his perceptions having been keened by his psychic practice, is aware of the presence of his friend whom he knew as his brother Jeffrey, and so is somewhat comforted, when his intellect does not prevent him from accepting and acknowledging that comfort. For the intellect, whose job it is to enable beings to create and thrive in physical reality, has only limited ability to make sense of the vast light reaches.

What is Heaven like? you ask. Heaven, we say, is noisy, joyous, full of argument and banter and explosions of love. Heaven is a carnival, though not a carnivale. Heaven is a peaceful glade with a stream running through it, and rabbit-birds giggling just out of sight. Heaven is your best friend.

— Channeled 19 October 2013, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

To Accept With Intent To Learn

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At the heart of consciousness is a level I call To Accept With Intent To Learn. One achieves this level of consciousness simply by saying, “Yes,” to whatever spiritual, intellectual, emotional, or physical pain one finds oneself resisting.  Please note that “To Accept With Intent To Learn” is not the same thing as:

  • To agree that the pain is just;
  • To agree that I deserve the pain because I am a bad person;
  • To surrender to the pain and let it overwhelm me;
  • To wallow in the pain; or
  • To glorify the pain as a some kind of spiritual, moral, or ethical martyrdom.

To Accept With Intent To Learn means that I accept that this is the situation I am experiencing right now and that I wish to acknowledge it fully so I may learn from it. In other words, I agree to cooperate fully with the reality of a painful situation so that the problem underlying the pain can be solved and the suffering can be relieved.

Taking this attitude of acceptance instantaneously raises consciousness from the uncreative levels I call To Control Absolutely, To Force, To Threaten, and To Blame to the next level of consciousness, which I call To Understand Physically.

Many of us find it much easier to accept and learn from others than we do to accept and learn from ourselves. Therefore the flip side of To Accept With Intent To Learn is To Accept Oneself With Intent To Learn. Taking this attitude of self-acceptance instantaneously raises consciousness from the uncreative levels I call To Permit Oneself To Be Controlled Absolutely, To Be Forced, To Be Threatened, and To Accept Blame That One Does Not Deserve to the next level of consciousness, which I call To Understand Oneself Physically.

NEXT: To Understand Physically.