Surprised By Joy

It’s 12:36 in the morning on St. Patrick’s Day, and I’m sitting at my desktop computer typing this because it’s been too long since I’ve worked on this blog and my restless legs syndrome is keeping me awake. In the room here with me, watching a video on his laptop computer, is John, my new friend and lover.

It has been so long since I had been able to open my heart to any kind of intimacy that when I met John it was like a bolt from the blue. Only a week before we met, I told an acquaintance quite seriously that I knew for a fact that I would never have a partner again in this life. I was too screwed up, too fat, too old, and too arthritic for any gay man to find me attractive. Tonight, here is John, broad shouldered and hairy with a child’s huge eyes and the beard of a conquistador, smart, funny, sweet John, who finds me beautiful and makes my skin sing when he touches me.

beautiful_coupleSome spiritual experiences not too long ago gave me visions of divine Love and made me realize that only this eternal Love is enough to fill the holes in my heart, the holes I have been attempting to fill for years with food, religion, overwork, and counseling. So I decided to make seeking connection with this Love my focus from now on. I asked my Greater Self to open my heart fully to all the love available, and now here is John, astonishingly, improbably, fond of me and I of him.

Of course I know nothing lasts forever in physical reality. Forms change, constantly and inevitably. But divine Love does not. No matter whom you have loved and lost, no matter how empty your heart feels due to past pain and loss, no matter how many loved ones have been swept from your embrace by time or illness or disaffection or death, divine Love will always be there, ready to fill the open heart again. Openheartedness is not for sissies. It can hurt a lot. But it also makes joy possible. Ask for it. Call it up from within you. Take the risk. For no matter what happens, ultimately you and I and everyone is safe.

The ex-wife of a friend of mine came up with this variation on a familiar nursery song. I often imagine my Greater Self, my divine Lover, singing it to me when I am scared and sad:

Rock-a-bye baby, on the treetop,

When the wind blows, the cradle will rock;

When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,

And I’ll be there to catch you, cradle and all.

— Copyright 2014 Rand B. Lee.

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. •

Androgyne Dreams

Books like Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus focus on the differences between men and women. Undeniably, biology and brain structures influence gendered thinking and behavior. Even more so does upbringing and the culture to which one belongs. But I believe that men and women possess an older nature than maleness or femaleness, a nature as accessible to the conscious mind as any script written by biology and society in the human brain.

This deeper nature is usually presented in iconography as that of the Divine Androgyne (AN-dro-jine, from the Greek words for “man” and “woman”). Sometimes the Androgyne is described as possessing the primary and secondary sex characteristics of both a male and a female. However, I see the Androgyne differently: neither as a hermaphrodite nor as a genderless neuter. To me, the Divine Androgyne is the fount from which both gender and nongender spring.

The Androgyne combines all qualities we tend to think of as contrasting or opposite: yin and yang, light and shadow, life and nonlife, in-ness and out-ness, receptivity and aggression, stillness and action, intuition and reason, place and nonplace, form and formlessness. In the Divine Androgyne, male and female exist in perfect complement, just as my guides, the Family, claim each human soul coexists in our original spiritual home, the plane of light and sound.

What is the plane of light and sound like? The Family describes it as a state of perfect loving communion in which no violation is possible. In this state, entities who wish to share essence with one another merge completely, exchanging their entire experience of themselves with one another, hiding nothing (for there is no shame there) and keeping nothing back (because there is no fear there). Then the entities part, each carrying within itself the total experience of the other.

Most human visions of Heaven, whether as a place of sensual delight or a place of purity and praise, may derive from unconscious or superconscious awareness of the plane of light and sound, a plane within which our essential selves still reside.

How can I experience such Heaven on Earth? I do not know for certain. By I do know that one step towards such perfect communion is to dwell not on the differences between us, but on our similarities. The closest thing to a She in physical reality is a He, and vice versa; each mirrors something in the other, and both are contained within each. Perhaps, if I ask sincerely, the Divine Androgyne will help me comprehend this core reality before my time in this body is done.

MAJORTRUMPS.XVI.Temperance

Welcome to The Rational Psychic

Welcome to my website! My name is Rand B. Lee. Since 1984 I’ve worked as a psychic consultant, helping clients around the U.S.A. and abroad explore a wide variety of issues: career, love, relationship, prosperity, spirituality, life-purpose, and many others. My clients hail from all walks of life. I give them readings over the telephone, on the Internet, via email, and in person. I use a variety of techniques to get information, including Tarot-reading and automatic speaking (which New Agers often call “channeling”). But whichever technique I employ, the goal is the same: to achieve purposive ego dissociation, a highly focused waking trance state.

When I am in trance, I become exceptionally sensitive to minute nuances of client voice tone, body language, and emotion. From them, I can get a lot of insight into the client’s psyche and behavior. Chatting with clients often triggers what I call “meme-bubbles”: sudden wellings-up of meaning-heavy images that string themselves out into linear speech when I open my mouth. Sometimes I feel presences around me or around the client. Sometimes I get detailed stories of past, parallel, or future event-sequences which present themselves as other lives the client has lived, is living, or will live. When I hit on information that seems especially important, the insight is usually accompanied by “truth chills”: a shivery feeling that goes up and down my spine, back, neck, and the base of my skull. In such cases my client often feels truth chills, too.

I’m telling you all this because I believe very strongly that most people—and many animals—possess some form of psychic ability. I am willing to bet that you do, too. So I’ve set up this blog site as a medium through which I can communicate my spiritual, metaphysical, and intuitive experiences to you, and to encourage you to do the same with me. But I must warn you: although I call myself a psychic, I am also a skeptic. I do not necessarily believe that all psychic experiences are supernatural in origin, and I am all too aware that many claims of amazing psychic powers are fraudulent. Those that are not fraudulent can often be attributed to conscious or unconscious reading of client tone, body language, and emotion, as I mention above. On the other hand, I am not a dyed-in-the-wool atheist or debunker. That’s why I call myself the Skeptical Psychic: because I believe that reason and intuition should be partners, not enemies. I see both as essential tools for navigating the uncertainties of life in physical reality.

So welcome to The Skeptical Psychic.
Over the next few months I hope you’ll find lots to think about here. And I very much look forward to hearing from you.