I’ve spent most of my sixty-five years of life looking for a person, doctrine, or organization that I could build my life around. I started out looking to my parents to fulfill this role. I found early on that I could depend upon my father to provide us with shelter, clothing, food, and the luxuries of upper middle class Anglo life, but that he was largely unavailable emotionally and could not protect me from my abusive older brother. My mother I found I could depend upon to provide me with delicious meals, delightful books, affection, and consolation, except when her alcoholism and borderline personality disorder symptoms turned her manipulative, vindictive, and sexually abusive.
For years I felt torn between the two of them, and my ambivalence took an odd turn.
Mother put pressure on me to choose her over my father, which—let’s be frank—it wasn’t hard to do, given his loud, gritted-teeth complaints, self-isolation, and demands for absolute obedience. But I liked the fact that he was a writer, and I think I sensed his self-loathing, and I identified with him more than I liked to admit at the time. Now in the bedroom they shared, my father slept on the left side of the bed, my mother on the right. So at night I felt torn. If I slept on the left side of my bed, would I be symbolically choosing my father over my mother? If I slept on the right side of my bed, would I be symbolically choosing my mother over my father? So I compromised: I taught myself to sleep flat on my back, a habit I tend to follow to this day.
Once I entered adolescence, I more or less gave up trying to find refuge in my parents’ world and I sought refuge in my private dream world of comic books, science fiction, fantasy, mythology, and chaste fantasies of joining Robin Hood’s band of Merry Men, or being adopted as innocent school mascot by my brother Anthony’s Air Force Academy classmates. When I became aware of my homosexuality, I began fantasizing about finding a Mister Right, the perfect man who, in exchange for my exclusive devotion and access to my body, would console, protect, and give shape and direction to the rest of my life.
The problem was that, owing to incest trauma, I felt sex was dirty—not just homosexuality, but all sex. I got this feeling from my mother. So I decided that I did not want to be sexual at all. After my father’s sudden death in early 1971, I sought out the sexuality-free surrogate family I’d always fantasized about: I became a celibate Fundamentalist Christian for seven years.
The people with whom I worshiped were good people, genuinely trying to live by Jesus’s teachings of love and forgiveness. Although my self-betrayal ate away at me, the love and acceptance they showed me had a healing effect on me. They gave me a refuge from the storm of my life. But in the end I left the church, and Fundamentalism, in large part because I felt I had been putting on an act. Though I was indeed celibate for most of the seven years I was with them, I now know the difference between celibacy, born of lifestyle conviction, and sexual anorexia born of abuse trauma. And I was not the only one who left. Several years ago I discovered that the pastor of the last church I attended had been gay, and had committed suicide because he had not been able to reconcile his faith with his physicality.
All this took place many decades ago. Today, at 65 years old, five feet seven inches tall, and 290 pounds, I am far from healed; I like to joke that I have more issues than National Geographic. But I have a renewed faith in Divine Love, from Whose womb I was born and to Whose womb I shall return, and for Whom my homosexuality is a natural species variation, not a monstrosity or a curse worthy of damnation. And I have been fortunate in meeting numerous fellow travelers, straight, gay, in between, and undecided, whose kindness has consistently reached out to me in dark times.
So if you are tempted to give up who you are to get love, don’t give in to that temptation. Start asking for help, and keep on asking until you start getting it. It can and does get better, but only if you refuse to let your abusers win. •
[On January 27, 1988, I walked into my love Stuart’s bedroom and found him dead on the bed. He and I had been lovers for only 2 years. We worked as psychics together in Key West, Florida and Santa Fe, New Mexico; we met originally when he came to me seeking Louise Hay-type guided meditations for boosting his immune system. One day, during such a meditation (which he claimed did indeed make him feel better), Stuart manifested a feminine information source he called “Alexandra” whose calm, understated manner was a stark contrast to his Aries exuberance.
[About a month before he died, Stuart—who was suffering from AIDS symptoms at a time before the current, longevity promoting, AIDS “cocktail” of meds had been developed— told me that he had dreamed he was in a coma in hospital, and that I was sitting beside his bed. He said that in the dream, I understood that it was so beautiful where he went when he was in deep trance, that someday he would not come back from there, and that I was OK with it. When I found his body that morning in 1988, I realized then that his account of his “dream” had been his way of letting me know he was planning to kill himself with a heavy injection of painkiller that he had been hoarding since his job as a med tech at Key West Island Hospital.
[The following channeling discusses my experiences regarding Stuart since his passing. -RL]
When Mister Rand first walked into the room where he found his lover’s body, he had no sooner set eyes upon Stuart’s prone form than he felt, floating somewhere near the ceiling on the lefthand side of the bedroom, two energies or consciousnesses. One of the consciousnesses was in fact that of Stuart, Rand’s lover; the other, that of the so-called “channeled entity” that 2 years previously had, at its first appearance, announced its name as “Alexandra”.
Now “Alexandra” was the feminine persona of the channeler, Stuart. In a sense, Mister Rand feels she is still present in his life; at other times she seems a very distant memory. Stuart himself feels to Mister Rand even more distant. Mister Rand’s younger brother, Jeffrey Robert Lee, died in 1990 from AIDS; his consciousness, by contrast with Stuart’s, seems much more present in Mister Rand’s life, particularly when Mister Rand is channeling or doing psychic readings for clients.
Why do some dead feel more present to us than others? The answers in part depend upon our ultimate view of reality. An atheist-materialist-ethicist [might] say that the memories of the dead, not the dead themselves, are present with us in direct proportion to how willing we have been to release those relationships and move on to new ones in physical reality—in other words, the more emotionally attached you are to the memory of your dead friend or relative, the more present they will seem to be. By contrast, a spiritualist might say that some dead feel more present to us than others because some of our dead have been willing to “move on”—detach from identification with their former self, former life, and former acquaintances (us)—and others of our dead have not.
We see the situation as possessing elements of both explanations. Let us say that Mister Yiffniff dies. At first, depending upon his spiritual practises in the life just ended, Yiffniff [may be] a bit disoriented; he may even feel that his death is a mistake, that he has so much “unfinished business” to attend to before he is ready to depart fully. Other, less conflicted individuals, may be ready to “move on” immediately—may be even glad that they have died, for now, if they wish, they can take on a new physical form in a new place or position in spacetime. Still other beloved dead may select to remain focused in our physical plane in order to keep watch over the physically living—to act, in a sense, as spirit guides to those whom they have loved and still do love. Mister Jeffrey, Mister Rand’s baby brother, is just such a one—committed, as it were, to stay by Mister Rand’s side until it is time for them to become balls of joyous light together. Each case is different, however, and must be evaluated as objectively as possible by the psychic researcher. •
Mister Rand has found himself deeply upset by the carnage in Florida’s gay and Lesbian nightclub, the club in which half a hundred individuals lost their physical bodies to bullets and many more were traumatized. Understand that evil is an act, not a condition; that one can say, out of rage and fear, that so-and-so is evil to have done such a terrible thing unmoved, but at root humans still are good, as all things at root are good; i.e., worthy of existing, for they have been born from the womb of God and return to it at death.
Why, then, does evil take place? It is possible to reduce one’s consciousness to a level so uncreative and closed to the value of others that one achieves a consciousness level we call To Control Absolutely, the least creative and least loving of all consciousness levels. While To Control Absolutely is no longer a level of consciousness sanctioned by the mass will of humanity as a normative attitude, nonetheless certain individuals, spurred on by fear of victimization by others, are trapped in the attitude that tells them, “The only way you will be safe is to control everyone and everything around you at all times.”
At this consciousness level, one sees everyone and everything one encounters as a character in one’s private play; a tool to use for one’s sensory and physical gratification and safety.Particularly if there is something in oneself that mirrors an attribute in the other, one may wish to harm or even kill the other as a symbolic means of harming or killing the trait within oneself that one loathes.
Many individuals speak with disapproval of how the media glorifies mass killers and similar criminals by devoting seemingly endless coverage to them. Many individuals feel that by doing so, the media encourages other individuals to commit atrocities so that they will enjoy worldwide fame, too. In certain cases this is indeed the effect that media obsession with individual criminals exerts. There is also in our view a sexual component to human interest in death: not only the desire to penetrate (with penis, bullet, etc.) and change forever the one penetrated (through unwanted pregnancy, through destruction of the victim’s mental health, through the victim’s death), but also the desire to feel godlike—to feel that one has the supreme power to bypass all moral systems and commit acts of devastation that will forever draw attention to one’s Self. These yearnings are all connected with the consciousness levels of To Control Absolutely and, to a lesser extent, of To Force.
Why does God allow acts of atrocity? We have no general answer to this. Some acts of atrocity are due to “natural” causes: geographic upheaval, weather, “accident,” and disease. Mister Rand’s brother Jeffrey died of AIDS in 1990, a virus he contracted in Key West, Florida during his time there. This was a very spiritually evolved individual who helped introduce Mister Rand to spiritualism, yet he died at age 35 a year after his beloved dog died. Mister Rand has since dreamed of him joyous and free, and has come to realize that Mister Jeffrey and their mother Kaye had business between them to complete, business that Mister Jeffrey chose to pursue by staying in Ireland and caring for her, even though, about a year before [his death], he predicted to a family friend that his mother “would be the death of” him. (Ireland had few resources at the time for caring for persons living with AIDS, and the medications now available that assist persons with AIDS to live longer did not then exist.) And of course many other deaths from disease, car accident, accident and so forth take place every minute of the human day, and to those experiencing them, or to those loving the victims of these situations, these losses can be unconsolable. If a God of Love existed, why would She permit any creature to suffer at all for any reason? All that we know is, each situation with each individual person must be taken individually for it to be understood.
Mister Rand is horrified by this statement. Are we saying, he asks, that some individuals choose [before they are born] to die horribly in the life to come, or deserve to die horribly because of bad things they have done in this life or a past life? No wonder there are angry atheists in the world, Mister Rand says, with so many religions trying to come up with excuses for why their deities have permitted evil to flourish. To this we say, the gods Mister Rand speaks of do not know pain. They do not know helplessness. They do not know victimization. In their level of reality, only love exists. To them, death is simply the walking through of a door, or an awakening from dreams. The only beings who can know what it is like to die are beings with physical bodies. And one of the reasons for incarnation is to bring the power of Love to bear against the consciousness levels of To Control Absolutely, To Force, To Threaten, and To Blame, the consciousness levels that give rise to Dachau, and Orlando, and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. The purpose of incarnation is the integration of Love consciousness with the mechanisms of the physical universe, so that reason and intuition, fueled by compassion, can soften spacetime’s hard edges.
For you are Good. You are Good. You are Good.•
— Channeled 6/25/16 by Rand B. Lee. All rights reserved. “The Family” is a nonhierarchical, nonauthoritarian secondary persona of Mister Rand, created by him to convey information he cannot access readily via his conscious mind. See sidebar for contact information.
A 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)
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 earlier 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.
When individuals expand their presence into Physical Reality from the Dream State, they have several options from which to choose in determining how they are to create experience here. We call these options Walkers, Talkers, and Watchers.
Walkers are those who come into Physical Reality for a specific focused purpose: to contribute in some way to the overall balance, progress, or limiting of human, animal, or mineral life here. Walkers often live for a designated period of time in order to accomplish the focused task or enjoy/suffer the specifically desired experience, then leave Physical Reality when this task is done. Examples of Walkers are the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Lee Harvey Oswald, Pope Francis I, President Barack Obama, Marie Curie, Amy Goodman, Mother Theresa, Bill Gates.
Talkers are those who come into Physical Reality to create private personal experiences for themselves primarily. These are individuals who are seeking to balance their total incarnational experience or expand it into new areas which they have not yet enjoyed. Talkers are not “less spiritual” than Walkers; their focus is simply different. Examples of Talkers are difficult to come by because by definition Talkers do not usually figure on the public or world stage. One example of a Talker whose private experience includes celebrity is performer Lindsay Lohan.
Watchers are individuals who enter Physical Reality primarily to observe the experiences here and share their observations with the Divine Love that gives rise to, permeates, and supports all realities. Watchers are often solitaries, invisible to most people, shunning the limelight. They contribute to the overall balance of All-That-Is through their careful noticing of the things people do in Physical Reality. They may end up as older individuals puzzled by their lack of spectacular success or spectacular failure, or they may simply be considered by others to be unmotivated. However, most of the time they possess a quiet capacity for empathy and insight that Walkers and Talkers may not possess.
If you are a Walker, ask yourself, “How do I want most to serve the world?” If you are a Talker, ask yourself, “How do I want most to serve myself?” If you are a Watcher, ask yourself, “What arouses my curiosity the most right now?”
Remember that whether one is a Walker, Talker, or Watcher, the level of consciousness upon which one primarily resides while going through the joys and hardships Physical Reality affords very much affects how others perceive you and how you enjoy or loathe the world around you. For one can contribute to the world’s harmony by doing good, doing evil, or doing nothing in particular at all. Everything depends upon what, deep down, gives you the most sense of integrity, peace, happiness, pleasure, or intensity. A Walker operating on the consciousness level of To Force may have been called into Physical Reality by the mass consciousness to play a violent role in history. A Talker operating on the consciousness level of To Force may end up as a spouse, child, or animal abuser. A Watcher operating on the consciousness level of To Force may spend years thinking ill of or castigating herself for not accomplishing more in the world, not having enough ambition. Such a Watcher may end up being victimized (from the human viewpoint), but she does not become a victim primarily for the sake of her private incarnational experience. She does it primarily for the sake of the One Whose passion for understanding Itself drives and motivates all tangible creation.
Are you a Walker, a Talker, or a Watcher? Perhaps it is not important to know; or, as Mister Rand feels, perhaps labeling oneself in these ways limits freedom of expression and flexibility of self-assessment. For in the end, all Walkers, however committed to responding to the mass consciousness’s call to affect society at large, also along the way have experiences that benefit themselves alone; all Talkers, however absorbed in private experiences, also have an effect on the experiences of those around them; and all Watchers, however sidelined apparently by life, also create experiences to enjoy privately along the way of their observing. So do not judge yourself. Walkers are not spiritually superior to Talkers; Watchers are not spiritually superior to Walkers. “Inferior” and “superior” are not terms the Greater Self understands.
And we thank you for sharing. •
—Channeled 14 January 2015 by Rand B. Lee.
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….
I 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.
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.
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.
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
It’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. •
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.
Some 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.