Saturday, March 31, 2007

Poem: These Bees

These Bees

If these bees could talk
they would probably say
Which is what most of us say
Most of the time.

To the hive by--
Dancing, touching,
Pheromones and telepathy.

Bees, they can’t fly,
By our understanding:
Too fat and
Wings too small,

If these bees could talk
They’d probably say,

That’s how it’s done,
say it: Yes,
Know the air

Light or heavy at will,
they are
Lifting tiny wings
into space.

This field of clover calls to them,
busy, listening,
They come.

Monday, March 19, 2007

What Feeds You?

"Dear Paul
I am the one who left a comment on your blog recently :)  yup!

A friend of mine sent me the link above. Its an interesting letter.  I thought you might like to read it also!

In my opinion (humble or not) there is really no magic "pill" to situations.  Doesn't mean that a solution cannot happen quickly, what we sometimes call a miracle.  But to me, what I have discovered is that some "cherished belief" that you are clinging too, that is creating your current situation has to be released.  When released -- the "miracle" happens.  Sometimes we release quickly, sometimes there is a bit of a fight, because after all its a "cherished belief"!  Its hard to give up something that we "cherish" -- I've found.  Anyhoo, I thought the link to the website with the additional info would be of interest.”

(Betsy Baumgardner)

and my reply:

“Hi Betsy,
Yup, we're definitely on the same page. Sheryl even used that same wording "letting go of a cherished belief" somewhere in her blog or on our web page.
I'm glad to see also that somebody involved with "The Secret" is addressing directly some of it's shortcomings, such as the steps of taking action (instead of just wishing for results) and also that the intention behind the action is important; namely that of providing something of value to others!

I notice that Anne Albers is also addressing the concept of aligning one's will with God's will-- and then the "law of attraction" is more powerfully aligned, not just with the selfish desires of an individual, but with the good of all.

Sheryl and I start every session by speaking aloud that it be "for the highest benefit of all concerned." Also that is our daily prayer and intention. It's simple and direct, we like it. "Thy will be done" is another wording of that. Some of us have discovered that there's no real conflict in purposefully aligning ones will with the will of God. Some call that "cleaving" to God, wherein there is no longer a "thy" separate from the "thee". Sheryl and Sheryl's guides are goading me to write more. . . “ (end of email, more or less)

. . . Of course, it might be important to understand that the will of God really isn’t incompatable with what you might choose for yourself anyway-- only better. Makes it a lot easier to trust the process. It could take a long time to explain that, why a person would go from “I want the red sports-car” to “I want what is best for me-- and for everyone else in the universe.” Or, one could just imagine why it’s better not to go from one little desire to the next and the next and the next. (See “impermanence” in the context of Buddhism for one explanation). And yes, I AM mixing apples and oranges when I talk in one sentence about cleaving to God, and about Buddhism in the next sentence; and the associated process of seeing through the illusion of desire. I mix apples and oranges when I talk about religious concepts because there are human and spiritual truths which get addressed from different angles by different religions. No, not all religions are saying the same thing (sorry Joseph Campbell) But it is my personal opinion that non-dualistic states of conscioussness are pretty much the same no matter what path got you there.

Sheryl’s guides have goaded me into writing, again, about the nuts and bolts of spiritual healing work.

Yes, God does the healing, not the healer, the client either allows it or they don’t allow it.
What if you don’t believe in God? Can you get spiritual healing anyway? Sure, if you can integrate it into your life, in other words-- let’s say you’ve got a skin growth on your arm. You’re an atheist, but a friend of yours is a spiritual healer and they ask your permission to heal that thing cuz they’re sick of looking at it. You go, “OK, have at it.” So they go to work on it and either it heals or it doesn’t. Let’s say that it does, (because this is a real story which I heard about second hand). Now your friend doesn’t have to look at that growth on your arm and neither do you-- but you still don’t have to believe in God, you could explain it in any number of ways and still “handle it” and not get too terribly freaked out. After all, it’s just a little skin growth which “spontaneously” disappeared. People deal with things all the time which seem odd or unexplainable, we’re resilient creatures, stubborn, even. It’s the sovereign right of an individual to make sense of their own reality in their own way. On the other hand that skin growth might stay there despite the best efforts of your friend, even though she just had success twelve times that very week with other clients. If she’s like Sheryl and I, she’ll probably get obsessed with the “one that got away.” You, on the other hand, who didn’t really believe in spiritual healing in the first place, can just shrug your shoulders and go “Oh well.” Also you or your friend can spend a little money at the doctors office and have the growth removed if it bothers you that much. Your friend can add her spiritual healing abilities to the mix and maybe that surgery will go incredibly well and heal many times faster than usual.

Plenty of people have tried to take spiritual healing out of the contect of the spiritual: Reiki, High Touch, Matrix Energetics--
for a lot of reasons. One reason is to get beneficial healing work into secular contexts, to get insurance plans to cover it, or just to avoid ridiculous religious conflicts with something that works and is good for people. Another good reason: some folks can have a beneficial healing experience if they understand, for example, the physics of it, but if you say "God" you may as well tell them that Mickey Mouse is going to remove their pain. (Actually, cartoons ARE good for your health, but that's another story.)

I got accused recently of being a “psychic healer” not a “spiritual healer” and was told that “psychic healing” has associated problems related to the ego. First off, egos are like a__holes, everybody’s got one. I don’t care how spiritual a person is, they’ve got an ego as a necessary part of their psyche; it allows a person to function on a “normal” day to day basis as a human. Egos are very useful, but they can get in the way of the most “spiritual” of healings. Egos hold our sense of personal (individual) identity, and that created persona holds all beliefs about how everything works in the world.

What’s ironic is that the person accusing me doesn’t know me and knows even less about my work, and the really ironic part is that the judgment DID bruise my ego! Why? Well, Sheryl and I care about what we do and we always want to be providing the best service-- even if that service is, in essence, doing by not doing. In other words what if our job as healers is to be a simple and clear conduit, or, a wire?

Too boring for Sheryl and I to be human conductors? Just a big chunk of copper? In all honesty, yeah, it's too boring. Especially if that's all we do. What about the client? Is it really that useful to have a person be so disassociated from their own healing? is that disempowering? I think about the parable “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.” And it reminds me how much i want to teach, and not just be a healer.

In some sense this is how Sheryl’s guides have been goading me to write more. They know that the minute I became a healer I knew in my heart that it wasn’t “the end” for me. I knew that getting some tangible evidence of the reality of the spiritual world was a really nice pat on the back, mainly as encouragement for me to keep going. It's OK to directly channel healing to a client without really involving them all that consciously in the process, but it's not all there is to do in every case. It’s a person we’re dealing with, not a tractor that needs a new carburetor. That’s why we say we do spiritual counseling and not just healing work.

On another note:

The guru rating service (above) and why I like it:

Last night my partner and I happened to be near a bookstore
here in Santa Cruz, California and we stopped in to see what was going on. Turns out a local “Guru” was giving a talk and promoting a new book. Sheryl and I knew nothing about him but his book title sounded good. I read some of it while waiting, didn't like it much, but we stuck around for the talk anyway.

Well, we sat through the rather pompous introduction, describing how wonderful it is to host an "awakened master", and then watched, somewhat in horror, as this old guy dressed in shiny white satin robes walked out from behind the stacks, making his entrance, as it were. He sat down and affixed his microphone to his clothing, gave a really superior look out over the "crowd" of about a dozen folks, held that gaze for an agonizingly pregnant pause, and then finally asked in a very accusing tone, "What are you doing?"

"Leaving!" I thought, and unfortunately didn't speak it out loud. Sheryl and I stuck around for a whole 60 seconds or more before we actually did go. I could tell from Sheryl's sighs that she was getting ready to unleash. . . something on this guy. He was into the rap of some fairly typical buddhist concepts but somehow it wasn't ringing true at all. We had to get out of there fast. If I remember to, maybe I'll write a blog about the human instinct to surrender spiritually getting mixed up with um, hero worship?

It's rare for Sheryl and I to have such a visceral reaction to anybody, let alone a spiritual teacher. After we left I told Sheryl that I thought this was exactly what I had talked about in a previous post of the ego becoming attached to the enlightening experience. Or something. . .

It’s also funny because I had just tracked down an Alan Watts lecture on the internet, and he began his lecture with the words, “I am not a guru.” Alan Watts was an early childhood influence on me, and I'm glad to discover that his lectures are still available on the web and also are still being played on the radio today (we found them on KKUP in the bay area).

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Psychoanalysis of the Miracle

A good friend just asked me,

“Have you "investigated" miracles? Seems we've talked about that before. Where do they REALLY come from? Are they ever part of our subconscious at work, I wonder.”

Have I investigated miracles: Yes, in some ways. I don't know that you can subject them to the laboratory. They're generally considered "anecdotal" which means they can't be reliably repeated under laboratory conditions, therefore they tend to fall outside the realm of scientific investigation. Other phenomena seems to hold up pretty well in the lab, including Psi experiences which some people think are miraculous, not scientific or explainable in normal terms.

But the anecdotal evidence is overwhelming, miracles happen all the time. Just not to everybody and not in every situation. I'm not saying miracles couldn’t happen to anyone at any time, just that sometimes they don’t happen when you think they should, and sometimes they do happen when you think they shouldn’t.

Something else happens too; bad luck. You could think of it as the flip side of a miracle. Sometimes it hits the same person again and again. Sheryl and I just got a call from a young woman who thought she was cursed. We determined that we weren't the best people to work with her (I still don't know exactly why), but I did talk to her for a long time on the phone about keeping positive intentions and avoiding setting up a downward spiral of belief/manifestation. We often participate in our own miracles, maybe we do create them. The "law of attraction" says we do all the time, that we're constantly creating our own reality by what we hold in our minds and hearts, for good or ill. Makes sense that we could create our own bad luck, but why does a miracle, or conversely a run of bad luck sometimes seem to come right out of the blue for no rhyme or reason? It's not always so simple, we live in a consensus reality which we all create together. The company you keep is important too. As is how you choose to live your life and how you describe it. However, everyone experiences some suffering in their lives and I don't know that anyone can avoid that forever. "Investigating" miracles opens up a whole can of worms, so to speak, it goes to the heart of our lives if you take it very far at all, raising a lot of questions, maybe more than I can answer in a single article. One person who contacted Sheryl and I pointed out how sometimes terrible events in a person's life can lead to a complete and miraculous transformation-- that we should be just as thankful for our suffering as we are for all the good things that we recieve.

Yesterday I got another healer all upset with me, just for asking a few questions about this very subject. Sheryl and I both tend to analyze and theorize, it's how we were raised etc. But I think that for the purposes of manifesting a miracle, unshakable belief is far more useful. If you don't ask questions, you don't raise doubts. For fairly obvious reasons I would say too that most people have an easier time believing that miracles arise from some omnipotent power larger and greater than themselves, rather than believing that they somehow have the innate ability to significantly alter reality like that. That connection may be more prevalent in the subconscious, I sometimes refer to it as a feedback loop, that intimate connection between ones conscioussness and their environment. The following is what I wrote to another healer which appeared to make her want to sever contact with me:

"What's up for Sheryl and I lately has to do with what I'd call "instant miracle" healing. Sheryl, I think, would actually prefer to be a counselor and to basically talk her clients into their own healing. She uses psychic skills in her work, but doesn't want clients to come to us to "know the future" for example. It's a pitfall: if you predict the future accurately, then the client may come back and want you to start making decisions for them.

I think that I did more dramatic physical healing work years before I met Sheryl, but I had poor boundaries about it and some people tended not to integrate the healing: Either they would go out and re-injure themselves, get sick again, or otherwise undo the healing work in some way. On a couple of occasions since working with Sheryl, we've had clients who reacted very strongly in particular to my energy healing work. By strongly I mean they got shaky, panicky, or otherwise seemed to reject it. What at first looked like hypersensitivity, I have since learned to recognize as a resistance to healing work.

And then there are the "tanks", people with really thick armor who don't seem to respond at all to energy work, even though they consciously seem to want to be healed.

In between are those whom we generally get good results with. I've been wondering if it's a cultural bias, because as I recall you told of some pretty convincing instances wherein you witnessed some really amazing psychic surgery overseas. I think that in my own case, I might have difficulty performing healings wherein the results are visible to the eye, oddly enough, that's my bias.

Sheryl and I have belief biases too, about healing work in general, having to do with our own thoughts about health and healing. I could conversely see individuals or even whole cultures holding a belief that all suffering is caused by "the devil" and all good things are of God. In that case it's potentially much easier for a person with a bum leg to go see the local priest and sincerely ask God to fix it. If it heals; no conflict, God intervened. In Sheryl's and my case-- we don't see it as being that simple.

In essence I think that Sheryl and I agree that when the conditions are right, miracles do occur. We are always working under own conditional agreement that what we do be '"for the highest benefit of all concerned." I know that this is a limitation, but the integrity of the work is more important to me than the literal outcome. When I first woke up to my own healing abilities, I think I was most concerned with proving it as a reality to myself and to others: I had not matured yet, but with the maturing has come some frustration."

That was the end of the email. The frustration is that you can't heal all of the people all of the time. I next had to explain that I don't own the energy which heals ( I think everybody in this line of work knows that) if you attempt to own it, you limit it, and the whole idea is to be as perfect a conduit as you can be. My answer was, "I happen to be there, the doer is spirit." I took it a step further and asked, "Why would a "healer" need to be present at all in order for spiritual healing to occur?" Too much analysis and you can talk yourself into or out of anything. My correspondent interpreted my analysis thusly, "indicates the differences between psychic and spiritual healing, with problems of ego present in psychic healing." I've already written more than one blog about the ego dissolving and allowing a greater experience of existence. We all have work to do and we do it in the best way that we know how. When I do set about investigating, or analysing miracles it's not because I want to deconstruct faith down to a heap of slag, it's because I want miracles to become as common as baking a loaf of bread. Maybe they already are and we just don't recognize it. Below is an example of a mixed set of life circumstances and the associated hindsight interpretation:

Let's say that you and two other friends decide to meet at a restaurant, you all converge there at exactly the same time as it turns out. Just before you go in a thought passes through your mind about bumping into another particular old friend whom you lost touch with years before. As the three of you walk in, your eyes immediately go to one table in the crowded restaurant: and there he is, the old friend you were just thinking of. Through another odd series of events, in the next day or two, some would say "bad luck" and also involving your choices and the choices of yet another person, you end up spending the week with that old friend, and it's a truly transformative experience. In order for the whole thing to occur, four people had to choose the right restaurant at the right time, then, later, the "bad luck" had to go down, then you had to react in the correct way to the "bad luck", etc. If anything was very far out of place, like if the old friend had gone to the restaurant, sooner, later, or to a different restaurant, then what? Maybe you'd have bumped into him somewhere else-- maybe not. Maybe you’d have just said ‘hello” and that small miracle of connection would have walked away, making room for some different reality to occur. Was the bad luck part of the small miracle? Was the whole thing the best possible reality-- bad or good, miracle or bad luck, those are all human judgements of somewhat limitless possibilities.

Here's a scenario where the "miracle" is in the ability of the individual to drop the ego boundaries between themselves and all the available power for good in the universe (lets call that God). There are plenty of people who do their best to practice this. The advantage for that individual is that they have now tapped into the collective mass consciousness of the cosmos, and to the extent that they are able to surrender the individual self to this essentially unlimited SELF, that is the extent to which they may be a walking miracle every moment of their lives. But a miracle for whom? If the boundaries of the limited self have dissolved into the infinite consciousness, then there is no longer an individual. Under these circumstances, where every moment is a miracle, timing isn't so critical for things like meeting old friends at just the right time. Constant spiritual bliss of experiencing the oneness of all things makes everybody your old friend. Ever meet an earth Angel? Often it's a total stranger who arrives at just the right moment and says or does exactly the right thing. Sometimes it's us, we're the Angel. An Angel is said to have no will but the will of God. That’s a whole other discussion. Undifferentiated conscioussness, boundary-less existence, is it possible to be that and still be human? In the truly numinous experience of conscioussness, there is no longer an experience of selfish or individual ego-based existence, no difference between giving and recieving, and all of creation is the miracle.

So, my off the cuff explanation for miracles is that they are a natural result of this tapping into the ultimate source. Sometimes it's conscious and deliberate, sometimes it's just a result of relaxing and letting down one's guard, letting go and surrendering. Sometimes the surrender occurs at times of great peace, joy and acceptance, other times spiritual surrender comes in the middle of torturous times. But don't let my limited explanation hold you back.

Back to your original question: maybe the subconscious more easily connects to the collective unconscious, but those are Freudian/Jungian terms, and miraculous or unexplained events would be called synchronistic events-- connected by interpreted meaning but not causally connectible. Again, that's a whole other discussion.