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).


Linda said...

Hi Paul,

Is that Spencer and Kate in the photo??

Some reflection on your post.
This is what came up for me.

About the word: WANT

Want - to yearn for
Want - the lack of

what do we want?
and what do we want for?

and maybe if we do not want
and just be

being the best we can
doing the best we can

not needing stuff
not needing to be something
not needing to be Someone

not needing to fix someone
not needing to be fixed

need and want have a lot in common

having our needs met???

what if everything is already perfect
and perfectly right
for the lessons
coming our way??????

You have alluded to this
and I support the concept.

healing = awareness??
comprehension and understanding

About letting go and releasing our "excess baggage", the stuff we have outgrown or has become irrelevant in our current lives

Just some thoughts.

love and hugs,

Paul Hood said...

Yes, those are your love-birds.