The goal of most people who seek is to find those things that are missing in their life that will bring them to a new place of fulfillment spiritually.  As a seeker, I did not always know exactly what this thing was I was seeking except that I had this very instinctual sense that it was somehow up ahead and I was still trying to find it. I considered, too, that all of life may be like this; a constant state of becoming and seeking. Something pulled me forward in a very specific way.  My search was a very private affair since it took me into areas I realized most people didn’t either seem to go or talk about.  People didn’t seem like they were very well oriented to this other world of experience.

I know now that my seeking was stilled one I awakened. It didn’t happen all at once, but it happened, and it was a shift that was about thirty five years in the making.  The tension pulling me forward to know, to discover, had changed in a pretty significant way.  What I sought in an outward way resolved back into my own journey. What I found was a much simpler thing than what I thought I might have been looking for, even if I really had not preformed idea what it was I was looking for, only that I knew that whatever it was I needed was not going to be found in the usual way.

I have come to realize that my past has been a kind of presage for knowing how to be in the world and that I had accumulated the tools necessary for the unfolding of all of this.  Perhaps it just provides me with a perspective that is good for me.  For whatever it is worth, I have been provided with some things that I think we are missing.  Like how to be alive.

Most of what has held me back from embracing awakening in the beginning, and even some today, is fear.  Fear serves to keep me from fully embracing life, and I think it does this for all of us. The curious thing about fear is that it is often not recognized but is part of our tendency to project it outward onto the world in such a way that it becomes more like a feature IN the world than IN us.  This way we can tell ourselves that the world is a dangerous place and pull back from it rather than taking full responsibility for that fear and all it represents. Carl Jung was all over this, and it is something I see in people, including myself, as I go through life.

Contrary to conventional thinking, our reincarnational lives are not as entirely linear as we might think.  That is, our lives are not just a progression from one lesson to another as we move from point A to point B.  I think we have trained ourselves to think this way because of how the left brain works and how our rational processes work that fill that mind and inform how it processes information. This is more a belief than anything based in real fact.  Some lives can be lived that bring up very hard karma and in so doing, can often overcome a person and with free choice, we can lead a diminished life, while in a previous life we may have lived a life that was relatively free from these karmic tendencies due to the choices we made.  I have had the unique opportunity in my life to have known someone as a small child who people in my life knew well who died and returned many years later as a new person. I wont go into how or why I know this simply due to brevities sake, but only know that it is not just a guess but something that has been confirmed through a variety of sources. What is interesting is how similar this person’s karma has been from that previous life into the one today.  What is also curious, too, is how differently that person has chosen to respond to that karma this time around. In many ways, this person has taken something that did not affect him as much in a previous life and is now living a life where the same unresolved karma is affecting his life in a much bigger, harder, and more obvious way.  The choices were different, the challenges this time are perhaps more intense, the people involved are a little different, too, but the energy is all the same because the karma is all the same.  In one life the karmic flames was relatively understated while today the flames grow into huge drama. I have also observed similar differences in my own life experience.

When I was 18 years old I had a past life memory that fell into my lap.  It came entirely out of left field and was in actuality more a warp in time than just a replay of some past event.  It is something I write about in my book Waking the Infinite.  I mention this partly because it helps to underscore how it is that we can actually move through time to affect change in our lives.  I have actually used this principle to good effect in dreaming to go back into my earlier life to bring change in the dream life of myself when I was younger.  We may not have figured out how to take mass through time, but we are simply not limited when it comes to energy, and consciousness is energy.  Consciousness, then, is not bound by time, only by awareness or belief. This memory was from a time when the Native cultures were encountering the whites for the first time and the big change was swiftly coming upon the New World as the Europeans called it. As you know, even before contact with Whites the lives of Native Americans were changing with the spread of chicken pox and mumps which often served to wipe out entire groups of Native People.  What didn’t get them through disease, was done by the near incompatibility of the two world views of White and Red. The memories I had were in series and would help me to piece together something in my present life today that would help me with my work and is something I write about. It goes to the nature of who we are and what we are.  Part of it came through an unusual vision about the Thunder Beings.

What has helped me the most about having had this contact with this past life is just how incredibly alive these people were. The idea of living in fear was like being sick in that culture; you did everything you could do to cure yourself of it.  My people were called by other clans or tribes “the killers” and “grizzlies.” What I know, though, is that when we do not understand something, we can mislabel it, adding in our own unresolved fears.  Whites called most Indians savages, but they refused to realize that this seemingly savage behavior was part culture clash and part self preservation.  The Whites were there to take land and a way of life.

I can remember feeling fear when I recalled the looks in the eyes of some of the people I knew. Something about their eyes was startling.  I knew in an instant that this look comes about as a result of someone who is incredibly present and alive.  These people had been living as individual sovereign beings with no one ruling over them.  Native society, at least in my experience, was one where leadership was not about agendas in the usual way we encounter in politics. There was less fragmentation between spiritual belief and physical life.  The way of living so close to the earth also meant that a person was awake and aware of everything around them since this toolkit was important for survival. Tom Brown who is the author of a number of books about his experiences with a Native American man who was a tracker and who taught him his skills describes how it seemed he and his teacher seemed to live in two different worlds at first.  His teacher, Stalking Wolf, was aware of an entirely different set of sensory inputs than he as he struggled at first to “tune in” the world that his teacher was seeking to show him.  These were not merely states of awareness that were put on conveniently, but were part of life, part of a much more engaged form of sensory awareness.

There has been and continues to be an intense fascination with Native culture on the part of Whites.  This is so, I feel, because of an intuitive sense that these cultures had what we have been missing and that we all crave something deep down inside of us, which is essentially about living a fuller and more richer kind of life. One of the things I think that the old way can offer is how to learn to live a life that is more whole, more integrated and thus potentially more vibrant and alive.

The advantages to living in this way were many.  One is that by living so close to the earth the body was in finely tuned shape. The senses were sharp and the mind was in the moment. Moment by moment one lived in a state of being that was free of a lot of the fears and taboos normally associated with life.  Since everyone was encouraged to seek the truth from the Source through dream work, observation in nature, or the vision quest, there was a tendency for people to honor the bit of insight each person dug up. Each path was lived based on these kinds of promptings, and I think that as a result, on balance, it helped to support a greater level of individual authenticity.

Fear is what divides us, keeping us from embracing life more fully. Fear keeps minds shut down and fear serves a world of purposes that are not terribly freeing. Freedom, on the other hand opens up the mind and the heart and love can only thrive most powerfully when we remain free.  There is less struggle, fewer issues that come up that are impediments to love.  We are less neurotic, we hold fewer distortive beliefs about how the world works and we are able to see what is instead of what we are. Being able to have the courage to just be yourself is the most freeing thing a person can experience in life.  So often, because of our fear, we hold back, we conform, we worry about what others think of us or might say.  When you can be authentic and just be yourself, you send a signal that you are ready for those things that will match that level of authenticity.  Quite naturally, the world conspires to assist you in this as your own world changes.  The matrix or canvas that you are creating moment by moment then can change because of the change in you.  You are free to create differently.  Now some have called this matrix an illusion, and I think that is fine if you want to think that it is not real, but I prefer to think of it as a creation, which is a fundamental feature of our being and part of our individuality and freewill.  If life is a creation, then you are free to create differently, right?  It isn’t that what we see isn’t real, but that it is responding moment by moment to how we are and if we change what we are, the world around us also changes.  The tree outside will still remain, but will have something that it did not have the day before.  Layer by layer, life can change in subtle and then in more overt and obvious ways.  Getting started and sticking to your guns is I think the only way that you will ever really know if what I am telling you is on the mark or not.

As for myself, living life without fear has been the core of my work over the last six years, and being able to remove that backlog of material in order to see a clearer version of what is possible for me seems to me to be the one way that I am focused in my day to day life.