Archives for the month of: May, 2019

There is a lot being said about “toxic masculinity” and on the one hand, it is a good thing. It means there is a growing awareness of the problem that men have throughout the world. On the other hand, most discussions revolve around how bad it is without much in the way of solutions. It is bad, but saying it doesn’t do anything to change it. We should (and can) do better.

The problem with so many of our issues is that we often use the same approach or reaction to them that are involved in the dysfunction itself. Huh? What this means is we don’t really address the problem. We are fighting fire with fire. We tend to get caught up in reacting and stay in that reactionary space.

Talking about racism, or violence, toxic masculinity, or any of our other ill does nothing to fix them so long as we come to the table with our feeling of fear about them. That is where the discussion is right now in the main. Fear? It doesn’t look like fear to hear people talk about it. It probably more accurately sounds like anger, right? But as any psychologist will tell you, or as any thoughtful person intuitively senses, anger comes from something. Want to guess where it comes from?

Fear breeds anger and anger breeds hate. It is the same with nearly every dysfunction that humans experience. And yes, most feeling people who are expressing about toxic masculinity have fear tied up in them. People are afraid of what a toxic male might do, and they are angry about this fact. The blogs are full of how much people hate this about men. Are you seeing now how these feelings are all intertied? But feeling this is only the first step. If you are only at the reactionary stage, you are doing nothing to help be part of the cure. This is a nonstarter that will leave us on an endless merry-go-round. We have to learn how to approach it differently.

The way through and out of this is the opposite of our fear. That is love. Love brings compassion, and compassion stills our fear and opens us to understanding, or at least the possibility that we can. The way to solving toxic masculinity is by probing it and seeking to understand its roots through a mind and heart that is open, and you cannot have an open heart when fear, anger, or hate are present. We need to learn a different approach if we are to ever resolve this issue…or any issue like this. This is step two.

I have experienced many of the inputs that drive toxic masculinity. Some of them have to do with the roles that we as men have been saddled with. These beliefs about what a “real man” is supposed to be are often the very things that give rise to this toxicity. This toxicity as it is called, is the result of unnatural beliefs about manhood, beliefs that unnaturally chain men as they grow and learn about masculinity. These inputs, the behaviors coming from our culture that inform males from cradle to grave, come from all sides of life. It happens early in life, usually from the moment a baby boy is brought home after having been born.

We are all culpible in this failed effort at raising males to be better adjusted as human beings. The influences are so pervasive that a male born to an enlightened household will still probably grow up having friends who give him a picture of what they believe being masculine is all about.

This means that women are helping to form these beliefs in our sons in a number of ways, and men also perpetuate them by believing that they are important enough to internalize and pass on to their own sons. We are all involved in this. Men do it as much as women do, the only difference is that women complain about it when they see the results of the behavior in their male children and the men they are either friends with or are married to. Men, because they are the ones internalizing the beliefs that lead to emotional toxicity, are just less aware of it for the simple reason that when you are the one with the belief, that belief serves to blind you so you don’t see it as well as a bystander can. How many times have you seen a man behave from a toxic place and maybe apologize but then go on to continue with the same reactive behavior again a little later? The problem is that if you are a bystander you are often only seeing symptoms, not causes, and you are reacting to those symptoms rather than doing what I prescribed earlier, which is what will lead us more dependably to the source of the problem so that it can be fixed. Men, for their part, have so internalized something that they know is poisoning them, but seem powerless to do anything to change it. To remove the bite from this poisoned apple takes what might seem a herculean effort. I observe that it requires patience and love.

To explain this issue, I have a video that is brave and brilliant, that I hope you will take a moment to look at. It is a TED Talk, which means that it isn’t long, and the speaker gets to the point. What she explains, as a sex worker, are the problems she sees with men that need to be fixed. What needs fixing involves a change in what we believe masculinity is all about. We know there is a problem, but reacting to it only guarantees that the problem remains. Once you watch it, I will have a few words to put this into perspective as it relates to my life.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7xLfeTytns

So one of the biggest problems has to do with how we create a belief about what being masculine is about. Real boys don’t cry, mothers calling their sons their “little man.” These are the beliefs that become internalized. They are literal poison to mens hearts, minds, and souls.

In my marriage my wife described our son as her “protector” when he was all of two years old, a signal to him that has had disastrous consequences for his mental health and well being later in life. I know the causal link to this relationship dynamic because I was able to see how it began innocently at age two with my son, and continued through his growing years into adulthood. I saw how a child grew increasingly neurotic and troubled, and when his mother and my relationship began to dissolve, he became polarized by her bad boundaries with him so that his and my relationship also dissolved. His mother’s divorce became his divorce, too.

The problem with this is that while it might feel good to have a child that is exhibiting these traits, they can have disastrous effects on children in the long run. A child should not be called upon to be a caretaker, that is the parent’s job. For another, when all a child has is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Without his being able to understand what being a protector meant for him, this behavior served in his life to always side with his Mother and anytime she had a challenge, difficulty, or dissagrement, he was swift to come to her aid. Any time his Mother or I were not in agreement, guess who reflexively sided with his Mother? My son did. This created a sense that his Father, who loved him very much, might well be a threat. He was a child, really what did he know? It sounds like such a laudible trait, doesn’t it? He went on to have girlfriends, some of whom he felt were his job to fix or protect. It meant that he was naturally drawn to women who needed help. There is nothing wrong with helping a person, but when it is something that needs to be done on a regular basis, there is something amiss in that relationship. In our rush to follow our inner programming, we don’t always see the forest for the trees.

In this type of codependent dynamic, the male derives a reward for his behavior as a protector, making him feel important, and the female has a male that is attentive to her many needs, some of which are (in my life) based in uncertainty, anxiety, and fear (in the case of a codependent relationship). The male is in his own way also anxious and fearful (about being accepted), but most often neither are self reflective enough to even see whatis at the root of their behaviors. When you base a relationship on those qualities, you are effectively getting painted into a corner where both people remain in the pattern with little benefit to trying to break out of it.

This is one outcome of toxic masculinity. A boy is asked to do something completely counter to his own true nature because society expects it of him. He internalizes the behavior because of his desire to be accepted, and he suffers as a result. He is alienated from a father who loves him and he grows up angry and rageful because a child is simply ill-equipped to act like an adult. I can tell you that in my experience being mother’s “little man” or “protector” warps a male child’s heart and mind.

Males thus raised will wind up acting out because that boy or teen (or adult) is actively suppressing his truer nature, and his acting out is in turn hurting others, and the cycle continues adinfinitum. The problem is that he was brainwashed into believing that what was “out there” as a problem (the nail to his hammer) is now inside of him. A child doesn’t know how to properly protect anyone, so they are flying by the seat of their immature pants. Whoops.

The way out of this is to stop raising children like this to begin with. That means acknowledging that boys need to show love, compassion, and feel safe feeling their emotions instead of putting on a false act of pretending they are tough saviors and hero’s. Little boys are not little men. They are as tender and as sensitive as their female counterparts. The only difference is they are taught in subtle and overt ways that they should be something that does not fit them. Women are taught similarly, but with a completely different set of expectations. We dislike those roles on both of the ends of the spectrum, right?

When parents demand that their sons “man-up” or play the tough guy, they are robbing their boys of their humanity and their childhoods. The results are like what happened to my own son. This happens even without the dysfunctional element that was present in my particular situation.

This kind of programming isn’t always overt. Sometimes it is small, subtle, and often goes unnoticed. Thousands of miniscule things add up. When my then-wife came to me telling me with swelling pride about how our two year old son was her protector, I felt a stab of caution and concern. My impulse was to tell her that this wasn’t the kind of thing to be encouraging in my son. I thought how she would feel defensive if I did that, no matter how kindly I chose my words. I also thought that it was just a phase and that he would grow out of it, so I didn’t say anything.

I DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING.

Would it have made a difference? 20/20 tells me no, but you don’t really know for sure. I could have educated myself as a first-time parent and then sat her down, imploring her not to encourage this in our son for his own sake, and shown her the studies. I did not do what many parents probably have also not done down through the ages. We just kept kicking the can of paternalistic toxicity down the road.

I find that I often ask myself what I could have done differently. I always wished that he would suspend his disbelief in my love for him and spend time with me away from his Mother, something I knew could short-circuit the pattern of denigration she engaged with my children in an effort to destroy my relationship with my children during our divorce. She wouldn’t be able to comment on our time alone together without any degree of accuracy, which might be enough, I thought, for him to be able to see what a lie all of this was. That never was able to happen. By that time, my son was a walking poster child for so much of what is wrong with men. The thing is, I had married with an unacknowledged desire to be the knight in shining armor. You can never save a person who is not ready to be saves, who is not ready to grow and change out of old patterns.

Toxic masculinity is front and center for me in my life. There is no glossing it over. I know how it has affected me, I know how it has affected my son. We are all responsible for the fallout from it.

Reprogramming Our Men

Once programmed, men need safe places to be able to explore their God-given humanity. They need patience and they need to feel safe from being ridiculed for feeling in a sensitive way. Our culture is saturated with this false view of masculinity. When men have to suck it up when women get to gush and emote, you know there is a problem. Criticizing a man for being reactive only causes him to dig in to his old programming more. If you find yourself going for that stoic cowboy, then you might become part of the problem. Please don’t do that to anyone, man or woman.

Men have to take the reins and make an effort to not perpetuate this programmed set of responses. Men need to support other men by not trying to shame other men for being tender, or sensitive. Men must learn to hold the line with their women they are with and call out any effort they make to imply that they aren’t being manly enough, with false equivalences. Yes, it will mean walking away from women who exhibit these behaviors, but don’t look back unless there is real awareness on their part and an exhibited desire to begin changing their own programmed views and responses. A woman like this is not worth losing you soul over.

That said, a woman has a potentially fantastic power over a man to disarm and beguile him. Men are known to do anything for the woman he loves. This means that if a man is with a woman who has healthy boundaries, is not herself tied to the old modes of what being manly is about, she can, through grace and a gentle hand, show him the way to her heart if that way harmonizes with his own innate humanity. No false expectations, no tough guy bullshit. Yes, we are tough because of how we are built, but our hearts are as tender as anyone else. The problem is, you wouldn’t know this to look at most men. I promise you that it is there. The soft touch with great patience is what is required. You also have to know that you sre suited for this kind of work.

It will take time, but each encouraging word and action will have an effect. We can change this, but it wont change by just being angry about it. We have to love ourselves back into our existence and never again fall prey to the false beliefs that got us here.

Imagine what it could do: men whose natural aggresiveness is expressed in a more natural way where that aggresiveness is no longer laced with anger and rage. Men who are more sensitive, and less controlling. A man with something to prove often lacks the necessay approval of himself and will go looking for its substitute which is approval from others. By teaching him not to trust his natural instincts, he will look to someone to supply him with the false instincts that so far hasn’t served them well. All of this can be turned around, a cosmic 180º turn, but it needs to be important enough to begin integrating new behaviors based in authentic emotion instead of our culturally foisted ones. I say this as a man who has been through it.

The way through is with real love, not a false sense of compassion or anger and upset over it. Lets get this done for our boys.

Awakening and inspiration share very similar attributes, and are to my mind siblings to each other within the self.

To reach each, the path or method is so similar. The inspired state requires surrendering everything that does not belong, that will hold you back, not push you forward. Inspiration is thought of as that elusive state that cannot be forced. Artists and creatives go “looking for it.” Popping on a CD, taking a walk, maybe some coffee in a corner of the shop scribbling, waiting for the mood to strike. You look or wait for it like an elusive jaguar slipping through the dense underbrush…you never know when it is going to show itself. One waits for it expectantly.

When it does arrive, you are letting it in, not wresting it to the ground. When it comes, it is as if you are invincible, on top of the world. Anything is possible.

In truth, inspiration comes when we allow ourselves to be dissarmed, when we let go the monkey mind that chatters away. You don’t force inspiration the same way that you don’t force awakening. Why is that?

Inspiration isn’t a rational process at its core. It may suit up using rational decisions…which instrument to play, what key, what time signature, or brush or color. But all of those things are subjects of inspiration, subservient to its need, desire, and play. Inspiration is, or can be, an utterly unbounded state in which anything is possible but only one thing can usually be done at a time. An entire year’s worth of creative output can be conceived in moments like these. I know that this is often the case for me. I have to pick and choose the things that have the best use of my time. Much is similarly discovered when one is awakened. Worlds emerge in both the inspired and awakened state. Why?

Both inspiration and nonduality are deeply rooted in creativity. All forms of it. People describe kundalini as a libidinous force, but I experience it as radical creativity in all of its forms. The desire in the physical for the beloved is itself a creative act of love…that creates new life. Curious, too, how we have so much shame surrounding that part of ourselves. Curious as well how little our cultures honors the arts. The powers that be prefer to make money selling war machines. So easy, so uncreative, so destructive. A world upside down. One expands, the other contracts. For now, this is how this world is.

We must fill it with the juiciness of our art, our music, our photography, and the love that is present in both inspiration and in awakening or nonduality. We must do this without cheapening either of them but making them even more precious…inspiring others even if they cannot hold a note, or paintbrush or a meditative state (yet).

So if you want to know awakening, know your creative impulse because that is the tail of the cosmic tiger.

I found this to speak so closely to my experience, what I strive for, what I have encountered, what I strive for more…truly, not as effort, but as what naturally arises as the self is purified more and more. More work to do, but his words are so on point…

https://wp.me/pyZzR-227

Sleeping, slumbering, rolling deep within is that part of you you always suspected must be there, your link to the infinite.

Bigger than you, scary when it first comes, its resources are amazing. Like a deep ocean, an aquifer moving silently beneath your awareness, the path to its ineffable reality lies in the innocence of your heart, the desiring of your soul, a few chance encounters with eyes closed or an event that shakes you out of your workaday world. It is like a mystery, and yet there it is, shining new in each moment that you find it. Or did it find you?

Letting go puts you in its grip. Dissolving the rational allows it to step forward. Now this is usually where most “normal” people stand up with raised hand, seeking to interject a “Yes, but!..”  But what I am explaining to you is not business as normal.  Humans have, for centuries, sought to control by way of the rational, and this, I will point out, is precisely the problem.  Anyone, most great teachers in nonduality have pointed, who seeks to go this path will find only trouble and difficulty.  Shoals await you in such an effort, and this is where many remain.  No, the path forward is letting go of those tendencies that have hung us up since forever.  The way to cosmic consciousness, this larger stream or sense of presence, does not lie through the limited rational mind and it’s left brain.  Instead, it is the right mind or brain that has the demonstrated capacity for handling the broad sweep that is cosmic mind.  Listening, expecting miracles, bids it to come near. Every single teacher, every single experiencer all comes back from this experience and explains that this is not a thing tied to “doer-ship.” Are you getting the picture?   Wiping your slate clean is how it can communicate with you, or rather, perhaps even better, letting go of what it is that you think you know is one of the cracks in the wall between the mundane and the ineffable. Let go the small to grasp the big, and yet it is no grasp, no trying. It is the one that can bring you so much.

People struggle saying how hard it is. Only if you let the rational and its playmate, ego, have its way. This teaches you how not to be so you can BE. It is a great windswept silence that returns you to those places long forgot. So simple, this is no place for a linear mind. This is our multidimensional nature. How could anything so linear as the rational left brain ever hope to guide you? You need the nonlinear, holistic part of your mind, which is a mirror for that part of your eternal consciousness to channel and express itself through this body, this self. Learn its secrets which are breath, movement, and quiet intuition. The Sophia within.

When awakening came I saw that there was another part of me, clearly tied to both body and mind, that had come on line.  A switch flipped, a new world of a kind, a very new kind.  Awakening is not some kind of exotic, it is not tied only to consciousness.  The body must also follow, as it is a mirror of consciousness.  I observed that my ability to see the bigger picture increased significantly to the point of increased intuition, and psi ability. These are the symptoms of awakening.  The Hindu call these siddhis, and they have been extensively reported by those in eastern traditions as well as those who are awakening today more or less spontaneously.  We also know that the two hemispheres of the brain are oriented differently.  One deals largely with linear processes, handles language, and does not show a masterful ability to tap into feeling.  The right brain, however, is not linear, but shows every sign of being able to process many streams of information at once.  The left brain abstracts, finding the most important aspects of an idea or object and it highlights those.  Very useful for certain things.  The right brain, however, is able to see the whole picture without any need to abstract.  This is one reason why artists are said to be “right brained” which is that they “draw what they see.”  However, the right brain does not appear to have an ability to pinpoint the important aspects of this big view.  It is the right brain that has the capacity to comprehend cosmic consciousness.  Remember, the right brain is not here judging or prioritizing. It is this capacity that makes the right brain so good at this “new” state of mind because it is less apt to be biased or creating some sort of preconceived bias which would color what the whole mind or person thinks they are seeing.

Perception is not done at the level of the physical senses only, but it is has been shown to be “formed” by the individual as that person “thinks” about what it is that they believe they are experiencing.  As a result, you will get all kinds of explanations about what people think awakening is.  Luckily, we have a host of pretty specific symptoms to help this hold together pretty well, but it also leads to a lot of speculation based on thinking.  This is both good and bad, a double-edged sword.  As one remains unbiased in what they think they are experiencing, the more the phenomenon leaks through over time and informs the individual.

If you would like a primer on what it is like to have the left hemisphere shut down for a time, I recommend that you go to YouTube and watch Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor’s TED talk entitled, “A Stroke Of Insight” which describes her experience of how a stroke in her left hemisphere left her, a neuroanatomist, without many of the functions of her left hemisphere.  What she describes in her talk is nothing short of a brush with samadhi, and samadhi is the cornerstone experience of awakening (or is eventually once the person has gotten a handle on this new kind of state of being).   You can see her talk HERE. So what is the point in this little brain primer?

Let the rational observe. Let it watch from a distance. Don’t let it get any ideas. Take notes but don’t pretend that you know. The more empty you are, the more you can be filled by it. The more empty that you are, the more you can be guided by its great mystery and power. The more you have it figured out, the more it eludes you. Consider the choice you might not usually take but that keeps bubbling up around the edges of your awareness. That is the corner stone that most toss away as unimportant.

You have this, but to gain it, you must let it all go in order to grasp the bigger. It is like embracing the wind. Now let it it take you. This befudles most people and sounds like wishy-washy bullshit.  But this time, it is not.

There is a sleeping giant within. So many never find it because the way to it cannot be known by what you know. Instead, feel. Who wants to do this?  TO learn how to orient yourself to deep feeling would also mean that the closet within your consciousness that we now call the subconscious would suddenly be opened.  That is terrifying to many people because, as Carl Jung has said, people will run from this their whole lives in order to not face up to themselves.  But there is more on offer here than a blast from the dark past.  It is a kind of existential deal on offer that has the power to free you, to remake you, to save you and resurrect you (to the degree that you avail yourself of its power which I note is greater than your own). Open to mystery, and trust that it will come, a giant ready to merge with you to lift you into a new awareness. Let it do the work. It has all of this. It alone is perfectly suited to take care of anything that feels beyond your ability. Trust. Ask. Wait. Be patient. Believe it could come, and it will.

 

POST SCRIPT – There are myriad methods and means to aid in awakening.  Ultimately what these methods achieve is a bringing together of the opposites within awareness and the mind.  No method is some kind of magic, but aims at bringing a person to a certain state of feeling.  This is why awakening has been so elusive to so many for so long.  The answer is not in patting your head and standing on one foot.  It is not only in breathing, it is not only in visualizing a force rising up the spine, but rather tapping into the primal feeling state that actually knows the way.  More people have awakened as a direct result of becoming inspired and led along in that state to reach a whole new level.  Ultimately, something breaks down within the vigilant left brain and a stream begins, first a trickle and then a blast that can be both bizarre and bewildering while at the same time life-saving.  Every culture on the earth has described this experience in one form or another, emphasizing some aspects of it over others, but it is clearly not something that comes about because of a religious viewpoint or belief, but as a result of a hitherto poorly understood mechanism within every single human being.  That said, it has been found that a religious framework often serves to help or assist a person through this process, but it is not required.  It is also true that some fundamentalist ideas held within numerous religions can  lead to demonizing the experience, resulting in misunderstanding this gift.

I’m an artist by profession and was trained in being good at observation. I have been involved in fairly technical media during my training and career, so I have spent a lot of time testing things for a wide range of results and insight. I have had to pay attention to a broad range of phenomenon in order to properly understand what is happening, from melting metal to melting and forming glass.  This power of observation stemmed from learning to be a good observer, to really see what is in front of me without my applying my own bias on what I think is happening and why.  It just so happens that because of how technical my materials are, I have had to expand that power of observation into more arena’s than when I was drawing from the figure in drawing class all those years ago.

If you learn how not to bias yourself with what you think you are seeing, the data often will lead you right to the issue and you can then begin to formulate solutions from there.

Hang on, there, this does tie into spiritual or energetic work, I promise.

By my second year into awakening, I noticed that while I was having lots of synchronicities, I had this feeling, though,  like there was something more to this facet of awakening than met the eye. Was there a way to test this phenomena so I could learn more about it? It seemed reasonable to me.

I began with a hunch that synchronicites were in fact part of a poorly understood phenomenon that was creative in nature.  I just felt in my bones that synchronicities were just the tip of the iceberg.  That said, I was careful not to be blinded by my hunch.  Instead, I just watched and observed.  if there was any truth to my hunch, I would know.  in the meantime, I would have to be careful not to try and make any evidence for my feeling to fit my own preconceived notions, a pitfall that every scientist can fall into.  Or any person when doing this kind of work.

Let me explain for you how it is for me with kundalini, first.  Through this unusually high level of prana flowing through my body on a consistent basis, I found that the nature of events in my life began to shift right along with my awakening experience.  Was it coincidence?  After having read countless accounts of others’ awakening experience I knew that this was not unusual at all.  Like I said before, synchronicities are a regular experience.  They are the “new normal.”  I also identified that I had been experiencing various layers or levels of what the Hindu call “samadhi.”  This is a high level of bliss brought on by the prodigious flow of prana in the body.  I say that prana causes bliss not because I read this somewhere but because I saw it directly in my own experience.

The period of time in which I made this discovery or observation was in 2009 when I was able to break out of a five month cycle of high adrenal output, another fairly common occurrence for many people who awaken. This was really a horrible time because of how high my adrenal levels were on a consistent basis.  I knew that this was something I had to break out of or else it would wreck my body and put me into adrenal collapse.  Through sheer will, and observation, I learned how to regulate adrenaline in my body.  After five months of this horror-show of an experience, I emerged out of this into a fairly clear place.  This was accompanied by a number of releases of old stored trauma from earlier in life, which also helped my state of mind resolve into a more peaceful state. That said, what I found was that while my energy was no longer in “fear mode” it was replaced or was transmuted into something much finer in quality.  The energy was every bit as high, sometimes higher, but was now a powerful vibratory force that would create a shimmer effect all through my body.  Still, it was a lot to take but I was happy to be at this point in the process because adrenaline 24/7 is simply dreadful.

It was against this backdrop that I was able to see if there was any correlation between my energy levels and the incidence of synchronicities.  While my energy levvel was pretty high at this point, I did have dips and rhythms.  I might have one week of powerful energy followed by a week of quiet energy.  This was not unusual, and it seemed a good reason to begin paying attention.

During this time I noticed when the energy got to a really high in frequency, I would begin having more synchronicities. If the energy cut out, so too would the synchronicities. This was repeated many times.  I watched and observed for months to see if this were mere coincidence or if it was a pattern.  I found, at least to my own satisfaction that each time energy peaked, so did the incidence synchronicities.

It was at this point that I then began thinking about the concept of manifestation as being connected or responsible for what we think of as the synchronistic event.  Now I needed to find a way to test this idea to see if it held water.

Carl Jung coined the term synchronicity and wrote a short book explaining the phenomenon.  The thing about synchronicities according to Jung was that they all had an aspect to their occurrence that involved a coincidence that was meaningful to the person they were happening to.  As a result, these were almost always highly personal or tailored to that person.  There is also an aspect to the phenomenon which is the seeming impossibility of the event taking place in the way that it does.  He described one such synchronicity in which he was in a therapy session with a woman who was describing a dream she had which had Egyptian symbology or archetypes in it.  While he was listening to her in his study in Geneva he watched as he saw a beetle climb across the outside window.  This was no ordinary beetle, though.  This was an Egyptian dung beetle, an insect that is considered sacred among Egyptians.  This is the scarab.  There was absolutely no way that this beetle could have flown from Egypt to be on his window at that precise moment in time, and yet there it was making its appearance.  Jung intuited that this was sign to him, to prod him in his analysis of the dream.  he brought up the scarab symbol and found himself explaining to the woman what her dream meant.  this led to her having a major breakthrough in her inner work as a result.

Taking all of this into consideration, I had felt like there was a lot more “juice” behind what drive synchronicities.  I felt like this was just scratching the surface.  But how could I develop a way to see if I could shift these events into a more meaningful way? Many people who experience these events nowadays almost always describe seeing unusual numerical sequences.  Mostly it is on clocks that are at “11:11” or “3:33” for example.  There are even people who try to decode what these numbers all mean.  For all I know there might be a meaning, I mean, I think for the most part these events are like the subconscious trying to communicate to the conscious level of the self.  It seemed that if I did a little digging I might find a way to expand this more, to see synchronistic events for what I felt like they were.

First, I knew that any event that you would like to see happen has to be something that you really feel like could happen.  There can’t be any “yeah but” feelings in your wish or intention.  The problem with this is that the negative feelings mingle with the positive ones and can either cancel each other out or deliver you a manifestation that has been tinged with both sides of your intention.  To do this form of creative visualization as Shakti Gawain wrote about in her book so many years ago of the same name, you had to have a way to leave out the negative parts so they did not co-create along with the positive part of the energy.  Then, all that was left was to have something that I was really engaged in that I really truly wanted.

Around this same time I began writing a manuscript for a book about the awakening process.  Most of it was first hand, but there was a chapter in the book that I felt like needed to be sound tried and true methods for helping people to cope with awakening.  I knew that I needed to find sources for this because the methods I used were just too hard to explain to people. I didn’t follow a method or teacher of any kind.  I felt like I needed to have things taken from outside my experience.  The truth was, I had no idea where to start.  A week later, though, I had a series of synchronistic events that came in threes that were simply bizarre.  To explain them, I need to set them up for you.  First, these events happened at a time when I had not spoken to anyone about this chapter I was writing.  I had no idea how it was going to turn out and it was ore or less “in the wings” at this point.  The second condition was that I did not in any way initiate the event, it merely happened on its own and involved, usually, another person who was the unwitting participant.  With that explained, let me describe this one set of events.

It was about a week into my thinking about this chapter, but I had written nothing on it.  I had a friend who began telling me about how as a small child she found that in order to cope with the effects of kundalini she happened on shaking as something that made her feel better.  She would go into a closet and shake for extended periods and this would help to ease the effects of the energy.  While she was telling me this, I had this feeling like this was something that I was looking for.  It felt significant.  Almost like a bell ringing in my head, I sat up and took notice.  I didn’t mention how I was looking for just such a technique.  It gets better, though.

A day later, I take my friend to the airport and return home, running a few errands in town and stopping by a friends house who had been going through a battle with cancer for many months.  I showed up completely unannounced and thought I would say how I was thinking about her and to wish her well.  I was greeted with her smiling face and her ushering me onto her back deck as she was eager to tell em about the events of the last year.  As soon as she was finished with her brief history, she said, “you know, I have just finished a book written by an animal behaviorist…..”  Once she said this, I felt that bell going off in my head.  I sat up, took notice, and listened intently.  She went on to describe how the author had observed that prey animals who had survived attacks by large predators (lions, tigers, bears) would universally go through a shaking fit for about fifteen minutes and then go about their way as if nothing had happened.  he considered that this may have been a way for their nervous systems to literally “shake off” the trauma of the attack they had just survived.  He applied a technique of shaking on soldiers returning from the Persian Gulf and found that it gave them relief.  Bells were going off in my head like crazy.  But wait, it gets more interesting!

As soon as I let her house, I decided I should probably try to research some books to see if I could find anything that might be useful for my chapter on techniques for coping with kundalini.  I in fact found very few books on the subject of kundalini at our university library.  I did find one book by Gopi Krishna that was a second book he had written later in life that I was not familiar with. I headed to the stacks to find the book.  Along the way, well before I got to the row where the book was, I walked by a small book that just caught my eye.  For no real reason, I plucked this book off the shelf and took it with me.  In a minute or so I had reached the book I had actually searched for and I headed to the desk to check out my randomly plucked book and the book on kundalini.

It turned out that the book by Krishna had no usable material in it.  No bells, not interesting coping methods.  My “random” book was interesting but it too contained nothing in it as I had suspected all along. I held onto the books for about two weeks and on the evening before they were due back at the library I was lying in bed and I picked up that small book and flipped through its pages really fast,  like how you shuffle cards. I opened the book to a random page (bear in mind I had not read through the book, I had only skimmed to see what it was about and had dropped the book as anything meaningful) and my eyes fell on the last paragraph on the right side page. This paragraph began to describe how a therapist named Arthur Janov had cured a patient of a long-standing trauma from his childhood by getting him to feel the full breadth of the emotion that he had, Janov felt, had been repressing since an early age.  There, on the page, was a description of how just before being cured of this trauma the young man went into a shaking fit while lying on the floor.  Immediately after he stopped shaking or convulsing, the young man looked up at Arthur Janov and exclaimed, “You did it, you cured me!”  he no longer had this hanging over his head anymore.

I was dumbstruck.  I leafed through the book to see if there were more incidences like the one the author had described.  There were none.  In fact, the author did not identify the shaking as even important, only as an element in the retelling of Janov’s own account which was being retold in this small book. I had literally found the one account in this book that described how shaking was part of a healing process. I realized that this concept of shaking was not something that was really understood, not until the animal behaviorist had written about it.  My random book had been written at least a decade before the first one my friend told me about earlier in the day when I had met with her.  What I realized I was dealing with was a quintessential needle in a haystack.  For me, however, this was a huge plus because when you think about it, how was I going to find books in print in a library that would tell me about this method that I would go on to write about in my manuscript?

I went on to have a number of these similar events while writing my book, all just as strange or bizarre as the one I just recounted. I had another set of three events that all pointed me to a philosopher whose ideas conformed to my own and helped me in fleshing out what I was dealing with as a central theme to both awakening and the book as a work.  I will, however, resist telling you about that series of events.  The point here was that I found that if I needed something in my book (or in my life for that matter) and had not real way to get to it “out there” the resource would magically find me by hook or by crook. I remember trying to describe this to someone once and she so distorted the concept that she retold the story as though I had been working some kind of magic on people to get my way.  Nope.  But it was a lesson in how some people will quite naturally misunderstand the nature of a phenomenon by applying their own inner biases on what it is they believe they are seeing.

For me, intention is key as it is in all teachings related to manifesting your desires.  I found that after I found a way to use intention to go beyond mere funny number sequences, those events tended to lessen and the more significant events took more form.  Always, there was a pressing need, a clear and pressing need and desire for something but without any understanding about how that was going to take place.  All on its own, those events would form around my own life and would repeat three times, often providing additional needed material in order to understand it better. For me, the number three is important because it deals with the trinitarian quality of kundalini itself and served as a kind of code or signal to me to sit up and pay attention.  Even when experiencing the first of any of these events, they always have this feeling that I experience, which is that of being somehow significant, even if I don’t always know how.  Once the number set of events completes itself then I always have just enough material to go on to get to the next point in my writing.

I wanted to pass this along for anyone who has either had this happen or who wants to test it for themselves to see what results they get. I hope this adds a little new wrinkle to your day. ♡

(Copyright, Parker Stafford)

In my journey, the breakthrough that I made was in realizing the role of feeling in cosmic consciousness. I saw how backwards the world is. Instead of understanding feeling, we eschew this in favor of “thinking things through” or using the rational mind over the part of us that has the capacity to plumb the depths where the transcendental dwells.

We are taught to think but we are not taught to feel. We certainly are taught how to be emotional, but no one teaches or points to feeling as important (let alone superior to rational linear thought) because people are ignorant of what this means. This is like casting pearls before swine. No one sees its value and everyone is afraid of being criticized for such simple “thinking.”

Learning to feel is the most important thing you can do. It is what arouses the sleeping woman and man to life. It is what arouses kundalini, even. As you feel deeper, you open your consciousness to more energy. It can be analyzed, but not grasped by the rational self. It is so simple a child could do it, which is why those who do teach about it describe a simpler state or type of being to know more deeply. It isn’t fashionable by those who want to keep their grip on the cramped quarters of the rational, but it can in time can show you the superconscious side of you, a remarkable part of you that you have always been.

Using this part of you can confer peace (often gradually for most) because it is such a simple way to be. It is here, as the zen master Taishen Desimuru said that, “all the sand of the deserts flows through your hands.” You gain All by being simpler and quiet as you turn on your capacity to feel. This is different from emotion. It is a depth we all have.

By being in the rational mind we get confused by words. Here, in this video, Jiddu Krishnamurti answers a question about the existence of God. It isn’t until the 15:30 mark that he homes in on the important part of all experience. He isn’t talking about whether God exists at this point, but is pointing out how to BE in order to understand the world and consciousness.

When he says “word is not that” he means you have to move out of the thinking mind full of ideas about things and move to the part of you that loves with all of your heart and being. That gives your consciousness the means to take a word like “tree” and enter the place within that connects with the tree being discussed. Of course this can happen if you allow yourself to do it. He is saying, you must turn to this other part that is in you to know these things. You have to turn to your feeling self, your capacity to FEEL. And THAT is the simple but potent door that we open ourselves to the All. Here is the video…

Words, like belief, can be prisons or liberators. Breath can show you the way….a deep simple innefable truth existing beyond reason. An inner compass that resides before the prison of belief held me. Be careful of your words, like your beliefs, for like the gods and goddesses, they will reinforce each other, catching you and convincing you of its small truths as it stands in the shadow of the one great Light.

Beyond belief is that place within me, within you and the All, where we meet where we are, you and I, stripped bare of pretense. Written in the heart of a Child, these sparkling consequences tell us of truths simple in their acquisition. Beyond reason, curled up within the fiery portals of becoming, it beckons to you, promising to ruin you for anything but its great soul-saving promise.

It holds out promise, it’s hand, that we might drop what we hold now to embrace this new world within us. It asks everything of us to discover what will remain, what abides in its deep portals of bliss which has always been the physician to our undoing, redemtion, and inward discovery.

It is beyond belief.

Let it go. To feel it means letting loose your grip of what you think is real. It is at once terrifying and the deepest comfort, the more you let go the more it fills you and animates you. Whispering in your heart it welcomes you as so much leaves you in this upside down world. Set right, set on fire, it meets us in this place. The great healer has come to you.

I know that I was made to bear this fire, to bring it down through myself in a simple act of forgetting. It asks me to let go of the things that limit me. All belief, bias, notion. “Forget what you think you know; you cannot know the gods with your mind or memory…” is what it says. It opens a portal through feeling, through the She, and through her I see a brilliant channel into those realms of fact but which are beyond all belief.

The divine asks us only one thing: feel truly, deeply, because that is where it waits for us. This is the stair, the ladder which we seek but are held back by in our rational minds that speak in the grammar of uncertainty and the syntax of fear. Letting go of it, I turn from dark to brilliant, fiery, possessed of myself, possessed of you, no need to ask why. It just is.

You meet me here, this garden of the gods and goddesses.  Fiery is the soul of creation and what animates it. Constantly burning away the impure, returning us to a renewed state of ressurection. Can you feel how such a simple grace in him responds to the grace within you? Can you feel how they each speak in the mute syllables of bliss? The cantenaries of desire? Can you see how he and she turns around in a spiral ever upward, endless in scope, forming worlds? So simple the Ida and Pengali become the rails of the ladder and we rise both alone and together. Every entry into this sparkling realm was as if we had never left. He touches her in the center of her heart and says, “There.” Her head falls back with such a truthful reminder.

Breath tells more truth than a million beliefs. It explodes illusion, turning you and I inside out, returning us to that brave realm of sacred fire and boundless joy. What you are brings out what I am in those places…

…And I am late!

In my defense, I was busy dealing with some big discoveries about divine union, the gods and goddesses and how our ancestors would use creative energy on Beltane to charge the earth for greater fertility for the new crops. Horned god and all of that.

And then along came orthodoxy and crashed our innocence and deeper connection with the forces in us and the universe! Don’t let them get you down.

My awakening came gradually. It came in somewhat measured steps. The first step clearly opened me to a strong flow of prana and my first experience of nonduality. Then, over five months, I began having innexplicable events occurring that led me deeper. A friend loaned me a hemisync cd for clearing emotional baggage. Another gave me a meditation technique I have detailed in the last post.

A Voice spoke in my mind telling me to close my eyes and focus on the center of my brow. Complying, I awakened my third eye, a process that expanded over several days once I focused my attention there and saw the fiery brightly lit eye emerge into my field of vision. Then I was taught or tutored in how to alter my consciousness to take advantage of the wave-form part of our consciousness, the part we call the feminine, the Shakti, the right brain and left side of the body. Everything was unfolding, gradually, carefully, as if by some plan. I wrote about it to close friends. I had no idea what it was leading to.

I had several events that all directed me along a path to awakening in a way that left me the last to know what all of these things were adding up to. Clearly, a higher intelligence was involved. This is not to say everyone must awaken the way I did. What is clear to me, because of my own experience, that at the base of awakening is an effort to break through a logjam of trapped energy to liberate or open a hole within us that will let the water of life stream in. First a trickle (for me), and growing stronger each day, each week, until my body was conditioned enough so the full rising event could come. A breaking through this logjam.

One of the events that took place in October of 2006 was a day-long acceleration of prana, which was a preview of what kundalini would bring. I had a vivid vision-a certainty in inner vision and through intensely felt feelings-about how all life feels prana or life force in the same way when it is felt abundantly (which is all kundalini really is—unusually high levels of pranic flow).

Getting ready to go home, this information nagged and pulled at me until I put it down on my computer starting at 7:30 pm and finishing at 7:34 pm (I had no idea why I should note the start and ending time but I did…now try and type what I typed in under four minutes).

This writing spoke of prana and how it was affecting both my body and mind. After writing this, I would find myself experiencing an odd synchronicity involving my finding the only magazine on a rack full of popular magazines whose content was uninteresting to me except one magazine I had to hunt for around a corner, blocked by a card rack placed in front of it. Without anything on its outside to suggest its contents, I would find that it had an article that read in bold: “When it comes to seeds, it’s all about sex.” Here is the piece I wrote to try and get that stuff out of my head, a first brush with a powerful burst of prana.


The Yearning

The fields are wet from rain after the corn has been harvested. Trees slowly turn from green to yellow, then gold. The air cools and the mind thinks back on days when life was brimming over and the air was thick with the smell of pollen. The same corn, now nothing but stubble, stood gold and green with tassels swaying with the breeze, releasing its sweet nutty smell. To some it was just a delightful thing that marks the passage of seasons. To me, its more than that. It speaks of life seeking its own, making itself over; a new generation. A yearning, a leaning toward the wind in the hopes that Nature will take care of Nature, and carry its life giving sweetness on the air to waiting seeds, waiting for that breath of life, that germ of passion that makes the flowers grow, and makes life turn ‘round once more in the endless cycles this world is known for.

Seeds and plants and pollen, all lean into passion in ways we can scarcely imagine. For this is the glue that keeps life going. For them, it must be pleasurable, a passionate act of giving, a release, an immersion into a mystery far older than our own known seasons, our own individual lives and experiences. For this is the gravity that pulls them, moves them to continue. How can it be any other? Why then would life seek to replace itself through an act as perfunctory as the dropping of an apple from a tree? No, the drop of the apple is not perfunctory, or a second thought, but part of a yearning to become, a part of merging with some larger dance. If trees can’t feel this, then why continue? Why go on? Perhaps in measures we can only guess or imagine, there is some divine spark of wantonness, of passion and pleasure bound up within their shells of being. How can it be any other? Perhaps there is a secret life these rooted beings feel that is beyond our ken, beyond our too quickened ways. We have been “beyond” these beings for so long that they are now “just plants.” And yet, they are more. They will speak if only you will listen, and they yearn to tell of this ancient dance, this incredible desire and passion bound up within every cell of their being, so it pays if you will only listen.

I know that seeds seek and yearn and hope and dream; dreams perhaps that are so different I could never scarcely imagine or see them for what they are. And yet, it seems inescapable that these creatures, ancient as all of life here, yearn for the touch of pollen upon their seed pods and enclosures, waiting patiently for the bee to carry their spawn beyond them into other regions where others await the touch of the life giving sparks that enliven and awaken a new generation. Even the warming caress of sun and drenching rain is an act of divine providence, or giving in a wheel that knows no end and no beginning. Quiet and still, these beings mask their greater inner lives.

So even we do these same things, even we make this dance of longing and yearning, so old and ancient that its root can escape us as we are caught up as if in some whirlwind, some deeper dance both of passion and letting go as we give ourselves to life’s great mystery, to its passionate embrace, and longing that brings us to this place, this wonder filled state where our minds and bodies and hearts are excited beyond the normal trebling that life gives or provides.
To touch my eye with your eye, to touch smile to smile, or hand to hand, we join in this ancient dance, this passionate longing for life seeking to complete itself, and in so doing, complete ourselves. Round and round we turn, like stars upon an endless wheel that rolls and ducks and sways in the lost night of time. We are carried one by the other, some by our imaginings, some by the reality, but always by the same glue that keeps life turning turning back and forward at once, calling to the roots of what it was to the heavens of what it will become.

So as our hands embrace, our smiles merge, as face becomes face, and eye becomes eye; as flesh becomes flesh, we excite in this dance, this subtle movement first tentative, then more certain as we are gathered by the compass of its certainty, of its need to move as it moves, which is ever forward into endless days and tomorrows.

We came here as boundless beings who knew neither limit nor touch, and followed down into narrow pathways into minds of earthlings, like spirits on a cosmic voyage, we entered the world of limit and pain and loneliness, only to be called back by forces that were brought to bear in this world, moving us through realms of limit and bounding to that greater reminder that this is a dance of mystery, passion, and love. In this love we touch the infinite, wrapped in that which pulls and grabs us like hawk talons grasping talons in a spiral dance of yearning, moving us one step beyond this one, seeking the divine, seeking the infinite. 10/13/06 – 7:30-7:34 p.m.

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