Archives for category: love

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.

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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

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.

IMG_6366

Sunset over St Marks Nature Preserve, Wakulla County Florida. Copyright Parker Stafford 2018

 

Several years ago I decided to interview people who had experienced awakening for inclusion on this blog.  This was an effort to help bring the perspective of those who have experienced the phenomenon to the fore in order to help others who have gone through this life changing event to gain perspective, understanding, and perhaps greater awareness. I have recently published two of those interviews and they have been given their own page which are located under the header at the top of the page.

 

It is hard to know how much awakening can change your life.  It is like a quantum leap into the unknown.  It is bewildering.  It crowns just as it crucifies.  Navigating it is at once easy, difficult, with old rules now completely out the window.  It leaves many feeling scattered to the four winds sometimes, and yet it is also a saving grace.  It is powerful medicine.  Many awaken without a background in any philosophy or religion to provide a framework for the experience.  My sense, as it was perhaps my own experience, that we have much more to learn from awakening when we don’t have those frameworks in place. This is for the simple reason that we face the phenomenon without preconceived notions of what it is that we are experiencing.  We don’t get “captured” by the “rules” of other groups who, I note, have been unable to glimpse the larger potential that awakening offers us. While the experience happens in every culture and corner of the world, there is also a rising tide within the Christian church, factions of it, who would paint this as an inauthentic experience, what is called a “counterfeit spirit.”  Sadly, there are those who would resist the universality of this experience and they do so out of nothing more than ignorance.  The only way to deal with ignorance is with education, with information, and with what we find to be true (rather than what we believe) from direct experience.

 

There are plenty of frameworks that do speak of awakening and many of them wind up, for me at least, to include just as much belief as they include factual information, which to my mind makes it a mixed bag.  To know the truth, it seems, we have to go beyond what the masses are saying about it in order to learn to trust our own experience.  This is a lonely proposition and can put us at odds with the mainstream (like Advaita or Neoadvaita for example).  While awakening has very specific symptoms and signs, it leads us to an awareness that places us in a whole new kind of mind and heart space.  This can be a lonely road for many of us.  The interviews reminds you that you are not alone, that you are part of what appears to be a growing number of people waking up all around the same time frame.  Curious, perhaps purposeful, we can each learn from each other.  This is my hope.

 

My hope,too, is that we can build a library of these interviews for the assistance of anyone wanting to learn more about the experience, be they curious or an “experiencer” themselves.  If you have had an awakening and would like to add your voice to the chorus, your interview is welcome here.  Interviews are kept anonymous if you wish, but very real people are behind them.  You can simply respond in the comments section and I will arrange to receive your answers to the questions (which are just a jumping-off point) for inclusion here.  I am interested in whatever insight that you feel that you have, regardless of what others may say about awakening (or even myself) because we all have a lot to learn.

I have been so busy. A new direction and new work, so much to do, so little time. From my drafts vault. Enjoy, lovelies! Spring is close!!


COPYRIGHT, Stafford Art Glass

Let reason go. Turn to cosmic mind, the ineffable state, what we have called She, our feminine side. Here, reason must be lain aside. Quiet your mind. Calm body. Return to the primordial state…to that before pretense began. By abandoning this part of the mind, the rational and reasoning mind, a much larger one can be felt and utilized. A great teacher emerges who is the best of your teachers. The teacher resides in the center of your chest. It can bloom like flowers in Spring and are just as beautiful.

I experienced awakening as the rise of two energies that later joined in pure union to give birth to a transcendent state of being, a sacred third. I saw how this was a trinity. It took years to tease its secrets out. That alone led me to a great discovery and uncovered my roots in the past within esoteric Christianity in the early fourth century A.D. I lived then and was responsible for hiding documents that would have otherwise been destroyed by the creators of “orthodoxy” which was known as a great lie, but it had the big guns, the power, the money, the control. We were heretics and we were run out from every corner and center. It is how things are here; people prefer the lie than the truth.

For me, I experienced the mystic Trinity as originally intended. It’s heresy now. My how things have changed. For me, the Teacher is the Christ within. It creates awareness so that I can find problem areas where the presence will bring them up and heal them…an unwinding process of sorts. I enter by way of ecstacy. What remains I offer up to the Source of all life.

Somehow, for whatever reason, I have come to a place where devotional practice feels magnificent to my heart. It short circuits a desire to control things and as a result, leaves only what I can change or effect now. I continue offering up what remains in me to be finally taken into the light. There is a trigger for this one; I am confident that in time it will be found, felt, known. In finding that In attracting highly devoted people to me who are themselves very devoted, heart centered, and hard at work on coming closer to the divine within.

No one can truly know your journey. As a result, its important that if you walk this kind of path that you have people who love and respect what you must do on your journey. Life is too short to swim in waters that lack this love, forebearance, and understanding. I came to see how others painted their own troubles into my life. I once met someone who was convinced they knew me in the South in the 1800’s. The inner teacher had shown me, years before, how I had a life at that time that was completely different from their supposed memory. The quiet moral is we often make our inner struggles the subject of projections because the truth is not yet available to them at the time. Always trust your instincts but be careful when strong emotion plays around difficulties emotionally because here is where projections happen. Listen to the Teacher within.

You know, I have found when I need an answer I can ask my heart. I can feel it give a thumbs up or down depending on the answer. It’s like….a dowsing rod. You get used to feeling the answers come this way and you get used to what a “yes” feels like was opposed to a “no” answer. You can feel it in your field. You must get quiet in order to hear it at first. If you learn how to tune this in you have access to something that is impossible for anyone to lie and it not be not known. There is a part of you at least that knows the truth. I say water that seed and let it grow and flourish inside of you. You will be at odds with the world but you will have a much better world living inside of you.

Who could believe this except yourself? Why expect anyone to understand? It is a juicy secret between you and the universe. Beyond scripture lies the truth…which is beaten up with pages missing….too many edits and messing with the text. The Teacher is from the immovable race. It lies in truth within your heart.


This is from my drafts backlog. This was written in December of 2018. It needs work but I’m so busy these days…


I have been in this funny place…I just don’t know how to explain it very well without a little backstory.

I grew up very curious spiritually. I felt like there was so much more to know, and that we were so much more inside. I was maybe three years old and I was having what I later learned were out of body experiences. These experiences were very specific though, and were all the same; I would find myself at the interface between spirit and matter as I watched these filamented orbs of energy entering physical reality to take on the bodies of what I knew were babies that were soon to be born. I was watching souls entering the world of matter. Over the next twenty-five years, I would have a dozen memories from past lives, a kind of inner cosmic disclosure that I kept entirely to myself and with just a handful of friends. The point being that I came into this life with my work from many lifetimes bearing on me.

I say this not as a boast. It took me all this time to see what has been happening around me and to me to finally begin making sense of this. I never spoke about this in any open way. I say this in order to set the stage because often, as we find, old stories and experiences wind up bearing on events later.

I also experienced experienced seeing my parents before I was born, the moment when it was made clear to me that it would be they who would be my parents. This memory, though it took place before I was born, somehow was evident to me as an early life memory that stuck with me. It exists just as crisp today as it was 54 years ago.

I grew up with having prophetic dreams about local and international events, dreams so specific in detail that it made it impossible to have simply been coincidental. Later, when I grew into adulthood, I began a series of dreams in which I began helping those who had died to pass over safely to the next world, experiences oddly congruent with my early “travels” to the edge of our world.

What I know is that on the one hand, I have had lifetimes…scores of them where trying to find “that” truth had been a cherished activity and that it was honed in early Christianity, in Tibet, in North American as a native American (twice), in the jungle of Palenque as a leader of the Maya, and as a freed slave in the U.S. All were connected or threaded-through with several central spiritual themes that appear to be flowering right now in our world.

All that work and so was it any wonder my childhood was filled with what it was? But even so, I have learned that you can, by diving deep into your feeling self (not emotion!) to discover what the rational mind can never offer up. This is your amazing capacity to feel incredible depth in each moment, each thing…no, don’t confuse this with your emotions because your emotions most often is a mine field, a trap) you can realize your greater potential. Hint: you can lean forward to feel the brilliance and peace written inside of the core of Prana or Qi itself instead of falling backwards into your past where you fall into pain and the regrets unhealed there. You can’t heal an emotion with logic, you have to let go and allow the perfect light to take it for you. This has been the away of things, the great lesson in my life.

I grew up with this voice telling me to stay away from religion. It actually said that I was not to buy into any one belief system. This wasn’t something that was based in dislike of religion. If there was anyone who needed a spiritual community, it was me. It was a very odd request, but because it came from inside, from my heart center, I just knew that I had to trust it. It’s kind of weird thinking about it now, though. When I screwed up the nerve to ask this voice why I needed to do this, the voice answered simply, “You will understand when the time comes.”

I obeyed even though I very much wanted to belong to a spiritual community growing up. I even went to church with my family, but I did as told…even though I didn’t really understand why. I did know that I was promised some kind of reveal somewhere down the line, but I didn’t know when that would be or what form it would take. And yes, after three decades, I had reached a point where I began to think that all of this was one big hoax, or a delusion on my part. It just seemed like nothing was taking shape. This took decades.

It wasn’t until I reached age nine that my unusual experiences began to take shape in the form of seeking. I sought, yes, some, but I never joined. I was told not to. This was not a voice in my head, but an inner directive. I would heed that directive. Imagine, though, you go to church, attending classes designed for those who wanted to become a member, and you get through the two-month long process of becoming a member of the church and you are standing before the congregation and you look the pastor in the eye and say “no” to whether you were going to go on to full membership. A part of me was mortified, another part did as I was told. I never understood why.

Over the following years I would hear that familiar thought in my mind….”Don’t join, don’t buy into that religion…”

I limited myself to very light reading. I stayed away from religions and philosophies. I did, however, keep a library of “lost books of the bible” books on near death experiences, a channeler whose work didn’t seem religious but was deeply thought provoking. I began to meditate, I considered that if we were beings who survived death that it stood to reason that we had a soul that existed beyond or idependantly from the body. It seemed simple enough of an idea and yet these kinds of things were considered as fringe or New Age. I wondered how something so fundamental to our being could be relegated to an “ism” so easily. I had experienced the out of body state. There wasn’t anything “new” about it.

I don’t think it was forbidden to study a religion, the point was not to buy into it. When I went to college I had to take two semesters of religious study at this small Christian college that I attended. I went to Sunday school, I sang hymns and I listened to many sermons. Don’t become blinded by belief it seemed to suggest. It was really a bit much…

Thirty years of this. I went to Quaker meetings in college because, I reasoned, there were no trappings, just silence and no preaching. The truth was I wanted to be close to God, to our fundamental nature, which I felt, provided a means to know God. I was devout but I was without a church. I felt like it was okay to attend those meetings because no one was telling me what to think.

By my twenties, I assumed that all of this would lead to something that was responsible for the feeling I had as a child about the church, which was that something had been hidden. I suspected this early childhood experience of mine had to do with hidden books. Something, I knew, had been hidden. I had no idea what that even meant, though. It was like reading from a fragmentary text or recalling a memory in the midst of amnesia. It did come from a place of utmost certainty though.

I tried to see if those lost books of the Bible rang any bells. They did not. It’s important to emphasize that I didn’t feel like I had a choice about how I felt. It was the oddest thing. I knew this like how we know gravity. And yet, I wasn’t given to being conspiratorial about subjects like this. It was only with the church. Not as if I was against it just not of it for some great unknown reason.

The truth of what had been hidden was hidden even unto me. Yeah, pretty crazy. I mean, you would have to be very patient to bear this one out to see what lay on the other side of this deep-in-my-bones feeling. I have spent the better part of my life with this odd notion in me, solid and certain as stone. And I did think it seemed crazy at times but inside the feeling was a certainty that I just couldn’t ever sell out or bargain away.

My awakening, when it came, was itself like a giant clearinghouse for so many questions in my mind. Awakening made things clear to me in many ways (it raised many questions that would layer be answered, some of them), and it all began with what the church had hidden. When this became clear to me, all of the doctrine of the church began to make sense in a way that was fuller, more expansive, and now had the capacity to reach into the cosmic or transcendent. In a word, the doctrine began to mirror the capacities I was seeing in myself over my lifetime and that what was in us was an important spiritual physiology in order to know divine union, what early Christians called “The Consumation.” But like I said, something was lost and it was like losing the lock while still holding the key. Further, we each have this within us, this innate capacity for divine union, of being one with the Beloved.

We grew up as most Christians were being told that you didn’t have a lock, you just needed the key. But that was just a story based in collective ignorance. So the saving words of Christ were lost almost as soon as they were given. I am convinced now that entire generations of Christians completely misunderstood key aspects of the innermost teachings so that the understanding was edited out and the books that began to describe the real depths to early Christianity were ordered destroyed. This took place as a steady drip by at least the first century A.D. as early works and letters show a move against the “heresies ” began. By the fourth century the church was allied with Rome and heresy hunting was moving powerfully with decrees handed down by the emperor.

I know how that will sound to ardent Christians. I have had people tell me that if there was something new to know about Jesus or Christianity, we would have found it out by now. The the crazy thing is that in close to two thousand years, this really has remained a mystery, a secret, and this secret has kept countless followers from the means by which one opens the lock and opens the gate to the garden where the white light dwells…the light which transforms each of us when we touch it here on earth. I was able to open that gate in order to glimpse this vrry real and tangible light that most must wait until physical death to experience. I know its effects, I know how just a glimpse can transform any of us here…forever.

The Secret I uncovered had to do with the Trinity and how it served both as an anatomy of God but also of our own inner spiritual anatomy too (as children of God). This secret has been kept out of the church so that no member or believer may know its truth and its effects on us.

I finally realized that in order to understand this, I couldn’t be in the church, no matter how much I wanted to be. I wanted to be! It has resulted many years later in my finding my “rest” in the understanding that this was all for something. I see and understand some of it. Now I understand the fervor, the passion and intensity of my journey. So much is clearer now even as I know that personally, I have more work to do to become more like Christ, to embody that fiery passion that raised souls from death into a new, second birth.

This discovery has changed the makeup if the Trinity, the force which “raised people up” from a dead state to a living one. It also puts a spotlight on the ressurection and many central tennets if the Nicean Creed. Goodness sakes, this discovery changed a lot and when I begin writing about it, it will upend many cherished notions all made as a result of incomplete understanding. To do that will take a book because there sre countless references that will need to be cited and I have to learn my New Testament now like someone who has been studying this his whole life. I dont expect to convert anyone but I do hope for deeper reflection to take place. I have been avoiding writing this book because while I discovered something critically important, it is so different from what one billion church members worldwide that I doubt it will be taken seriously by anyone in that membership. It is, though, critically important to understand just as important as it is to understand how such an error happened in the first place. Lastly, it will just happen to link Christ’s teachings with those from other times, schools of thought, and philosophies.

Recently, after having spent years alone, I have felt this stir of wanting to return to the Church. About three years ago that inner voice, that guiding presence, said to me that I could now read about other religions and philosophies if I wanted. I asked why now because whenever that voice comes, I feel like I can get a few good words out of it before it goes quiet again. I thought I’d try. It explained that I needed to be able to show how my experience mirrored the awakening described in the early church and I would have missed it if I had become a follower. “By being on the outside you were able to finally understand what the missing piece was because your experience included the missing piece which you will bring back to those who are brave enough to encounter the Light and be changed in a twinkling.”

This is why I was able to take Christ as the saving presence without being in the church. The problem is taking Christ as your savior meant taking on the Christ—which means becoming one. Philip’s gospel spelled it out about how this all worked. That the church was calling his teaching heresy was itself the heresy. I did this because of what has been lost. Yes, Paul was right when he said that we take on the Christ, but this was literal. We DO take on the Christ because what gives rise to the Christ has always been inside of us. Even Jesus hinted at this in pretty clear ways saying that the Kingdom was within. It isn’t attained from without but is instead the single most intimate experience one can have where once you encounter it, you do not feel it as anything that ever existed outside of us. It’s just that intimate an experience. There is no man who comes into you, this is the error that was sewn all those centuries ago.

It is the height of ignorance and arrogance to believe that there isn’t anything new we can learn. But there is, and for those who have laughed at me for saying I have found something new I will say this; the assumption of this truth has been extremely rare…so rare in fact that there have only been a precious few who were able to speak to its innermost truths. It wasn’t until about the 16th Century that anyone speaking out about Church doctrine was labelled a heretic. It wasn’t that long ago that heretics were burned, tortured, and mutilated (remanded to a civil court for sentencing and punishment). Only now have we been free enough to speak freely without fearing for our lives, or excommunication. I don’t have to fear any of this because God kept me free from all of it. I never joined, I had no dog in the fight.

This gets to how I have been feeling lately. I know that my devotion to the church has been strong all these years even if it was to point out a flaw or lie or deception within it. I know that the bees in the broken hive still think their hive is perfectly fine, but I stand outside and know better. I am here to fix that hive. It will be up to the bees to accept this and make the changes. Luckily, none of this diminishes the one thing I love most; my communing with the one true creator.

Finally though, I find myself hoping for the same devotion to a religion that honors the truth. I yearn to know another who has this same level of devotion so that we might both gaze into the infinite that is within each of us. I find myself wishing for someone as devoted as I have been. I know I was made to serve, but I find myself asking the Light, “What now?”

I know that because the truth dwells in each of us, we CAN know the truth without books or teachers. Afterall, I did! I know it’s possible and I know the way to that lock on the garden gate. I don’t want to be a teacher or guru. I just want to live my life in quiet devotion with this radiant life that dwells within me…and maybe get this book written about my experience and how it helped to unlock a secret thpusands of years in the making. And I suppose that is a bit of a boast, but there it is.

And alone has been fine, but now I seem to yearn for a mirror who shares the same love of God. Those awakened who lack devotion to the higher purpose present in this experience seem to me to be like rudderless boats. I think I see an ingredient missing and it is devotion. I’m being judgmental I know, but it’s based on experience with those rudderless people. I’m not here telling those people directly that they lack direction, no, and it may even serve an ultimate purpose for them, so who am I to say? It’s just not for me anymore. Sometimes you do need to be lost a bit before realizing you need something more. For me, the devotional path feels just right for the rest of the time I have here.

That probably makes me sound like a religious geek, but truth be told, I always wanted to know God’s thoughts. Even as a kid. Now awakened and entering states that put me at the feet of this Presence, I have simply said, “I want to be more like you.” I realize that to do that, I must learn how to be all love. I know that the attention and love that I feel streaming from it to me tells me it wants a perennial engagement with me. It does not want me out of that stream of powerful love that undoes me, empties me so that I might be ever-more-full. I know that now I am the same; I yearn for a love that results in two unafraid to grow together as one. It’s a tall order I know.

Seems I have my work cut out for me.

She was the one who was touched by the growing bloom of desire. Each center opened to a presence that moved all through her. It was little more than a wisp, really, like a rising tide of water. Just like that. This touched her at every level of her being. Pulling him close, though he was far from her, she initiated a dance that she was never able to complete perhaps because the prize was just that precious and powerful a thing; fire from heaven.

The truth amongst our kind is that once touched, we are forever changed. We cannot pretend to be the same. We cannot act as though the genie has gone back into the bottle. We try, many times we do, just as she had done, hoping to return to her Kansas and her blissful ignorance. We all do, if the truth is told. We do grow accustomed to it though and in its big roaring realm of a shift it awakens us to deeper truths, and not all of them sit comfortably with us. With such power, with such roaring realms as these, we are ourselves made into instruments of the emanations that is our universe. The Gods and Goddesses speak through our fiber, our bone, our idiosyncracies, our desire, our failings and our triumphs. We face up to the fact that to be spiritual is to be sexual, which is to be creative, which is about begetting both spiritually and physically. We cannot nor will we ever remove ourselves from the truth of this which is that at its core, all of this awakening is creative. She wants to create with him, to feel his words and his presence upon her lips, drawing out of her a consummate creation born of a love that is transcendent….something more than just she and more than just he. Through every center she feels how the truth of this touches her inwardly just as it touches him inwardly. They are carried, touched, enlivened…. by this fire to know how they both share in an inuterable truth about it and each other….Such a truth draws souls together unlike anything else.

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People can turn their backs on these things but so strong are these events that they make indelible marks on our lives, our souls, our hearts, and even our bodies. For as much as we seek to seem normal, to fit in, to fly under the radar, we are rendered an exotic forever after and for always. All of the heresies come to live in us all at once, shaking us to that inevitable conclusion that each of us make, which is that the world is both backwards and upside down. …and it has been that was for a long time.

We, even touched as we are by this, remain backwards and upside down creatures until we relearn and allow ourselves to break under the pressure of the great force that is the divine bearing down on us and on the falsehoods of our innermost lives. The difference is that we are pilgrims who travel not without comprehension to the Promised Land but with full realization that we each ARE what was once promised us.

She is the kind who can sense and even smell him before he arrives. Her innermost senses are so enlivened by him that her own senses begin to form a world around him that is made up of him. Something in her is made to know him perhaps as much as he knows himself. It is at this great level of intimacy that she can never again pretend she had not caught glimpse of the bringer of that fire to her frame in this life or that she served as the crucible within which their surrender became the Great Revealer. She knows him and he knows her in a way that defies any idea that we are in any way separate or that the universe itself is not strung together in an incredibly intimate fashion such that no lie about separation can stand long before the roar of this world washes over it and topples it, washing its pieces away as we stand gape-mouthed wondering over what just happened, and also over how we could build such castles to honor the deeper heresy of separation.

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And even those who have parted still meet in the breathless silence of their innermost realm at night and between the sentences of spoken words and between the architecture of our thoughts. They are just too large for that not to happen, and we must learn to forgive ourselves if the fire is ever to make any sense to us and not burn us to a crisp in fear or in anger, or in jealousy, or in uncertainty. It is in the in-between that it calls to us and does not care the channel or vessel who carries it. It seems to need us to tell its story, like some wordless presence, like some vivaciously creative mute that is suddenly tired of keeping silent but has no means itself with which to speak or caress or to love the other in the way that we are equipped.

For many, it’s just too much. It’s too much as long as we resist being as big as it is. It’s too much as long as we refuse to stretch into its being and learn to give that higher self a place in our lives. We resist because the higher self is not uncertain but knows…..and we, the children waking up to its presence within us, are limited and do doubt and are afraid that it might mean our end…..even though that never seems to happen.

He can feel how she visits him. It’s often only after she falls completely asleep. Some nights he waits up and others, he slips off into a sleep that contains chapters only the two of them know, but mostly know peripherally or secretly (even when its secret from themselves sometimes). It isn’t always clear, and there isn’t always a narrative to paint the sky so it can be seen, or a room or a sense of place…..because this now belongs to the timelessness that we each touch when our bodies open their eyes and as our mind is dragged along for the ride. He holds his hand up; this is all he needs do to transmit the ripple of pure bliss which penetrates and travels faster than light and ignores the laws of our world because of how it lives and breathes the one Law that has ever really mattered and is the one Law upon which worlds have been built. This Law lives within him and its movement into her is what remains a world of endless pleasure and delight.

This plays out in this way with many today. Married, single, alone but connected….it has taken all of us into its arms regardless of our laws and rules or conventions. It asks us to tell the truth by BEing the truth, and so it changes our lives when this enters them. We are shaken by this and it is hard, but it is like leaving Kansas with no hope of ever returning, perhaps never wanting to return. The genie is out of the bottle and the truth turns in us until we learn to face it more fully each time it swings us ’round in its pulsating dance of both pleasure and becoming. This truth, if ignored comes back around in other years, seasons, and lives. There is all the time in the world and yet, it seems to make us all feel that there is little time left. I think that this is because of how long we have remained ignorant of how much we have lived outside of its Law even as some of us proclaimed to know it intimately. This force does not care about how our lives are composed it seems, and will clear a path in us to see that its will is done. Eventually, the truth catches up with all of us….and until it does, it exerts a steady pressure on each of us until we give way and forgive in order for the resistance to allow flow again. He remains in silence until she acknowledges that nothing has the power to stop this…

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Their opposites, both as the Cosmic She and He attract. Karma attracts, that which is left undone attracts. But what is really at the root of our misgivings after all? In each case, it is always something that felt that we did not reach in its fullest apogee for our hearts to feel filled with it. We return to lovers who died too soon for us to play it again just as we turn the wrongs other have done to us into the force that cracks our insides open to reveal the greatest bliss one could ever imagine. In each case, we feel a sense of lack that always has us forever chasing it, forever yearning for it, forever focused on it even if it is done subconsciously. We hide so much from ourselves that our lives do not adequately allow fulfillment for. But how

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do we correct for a wish never filled that is now thousands of years old, covered over by ten lifetimes or more? These bones form the substance of our desire in some of this as we wake up…..and there is nothing so compassionate a hope as this; to free ourselves and to know the force of love not as something that we feel FOR someone but a force that we finally ARE.

There are many stories that remain silent and secret but that live vibrantly in the luminous realm. Don’t let its grace pass you by.

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