Monthly Archives: March 2016

Being Okay with the Unknown

I sometimes receive interesting responses to my blogs. My last one (on world energies) had a few people email me with “solutions” for the perceived problem.

The difficulty with this is that sometimes things don’t have a solution.

The difficulty with this is that sometimes things that create difficulty or confusion are not problems. They just simply are what they are– confusing, messy, difficult, or incomprehensible.

Of course, sometimes we simply haven’t thought of a solution yet. Sometimes we are on the precipice of a solution, or of resolution for a topic or understanding, and that is why the subject is coming up for us.

But sometimes things don’t have a solution. They are too large, too complex, to messy for us to truly understand the totality of.

This, of course, makes people uncomfortable. It is hard to hang out in that liminal space, to realize that things do not need to be tidy, and that complex subjects do not need quick and easy resolution or solution.

Our minds (ego, brain) love resolution. They love simplicity and fitting subjects into charts, graphs, and one-for-one ratios. This is why much of spirituality has been watered down and approaches surface level meaninglessness. It is much harder to believe (for example) that seeing a rabbit in our front yard may spiritually mean thousands of different things than to look in a dictionary and see it means one singular thing. It is much harder to accept that our disease or illness may have many different spiritual, physical, emotional, mental, and environmental contributing factors than to be told that it is simply one thing.

In order to transcend our own limitations we can learn to be okay with multiple meanings, multiple depths, and even contrary answers. Or no answers at all.

The larger and more complex subjects surrounding spirituality and philosophy have long lines of people offering tidy answers and solutions.

We are uncomfortable with death, and the uncertainty of what happens when we die. Death is one of our largest fears, both personally and culturally. To appease this there are long lines of “solutions” from people telling us exactly what happens after death.

I have been doing psychopomp work now for a long time. I have seen and interacted with energies and spirits for a long time. And the more I do this work the more I realize that there are no simple solutions surrounding death. No simple answers. Every time I am certain of my cosmology, of what is truly out there, of what is capable of happening, it sifts through my fingers like sand and I find myself on the precipice of new understandings.

There are things that happen more often than not, of course. But there is always something new to learn, to experience, and to understand with this work. The moment that we think of something, or anything, as being one thing, or one way, the more that we lock ourselves down… and the more we are unable to see beyond the tunnel vision we have created for ourselves.

The point here being that when we lock down our cosmology, if we mindlessly think and accept solutions in this world it is likely to appease that welling of anxiety, of fear, within us. But there is much more out there than our own cosmology– it is just a question of if we are willing to think, to grow, and to understand more than we do now.

The unknown is uncomfortable. It is a rarity to sit with openness– a rarity to sit in the space of being okay with the unknown. Our minds want fast and easy solutions to everything– from taxes to the most esoteric spiritual subjects to our own spiritual growth.

The irony of this is that it is only be acknowledging how much we do not know that we can allow for ourselves to grow.

The irony of this is that if assure ourselves of anything in order to appease our minds that we stop growing. I have discussed this before, but I have seen so many take on the mantle of “teacher” and completely close off their beliefs and personal growth to anything new. They are now a perceived “authority” so they stop their growth. It is a rarity to see teachers grow beyond their own teachings. This is why we have so many teachers with books recycling the same subjects again and again, or who have stagnated themselves so they think and believe the same way they did ten, twenty, or forty years ago.

A true teacher is one who is open to that which they don’t know, and is willing to state that they do not know. I am always impressed by this, when I see a teacher do it. It makes me sit up, and pay attention to them. Humility is one of the biggest things I look for if I am looking for new thoughts, readings, or people in which to learn from. The minute someone tells me (often with an air of superiority) that they have all the answers, or they no longer have any issues (or are perfectly realized, have no ego, shadow, etc) I know to nicely tell them “thank you” and walk away.

Because people who truly have these things have no need to talk about them with the energy of others being lesser than them, and as long as any of us are in human bodies we are not perfect… and we all still have egos, shadows, etc. while we are in the human form.

Being a teacher is difficult, especially with spiritual matters (but really any type of teaching). Because students want answers. Or most students want answers. They want to go to an authority that will tell them concretely how to live their lives, what happens after death, and who and what they should be.

Much of our educational system engenders this– that we always look to an outer authority to tell us about ourselves, to tell us what we should know and what we should believe.

A teacher who is willing to tell someone that they do not know, or that the student should look within themselves for answers (and teaches them how) is a true teacher.

Because just like the student, the teacher is also looking for comfort. They are looking for that energy of the student. Many teachers are looking to be exalted, treated like demi-gods, or to have their students treat their understandings and realizations as the one true path. Like the student, they are looking for outer energy to fill up the empty places within themselves.

Of course we all sometimes need that outer energy– teachers, advice, community– to be a catalyst for our own process. Sometimes it comes across in my writings that we do not need anything other than our own inner process. But what I am actually saying is that we should be filled with our own power, our own realizations, and have our own clarity… but we still need outer sources to provide their clarity, insight, or new realizations to help us grow and learn. It is in fact essential to have this, as we tend to lack clarity when it comes to our own lives and our own processes, and healing of bigger patterns is best done with other present, listening, and holding space for us.

There are of course many teachers not like this, teachers who challenge their students, who will state what they know with the realization of how much else is out there. Who know that they are an authority, but that there is so much more for them to learn and be. Who simply teach what they know with humility and regard for the student– not as someone who is lesser but as someone who simply might know less currently than they do. Who is filled with realization, who has done enough healing that they do not need the energy or accolades of students– they have simply reached a part of their path where they are intended to be of service, and so they are.

If you find a teacher like this, who is able to be okay with the unknown, who can hang out in that space, it is a sign of a teacher worth knowing and studying from.

If you find anyone who is willing to sit with the unknown, sit with the unanswerable, sit with messiness and not clean or clear it up, sit with the depths of things and not try to come up with surface level answers, sit in that liminal space of contrary answers with no solution or resolution, and realize that that space is okay, and more than that, that space can provide a depth of answers and understanding that tidy brain-friendly solutions never can or will… that is a person of depth, of creation, in step with source.

I have become increasingly aware of so many illusory patterns lately– both in my life as well as in the outer world. In order to simply be, to grow more “into myself” I have let go of control again and again (and again and again) and have found myself in a place of confronting that inner anxiety that wants answers, that ground swelling of fear that would like easy resolutions and times and answers to everything my small brain (ego/mind) can think to ask. But letting go of that control, that need for control in easy answers to assuage that underlying fear has allowed for me to recognize more and more the power of the space of the unknown. And of being okay in this space, and allowing it to teach me as much as the space of the “known” has taught me. Everything is a source of beauty in this world, and this space of not knowing, or no resolution, is yet another source.

World Energies– or, How do I live in a World like this?

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There is a common misconception that when someone “wakes up” that they go into a state of love and light for everyone. That you hold this joy-filled space in your heart for those around you, and the world at large.

And while certainly compassion develops the more that you “awaken”, the whole “love and light” thing is a misconception. In my experience, and the direct experience of the countless people I have worked with (or am friends with) who are “waking up”… they find the world a rather hard place to be in.

I have personally gotten to a point where I understand why things are the way that they are: individual people, groups of people, political parties, and so forth.

And I have a lot of compassion for people. As individuals we are often traumatized, afraid, angry, and look for anything and anyone that will help us not to feel that way. This world is at once full of anesthetics and also at once filled with violence, fear, and propaganda to incite our anger and fear… and the cycle generally continues, with the world and individuals making us more afraid and so we need more anesthetic behavior to get us through.

I often say that people are doing the best that they can. The difficulty is that they struggle so much with the trauma they have been given, the beliefs that they hold to be true. Most people are unable to look beyond their own experiences of this world, and in their selfishness they feel like the whole world should be exactly in line with their direct experiences, ethics, and belief structures.

In fact, if anyone is out of line with personally held beliefs, understandings, or direct experiences, they must be false. Or evil. Or most likely both.

Even most “spiritual” people hold themselves back. They are deeply afraid of themselves, deeply afraid of their power individually. They will do anything and everything to get in the way of their own spiritual and emotional progression. They will resist, react, or anesthetize themselves to the world by creating illusions that will allow for themselves to put their head in the proverbial sand spiritually to make the outer world somehow okay.

Or they will enter a deep state of despair, anger, or fear, literally feeling the energies of the world course through them… sometimes unaware that what they are feeling and sensing is energy from the world.

One of my earliest teachers used to say that most people were actually dead. I had a strong reaction to it at the time, as my understanding level at the time didn’t allow for me to see that he didn’t mean it as anything other than a simple passionless truth– that people are walking through this world generally in a state of complete unawareness– unaware of who they are, what they are here to do, and simply go through the motions of this world based on cultural and societal “norms” without questioning because that is what we are taught to do.

This teacher was actually a compassionate man, who would say such things with a bit of sadness to his eyes, because it was difficult for him to look at the world and the people in it and see that most people are not alive, or truly living. I can see that now.

Lately with the energies of the world how they are, and the era of Kali Yuga firmly upon us, it is hard as a sensitive person not to react. It is also hard to look out and see so many of my students and friends in a place of chaos or deep emotion, feeling and sensing the chaos and deep energies of the world grid.

The world grid is the collective energies of the world– past, present, and future. It is a weaving of energies, the energies of every person, creature, and the world itself contributing.

This grid can be seen, or even worked with by some. But for most people who are sensitive, they are awakened to this layer of energy and are feeling the deep, tumultuous pull of the world energies that have been crashing down upon us wave after wave for the past few months.

The difficulty, of course, is that most people are not aware of this. A lot of sensitive people have simply noticed themselves depressed, sick, or otherwise moody for the past few months without being able to understand why (beyond perhaps an awareness of politics, world events, and so forth).

The other difficulty is that people who reach a certain stage of awakening (or are incredibly sensitive and have skipped a few “steps”) are literally fault lines for this grid. What this means is that these energies flow through us, through our human forms, seeking release.

World energies are large flows of energy. They are much larger energies than personal emotion, or even ancestral, past life, or other energies that are deeply rooted in our personal history. This is why, in simple terms, they are overwhelming.

Our personal emotions are like a small stream of energy, even if they are choppy they still have only so much width, or depth (unless you have had a kundalini awakening, in which energies get heightened). The flow of world energies can be more like an entire ocean reacting in simple waves, or the storm of a typhoon.

As we awaken, we become more aware of both the inner and the outer. And we feel more, connect more, and are more.

What this means is that “modern” spiritual knowledge is fairly illusory– if we believe that connecting to the world is only joy and hugs that will make us want to awaken, or become more sensitive. If we are taught that we must become ascetics and give up the world, disconnect ourselves from any sort of emotion or feeling associated with it, we become hermits, no longer connecting with the world or anyone in it. Renouncing the world can provide valuable spiritual progression, but the point of being human is to connect, to love, and to use our senses. We cannot enjoy our physical bodies and do what we are intended to do here if we disconnect from the world.

We can also remain in illusion. We can tell ourselves to only focus on the positive, on the light. This is a big part of modern-day spiritual movements because it provides the same sort of temporary anesthetic relief that watching television to keep your mind off something does. If we are an upper-middle class individual who cannot bear to see poverty, we can simply close our computers and tell ourselves that if we work on ourselves in a workshop or by meditating the world will change. We can again ignore the outer world– and seeing (or feeling) the pain of those lost in difficulty, chaos, trauma, hatred, or stupidity because it doesn’t direct effect us (or we can tell ourselves that if we have the luxury of doing so). We can ignore the physicality of the world, ignore those around us, placating ourselves for our inaction in the physical world.

We can tell ourselves that things are going to get better soon, or that chaos leads to light. And it does. But focusing on the future to ignore the present is yet another form of anesthesia.

I remember when I was going through a phase where I was deeply connecting with people. I had no idea what was going on at the time– I would simply be in meditation, or lying in bed to go to sleep, and I would hear people in distress. It took me a while to figure out that I was connecting to people… not because they were in any way linked to me or my personal history… but because connecting to the world grid truly means becoming aware of the energies of those around us, and of the people around us.

I do not have any simple solutions for this energy. I will say that the more that we work on ourselves, the more that we can heal ourselves, it is one less energy that does contribute hatred, fear, or sleep into that world grid. I will also say that the more we work on ourselves and learn to discern energies, such as world energies, the more that we can allow for them to flow through us (rather than get stuck or cause us pain). Generally the clearer we are, the more we can let “flow” through those fault lines more readily. I also suggest being of service in your community. Being of service in some small way allows for us to contribute as well as allows for people to move beyond the sort of illusory “everything is about me” and “if it doesn’t affect me I can stick my head in the sand or tell myself that love and light memes will help” sort of spirituality that is so pervasive these days.

But I do not have solution for the sadness, the realization that the world is filled with people who are in pain, who are causing themselves pain… It is easy going into the spiritual “genre” to placate, to tell everyone that everything is going to be okay, to come up with a few sentences or a meme or two that will state that awakening is filled with the sort of light and joy that all the memes and books say it is.

Because it is. There is divine bliss, knowing truly who you are, going beyond and beyond and beyond the illusions and restrictions you have set for yourself and what has been set for you. There is a compassion– a realization that people are doing the best that they can, the best that they know how to do. And there is compassion for yourself– you are doing the best that you can, the best that you know how to do. But there is also grief, and connection, and feeling the deep emotions of others, and the world, flow through you. In oneness we realize how connected we are– not only in joy, but in all emotions, all experiences. Some of these emotions are beautiful, and transcendent, and realizing that you are truly a part of the world after feeling disconnected and alone is a truly awe-inspiring experience. But some of these emotions are of pain, of difficulty, and of the chaos of the world and the people in it. And we have a choice to accept oneness as it is, or to reject it in search of the sort of illusory anesthesia that is offered so many places and by so many people.

I would rather feel more of the world than less, and find that although the emotions are there, and there are days that I wish I lived on another planet (or in another country, lately), that by connecting more, and connecting more authentically, my compassion grows. My light grows. The realization that I am not alone in this world grows. And I would rather take this world and the people in it as they are, then try to control or cajole them into being anything other than they are. Because they are doing the best that they can, or the best that they know how to do… and are often fighting simply to get through the day, the hour, or the minute.

 

On the Topic of Energy Vampires

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In our daily lives, below the capacity of most of our senses, we exchange not only conversation and interactions with others but also energy. Energy is the real currency of this world, and those who are able to cultivate it or take it from others find themselves in two very different positions of power.

The person who cultivates their energy– through understanding who they are, doing practices such as meditation, spiritual practices, qi gong, yoga, tai chi, or even working out (in a balanced way i.e. not too much so it is depleting but not too little that it isn’t a regular practice)– finds themselves in a place of power that radiates from them and is palpable to others. They know who they are, what they are intended to do here. They are crisp, clear, assertive, and have firm boundaries.

This is of course for a healthy system. I am sure that we all know people who exercise daily simply to keep the proverbial demons at bay, or in my line of work I come across a lot of magical/occult/spiritual practitioners who are too caught up in their own stuff so that they don’t really cultivate their power. But more typically, people who do these practices do not cultivate this sort of palpable presence either because they are afraid of it, because they are blocking themselves, or because they are “armchair”– basically meaning that they read all the books but never do any of the practices on a regular basis.

There is also the difficulty here of belief system– so many people are afraid of their own power or believe it is “bad” because of teachers and teachings that are aimed at their students staying in a disempowered role, which causes the student to stay exactly where they are in terms of belief structure and power. They believe what their teacher taught them to believe, basically… and they are not ready or willing to rise above it.

But mainly a lot of power, and coming into our own power, has to do with trauma. Trauma disempowers us, it separates us from ourselves. When we are disassociated, fractured, or basically not embodied we can only have so much power. This is why some people get addicted to meditation and workshops and the illusory worlds they create for themselves– because in those worlds and experiences they have power. In their daily lives, in their physical bodies they do not. So we have a whole generation of spiritual enthusiasts who are goddesses in their meditations and in their daily lives they feel disempowered.

But the person who cultivates their power, their energy, in an embodied way, is something to behold. They know who they are, what they think, and have moved past enough of their shit to no longer block or fear themselves.

Those who take energy from others is another story…

Before I start on this, I will say in some communities the term “vampire” is meant for mutually beneficial or even playful exchanges of energy. There are whole conferences where people congregate and consciously decide to swap energy with one another. There are also relationships where each party in the relationship decides to swap energy in a similar fashion. But these are conscious happenings, with typically pretty clear boundaries (if it is healthy, of course).

I have cultivated a fair amount of energy at this point. I do not say that as a “oh I am so special” sort of thing. I believe that anyone can cultivate energy and power who has appropriate teachers, appropriate techniques, and the presence of mind to do so…. and more importantly works on said techniques on a regular basis. As a side note, I sometimes get approached by people who want to become more conscious, awake, enlightened, have kundalini awaken, etc… and I always tell them to meditate daily. Probably 1 out of 10 do. Probably 1 out of 50 actually stick with it in some capacity (yes, I am making those numbers up, but they are probably fairly true). But generally the people who are ready to do so will. People who are ready to cultivate their energy will find a way to do so, to go beyond the surface level and powerless teachings that always cause the student to want and need more… to find the appropriate methods, teachers, and regular practices that allow for them to do so.

But I generally mention this point because I am still balancing my compassion with my boundaries. I have been working consciously on boundaries for over a decade now, and I am still being taught and fine-tuning my boundaries. I am especially taught by energy vampires– because they have the capability to really test people in order to sort of “suck” their energy and are sometimes quite skilled at it (whether they are conscious of the ability or not)

I am lucky that I do not get “sucked in” so to speak very often, but it happens. And each time it is a learning experience for me. Each time it allows for me to have a bit more clarity, to redefine my boundaries even further, and to be steadfast in my boundaries the next time.

Each time it allows for me to see what I truly want in my relationships, in my friendships, and in the relationships in my practice.

Developing boundaries, although it may not seem like it, is a compassionate act. To the traumatized energy vampire who is looking for energy and finds you unwilling to give yours, it might initially cause them to have a bit of a tantrum, or to think negatively about you… or even to break off a friendship or a relationship with you.

It is funny, each time that I work through something my relationships change. Those who are simply looking to be parasitic to me drop away as I become healthier and more clear. The more clearly defined my boundaries are the less energy vampires contact me, wish to work with me, or wish to have friendships with me. And those already in contact with me will find other practitioners or “friends” to feed off of.

But let us back up a bit and consider what an energy vampire is.

For the sake of simplicity, energy vampires can be described as someone who takes or steals energy from others. They are the type of person that most people have a visceral reaction to (as in, “Amy is coming to the party? Ugh, I don’t know what it is about her, but I just don’t like her” sort of energy). These people typically are heavy (in energy). They are draining.

In conversation they only really have the capacity to talk about themselves. Typically about how bad their lives are. When they first meet you they are likely to tell you information that is inappropriate for a first meeting, such as what diseases they have, details about how difficult their lives are, and how much they are suffering. They do this to create compassion for them, and possibly empathy. This allows for them to more readily and easily take energy from you.

When we are compassionate, we are open. Compassion can be a great force of good in this world. If we were only to see what it would be like to walk in the shoes of another a lot of the issues of this world will lessen, if not cease completely.

But compassion without boundaries equals an unbalanced energy exchange. Those who are energy vampires take advantage of this and “take” as much as they can with the person they are interacting with.

People who are looking for energy outside of themselves will always find someone willing to give their energy. Some energy vampires will look for either the person they can find that has cultivated the “most” energy… or the person who is a natural nurturer and is depleted but is willing to give a lot of their energy away.

An energy vampire is not able to handle you talking about your own issues, or asking them for anything. They simply wish to take as much energy as they can from you– and while on the surface they may listen to you, they are not extending or offering any of their own energy.

In fact, the minute that an energy vampire realizes that you might expect or want an equal exchange of energy with them they will find someone else to interact with.

I am of full realization that in 99 percent of cases, the energy vampire doesn’t realize that they are doing this. They have simply learned to make their way in this world by draining others. On some level most of them realize (it seems) that people viscerally and intuitively do not like them and do not like to be around them. That they are heavy, stagnant, and that their lives are often filled with difficulties.

They realize that there is an emptiness inside that they are attempting to fill. 

And I feel compassion for them, I really do. It must be hard to be so wounded, so traumatized, that you feel that your only hope for connection to others is to take. That the only way that the hole inside that they sense can be filled is through taking the energy of others around them (rather than filling it themselves with their own energy, health, and power). It must be hard to on some level realize that people see the energy vampire at a party, or calling/emailing them and their first response is “not this person again!”

But until the energy vampire realizes that they do not need to “tentacle” outside of themselves (what this looks like to me– literally like a tentacle type cord that is gooey and looking for a person to attach to), and fill that place that is inside, they will continue to act like this. They will continue to drain those around them, they will continue to be that person that goes through that cycle of negativity and need for compassion in order to drain those around them (and then quickly go into victim mode in most cases if they are not “opened” to so they can drain the person they are telling about their diseases or difficulties or negativity to).

I do realize the above sounds harsh, but there are varying degrees of this, of course. There are energy vampires that are more subtle than this, and I have used an example of a completely draining energy vampire to illustrate a point here. But this is a commonplace enough phenomena that most of us will recognize this cycle and likely be able to name one, or five, or twenty energy vampires in our lives.

So the question is what to do about this? We could get upset that there are people out there like this, but really these people are so traumatized with such a black hole within themselves that it is hard to get upset at them. They are operating the best they know how, and unfortunately they feel (and have learned) that they need to take energy from others in order to function. Until they are ready and willing to see that they can fill that hole in themselves and come into their own power, they will likely continue taking from others, and be unable to give anything of themselves.

We could treat this as a learning opportunity, as I do. Every time I find myself in a situation with an energy vampire that has successfully gotten past my initial boundaries, it is up to me to find out why they were able to do so. In sitting with this, I am often able to heal situations that I would not have if they had not broached my boundaries. It is even more of a learning opportunity if I find myself in friendships or relationships of some sort with this type, as there is often a need for healing there and once I resolve it, the person will disappear from my life because they are no longer able to drain my energy. Luckily, I am able to realize this pattern pretty quickly these days and I have the opportunity to firmly put up boundaries and remove the tentacle they have stuck on me (as well as the slime/goo).

So these people are a blessing, really… because they teach us how to build strong boundaries. 

But in reality if we are aware of energy vampires they can only have so much power. The best way to stop someone “taking” from you is to realize that they are doing it. You do not have to see the tentacle, you can have a basic understanding that the person in front of you is an energy vampire. You can then have compassion for them– it must be difficult to live life like that. You can then say an internal “no” as in– you are not going to take my energy and I am not going to open to you so you can do so– and it is likely that the person will leave you alone to find an easier target. You can also simply start expecting an equal relationship with them– telling them about your issues and expecting help from them. The energy vampire will either go into a more equal relationship with you… or chances are they will disappear from your life, moving on to the next person who will allow for them to take their energy.

By the way, if you have not bought/read my Cord book it will teach you how to work with cords, which really helps. Promise.

Thoughtforms, Illusions, and Psychic Awareness

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There is a belief that is held by some that if we just think about something hard enough, or we think positively enough, we will receive what we are thinking about and hoping for. This sort of simplified thought is pervasive through the law of attraction community, as well as other communities, and discounts the reality of the fact that we must do something to receive what we want in this world (sitting around and being positive/thinking about getting a new car will only get you so far without a job), but also discounts the complexity of the patterns we are given by others, as well as the world, that might make it really hard for us to receive that new car by just positive thinking.

This sort of simplification also tends to victim blame, meaning that if someone did not receive something, or in other cases they did receive something (such as a disease, difficult life circumstance, to all sorts of spiritual issues) that they must not be thinking positively enough. This allows for the person who does not have (insert disease or circumstance here, but let’s just say cancer) to feel safe and in control… because they, of course, are thinking positively so they will never get (insert disease/circumstance here, but let’s just say cancer).

I have talked about this a few times, but I would like to get more in-depth into the nature of thoughts, thoughtforms and illusion.

There is such a focus in the spiritual realms on positive thinking, but much of the focus of “spirituality” especially in regards to shamanism is on journeying, or accessing spiritual realms. We may wish to sense spirits (or sense them already), or access all sorts of beings, or other worlds/realms/dimensions in hopes of learning something. A lot of this allows for the experiencer to feel as if spirituality is off someplace else, instead of right here. Another control/safety thing. If we learn that there are spirits around us every day, that might freak us out, basically.

Spirituality has become escapism, a way to feel a high from a workshop or spiritual practice like a drug addict would in between the monotonous parts of ones actual, everyday, “mundane” life and physical reality..

But apart from the “actual”– the spiritual that is separate from us (such as spirits and such) and even apart from our own psychological conjurings (our invented spirits and power animals and such) we have the sea of thoughts.

We are adrift in a sea of thoughts. It is rarely paid attention to. And it should be.

It is rare that even those who are “sensitive” are skilled enough or know how to focus their attention enough to realizing how many thoughts are truly around us. Sensitives tend to pick up things from other people. There is a focus on emotions for this (and this is important to understand), but most sensitives also pick up thoughts from other people. They may not realize the extent that they do so. But if you think for a moment about how “in our heads” as a culture we are, you can start to imagine just how many thoughts are out there, swirling around. And that we are much more likely to “catch” them, or be open to them, than spirits attaching, medical issues from others, or even absorbing emotions.

We may not realize that the thoughts we are thinking are not our own. 

In fact, a lot of media and the “illusory” world counts on this fact– that we are so displaced from who we are at our core and that we do not understand our beliefs enough that we can have thoughts and ideas basically injected into our minds… or are under so many layers of conditioning that we do not realize that what we think is simply what our father thought (for example).

There are of course ways to learn how to become skilled at sensing and working with thoughts– to learn how to clear yourself (my clearing course is a wonderful start), which will basically clear out stuff that isn’t “yours” on a regular basis… a skill that every sensitive/psychic needs to learn.

There are also skills to be able to see and recognize this sea of thoughts. Although this is a skill that really needs to be taught one-on-one (and I am not just saying that) the simple recognition by the sensitive that they are likely taking on thoughts that are not their own is an excellent place to start. With awareness comes discernment.

But now we come to the other half of this… what our own thoughts create.

It is really true that we create our reality in a lot of ways. But what we do, in general, is create our illusions.

Let me explain. We have our “real” selves, the authentic aspect of ourselves that is a part of divinity. We are whole, realized, healed, and truly in our power. This is within every person.

But then we have layers and layers of illusion and trauma and such on top of this. Either our own trauma or trauma and illusions passed down to us from varying sources (for more about this you can read my first book, The Spiritual Awakening Guide).

So we have these aspects of ourselves that are distinctly “not whole”– they are traumatized and struggling with the patterns and illusions and beliefs that we have been given.

There is also the struggle of everyday life. Life as a human is difficult. It is joyous (or can be), wonderful, blissful, scary, anger-inducing, grief-inducing. It is up and down and cycles through things. And if we have trauma this is magnified.

Most of us are really chaotic– we have so much trauma and very little understanding of who we are as people. We do not know what our beliefs are or who we are separate from what we have been given by others in this world.

But on top of this we create. We create thoughtforms. We create illusions. We create difficulties and more chaos for ourselves.

It really is true that we create our world, in a way. But what most of us do is to create illusion. Out of our trauma, beliefs, and thoughts, we create. Thoughtform is a word (in its simplest definition) that means thoughts taking form. Often into a distinct shape, pattern, or circumstance.

So to be simplistic about this (or try to be) I will say that if we are wounded, traumatized, and out of touch with who we are… we create thoughtforms from those wounds. We create illusions from those wounds. We create chaos in our lives from that trauma.

We create and create some more our lives. If we believe ourselves to be worthless, we will create and shape our world to prove this to us again and again.

To add more complexity to this, there is a saying that “we do not see people as they are, we see them as we are.” I very much find this to be true. We cast people in roles to meet our trauma, we insert thoughts and thoughtforms, basically energetically overlying who they are (their authentic self)… thus casting them in a role to meet us playing out the same traumas and our illusions perpetuated from that trauma again and again.

To add even more complexity to this, a lot of modern spirituality is escapism. I have worked with and met people who have constructed whole worlds, relationships, and so forth that didn’t actually exist (on any level). They did so because they had the natural capacity to do so (they either were naturally talented/able with spiritual work or had meditated for a while) or because on some subconscious (or conscious) level they took a look at their life, realized how difficult it was, and decided to create an illusory world for themselves instead.

This is not an uncommon thing. If we can find a place to “escape” where we feel empowered, brave, sexual, or anything else… that sounds pretty good. However, our thoughts and subsequent thoughtforms have consequences. They shape our reality. And eventually what happens is that instead of becoming more whole, or healed, we go further into illusion and lack of clarity. We further disassociate, we further create chaos and trauma for ourselves. Basically, instead of coming more “home” we further fracture and cause chaos and difficulties for ourselves.

All of us do this in some form– we create out of our thoughts. We give power to our thoughts to further obscure our reality. Our thoughts are “things” and have form, and consolidate into our reality. This is from our unmet needs, from our wounds/trauma, and from the layer of consciousness we operate at.

Oddly, we do this to protect ourselves. Working with trauma is difficult. Working to understand and realize who we fully are and our power is an extraordinary and beautiful path but we often have so many thoughts and beliefs and restrictions from ourselves (as well as our parents, society, culture, gender, ancestry, etc) that the idea of us coming into our own power, into our own clarity, sounds either incredibly impossible or frightening.

We protect ourselves, we protect these traumatized aspects of self… we protect the disassociated aspects of self… the parts of ourselves that want to create difficulty and chaos for us again and again because we believe that we are kept safe if we do so.

If we know that the world is always going to be one way, there is safety in that. If we create illusions and thoughtforms there is safety in that, because we do not have to fully inhabit our relationships and friendships. If we cause further illusions for ourselves, or populate our entire world with thoughtforms we do not have to deal with the messy business of becoming authentic. Of becoming real. Of resolving those inner demons, that inner self that is calling out for attention and focus.

It is far easier to cause illusion, to create thoughtforms… even if they are causing us immense amounts of pain and dissatisfaction in our lives.

So there are limits to this. Even if you think that you are the worst person on earth in your mind you can only impact your universe so much. This is a subject of power (yes, I use that word a lot). If we think a thought a lot, yes, it is more likely to take shape and come true (both negative and positive, by the way). But much like the positivity examples, we have to perpetually think thoughts, or have deeply held beliefs (or immense trauma) for them to take shape and form our world.

Some people are more talented at this than others, by the way. They are naturally talented at working with the mental “layer” of things, and project things more readily, for better or worse.

And there are all sorts of wonderful things you can do if you know how to skillfully work with thoughts and thoughtforms. If you know how to consciously work with them there are few limitations of what you can create (but again, might need to get a job to get that car).

But like anything, understanding and working with thoughtforms is a skill. There is a point that people get to in their path that they are willing to recognize them, or to work with them (beyond surface sort of “I want” level of this sort of stuff), otherwise there is always that cognitive dissonance there, of it not being the right time to recognize the impact of this type of energy. Waking up to the realization of this energy, and its effects on your life and the world is profound, it is a shift… and a sort of initiation experience. But the first step is awareness, and a recognition of your own thoughts taking form.

 

Spiritual Awakening and Illusion

When I was first going through the spiritual awakening process (I still am, but I am in a very phase than I was back then), I looked through an incredible amount of resources and went to teachers and healers of all sorts in an effort to understand what was going on with me.

I have expressed this sentiment before, but one of the greatest difficulties about my journey is that most of the world is steeped in illusion and I was breaking free from that. But even more concisely, most of the field of “spiritual studies” and “awakening” is steeped in illusion to the extent that it is far removed from the actuality of the experience.

In general, I do not mind what individuals do with themselves. If they want to call themselves a Shaman, or if they want to say that they are experiencing a Kundalini awakening when they are clearly not (and clearly know next to nothing about the actuality of either subject) that is their business.

I used to have a great deal of resentment about the above because of how hard I struggled. The sort of initiations I have had to go through, the experiences that I have had I would not wish on anyone. They have made me a clearer, more intelligent person who knows her purpose in this world… but my path has been extraordinarily difficult. I have had a lot of difficulty reconciling the fact that I have not had much choice in certain regards as to what I do for a living (for example), while other people can sort of play-act being a “shaman”; or that I cannot have what others would term a “normal” existence (whether I would want one is a much different matter), and have always thought differently than others, which in a society in which we are all expected to think similarly (standardized education and such) caused me a great deal of difficulty until I began to appreciate it (and get book deals from it, quite frankly).

This sort of upset followed me for a long time until I was able to truly accept my path and make peace with it.

Now that I am over the initial existential sort of angst that comes with having experiences that few in this world do, I have become a bit more philosophical about the subject. While the individual who states they are undergoing a kundalini awakening, or states they are (insert word here) has very little effect on me, the fact that the entirety of the “spiritual studies” sort of realm is focused on illusory awakening does.

So what is illusory awakening? Recently someone forwarded me a self-published book excerpt about how to “awaken your kundalini”. Everything in there was about how easy it was, and about how now the person had “perfect health, and was perfectly realized”. This, of course, made me laugh a bit. There are a lot of benefits to a kundalini awakening, especially when you are past a certain point, but perfect health is not one of them. You just have too much energy cycling through you and there is no such thing as perfect realization– you either continue to deepen your realizations or you become stagnant (and ego-driven/narcissistic/mentally imbalanced etc).

Illusory awakenings are all around us. They are what is talked about, basically. I am talking about the word “kundalini” a lot because it is the newest buzzword in the illusory awakening community. People feel a bit of qi/prana and think they are experiencing a kundalini awakening. They do not know what a kundalini awakening entails, but since all they know about it is that it is an intense spiritual experience (and from their worldview they either want it or think they have had it without understanding that kundalini awakenings have specific phases, signs, and symptoms) they, of course, have had one.

Basically, the illusion of awakening is the popularized, aspirational surface level thoughts of awakening that have nothing to do with the actuality of it.

The reality is that anyone going through an awakening, an actual awakening, is going to have difficulty. Whether you have had a near-death experience, kundalini, are feeling a spiritual call, felt the holy ghost, or are going through a gentler awakening… the true process is one of small “deaths”– of casting off what you are not to realize what you are. This is difficult, even when done gradually. Waking up to illusion is difficult to reconcile. Realizing that most of the world is zombified and going through the motions on auto-pilot is difficult to reconcile. There are a whole host of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual difficulties that come with any type of awakening…

But this is not what sells. 

The simple truth is that the illusion of awakening sounds great. We would all love to be these perfected, realized beings in perfect health. If we have not had spiritual experiences, the idea of having a “big awakening” sounds like a wonderful experience. If we have had any type of spiritual experience, we are likely to believe that our spiritual experiences are something truly intense, such as a kundalini awakening. And we are likely to do this out of simple ignorance– we don’t know anything about kundalini, or perhaps have read a wikipedia page about it, and have decided that we want it. That it is now part of our mythology.

And again, people are welcome to believe the myths and illusions they create about themselves.

This mythology, the illusions we create about ourselves, even about the subject of our “awakening” are yet another layer of illusion on top of all of the illusions that people should be dealing with, ironically further obscuring an awakened state, but that is another matter.

But we have a difficulty here of the fact that thousands of people are really and truly awakening. They are going through near death experiences and feel weird that all of the information out there is about how great they are, they are awake and look at the teachers and gurus who claim the same and see the illusion (and delusions), they are having a kundalini awakening and find that all of the information out there is for people who have experienced a bit of energy in their bodies that is on a pranic/qi level rather than the fierce volcano and destructive bliss that is kundalini, they are being called to be a shaman/spiritual worker and find themselves castigated and admonished because everyone in their spiritual group is a “whitelighter” who thinks like everyone else does (I have a funny story about this for another time, I suppose, but spiritual workers tend to think differently than other people do, and this is not really appreciated by most others).

The difficulty is that with all of the illusion, all that is being sold to us, all of the aspirational sorts or people who have had minimal spiritual experiences but want to feel as if they are something grand taking the labels (whether it be kundalini, witch, shaman, psychic, awake, walk-in, etc) that people truly having experiences cannot find the information that they need.

So forget the labels for a moment, forget the misguided ignorance of the individual, and focus on this.

Awakening and spiritual experiences have a specific pattern to how they are sold, they have a specific packaged look. No matter who or what subject the spiritual topic is about– if we are talking about mainstream, surface level spirituality– the spirituality that is for the masses– it is intended for a single purpose. To sell you on the fact that you need something in your life in order to be okay. To sell you on the authority of the person speaking so you don’t have to think or explore or realize on your own. They teach that there is always something external that you need to be or do that you haven’t done yet.

And more than that, they cause for people who are truly undergoing any sort of awakening to feel as if they are not okay if they are beyond these understandings. They cause confusion for people who are having a kundalini awakening and find themselves amongst other “kundalini-ites” who have no idea what the energy is actually like. They cause for people who have had near-death experiences to feel depressed that they didn’t realize that the entire universe operates on “ohm”. They cause for anyone who is truly awakening to feel out of place, to feel left behind.

Because most of the world is not going through an awakening. This is the only way that someone can sell awakening to someone– if they are not awake themselves. If you are not a shaman, witch, magical practitioner… someone who has not experienced kundalini, or Jesus, is not “awake” or has not had direct experiences of a spiritual nature… it is easy to tell others how wonderful they are, or how easy they are, or how you can have one for $99.95. It is a rarity in this world for someone with a near-death experience (for example) to talk about how much difficulty they have had “coming back”. It is a rarity for someone to truly say that awakening has brought incredible gifts and realizations but it is an incredibly fucking hard thing to do. In the sea of new-age kundalini-ites who all “want” the energy, or believe they have experienced it, it is hard to actually be experiencing it.

But again, there are thousands of us who are. Who know that there is a sharp divide between the illusion of awakening, the story of awakening that is sold to the masses who want to aspire to be and know something different… who want an experience that makes them feel special… and those of us who are in the trenches, working towards healing the major patterns and stories and lifetimes of traumas so that we can become clear. Who know that the journey is both blissful and terrible, sometimes at the same time.

What is important to realize is that if you are ready for it, you will come to the right information. The right people. The right experiences. The right teachers. It often takes a while to wade through the illusions (and delusions) out there on any spiritual subject, but if you are a person who is awakening, if you are a person of depth, it happens. People who are awakening have a light (this is actually quite literal) and are able to find one another. Put your light on and you will find your way beneath the murky waters of illusions that have populated most of the ocean to the ocean floor. You will truly find here, and you will realize, looking up, that the rest of the ocean is what it is intended to be.

Seeing Death- or, the Psychic Ability to See or Sense Death

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When I was a kid I was obsessed with fairy tales and mythology. My public library was a wonderful resource of Greek mythology in particular, and I spent countless hours reading and identifying with the themes contained within.

In a lesser known fairy tale (I believe it is German), Death becomes Godfather to a small boy. His father had many children and wanted his child to have Death as a Godfather because he was fair… and could help his son to become a famous physician. As is the case in most fairy tales, the child grows up and eventually deceives Death several times, resulting in him being taken to the Underworld and being shown the candles of each person alive. How much was left on that candle was how long the person had left to live, and Death ends up snuffing out the candle of his godchild to teach him a lesson.

For years after reading that fairy tale I looked at people and could see or sense that candle. How much light that person had, what sort of spark they had… When I got older, I could actually see the fire, the flame.

Although I realize this sounds a bit odd, what I was realizing at that early age was basically how much energy or life force the person had within them. The difficulty with this is that there was no way to sort of test my understandings or what I was seeing. It is also true that with modern medicine that someone can have their life prolonged far beyond their “candle” being near its end. When I worked in hospice I saw this quite often. There also was that inevitable “spark” near the end when the candle is nearing the end of the wick.

I also saw when I worked with depressed patients that it would appear that their candle was near its end, although it was not– it was more like there were clouds and smoke and candle wax covering the flame so that it couldn’t burn quite right.

When I started doing psychopomp and Spirit Release work more heavily, I found that I was having trouble adjusting to the work. Not because of the nature of the work, really… but because when I completely immersed myself in the dead and the spirit realms that I had trouble adjusting to the living. I have a tendency to become really immersed in what I am doing and what I am learning for a period of time, which for working with spirits can be quite unhealthy. It took me quite a while to find balance with the work, and to learn how to have both a “regular” life as well as a “spiritual” life (yes, they are the same, but I need to go out to movies and go to the grocery store and if you are immersed in death-type energies that can be difficult).

But one of the oddest things about this time period is that I began to see death masks in people. This only happened to me in flashes, and I know that some people have this ability consistently (and mine flickers) but I began to occasionally see the death masks in people, as well as the possibility of them passing. This would be like a quick flash when I would look at the face of someone. The “death mask” is essentially what a person will look like when they pass– how their face would look, basically, in a state of death.

I do realize that this sounds morbid to probably quite a few of you reading, but it just puzzled me when it happened. A Spiritual Teacher I was working with told me about death masks, which helped with the confusion, but it did not answer the “how” or “why” it happened. Especially because this was not (and is not) a dominant ability of mine. This ability has since waned since I no longer work in hospice and have a bit more balance in my life (I am thankful for this, actually), but I have now worked with a few people who see this on a more consistent basis than I do or have.

Even more commonly people can see or sense death.

This can be the archetypal “Death” figure, Grim Reapers, and other beings/spirits/animals (such as vultures and crows) associated with Death. Because we live culturally in such a fear of death having a spirit guide that has to do with death tends to be rejected by people (even though we are in dire need of people who can work in realms such as this) and it is extraordinarily rare with such a focus on “lightwork” that people want to consider anything such as working spiritually with death.

On the other hand, there are people that tend to be a bit obsessed spiritually with death. Not because it really calls them but because it is “edgy” or different. There will always be people who want to shock– we actually need them in our culture.

There are also “lightworkers” who talk about death and death practices but make up all sorts of puritanical and odd rules about it which is not really that helpful to anyone. The subject of death, or our own personal death, still creates a lot of fear of the unknown in people, so a fair amount of the new-age movement is either focused on creating a lot of illusion about death and how wonderful it is because the person writing about it knows everything about what will happen when we die (my cardinal one rule for spotting a fake teacher is basically them saying they know everything about a specific spiritual subject… no matter how much we have explored we only know so much, and will realize that if we truly are exploring spiritual realms rather than trying to make ourselves feel better)… or they will come up with practices that make us “immortal”. Sometimes the same teacher does both, which I always find interesting. They state that we are not supposed to fear death, and move into it consciously, and then in the next breath will talk about how we can become immortal.

But anyway, there are others out there that can see and sense death. Either as a sort of sudden realization when looking at random people, in dreams, or seeing images like a filmstrip of the passing of others… either specific individuals or dreams or realizations about natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and so forth.

This can naturally be quite disconcerting for people, because it tends to happen randomly. This ability seemingly is not something that can be “trained” like most abilities, and there can be a few reasons why people have it.

  • Like myself, they can be naturally highly sensitive and be immersed in spiritual practices that allow this ability to arise
  • It can be a natural result of being sensitive/psychic and having death as a trigger– basically someone in your family has died, or you have come into contact with death fairly regularly and begin to see this. I talked about this with a hospice nurse once who was not terribly psychic but she sometimes saw death masks in people
  • It can be a call towards “dark” work– meaning doing psychopomp work, healing work- such as hospice or working with death in some way, work with nature, work with spirits
  • It can be a one-time occurrence associated with being in a sort of liminal space when a relative/family member passes or is going to pass
  • It can also be a one-time occurrence if you are in a sort of weird state where you are processing a lot of shadow-type work

So for this ability generally I am not talking about one-time occurrences. Sometimes I get emails from people stating that they knew that their (insert family member/friend/pet here) was going to die and when once, and they are wondering what it means. If you study the energetics of death and dying anyone who is sensitive will sense about two weeks before someone is going to pass that their time may be close. Other people who are more sensitive might even have an understanding of when and where. This is true especially for someone that is close to you, and is often a random one (or possibly two) time occurrence for people.

What I am talking about here really is an aspect of clairvoyance that is specifically focused on seeing death… with an aspect of precognition thrown in (which tends to be a clairvoyant faculty).

It is the looking at people in a supermarket and being able to sense that they will be in a motorcycle accident soon. It is the seeing of the “death mask” of people randomly on the subway. It is looking at that candle in someone and realizing that it is a bright flame or that it is near the end of its cycle.

It is an ability that tends to come and go and can be troubling and difficult for the experiencer. It can be a sense of knowing (claircognition) but is, when it comes through strongly, a faculty of precognitive clairvoyant faculties.

There can be training and skills that can be developed for those of you that experience it, in some regards. Even though it can be quite random there is at least understanding to be had.

But more than that there is peace that can be experienced through this ability. Death is really one of the (if not the) greatest fears that we have individually and culturally. It holds us back in a lot of ways. People who experience this can transcend this fear of death. Most people who have this ability tend to freak out (and rightfully so, even if it just has happened once) and close down this capacity, but it really can be understood and is an opportunity for the individual to release one of the biggest fears that most of us have.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are interested in working with psychic abilities, I suggest my book, Managing Psychic Abilities. I do not answer emails unless they are about my books or programs.