So this is a somewhat clunky title, and this whole blog is likely to go in a direction you may not expect.
Reading this you may think how I am going to talk about how there are generally two types of spiritual experiences:
- Self-created, typically out of some sort of psychological need
But really things can be much more complex than this…
I have been working as a spiritual worker now for a (fairly) long time, and before I started interacting with clients I saw this huge divide between what I termed as “real”– meaning powerful spiritual experiences and initiations that actually interacting with spiritual energies and spiritual realms of varying types imprinted on you and how they changed you– and “illusory”– my kind way of referring to the sort of fluff that most people come up with about their “Native American spirit guide” and their “power animals” that tell them exactly how special and wonderful they are, as well as whatever they want or need to hear to uphold their current illusions about themselves or the world.
I still sometimes see this divide, by the way, and it still makes me laugh on occasion (the fact that nobody self-creates a Mexican spirit guide, for example… it is always Native American), or sometimes it makes me wonder how people can figure out how to put pants on in the mornings, but I digress.
I first started noticing clients who would report back to me that their spiritual issues were still occurring. I am always someone who is willing to learn what she has done wrong, or not noticed in a session, or could have done better, so with these people I will always go back and track the session (basically go over the session energetically) as well as look at the energies as they present now.
In a few cases (of course) something went askew (which I would then work on, as it was me screwing up, basically), in many other cases underlying patterns or energies were simply emerging that needed more work (one session is rarely enough for really complicated situations, unless the person is really ready to release everything they are carrying in rather short order)… but in other cases the issue was completely resolved. Whatever energy they were dealing with (spirit, curse, internal block/emotions/past trauma, etc) was resolved at a spiritual level.
Anyone who knows me, or who has read this blog, likely knows that I am not the sort who thinks that spirits or curses or exterior energy of any sort is not real, or is psychological, or you can simply wish it away. It would be nice if things were that simple (and sometimes they can be), but I have been around too many practitioners that can curse someone whether or not they believe in it and have an impact (for example), and have been around enough spirits to realize that being firm with them is helpful, but if they are attached they are often stuck and can’t leave even if you claim your “sovereignty”.
Basically, I have seen and experienced too much to have much invested in the psychological or new-age “stuff only happens if you want it to” approach that is ultimately self-serving and demeaning of anyone who is actually having difficulty with spiritual experiences.
But in many cases there are underlying emotional and mental factors. By this I mean that when spiritual healing happens… and the reason it is so powerful… is that our entire universe has to change. Our beliefs, our understandings about ourselves and others, what we know to be true about ourselves and the world (and ourselves in relation to the world) goes through a period of change whenever we truly heal something on the spiritual level.
Spiritual healing is deep healing. It gets to the source of whatever is going on– be that ancestral patterns, karmic ties, past lives, our own childhood, or an “external invasion” (outside influences creating issues for us).
But there is still the fact that the person has to then mentally and emotionally accept this healing, and be willing to integrate it enough to break the “loops”– the created thoughts, beliefs and understandings about themselves and the world that are repeating every day for them– so that their universe can change.
Some people do this incredibly well. They are ready and prepared for change, and their world rapidly shifts within an hour appointment (or the healing period after for a few weeks or month or two).
Others need to be walked through their own emotions and thoughts so they can be a bit more prepared. This is part of the work of a spiritual healer as well– to make sure that the healing can take root as much as possible.
No matter the source, in spiritual healing there is always an aspect of personal responsibility– either the reaction to the event(s) or energies, or an adding on to those energies– that must be navigated. Put more simply, if a belief, trauma, or blockage was created in a past life, in your present life you will add on to it through your own experiences as well as your reaction to having that energy with you.
But there are some that are not ready for a world shift, and so the experience, whatever it may be, continues in part or in full… until the person is willing to look inward at their own reasons for holding on to the experience and repeating it.
The above is not to blame, by the way. We are all complex creatures with many reasons for being. We heal by working with the spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental aspects of any complex situation. Some of us can get hung up on the “mental” aspect of things and not be willing or ready to let go of the loop, even though the experience and energy has passed.
We can also create a spiritual experience out of our own displaced emotions and thoughts.
A slightly different topic, but still within this context of muddy “creation”. There are of course people out there who claim to be cursed, or having some sort of really difficult spiritual experience because they want attention, or because they don’t want to look at some facet of their lives. I used to see a lot of this on message boards and groups when I participated in them.
I also see a lot in my work people who are interested in spiritual “stuff” because it pulls them away from their lives and their own traumas and inner pain. Spiritual bypass is a powerful thing, and we are all guilty of it at one point or another. But some really hold on to titles and experiences and spiritual work as a form of escapism.
There are also others who want to believe they are having a spiritual experience, or do things like go to places where they know spirits are, to constantly be in need of assistance from spiritual healers. These are typically the types who have gone to twenty healers and “nobody has helped”. As there are a lot of people muddling through the spiritual realms without much capability, it is understandable if someone has been to one, or five, spiritual healers who haven’t been of much assistance. But chances are if someone has been to a lot of healers that someone will be able to have an impact on them of some sort.
But there are also people who, due to spiritual ability or intense emotions, can actually create a spiritual experience.
What does this mean? It means that there are some people with such intense anxiety, fear, anger, and so forth that they create thoughtforms. Thoughtforms are basically emotions plus thoughts (yes, I am going simple here).
Thoughtforms can be shaped by skilled energy workers into really anything (and can be quite useful to do).
But if someone is struggling with intense emotions that they are unable to process, and/or have disassociated from, they can create all sorts of spiritual energies and experiences. Demonic energies, spirits, stuff moving in the house, shadows, “bad vibes” and so forth.
The difficulty with this is that a lot of spiritual workers don’t know how to look for this. They will look at the situation and see a spirit, or entity of some sort. And it is not like it isn’t there. But typically “cleansing/clearing” methods will not work in these situations. This is because unless the person works through their intense emotions and learns how to cycle energy properly (through exercise, meditation, etc) the situation will simply recreate itself again and again.
With any sort of intense spiritual experience there will need to be emotional factors looked at (For example, I have worked with several people now who had no concept of any sort of spiritual work, or interest in it, who were actually cursed, and had to deal with the repercussions of knowing that someone actually can be cursed, even if they don’t believe or have any understanding of anything about curses, or spiritually related).
There are often underlying factors with spiritual experiences as well. Simply put, there is a reason why a lot of things (not all) came to be. Ancestral patterns, past lives, stuff from this life– intense spiritual experiences don’t just come out of nowhere. They have reasons for being, and unless the underlying factors are worked with (the original trauma healed, typically), the person is still open for more intense spiritual experiences that will manifest similarly.
It really is about 70/30 for people who are actually willing to hear this (that their own emotions and thoughts have caused or contributed to a situation, about 70 percent are willing to listen to me, in full or in part). The other 30 percent really need to believe that their situation is purely externally spiritual, so they don’t need to take any sort of personal responsibility for it.
And I will mention again that I am not a “psychological shaman”– meaning I do not think that everything spiritual is actually psychological, or can be fixed by psychological methods– but I do understand that our psychology and our directed thoughts/emotions create our outer world, and even our spiritual reality.
So the question always when I discuss things like this is what to do, or how to notice them.
The basic answer to this is that any sort of intense or enduring spiritual experience needs to be worked with at spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical levels. If one of those levels is missing, the person doesn’t heal as well as they could.
The other basic answer to this is that anyone who is having spiritual experiences that “loop”, that are happening again and again, need to be looked at in a different way.
The other answer is that if typically clearing methods don’t work, or if the person has been to twenty healers and there has been no change, things need to be looked at in a different way.
The other unfortunate answer to this is that people will heal as much as they are ready to. Asking someone to completely shift their reality is a big deal. Some people are really up for it– I have done sessions where I have cleared an entire ancestral line as well as personal emotions, thoughts, and experiences in reaction to that energy in one session. These people will never be the same– not because of something that I did (well, yes, I did play a part, but…) but because they were ready for it.
One of the hardest things that I have had to learn is that people will release their illusions, their pain, and their beliefs if and when they are ready to. I can be there as support, but I simply do the best I can in each session, and if the person is willing to take a giant leap forward, or one step forward, or no steps forward, that is entirely their call.
In our own lives, we can consider our own illusions. We can consider our spiritual experiences and how they reflect our inner process(es). We can consider our beliefs– what we know to be true about ourselves and about the world– and question them. We can work on ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. And we can continually open, and be willing to open, to new beliefs, understandings, and realizations (however difficult they may be) about ourselves, about the world, and about spirit.