But I still have most my marbles now.
Ever really wondered what it would be like to lose your "mind"? I have early-stage CADASIL (Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Sub-Cortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy). It is a genetic condition I inherited from my mother (who died in 2004, had discovered in 1992 she had it, but did not tell her kids we were at risk; all four were smokers). She inherited it from her father (his sister had it, too). Smoking is among the worst things a person with CADASIL can do; the cousins were also smokers along with the next generation. My aunt (died in 1997 of CADASIL) and uncle has it and passed it on to their kids (one of my uncle's kids committed suicide; I blogged on him -- I am certain he had CADASIL) and my affected siblings have passed it on, but all have not been tested; one family member was recently diagnosed in the hospital.
I chose not to have children, along with one cousin and my great-aunt, so the three of us "committed" genetic suicide. People struggle greatly with whether or not to get tested when a serious familial disease is a 50/50 chance. I did not want to take the risk of becoming largely symptomatic behind the wheel of a car and taking total strangers into the next life with me. I felt a personal obligation to know.
Some spouses get angry when they find out their kids are likely going to have the CADASIL experience, and many with CADASIL have expressed guilt for having it and passing it on. These emotional burdens make many too fearful to face it. I have at least 20 people in my family whom I believe have not tested, although they could have and not shared the results.
I am 54, and was diagnosed in 2007, when my younger cousin had a major stroke from CADASIL at age 44. He has resided in a care home to this day, much of the $7,000+ monthly cost paid by the Veteran's Administration, Social Security and Medicare. He does nothing all day but sit in a wheelchair as he cannot walk unassisted due to the half-body strokes CADASIL is known for (hemiplegia), and sleeps. His talking is minimal, he is completely blind in one eye and not much vision in the other eye. This is likely my future.
Right now, I have sleep disturbances, emotional "lability" (aka Mood Disorders... panic attacks, depersonalization/derealization, depression, perseveration, mild compulsions -- e.g., desire to "fix things"), verbosity, and I forget things. I have had several episodes of pseudo-bulbar palsy, and cry when I mean to laugh and laugh when I mean to cry. I have lost days twice, where I was apparently functioning but have absolutely no recall of it. One time, I remember standing at the stove and looking at my cell phone (this was years ago after diagnosis; the phone was in a leather case). The next thing I remember, I was in a store, it was the next day. My cell phone was ringing, and the leather case was gone. We never did find that leather case.
My short-term memory has me repeating myself, remembering and then forgetting, able to remember when reminded, and doing silly things. I found the ice cream in the refrigerator, not the freezer, this morning after serving my husband last night (I am having "Sundowning Syndrome" which means that all my symptoms are worse as the sun sets). Doctors think it is due to the chemical imbalances multiple small repetitive strokes cause, affecting the circadian rhythm and melatonin levels in the brain.
The brain is like the motherboard of a computer... when it starts to go, press Alt F forever and get no results. It frustrates me that so few people can understand that those of us with brain damage are doing the best we can. I was actually informed by a person who had read Bruce Lipton's work on DNA that I did not have a genetic defect but that I just wanted attention and to be taken care of. Those New Agers who believe that we can think ourselves well even when DNA is faulty would probabably never go to a person born without a hand and inform them they can grow another one if they just think correctly. Sheesh! They seem to think if they yell at us we will do better. That in itself is abusive since many with CADASIL like me have Auditory Processing Disorder -- my hearing is fine, but my brain scrambles speech. It often sounds to me like people are speaking gibberish. Added to that, I have Hyperacusis, which means my brain cannot weed out extraneous noise -- I hear everything, all the time. It gives me a feeling of fingernails scratching on the chalkboard; constant irritation. I flee from noise. Only the sounds of nature are good for me, but that doesn't include things like repetitive dogs barking. I have custom-fitted earplugs that reduce by 27% the decibel level, but in order to function in social settings like grocery stores, I really need them worn with noise-canceling earphones while playing white noise in the background. This renders me effectively deaf and requiring lip reading skills which leads to the next difficulty -- concentration.
Now, bright lights are affecting me, with pain, and the issue of "brain clutter" is affecting me. I can be looking for something in the pantry, for example, but because there are so many things in the pantry I won't see it even when it is right before my face.
Because the strokes are happening all over my brain, the affected part will show symptoms, but I will also have the symptoms of visual "aura", the precursor to migraine and the visual disturbances that go with it. Usually I experience a slow onset although occasional fast onset of complete numbness to one side of my body, like a light switch being turned off occurs, and it has happened to both sides at once, especially to my face, mouth, tongue and eye. Then I talk very poorly. In one recent mini-stroke, I was actually trying to come into Experience Project and couldn't spell my screen name. My husband was with me and when he understood what was happening, he told me my brain wasn't working because Flowers was not spelled with a PHlowers no matter how many times I tried. He went to get me L-Arginine and Xanax, which helps the symptoms but there is no cure and no real treatment for CADASIL. It is now classified as a rare disease, but it is becoming known that many cases of Multiple Sclerosis and Alzheimer's are actually my disease, and those wrong diagnoses can be rectified with a DNA test by Athena/Quest Laboratories which holds the CADASIL test patent at this time.
There... off topic... impaired concentration. I cannot do two things at once yet my poor crippled brain is valiantly striving to remember all and provide to you the information I want to convey.
Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor, in her wonderfully written book, "My Stroke of Insight" explained it beautifully. As a neuroscientist and long-time member of NAMI (National Association for the Mentally Ill) she watched herself have a massive cerebral accident and lived to tell about it. Her original interest stemmed from her difficulties on behalf of her schizophrenic brother.
In short, my concentration IS short, I am easily frustrated, it is like attention deficit disorder to an extreme... but since my short-term memory is going, that doesn't affect my long-term memory, so I remember myself as I was... provably intelligent, capable, resourceful, knowledgeable, coordinated... and the remembrance "makes" me so angry. When your body does things you don't want or like, it is anger-inducing. Since I am declining in a step-wise fashion with shorter and shorter periods of stability and greater symptoms when they occur, on occasion I forget I am ill and them WHAM... pissed off again. But increased blood pressure from anger triggers more strokes! LOL! Catch-22!
The same part of the brain that helps with walking, is associated with verbal skills. I have little sense of balance now, and with my eyes closed I have none at all. My husband calls these FDGB (fall down go boom). Funny guy, eh? He is being deeply affected by my CADASIL, of course, but has chosen to stay with me. So I have times where I just fall. In the middle of the night, I fell in the bathroom, tearing the meniscus in my left knee. I was completely disoriented, calling for my husband. Scary. I have a bed rail now, so I don't accidentally fall out of bed. In large outdoor spaces it is easier to stay upright than in small congested areas like supermarkets, so there I usually use a cane (I have a walker I have to use on occasion, and already have my wheelchair in possession, for the stage that precedes being totally bedridden).
So, I have neuropathy... pain and numbness, as my circulation fails. Massive leg cramps, often in the middle of the night, at home and in public (strangers get really startled when you express the pain of a toe-to-buttock leg cramp that starts without warning). I have found that keeping my feet on a heating pad does help to eliminate many of those episodes, but due to numbness, I have to be careful. My CADASIL sister was leaning on a heating pad and got second-degree burns.
Along with the neuropathy which strikes anywhere in my body like twitching eye/jumping vision, come the least attractive symptoms... bladder incontinence which is not constant with me... yet... and eventually fecal incontinence. My cousin is in diapers 24/7. He just turned 51.
So related to that issue is my increasing difficulty in finding words. For somebody with certified IQ test results putting me in the top 3% verbally, this is excruciating. I HAVE to express myself. But now, without my notice, a seatbelt is now a suitcase, a bowl is "that round thing you put food in" -- and worst of all -- being stuck! People have no patience for that and they throw out words to help me, not realizing that by doing that I lose my train of thought entirely. Arghhhh! Sometimes it comes back ("delayed memory") and sometimes it is just gone. And it is getting worse.
I have to eat slowly because I choke. While people in the past have had feeding tubes, it has been discovered that they are not good in demented people who cannot understand what it is and try to remove it. Many people with CADASIL inhale food, drink, saliva, and pass from pneumonia.
Personally, I am rooting for a massive stroke to the brain stem, in my sleep. Bye-bye, cruel world! LOL! I do believe in euthanasia, though, so that is an area to explore. I see no point in spending years bed-bound tied to caretakers, many of whom have been exposed to be criminals, abuses caught on tape. The other of my blogs explain that I so do not believe this is the only life. I have a detailed Advanced Medical Directive that is carried with me in my bolsa always.
We can develop hallucinations. Oh joy. My brain plays hide-and-seek with me (I can go all around looking for something that is in one of my hands all along). I drop things, sometimes the same thing several times, and so I don't allow myself glass, although my iPad is on a Pod Fob, which I love. I tie things to my purse (everything has a lanyard) because either I drop things and break them or I lose them entirely.
I can't change subjects easily like I used to. I have trouble with ambiguity (yes and no answers are best). I talk over other people because the timing in my brain is off, and if I try to hold a thought, it goes away. I am not rude, I am ill; boy do unaware people scold! I say what I think, because the censor in my brain is becoming useless, and I cuss a lot! That pisses people off as well. They want me to be... a Lady! Bwahahahaha!
My great-aunt used to go wandering the streets without her clothes on, just a slip. The neighbors were made aware, the local police were aware, and my aunt would go and get her. She was placed in a nursing home at 61 years old. The aunt I just mentioned died of CADASIL at 57, and it is her son I speak of who is now 51 and living in an institution. I will be 55 soon.
CADASIL is different in every person even within a family. My disease could progress more slowly, but stress really brings it on. For 4-5 days after an episode, I am foggy, very tired, and very emotional. I have had a couple of "catastrophic reactions”; a non-violent person, I may end up violent if the strokes affect that part of my brain. I threw my wheelchair and walker into the yard, yelling, "I don't want to do this anymore!" It is weird, watching oneself behave in such a way. But hey, mostly I forget about it! Hehehe!
Friends have deserted me, unbelieving that my ability to manage my emotions is fading. The losses of CADASIL are so extreme I can't even quantify it, but I can tell you I don't know this person I am becoming.
Always self-sufficient and independent, I cannot now live alone. Eventually, the cabinets will have child proof locks on them, the stove will have the knobs removed and I will be unable to go even around the neighborhood alone for risk of getting lost.
I am exhausted and in pain (fibromyalgia), and I can get less and less done. The early hours of the day are my best, but I am being forced to shut down early. I make so many more mistakes in the late afternoon and on.
One movie was made which included a sanitized version of a lawyer character with CADASIL (a true story, "The Sea Inside"). But dementia is ugly, even when it is early stage like mine is. It gets worse with age. And the scariest thing is the statistics... CADASIL aside, 1 in 7 in the USA will develop dementia. It is an epidemic.
So, my closing is a plea to all who read this to practice kindness when you see somebody who is not okay... it may one day be you.
In 1997, my Aunt Christy (mother's sister) died from CADASIL, the same genetic disease I have. She had her first stroke at age 35 and passed at 57 or 59.
One day, as I was alone in my apartment, I suddenly heard her voice very clearly. She said, "I came to say good-bye". I was surprised a little, but had been studying metaphysics for years by then. I said in my mind, "Oh, okay! Well, good-bye!"
I remember looking at the clock (I think it was around 3:15, but don't exactly remember. Could look up her death certificate, but not going to bother). She was living in Minnesota, and I was living in Nevada, so she was two hours ahead of me. I got a call around 5:15 from my nephew in Minnesota, Andy, who is about 35 as of this writing and also has CADASIL. He said, "I have some bad news". I said, "I know, Christy died". He was startled and asked me how I knew. I told him she had just come by to say good-bye. He was freaked out, having been raised in traditional christian silliness and having no experiences in this type of thing. He got off the phone quick.
She had a hard time living with CADASIL (it is a baaaaad thing to have), and according to her son, my cousin Brian who has been in a nursing home since 2007 (age 44, his first stroke was a biggie) Christy had begged him to kill her. She wanted out of that body so badly and could still talk. He couldn't do it and finally, she passed with a hemmorrhagic stroke (a full bleed).
Spirit communication can be real or can be faked. The real communication always comes through love. I didn't know Christy loved me. We didn't have a relationship, really, never talked. I have a memory where as a child about 10 or so,I was really angry with her aboiut something, because she thought I lied and used bad judgment and I had to prove to her that I had not. I have another memory where she caught me hiding in a closet because I had accidentally hurt Brian when we were playing, and in my own home that was worth a beating. She asked me why I was in the closet, but didn't investigate why a child would be so scared as to hide in closet from an honest mistake, and so the abuse in my home continued. She came to visit me when I was about 24 and living in Mt. Charleston with a guy (definitely a dud!), and I never knew why. I thought she wanted a mountain retreat and I had one, but I didn't think it was because she liked me or wanted to spend time with me.
I write these things as a disclosure insofar as people never really know if they are loved by family members, and only through love can real spirit communication occur. Since I didn't feel loved, it was her love that allowed the message to come, unless she was helped by her spirit guides and mine.
I dreamed about her last night, but the real theme of the dream was about feeling unloved.
The conclusion of THIS aspect of the ONE (me) is that ACIM erred in choosing to teach that the world was made as an attack upon god. The "big bang" (Mr. Wapnick uses it, too) was that there was no attack; rather, the ONE had the experience stemming from the thought, "What if I were multiple?". Being First Cause, and time not existing even now although experiential time does appear to exist (unreality appearing real to the uninitiated) god is and always was simply being its Grand Self. All the ego really does is keep the idea in "Effect" for those aspects of the ONE who wish to play in the dark.
In deepest meditation once, I asked, "What do you look like?", although I already knew a non-corporeal entity many refer to as Spirit could not have an appearance. Nevertheless, I experienced a vision, a picture of "Home" where all still is, never having left ("Ideas leave not their source"). It was an indescribable light made of uncountable other "pieces" of light, existing in a void which represented as darkness, but that was only the surface. Within the void were uncountable other pieces of light, of varied brightness, all depending on how "close" they were to the Grand Self. Those farthest from the ONE perceptually did not reflect much light at all, and those snippets of the ONE furthest away (we all know that space doesn't exist anymore than time does) could barely be perceived at all and did not perceive "others" at all.
Those snippets were not even aware there was a ONE or other aspects of ONE. "They" are not ready yet, and the idea expressed in ACIM that even a bright light turned on in the bedroom of a child experiencing a nightmare could make the child more fearful and not less, so the concept of fearfulness of the light until readiness to abandon the dark is valid.
So, to recognize ourselves to have never left because "we" can't is and was no attack upon god, but that the ego tool of fear exists, is very perceptual. The ONE is really a "leela" and when "we" have played out gory AND bliss fantasies, the laying aside of the identity is done. Each thought of the ONE is each of us. Many have returned, but ACIM teaches that together we left, only together can we return. I believe that to be a confusion also. In channeling, errors are made. Helen's known ambiguity towards "Jesus" could be explainable insofar as there is no Jesus, either. The master souls move into the deepest part of the ONE and back out into perception until their identity can release the need to exist.
Personally, I adore the idea of releasing personality. I HAVE had enough. In personality is the conflict of separate interests and the ONE does not need this personality in which to be whole, because it never split.
That's all. I ecommend everybody take the Meyer's-Briggs on-line test ("know thyself, be honest").
Your personality type: "Independent Thinker"
Independent, original, analytical and determined. Have an exceptional ability to turn theories into solid plans of action. Highly value knowledge, competence and structure. Driven to derive meaning from their visions. Long-range thinkers. Have very high standards for their performance and the performance of others. Natural leaders, but will follow if they trust existing leaders.
Careers that could fit you include:
Scientists, engineers, professors, teachers, medical doctors, dentists, corporate strategists, organization founders, business administrators, managers, military, lawyers, judges, computer programmers, system analysts, computer specialists, psychologists, photographers, research department managers, researchers, university instructors, chess pla
Tip: Place the mouse cursor over the bars for explanations of the terms.
Renowned persons with similar personality types:
Arnold Schwarzenegger, bodybuilder, actor and governor of California
Julius Caesar Augustus, Roman emperor
Donald Rumsfeld, former U.S. secretary of defense
Dwight D. Eisenhower, American president
Isaac Newton, astronomer
Ivan Lendl, tennis champion
Jane Austen, author
Lance Armstrong, cyclist
Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor
Thomas Jefferson, American president
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Seems to me that the process of spiritual development is to “read the books” (get “learned”), not necessarily literally insofar as illiterate folk can also become learned. Then the next step seems to be teaching others (whether they want to learn your curriculum or not; become an expert! Gain followers! Create an indoctrination! Spread the holy doctrine!) That step involves taking the book apart (how was the binding created? How many pages? What color is the ink? Which book is larger, more important? Which contains more precise “truths”? How popular is this one over that one?)
This is, of course, about religion/philosophy/physics (and/or any other process) where the thinking (sometimes falsely decreed as revealed by a prophet) was expressed by another human, and involves simply being learned (mostly by rote) by the other person. It involves studying treatises such as bibles and korans (along with a large number of lesser known treatises dubbing themselves or being accorded the honor of being the one true way). It includes established processes such as numerology, astrology, tarot or other divination practices, meditation in all forms including the hypnotic styles such as chanting, mala beads or the rosary, walking meditation, yoga and tai chi, proscribed prayer, channeling, etc. Many are the “experts”!
This is the thing, however – it is (ironically) warned in a lot of doctrines NOT to get addicted to a process (the “learned” mind can’t learn). But I have myself been, and now see others get addicted to the processes of spiritual development which ironically stops the process entirely. The purpose of these things is to release the need for these things, up to and including the desire for these things. It is all about learning to turn “inward” and learning from an unadulterated source. Some call it God, and some call it personal revelation.
I am in the (temporary?) state of concluding that in order to grow and develop there is a process of steps – none of which can be skipped at all, although self-delusion is common – and they are strategically ordered from the highest level of existence (from the Source). Step A to B to C… there is no A to Z without the steps in between. Ironically, I held to the belief for a while there that I could find Nirvana (or Samadhi, or Ecstasy or the Cosmic Orgasm or whatever name you choose) and then stay there forever. Seeing it from where I am now, that premise was an absolutely ridiculous idea!
So if a beginning stage (Step A) is to recognize a spiritual existence beyond the mere physical, and the next stage (Step B) is looking around for answers (usually by talking to others, joining religious, philosophical or exploratory groups which leads to reading and studying doctrines and comparative philosophies, to the practice of those doctrines, etc.) then that process (because it is a huge collection of material growing by the moment) can absorb and even obsess the spiritual student. I see this happening everywhere. It is where an addiction to belief is formed, and usually grows from a sense of vulnerability.
One of the pitfalls of spiritual growth (Step C) is discarding the useless for the useful which is very difficult because it is nearly impossible in the beginning to tell the two apart. Another pitfall (Step D?) is to try to gain as many converts to your own beliefs as possible (as if all paths don’t lead to the great what is in any event except when a person becomes so indoctrinated as to refuse to consider any new information, and even then eventually they will surrender false beliefs after playing them out). Then there is the Teacher Complex (Step E?) where a person declares themselves to be fully enlightened, and capable of leading you; capable of undertaking their own spiritual growth and yours too, by the way. This particular step is quite seductive because it plays to the human ego which is, in its existence, necessary for growth and yet a greatly inhibitive factor towards spiritual growth (we need the “weight” of ego in order to release the need for ego – paradoxical, but, I suspect, true). That is, all beliefs that define a person become a trap in and of themselves. It is in learning NOT to form beliefs that we find our Self.
This step can go on for a long time (lifetimes perhaps?) until the person comes to the realization that they are in and of themselves as a personality, NOT responsible for the growth of another entity and that they were either preaching to the choir or feeding a silly superiority complex (all superiority complexes stem from inferiority complexes). At the point that they recognize the uselessness of teaching (each soul has to do the work on its own anyway), then they go on (Step F). This doesn’t mean they don’t teach, however, but rather that an aspect of their beingness is sharing themselves with others, which translates to “teaching” but does not know itself to be that, as such. They teach by example, but don’t necessarily know themselves to be teachers.
Step F is the practice of their teachings within themselves. The old saying, “many can talk the talk, but few can walk the walk” is relative here. While spending energy convincing the self and others that they have got it together becomes a cosmic joke to themselves! They were merely delusional! Then, ironically, they can once again embrace being human (you know it isn’t possible to be religious and human at the same time, for the first thing most religions do is to “outlaw” humanness, therefore making spiritual progress impossible to find but hypnotizing people into a false sense of security and superiority; it also keeps it firmly in the hands of a church group or religious icon of some sort, adding a second la
Step G involves the concept – “Question everything!” The soul doesn’t accept or reject any idea on its face, but instead comes from a place of neutrality where the ideas are examined in minute detail for relevancy (almost an echo of Step B). This can only happen when the soul has come to develop a sense of security in a belief that “All will be well, all will be well; all manner of things will be well.” In reality (IMHO), the bouncing between Step B and Step G can go on for eons of time (which doesn’t really exist, by the way). But each time the bounces occur, the student can go a bit higher and gain a bit more clarity. While “simple awareness can be curative”, and while “a-ha’s” can and do occur, they do not occur spontaneously without lifetimes of work (and if they did, there would be no process to spiritual growth – it would be the miracle cure, a hidden concept subscribed to by many religions). While I love the idea of miracle cures and do not dispute that miracles can and do occur, they are generally wrongly defined and looked upon as “magic”, yet can only occur when the soul has developed to the point of being able to receive them (the Great What Is isn’t into scare tactics; the soul might be deeply startled and unsettled, but fear would render a miracle a mistake, which they never are). A miracle unnoticed is without value, and so miracles seem to be in the realm of development resulting from prior steps consolidating into an understanding whereby the prior step is completely finished (at which time a true teacher can teach the concept to others by examples (words are dead – even these words) but cannot do the work for them. If you think it is ironic that I write this, continue on.
The next Step, H, seems to involve a withdrawal from the world, as such (ancient saying, “I am not in the world; the world is in me”). It takes a lot to understand that everything we are and experience is a result of our own soul’s desires, and those desires are ba
Since “nice” is a societal standard and varies greatly, one can imagine that it is not of lasting value, only believing makes it so. And it is belief that is being released. Yet multiple tomes, written by those considered the most holy, preach respect, reverence, adoration, kindnesses to others, harmonious interactions, selfless giving. And so who am I to say these have no value? Read on, but keep in mind that we are only on Step H, with more to come!
Step I – With the acceptance that the world is not real comes an understanding of paradoxes (two opposing viewpoints of disparate nature are often both true) and speaks to levels of understanding or comprehension. Yet ironically, levels do not exist either (it is a matter of focus). Levels of understanding indicate that truth is a matter of spiritual development, which is why an absolute belief cannot be managed spiritually. For a “younger” soul, there is right and wrong, and that belief brings relief – the Universe is sane! For an “older” soul, there is the knowledge which discards the idea that our behaviors determine our eternal outcomes (heaven and hell) along with the idea that belief makes it so. The soul at this step has come to recognize that all things are of its’ own making and so the idea that we live and we die (while true at one level) is absolutely false at another. Hence, the paradox. The soul at this level would not commit suicide for the recognition that all things that have occurred have done so at the desire of one’s own soul, and for a reason due to belief; such a belief played out adds weight to the personality and so it is played out again (and again and again). If the soul felt (from a non-corporeal level) that certain experiences were to occur and were needed to be played out, why would the soul then leave the lesson half-learned? So a person can “burn in hell”, yes – by belief making it seem real. Ironically, however, a person cannot commit one’s self to heaven. Read on (or don’t; it makes no difference because conclusions are beliefs, too; solidified beliefs leading to another experience.)
Step J then involves the release of ideas of constraint, such as being overwhelmed, or facing heaven and hell as realities, and certainly involve beliefs about life and death (not to mention illness or health). We have the ancient idea of a correlation to “as above, so below” here – bad behavior in the world is reflected in condemnation in the eternal (or so we are taught to believe – wrap it all up nicely with a bow on top; the box is empty!) But it is only another belief, and needs to be shed. Therefore, I am not talking about spiritual growth as a need to be right or wrong, nice or not nice, being holy or unholy, being continuously reverent or otherwise elevating one’s self emotionally for the purpose of being a good example to others or any other artificial standard. How can the world not be real? We see it, we perceive it! There are natural laws, such as gravity! If we don’t breathe, we don’t live; if we don’t live, we don’t exist! Heresy! But wait…
This leads to Step K – there is only one existence in the Universe and all that is, is THAT. Therefore, there is no life or death, but simply the appearance of it. So, what of being nice towards each other, of compassion, caring, respect, reverence, adoration, kindnesses to others, harmonious behavior the most important thing – don’t, oh please – don’t rock the boat!? Scratch my back and I will scratch yours and we will both be the better for it! My source is of the World and you are of the World; I have needs in this World and without you I cannot have them met. That is the thinking of the world.
That is dualism – I can only see me if I can see you; I can only understand if I make you understand. I cannot know myself without knowing you. I can only survive if you allow me to. And here another insane thought process solidified into a belief comes under fire – that I exist separately from you. At this level, the idea of separation becomes ridiculous. And still, paradoxically, it is true. For while we are here at this physical level or believe ourselves to be, even as we work to free ourselves of such useless beliefs, we have experiences of physical suffering. Or do we?
People under deep hypnosis, or yogis well trained after decades of study and practice into the real nature of beingness and the physical body can endure things which others cannot. Did a Jesus exist and if so, did he suffer on the cross? If Jesus saw himself as existing and as being a physical entity, then he did, in fact, suffer (“as you believe, so too will you be; god if you thinketh god, dust if you thinketh dust). But the lesson of Jesus was that he was also the One, and that the world doesn’t exist. And so, he did not suffer. But others, not having done the work of the great Guru, did not understand this and so created doctrine and false beliefs, which have been growing and dying out and rising again from the ashes of belief ever since. For those trapped within those beliefs, all is a matter of life and death (somewhat of a joke to evolved souls). What actually suffers and dies? The ego and the body, both of which are false beliefs (the body stemming from a belief in separation, but of itself nothing – pain is experienced in the mind, for the body is an effect of cause and nothing more although at the lower levels it is everything and must be protected and defended at all costs.) This concept is the higher harmonic to Step H (the world does not exist, except that belief makes it so).
This leads to Step L, which is highly heretical: no crime has ever occurred, no wrong-doing ever committed, no offense against man or God exists -- for we never left our real Self, and in that real Self we are all One being. This means that forgiveness has no value, nor does punishment. (The French say, “To understand all is to forgive all”). This is a slap in the face to every soul who has believed itself to have been betrayed, abused, having suffered either mentally or physically, or who believes their beloved others to have likewise been forced to endure; because it says that it never happened. It was all just a bad dream, in the Mind of the One. However, the human ego builds entire personalities ba
Step M – That which is within me is within you for you and I do not exist as separate entities but rather as different facets to the one diamond. The saying, “I do not see the world as it is – I see it as I am” is true and so each of the prior steps must be played out until they have lost their appeal – a taste for the unreal is no longer spiritually satisfying to the hunger in my soul; it was all empty calories and never nourished me, but until I became so nutritionally depleted, I hadn’t noticed!
If I am mean to you, can I be mean to you? If I disrespect you, can I disrespect you? Those egotistical concepts are entrancing and addicting. There is much appetite in the idea of power, and power means “making” you do this or that, or “making” you feel this or that. Am I pulling your strings? Or am I exorcising from myself the idea that I can force something to be? If my beliefs and expectations tell me that you are reactive to me, then I hold close to me the silly concept of dualism. If you react and you slay me in punishment for my disrespect to you, do I then die? No. The body does, but that was just a matter of belief. It – is -- all – just – a – matter – of – belief. And over “the course of lifetimes” that is all it has ever been. And so?
Step N -- Love thyself! For that is all there is. I am here for having not yet faced all my self, all my egotistical demands and expectations (I want this, I don’t want that – concepts of multiplicity.) I have not learned to continually embrace the concept of One, although I love to flirt with it! I have not yet learned to love myself, even as the accumulation of Steps comprising spiritual growth teaches again and again (but in a spiral fashion reaching further and further “up” the spiritual evolutionary scale) that all beliefs must be shed in order to embrace the end ("I am that I am".) Who is to say that is the end? I believe (and there is that damnable word again) that the surrender of my personality enables me to be what I truly am. And “you” are here with me because I have not yet done this.
Until I have completed this process to the level of full surrender of all beliefs, ideas and concepts that oppose what I truly am, I will circle my Self continuously, having played it all out almost endlessly, it seems, until I am truly “world weary”, and ready to move on. I am becoming very world weary. It seems to have lost its flavor! No, I am not clinically depressed. Psychologists would have put Buddha on Prozac, I think. But it is the metaphysical that fascinates me, and not the physical. Been here, done that, over and over.
When all the Steps have been encountered, and all spiritual work completed to the satisfaction of the One, then I have reached Z… and I am THAT. And THAT is without form, and without personality, and yet is as complete as it ever was – and it never changed, for it is timeless and changeless. It was all a dream… One is dreaming, and we are the Dreamer and the Dream, too, it seems.
When my love for my Self is the only love I know, and love truly is its’ own reward, then I cannot love you, for to do that I must still hold to the idea of separation! I can only love me. Even now, I cannot feel your love, I can only feel my own. And even my love is not my own love, it is the love of the One, and that is the only love that exists. It is not (trust me on this) the love for my own personality that even matters, but only the love of the One. Nothing else exists, and I no longer wish to pretend that it does. At times, in meditation, I can step outside my personality and know my real Self; when I know that beingness, and yet return to this non-beingness, it is still astounding for I am (“again”!) still “far” from my continual experience of the One. Oh, and, by the way? Consciousness is also not what I AM, for what that is worth. That Step is only starting to be revealed to me now. That is another trap of belief, another way of identification with personality! Awareness might be closer, but they are still just words.
So… the practice of love (see my blog on St. Bartholomew) is all vital. It isn’t about self-gratifying love for my personality but grasping and immersing myself totally in the real concept of love which is all for One, and One for all. It IS about seeing God, Allah, Brahmin, Atman, Source (not personalities like Buddha, Zoroaster, Jesus, Mohammed, any Hindu God/Goddess, etc.) in all that is perceived. No more compartmentalization. No more “my god’s better than your god”. Finding the One Self in all ideas as the generator of the ideas while not identifying with the ideas themselves… Finding and merging with the Source of creation in this Universe as in all other physical Universes… not rejecting the false ideologies which make those addictions seem real, but instead embracing the single Concept – that is what I find myself wrestling with on a near-daily basis (days do not exist!).
And now, I blog these concepts as an offering to my Self as One, both caring and not caring that you read it or rather that you understand me or do not, that you hear me or will not; and instead concerned with my own immersion in love, my fixation on seeing me as part of the One – willing to revert, as has been said, to be knowingly a mere drop in the ocean indistinguishable from any other drop, rather than a lake with a personality and name of its own.
I can state that I do not consider my self to be a good Lover of One at this “time”. I hold onto the idea that I am contemptuous of my ability to love as I judge me negatively most of the “time”. I am not kind to me, nor am I compassionate, nor am I understanding and forgiving of myself. And yet, I have improved! I can conceive of higher concepts of love now, and I can consider releasing the ideas of separation that bind me in multi-dimensional psychosis. Harsh? Yes. True? Only at this level; at the level of One I am already healed, for never was I fractured; I am still whole and I am still One. Holding onto my personality, the need or desire to be right/wrong, superior/inferior, vulnerable/all-powerful? Yep. That’s still “me” or rather, for the sake of greater accuracy I should say I still entertain those ideas as reality when they are only dark fairy tales.
And why should any of this be? Why are “we” enmeshed in this schizophrenic multiple personality disorder? Well, I suspect that the One (Cause) had a “thought” which instantaneously manifested in the Effect of multiplicity (the One “thought”, “What if I were multiple”? BIG BANG.)
And, so for now? “That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it”! (Until the next one comes along… and I have no more need of stories…)
1. As a reincarnationist, albeit one who doesn’t believe in time (each lifetime is a matter of focus as opposed to a linear experience, and all are happening at one time), I have to admit that perfectionism is a cosmic joke because a) I have all eternity to “get there”; b) I am already there; c: I never left there; d) I am already perfect and there is nothing to perfect and e) I was never NOT perfect (whatever perfect means, that is). Perfectly imperfect in some perceptions, and perfectly imperfect in others – all perceptions are needed to examine my spiritual Self which is already all things. I get the humor, finally! I am as perfect as a sinner as I am a saint.
2. I was recently “told” in spirit communication to focus on the eternal, rather than the temporary. So the sorting out process yields that the temporary includes but is not limited to physical reality, corporeal existence, personality, “experiences”, special relationships related to physical reality, life/death, body/gender identification, sexual identification, intelligence, able-bodiedness and health status, education and educational levels, location, appearance, opinions, political-party and religious identification, levels of understanding, finances, justice/injustice, social levels and acceptability including family size, friendships and other affiliations… practically all of which I can perceive with the temporary perception-instrument, the brain (which is, of course, very temporary).
The eternal would include love, light, energy, oneness, multi-dimensionality, vibrational focus, patience, interest, focus, completion, and freedom to name a few. Lots of people use the standard, “will it matter in 100 years” as to whether or not to attach importance. Very little truly does… and even then only when a person is in the right mind to perceive it (example: love as a factor of being means nothing to a “soul” who doesn’t embrace love).
3. The undoing of incorrect perception is less about releasing ideas of separation than it is about embracing the concept of “One”. The decision to undergo “undoing” means a release to attachment of this world. Each step of addiction surrendered, cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, food, physical gratification, accruing things, awards, recognition, attainment (anything that glorifies “us” as personalities), means a lightening of spirit resulting in less magnetization to the physical world, and less need to continue to perceive lifetimes. This is why yogis go off with nothing to nowhere to achieve no-thing – so as to break the “I want” nature, which is endemic to this physical reality and which keeps us here. Insisting we need so and so or can’t be happy is in itself an addiction. Needing perfect health and, taken to an extreme, needing food and air, are still (in the “end”) aberrations because what we are is independent of physical reality (although granted, this world does feel very real, especially pain and disability). But since it is temporary (see #2 above) it can’t really be eternal and therefore the focus must remain on the eternal and a release as much as possible on the temporary.
About 35 years ago, I met Origen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origen). Origen is a well-documented prolific early writer of the forming Christian church.
I was studying Metaphysics with my first teacher, Ann Hann, and I was a teenager. We were practicing meditative techniques, and had been doing so for some time by then. I had not had any peak meditative experiences yet, and was of the belief that the practice of meditation was sufficient merely for the practice of it, which is true -- up to a point; it is also a preparatory tool for learning to discern different realities of existence. I knew there was a lot I had yet to learn, but I had not done much reading or discussion on the topic at the point; I had just joined a Religious Science Church (not to be confused with Scientology), and was beginning to read Ernest Holmes. Ann had me read, “The Prophet”, by Kahlil Gibran, a book which I love to this day. I am not now nor have I been for years affiliated with any churches. I have outgrown them, although I still pop in to different churches for the experience of different beliefs, as a hobby of sorts.
With metaphysics, the difference between observational training/learning and experiential knowledge was beyond my ken at that time (you can talk the talk or you can walk the walk, these being different experiences;) of the two, of course, the walk is more important but for the purpose of teaching others it is important to learn to talk of it as best as we can. Even though I have now had my share of peak spiritual experiences (some of which I have blogged here at EP) I can see the difference when people intellectualize their spiritual knowledge versus when they have really experienced it, because those with experience rarely have the words to express it – always, we get to the point where we just throw up our hands and say (in essence), “There are no words to describe it” (and then we always try! LOL!) I have learned that no soul can do the work for another soul, and that religion can sometimes teach form but not substance, and that the purpose of religion is to learn to get knowledge from within, thus abandoning religion.
Ann and I were in meditation one day – when suddenly, it seemed, a lightning bolt appeared in the tiny room, filling it up, reaching the ceiling and beyond, but stayed there. I KNEW something was happening, but didn’t know what it was. I tried to stay in my meditative state (relaxed body, alert mind) and asked Ann, “What is this?” Ann said, “This is my Master, Origen. He came today to bring you love!”
So simple, this message, and yet so profound; I learned that day that there are Masters (who knew?!). I learned about “light bodies” (physical bodies are the densest ex
I had noticed that Ann often came out of meditation with tears running down her face, but I didn’t understand that either before this experience. Now I did, because I had tears of my own! The profound energy of purest love brings tears of joy every time. I asked her what he was like because it seemed to me he was so tall, and she said that he was in that lifetime extremely tall and still manifests as a tall being. She told me some of her experiences with Origen.
She told me of traveling with Origen out of her body to a teaching realm that Origen often inhabits (literally, a cave often with a fire burning in it; where he did much of his early writing) and she told me of meeting another of his students while there.
Later, near the end of Ann’s life (2003), she and I were talking about Masters. She told me of the time she inadvertently offended Origen (she was with him, and routinely perceived him as wearing a hooded brown robe tied with rope and sandals. She said that she usually saw him with his hood on, but one time it fell down, revealing his entire head. She was surprised, and exclaimed, “Oh! You’re bald!” (In fact, he had a tonsure, which was an old style monk hairstyle and religious practice, where the top of the head is shaved bald, leaving only a ring of hair.) She said he was a bit abrupt and seemed annoyed; he pulled his hood back to the top of his head. Since he wasn’t in a physical body (or perhaps he did manifest it for her – this point I am not clear on: I met Origen in his "light body"), it is interesting that any attachment to any physical appearance could be any factor of any sort for a Master as skilled as Origen.
I was telling her about my Master (I prefer the term spirit guide) Malikeh, and how I had inadvertently insulted him (I won’t, out of deep respect, repeat it here -- but let me tell you, I was gently corrected on that behavior). Until she shared with me that experience with Origen and I shared back this story with Malikeh, I didn’t know that spirit Masters are NOT YET perfected beings, but that they are far beyond my own spiritual development and continue their own by guiding us as we request and as they are ready to do (another example of how/why we are all ONE) – we need each other to practice LOVE! Like teachers in the human realm, they are not all-knowing even in the subjects in which they specialize, but certainly human teachers have much to teach us; some of them have teachers too (as they pursue higher learning themselves).
Ann told me that all the best masters know each other, a thought that hadn’t even occurred to me, but which makes so much sense – like does attract like! As I blogged here some time ago, my peak spiritual experience with Malikeh AND the one we know as Jesus, would support this premise, to my way of thinking.
I was once able to serve Ann as she had served me, but it was unexpected as many of these experiences are. I was on the telephone with her one day when her husband, George, who preceded her in “death” some years before due to Parkinson’s Disease (he was a spiritual person in his own way, an Aries like me) – appeared in the room with Malikeh. George was in the appearance of his last life, and having been 6’4” tall as I recall. I was excited and told Ann – “Ann, George is here! He’s here with Malikeh! I forgot how tall he was!” She said, “Well, why is he there? What is he saying?” [Back note – Parkinson’s Disease can be devastatingly difficult for a caretaker spouse to deal with as well as the afflicted person, and it turned out that Ann had been harboring guilt for years about her behavior towards him towards the end of his life (which only shows that spiritual teachers all have their own spiritual work to do as well as serving others)]. I was able to tell Ann his words, “I have only love for you; nothing but love for you!” Yes, to somebody without these experiences, it probably sounds trite to hear these “grand messages” which are often so simple and usually about love, understanding and forgiveness but for those of us who know that nothing is more important than love – here it is – NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN LOVE. And to somebody harboring guilt towards another, those words were vastly healing.
Apparently, Ann needed to hear this message as her guilt was keeping her from communicating with her husband after his death (negative emotions will creative a division, a separation). The wonderful thing to me was that I was able to serve Ann at all after all the service she provided to me, in gratitude; that I was able to bring her a possibility of healing as she had done for me. I didn’t know that Ann was near the end of her life, passing of congestive heart failure less than a year later.
But to end this experience I want to relate to you about the day I met Origen: when all was said and done, the light that is Origen had left the room, leaving it darker and colder -- with tears still streaming down her face, she turned to me and vehemently declared, “You would be NOTHING without God! NOTHING! Without God you would not even exist – you owe EVERYTHING to GOD!” I was shocked at the energy of her words, and the whole scene has never left me intellectually or emotionally.
I still send messages of gratitude and feelings of love to Origen for this initiation into so many levels of spiritual growth. Even now, I feel so honored that he chose to notice me! I send Ann messages of gratitude and feelings of love, because while I was able to express my gratitude to her during her physical life before she passed, it’s so important to share our thanks to those around us appropriately and often.
Thank YOU for reading this!
Adorable, Agreeable, Angelic, Balanced, Beautiful, Benevolent, Blessed, Carefree, Cherished, Choosen, Compassionate, Complete, Composed, Confident, Divine, Enjoyment, Equality, Free, Grateful, Happiness, Helpful, Insightful, Intelligent, Interesting, Joyful, Justice, Kindness, Knowing, Laughing, Lovable, Loved, Loving, Meaningful, Merciful, Moderation, Natural, Nice, Open, Optimal, Peaceful, Poised, Quiet, Quickened, Relaxed, Rested, Sharing, Simple, Tender, Togetherness, Trusting, Truthful, Understanding, Understood, Unity, Variety, Veracity, Wise, Wonderful?
Can you feel it now? You are these things and more. So am I. We forget sometimes! This is a reminder.
I wrote this for a "Taken in Hand" blog; having seen several submissions on the Experience Project Web Site by women who promote the TiH lifestyle, I decided that I would express my ideas on the topic of gender and gender ideation.
In reincarnation, the entire goal is to become a perfectly balanced soul; male/female and all other factors. In our natural state, we are androgynous. The idea of wanting or needing another flawed human to help us manage our emotions would be a spiritual mistake in that we are here to manage ourselves, emotion being an equation (Energy In Motion, as in E = M). It is a tool of spirit to practice. If we rely on others to do our spiritual work, we end this life having failed to progress in this all-important arena.
Bodies are also a spiritual tool which is why we inhabit them; they provide the weight we lift in order to develop spiritual muscles. Having said that, I tend to agree that the infliction of pain does release dopamine in the brain in the same way that "cutters" inflict pain on the body in order to set aside the emotional pain for the time being. Spanking appears to be a common feature in TiH relationships, that the woman is spanked by the man in order to change her, teach her and manage her emotions as the male sees fit. Pain is a spiritual tool (everything is, really). We can learn a great deal from pain. But the pain of corporal punishment teaches only to leave it behind (domination and subserviance being another balancing act, to be overcome when one no longer believes in either domination or subservience and therefore no longer creates lifetime where those issues are present). Pain of disease indicates a need for physical healing (which is actually spiritual healing, because what the soul thinks it manifests in the body -- creating the need for patience and ability to overcome obstacles placed by ourselves in our self, often manifesting as illness. Another factor in illness is about giving and receiving love and caring).
In my personal relationship, I am married to a former SMSgt, Viet Nam vet, a hobby shooter who collects guns; the world might perceive him as a very alpha male; however, I know probably all aspects of him (we have been friends for over 30 years, married for 11). He is courteous of my feelings almost always, and very giving in many ways as I am to him, but he isn't afraid to express his own feelings. I do not need him to suppress his feelings because I am capable of handling them, and my own. He is okay with mine, too (even the "ugly" feelings). Men and women have the same emotions, but often different ways of handling or expressing them. There is no distinction for us emotionally in that we respect each other; we recognize that nobody gets the spotlight any more than another. We know that two heads are better than one. I have skills he doesn't, and vice versa. We are mostly sensitive to each others' feelings (being human, we sometimes err. When we catch ourselves, we apologize and make amends.) If he or I were ever to strike each other, the marriage would be over. It is outside our guidelines for a balanced and healthy relationship.
I personally suspect that inside the women who are taken in hand is a childlike persona covered over by an over-compensating facade of competence in the world. The fact that the term "girl" is often used on TiH sites appears to be supportive of this idea. A grown woman does not need a man to help her to manage her feelings. A little child does need guidance and guidelines, so protestations to the contrary are not believable to me. Rigid gender roles in relationships is a sign of fear of ambiguity (and a primary indicator of domestic violence); a desire to live in a black-and-white cut-and-dried absolute truth type of world which doesn't even exist shows a high level of fearfulness in a personality. All issues on this planet are shades of grey (as evidenced by the fact that all types of beliefs are played out everywhere -- there is no absolute way of belief; people choose their beliefs by their emotional state and perceived needs.) The premise put forth in TiH relationships that the man is the natural dominator and the woman the natural receptor, is only true when the parties believe it to be true; the additional issue that the woman should be grateful for this corporal punishment is another factor of emotional imbalance. From the spiritual perspective, I believe it is misguided.
I would be greatly concerned for those women when their men suffer even mild heart disease, or show symptoms of Alzheimers', other dementia illnesses, or something like Lou Gehrig's disease (where the woman becomes the complete caretaker or very much so). Spiritually, so much is at stake when a person sets aside any part of their personality for development towards another flawed human being; most men die before women. Unless the female develops her life skills completely, the time may likely come where she will be at a serious emotional loss when the male dies or becomes disabled.
Spiritually, it's all just another lesson to be learned -- equal respect and concern for another person in a committed relationship not involving the manipulation of brain chemistry. I do not think most people who have any addiction want to admit to it, and I sense emotional denial on the female and male points of view in this system of thought. I wonder why the "Taken in Hand" folk don't just do what they do -- proselytizing is not necessary for those who are wholly convinced; while they may say my posting is a form of proselytizing also, it is an opportunity to tie spirituality to every aspect of life, bar none.
I could go on, but won't. Really, the bottom line is to learn to balance one's own emotions -- no soul can do the work of another soul, and we are in bodies in order to spiritually grow.
Reincarnation is sometimes misunderstood in that people often believe lifetimes to be consecutive, sequential and linear. They aren’t. Time doesn’t exist at all! All that is happening is happening right now. What we perceive is what we are focused on, and that is this lifetime. Some of us have learned to see the overview (akashic records, which I call God’s memory) although I can’t do it on demand, only when I deeply believe that I need to know something.
It was explained for me that lifetimes are like a see-through multi-level chessboard, with many la
Remote viewing is similar in concept in that governments have experimented (mostly unsuccessfully, I would say) in finding and/or teaching people how to be in one place but to leave that place in consciousness to go to another place and gather information perceived in the new location. It relates to reincarnation in that everything is perceivable for those who have learned how to do it. Both relate to astral travel in that, again, being and location are figments of the imagination, and all is accessible for all of us but only can be experienced by some at any given time (which is determined by a person’s level of spiritual growth). Believing these things NOT to be true generally ensures that a person won’t be able to do them (in their conscious level although all of us do all things at our subconscious level).
Because time does not exist, we can go forwards or backwards in time at will, and we do. So if a person recalls overlapping lifetimes, that is not to say that reincarnation is not true. It just means they are able to perceive multiple aspects of themselves. We are all one, and the theory of the over-soul is valid in the largest sense.
Primarily, my experiences have been focused on male identity; fewer lifetimes are recalled of being female. This is one of my struggles now in that I identify with the male concept of action rather than the receptive and awaiting female energy. I wasn’t always kind to women in my other lifetimes (in fact, I was rather brutal at times and disdainful of their needs; I tended to see them as existing to bring me comfort and for no other real reason). All of these related lifetimes are ba
This small sampling relates to lives I have lived (or rather perceived) which have direct and immediate bearing on my current focus of experience.
I was once in love (still am, really, in the larger sense) with a man who was living in California to my Nevada.
He was the first man with whom I ever felt safe and accepted. He had a great sense of humor and a wild abandon to him, in spite of the fact that he has a form of muscular dystrophy (Charcot Marie Tooth) which attacked the muscles in all his extremities but not his core. He was in a wheelchair. An intelligent man, an electronics engineer who worked in the Silicon Valley; in spite of all things he did the best he could with what he had.
He was accepting of himself and others, and I had never seen such adversity met with such strength of character. He knew me, and my flaws, and cared for me anyway. He had a lot of friends because of his deep character, and he didn't need me. He simply liked me.
I was in Nevada the first time I traveled without my body (astral projection) and it was fascinating because it was not intentional. I was just allowing myself to think of this dear man and my heart was cherishing him. All of a sudden, without even realizing it at first, I found myself in his home in California! I was moving about his house and looking for him; all was in three dimensions -- I could not see through walls and had to move room to room. I could not find him, and realized he was not home.
I had a thought, "Oh! I shouldn't be in his home without his permission" -- and BAM! I slammed back into my body in Nevada!
The whole thing was so natural that at first I hadn't even realized what had happened. When I came back as a result of my own thought, I marvelled at how natural the whole thing was and how simple, too!
The Judds sang a song called, "Love can build a bridge, between your heart and mine!". Corny? Maybe, but true? Absolutely.
We are amazing beings with untold and untapped potential who might want to reconsider limiting ourselves in any way through restrictive beliefs. Besides, it is far cheaper than airfare! LOL!
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I just read a cool book, "My Stroke of Insight" by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor (PhD). She had the fortune of suffering a massive stroke affecting the left hemisphere of her brain at the tender age of 37. She spent years recovering. What makes it a fortunate event is what she learned from it and shared with the rest of us... ironically, she was a brain specialist (neuro-scientist), and when she recovered she could explain it all... including the locating of Oneness inside the physical self -- which is what makes it so fascinating to me!
There is a good web site from her work at http://www.mystrokeofinsight.com/.
The very first part of the book is somewhat difficult to read (corpus collosum, amygdala, hypoccampus, limbic system, right frontal cortex... and on and on -- not my natural language). The second part is absolute brilliance!
It relates heavily to my own spiritual search in that there are two parts of us (my original metaphysics teacher, Ann Hann referred to it as the higher mind and lower mind) which, in a real sense can correlate to Dr. Taylor's explanation of left brain/right brain. She lost the left brain for a significant piece of time (years) and that is the chattering mind (often referred to as the "monkey mind"). It contains the judging, critical angry part of ourselves and as Ann taught me, was the part of the mind to keep in its' place lest it take over and make one crazzzzeeeeeee! LOL! Often these two parts are referred to as "yin and yang", darkness and light, right and wrong, positive and negative... while I truly believe in oneness, I believe that oneness manifests as duality for spiritual practices and purposes.
The right brain is spatial, connected to all that exists, a connection to deep soundless peace, with a lack of boundaries (limitations) along with the sense of Oneness which is sought after by so many of us meditators.
The two parts of the physical self would be, in the successful life, so well balanced as to allow a person to be in a constant state of peace while attaining valued goals (who do you know that has achieved that? -- to be in the world but not of the world as has been said).
Dr. Taylor's explanation of her experiences without the left brain functioning are identical to those episodes I have dubbed, "the cosmic orgasm" (because I think it is a funny term, but it really IS that good) and which is often referred to as Samadhi or Nirvana in other systems of belief. Without her left brain chatter, Dr. Taylor experienced what many of us in deepest meditation try to attain on a regular basis. However, she suffered great physical pain with her experience which we, in meditation, do not do.
Studies of long-time meditating mystics and praying nuns have shown the brain to be centered in the right cortex as the God Center; brain tests show activity in those areas at the time of Cosmic Orgasm. We now have the science to show these things, which in itself fascinates me! Will science prove God after all? Or is God proving science? Is there a difference? Probably not, but what do I think I know anyway?! LOL!
But if we are, as I think we are, something beyond the physical being and if that something beyond the physical is all ONE MIND, ONE PRESENCE, then it seems that the purpose of physicality is to create a gymnasium of our beingness where having assumed the weight of physical reality and the boundaries which that entails, then also means we can not lose our real identies which would be fixed in the right side of the brain. Physical identity factors (male/female, nationality, gender, location, etc.) would never be our true identities but rather a reflection of choices we choose to embody in this incarnation for the purposes we chose to experience in any given lifetime.
Because my left brain is filled with ideas that I thought were true, tried to make true, believed to be true and valued as true -- yet are NOT true, then the left brain is the weight that I lift in order to develop my spiritual muscles! When I am successful in my exercises, I open the door to the right brain and there is my Cosmic Orgasm. If my left brain keeps me busy chasing silly ideas, engaging in conflicts with others, or convinces me I am not good enough (whatever the heck THAT means), then I can't go into the peaceful center of myself that represents what I really am. The working towards existing in a balanced state, able to dip my cosmic toes at will into the ocean of the ONE, would be the goal -- and NOT to annhilate my personal identify, only to see it for what it is and nothing more -- in other words not to believe everything I think I am so that I can experience what I really am.
When people experience Near Death Experiences (NDE's) and are resuscitated, they often describe similar experiences which doctors dismiss as hallucinations due to oxygen deprivation or some similar explanation and that we are just experiencing brain death. That may be so, OR it could be the effect of moving from left to right brain... in the same way as the competent mystics in meditation (and as I have also experienced). If the left brain is the physical anchor and we move to the God center at death, then this makes perfect sense!
This also explains why in mental illness so many people are disturbed along religious/spiritual lines (Andrea Yates drowning her five sons to protect them from Satan because her mothering skills were not enough to keep them safe), or Son of Sam, who had evil speaking to him through the dog, or Charles Manson with all his drug experiences designating himself and convincing others that he was Jesus Christ (just a few well-known examples).
This would indicate that some people have (possibly through injury or illness or congenital brain malformation) prematurely opened the door to the right brain and have lost the balancing weight of the left brain. But since I don't believe in accidents AS accidents, then it would instead have to be perceived as a spiritual test -- can I create a physical being and then alter it and still achieve? Wouldn't that create the heaviest weight possible and yield the greatest spiritual muscle? Then, if I see somebody who is "out of their mind", what I would actually be seeing would be a spiritual student attempting a form of mastery -- and no longer believe in "mental illness"?
This would mean that many of my reactive thoughts are a result of decisions (faulty ones at that) I have made at points in my existence (also predating this one); and, that L. Ron Hubbard's theory of the reactive mind does have some possibility to it (I don't endorse any belief system, and did not have a good experience with Scientology due to pressure to join and conform) but I hope I am developed enough to recognize every spiritual theory has a piece of the picture to offer.
So, if I have thoughts leading to depression or anger or helplessness, for examples, they are just reactive thoughts I placed into my consciousness at some point which now need to be released in favor of the right brain which favors compassion, understanding, forgiveness, love and oneness. Perhaps I thought that those types of judgments would make me feel safe or happy or justified or rational, but instead they are just the classic spiritual mistakes we all make along the many paths. Buddha's teachings consist primarily of detachment (to the reactive mind) and I have been very attracted to that.
Kind of makes short shrift of things like Analysis (sorry Freud, snort another line of coke, dude!) It means that all the focus on what I think I know is not the answer to where I want to be, which is in the experience of the right brain where I am fluid (as Dr. Taylor named it) and not a solid!
I did so relate to her work in many ways. Her experiences were well described and metaphysical in nature and she did, in the end of her book, take to the position of teaching the rest of us how to achieve what she achieved through temporary and thorough brain destruction.
She did a good job on the book, and I appreciate her work. Definitely, recommended reading by -- moi -- who only knows for sure that I can't believe EVERYTHING I think now, can I?
I am not Catholic, and have never been so; having a basic understanding of their religious philosophies, and while well aware that many Catholics are profoundly and devotedly Catholic (my first metaphysics teacher Ann Hann was also profoundly Catholic) I have never been attracted to the religion myself, finding it too heavy, ritualistic, traditional, and patriarchal.
During meditation about three years ago, I had this experience while working with my heart chakra (in this type of practice, it is about focusing on, feeling, acknowledging and sharing my love for all in the world (by name specific and non-specific) -- towards people and/or groups and then feeling my love for them expanding to surround and cradle them). I did this process that day for for ill people without medical care, people in hospitals, people with hunger, homeless people, hopeless people, people in prison whether guilty or not... I projected my love to my city, then my state then my country, and finally encompassing the world. Some of the best and most complete spiritual experiences have happened to me while I was actively practicing love.
I was very filled with love and enjoying my process when all of a sudden, a VERY loud voice said, "AND DO NOT FORGET TO INCLUDE THYSELF"!
It was somewhat startling and unexpected, but I am experienced enough with meditation to deal with the experiences gained so I sent out the question, "Who are you"? The answer was, "They call me Bartholomew, but I have many names". My response was, "Thank you!"
When meditation was complete, I went on-line and googled "Bartholomew + many names" and found a Catholic reference book on Saints. There is a St. Bartholomew, and sure enough, he is known by many names. Being unsure why I would be noticed in meditation by St. Bartholomew, I kept reading. Then I discovered that St. Bartholomew is the patron saint of neurological diseases. My medical diagnosis is a neurological disease.
This experience, to date, is the only one I have had with Catholicism in a mystical way although I have been in their churches for services (I go everywhere and do everything!). The world Catholic means "universal". The universe and all its' workings constantly fascinates me. I do tend to elevate other people while failing to value myself which is always a spiritual error requiring correction. I am grateful that St. Bartholomew noticed and corrected me.
I have to state first off that every single spiritual philosophy serves good purpose, and all are valid for the soul who is currently embracing it. Having said that, I have shed restrictive systems that try to "teach" from the outside in, rather than what I believe to be correct -- the Great What Is teaches from the inside out.
This would be due to the fact that, in reality, I know that we are non-corporeal. Being spirit rather than matter, what we hold to be true becomes experiential and we know it as what feels to be real, physically until we are firmly rooted in our true selves, Spirit. We have set a lot of traps for ourselves in this way, though, because as long as we incorporate physicality into our belief, we will stay there, experiencing different levels of physicality. Because we are co-creators, we can do this for eons of time, and usually do.
We try out everything, and do the "wrong" things over and over (nothing is really wrong in the spiritual sense); there are simply greater and lesser choices, or choices that are more rewarding or less rewarding.
So, LSD is a thing of the physical world. In order to use a thing of the physical world we have to believe we are ourselves things in the physical world. So we use those physical experiences to try to show us the spiritual. Does LSD work? Yes, no doubt; although the beliefs of the user are going to manifest as the results to the user, so "bad trips" can happen based on the nightmares we hold in our unconscious, but what of that? Nightmares are only nightmares, and temporary in greater reality.
However, relying on a physical thing to give us spiritual experiences keeps us trapped in the physical ex
So what is real? Consciousness. Everything else is a weak representation of what we believe or know to be true. In spiritual growth, it is vital to release all ideas that we think are true in order to experience what is true at the highest levels of which we are capable. We are all that is and all that is not, at the same time. And yet there is only one.
For me, religion is dark, and of a very low vibration, and is no longer useful to me, but was in "lifetimes past". LSD, being a thing of the physical corporeal reality likewise is a dark, low vibration. It is useless in that while we can have the spiritual experience while engaged in its' use (for both examples, religion and LSD) in order to overcome our earth-boundedness we have to work only from the level of spirit.
NOTE: I do not advocate drug use of any sort, even as I don't condemn it and believe it should be legalized. I do not and have not in this lifetime used any hallucinogenic drug, believing instead that I took that path in other "lifetimes past".
Many won't like this blog. It isn't for the faint of heart. That is why I am writing it. Sometimes ideas need to be presented which are so heretical and seemingly antithetical to what we believe inside ourselves as seemingly "lovely souls" that the only solution seems to be "kill the messenger". So be it! LOL!
If a person believes in reincarnation (I do, even as I only agree with the idea of "experiential time" rather than "linear" or sequential time), then certain presumptions exist.
1. We are all "souls" (while I am writing this for the majority of readers, that term is a bit suspect with me in a larger sense). That means we are never really itsy-bitsy innocent and cute little babies, but rather (as has been said by another) spirits having a human experience rather than humans having a spiritual experience.
2. If we can go beyond the premise that we are physical entities, this also means that there is a much grander reality than we can see in the physical world (by releasing our hold on the idea that only that which can be perceived by our five senses can be real, then we may increase our ability to perceive real reality, unlimited).
3. If we can agree even just to the possibility that there is more to "life" than meets the eye, it could also be presumed that we can see the bigger picture while out of a physical body than while in one.
4. If, in our soul, we believe certain things to be true, and if Cause and Effect exists (that which we sow, we also reap -- a belief found in most major religions, as if that matters), and if "God" is pure energy/pure consciousness as many believe, then we already know all things, and can be all things. We aren't the tiny helpless little things we like to pretend we are.
5. If #3 and #4 can be true, then it is only the thoughts that we think that create our reality ("as above, so below") and so it is vital to our Oneness that we exist in the purest consciousness possible which would dismiss divisiveness as an idea. When we think ideas of separation, lack, abuse, victims, victimization, hardships, suffering, pain/illness, exclusion, differences -- I could go on but won't -- we will then create the experience of those thoughts from the level of spirit. Being creative as is the One, we can create an immense number of harsh thoughts and varieties of suffering. "As a man thinketh, so too shall he be; God if he thinketh God, dust if he thinketh dust".
6. So, thinking from a state of Oneness (God cannot be separate from its creation if only God existed in the beginning because God is all there is) then we are all still just One, and we are all still with our Creator and it cannot be otherwise... but the perception of and belief in separation and other-ness can exist. This leads to the idea of having the experiences that we may then dwell upon -- for example victim/victimization which would lead to a pushing-out of life ex
7. Coming from that idea, then, an experiential existence seems to unfold wherein a soul is then born (OH, I AM FRUSTRATED TO BE USING MERE WORDS, SO EASILY CONFUSED AND MISUNDERSTOOD) into a "physical" situation in which it may appear to be a tiny and innocent being with great pain and suffering, when, in fact, it is a fully developed soul living in the mind of the Great What Is, whole, complete and beloved. One way to understand the concept (if not the actuality) would be to use the "example" from the original Matrix movie; all those beings, living lives in a pre-programmed reality which only exists in their minds; having never experienced their real selves, it is as real to them as reality can be.
8. That tiny little baby is then abused, for believing in its' soul that harm exists, it must then live out that idea (this is why belief can be a dangerous thing, because it moves into action and beingness; less beliefs are better). And the people of the world, forgetting the connection to the Great What Is, feel such great pity, moved to tears and great sorrow for the sufferings of the innocent child. (I would include that animal suffering would be the same, in that the animal is also a soul and in love, offers the appearance of suffering so that we can play out our silly little games in a physical reality.)
9. If God is eternal and time is eternal (or doesn't exist except experientially) then the suffering of the little baby is but the bl
10. Here's the kicker -- the poor little abused child: a) is not being abused because it is still One with the the Great What Is; and b) chose to have these experiences as a direct result of thinking that it could be so. To really add confusion to the matter, I offer c) the soul may leave at any time, and often does -- it is like walking out of a horror movie during a particularly gruesome scene; and d) forgiveness is not necessary for the experience was a thought in the mind of that soul and having come to understand that, the soul takes full responsibility for all resultant ex
11. I believe in universal love and perfection (not emotional or situational love) which is dispassionate and applies in all settings at all times (but then again, that's just me). This means that the poor abused baby is beloved, as am I and all others which witness the abuse but which are still all ONE, and all still HOME with the Creator. The Creator, knowing this, doesn't interfere with our "playfulness" as we act out first one horror story and then another, because in truth, nothing has happened.
12. The reactions of others to what they witness is a reflection of the beliefs held in that soul's mind (and each soul being of God IS God). Those who hold similar beliefs to the victim or the victimizer actually join into the mind's experience (either as a co-perpetrator or as an advocate against, for example, child abuse). So is God schizophrenic? Yes, in a sense, or rather allows for the idea of dissociative personality disorder. Most religionistas would believe we have free will as souls, and so therefore, we can make wrong choices (usually characterized as harming another in some way, usually based on the idea of the 10 Commandments, in the Western world at least; the East just says what you Create, you Experience, and would encourage all souls to create love stories).
13. God expresses in infinite ways infinite possibilities, both "good and bad", positive or negative, "right or wrong", darkness and light, female and male, large and small, yin and yang. THEREFORE, God does not punish; rather, God is the playing field, the stage on which we play out these thoughts. It is the energy that we are and that we use to hold our little productions ("all the world's a stage, and all its' people merely pla
14. Each reaction finally recognized is an opportunity to understand God (our Self). When we recoil in horror, or fall into depression or become judgmental and reactive to what we think we see which doesn't really even exist in the mind of God except as fleeting thoughts, we add to a polarity which we then label (Democrat? Republican?) Then, having chosen a side, we are placing ourselves into another belief system which is given life by that belief and, once again, we are trapped -- in a prison of our own making -- to play out that belief over and over until it is understood that it has no real validity.
15. In a real sense, that is the eternal struggle -- do we believe in experiential reality or do we believe in God (our Self)? Would I step in to save another? Yes, and I have and I do. But why? I was an abused child myself (aha! declare the psychologists -- gotcha now, you're trying to justify the abuse so that you can live at peace with it... and I say, what of it? It never happened). So you see, I am in the process of shedding the belief in victim/victimizer. I am in hope that this "time" I have reached the end of that tired old story. In this lifetime, I did also play the other side when I was an activist against child abuse. Having played both sides in a single lifetime allowed me to see both sides, and to make a new choice. I choose to believe that, in actual reality, harm is not possible.
16. So why do I try to offer help (if not outright compassion) to others who appear to be suffering but who cannot, in my philosophy, suffer? It is because they believe that they are suffering, and it is the believing that makes it so. If I offer assistance or compassion it is because the soul is acting in a misguided way (but it can't really be misguided because it is still with God, but certainly using free will and the ability to project a reality based on thinking it gives every appearance of suffering). If I can energetically transfer the idea to them that the suffering is a choice perhaps to be set aside for all time, and that the release thought is accepted and acted upon, then the polarity of darkness/light shifts. But does it matter if it does? That's a topic for another blog.
Darkness and light BOTH are God. People say, "Why does God allow suffering?" Because the Great What Is not only has free will but IS free will and is a mind and a consciousness thinking, and we are the thoughts. When the aspect of God which is us as souls reunite with the One Mind and choose only experiences of inclusion and real dispassionate love, then the spiritual jig is up and we are again One.
So it is vital even in the "physical reality" and at the "soul reality" to choose the experiences of unity and dispassionate love because then, as a soul personality, the experiences to be gained are in the nature of showing other aspects of the One our Oneness, and Mastery is born. How great can love be? As far as we take it...
But pity the dreamer? No. For that nightmare is their choice in thinking, and in thinking made it so. I can admire the effects I perceive of the bad dream, for there is great creativity in it; creativity being yet another aspect of the One is a fascination to me. I find my self to be infinitely creative.
Better to surrender beliefs and instead to focus on the One Love, One Mind, One Presence. I'm working on it in my false little self in order to be my actual real Self... the dreamer is waking from the dream, having been one and the same.
And so, in Compassion and Dispassionate Love, I leave these thoughts to you to do with as you wish.
A Metaphysician is one who is involved with that branch of philosophy that examines the nature of reality and the relationship between mind and matter.
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