A Year without Fear: (IM)PRISONER

open-cageI thought I was done with the war between the sexes. For me, that battle was so, like, 1975.

I am woman, hear me roar, and all that.

I’m not making light of the very serious and ongoing worldwide challenges women face at the hands of men, mind you. I’m just saying that, by and large, it hasn’t been my fight.

Over the decades of spiritual practice, my early gender rage and frustration have slowly given way to genuine empathy for the other half, the hairier half of the human race. Sure, as a global group, they make some seriously appalling blunders based in fear and anger. And the consequences of those actions are never pretty. But let’s face it—the stonefaced and steel-balled ideal of masculinity (as the world defines it) is a nasty bit of business altogether. And trying to live up, or down, to that code of behavior can’t be easy. Most guys, in my estimation, are honestly doing the best they can.

•          •          •

These days, I’m all about the attempt to go home to God with empty hands. And that’s an interesting process. You look down and notice all the useless baggage you’re carrying. The old grudges. The phobias, the various beliefs in limitation.

And as each one comes up for examination, you ask yourself: Would I rather remain scared of this spider, or hang out with God?

Or maybe it’s: Would I rather be disgusted with the banking system/oil companies/government corruption/insert your pet peeve here? Or would I rather spend quality time resting in God?

Because of course you can’t have both, you know. You always have to choose.

So I’ve been agreeing to drop the mismatched set of luggage, piece by piece. Because I’m starting to finally recognize that all the juice, all the peace I crave can only be found in God. And the peace of God is way better than any baggage I currently own, no matter how much I might enjoy carrying it around.

But after the hands are empty of readily visible suitcases…well, that’s when it really gets interesting. Because the other stuff—the bigger stuff—has to go, too. The opinions and behaviors that run so deep, they form your worldview. The ones that are so automatic, so unquestioned as truth that you can’t imagine who you’d be, or what your life would be like without them.

•          •          •

So I was surprised to find myself triggered a bit by all that old gender stuff again recently. Only this time, I was seeing it from completely outside my own frame of reference, as if my spaceship had just landed and I was viewing this aspect of humanity for the first time.

I saw and felt the vast scope of the world’s rage and hatred toward women. And it kind of took my breath away to notice how we, as a species, have all collectively agreed upon the idea that women, simply because we exist, are so scorned, so feared, that we are therefore legitimate targets of violence anytime the opportunity arises. That this is an unfortunate, yet unavoidable fact of life.

By ‘collective agreement,’ I don’t mean to imply that we all approve of this concept, by any means. I would guess that most men, and virtually all women, are appalled by it. But when we fight an idea—when we take karate classes, or choose a jogging buddy, or helpfully offer to walk a woman to her car, we reinforce the solidity of the very structure we rail against. We accept this hatred and control of women as a real and permanent condition, and we plan for it by fighting fear with fear. Rage with rage. And in doing so, we guarantee it will persist as a fact of this world.

I don’t really know why I found all this enmity so astonishing. It certainly isn’t news.

I guess I just personally noticed in full enormity for the first time, that I am not welcome on this planet. And in age-old response, I seem to have been sporting some hella thick emotional armor all this time. I also noticed I never go out walking by myself, and never, ever alone after dark, if I can help it.

So here’s the truly interesting thing about all this: I absorbed that hateful message way back when, without even knowing it. And only now have I suddenly recognized that, in response to this collectively agreed-upon belief in my own vulnerability as a target, I’ve chosen to live my entire life in a self-made prison. The armor keeps me in, a whole lot more effectively than it keeps anything out.

And I don’t go to the park by myself. I rarely walk alone at night. Hell, I rarely do much of anything alone at night, really. Because you never know who might be out there hating me tonight.

Why have I agreed to live this way? Why do so many women choose to live this way?

For every actual attack that takes place, ten thousand other women attack themselves every day by not going where they want to go. Not doing what they want to do. Not feeling free to simply exist, just as they are. Without airbrushing or apology.

We clip our own damn wings.

I suddenly noticed I’ve chosen to live my entire life in a cage that’s no wider than my shoulders. Clipped or not, I’ve never even bothered to raise my wings and try to fly. I don’t even know if I can.

•          •          •

So who might I be without this shoulder-width cage? No idea. It’s very hard to imagine a “me” who is unbound by these constraints. And honestly, it’s even harder to imagine a me who is free of the old, calcified fear and rage that make up the bars of that cage.

But really, who is there to be angry with? The jailer is me.

Nobody in the world has the power to do to me what I freely chose to do to myself. Men are certainly not to blame. And I’m not mad at myself for choosing the cage—not really. I know I did the best I could with the choices I thought I had at the time.

So…am I willing to open my hands and drop this rage I feel at nobody in particular, in order to hang out with God?

Yes, definitely.

Ok, then. Am I also willing to know myself in a completely different way—as somebody who is unconstrained and unafraid to walk the world in safety and confidence in my right to exist?

Ummm…sure?

Yeah. That one’s a little bit easier said than done. Because it’s hard to imagine that which is hard to imagine.

Meaning, the mind can only grasp what it knows from experience. And that kind of fundamental change in worldview is beyond anything this particular mind has ever known.

But I’m willing. And I’m pretty sure willingness is all it takes.

So. How to go about taking a leap beyond where the mind can go? The first step is to believe that you can.

No, seriously. I’m not launching into a song about ants and rubber trees, here. This is important. Significant change comes only when we allow the possibility for it. Prayer without believing that what you’re asking for is possible…is just aimless wishing.

Luckily, I’ve already learned that anything is possible IF I SAY IT IS. This world of dreams is infinitely malleable—and as the collective architects of this dream, we can change the rules on it anytime we choose to. I, as an infinite creator, have that power. And so do you.

So if I can manage to authentically believe it’s possible for me to experience myself as being free of fear, free of rage…hell, just plain free… then it is possible. Even if I have no idea what that freedom actually feels like, or how to go about it, I recognize that it’s possible.

So I’ve been choosing that possibility all week. Feeling it fully, believing in it completely. Claiming it as my own.

Step two: I’ve been stating clearly to the universe that it’s my choice to start walking this earth in confidence, safety and trust. Open and un-armored. And just by claiming the possibility and stating this intention, I seem to have broken free of the collective agreement for fear-based gender control.

(This doesn’t mean all worldly precautions should be ignored now. I still probably won’t lounge around in Central Park alone at midnight, festooned in my most ostentatious diamond jewelry. That would be foolish. But it does mean willingness to learn how to walk in trust and open-hearted forgiveness, seeing the world—and my place in it—with fresh, loving eyes.)

So the collectively agreed-upon structure of gender-based hatred has lost one pillar. I’ve stepped outside the building. Actually, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t me who did the stepping. My job was just to recognize that it’s possible to see another way…and then to make good on that recognition by choosing to release all crusty old fear and blame. That’s where the empty hands come in.

Step three:  Yes, I recognize that it’s possible to release my grip on fear, hate and rage. Because anything is possible. EVERYTHING is possible, including this. I can know myself without fear, without hate for my so-called oppressors, even though I can’t yet picture what that’s like. So I open my hands now, and because it’s possible to do, I agree to let these old beliefs and old protections slip through my fingers and be gone forever.

And once I’ve let my attachments to the old hatred slip away…hello, Step Four: I can then ask to be airlifted higher than my current perception would allow.

As far as I can tell, this method seems to be working. The view seems a bit different up here.

•          •          •

Yes, sometimes major shifts really can be that easy. Airlifting is my new preferred mode of travel.

But be warned: This method of release is accomplished without drama. Without plumbing the depths to revisit old pain. I let it all go without examining every injustice I suffered, every wound inflicted, in an attempt to find resolution and healing.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times when that kind of excavation is very appropriate. But take it from me, because I’ve done it both ways: Hard work and pain take a whole lot longer than simply letting yourself be lifted. And they’re way less fun.

WAY. Less fun.

So this is my heartfelt advice, if it interests you: Take the quick and scenic route. Let your liberation unfold in a way that’s free of agony. Stop rolling boulders uphill, and let yourself be lifted instead. Four easy steps. Really. That’s all it takes.

If you’re anything like me, and your wings don’t work so good yet…divine helicopters are standing by.

A Year without Fear: GOING STEADY WITH GOD

going steadyThere’s a scene in Private Benjamin where Goldie Hawn enters an army recruitment office and is shown a beautiful, slick brochure on the benefits of modern military life. She’s so impressed, she enlists right on the spot.

But when she arrives at bootcamp in Mississippi, she’s confused: Quonset huts. Latrines. What the hell? This is definitely not what she signed up for.

“I think there’s been a mistake,” she tells the drill sergeant. “I joined the other army. You know, the one with the condos, and the private rooms.”

•          •          •

Asking to know spiritual truth is a lot like that. The brochure looks great, and plenty of us sign up for it right there and then. But it’s never what we think it’s going to be. We imagine a perfected “spiritual self” who never gets upset, never has issues. A luminous, blissful peace-bunny spreading divine love and joy to a thankful world.

The truth, it turns out, seems so distastefully alien by comparison to our spiritual fantasies—so upside-down from everything we think we want—that it’s damn near impossible to stand still long enough to even consider it.

At least, that’s how it’s been for me. For years I’ve been patiently shown the truth over and over, and over again. I’ve seen it in videos, I’ve read it in books, I’ve witnessed it in visions. It shows up in my email inbox.

But each time I’ve brushed it away.

Because that’s not the truth I signed up for. I wanted the one with the condos.

•          •          •

I really want to know God. It’s been an unstoppable urge for a while now. In the last post I spoke of being in the goodnight-kiss-at-the front-door stage of my relationship with God—but the desire to go all the way, so to speak, is a craving that seems to emanate from the depths of my soul. It’s really my one great desire.

And that’s a fairly uncomfortable predicament to be in, when the only way to know God is to get with the program and agree to accept the irritatingly, disappointingly unacceptable truth of existence:

There’s nothing to fix. Nothing to teach. Nothing to learn, and nothing to heal.

Everything is perfect exactly as it is right now, because everything and everybody is composed entirely of God. Joined in perfect oneness with God. No matter what things look like, and no matter what disastrous effects those things may seem to be having on your life, or the world…innocence and safety, love, peace and joy are the only things going on in truth.

 There’s nothing to accomplish or do. You already have it, and ARE it. Stop striving to be better. Stop yearning to wake up. Stop trying to escape from your perfectly imperfect circumstances. Your job is just to be. Recognize you don’t know anything about anything. Refuse to judge anything you see. Have faith that it’s all innocent. Disbelieve everything your mind tells you, and instead walk through life snuggled deeply, blindly, trustingly in God.

 There is no “you,” no spiritual self who can heal the world. You can’t bring love into this world—bodies can’t bring love to other bodies. You can only see through the illusions this world of bodies presents to you, and find your one true love in God.

 

Needless to say, I had some wee issues with all that—particularly the business about there being nothing to heal or fix or teach. Also the bit about being just dandy, thank you very much, exactly as I am right now. Come to think of it, I’m not crazy about big chunks of the truth, to be honest. My mind is still spluttering its indignation.

But I got sick of seeing the truth gauntlet thrown down in front of me every time I turned around. And even sicker of stepping daintily over it, pretending it wasn’t there.

•          •          •

Last night, before falling asleep I finally agreed to drop my resistance to the truth (despite its distasteful appearances), and to try joining fully with All-That-Is.

But on one condition.

A prayer, of sorts: You know everything about me, my thoughts, my beliefs. You’re there when I fart. You’ve seen me have sex. But I know nothing, really, about you. Give me a hint. Show me how you see things. Help me know you better.

I slept as I normally would, dreaming about nothing in particular. But then I woke in the early morning with a strong sense that I was in the presence of a huge entity of some kind. It was vast, deep, powerful. It felt thoroughly benign. No…more than just benign: It was wholly suffused with God.

I felt I ought to recognize who or what this entity was. It seemed somehow familiar, yet I couldn’t quite place it. And then suddenly I realized:

Oh. My. God. This is the devil.

I was seeing Satan—as viewed through a completely sane mind.

•          •          •

Well, I asked for an example of God’s truth. That was a pretty good one.

Alrighty then.

A radiantly gentle, spotlessly innocent Satan is pretty clear testimony to the fact that I know abso-freaking-lutely nothing about anything. (Not to mention that my lifelong terror of the supernatural is a pointless joke.)

If the devil is perfectly, luminously innocent, you might ask…then what the hell isn’t?

That’s a very good question. Oops-a-daisy. I may have made a teensy mistake here, wasting my time judging and condemning everything and everybody, 24/7…

Because, apparently I’m entirely wrong about everything. I mean, like, ENTIRELY wrong. About EVERYTHING.

Which means my distaste for God’s truth is probably all wrong, too.

Probably. In all likelihood.

•          •          •

So it’s looking like God might be marriage material after all. Possibly it’s time for me to get serious, and stop playing hard to get.

I guess I’d better start picking up the phone whenever the truth calls, instead of letting it go to voicemail. Because I suspect we’ll probably be seeing a whole lot more of each other from now on.

 

A Year Without Fear: ME AND MY SHADOW

shadowConfession: Ever since the shadow-man’s nocturnal visit a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been afraid of the dark. Just like old times.

It’s a colossal flashback to a pattern I thought I cleared ages ago, and I’m a little bummed out to find myself seemingly back at this same scaredy-cat spot once more.

In the last post, I discovered it was necessary to embrace and accept the unseen supernatural world, because it’s an aspect of the self. Because I created it, and am therefore responsible for it. I learned that if I choose instead to remain terrified of it, shoving it out of my perception, perceiving it as something out there, then I’m choosing to stay separate from, and terrified of, myself.

And that’s not cool. That’s not acceptable.

In that last post I also learned that all benevolent entities, deities and protective forces are also me. And that’s fabulous news—in theory.

When both the dark and light aspects of the self are embraced equally and seen correctly through healed perception—again, in theory—my hope would be that they would balance out: The illusory dark would learn to make nice with the light, and eventually find a way to quietly melt together with it into oneness.

None of which does me much good at the moment, because of one teensy technicality—and it’s the same stumbling block that just about everybody bumps up against at one time or another:

Opposing beliefs are hardly ever evenly matched. So you experience the one you believe in most.

If you say you want wealth, for instance, but you’re way more convinced about the reality of lack than you are about the existence of abundance, then lack is what you experience. Not because you deserve lack, but simply because your belief in your own ability to be abundant is a pale, will-o-the-wisp yearning, compared to the muscular certainty of your expectation of lack. Lack kicks abundance’s butt every time, until such time as abundance firmly takes up residence as your predominant belief instead.

So …when it’s up in my face (as it is right now), it seems I believe in the scary stuff with every quaking fiber of my being. My longstanding terror relationship with the unseen world is way stronger than my newish trust relationship with those protective entities of love and light.

My unconscious mind is thoroughly convinced of the reality of the scary stuff. My conscious mind—the top 15% of the iceberg that sticks out above the waterline—has forged some delicately lovely new relationships with angels, guides and God, over the past few years, and it thinks those recent alliances are totally swell.

But those wonderful new relationships are still in the tentative dating stage. And the supernatural is a bitterly vindictive spouse that’s fighting the divorce papers with all it’s got.

Which relationship is more real to me? Which one brings more lawyers to the table?

You do the math.

So yes, it’s all me. But the terrifying ‘me’ who goes bump in the night is the one that’s in the ascendancy at the moment. And I can’t help but illogically, unconsciously believe in it 1,000%. I deeply trust it to do its malignant worst.

The joyously illuminated ‘me’ of much more recent dating history, (the ‘me’ whose parents I haven’t even met yet) is not particularly a comfort in this situation. I suspect it loves me but I’m pretty sure it’s seeing other people.

So I really haven’t committed. I haven’t fully learned to trust it or believe in it yet.

And if I don’t truly believe in that beautiful new relationship when push comes to shove—and I don’t, and it has—then it’s a fairly useless form of protection, and will be total crap as an evenly matched force for neutralizing darkness.

So that’s why I’ve been afraid of the dark ever since the night of the shadow-man: I’ve lost all protection, because I can’t be counted on to protect me from me.

•          •          •

It’s not like I’ve been passive about this retreat into terror. It’s not like the old days—I don’t ignore it or run away anymore. I don’t put healing off for some illusory future tomorrow. Every day and night I’ve indicated willingness to take that journey into darkness, to see what it’s made of.

I’ve prayed for a way in. I’ve poked at this supernatural terror repeatedly with a stick; I’ve put my arms around it and tried to love it open. But this thing has seemingly rolled itself up tight into an impenetrably armored ball.

It’s the Armadillo of Doom. The Hedgehog of Horror. And there seems to be no way of making the little monster unroll and show itself to me.

I’ve managed periodically to spend some quality moments dissolved into oneness with my highest wisdom Self, where all fearful stories are recognized, at least temporarily, as fantasy.

Yesterday, while joined with the Self, I said: “I know none of this is real in truth. I don’t care about the past-life stories or whatever else this thing holds—I’ll relive it all if it’s necessary for my healing, but I’m really just interested in accepting and releasing it, so I can know myself in wholeness. It’s incredibly uncomfortable, this crusty ancient fear—it doesn’t leave me alone. It feels like it’s clawing to get out. It seems to want to make itself known in my awareness, but can’t quite manage to come to the surface and show itself to me. What will it take for this thing to open up and reveal itself? How can I help? How do I get this process underway?”

The answer: You have indicated that you choose a quick and gentle path devoid of agony. Therefore, you’ll need to develop much deeper trust in your guides, angels and God. Before you go down this road, you will need to believe in them every bit as strongly as you currently believe in your fear. Otherwise, fear will overtake you.

 It’s all you; all the illusory beings of dark and light are aspects of the one great Self. And only Love is real. But you don’t truly believe these things yet. In order to walk through this seeming valley of darkness without experiencing great pain and fear, it’s necessary that you believe the two ‘teams’ are evenly matched. Your trust in light will need to be at least as strong as your belief in darkness. Then, as you witness the contents of your armored ball, you’ll be free to choose which interpretation to believe: The unfathomable horrors of darkness, or the unfathomable innocence of light.

 If you try to pry open that ball right now, you will find it very difficult to view its contents through the eyes of Love. Yes, the ball wants to be seen by you (for you have offered it welcome), but you must prepare yourself first, if you wish to view its contents correctly.

Give all your love and trust to those aspects of the Self that offer you their infinite Love and support in return. Forge a relationship that can’t be broken. And then we can revisit the armadillo after that.

•          •          •

It’s a bit of a Catch-22, or so it seems to me.

I’ve discovered that the story goes like this, inside the deepest crevices of my unconscious mind: Fear of the supernatural equals fear of the self…which equals fear of the one great Self…which equals fear of God. It’s all the same damn thing.

In order to trust fully in God as an ally in the release of fear, I need to first release my desperate fear of God’s supreme untrustworthiness as an ally. To stop fearing fear, in other words, I have to cozy up to God—whom I’m desperately afraid of.

Which is why God and I are still in the goodnight-kiss-at-the-front-door stage of our relationship. Right now it’s just a serious flirtation, but part of me believes I’m playing with fire.

If I invite Love in for a nightcap (whispers my darkest unconscious mind) who the hell knows what may happen?

Who knows what horrible death, what terrifying loss of identity would result if I give myself to oneness? It’s all fun and games, as the saying goes, until someone loses an ‘I.’

•          •          •

So which is worse? Being swallowed up by the devil, or being dissolved into oneness with God? To a deep unconscious mind, it’s the same thing.

I seem to be at an impasse, here. But the operative word is seem. Experience has shown me that a roadblock is only impenetrable if I say it is. All roadblocks are illusory; they’re made of smoke and mirrors. Which means there has to be another way of seeing this. I’m sure there’s another way through. I just don’t know what it is, yet.

Next time God and I get together for pizza and a movie, I’ll be sure to ask.

A Year Without Fear: WHO YA GONNA CALL?

ghostbustersI came into this life with a major chip on my shoulder toward the supernatural. And by ‘supernatural,’ I meant all things unseen, from ghosts and angels to demons and faeries, to chakras, auras, the devil and God. I was blindly terrified by all of it. Wanted nothing whatsoever to do with any of it.

Yet it all felt so alarmingly, threateningly close by. So I slammed and locked all possible doors of entry, fingers plugged securely in ears, eyes squeezed shut, my quavering solo rendition of La-La-La-La-La echoing tunelessly throughout the black, malicious universe.

But then a spiritual life started following me around. Licking my hand, gazing at me imploringly with those irresistible puppydog eyes. What’s a body to do? I brought it home to live with me. And with it came a gradual acceptance of unseen guides and helpers, and maybe (grudgingly) an angel or two. I even began to consider revising my opinion of God.

Old fears started to heal. I found I wasn’t afraid of the dark anymore. But I knew there was still a deep, untouched core of terror at the heart of this supernatural issue. And that was more or less ok with me. It could stay there if it wanted, down in the horrifying icy depths, as long as it promised never to come out and do its unimaginably evil thang in my presence.

•          •          •

But then I started regularly visiting England a couple of years ago. Home, seemingly, to a disproportionate number of the entities on that original supernatural shit list. Between the ghosts, faeries and ley line whatnots, ‘supernatural’ is the UK’s Middle Earth-middle name.

One day in April of 2012, on a drizzly park bench at the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey, I was suddenly shown an inspiration by my higher self that caused me to take a spontaneous vow: I agreed to stop hiding. To take my fingers out of my ears, open my eyes and stop blocking my own gifts of awareness. It was a vow to fully let in the supernatural, as well as my own true relationship with it—whatever that might be. (For the complete story of this event, see That ‘Ol Black Magic, written in May of that year.)

The vow itself scared the bejeezus out of me. But I knew it was the right thing. Even if I wasn’t ready to actually do what it suggested at that time, at least the intention for wholeness had been set.

•          •          •

These days I live on a farm in the Southwest of England. The farm property dates back to Georgian times, as does nearly every other building within a 10-mile radius. (That’s ‘Georgian’ as in King George, by the way. You know, the one who reigned during the American Revolution. 250-odd years of inhabitants between then and now, is what I’m saying.)

Uh oh.

Luckily, a lot has changed for me over the past two years, and one of those changes is that the supernatural core of terror has begun to melt of its own accord. So much so, that I’ve developed a sort of an unexpectedly fond relationship with a rather playful entity that seems to intermittently share the place with us.

Which doesn’t freak me out. Its antics amuse me (usually), and it, in turn, seems to enjoy my responses.

And in those times when it isn’t funny—when, for instance, the sat nav disappears from the table where Steve put it just moments before rushing out the door to an appointment, I chide the unseen entity as I would an 8-year-old. And the next time I turn and look, the GPS unit has been put back where Steve left it.

It means us no harm, this thing. I think it’s probably just bored.

But I wasn’t congratulating myself on the healing of the supernatural issue. Not quite yet.

Because even though I’ve been forming peculiar little relationships with, um, invisible friends, I knew full well that there was still an entire universe of unseen stuff that I was resisting.

And somewhere in there, the terror was alive and well.

•          •          •

A few nights ago I couldn’t sleep. I was physically uncomfortable, funny little electrical impulses running through my legs. I felt like I couldn’t get enough oxygen, like my body was compulsively demanding deep, rhythmic breathwork. (But I didn’t want to do breathwork in the middle of the night. I wanted to sleep.)

My mind felt like it does whenever the veil is too thin for comfort—scratchy, swirly, trance-y, with a feeling of old, stuck emotions coming up in the far distance. I watched as grief and terror showed themselves faintly before being squashed again, scolded like wayward children and sent back to their prison cells without supper.

I knew something big was coming up, asking for healing and release. I strongly suspected it was the supernatural thing. I got out of bed, not wanting to disturb Steve, and went to sit by myself in the darkened living room.

Uneasily, I reviewed my options. I could keep the whole thing bottled up for the rest of this lifetime; I could go on holding back the terror avalanche that pressed against the door of my conscious awareness. It had sort of worked thus far, and would probably keep doing the job for another several decades. Damn, except for one thing: That vow I made back in 2012…I promised. I swore I’d heal this issue.

Besides, much more recently than 2012, I signed an agreement with my higher self, to live a year without fear. There were no exclusionary clauses in that contract. I’m either all in, or I’m not.

But the supernatural is a special category.

No it isn’t. There are no special categories.

It was time to get at that silent-screaming core of horror. Time to see it, feel it and let it go, once and for all. (Assuming I did not drop dead of fright first, of course.)

So I went into negotiation mode.

Ok if I have to do it now, I’m the one who gets to choose how it goes down. I refuse to do it the hard way. The hellishly heart-attack-making, agonizing way. It’s either gentle and easy, or I don’t wanna play.

I must have dozed off after that. Groggy, I roused myself and shuffled back toward the bedroom. As I groped my way toward the door, I suddenly stopped, stepping back with a gasp.

A dark figure stood between me and the bedroom door. I could see no features, no gender, no clothing. Just a bald-headed shape of a slender human body, slightly taller than me. Standing there. Waiting.

At first I thought it must be Steve, passing me in the hallway on his way to the bathroom. But it did not move.

Was it a trick of the eyes? A shadow? I couldn’t be certain, but it didn’t seem like either one. This thing had…gravitas, for lack of a better word. A sort of weight, or presence.

I wasn’t afraid, exactly, but let’s just say I was very alert. Very.

I surveyed it as closely as I could in the dark. Its essence seemed neutral, empty of ambition or intent. I didn’t know what it wanted, but apart from its slightly forbidding appearance it didn’t seem to mean me any harm.

As we stood facing each other (less than 2 feet apart), I reached up to tighten the belt on my bathrobe. To my amazement, it reached up simultaneously and made the identical gesture at its own waist. Even though it wore no bathrobe.

In a flash I understood.

“OMG! It’s me!” I laughed out loud and walked right through it without a thought, opened the door and went back to bed.

•          •          •

I lay in the dark, thinking about that non-accidental proclamation, OMG! It’s me!

I knew it was a teaching. This was the easy, gentle lesson I’d asked to learn.

A couple of blog posts ago, in I Am $600,000 (and so are you) I had learned to accept responsibility for the creation of the whole 3-D world. I recognized not only that I had created it, but that I was it, for better and worse. And that felt like plenty to digest and accept at that time.

But let’s be honest, the 3-D portion of the cosmos is only a tiny fraction of all the vast stuff we creators create. The whole unseen world has to be accepted as my own creation—and my own responsibility—as well.

Through that slender, naked shadow-man, I had been gently shown the mind-boggling truth: Everything that seems to exist, whether seen or unseen, is part of myself. The good, the bad, the ugly. The supernatural. They are all my creations, and I’m responsible for them.

And if I remain in terror of them, then I remain terrified of myself.

This was a lot to take in. I started to call on Archangel Michael and various assorted guides of divine light and love, asking them to lead and protect me as I processed this alarming new information. (I also didn’t want to encounter any more shadow-men without beefing up my security detail first.) But halfway through the call for help I realized…oh shit…they’re all me, too.

They’re happy to assist for as long as I believe I need it, but they want me to recognize this: They don’t have anything I haven’t already got myself, because they’re not separate from me in any way. Their power is my own.

There’s only me, apparently. Only one of us in truth.

It sounds great as spiritual theory, this business of being all one.

But in practice, it’s a hell of a thing to stand still for, let alone embrace.

I decided not to resist the new information. And with this decision, I was shown a vision of myself, teeth gritted, grimacing with the supreme effort of holding back the wall made of self: The wall of unseen supernatural knowing and dread, which is actually nothing more than a part of me that’s begging to come home and be loved. I watched as I sagged, collapsing against the wall, exhausted.

To my great surprise, this act of surrender did not release the hounds of hell. It brought peace. The weight of eons, lifted.

•          •          •

I’m still afraid. I still don’t want to encounter things of evil intent (or even things of spooky demeanor), if I can possibly help it. I know I still have work to do.

But this was a biggie, this acceptance of responsibility for the supernatural. I have undergone the DNA testing to determine its parentage, and OMG, it’s me.

So there you go. It turns out that in the clear light of oneness, I am both the ghostbuster and the ghost. And the same, my dear, is true of you. Which makes that old question a surprisingly interesting one:

Who, indeed, are ya gonna call?

 

A Year Without Fear: I AM $600,000. (AND SO ARE YOU.)

prosperityAt the end of my previous post, The $600,000 Gatekeeper, I reported that the internal arbiter standing between me and limitless creative expression seemed to have permanently abandoned its mission.

Afterward, a friend asked, “So if the gatekeeper is gone, are you now able to feel you deserve $600,000?” I didn’t know. I said I’d get back to him.

When I first met the gatekeeper, it showed itself to me as a frightened figure trying singlehandedly to hold back all of creation. It didn’t seem terribly interested in whether or not I deserved a randomly large amount of money. The outsized request itself was the threat.

In general, I would say the gatekeeper didn’t much like or approve of me. But there wasn’t much it did like or approve of, frankly. It was a very tired and cranky young sentinel, and I didn’t know whether judging deservedness was even part of its job description. Now that the gatekeeper had left the building, did all disapproval go with it? I grabbed my lamp and merged with my highest wisdom self, to find out.

We went within to have another good look around. I made the same exploratory statement as before: I’m in the mood to receive $600,000. Then my highest wisdom self and I watched carefully, taking note of all feelings that arose in response.

The answer to the deservedness question wasn’t entirely obvious at first. Where a sense of constriction or limitation used to be, I found only silently peaceful expansiveness. Nothing inside there cared about $600,000 one way or the other. But if I wanted to have it, there seemed no clear, self-generated reason why I shouldn’t.

I shone my lamp more deeply into the question of what I deserve, or what I am worth. I wasn’t prepared for what I found.

A fundamental sea change had taken place. A shift so profound, I can barely find words to describe it. And I hadn’t even noticed it happening.

•          •          •

I need to back up a bit here, to put this astonishing transformation into perspective for you. Throughout this lifetime, in my deepest unconscious core I always believed I was a hatefully unlovable troll. An abnormal, unforgivable blight on the universe.

No amount of spiritual work has ever convinced me otherwise. Not down there, in the deepest slumbering places where the sun don’t shine. This fixed core belief in my desperate unworthiness and unacceptability seemed forever out of reach and beyond help.

Until this week. Until I got to experience myself as creation itself. The higher wisdom self and I brought our light of conscious illumination into that great internal vastness for the very first time. It became a wonderful, softly welcoming experience, very beautiful to witness, as our light made tracers in the darkness and gently awakened bits of my comatose creative self.

Apparently the hate-filled unconscious core thing had been watching this whole event. After it witnessed the spectacular movement of universal creation flowing through me, AS me—well, this core thing seems to have radically revised its opinion.

It’s actually starting to think I’m pretty damn cool.

•          •          •

Do I deserve $600,000? What a goofy, charmingly irrelevant question. How can I not deserve the limitless creation that I already am? I am $600,000, for God’s sake. And I’m Buckingham Palace and the Taj Mahal thrown in. Which kind of makes me want to start singing a Cole Porter song to myself:

I’m the top

I’m the Coliseum

I’m the top

I’m the Louvre Museum…

 

I haven’t mentioned it much yet, but it was fully clear to me as I witnessed myself in my spectacular universal function of creation, that you are that same identical thing too. You are every bit as vast, as grand, and as unstoppably limitless. (I know people say that kind of thing to you all the time. Books are full of it. But I’m reporting my own eyewitness account, here. And I’m telling you: Really. No shit. YOU ARE ALL THAT. And a bag of chips.)

•          •          •

But here’s the fine print on that contract:

If you want to know yourself as the limitless creation you truly are, you don’t get to cherrypick only the parts you like.

Yep, I’m the Mona Lisa and the Tower of Pisa (to go back to Cole Porter for a minute). But I’m also the slums of Rio. I’m the gas chambers of Auschwitz, and I’m every guy who ever drowned a sackful of unwanted kittens.

Write a song about that. I dare ya.

As I sat merged in meditation with the highest wisdom self and our lamp of illumination, I recognized I am responsible for all of creation. And my responsibility is to stop turning away from the creation that I am. I don’t have to like it all. But I must accept the whole package without resorting to the sort of schizophrenic denial I’ve been using since time began. I am required to know myself consciously and willingly as I truly am, in other words, or not at all.

The contract is to love without judgment. To help where I can. To step in and intervene if called to, but to do so without employing rejection or denial or a wish to find anyone or anything guilty–for those I would condemn are all very clearly parts of my own creation. Parts of my own creative self.

That’s what my creative self actually is. Its only function, its sole identity is constant, nonjudging, impartial creation. It couldn’t pause, take a breather from 100% neutral creating, even if it wanted to. And it doesn’t want to. In fact it doesn’t want anything. It already is everything. And it makes no judgment whatsoever about the unholy unconscious purposes you and I put our creative function to. It just endlessly creates, creates, creates whatever we ask of it.

So that’s what my larger self is. It refuses to judge its own constant creations. I know–I’ve seen it, felt it as me. Do I go on denying that nonjudging creative self? Running away from it? Being terrified of it? Blaming others for it? Hating others? There are no others.

And I’m done with that whole self-hatred business, really. The self-hating unconscious core and the vast creative self are the same self. There’s only one, you know.

I’m inclined to stop fighting City Hall. So I agreed to the contract as wholeheartedly as I could. And as I did it, I felt my spine gently slip out of alignment. All by itself. (Ow.)

Not all parts of me are equally on board with this, it seems. I literally do not have my own support. At least not yet.

How does this contractual agreement change things? Does it change things?

My chiropractor and I haven’t a clue. I’ll keep you posted.

 

A Year Without Fear: THE $600,000 GATEKEEPER

gatekeeperThe other day while idly scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I saw a Law of Attraction-based posting that said: I’M IN THE MOOD TO RECEIVE $600,000. The idea being, of course, to use the statement as an exercise to get into the suggested feeling state. And then presumably to attract the abundance it asks for.

I smiled. I was about to keep scrolling, but then just for fun I tried actually putting myself into the feeling state to receive $600,000. Just as an experiment to see whether or not fear would get in the way. This is my year without fear, after all. If fear is lurking anyplace within, I’m determined to call it out and see what it’s made of.

I didn’t have to wait long to find out whether or not it was ok to receive $600,000.

NO, a firm little voice whispered petulantly.

And that got me curious.

I’m not so deeply fascinated by the Law of Attraction per se, having already devoted 20 years to a Buddhist practice that had me utterly fixated on manifestation. I’ve done my time in the Law of Attraction playground.

Don’t get me wrong. I see no problem with tapping one’s inherent creative power to get a bigger house, better car or whatever the desire du jour happens to be. That’s as valid a practice as anything else. But I’ve got other fish to fry.

These days, I’m more interested in spiritual freedom for self and others, which means I’m not content just to prove to myself that the creation machine works. Been there, done that. I want to dismantle the engine, so to speak, clean all the parts and reassemble it. To shine a public light on how creation works—because I choose to know myself as That. But only as a means to an end. Only as a means to know myself as I really am in Truth.

•          •          •

I realized the other day just how vitally important creation is, to a committed spiritual practice. Those of us who wish to awaken fully to awareness of Self in God, tend to gloss over the messy business of creation. We don’t typically spend much time looking too deeply into whether or not we feel worthy of receiving abundance and support.

Sometimes this is due to a confused notion that poverty equals purity. But just as often it’s because it’s too uncomfortable to look. To find out what kinds of unexamined fears and self-hating assumptions might be lurking down there. Or maybe, to find out that we ourselves, creators one and all, have one hell of a lot to answer for.

But to awaken fully is to illuminate the unconscious, making it 100% conscious. And that means not one unexamined fear, not one shadowy belief in lack, or lack of self worth can be allowed to stand. And revulsion at one’s own limitless creative function cannot exist in one who is fully awake. Revulsion toward anything cannot exist in one who is fully awake, because that state can’t contain resistance or denial in any form.

So you may have zero interest in owning a private island, for example, but total spiritual mastery means you’d know you deserve one as much as the next guy. And that you could effortlessly call that island into your experience if you wanted to. (And then maybe choose to give it away to someone who might enjoy it more. Or not. No judgment.)

I’m really only interested in this business of creation insofar as it offers a very juicy rabbit hole of self-exploration. So when that tiny voice firmly nixed my request for a $600,000 payday, I wanted to find out which part of the self was talking. And why.

•          •          •

For me, self-inquiry always comes up with the most satisfying answers when I get the more clued-in self, the higher wisdom self, involved from the very start. So I went within to merge with that higher knowing, turned on the lights and went exploring.

I met an aspect of the self I’ll call the $600,000 gatekeeper. Its feeling state seemed young and kind of overwhelmed. I asked why it hadn’t allowed me to receive $600,000.

The amount was too big, it said.

I assumed this had to do with my beliefs about my worthiness to receive. So I played along, to find out where the abundance line was drawn.

“Ok, what’s a comfortable amount, then? Is $60 good?”

Of course, don’t be silly.

“$600?”

Yes. Duh. We receive abundance in that range all the time.

“$6,000 then?”

Um, yes. Fine, it agreed a little hesitantly.

“$60,000?”

…Yes…maybe, it said uneasily. But only as a very special one-time windfall amount.

“How about $600,000?”

NO. I ALREADY TOLD YOU. QUIT ASKING.

“Why? What’s wrong with $600,000?”

The answer was not what I expected. The gatekeeper said nothing, instead showing me its feeling state: $600,000 was way outside its comfort zone, but not just because it felt I was undeserving of such a large amount.

It was fully occupied with a much more pressing objection: The flow of that much money all at once felt terrifyingly out of control. This self-appointed sentinel was permanently frightened by the limitless creative potential always at work throughout the universe, which threatened to pour unchecked into our experience in every moment. And it did not appreciate me messing with its carefully controlled system of checks and balances.

By throttling the firehose of potential abundance down to a comparative trickle, it seemed convinced it could keep the equally uncontrollable avalanche of “bad stuff” in the creative torrent from pouring in. Or maybe, to the gatekeeper, it was all bad stuff. To this aspect of the self, unlimited creation felt like deadly dangerous unholy chaos. So it determinedly choked off the flow—holy and seemingly unholy, baby and proverbial bathwater—to avert certain disaster.

Jeez. Ok. Interesting.

I thanked it for its answers, letting it know the lights would be staying lit from now on—that its days of unconscious decision-making were over. Then I went to bed.

The next morning I woke, feeling I hadn’t truly learned everything the gatekeeper knew. My higher wisdom self and I merged once again and went back in to see if we could find out more.

“You know, don’t you, that the uncontrollable avalanche of creation is not actually coming in from somewhere outside of you, right?” I asked the gatekeeper.

It said nothing, instead showing me its feeling state, which was the energetic equivalent of scowling at the ground and uneasily shuffling its feet.

There’s too much creation going on 24/7, the gatekeeper blurted out defensively. It isn’t safe. It’s all unconscious, and there’s nobody at the wheel. Nobody is deciding what’s good and what’s bad for us. So I have to do it. I decide what’s too much for us to handle. I have to hold back the avalanche all by myself, to keep us out of trouble.

In a flash of inspiration, the wisdom self helped me understand the meaning behind this rant: The poor overtaxed thing was only too aware creation is all happening within.

The gatekeeper, I realized, was afraid of itself.

I was afraid of me.

So with gentle curiosity, the higher wisdom self and I lifted our lamp toward that aspect of the self that is pure, constant creation.

I felt it more than saw it, this astonishingly neutral, oblivious force of nature within and without. We dropped inside it, letting it create all around us and through us. I merged with it, letting myself feel, dimly, a whole universe of intricately interwoven creation swirling within; I accepted it cautiously as a previously unmet part of my own larger identity.

It felt uncomfortable at first. Icky, at first. Incomprehensibly vast movement was all happening entirely on autopilot, doing its grandly gorgeous thing while sound asleep and utterly numb to its own effects.

Yet after a very short while, I got the distinct impression that the mere presence of our light, our observation within it was causing a very rapid awakening of self to itself. Bits of consciousness filtered freely through the darkness. To my surprise this vastly mysterious creative self offered no resistance at all. It didn’t seem to mind the consciousness a bit. And it wasn’t nearly so icky anymore.

I turned back toward the gatekeeper. “Would you like an introduction?” I asked over my shoulder.

But nothing was there to answer me.

 

 

A YEAR WITHOUT FEAR

victorian garden queen and suitorA 12-MONTH EXPERIMENT THAT ASKS THE QUESTION: IS PAINFUL SELF-LIMITATION NOTHING BUT AN OLD HABIT? (Breakable, like any other habit?)

And if a habit of fear can be broken, is it possible to cultivate a habit of joyous liberation instead?

I want to spend the next year finding out.

•          •          •

Like so many people do, I spent decades inside a self-created prison of emotional pain and unworthiness. It was life without parole, and that’s just how I wanted it. I liked it inside that tiny box. I felt comfortable in there, squeezing all of life’s delirious bounty down to a starvation trickle so as not to overwhelm myself with too much of anything.

I’m much freer now than I used to be, of course. But honestly, that isn’t saying a lot when you consider how infinitely free our potential actually is, in the grand scheme of things. Love it or hate it, the world has no boundaries or limits on what it can show us if we let it. So I’m still settling for tragic smallness, really. Most of us are.

Yet, these days I keep getting persistent glimmers that there are other ways to go about life. The rigid roadblocks I’ve habitually erected against my own happiness and fulfillment are sort of winking at me, shimmering like the transparent mirages they really are. Here’s the best way I can describe what’s been going on:

It’s as if lately I’ve been engaged in a sort of Victorian picture-postcard flirtation with what I’ll call Divine Possibility. A whole world of beautifully wide-open, potentially limitless freedom has been fluttering its eyelashes at me, lifting its petticoats to show me a delicate ankle, as it were, before skipping off with a giggle to hide behind the garden gate.  Or so it seems.

But I know it’s really the other way around. Limitless freedom is patiently staring me right in the face—it’s me who’s playing coy, peeking at it bashfully from between my fingers. (And then I take a break to duck inside the potting shed, because apparently I still like to stand in the dark with my face to the wall, now and then. Smacking myself in the head occasionally with a trowel. Just because.)

But hey. At least I’m finally aware—after so many decades of clueless confinement—that the unstoppable flow of Divine Possibility and I are actually occupying the same lovely spring garden.

You’re there too, by the way.

•          •          •

So here I am, in my peculiar Victorian garden metaphor, rubbing my sleepy eyes and only just beginning to look with keen interest at the lush tangle of blooms and weeds running riot this way and that, growing with wild abandon all around me. Which is to say, I’m starting to really notice how the creative force operates within us, whether it’s wielded consciously or not.

This is not theory, or an exercise in the Law of Attraction handbook. I’m coming to recognize firsthand, for myself, that I—we—are all infinitely powerful creators, engaged in a grandly orchestrated ongoing dance with all of creation. We are 100% responsible for everything we call into our experience in each moment. We attract it, we create it, we make it all from scratch. We can’t not create. Our vibration draws similar vibration; like attracts like. We routinely bend people and situations to our will, mercilessly insisting they behave as we feel we deserve, for better and worse. And then we deny responsibility for any of it. The bad stuff is somebody else’s fault. The good stuff is God’s doing. (Or vice versa, depending on your worldview.)

But we’re creating it ourselves, because that’s what we do. It’s what we are. I know this not because some teacher or some book said it, but because I’m finally paying attention and seeing creation openly in action everywhere. The evidence is all around, if you’re only willing to look. To really see.

•          •          •

A dear friend recently asked a seemingly innocent question: What is your deepest desire? (My immediate thoughts naturally raced to all those cherished dreams still unfulfilled: I want to awaken fully, to know myself as I really am in Truth. I want to be profoundly helpful in the world.)

But the right answer, the only possible right answer that’s true 100% of the time for everyone is this: My deepest desire is whatever is occurring in my experience right now, in this moment.

No, I’m not parroting something I think an enlightened person would say. I’m not going all Byron Katie on your ass. I personally do not often (ok, ever) walk around 100% immersed in the utter perfection of present moment beingness. I do not know firsthand from my own experience that if something is occurring, that fact alone means it is perfect. I ain’t there yet.

However. I did see with shocking clarity the cooly neutral truth of that statement. Why is this moment my deepest desire? There is actually never a moment in time that I’m not experiencing the fulfillment of my deepest desire. Because that’s how creation works, and I am an infinitely powerful creator. What I say goes, always.

But ask me to name my deepest desire, and my mind automatically skitters off into ‘what I haven’t got yet’ future dream-fulfillment territory. But that’s a lie. That’s just another game of Victorian peekaboo.

In truth I am an infinitely powerful creator, and nothing/nobody can override my free will choice. Ever. Period. I automatically create and attract into my experience exactly what I want, moment by moment. Whatever I’m experiencing is whatever I want most to experience in that moment. What I desire most. That’s how it works. It can’t be any other way.

Naturally we don’t want to hear that, because it’s very hard to accept the news that we freely create our own bondage and pain. I get it. I’ve certainly been there, bitterly arguing I would never cause myself (or others!!) unhappiness or injustice. Oh, but the truth is, I would. I have, through free will choice. Unconscious free will choice, mostly, but free will choice nonetheless.

•          •          •

So now I’ve clearly seen not just the marionette strings on my hands and feet, I’ve finally recognized the true identity of the puppeteer.  And I accept responsibility for both. Yet not a lot has changed, in my habitual daily decision-making process. But why is that? If the world is actually my oyster/lobster/seafood buffet, and creation is an ongoing inescapable fact of life in the world, I shouldn’t need to go on unconsciously choosing the same old starvation diet, right? I could be choosing all my future-based heart’s desires right now. In theory, anyway.

And that’s what got me wondering:

If I’m starting to know myself as an infinite creator, how come I still habitually make fear-based decisions? Why do I automatically play small, narrowing my own options, restricting my own freedom? And therefore the freedom of others?

So I’ve devised a very simple experiment. I want to find out fear’s actual role in the day-to-day creation process. For one year, I will stay alert to notice every time I make a decision, large or small, that is based in fear. (I know well the telltale signs when fear is present. I’m sure you do, too: A feeling of contraction or heaviness. Any sense of worry. Any desire to limit myself or others.)

As I consciously acknowledge the presence of that feeling state of fear, I will stop and ask: Is there another way to see this situation? Another solution or direction I can take that is not fear-based? And then I will wait to see what answers or insights might come. I pledge to walk down those unfamiliar new avenues in which fear plays no part. Maybe it will get less uncomfortable and strange each time I do it. Maybe the scenery will change a bit every time. Then as the months roll by, we’ll see what kinds of new vistas open up.

•          •          •

Freedom, (if you look at it closely) is actually freedom from fear. Freedom is feeling safe, peaceful and strong, expansive and loving in every moment, regardless of what is occurring around you. That’s true freedom. Inner freedom. It is not (to quote Janis Joplin) another word for nothing left to lose.

Yes, losing everything—and discovering you’ve survived anyway—is one way of moving beyond the fear of losing everything. But surely not the only way of attaining true freedom, true liberation.

I want to know myself as That. As One who walks the Earth in true freedom from fear. And yes, I’d like to be fully awake and ridiculously helpful to humanity while doing it. But right here and right now, I’ll start by holding my old habitual fear patterns up to the light. Not to battle them—just to gaze upon them with bemused curiosity. To put them aside, and then choose something different this time. And next time. And the time after that.

My current hypothesis is that fear is a habit. And therefore maybe the act of choosing fearlessly is just a muscle that needs to be developed. So, gym class starts now. I’ll be blogging my progress (both the forward and the backward kind) if it interests you. Personally, I can’t wait to see what comes of it.

 

 

WAKING UP. SMELLING THE COFFEE.

love me some coffeeThere’s been a lot of talk among God’s students lately about food’s perfect innocence. How it’s neither good nor bad for you, how it doesn’t make you thin or fat, sick or healthy. How (like every other aspect of this 3-D illusion), food is entirely neutral. That I’m the one who gives it all the meaning it has for me. If I say it’s fattening, in other words, then it is. If I say it’ll make me sick—or well—then it will.

I get it in principle. I’ll bet many of us do.

Well, forget the theoretical realm. I decided to test it out for real. And I had just the perfect test subject in mind:  Lately coffee disagrees with me in a big way. And you know how I love my morning coffee. That sexy siren scent wafts in from the kitchen and I either give in and have a cup—and then spend the morning wishing I hadn’t—or I deny myself a cup and spend the morning wishing I had.

So it was a perfect test candidate, then.

Today I wanted a cup, but decided to check in first to see if it was a good idea or not. It’s the first time I ever asked for internal divine wisdom beforehand, instead of just making the decision unilaterally.  The few times I tested this food innocence business in the past, I made my choice to eat or drink something, then after that I asked my Highest Self to be present with me while I ate or drank it.  Then I ate or drank consciously, together with Spirit, giving it my best attempt to enjoy those foods I thought were bad for me.  Doing my best to let them be neutral while I consumed them.

My results were always inconclusive.

•                •                 •

Today, when I checked in prior to pouring the coffee, I got schooled on how it’s really done:

By drinking coffee with your digestive tract in its current state, worldly laws indicate you will suffer for it.

 If you want to experience no ill effect from this coffee, you must withdraw all belief from your self-created universe of hate and rage (which is the only power that upholds worldly laws), and place FULL trust in me. Through me, you will be able to see and feel the coffee’s true innocence. Not a concept of innocence, as your thinking mind would generate, but a true knowing of its innocence.

I silently agreed to withdraw all belief from worldly laws, and to lean into holy truth instead.

The coffee is neutral. Do you feel this?

“Yes.”

Good. In its neutrality, the love of God shines through it.

I saw that the moment my beliefs about it were released, the coffee’s true God-nature was revealed: It was lovely, gently radiant in its ineffable holiness.

Now look at your stomach and digestive system. They, too, are perfectly neutral. They, too, are suffused with God. More than suffused, actually. They are composed of the God Self, as is the coffee in its cup. As is the cup.

 Can you feel your wholeness, dear one? All is the God Self. In this knowledge (which is always felt, and never intellectualized through the thinking mind), nothing in this world can ever harm you. You are just pretending to shuffle bits of your God Self from one spot to the next. It’s all you. It’s all equally innocent and harmless, and it all cherishes the infinite perfection that you really are.

I relaxed into the profound safety and joy of this simple truth. My world shimmered with God-awareness.

Now, in this peaceful certainty that coffee is your own love shining its holiness, you can temporarily reunite it with a dream of a 3-D digestive system which is also shining its holy God Self. By resting in this truth, coffee can have no ill effects. Nor could it ever want to. It has been reminded of its own perfect innocence in you. It has been liberated, dear one, and welcomed back into the one holy Self.

The awareness of divine gentleness, love and safety has persisted all morning, coloring every aspect of my perception.  And oh my, that cup of coffee went down easy.

I think I’ll have another.

Science or God?

Science or God?

Recently, as part of an article about atheism, I was asked the following question by Illuminata Magazine:

Q: How do you respond to Richard Dawkins’ brand of ‘informed’ atheism supported by scientific investigation? Or what would you tell somebody who’s confused by all these genetic theories that these gentlemen use to prove what they call the ‘God Delusion’?

Frankly, I had to look the guy up. These kinds of arguments hold little interest for me anymore, and this is why:

A: I don’t respond to Richard Dawkins’ brand (or indeed any other brand) of scientific argument around the existence of God. Richard Dawkins is a brilliantly intelligent man, and I understand why he has arrived at many of his scientific conclusions. And I also understand why his arguments would appeal to many. But intellectual brilliance and science are Stone Age tools, quite frankly, when engaged in a search for God; they’re hopelessly crude and thoroughly unequal to the task.

I too was once a cynic, by the way, and for many years it never even occurred to me God might actually exist. I just assumed God was a made-up concept designed to prevent me from sleeping in on weekend mornings. And then one day I had a spiritual experience. I wasn’t looking for it—it just happened.

And that’s the funny thing about all intellectual arguments for or against the existence of God. They don’t matter worth a damn, because God is not ever found through the intellect. Authentic spirituality is a felt experience that bypasses the intellect entirely, and permanently changes one’s perception. And when that experience occurs, mere intellectual understanding or opinion or argument is completely eclipsed by Knowing, and that’s knowing with a capital ‘K.’

I have experienced that which could be called God (or Divine Source, or any of a hundred different names) many times. Not only is it real, in my knowing God is the only thing that’s real. This world as we think we know it, is not real. All the great spiritual teachings of the world say the same thing. All is one, in truth.

As Einstein once said, “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a persistent one.” And my knowing concurs with this scientific statement. (Einstein was not speculating on the existence of God here, just making a general statement about our perception of the world versus its actual properties.)

To the naked eye, science and spirituality appear to be diametrically opposed, with opinions and “proof” flying on both sides. I’m not interested. I hew to a higher truth, a deeper knowing. I do not require theories or proof to back up the truth, because real truth, once experienced, blows everything else out of the water.

I have no investment in trying to persuade anyone of this. Until one experiences it for himself or herself, what I’ve just described makes no sense. Or perhaps it sounds (to an intellect) like I’m advocating a big frosty glass of happy juice, an abdication of rational thought in favor of unicorns and rainbows.

Actually I would suggest the opposite—that it’s exceedingly healthy to maintain a certain skepticism as one treads a spiritual path. Take no one’s word for anything. Have your own firsthand experience.

For anyone truly interested in a serious search for the existence of God (as opposed to intellectual brawling as ego entertainment) I would suggest this: Go someplace quiet, be still, and ask. Just ask, very sincerely and with a completely open mind, for evidence of the truth one way or the other. Evidence of God, or no God.

Call it a scientific experiment if you like. And see what happens.

 

 

SAFE CRACKER (SAFE part 2)


I’ve been thinking quite a lot about this business of safety, trust and surrender, because my life has changed so radically ever since I put all three of these into action last month in Sedona. In fact, I barely recognize myself these days.

A number of things have happened over the past few weeks that would’ve previously sent me spinning into waves and fits of anxiety and fearfulness. But now…nothing.

From car breakdowns a thousand miles from home; to stolen credit cards; to computer malfunction and potential loss of income; to howdy-do visitations from ghosts (or possibly angels, I don’t know – one invisible entity is much like another in my book).

Anyway, my point is, it’s been a cavalcade of what used to be code red anxiety-producing events.

But apparently there’s nothing that presses those fear buttons anymore. In fact, I’d go so far as to say the buttons themselves seem to have been permanently dismantled. And strangely enough, I would actually characterize the events of the past month or so as peaceful and enjoyably stress-free. Because I didn’t really blink an eye at any of it.

And there’s more.

In addition to the total lack of fear, I seem to have unexpectedly acquired a brand new ability to differentiate between the actual facts of a situation, and any stressful story I would’ve told myself about it in the past.

For example, when my credit card information was stolen, I was fully aware of the same old stories I might have chosen to attach to the event: Oh no! I’m not safe. Oh no! What will be stolen from me next? Oh no! What if my replacement card doesn’t arrive before I leave the country tomorrow?  But I clearly saw they were optional embellishments, not the reality itself. And so I wasn’t tempted to indulge in them anymore.

Instead there were only simple facts: My credit card was used to make two purchases. The card company reversed those charges and cancelled the account.  My new card would either arrive in time or it wouldn’t. Because no stories were woven around the facts, there was no anxiety – indeed, no suffering of any kind, associated with the incident. There was only joy. And gratitude. And profound peace.

After a lifetime of habitually anxious hand-wringing, I cannot begin to tell you how new and wonderful and utterly bizarre it is to live inside this unrecognizably serene new version of myself.

•          •          •

And so I wondered: What was so incredibly different about the trust and surrender I offered up at the Sedona cabin, versus the hundred thousand-odd other times I’ve tried it? I mean, I’m sincere as hell when I pray. Why did this particular set of prayers cause such deep and fundamental shifts in perception?

I took a long, careful look at this question, because I wanted to crack the code. To tease out the primary catalyst for the miracle I’ve experienced, and hold it up to the light so that I – and you – can get a good look at it.

The nucleus, the core difference between the Sedona Cabin prayer and all preceding ones seemed to be the fact that I was at the end of my rope when I offered it.

I guess I have a hard-ish time fully letting go of ego control under normal circumstances. (Perhaps you can relate.) But these circumstances were hardly normal. I accepted the possibility that surrender might cause my death and then surrendered anyway, because I couldn’t stand to be tormented by my own fears for one minute longer.

And so, I completely and fully surrendered my imaginary “control” of the situation to Spirit for the first time, I guess. Even though it felt like I was putting my life in extra danger by doing so. And I managed it despite being unable to trust even a little bit at that point.

And that’s the tricky thing about trust and surrender. The ego mind so dearly wants it to happen in just that order: Prove to me that I can trust, and THEN when I know it’s safe, I’ll surrender. (Maybe.)

 But unfortunately that just isn’t the way it works. Surrender comes first, and then the trust floods in afterward, along with the beautiful miracle of prayers answered.

Having to surrender before we trust isn’t some kind of twisted test set up by God to doublecheck on our worthiness, by the way. That’s not how God rolls.

Our inability to trust in advance is just a hurdle set up by our own ego mind as a means to protect itself.

Yes, it’s kind of a bummer that it works in that seemingly backward order. And your ego mind might want to convince you that surrendering first is some kind of dreadful “lady or the tiger” trick: be suckered into surrendering, and then discover too late that you’re worse off for having done it.

But that’s honestly never the case.

In my experience, anytime we manage to surrender, there’s a guaranteed jackpot waiting in the wings. (The jackpot is always there either way, of course. But surrender seems to enable us to accept it.)

•          •          •

So is “end-of-rope” suffering necessary in order to surrender deeply to God and accept all the good stuff that comes as a result?

Strictly speaking, no. Of course not.

We just tend to vastly prefer the suffering (i.e. hanging onto ego “control”), wrongly believing it’s the road to peace and freedom.

Oh honey. Au contraire. You want peace? You want freedom? Freedom is having a sense of peace and safety no matter what kind of stuff arises in your 3-D world.
If what you truly want is peace and freedom, then what you truly want is surrender.

Great big gobs of it. Run toward it with open arms. Ask for it with joy and gratitude, even if it feels scary as hell while you’re doing it.

You won’t be disappointed. Trust me.