Emotions, Spirituality

All is Mental

This is the first of the Hermetic Principles which is nicely spelled out and distilled in the Kybalion. It’s covered ad nauseum in many different videos on YouTube, so I’m not really going to repeat what this means any more than I have to.

Essentially, the principle is that everything sprang from and exists in the mind of the All/the Creator/the Creative Principle. Mind mind mind. Everything is about the all powerful mind, a concept which is echoed very strongly throughout many of the New Age philosophies, a la The Secret. Now using the Principle of Correspondence (as above, so below) I’m going to make the staggering assumption that The All thinks … a lot, like I do. I imagine all sorts of things, but what is the difference between a day dream which is essentially a flight of fancy and a true dream which motivates me to action? Emotion. The difference is emotion.

I particularly like Mark Passio’s take that there is a hidden 8th Principle which encompasses and unites all the other Principles: Care. So what’s the difference between a flight of fancy which has weak mental energy and a motivating image which has strong mental energy? Care. Emotion.

Now I have said somewhere in here that I tend to view that one of the purposes of existence in this dense level of material reality is to learn how powerful our thoughts are; that dense matter is designed to act as a buffer between “thought” and “manifestation”, with action of some form being required to birth a mental construct. Imagine the level of chaos we’d have if all of our fantasies were instantly real? Ugh! We are largely exceedingly mentally undisciplined, and a quick peek at any Social Media outlet illustrates this.

Now I know just how powerful mind is, but I also know that emotion is the fuel. They are like 2 parts of a whole, steering wheel and engine. If the engine isn’t on, turning the wheel doesn’t gain me much – no matter how awesome that wheel may be. If the engine is running but the wheel is allowed to spin, that will not end well either. So now I have to ask myself: is emotion something associated with this level of existence, or is it part of Mind?

As I was typing that out I got a mental image (hah!) of the “separation of head and heart” being an illusion. An image that heart is mind and mind is heart, but again for this level of reality they needed to be separated – at least superficially – in order to teach us how they work together. We as a culture, and by this I mean pretty much every single patriarchial culture on the planet, is terrified of the power of emotions. Of the chaos of them. Of the pain of what it means to feel. Of the vulnerability that emotional attachments bring. This is also an idea I’ve explored here, where “strength” is defined as being largely unaffected by emotions (ie: not vulnerable) with the exception of anger, while “weak” is defined as being emotional/vulnerable. Men are “strong” and women are “weak”, and my take on this was: Bullshit. Cutting off access to the full range of emotion isn’t “strong” – it’s brittle. True strength is flexibility, not rigidity. True strength is having the courage to own our vulnerability while taking responsbility for its protection and care. So in our collective zeal to chuck emotions (especially the hard ones like grief) into the abyss, we’ve created an artificial heart/mind dicotomy – as artificial and non-sensical as the “mind/body problem.”

There is a movie that I really loved called Delgo. The main character is a student StoneSage, and they can control the elements with their mind using their hands to guide and direct. So replace “hand” with “mind” and this quote sums it all up perfectly.

“The novice follows his hand.
The student follows his heart.
The master knows no difference. The hand and the heart are one.”
– Elder Marley in “Delgo”

All is Mind. I’ll agree with that principle as long as Mind includes Heart. All is Mind/Heart. To care about something enough to even think it is what I’m driving at here. If what I think becomes instantly real and I am deeply aware of this and I have any degree of control at all, there are many things that I won’t bother entertaining; but in this level of reality right here where in order to make something manifest I have to do more than think it, I’m fine with mental bubble gum chewing. It’s part of the learning process. Understanding viscerally how Care and manifestation of Mind are actually related is rather one of the main reasons for 3D reality.

Emotions, Personal Growth, Spirituality

Gas for the Engine

Long ago, I went through a Carlos Castaneda phase. One of the statements which I heard and nodded along with as a “yeah, that makes absolute sense” was:

“Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn’t, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn’t. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you.”

Essentially – the best paths are those with hearts.

Being on a Path of the Individual, I know that passion (heart) is where the power truly lies. What’s interesting is that I find myself revisiting this idea more and more of late, and the true profound simplicity is starting to really sink in. See, motivation does not come from the mind and action is not driven by thought. Ultimately, minds are not the motors which propel us. Minds can steer, negotiate, navigate, direct, and guide. While the mind might be able to whip some action into being, it is not strong enough to sustain that motion.

Trying to find ways to de-progam the “I am worthless” crap that has taken up residence in my deeper self, I decided I’d look at various self-hypnosis options. As I listened, I felt … bothered, irritated by the messages and then I had to wonder why. The answer was immediate: every single – EVERY … SINGLE … ONE – took a 100% mental approach. There was no heart anywhere at all.

So here are these self-help self-hypnosis tapes completely buying into the “mind over matter” mantra, as if the mind would ever be strong enough to truly over-rule the heart. Hah! Being an ego based society that is, quite frankly, terrified of its own emotional reality, we have elevated the mind into some sort of pseudo-god (especially the spiritual crowds). What a bunch of crap.

Please don’t assume this means I’m saying the mind is powerless. Far from it, but understand the true nature of the engine that is our heart. A path without a heart will lead nowhere because it is dead, without power, a car with an empty gas tank.

So I’m listening to this “think your way into motivation” and I remember thinking “dude, you want to motivate me, speak to the heart rather than the mind.” Now the mind can most definitely affect things – remember I said the mind is the navigator? Have a good navigator and you can reach anything you wish; have a bad navigator and it doesn’t matter how powerful the engine is!! You are not getting where you want to go.

So, if I want to make lasting changes in my life, my Self, then I need to find the path with heart. Find the passion. Find the emotion, and I think emotion is always tied to values. If something simply isn’t valued, then the motivation isn’t there – plain and simple. I can wish, brow-beat and punish myself until the cows come up for “failing” at something I simply don’t value enough to bother with, and nothing will change — other than feeling guilty and depressed. But find the values? The TRUE values which lie within the heart, not the ones the mind is convinced it “should” value? That’s the gasoline which powers the engine.


About the Featured Image: I found this on Your Energy Medicine blog. No idea where is came from other than this.


Might Makes Right vs Rule Of Law

Might Makes Right: the arbitrary exercise of power to gain desired results

Rule of Law: the restriction of the arbitrary exercise of power by subordinating it to well-defined and established rules of conduct

I’ve been doing a whole lot of work slogging through the various cultural and familial wounds that are cluttering up my psyche. A HUGE one is the gender wounding which largely appears to stem from religious notions. As part of this work, I’m attempting to examine things from multiple angles and I was thinking about War Lord levels of society as compared with civilized societies and it hit me:

Might Makes Right is a deeply patriarchal notion, which encourages bullies among other things. In fact, this statement is pretty much the bully mantra. Alas, bullies are not particularly empowered or balanced people.

Rule of Law, however, is the guiding principle of ‘civilized’ societies and under the Rule of Law … “might” means nothing. Just because you can beat up your neighbor and steal his car does not mean it’s yours. While it’s tempting to consider the Rule of Law as a manifestation of a matriarchy, I think it’s actually an egalitarian system where ideally (heh) the law applies equally to everyone: poor or rich, male or female, strong or weak. That said, Rule of Law only works if the vast majority of the culture agree to follow the rules established.

So think about which mindset is being espoused behind someone’s rhetoric. Rule of Law? Or Might Makes Right? Which one do you personally prefer and why?

Dreaming, Spirituality

Nothing. Just … nothing.

I can’t find the source now, but it was from some TV show or movie. The setup is that a small group of characters are working to resuscitate one who’s heart had stopped or something. They succeeded and brought the man back to life. The character who has a more spiritual bent asks “What did you see?” After a moment of silence in which the character literally appears shattered replies “Nothing. I saw nothing. Just … blank. There’s nothing there.”

And here was my immediate response if I were in that scene.

“Oh pulease! You have all the subconscious awareness of a brick. I see you’re descending into an existential crisis here, so let me ask: How often do you remember your dreams? Ever worked with them at all? I mean actively.” To which I imagine surprised head shakes. “And if you don’t remember your dreams, does that mean that when you are asleep and there is ‘nothing, just nothing’ that you have ceased to exist?” More head shakes with a furrowed brow.

“See, the world that awaits us after death is the one we visit constantly in our sleep. It is our dreaming self’s native world. Those who work with their dreams and have an actual relationship with their dreaming self will have the most ‘awareness’ – at least to our conscious concept of such – at to what goes on after death. But for those who have not developed that relationship, those psychic or mental/spiritual muscles? Nothing. Just blank. Why? Because your conscious capacity to process what it encounters is what is actually blank. We are 3 dimensional creatures visiting a 6th dimensional realm, to pose an analogy – and most minds simply can’t handle that.”

It’s akin to asking a kindergartner to solve calculus problems and then using the inability to do so as proof that that level of math is impossible and bogus.


On the Edge of An Abyss … or A Larger World

I was musing on the last Great Expansion that we as a culture went through, which began in the late Renaissance and the discovery that the world was twice as big as we thought it was. Not that it wasn’t flat, please. They knew darn well it wasn’t flat, but they did miscalculate the size. All grade-schoolers should know this.

Back in that era, we saw a massive shift in all different areas of life. The rise of the printing press, the rise of Humanism fueling the Reformation, discovery of the New World and all the new foods (corn, squashes and potato being most famous) plus the telescope’s ability to view heavenly bodies along with the proof that the sun was the center not the earth, etc etc. This was an era in which the very precepts of How The World Works were kicked out from under people in many different areas of life and it left them floundering and seeking meaning. Enter the Era of Enlightenment, my personal favorite era of them all.

Essentially, within 100 years not only did the world as we know it double in size, but the universe itself was reordered and reimagined. That’s BIG, folks. BIG. HUUUUGE (or YUUUUGE). Try to imagine… Oh wait, we don’t have to. We’re in another era of massive expansion, or right on the cusp of it.

The internet was a massive move, shrinking the world so that I can play a game on my phone with team-players in my own guild who are from Greece, Turkey, Japan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Columbia and the USA. Real time. No delay. Each of us co-operating to accomplish the mission of the moment to further our team and ourselves. That’s huge folks. HUUUUGE. But that’s not all.

We have figured out how to create wormholes, like real wormholes. Astronomers have discovered multiple earth-like planets just a mere 40 light years away in conjunction with the “impossible” microwave propulsion engine that might actually be a feasible drive system for space travel but it’s also not the only space travel design on the table. The creation of actual time crystals. The discovery of the long-theorized Dark Matter. The growth in understanding of Quantum Physics. To top it all off, as with most other eras of expansion, astronomers are finally starting to close in on the existence and location of the 9th planet in our solar system – birth of a new archetypal pattern! Much closer to home, we are undergoing a massive climate shift and with that we’ll be facing massive migrations as populations flee starvation in search of survival.

Once again, as in the 1450-1650 time frame, we are undergoing a massive expansion in our awareness of the world and universe that we live within, and by necessity our place within it. See the early part of that 1450-1550 was about expansion, the 1550-1650 can be characterized as reflection and exploration. It’s not a neat division but from a macro view that works. 1650-1750 was about integration and settling everything into the psyche in a workable manner. That expansion period? That was also a very bloody period which includes the Reformation and the Inquisition.

I think right now, we’re just beginning an Expansion phase on the magnitude or more than the 16th century saw. It’s just a matter of time before it’s confirmed that we are not alone in the universe and for many that will trigger an existential and theological crisis. As always, with large expansion comes the fight against it, with old systems struggling retain their power in the face of new systems coming online. Unfortunately, we today also have some serious firepower to bring to bear in that fight that our ancestors did not have. If fundamentalists of any flavor, who are struggling to make sense of rapid changes by looking to solidify the fundamentals as they see it, get a hold of nuclear weapons or chemical weapons or biological weapons…. This is terrifying. Truly terrifying. It’s an ideological struggle, not a struggle against a state or nation. There is no uniform to target.

What’s truly interesting to me is that, unlike the expansion of the 16th century, this one will and is encompassing the entire world … whether ready or not. Much of the world is still in a feudal or war-lord level of existence! In the parlance of Caroline Myss, these are 1st and 2nd chakra societies. We in the West are largely on the 3rd and heading toward a 4th chakra society. That is a massive jump in terms of energetic awareness. That much of the world is reacting poorly is hardly a shock. It’s to be expected. How to respond?

That’s a tough question. The Sophist Gnostics believe that Armageddon will be triggered by a struggle between the Educated and the Uneducated. *looks at the proliferation of anti-intellectualism* Interesting. Not sure where to take this, but I’m looking at literally hundreds of years of psychic momentum. It would take a LOT to derail that momentum. It’s possible, but the act of doing so would derail humanity far more than the Dark Ages did for Europe. I think if we’re looking toward a 4th chakra or heart-based society, responding from heart is the wisest course of action. That is with empathy for those who are terrified and angry, compassion for those who have been hurt, and a hand up for those ready to move forward.

Archetypes, Emotions, Hall of Mirrors, Personal Growth, Spirituality

An Unpopular Cultural Wound

There’s a topic that popped into my head one day while doing my usual “talking to myself” shtick. This time, what came out turned into a rather heated rant revolving around a specific, unaddressed, unacknowledged … actually denied cultural wound. It’s a long standing wound and by this point in time it’s gangrenous and has caused a great deal of harm. It is long past time that someone, somewhere, give this wound a voice. Not to vent or spew poison — but rather with the intention of healing.

Those who’ve read this blog know of my work with familial wounding, and through that alchemizing process I hit upon some pretty nasty cultural wounds which go beyond my family. Most of them are gender related, but not this one. See, a cultural wound affects everyone to some degree who identifies with that particular culture. As to just what a “cultural wound” is, I shall you point you once again to the brilliant work of Robert Ohotto.

In this case, I’m talking about the wounded Southern cultural ego.

What is that wound? Well, it actually revolves around the Civil War and specifically the aftermath. My mom is a huge Civil War buff and I spent my childhood eventually visiting every single major battlefield with the exceptions of Antietam and Shiloh. I’ve been to every major surviving plantation home, from presidents (Hermitage, Monticello, etc) to families (Shirley, Bel Meade, etc). I was steeped in a strongly Confederate-leaning upbringing, and with that I am also very socially liberal. I see no conflict between individual sovereignty and social equality – in fact, they go hand-in-hand.

Despite all this exposure, I always thought “that was over 100 years ago; the issues are long dead”. Then I attended the 150th Battle of Gettysburg re-enactment. The final event was Pickett’s Charge. The two sides then stopped to face each other – Yankee and Confederate. Women walked between the lines carrying wreaths in honor of all the Americans who died during that battle. Then the two sides were supposed to come together and shake hands. What literally blew me away and hit me to my core was watching just how many of the re-enactors turned their backs and walked away … on both sides. The expressions of the men who chose this action were all different levels of furious. It was in that moment that I truly realized … “It’s not over. Not by a long shot.” I then remembered catching my mom once in a rant against Sherman and what an evil bastard he is. IS. She was on a roll, angry and impassioned, and speaking entirely in present tense. Truly, it’s not over for the cultural psyche if those who are plugged into it speak in present terms.

The wounds inflicted in that war were triaged somewhat, then picked at and picked at and picked at before being left to fester. The Reconstruction era was a dark chapter that doesn’t get talked about much, indeed it’s typically glossed over as if “and then we rebuilt yay! koombayah” No. My mom always said that the absolute worst thing that happened to the South other than the war itself was Lincoln’s assassination. Knowing history as I do now, I agree with her completely. My great-grandparents lived in a home built in the 1840s and expanded in the late-1860s and it included traps specifically to defend against Carpetbaggers. That blew me away when I was shown the cubby holes where the family would hide when the looters came. Or the trap door which allowed defenders to drop down on top of anyone at the front door. “Reconstruction” was roughly 40 years of deliberate abuse aimed at punishing the culture which dared to defy the powers that be, and part of that abuse was ensuring blame got heaped aplenty. Scapegoat anyone? Here’s what it goes like:

*cue the music* The North was the righteous hero who fought for the moral cause and won.  They were innocent of any wrong doing. It was those ill-bred, dirty uneducated Southerners who fought to keep slaves. They are bad people and it was all their fault.

*raised eyebrow* Really? How simplistic.

Do you honestly think that brothers would feel so strongly about whether or not rich people could buy other people that they would literally face off to kill each other? Especially for a single statement/issue. It was indeed a war that tore families apart, with the whole “brother against brother” and “father against son” being LITERAL. Not figurative. Literal. And you want to convince me that brothers were willing to kill their brothers over THAT issue? Hell, if you know anything about history you know that the institution of slavery was dying all on its own and rightly so. Rightly so! Hear that — rightly so, but if you think slavery is over then think again — “human trafficking” is just a PC term for “slave trading”. It’s not legally sanctioned here, but we sure do loose a lot of people to slave traders and I’m not about to church it up so we can pretend the gritty truth is less ugly than it is. *clears throat* My apologies for the digression.

So if the Southerners got all the blame for the war and had to accept the moral judgment to boot, what do you think this did? Bear in mind, there was pretty much not a single whole male left after that war, and by “whole” I mean that literally – as in “not missing body parts”. It’s eye opening to read the accounts of the hardships the women faced in that period because SOOOOO many men were missing hands, legs, feet, arms or were otherwise so scarred as to require operating at less than full capacity — if they came home at all. Being a largely agricultural economy at the time, this was beyond devastating. Then the carpetbaggers come in, aiming to pillage and loot the larger wealthy looking homes which were all the support many of these communities had left. There wasn’t much organized opposition to these bands of murderous robbers because … hello! Devastated to begin with. So, in the midst of this poverty hardship and pain, now start with the moralizing and judgments, the scapegoating and the blame throwing, and allow the poverty to go on and on and on. Anger goes somewhere, and who do you think is the unfortunate group to get shit on even more?

If you said the black community, you are indeed correct. Scapegoats for the scapegoats. The saying is “shit rolls downhill” and that definitely includes bearing cultural shadows. Let’s move forward a few decades, a century. The Civil Rights movement comes along, long overdue for sure. Voting rights for blacks. Equal access to amenities and services, education and jobs. HUZZAH! So the cultural wounding for the black Southerner is somewhat being addressed, but in the process now the white Southerner is once again being told “you are bad” and “you are evil” and “you are wrong”. That cultural archetype was angry and wounded to begin with! Let’s let this anger fester for another few generations, with the occasional violent flare-ups but otherwise unaddressed and unacknowledged as a legitimate wound. Now we’ll throw in a black President. I will admit that I was caught up in the “I hate him so virulently that I can’t look at him” emotionality. I actually had to stop and actively look at the “why” before I could unravel the rejection and see its source more than 150 years in the past. Then I was free of that crap and glad for it because that rage wasn’t mine as in me-personally – it was the voice of my cultural wounding. Alas, most people are not self-aware and so never once ask “why am I so unreasonably angry about this??” So after this presidential episode let’s trot out the white guy who says all the “right things” to a group who by now is caught firmly in the activation of a flamingly infected cultural wound.

Given all this, it now makes absolute sense to me where “this” is coming from. Where all the vile rage that I’m hearing pouring from the mouths of people I call friends but I know, KNOW are good people who wouldn’t even think such things on their own.  Aaaah, yes. I see. I understand. I empathize. Now it’s time to heal.

So what happens now? Well, firstly, recognition. The number of people who actually deny that white Southerners have a wound or deserve to have their wounding validated is staggering. Another manifestation of cultural wounding! There’s plenty to go around! And do you know what? Saying “the wounds suffered by the white Southerners deserve to be recognized” does NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT in any way take away, negate or diminish the wounds suffered by the black Southerners. Remember I said that shit rolls downhill? Energetically speaking, the lowest tier is trying to rise up and throw their own shit plus the projected shit they’ve been carrying which is NOT theirs onto another group, and that other group is rejecting the attempt.  I tend to think of societies as interconnected pieces, and if we want to heal one part we have to also heal another as well. That means acknowledging the wounds that are present … without judgment.

This is just as true of the cultural wound inflicted on the Native Americans! As I said, there’s plenty of wounding to go around and acknowledging one group’s wound does not diminish the impact of another group’s wound. I’m not Native, I’m not plugged into the Yankee cultural psyche, etc. But I can still see where the wounds they are dealing with are just as invasive, painful and damaging. It’s not a competition.

I actually think that right now our many and sundry cultural wounds are tap dancing down the center of the street practically begging us to be adult enough to own them. Just look at Trump having even the slightest degree of political success, then toss in the Black Lives Matter movement, the amazing cooperation and unity of the Native Peoples in their fight for control of their land, then the governmental responses across the board to this, and then the women’s march is a cherry on top. Holy shit balls, Batman! Something is energetically afoot and if we as a people don’t stop and ask ourselves “whaaaa?” then we’re going to be in even more trouble. This shit is coming up for a reason. We are being asked to own it and then alchemize it – turn it from led into gold. Heal the many wounds and move through them. Not past them, through them. Each of these groups and cultures has the right to be angry about the wounds suffered. It’s ok to be angry – but it’s the disempowered victim that demands everybody apologize and grovel and cater. Don’t be ‘that guy’. Be adult enough to ask what is your personal relationship to your cultural inheritance (whatever your personal one is) and what can you do to ease the suffering?


About the featured image: from the 1981 movie “Heavy Metal”. It’s my answer to the question of: “what happens if we refuse to question the wounds that we carry?”

Personal Growth, Spirituality

Best of all Possible Worlds

I have a perspective that I figured out recently is apparently on the uncommon side – more’s the pity.

What is it? It’s simple. I know that for the most part, people try to do what they consider is the right thing. Few people set out to deliberately and maliciously harm those they come into frequent contact with – co-workers, friends, spouses, club attendees, whathaveyou.

With this in mind, I pretty default to taking whatever someone says in the best possible light. That means if someone flubs up saying something to me and it comes out badly, I typically assume they didn’t mean to be insulting or mean and so respond from the emotional reality that they are as human as I am and make mistakes. Apparently, this is uncommon. *baffled*

I was walking with some co-workers to get morning coffee. One of my co-workers has a poor verbal filter and literally just says whatever is on his mind. I also know he’s a genuinely nice guy and tries hard to help others. I can’t remember specifically what he said on this walk because whatever it was didn’t even register as anything other than his usual stuff, only he then begins to apologize for having no filter and apparently expected me to be all pissy or something as a result of whatever he just said. I chuckled and assured him that I take the majority of whatever is said or done in the most positive possible light, knowing that humans are generally good at their core. He stared at me so hard he literally did a stutter-step and then caught up. I’m all like “what?” and he tells me that’s an amazing perspective.

*blink*blink* You mean to tell me that you, a fellow in your 50s, has not commonly encountered this take on other people’s actions?


*heart breaks for humanity a little bit more*

I have certainly been on the receiving end of someone taking something I said in the worst possible way. It sucks, and it does nothing but serve whatever agenda the person has. Actually I think this is why people do it, intentionally or not — but I don’t typically have agendas with people, so I’m free to laugh, be amused, and even ignore whatever is said.

Considering how touchy some people are these days, I think this is a perspective that we collectively need to cultivate. ASAP. I know that I loathe walking on eggshells around other people for fear of them blowing up. I never want to have the few people who spend time with me to ever have this concern. I take people as they are, warts and all, and that means accepting faux pas as a matter of course without punishing them for mistakes. Corrections are not punishments, by the way.

Oh hey! This perspective has a name!!! It’s called the Principle of Charity. Well. It’s close enough. I’ll take it. *swipe*