Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Installing Grace

I awoke the other night, and a small voice kept saying, "Gently now. Very gently now. You are safe. Be gentle to yourself." Immediately, my body relaxed and went into a profound state of peace and gratitude. As I rose to go to the bathroom, I felt subtle energies of peace and compassion helping me to stand, all the while saying, "Be gentle. Be peace. You are safe."

I've had many of these "energy visitations" in the past, but this one has persisted and has seemed to be filtering through all the layers of my being and physicality. My chronic pains of this 65 year old have seemed to fade some, replaced by this steady mantra of a Gentle Campaign.

This has taken me into a new area of self-inquiry. We are all so acculturated with concepts of waging war on what we do not want or like, that to fully embody such an idea as gentle peace, seems like giving up. Yet, just the opposite is true. Once we give up the war, peace and grace can at last come to rest upon us, and we wonder why we were so all-fired forcible about things.

Especially, as a man, we are socialized to "aggressively pursue our objectives". We are taught that the "manly" way is to "attack" a problem and "make a solution happen". The irony is that just as much can be "accomplished" through non-forcible means, with less expenditure of energy and less risk of self-diminishment should we fail.

All this fighting for "success" ends up taking a toll on the body, which is remarkably resilient, yet still subject to the wear and tear of war. All this pushing and forcing puts the body in a constant state of "flight or flight", and results in inflammatory responses, and eventual wasting.

For the last several months, when I ask the body, What do you need? It has consistently responded with, "REST". I did what I could to shift my lifestyle to allow for more sleep, but that wasn't it. The body was actually trying to tell me to be peaceful and gentle with it. Under stressful conditions, such as financial threats (in my case), there is a constant sort of forcing of attention on solution objectives, spending stressful times juggling accounts and forcibly pondering solutions. This sort of operating basis actually hurts the body, keeping it from repair and rejuvenation.

I have come to see that gentle, certain intent trumps high-energy, forcible intent. Both acheive the objective, yet the former does it much more lovingly within the context of a healing space. Gratitude is the over-arching theme, as opposed to the unforgiving battleground of overcoming survival threats.

In David Hawkins' book, Power vs. Force, he points out that there is true power only in grace. And that Grace is a sort of loving, nurturing background energy within which all things come into being. It is only the illusion of individuality and disconnectedness that creates the conditions of fear and separation. By giving up this illusion and embracing this field of Grace, we reconnect not only to our own expression, but with our humanness and our fellow humans.

The I Ching has a hexagram, "The Gentle (Penetrating Wind)". This hexagram refers to the power of wind to reduce mountains to hills, and rocks to dust. "The dark principle, in itself rigid and immovable, is dissolved by the penetrating light principle, to which it subordinates itself in gentleness. In nature, it is the wind that disperses the gathered clouds, leaving the sky clear and serene. In human life it is penetrating clarity of [perception] that thwarts all dark hidden motives. In the life of the community it is the powerful influence of a great personality that uncovers and breaks up those intrigues which shun the light of day." (Richard Wilhelm)

So I've laid down my battle gear in favor of garbs of light. It's much more comfortable, and the body gives thanks.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Dark Art of Suffering

The famous saying, "Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional", opens the door to one of the deeper rabbit holes of quantum living. When someone waxes philosophical about the "human condition", suffering usually is a big part of the expose.

Why is this? I think it has to do with one of the most insidious traps constantly lying in wait within the human psyche: the word, "should". Shoulds are a direct path to suffering. This is because when something "should" be happening, or should be working, or should be this or that, we are automatically in resistance to a condition. The resistance gets stuck and catches us like quicksand, as we continue the mantra of "This shouldn't be happening". as the suffering begins.

I call suffering a "dark art" because it has been used mercilessly by power-hungry abusers on their victims, and by those who would control others, for millennia. We also do it to ourselves, of course, but we learn it, because suffering is a cultural meme, and really nothing more than that.

There is another layer to the dark art of suffering, and that is what has become known as "spiritual bypassing". Spiritual bypassing refers to the glib judgment or conclusion another makes about another's suffering: "He's got that disease because he created it", or "Her higher self must be teaching her a lesson", or, "She's miserable because she chooses to be." Now this is tricky, because there is an element of truth to these judgements and conclusions, and that's why it's dangerous.

First of all, we are all on our very specific spiritual paths as incarnates on this beautiful blue marble. What another sees when perceiving us is what they want to see, and we become a mirror to their own perceptions. Therefore, what analyses, judgements and conclusions they may have about us, are really about them, not us. Whether or not we are creating pain and suffering in our life is only another's interpretation of what is happening, and cannot be a truth.

The additional problem with spiritual bypassing is that it creates an excuse to abdicate perceptions, empathy, and allowance. It creates a sort of glib acceptance that stunts choices, obscures reality, and blocks allowance of true being.

What's more complicated is that we do spiritual bypassing on ourselves that traps the condition we are resisting and blocks the flow of healing energies. "I'm suffering with this pain because my higher self is teaching me a lesson." Yeah, right--we've just learned that pain and suffering has been dictated from on high because we deserve it in our supreme ignorance. Nope. Not it. If anything, "your" higher self intends only love and joy for your life, and if that's not happening, it then becomes a matter of self-inquiry.

Ultimately, the experience of pain as an unwanted perception sidetracks us into suffering because "this shouldn't be happening", or "This can't be happening." Well, it is happening, and it is a giant door of opportunity that has been flung wide open for the discovery of the unconscious blocks and unmindful choices we've made now manifesting as pain. We can now bring to bear all the spiritual tools and life knowledge in the processing and neutralization of these blocks and their genesis. So what if it hurts, if the pain is directing us to the encasement of love and joy at the core of the blockage.

The most underrated and maligned architecture we have is the imagination. We've assimilated the cultural programming that the imagination is not real, when in fact, is the only true reality we have. Our interpretation of our experience resides in our imagination. All our vision, intentions, awarenesses and choices reside in the imagination. On a quantum level, what we imagine actually has atomic weight--this has been measured in laboratories. We resonate quantum particles into forms and movements in the imagination, and these quantum bits create resonances and entrainments on atoms and molecules and influences the intelligences within them. The experience of "outer" and "inner" is really all one big wholistic vibration that we call "life", and it's continually forming and re-forming based on what's coming out of the imagination.

This takes us back to the old saw, "If you can think it, you can hold it in your hand." In other words, there can be no right or wrong to what you desire to experience--there are no overarching "reasons" you cannot experience love and joy as life--other than the ones you, yourself, command.