“The Garden of Forking Paths”

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Ah yes, mid Netflix show, that quote caught my attention enough to write it down: “The Garden of Forking Paths.”

The show was “The OA” and it was spoken in an early episode of season 2.  And if anyone follows that particular series, you are open to considering multi-dimensional theory and the eternity of the Soul in its pure-light state that simply “samples” life in many different roles and many different settings throughout collective consciousness timeframes.

I assume the woman they call OA is the Divine Incarnate reference to the Alpha and the Omega, except it is reversed so that she is known as ‘the ending and the beginning’ (the Omega and the Alpha).  She is the Eternal One with self/True Self awareness—she is the aware and intentional traveler between or among all transitory lives.

multidimensionallivinglives56.jpgNow in theory we all travel many journeys and live many diverse lives throughout the created construct of TIME.  We ALL walk ‘the garden of forking paths.’  It’s just that most of us aren’t aware of doing more than one life at a time while staying within the parameters of that life experience.

OA had the option of shifting out of one life and into another but finding “the cast of players” seemed to be similar in those different lives. It’s just that few cast members remembered the others from one life to the next.

But, and it’s an important BUT, … she eventually realizes what happens in one life affects all other lives and affects all other participants in those other dimensions. Which means that whatever issues are resolved in one life, resolve smoothly in the other lives, and whatever issues remain unresolved prior to that person’s death in that life, are left to the other lives to resolve the issue in order to free the ‘karma,’ if you will, of all the original issue’s participants.

I know it seems complicated in a way, but to me who actually guides hypnosis clients through their own “Past-life Explorations,” it makes perfect sense; so I enjoy the interesting theories and subject treatments that this series explores.eternalone456.jpg

“The OA” isn’t a ‘warm and fuzzy’ nighttime tale, but it is a thought-provoking exploration of how we move through life in different situations with diverse and even life-threatening challenges; and how we confront shadow issues in ourselves and in others.

I thought season two of “The OA” took it to an even higher comprehension level.  And I applaud the writers for that.   Good stuff!  Well done!

 

 

The Science of Change

Speaking of change: Welcome SPRING!   With the winter that we and many others in similar northerly locations have endured, a change to warmer weather is deeply appreciated.

So I can applaud CHANGE right now, and I imagine that this exuberant change-anticipation is what caught my eye in Dr. Joe’s scienceofchangelogolatest post where near the end he mentioned “the science of change.”

Really?  There is such a thing?

I know he was pushing a new webinar on changing how you think, which likewise affects the body’s ability to heal and replenish itself; and his focus was to help people shift their thinking to create more positive outcomes in their lives.  I know this, and of course, yes, he does make money doing these things. It isn’t all altruistic. And I’m not pushing it, but if you are interested here’s the link: ( Dr. Joe: “We are doing a webinar on March 22nd to share the science of change and how you can implement this formula into your professional career. To sign up for this webinar click here: http://www.drjoedispenzawebinar.com/two-step-order ”) 

BUT… also in the post he was emphasizing the stand-alone importance of change itself. CHANGE simply means a disruption in status quo—a difference in sameness—a divergence from a habitual path—a sampling of newness—a variance in monotony—a more expansive way of seeing, etc..  For the most part he was saying that if you want to change your life for the better, you have to willingly break old habits to do that.

However, the word ‘change’ actually means ‘no longer the same.’

And the most potent reason for change is our unhappiness with the current situation or pleasure pain barometer of change.jpgcondition. It goes back to that ingrained pleasure/pain barometer that rules our lives. If some action feels ‘good’ you keep doing it, and when it doesn’t feel ‘good,’ you are more likely to change what you are doing trying to get back to that ‘GOOD’ feeling again.

That ‘GOOD’ feeling can be called homeostasis—the body’s state of equilibrium—the harmonic balance in body chemicals and body function where the muscles relax, or it’s the emotional calmness of being not too high or not too low—that ‘Goldilocks sentiment’ of it feels ‘just right.’  It’s not exactly a bliss-state but it’s not like a light depression either. It is more like feeling mildly calm and pleasant, but not excited or giddy.

pleasurepainquotewater.jpgHomeostasis is basically just feeling a degree of satisfaction with the current condition as it is, because if you enjoy your life as it presently is, you are less enthused to change any aspect of it.  The ‘need for CHANGE’ decree that pounds away in our temples and often prevents our sleeping comes when we are unhappy about some aspect of ourselves or our lives.

So to say there is a “science of change” is to imply that these human motivations and behaviors have been seriously studied and there is documentation existing on that subject.  Being curious, I checked, and the National Institutes of Health does indeed have a behavioral psychology approach to this “science” called the Science of Behavioral Change:  (https://commonfund.nih.gov/behaviorchange/)

“The Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) program seeks to promote basic research on the initiation, personalization and maintenance of behavior change. By integrating work across disciplines, this effort will lead to an improved understanding of the underlying principles of behavior change. The SOBC Program aims to implement a mechanisms-focused, experimental medicine approach to behavior change research and to develop the ratdrawbehaviortools required to implement such an approach. The experimental medicine approach involves: identifying an intervention target, developing assays (measures) to permit verification of the target, engaging the target through experimentation or intervention, and testing the degree to which target engagement produces the desired behavior change.  “

***

After reading that description, I do wonder if they are dealing with actual people or merely ‘things’ because they call the participants “targets.”   Now I bet Dr. Joe doesn’t call his workshop participants “targets.” That’s probably why he has such a large human following, and likely why most people hate going to psychologists.  But that’s my personal opinion, and I digress.

changecompass67In finally closing, I will say that CHANGE is simply an aspect of our lives. We deal with it daily. It isn’t something to fear or to dread. But it does require a shift in how we consider change as affecting our lives.

When you can look at change in your life with curiosity and wonder what this new day will present you to explore, then you can realize your true evolutionary potential for maximizing this life experience. It just requires a change in your perspective on how you view your life.

SEE with new eyes.  HEAR what you’ve not before heard.  TASTE the gamut of sweet, sour, bitter, and saltiness. FEEL with sensations so acute that a gentle breeze ripples across the expanse of your awareness.  And SMELL life in its fullest fragrance wherever you are.

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These are your tools of perception while you are alive. You can use them to change your life for the better if your present situation isn’t so pleasant.

But again, that is your choice. How you actually view CHANGE is up to you.

 

Change simply means ‘no longer the same.’   And really from day to day, who is?

 

 

The Softer, Gentler Person

At times I wish I were a softer, gentler person.littlegirlkitten (2).jpg

I wish I could look lovingly at what I consider the lesser behavior traits of others and smile with unconditional understanding and acceptance.

I wish I could just acknowledge how much inbred hatred and fear we all harbor for those who appear different than we are, and yet say ‘It’s okay because we are still quoteongentle45 (1).jpgblessed and mutually bound by our hearts to a greater Divine Love that connects us all.’

And actually mean it.

But I know I am not really a soft and gentle person, no matter how hard I work at becoming one.

That’s just not who I am. I’ve been warrior in too many lifetimes. This I know from my own hypnosis, past-life explorations.

Right now in this lifetime, I’m probably as soft and gentle as I’ll ever be, and that’s okay because it’s who I really am. You don’t tame warrior, you learn to redirect it toward constructive endeavors.

I’m probably more like this ornery, ginger-stripped cat who now shares my house, than I really want to admit.  While I often wish that he were more loving and cuddly—more quoteongentle45 (2)like our many other beautiful, sweet cats of the past—he simply isn’t, because that’s just not who he is and it’s not how he will ever be.

He’s a fighter—a tiger—a ‘tear into you with teeth slashing’ little, orange manic that really likes to do battle even against a much larger foe. (Which unfortunately in this house would be me.)

So I guess that despite how I tend to think of his fiercer, less-cuddly mannerisms as character deficits, I do live with the correct animal match for my true personality. It’s just not pleasant to see yourself reflected in your pet house-mate that way.littlegirlkitten (1)

And when he does decide to snuggle in under my chin, loving me up with his raspy red tongue while I cringe and shudder until he quits, I know that this sign of deep affection is his way of showing me his softer and gentler self, if only for a few, brief, peaceful moments at a time.

 

Dreams of Strangeness

When I saw this image on Facebook, I thought, “Wow, this is beautiful, but it also looks so familiar. Where have I seen…oh yes, it was in the vampire dream.” (a few posts earlier)dreamchapelvamps.jpg

Now how weird is that?  This looks exactly like the large chapel-type setting in that dream, just before the space ships began flying around outside and the vampires landed doing their vampire thing.

But also along with the image on Facebook, this was the caption—a quote: “Tell me what you yearn for and I shall tell you who you are. We are what we reach for—the idealized image that drives our wandering.”

~ James Hillman ❤

Considering my previous post on identity and this image so closely matching the vampire dream, I’d say the coincidences are a little too amazing. So then according to the quote, I have to ask myself:

Do I yearn to be a vampire slayer?

Hmmm.  Well not in the most literal/physical sense, but perhaps in the metaphorical one.

If vampires represented ignorance and that cruel darkness lurking within each of us that tries to destroy our life force, I could easily yearn for defeating that in myself and for helping others to do so.

Guess I’ll need that ‘nut-cracker holster’ on my belt after all.

 

The River of Feelings

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“There is a river of feelings within us, and every drop of water in that river is a feeling. To observe our feelings, we sit on the bank of the river and identify each feeling as it flows by. It may be pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. One feeling lasts for a while, and then another comes. Meditation is to be aware of each feeling. Recognize it, smile to it, look deeply into it, and embrace it with all our heart. If we continue to look deeply, we discover the true nature of that feeling, and we are no longer afraid, even of a painful feeling. We know we are more than our feelings, and we are able to embrace each feeling and take good care of it.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh
Photo: © Yvonne D. Williams

For some reason this Thich Nhat Hanh quote stuck in my head when I read it because I know what he is referring to—I’ve felt it myself—the stepping out of intense feeling, no matter how painful it may be, and simply watching it flow over us as we remain sitting on the bank in silence before the enormity of the water passing through on its journey elsewhere.

If you aren’t sitting a part from it on the bank, that “River of Feelings” is a flow we continually ride—sometimes in a kayak gliding above the water and sometimes in an inner-tube with half our body immersed into it.kayakriverswirl67.jpg

So for us to say that we do not “feel” something emotionally is to say that we are riding the kayak as we skim the waves while still feeling the froth of turbulence. We may bob around a bit with emotion, but we’ve elevated our heads above the water and as long as we remain upright, we know that we won’t drown.

Inversely, when we are immersed in the feeling, we become the feeling and may struggle for our lives; clinging tightly to our inner-tube to keep our heads above water—for fear it drowns us with wave after wave of intense, gut-clenching emotion.

tube on river67Grief is an inner-tube type feeling. So is rage. It’s easy to be swamped when you immerse yourself in those feelings.

Some would say depression is such a feeling, but I believe that depression isn’t really a feeling as much as it is the result of losing the inner-tube completely and accumulating body fatigue from continually treading water without relief in sight.

So what is the difference between riding the kayak and sitting on the bank?

The kayak provides an experiential option for riding the feelings we naturally have during the course of our lives. It gives us buoyancy and distance from the worst of the emotional waves sloshing about us.

The bank is an entirely different perspective on emotional impaction. From the bank you do not participate in the feeling, you only observe it as it comes and goes, and try not to judge its rightness or wrongness; its power or onriverbank45.jpgaffectation on you.  You acknowledge it as it impacts you and note what is being felt, but you let it go—you let it move on and away without clinging to it—without wallowing in it or calling it back to re-experience, over and over.

It’s not easy sitting on the bank and observing your own river of feelings; and sometimes it’s hard to even find a kayak from which to navigate the powerful river of emotions that we feel.  At times when life takes a tumultuous turn for us, we feel fortunate enough to simply have that inner-tube to help keep our heads above the overwhelming waves.

What I think Thick Nhat Hanh was saying in this quote is that observing from the bank (meditation) is the far safer option for dealing with intense feelings, because it allows the greatest perspective on the river of emotion itself that we must experience over the course of our lives.

As humans, we will have good days and bad ones—people will come to us and then leave us through disagreements, grievances or death.

During the course of our lives, we make efforts to achieve or acquire what we do not have, and those efforts are sometimes successful and sometimes not.

We love and we lose love.

We agree and disagree with others, and feel both great joy and great fear at many aspects of life, including our own mortality.

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But during the course of our lives, that river of feelings flows on and on, over familiar ground or new ground—but it keeps moving onward until we individually feel no more and merge again with the Great Ocean of Consciousness that logs “all feelings” as simply a part of the living experience.

So keep your inner-tube always handy, and find a kayak when you can do so to keep your head higher above the waves; but if possible, try instead the view from the bank for its safer, broader perspective, and simply allow that emotional river to flow on by without judgment or clinging.

I know—easier said than done—but it IS possible to do it. Trust me on this one.

 

If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…

“If you can’t say anything nice about someone, say nothing at all.”

That’s a tough mother-ism to live by in today’s world.

monkeynospeak6I do think that silence is a blessing seldom appreciated. In fact, I could say nothing about many things and many people, and I would be the better for it.

But…. also in today’s world, saying nothing allows the more vocal hordes to flood the airwaves with venom and lies.

Democracies aren’t maintained by the silence of its members. It takes willing voices and willing voters to make serious changes in our world.

The next couple months will be a nasty time for impassioned outcries and claims, true or non.  I have my own opinions on much of what is occurring politically and in our government, as well as having my own thoughts on how best to change the current problems.

However, none of my opinions matter other than on Tuesday, November 6th, 2018 when we the people have the opportunity to express our beliefs on voting ballots across the nation. THAT is the day for expressing opinion. THAT is the day when what you think really matters.

So you can be as vocal as you wish—or as allowed by laws until that time—but the only time what you think really matters is on November 6th, 2018.

Vote!  It can be the single most important thing you can do for yourself, for your loved ones, and for the world in which we live.

VOTE  Tuesday, November 6th, 2018!votemontage

And if you are really impassioned with your candidates, then get involved in those campaigns and help others understand why those folks most appeal to you.

Those are things that you can do.

When it comes to the President of our country, I honestly can’t think of anything nice to say about him—NOTHING—NADA.   So I will actively promote positive changes for the people that I can easily speak well of.

Recognize that this is your chance to make a difference around you—get involved in positive change and work toward a better future for ALL of us—not just for the richest 1 percent, of which I will also say nothing good about, so they shall remain unmentioned.

Stand up—speak out—and organize your friends to make positive changes in our world. These are things that you CAN do.

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So just DO IT!

Eckhart Tolle on “The Dark Night of the Soul” Experience

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mpybTfz6rU

tollemictalk.jpgIn this short video, the questioner asks about his personal experience with ‘the dark night of the soul’ (which I thought was the most powerful part of this video and the main reason that I listed it here) and his sudden spiritual awakening because of that complete reality break.

The questioner then asks Eckhart about that ‘merging into Allness’ experience that he was suddenly immersed in where he lost his sense of identity and watched himself and his thoughts as they arose, as though they were separate from him.  Eckhart briefly mentions his own DNOS experience and then comments on the aspect of mind expansion into Allness and total awareness.

Eckhart then comments with a well-used quote on the nature of awareness itself: “The Tao that can be spoken of is not the true Tao.”

Awareness is indescribable, incomprehensible.  We experience only minute portions of the pool of total awareness.  Our personal comprehension of awareness pertains mainly to sensing our own life experience—how we perceive the world around us and ourselves in relationship to that world and to all the aspects of it, living and non.mysssarknightquote653

The thoughts we have about our personal experience are only our ego trying to make sense of its existence within the matrix portion of awareness that our human sense-making organ (our individual mind) can comprehend.  When we surpass our personal boundaries and tap into the Greater Awareness, we no longer THINK—we simply observe and ride the flow wherever it goes.  We don’t compare experiences for goodness or badness. We simply observe them as they arise.

We input without judgment or expectation or anticipation or attempts to define anything.

It can be an amazing experience of peacefulness and lovingness.  And it can also make you feel like you are losing it completely.spiritawaken67

So I like to temper my descriptions of the spiritual awakening or the Kundalini awakening experience with bits of how disruptive it can also be to your normal daily affairs and relationships.  If you listen to Eckhart, it took him years to come back to our mutual-consensus reality, and even then it was never fully back to the life that he once knew.  He was forever changed—for the better maybe, but let me tell you from my own experience, getting to that BETTER may not be an easy slog.

So be careful with your own spiritual awakening practices. Make sure you have a support team around to help you back from your space launch so you don’t burn up in the atmosphere on reentry.  Yes, some ‘dark nights of the soul’ (if they don’t kill you) can lead to kundalini awakening and reunion with the Oneness and Allness from which we emerged. But they can also be grueling, gauntlet-running, sanity-testing, limits-of-your-endurance experiences that are handled best if not faced alone.  ramdassdark night.jpg

I think in today’s world the hazards of sudden spiritual awakening are more broadly understood than a few decades ago, but there are few who have not personally experienced it for themselves who will ever relate to how bad it can get before it gets better. So if you are going through your own ‘dark night of the soul,’ look for others who can best help you through it.

That’s why I’m writing about it now.