Shifting Timelines

RCWAgain, been reading lately and have another Robert Charles Wilson book in process. Evidently I enjoy his writing style and skills.

I won’t mention which book it is at this point, but it is one of his earlier ones where he isn’t quite as subtle dipping into his extensive bag of tricks. It’s much easier to see how he’s introducing the characters, settings, and scenarios then interweaving them into the storyline.

Mid-way through this one I realized what an excellent teaching tool his books can be to frog disectcreative writing students—no matter the age. It just takes a little extra time, a few margin notes and a coil notebook to trace all the components as you read through it. Lay the gathered info out like an old-school frog dissection if you want to see what’s inside it—pinning those guts out onto the matrix-cardboard, gore everywhere—all over your desk—all over your shirt—all over the notebook.

Then using a white board to display each chapter (represented by small sheets of paper spaced evenly across and down the board), and using some colored yarn for each significant character, one can track character introductions, interactions, and crescendos across the entire whiteboard—which represents the entirety of the novel. This can be very revealing of an author’s intentions and message.

stephen kingIn novels where the narrator (voice and tone) is the main character, it is easier to follow character timelines—because you basically have one point of reference, but when the perspective is more omniscient or limited omniscient, it is more difficult to effectively regulate the writer’s tone and tempo. Then more obvious time descriptors are often used as headers, such as: “a day later”, “the year after this”, “two years prior,” etc.

Exposing too much information too soon makes for clichéd writing; but offering toodark night little information during early chapters creates reader confusion and lack of interest. So it becomes a balancing act of what and who is introduced when and where.

The big question the writer must always answer is the WHY of what, who, when, and where.

WHY is this character appearing early, middle or late in the story? What makes that character significant to the situation as well as to the integrity of the book itself? There are many ways to tell a story—why is the writer using this method? What’s his rationale?

For instance, right now the Wilson book I’m reading is a story about time-travelers, and as one might imagine, scenes switch all over the proposed timeline represented: present, past, future, past, present,…until you start to wonder aloud: “Wait,….which present am I in? The present in the past or the present in the future, or IS THERE ahere and now PRESENT at all?”

I think that might have been one of his themes for this particular novel: “Is there really a PRESENT?”

It’s interesting to me, because that is the same question that I’m sometimes asked when conducting hypnosis Past-Life Explorations with my own clients.

Mid-journey, the client can be describing to me the events and feelings that she is experiencing during a particular past-life situation in a different time and place—a different body—a different setting—a different country, while I sit in PPFthe chair beside her in the NOW. And to the client who is effectively bi-locating in two places at the same time, she may be asking herself or me, “Which PRESENT am I really in? Am I there? Am I here? …..Where is the present?

Well, as the narrator of this story and my client’s tour-guide through her then-current Past-Life Exploration, I simply tell her: We are right here, right now …wherever that is in your timeline because the PRESENT is a constantly moving target.

It comes. It goes. Yet it still remains…the PRESENT, ….at least as we know it.

So Many Lifetimes, So Little Peace

Wouldn’t you think we’d get it right about the 20th life experience ipast lifento it instead of being midway through 10,456 previous/simultaneous lives and STILL working on our same old issues?

This is one of the most difficult aspects for me to understand when I’m conducting past-life explorations with clients, or even in considering my own multiple lives throughout time and non-time. This question:

“Don’t we ever get it right once in awhile so we don’t have to keep doing this same unpleasant lesson-stuff?”

Evidently not, for most of us.

  • What does it take to finally “prove your worth” to yourself and to your personal deities?
  • How many grad-courses in “suffering” or learning “unconditional love” do we really need?
  • And how many times over the course of eternity must we experience this replay of human emotions versus untenable circumstances?

In Buddhism or Hinduism, being freed from maya (the “great illusion” we call reality) is the ultimate goal, as is liberation from the Samsaric Wheel of Life, Death, Rebirth. Here’s a little Wikipedia explanation of it all:

Buddhist wheel of lifeSaṃsāra (Sanskrit: संसार, Tibetan: སམསར, Wylie: khor ba, Standard Tibetan IPA: [kʰoːwɔ], Sinhalese: “සංසාර), is the repeating cycle of birth, life and death (reincarnation) as well as one’s actions and consequences in the past, present, and future in Hinduism, Buddhism, Bon, Jainism, Taoism[1] and Sikhism.

According to the view of these religions, a person’s current life is only one of many—stretching back before birth into past existences and reaching forward beyond death into future incarnations. During the course of each life the quality of the actions (karma) performed determine the future destiny of each person. The Buddha taught that there is no beginning to this cycle but that it can be ended through perceiving reality. The goal of these religions is to realize this truth, the achievement of which (like ripening of a fruit) is moksha or Nirvana (liberation).”

So I guess that means if we are still here doing our thing, we haven’t “self-realized” enough to liberate ourselves from having to continue to “do our thing” here on earth (and in other realms and places).

For myself, what I’ve noticed when conducting a past-life exploration session for anyone is that prior to the session, I always ask the person to have a particular “issue” in their present life that they would like to explore further during the session (something that isn’t working well for them, or something that continually bothers them, or a problem aspect that shows up in their relationships, etc.). Then during the deeper part of the hypnosis journey, I have the person ask their Higher Self to SHOW THEM lives that can help them better understand why that same issue is still replaying for them.

The client then walks through a doorway into a very different life showing different examples of the same present-life issue. We explore it thoroughly, then I ask for a second lifetime, and the client gets another completely different life—different time period—different setting—even different gender at times, and “the issue” then replays in a different way.

Again, I ask for a third life, and the client gets another example, completely different time, place, and people—all with little life-dramas exploring the many facets of that same issue—from all sides. The weird thing is that I think I could just keep asking for another life example, and I believe the client would just keep receiving them.

(And for the record, if that client came back next week, and asked about a DIFFERENT issue, they would get completely different lives and quite different examples. It’s pretty amazing.)

So from my point of view, having conducted the sessions, and in turn had some conducted on me, I guess I want to ktree of lifenow “When is enough, enough?”

According to the tenets of Buddhism and Hinduism, you are freed only when you can recognize the illusion of living and have no need to explore the issues further.

I guess my point is “How many more lives do we really need to find peace within us and to no longer need the personal drama perpetuating around us?”

Maybe I should have the client ask their Higher Self to show them examples of being perfectly at peace and feeling completely and unequivocally loved.

I suppose there might be fewer of those lives.

To Pick a Raisin

“After walking out grapes on vinethe backdoor, Elizabeth ambled off to the grape patch and decided to sit there on the ground until she could pick a raisin from the vine. Knowing that it might take some time for the grape to completely dehydrate, she closed her eyes, straightened her spine and began to meditate.”

“WHAT?” our rational mind protests. “You can’t just wait there until a grape shrivels into a raisin. It could take days. She can’t sit in meditation for days! That’s illogical.”

But the subconscious mind understood the story as metaphor for delayed gratification and immediately got the message from it. Elizabeth knew what she wanted, was willing to wait for it, and considered the wait-time as soul-nourishing and acceptable. It isn’t meant as a literal interpretation of events; it’s a hypnosis device called an Ericksonian metaphor.

Just to be clear, this brief story isn’t about the “dreams deferred” of Langston Hughes’ classic poem “Harlem” or the amazing 1959 Broadway play by Lorraine Hansberry, called “A Raisin in the Sun.”

This story is about how metaphors, particularly Ericksonian metaphors, access that inner systems program that runs our life—which is our subconscious mind—the behind the scenes controller of almost everything we think and do—from how we perceive and interpret the world around us, to how we react to those perceptions, because sometimes we automatically think someone is referring to one thing, when they are instead talking about another.

I was actually providing my own childhood memory of walking out the backdoor, going over to the grapevine area between our backyard and the garden, and sitting down waiting for the then tart green grapes to ripen to sweet burgundy for eating. My grandmother had come over to me sittingrapes-or-raisinsg there and said I’d be waiting a long time for that to happen—like days; and I said I’d wait.

Of course I didn’t. Kids have no concept of time. But my grandmother also told me back then that if I waited there long enough, those grapes would miraculously change to raisins. I later learned that “miraculously” meant to dehydrate in the sun and shrivel on the vine. But miraculously sounded so much better.

Miraculous is how hypnosis works. I admit that hypnosis and NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) absolutely fascinate me. That’s why I’ve been trained in those techniques.

I’m fascinated with them because so much of our lives we believe the world around us to be one particular way, and seldom comprehend that the world around us is how we perceive it to be. It is our perception of the world that makes it the way that it appears. And our perception is very changeable.

In the last 9 paragraphs I have shown that how you perceive and decipher what is presentemilton ericksond to you can be easily manipulated and refocused toward a desired conclusion. That’s the beauty of Ericksonian metaphors: It’s like being driven around the countryside by your eccentric Aunt Betty, who after hours of wrong turns and harrowing near misses of both stationary and moving objects, she somehow manages to find her way back to your home just in time for dinner.

The desired effect is: early suggestion of delayed gratification, food references as rewards for patience, proposed childhood memories to trigger your own childhood memories substantiating suggested premises; and last effect is to refocus your mind on how your perception miraculously creates the world that you experience.

I mean, seriously, …Aunt Betty was just too erratic to drive anyone, including herself, but it’s strange how she always knew when it was time for dinner at our house. I’d call that Selective Craziness; and it worked for her.

The Lone Star in the Sky

Either sounds like I’m writing about 2000 year-old Christmas-based astronomy or Texas, when actually I’m just noting what I saw early this morning when I looked out my upstairs window: a lone star in the sklone stary.

The most amazing part of this personal observation was that only seeing one bright light in the darkness of the night didn’t mean that there weren’t others out there. It just meant one star was all that I could see at this time due to cloud cover overhead.

Of course, that simple realization then led to philosophical thoughts on awareness and perception and things that most folks could truly care less about this time of year, but hey, …they matter to me. So there you go.

It’s that “just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there” thing, which can apply to just about any subject, from racism to mental illness to Spirit—it just depends on your focus.

My present focus is on our perceptual fallibility and humanity’s shifting awareness. Does this mean that staring out the window at 5am is something more philosophically deep than simply seeing a single light in the night sky prior to dawn? No, but it could mean that because first and foremost, perception depends on the perceiver.

Life is metaphor: pure and sweet, bitter and tart. So, how does this “seeing a lone star” metaphor apply to you?

Well, turn and face that imaginary mirror in front of you and then ask yourself, what are YOU looking for in your life? How open to simply observing everything occurring without judgment, are YOU? What does whatever you see “mean” to you? How do you interpret every little sensory stimulus? Is it good for you? Is it bad? How do you know which it is? On what are you basing those instant decisions?

Yes, …one little light in the sky set all of that into motion for me, primarily because this is the time of year when we do some serious reflection on our past year and set some high-hopes for the future one ahead—both personal and collective reflections and hopes.

So seeing that one little light out there in the darkness, but realizing that there are actually millions of little lights beyond my current perceptual awareness of what I am seeing, contributed to an instant question in my mind on whether I viewed this past year—2014—as a “good” year for me or a “bad” year.

That thought then evolved into how CAN I judge the year as good or bad if I can’t even see all the stars out there, or should I even try to do so?

Well, sure, there are incidents and loses that I can directly see and still adversely feel from the past year, but there are other “unseen” influences at work or in progress that I may not presently recognize. That does not mean that some event or process isn’t already at work in some way for my betterment, it just means that at present, I’m not seeing them.

My point (finally) is: No matter what you are feeling right now, even if you look back at this past year of your life and say, “Wow—this year really sucked!”

Or if you reflected back on this past year thinking that nothing good came from any endeavor that you attempted during this past year; it is far more likely that somewhere in the unseen world behind our conscious awareness, spiritual progress and spiritual evolvement were happening for our betterment in some way.

It is also likely that social and cultural evolvement and advancement are in progress for us all. But at present, we are having a little trouble seeing through the density of the cloud cover.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t there. That doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. It just means that sometimes we can’t see and know all the behind-the-scene maneuverings Spirit may have in the works for us until those changes manifest in forms too obvious for our limited perceptions to miss.

Personally, I think 20152015 will be a very important year for all of us. So let’s all set our intentions for it to be that way, knowing that intentions precede manifestation.

Here is wishing all of you peace, love, and light for the coming year ahead, topped in whipped cream, with God’s finest blessings to you and yours.

Hello “2015”—together we can make it a good year!

A Good Story

“Never let facts get in the way of a good story.”

(There is disagreement on who first coined that phrase, which makes my point here entirely.)

News media of all kind adhere to this “good story” theory of presenting news events dramatically because it draws viewership, which for them in turn means more money.

“Facts are facts,” …is another worn-out, too-often-used phrase. But the erroneousproblem with it is that those “facts” are interpreted by individuals just like all of us, who naturally have biased perspectives, and who sometimes have ulterior motives for proclaiming something as a “fact,” when it comes closer to simply being an opinion.

In essence, we are ALL this way to some degree—ALL biased and plagued by our own motives for just about everything we say and do. It is an aspect of the human condition. That’s how we learned to make sense of our lives and our world. We tended to believe that which substantiated our already determined view of the world around us, and discarded that which didn’t.

Even now, we may tend to see the world the way that we wish to see it, and believe it to be the way that we wish to believe that it is. Another person standing right beside us viewing the same “event” may not share our interpretation of what just happened or who was at fault during any serious incident witnessed by many.

Being the “unaffected observer” to life’s dramas is a rare stance to maintain; and it is not easily accomplished because of that natural human variance in perception and interpretation of what is occurring 24/7/365 to us personally, as well as all around us.

Our world is a collection of perpetual, individual interpretations of what is actually occurring at any given moment because people tend to see what they WANT to see, and to believe what they WANT to believe.

For every “witness” of ANY event, both good and bad, there will be personal motives involved in that “fact” interpretation—often motives that make us or our friends look more favorable in the story; and for all others, especially those who opposed us, to appear less favorable.

Whether this feels true or not to you, this is how most of us handle our world view. We tend to tell a story that makes us seem more acceptable to those whose opinions that we value. Sometimes we may unconsciously “alter” our story to make ourselves appear more favorable in the eyes of those whose opinions matter the most to us. What may have actually happened in any actual encounter will often be left unknown because of that human tendency.

So how do we as the audience to so many varied “event interpretations” make sense of what we see and hear on the media—which itself is a highly selective interpretation of events?

Unfortunately, it often comes down to the very same biases that might have plagued the witnesses of the original event: We see and hear the accounts of what we WANT to see and hear, and discard the rest as untruths.

We believe what we want to believe, because accepting something counter to our long-held belief system can radically disrupt our internal stability. It can shake us to our core. And that is not a pleasant thing to experience, so we strongly avoid it.

The proof has to be irrefutable for us to alter our internal beliefs about something important to us; and irrefutable proof is rare. It’s a bit like refuting the existence of Santa Claus on a grand scale: On some level of consciousness, who doesn’t want to believe a very stout guy in a bright red suit with reindeer on the side delivers parenting1presents to children all over the world on one short night?

Is it likely that this really occurs? But when you were a young, impressionable child, did you want to believe that it did? How did it make you feel when you first discovered that the “Santa Story” was a hoax, even though a well-meaning one?

That’s the power of personal beliefs: We tend to believe what we want to believe and discard any evidence proving the contrary. The truth of any event may exist on some level of awareness, but that doesn’t mean that we will ever know it, or even WANT to know it.

Truth may be truth, but how we perceive or receive that truth, is quite varied.

Ripples of Awareness—the TRUST-ability Factor

autumn ripples in pondLike many of you, at times my life has been a puzzle to me. Even now I can’t say that I understand all the details of what is happening in my present life, but I do have some basic ideas about it and I do trust that the Universe (including my own Higher Self) will provide the best possible learning situations for me—which is the WHY aspect that my life happens the way it does.

Actually, TRUST itself is a funny thing. It’s one of those immeasurable, emotive qualities of the human experience. Naiveté was one of my early vulnerabilities that took some difficult encounters to shake that child-like, blind-trust in others out of my system.

It’s not because I’ve become a cynic, but because I’m more realistic now than I was earlier in my life, so I no longer naively expect other people to have my best interests in mind, despite what they might say (i. e., the political ad season). If anything, I expect them to put their own personal agendas first and foremost, because that’s how most people are, even when they pretend to be otherwise.

Yet oddly enough, I do trust Spirit’s highest intentions for me, because trust is one of those things that time either builds or destroys. Time has built my trust in Spirit’s behind-the-scenes, string-pulling and scene-staging, but it has also lessened my trust in the integrity of human intentions and actions.

Over the course of my 30-year, standard work life where I was once a labor-union negotiator, as well as later being a management supervisor, it has shown me the many motivating facets of human interaction from both sides of the negotiating table. Those two perspectives were often very different, but the personal motives behind them were usually similar: People always want the best they can get for their efforts and their money. They just have different ways of interpreting what that means.

I’ve found that most people will always do what they feel is in their own best interests, no matter the situation, even if they are consciously unaware of their own motives for doing so. While some people may have the purest of intentions and normally have the highest ethical standards of conduct, that doesn’t always translate into the purest possible actions because in this Earth-classroom arena, personal-action integrity is quite rare.

I think it is a very unusual person who is so psychologically in-tune with every aspect of what s/he does and why s/he does it, that the person recognizes their own information-filtration biases and automatic responses to whatever life presents to them in each moment.

We can all have the best intentions to be the very best people ever to exist, and then…..life happens, difficulties add up, and patience runs short. We simply react defensively, protectively, and in self-preservation.

We think of ourselves first. That is just how we are programmed to survive. That’s who we are as a species (Homo sapiens) that has successfully evolved for the last 100,000 plus years—by self-preservation over any other concern.

That’s why from a realistic standpoint, I really do trust people to be themselves, and I trust also that they will have their own agendas somewhere in the mix no matter what they might say to counter it. It might be blatantly displayed in the foreground of the conversation or it might be subconsciously concealed if only from themselves, but it’s there, because that’s how we are wired as a species.

So, I can say again, that I do implicitly trust Spirit and my Higher Self to provide the very experience that I will need to best grow my awareness and to further expand my consciousness. But it’s also true that I trust people to simply be people, myself included—full of imperfections and conflicting signals, but doing their best to survive any situation for their own betterment. True selflessness is a genuinely rare trait in a world based on 100,000 years of a species’ survival adaptations. You’ll find it once in awhile, but not often.

With that consideration in mind, it may be easier to trust in ourselves and our own intuitive sensors looking out for our best welfare, rather than relying on the integrity of others, because we have the most to gain or lose in the process.

Three Amazing Books

Over the years, I’ve been doing hypnosis and past-life exploration with clients, and I thought I pretty well had it mapped out on how it all worked and what was actually happening during the exploration process. But I’ve been reading some books lately that are disrupting my deepest beliefs about everything. It will definitely affect how I conduct hypnosis in the future.

These apower of nowre the three books that I’ve recently purchased: The first isn’t that new, and the subject matter isn’t that new either. Ekhart Tolle’s, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. This book by itself can stand alone for content and depth of thought, but when combined with the other two books, it creates swirling, kaleidoscopic ménage behind my eyes.

The two newer ones are more beyond-earthly-life focused: Annie Kagan’s The Afterlife of Billy Fingers, which has great one-liner quotes that you’ll see all across Facebook; and Mira Kelley’s Beyond Past Lives, which is just phenomenal on the subject of Past-Life Exploration and themes of multidimensionality. Kelley’s book has surprisingly disrupted my concept of reality.afterlife Billie

Kagan’s Billy Fingers book has that Robin William’s movie “What Dreams May Come” after-life quality to it. I imagine this will be on-screen sometime in the near future. It’s good, thought-provoking, and peace-inducing.

But Kelley’Beyond pastlivess Beyond Past Lives is a true belief-shaker. Reading in it was affecting me so deeply on some level that I could only read a few pages at a time and then have to put it down to process what I’d read. Most of that effect had to do with contemplating the NOW aspect to ALL lives—what we had previously categorized as past, present, and future lives. ALL are instead happening simultaneously NOW.

Conducting past-life explorations is what I do—I know how those sessions go—what people experience—how it affects them—and how I let their Higher Self run the entire session. After reading a few pages in Kelley’s book, I saw a completely different perspective on all of those client-reviewed experiences, and it was belief shattering.

Mira Kelley is saying that there is no such thing as past or future lives—all are NOW lives playing somewhere in some dimension beyond what we are presently experiencing—along with coinciding multiple versions of each “life” all happening at the same time.

These multiple-versions of your life are NOT like viewing different camera angles to the same scene. No, we are seeing the same YOU in the same life but in different scenarios with different scripts, following a different plot, along with the same or a completely different supporting cast as the scene runs—a parallel version(s) of this life (or any other life) depending on the important choices made throughout that life.

It’s that Robert Frost, “Two roads diverged in a yellow woods…” thing. The right path takes you in one direction to one destiny, and the left path goes in a completely different direction to a different destiny. The path you choose at that time, decides the destiny—the outcome.

But the key point is that on some level of reviewing the possibilities, ALL choices are available to see and feel the effects of them in the NOW. ALL possibilities exist somewhere, on some dimension of existence, and ALL are running simultaneously NOW.

I know. This is a hard concept to wrap your head around, and it takes time to digest it. I’m still ruminating on some of this.

So, if you are interested in how truly amazing you are and always were, and always will be, you might want to check out a book or two above. They aren’t exactly “light” reading material, but they are “light-based,” …as are we all.