Category Archives: Musing

Beliefs & Dogmatism: Mark’s Thoughts

The link below goes to a acquaintance’s blogpost that I think is well reasoned and well written, as well as offering food for thought. Enjoy –

Markyg: Belief Systems & Dogmatism

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Filed under Current Affairs, Musing

Love: come on in this field

I’ve been noticing lately how pervasive the word “love” is in our culture. It begins to seem insubstantial. I love that dress! Love those that horse! I love chocolate, tools, that flower, a still and warm night. I love possums and someone else loves raccoons and we all love bunnies (except some Aussie farmers). I love it when things just effortlessly fall into place.

We say we love a lot of things, and we say we love people. Mother’s Day yesterday: I love my mom. I love my spouse, significant other, siblings, friends.

So what is love? It’s a feeling, right? I think we generally file it under emotion. We feel a certain way and call it love.

When I look at this from an expanded consciousness perspective, though, love doesn’t present itself as an emotion. The emotion seems to be a response to participating in a fieldfield as in physics.

The field is the All, Source, God, The Force, Yahweh, The Be.

I suspect that we recognize something in the experience of a person, thing, event or situation that connects us closely to the infinite Be. The All, which is Love. Whatever we love is a little something that acts as a gateway, opening up the field to us more fully than other people or things do. When we surrender to that little gateway, no matter how significant or insignificant that person or thing might be – a smile from a stranger passing on the street or a lover’s touch; a bird’s flight or the power of a thunderstorm – no matter how big or small it seems in our value system, it matters. It is a little doorway into all that matters.

I suspect that when we surrender to that little taste of bliss, we enter the energy field of Love and have the opportunity to bask in it, to keep the door open and let it leak into everything we experience.

The object of love doesn’t matter. The color blue or our selves, the door is open. Come on in this field! It’s a field we all know – and maybe never leave, only ignore or misunderstand.

I think that’s what Love is always saying: come on in this field!

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Soul Retrieval: The Other Kind

 

Lately I’ve been thinking of the old shamanic tradition of soul retrieval. Many years ago I spent quite a bit of time with the ancient shamanic traditions, and have always been strongly touched and viscerally drawn by the ceremonies as well as by the tools used in the traditions. Left to my own devices, when my art time turns to doodling with three-dimensional work, I often find myself creating small ceremonial and ritual objects that incorporate things of the earth: leaves, twigs, leather, dirt, feathers, fur, stones. The shamanic traditions feel deeply connected to earth in a way that is very grounding and powerful for me.

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Shamanic soul retrieval doesn’t all take place in the other worlds, other dimensions. It crosses back and forth over the imaginary boundary that we believe exists between this world and the other worlds. It steps out, then it comes back into this world and touches it, affirms it as real, shakes its bells and taps its drum and waves its feathers. There is value in this bridge, this use of tools. Its ceremonies and rituals focus intention, and its tools make the impossible real to the touch. Often our minds believe, but our experience is all in the realm of the mind, leaving the body to lie still and stay out of it – out of body experiences, consciousness travel, meditation. Shamanic traditions understand the value of making things real to the body, of applying the impossible by creating a bridge between worlds that is experienced through our bodies’ senses. Ceremony and ritual can have incredible power, engaging our bodies along with our minds.

The idea of shamanic soul retrieval is that through the course of a lifetime, some people may encounter situations or events that are so traumatic or stressful that they close off, shut down, or ‘lose’ a part of themselves. The shamanic tradition describes this as losing a piece of the soul. I’ve heard it described as a piece of the soul going elsewhere to hide – be that on a star, in the earth, in another world.

Someone trained in the shamanic tradition travels other worlds seeking out the lost parts of a person then returns them to the soul in the course of a ceremony. The shaman goes into trance, traveling other dimensions or frequencies in search of the lost parts of a person. The lost parts are gathered up or talked into returning. The shaman then literally blows those parts back into the person who lost them, into their heart and into their head. The shaman then seals them into the person with one or various methods – bells, drums, chanting, and intention.

Whether losing parts of the self is literal truth or an illustrative way to describe what happens doesn’t really matter, in my mind. That it works is, I believe, attested to in the fact that this sort of work has been done by many cultures over millennia. If it works, and if it speaks to you, explore it.

If The Truth is infinite, all things are valuable intricacies of the One.

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Why or How, Which Is The Question?

A number of clients lately have been asking me the same question: “Why is this happening (to me)” The implication or follow up questions suggest the assumption that if one can figure out why something is happening, one can then stop it or turn it in a different direction.

A more valuable question is often, “How do I best handle this?”

It’s easy to get tangled up in psychobabble and left-brain analyzing when hunting for a “why.” It’s possible to create more difficulties and confusion than one started with due to the tendency to pick oneself apart, criticize, judge and doubt.

Sometimes when I dig for a “why,” I end up sinking myself in the past, in events or interactions or relationships, hunting a solution. But they’re past. They require no solution, or letting go may be the solution, or the solution lies in a new choice of action or reaction now.

When I say to myself, “It is what it is; how do I best handle this?” I’m offering myself a choice: do I act or react in the way I might usually act or react, or is there another choice. There may be a choice that leaves me feeling better about myself, or an option that feels right even if it seems to run counter to logic. If I sit with the question for awhile, I may find that I’d like to do X but fear the outcome. This gives me a chance to practice following my inner knowing, letting go of the outcome, allowing myself to trust myself. Trust myself to experiment, learn through experience, even to fuck up … the experience will still be valuable even if it turns out not to have been the best choice. I’d have tried. Or not – maybe I go ahead and do the not-scary thing this time while I begin to let go of that particular fear by practicing on decisions and choices that seem small and less scary for awhile, building my confidence and honing my skill with this new way of expression or interaction.

If a “best” choice isn’t clear, why worry? Make a choice and let go of the outcome. Consider it an experiment. Pay attention to what happens inside and out, then next time you’ll have a little more information to go on. Because there is no end, it’s all good even if it doesn’t look so from this physical world point of view. Pat yourself on the back for living, exploring, experimenting consciously and with attention.

Often the “why” is answered in experiencing the “how.”

That’s my reminder to myself today.

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Soul Retrieval: is it all good?

I’ve received this question so often, I thought I’d make it easy on myself by answering it here. The answer will be my understanding of this and while I believe it to be accurate, a fuller truth may exist. So as usual, I encourage everyone to hunt for their own answers.

The question is this:

How does the idea of soul retrieval stand in relation to “all is well”? If souls can be “lost” or “stuck” then … well, all is not necessarily well. If all is well, then what are we doing when we “retrieve” souls who appear to be stuck or lost?

The use or understanding of the term “soul retrieval” is based on perspective. From the perspective of the physical conscious mind, from within the movie, the term is appropriate. Yet from the perspective of All That Is, the oneness that we are, a “lost” soul would appear as just another role being played, an exploration underway. The “lost” soul’s experience, that is, the role or exploration that they are experiencing, is real in that they are immersed in it, just as one would immerse oneself in a movie while it is being played on the screen. Just as you feel the earth reality is real, acting according to the environment that you exist (are focused) within.

We enter this environment choosing to live life from within constrictions on awareness. The constrictions vary in depth and breadth from person to person, yet all live under constrictions of understanding or comprehension. Even those who appear to have a direct line to the All That Is are not fully cognizant of all that is. The human brain, as a mechanical processor, is currently incapable of fully comprehending all that is.

So, the premise of this physical existence allows for an immersion. The non-physical also allows for that on differing levels and intensities. It is often believed that the physical is consistently one thing, and the non-physical is consistently another one thing. This is not true. First note that there are overlaps between physical and non-physical – quite extensive overlaps in some cases. Here is also There. There is also Here. Then note that there are many movie sets or realities or environments within what is currently understood as the non-physical. Some of these other environments have a physicality, some have none, some have variations that would be too numerous to describe. The All That Is is infinite. Do you think it is limited to this and that? It is this, that and everything between, everything ever imagined by any being, for in the imagining lies the seeds of creation.

So keeping these things in mind, it becomes obvious that there are various levels of awareness available on the non-physical planes. In the physical earth world it is thought, “This is alive, and this is dead.” As if each offers only one state of being. Yet even within the “alive” or “conscious” are there not degrees of awareness and aliveness and interaction? One person is intensely here, vibrant and attentive. Another is dull, incurious and somewhat stupid. Some are aware of energies and use them for healing or other applications; other people deny the existence or validity of any of this. Neither is better or worse from the viewpoint of All That Is, for all are valuable experiences, explorations. I use this example to point out that the same sorts of differences, or correlating ones, can be experienced on the non-physical. Dead is not one kind of dead. The non-physical is not one place, zip. Everyone need not go rocketing off to the same place upon death. There are infinite choices – choices made by the Whole Self, not necessarily the blind focused thread of self that is experiencing this physical experience, and not necessarily the blind focused thread of self that is experiencing whatever its experiencing after its shed its physical body.

Let us take as an example a woman whose physical body has perished. This spirit may pass out of the body without quite realizing what has happened. This can happen for many reasons, in this case we will imagine that her physical conscious mind believed, “when I die, x will happen.” Since that x did not happen, the focused mind of the woman concludes that its body has not died. So she continues to move and act and follow thought patterns as if she still had a body. Thought being creation, and there being here, the spirit can pass out of the body only to find itself in a reality that is equally real to her experience. She has created it with her thoughts, or been attracted by resonance to a non-physical place that looks and acts like this physical reality and that already exists and mirrors what she expected, or she may inhabit the “physical” reality simultaneously with those who retain their physical-ness.

It may be worthwhile to remind ourselves now that the physical is not physical in an ultimate sense. Everything that appears to be solid is simply an organization and density of energy. The physical world is an energy imprint not unlike her after-death body. It is non-physical in a sense. There is Here. I emphasize again that the physical and non-physical overlap. The physical world is an organization of intention that appears to you as physical. Yet it is also a real “place” from both the physical and non-physical perspectives, and the non-physical places are perceived, from within the experience in them, as equally real. The ways of perceiving a difference between physical and non-physical are – to an extent and for this discussion – learned and perpetuated through training children what to filter out and what to maintain as important, relevant, and “real.”

Time and space are, of course, also organizations of intention. Consider them as fields (as in physics), where many things exist within the field at once, so perception of or experience within the field may be different from one place to another, depending on the perspective gained from this or that point within the field, or depending upon the nature of the field in this or that area – its density or other characteristics. This is one perspective that describes the perceived differences between that which is termed “physical” and “non-physical.”

With these ideas in mind, the dead woman who still exists is aware and cognizant within an overlap of time/space if you wish to imagine it in this way, no matter where she “really” is – within the physical plane interacting with physical objects, or in a non-physical place that mirrors this place, or etc.

I divert into this discussion in order to explain that the “lost” souls are having a real experience – as “real” as the experience we are having. They may be in their own constricted awareness, just as we operate from within our own, and this is what gives the appearance of being “stuck” or “lost.”

The “lost” soul is not lost to the All That Is. Eventually this spirit will find its release from its own illusion and move on.  In the meantime, it is exploring an experience, which has value to the spirit, and to the community of All. That is true from the perspective of All That Is. It is all good.

From the limited perspective of the physical consciousness, and some non-physical awarenesses, the “lost” or “stuck” spirit does appear lost or stuck. That perspective is also true, for that spirit is experiencing its situation as real.

The value in “helping” the “lost or stuck” spirits is real as well. If you see an old woman fall to the sidewalk in front of you, aren’t you likely to bend down to ask whether she’s hurt, and either help her up or summon medical assistance? You likely do not nod and say to yourself, “Yes, that old woman did the perfect thing within the All, falling down. Her experience is perfect and does not require my help or assistance.” Just as helping this old woman when she falls is a valuable expression of shared connection, shared experience, shared beingness and exploration, so too is the exercise of helping “lost or stuck” souls a valuable expression of the oneness of all of us, the inter-connectedness of all of our experience.

When one enters the physical world, it is in a sense completely your world. You have created it and you are, in a very pure sense, the only one experiencing the particular and unique world that you have created. At the same time, your world interacts with and overlaps with the worlds of countless other beings, physical and non-physical. Ignoring interaction between your worlds could diminish the rich potential available in your own. (I won’t say more on that, though there would be more clarification available – it is not a salient point to this particular discussion and I encourage you not to entangle yourselves in it unnecessarily. Take it at face value for this discussion.) So when you have the opportunity to assist or interact in positive ways with those who appear “lost or stuck,” consider that they may on some level be creating this situation as an opportunity for you or another, or many, to interact with them in a particular way. They may be giving you an opportunity to do a good deed, as a simple example, which may boost your self confidence and satisfaction and happiness. They may be creating that opportunity from a higher self level, while the portion of themselves within the experience remains constricted and blind to that knowledge. Does that diminish the value of it? Of course not.

(I’ll skip a discussion of the “lost” souls perhaps being other parts of oneself … maybe a discussion for another day.)

Now I’ll also suggest that leaving the old woman lying on the ground, just walking around her, would also, from the perspective of All That Is, be good. It would be an exploration of experience, a creation, and from the perspective of oneness, all exploration is good and valuable. This does not excuse anyone, however, from judging the value of that action from within the perspective of the physical world awareness. This has been explained more clearly and fully in my book. I mention this in the context of this discussion just to make the point that it would not be wrong or bad or evil from the viewpoint of the All That Is to let “lost or stuck” souls find their own way, to pass them by and go on about one’s business. In doing so, the passerby will be exploring their own experience, and it is a valid exploration. In contrast, those who do help the “lost or stuck” souls also explore a valuable experience. It is a different experience.

Conscious minds insist on maintaining one perspective or seek to find the “right” perspective, as if that is always useful. I understand its simplicity and the longing for clarity. But it may be that nothing can be answered definitively from one perspective while within an experience. If you cannot integrate two ideas, then look at the ideas from other perspectives and see what you will learn about both the ideas and the perspectives.

The current physical world’s context matters. So does the perspective of the All, and the All Is Good. They are reconciled in experience, not as a single perfection, but as an ongoing exploration. One of the values of experience for a soul who enters the physical universe world is that the soul experiences confusion, the validity of many perspectives, the richness of many perspectives, the grey areas, choice and internal expansion of perspective, cause and effect, and creation. Integration will come from embracing more than one perspective, applying them side by side, overlapping them, choosing which is appropriate for what action or context. It would be of little use to entirely immerse oneself in the All perspective when filling out tax forms. It would be useless to entirely immerse oneself in the earth perspective when attempting to help a “lost” soul.  (“Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s; render unto God what is God’s.”) It may be useful, however, to maintain a bit of awareness of the All perspective even while filling out tax forms, or useful to maintain a bit of the awareness of one’s physical existence even while helping a “lost” soul. Or not. That is a choice.

In seeking to expand awareness, it is not necessary to constrict oneself to what is thought to be the right or wrong perspective, what is the real or not real perspective, what is the true or not true perspective. Keep always in mind the words exploration and infinity. In seeking to expand one’s awareness, it is of little use then to attempt to constrict oneself to a single perspective. For the All encompasses all perspectives, all realities, all ideas, all experience. This is unconditional. This is co-passion. When exploring with discernment and attention, curiosity and honesty, open to your own understanding and flexible enough to change that as experience grows … when exploring in that way, integrated awareness may come without effort.

No soul can be ultimately lost. Within their experience, a soul may be “lost.” No soul is stuck for eternity. Some souls may welcome a helping hand.  It’s all good.

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Walking up the Hill

My five year old neighbor, I’ll call him Max, watched a video of the uneXplained tv show that I was in recently. When the show ended, Max’s parents talked about walking down the hill to visit me. “She’s not home,” Max told them. They laughed and asked him how he knew that.  “She’s walking,” he told them, pointing to the hill behind their house. “She’s walking up the hill.”

Of course I was – he’d just seen me on television walking up the hill.

When Max’s mother told me this story, I was enchanted. It bent some fixed idea of time and space, illusion and reality. It reminded me in a very vivid way that we are taught whatever we believe we understand about time and space. Max has learned that we are only in one place at a time, and if I’m walking up the hill on television, I’m walking up the hill.

The disconnect comes from the fact that Max watches home videos of himself and his parents on vacation, around the house, on hikes and playing in the river water. He understands these are videos that represent moments that he’s already experienced, moments in the past.

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So there must be some internal difference for him between those videos and the video of me walking up the hill. I don’t know what it is, but it makes me wonder what internal differences I’ve constructed in my own ideas of what’s real and what’s present, what’s past and what is always present.

From the point of view of expanded awareness, our assumptions and interpretations must often look as funny and possibly arbitrary as Max’s interpretation looks to me and his parents.

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Field of Time

The subject of time keeps popping up in my life lately. A friend is trying to deprogram his assumptions about it. A reader of my book asked for clarification concerning something i said about it. Another friend made a crazy joke about it. And I’ve been thinking about how we in the western world assume that everyone perceives time the way we do, yet sometimes I simply don’t – and I’m sure that there are cultures that perceive time differently than we do.

We’ve been conditioned to perceive time as a stream, moving in one direction, and assume it’s measurable in increments because we do that.

When I’m “outside time,” I have never perceived time as a flow nor as consisting of measurable increments. I think the best description that I can find for my perception is that time is a field.

As a field, all that enters or participates in the field can be perceived any way one chooses. Everything can be perceived at once, instantaneously, or one can focus in different ways in order to perceive whatever is participating in the field in some other fashion … For instance, in a linear sequence (with an organization of one’s choosing). One can also skip around at will, picking one bit here, one bit there. One can also step out of it.

WhenI shift my focus within the field, it shifts everything in the field to some degree. There is resonance. Observing is participation, as much as is deliberate action.

(I’m using the word “field” in the way physics would, I think: gravity is a field, for instance.)

Thinking of time in this way may be another useful exercise in shifting perception, expanding the potential of what and how we perceive reality.

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