Tag Archives: soul retrieval

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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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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Aftermath: What about … ?

Since the uneXplained television episodes about the Monroe Institute (http://www.biography.com/tv/the-unexplained/videos), I’ve received quite a few inquiries and questions. I thought some might be worth sharing with the blog audience. I’m going to do this in a sort of interview format, presenting the questions then giving my answers …

I don’t really understand the Monroe Institute sound technology (hemi-sync) – what exactly is it, and what does it do?

Simplistically put (I hope this is accurate), when you introduce one tone in one ear and a slightly different tone in the other ear, the brain “hears” (or creates) a third tone that only exists in the brain. When that happens, the left and right brain hemispheres have the opportunity to follow that tone and thereby synchronize their activity – they start to work wholistically instead of separately. When the brain is working wholistically, perception and awareness have been found to change or expand.

There are other ways to reach this same state of awareness, state of consciousness: drugs, deep meditation, rituals like vision quests (starvation, dehydration), or the Sundance (exhaustion, pain) … athletes and people in the arts often recognize this state of brain synchronization as the point reached when they’re completely immersed in the moment, the now, and time loses all meaning. When they’ve finished an activity, painting or dance or song or mountain climb, they may be surprised to learn that it took many hours to complete, because it felt as if it took only a short amount of time, or it lacks any reference to time at all. With hemi-sync, one has the opportunity to experience this state without the discomforts of other methods.

Hemi-sync helps attain this state of mind, yet you maintain complete control of the experience. If you’re uncomfortable or frightened, take the headphones off and snap out of it. The hemi-sync sounds don’t do anything to you unless you allow it, follow it. Unlike drugs, it doesn’t impose a state of perception on you and hold you there until it wears off.

Hemi-sync simply helps the listener achieve an altered or expanded state of consciousness, and helps train the brain to then return to that state of consciousness at will (and without the sounds).

Why would you want to synchronize the two hemispheres of your brain?

When the brain is synchronized, it’s more efficient and has access to more information. Many people want to reach this state for “enlightenment” or spiritual wisdom … my favorite result of this state, though, is applying it to everyday life.

If I’m confused about something, having difficulty making a decision, or if my brain feels like it’s made of five thousand puzzle pieces in a hurricane (hello PTSD), I’ll listen to a hemi-sync cd – or more likely, since my brain now recognizes and remembers the path to get there, I just close my eyes, take a deep breath, and … synchronize.

I know people who have used this state to predict the stock market or outcomes of elections, make good business decisions, remember a recipe. I know people who have used it to sense safe routes to work, call their pets back home at night, find a lost earring or wallet. I’ve used it to remember appointments, find out what was making an animal sick, check on the status of a flight.

I also know people (like me) who have used it to contact long-dead relatives for a chat, to make accurate psychic predictions, to gain insight into relationships with other people or oneself.

It’s a state that can be anything from very relaxing and rejuvenating to very exciting and crazy. And the more you practice, the more useful it becomes.

Do you go out of body? How can I go out of body?

I have gone out of body, but I don’t do that now. I differentiate what I do from “out of body” because when I did experience what is referred to as going out of body, I actually felt myself as an energy body peeling out of my physical body. The best way I can describe what I do now is to say that I let my consciousness travel without any body awareness – physical body or energy body. I shift my focus. It’s easier for me to do it this way, and I feel my perceptions are clearer. My understanding is that this is similar to remote viewing.

How can you learn to go out of body? Practice. There are some books around that help teach people how to go out of body. I haven’t read any of them except Robert Monroe’s so I can’t comment on them. I taught myself how to do it many many years ago after reading Robert Monroe’s first book, then called Out of Body, now called Journeys Out of the Body. It took me about two or three weeks of trying before I peeled myself out; some people I’ve met said it took them over a year, others a few days. Keep at it, is the only advice I can give. The Monroe Institute is a good practice forum, because you get to leave all other responsibilities behind for a week and just concentrate on that if you want to … which brings us neatly to the next question:

If I go to the Monroe Institute (TMI), will I have an out of body experience?

Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t know what the latest statistics are; a few years ago I read that less than 50% of the people who go to TMI have the out of body experience.

During programs I’ve attended, only two people were desperate to have an out of body experience, and those two people did. The rest of the people in the programs weren’t so focused on the out of body experience specifically; they were hoping less for the out of body experience than they were for an expansion of awareness, experiencing new ways of perception, experiencing something they’d never experienced before. I’ve never known a disappointed participant of a TMI program … I have known a lot of surprised people, and amazed, moved, wondering, curious, and grateful people have walked out of the Institute.

Is this Monroe Institute, like, a cult?

No, it’s just a place to practice having new experiences. There’s no dogma or cultish belief system… I think a lot of people who have been there get excited about it, and talk about it with great enthusiasm that may appear cultish (“You’ve got to go there! It’s amazing!”) because attending the programs has changed a lot of people’s lives. The same could probably be said for many workshops, or for things like vision quests … we who’ve been to TMI talk about it with affection and enthusiasm because that’s the workshop we chose and it worked for us in some notable way.

The only stated “dogma” of TMI: Be willing to believe that we’re more than our physical bodies.

Then they offer some sound technology to support each person’s experiencing that in their own way – no one sits up in front of you telling you how it is, what to think, what to believe. You have your own experiences in expanded awareness, and whatever you find, discover, explore, uncover, remember or do with what you experience is your business. Whatever beliefs you have or whatever belief system you choose to integrate your experiences into – Christian , Muslim, Buddhist, New Age, AmerIndian, agnostic, science, whatever – that’s up to you.

In my mind, the most attractive thing about TMI is the lack of dogma and the inclusivity. People from all different backgrounds, cultures and belief systems attend TMI programs. Most “self-help” workshops and programs attract more women than men; TMI generally has an equal share of men and women attending their programs. It’s not a cult, it’s just an experience.

Did you learn how to talk with spirits at the Monroe Institute?

No, I’ve talked with spirits ever since I can remember. The Lifelines program at TMI helped me gain a little better control over it, though, and made me realize that what I’d been doing all my life was called something (soul retrieval, soul rescue). I thought people who did soul retrievals were doing something else – I didn’t know what, but the name made it sound more complicated than what I’d been doing – ha!

Do I have to go to the Monroe Institute to try out these hemi-sync sounds?

Check out the store on the TMI webite, or go to http://www.hemi-sync.com and browse around. You can order a few cd’s and try them out on your own.

There are also shorter programs given all over the country as well as at TMI in Virginia. These shorter workshops are generally 2-3 days, and not as expensive as the full week workshops. Check here for schedules: https://www.facebook.com/events/117451941637681/ or http://www.monroeinstitute.org/programs/cat/3-day-residential-programs

Direct link to full episodes of the uneXplained:
http://www.biography.com/tv/the-unexplained/videos/journey-of-the-lost-part-1-full-episode-1209411909

http://www.biography.com/tv/the-unexplained/videos/journey-of-the-lost-part-1-preview-30809766

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The uneXplained this Saturday!

Don’t forget to check out the uneXplained this coming Saturday, Oct 13 on the Bio channel. I’m appearing in the program, which is about a Lifelines program at the Monroe Institute in Virginia.

If you don’t get Bio channel, episodes can be watched online after they air – go to http://www.biography.com/tv/the-unexplained

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The unXplained OCT 13th

The air date has changed again … (:-P

OCTOBER 13, 10-11pm EASTERN TIME

I’ll post a reminder when the date gets closer.

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Me on TV – the uneXplained

The unXplained, TV show on which I’ll appear, premieres July 28th at 11pm (Pacific time?) on the Biography channel.

I don’t know the air date for “my” episode – will let you know if/when I know.

Should be an interesting program, maybe just watch them all!

(I don’t know of episodes will be available to watch online – I’ll try asking the producers again and let you know …)

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Watch for me on TV … the unXplained: Biography Channel

A new television show called the unXplained will air starting in August on the Biography Channel.

This is the show that filmed a Lifelines program at The Monroe Institute in March 2012, which I attended. During that Lifelines program, we thirteen participants “retrieved souls” who were stuck.

At least three of the individuals that I helped during the Lifelines program have been identified in historical records. The names, dates and places that they either lived, died, or both were matched up.

The film crew came to my home two weeks ago to conduct more interviews with me concerning those three individuals as well as talk to me about my experiences in Iraq, and follow me around while I did “normal” things (ugh! 😛 ).

I’ll post dates for the Monroe Institute show(s) that I’m included in when the producers let me know the dates …

To find out more about the unXplained, follow the link below.

http://www.aetv.com/news/a-e-network-greenlights-non-ed-pilot-the-unexplained-587960

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