Monday, May 30, 2011

A World Wide Wave

A flare up of a painful inflammation in my arm has kept me away from the keyboard and writing for a few days, so my intent to add something to my blog every other day or so has languished.  But as the inflammation goes away, I'm expecting to be back in the blogger saddle again soon.

In the meantime, I received this in the mail from a friend, Ian Doig, who is the editor of the journal of the Canadian Society of Dowsers.  It so perfectly coincides with information and messages I've received lately from my own inner contacts that I wanted to pass it along.  Here it is:

Hello, All;
I woke up in the middle of the night the other night with an idea stirring in my head, and I'd like to run it past you as a possibility for us all to consider, especially as so many of us have conventions or congresses coming up within the next few weeks or months.
          By any measurement, we are now well into a time of monumental - and unbelieveably positive change - a "Chaotic Node", as the Hathors call it.   Yet I have some friends who are, I think, quite bothered about what may lie ahead in the immediate future for them and for many others.   In short, they are facing this challenging time with some fear and trepidation, rather than focusing on what they would really hope and want to see - and that's just playing into the hands of those who deal in fear, and also weakens the power of those of us who are striving to maintain a positive influence over whatever lies ahead.   There are a lot of far better things for us to focus upon, I'd suggest.
       I'd like to ask you to consider taking a few minutes in any gathering, but particularly at our conventions/congresses, on our first mornings together, perhaps, to suggest to the membership that we all, as a group, undertake to take some time every morning for the next few weeks and months, to hold in our beings the vision of a world in which more and more of us let go of our fear-based thinking, and allow the energies of Love and Light to flow in... to flood in, as the energies build.   I'd like to have us see this as a swelling wave that carries on until a critical mass of humanity is doing it, and sharing it around them, until we are all caught up in the wave.   I'd like to suggest that each of us take the idea home with us and get our local groups/chapters doing it too, as well as bringing the idea to others of our friends who are of the same mind-set.   We here in Perth, for example, have a group that we call "a Gathering of Peaceful Souls" that meets most Sunday mornings, whom I suspect would really run with this idea, because, as the old song says, it "ac-centuates the positive... e-liminates the negative, and doesn't mess with Mr In-Between!"       
         Surely, if we managed to harness the creative power of the dowsing fraternity around the world, and focus it on building what I am beginning to think of as a "world-wide wave" of truly positive energy - the effect would probably startle us all - never mind those who tend to surrender to fear whenever the going gets a bit rough!
       Furthermore, why should we not expand our reach to include those like-minded spiritual teachers who have followings of their own;  The Parallel Community..., David Spangler of Lorian, perhaps... Dorothy MacLean, who's back in Findhorn now... Michael Roads... Tom Kenyon... Neale Donald Walsch... Eckhart Tolle - whomever.   You know, we might just get a world wide wave going here that would support all the things that we all are hoping for!
Any thoughts/comments?
Cheers, Love, blessings, and thanks 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Some Readings

I'm probably going to be writing about nature spirits (and house spirits!) for a few days on this blog as we pick up steam.  I thought you might appreciate knowing of some other books to look at if you're interested in pursuing these topics.

Here are some to get you started:

Working With Angels, Fairies, and Nature Spirits, by William Bloom
Memoirs of an Ordinary Mystic, by Dorothy Maclean
Meeting Fairies:  My Remarkable Encounter with Nature Spirits, by R. Ogilvie Crombie (also sold under the title, The Gentleman and the Faun, in England)
How to See Faeries, by John Matthews and Brian Froud

All of these are available on Amazon, though Memoirs of an Ordinary Mystic  can be also be purchased from the Lorian website as it is a Lorian Press publications


As a writer, I spend a lot of time indoors...too much time, according to my wife, Julie.  I have to admit, I am an indoor person by inclination, and I can always find excuses for giving in to that inclination.  But there are more forces at work to get me outdoors than just my wife, though she is undoubtedly the most beautiful (and usually the most persuasive) of them.  Which leads me to my story for today....

I had been happily working at the computer, noting as I glanced out the windows that it was a sunny day outside but otherwise not paying much attention to it.  At one point I had to get up to walk into our bedroom to get something from a bureau standing near a window.  Mission accomplished, I turned to walk back to the living room when I felt a distinct tug on my back as if someone had grabbed hold of my sweater and was pulling on it.  I thought at first my sweater had snagged on something, and I turned around to see what it could be.  But there was nothing behind me, and my sweater was perfectly fine.

That was when I noticed a presence protruding out of the wall next to the window.  I have had other experiences when subtle beings have "tugged" on me to get my attention.  They are pulling on my subtle energy field--my aura, if you will--not on anything physical, but the sensation it produces is very much a physical one.

In this case, I became aware as I focused my attention of a cluster of small beings who apparently were living in the wall.  The communication between us was swift, telepathic, and non-verbal, but I'll render it here as if it were a normal human dialogue.

"Who are you?"  I asked.  I had never before considered that there might be subtle beings living in the walls of the house.  However, just on a physical level, there are plenty of creatures that live in our house besides Julie, my kids and myself; there are insects like spiders (for which I have great affection), birds make nests under the eaves, and then there are undoubtedly billions of microbes of all kinds--they are, after all, the most numerous lifeforms on earth. So why not subtle beings as well?  Over the years, I have encountered species of subtle beings that are insect-like and microbe-like living in and around the energy fields that human beings create through our thinking, feeling, and creating.  Most of them, I think, ignore us and many may not even know we exist, any more than the bacteria that surround us in the world know that we exist except perhaps as a surface to live on.

"We are...." and here I got a complex image of the house as a living organism with the wall as its "cell membrane."  The house was "breathing" subtle energies, and these beings mediated this reciprocal flow of life forces between the inside of the house and the environment outside.

I should say at this point that most subtle beings that I see do not have a solid form; they are protean, able to take different forms as required. It's true that in conversation with human beings, they make take on a human form, but that is for our convenience, not necessarily their own.  When I first became aware of subtle beings over sixty years ago as a very young child, they rarely appeared in human shape (unless they were human to begin with or connected to humanity in some way), so I've never really come to expect it.  So in this instance, these beings didn't look like little people living in the walls of my house (like the "Borrowers" of children's literature).  They were simply condensations of light. But as I came more into attunement with them, small heads and arms and hands began to appear out of the swirls of light.

"I've never seen you before," I said. "I never knew you existed."

"You never looked!"  Which was, unfortunately, all too true. But who knew to look in the walls for subtle beings?  I had forgotten one of the rules of ecology which fits the inner worlds as much as the outer one:  if there's an ecological niche or an appropriate environment, some organism will fill it.  And in this case, it made perfect sense, for these were "boundary beings," a kind of subtle organism that can often be found at the thresholds and boundaries mediating the exchange and interaction between different states.  The walls of a building or house make a perfect place for such beings to locate.

"We help the living energies of the world to come into your house," they said in unison like a choir.  They were bouncing with happiness and excitement that they had caught my attention and were in fact talking with me.  Mostly they must live lives of being ignored.

"Thank you," I replied.  "This is a wonderful thing, and I'm grateful."  In that moment, I had a clear image that human beings often inadvertently create boundaries and walls that shut things out that shouldn't be shut out and block the flow of subtle energies when they shouldn't be blocked.  Beings such as the ones bouncing in my wall really do provide a service by inhabiting our boundaries and making them more permeable and open than they might be otherwise.

"And we bring you a message," one of them said.

"A message?"

"Yes.  The nature beings in your yard want you to come out.  They said to tell you you've been inside too long and need to come out where they can meet you."  And with this came another clear image of myself looking pale and wan energetically and a cluster of nature spirits around the trees and bushes in my backyard waving invitingly for me to come out and get some sunshine and good natural energies.

So I thanked my new "wall-friends" and went outside.  And indeed, I did find renewal and re-invigoration in our backyard amongst the trees and grass and bushes and among the nature spirits that live in and around them.  But I also found they were drawing something from me.  There are qualities that are generated by our human presence that the land and plants can use as well.

One of these qualities is love and another is appreciation. Both of these are like energetic food. But there are other qualities as well that are not so easily named but which arise from our humanness.  This should not be surprising. We have evolved as an integral part of nature in both its physical and its non-physical or energetic aspects.  We are fed by nature, but we feed it as well.  Perhaps a better image is that we breath into each other, giving each other something essential and living for our mutual benefit.

Living as we do for the most part in artificial environments, we forget this. The boundaries that truly divide us from the world are not the walls of our buildings or the electromagnetic fields generated by all the electronic gadgets that increasingly surround us these days; they are boundaries of thought and feeling, attitudes and forgetfulness.

In my last blog, I said that I view subtle beings as "fellow members of the earth."  We usually think of subtle beings--assuming we believe they exist at all--as coming from "somewhere else," from some strange other realm.  And many of them do.  But many do not and inhabit the world around us, in some cases, like my "wall-elementals," very intimately with us.  And others, while living elsewhere, come here to work (putting it in a human metaphor).  Such beings share this world with us and can both benefit us and be benefited by us.  Often all that prevents this are our attitudes and disbelief.
There are some walls that no one should or can inhabit and which only we can tear down.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

One Earth

My desire and intent in this blog is to share my experiences of the interaction, partnership, and collaboration between the physical and non-physical (or "subtle") worlds.  But right off the bat, even this simple statement runs into problems.  I have to be careful that my language doesn't get in the way of accomplishing this intent.

We live in a world of differences, and these differences are important. They should not be glossed over or denigrated in the name of an abstract "Oneness."  There are significant and powerful differences between the physical and non-physical worlds, the most obvious being that the former is accessible to our five senses and the latter is not.  For anyone seeking to make contact with the inner worlds, this is a formidable barrier, one that stops most people before they investigate to see if they can go any further.

The differences between the realms are important and need to be understood and respected. I discuss this in some detail in my book Subtle Worlds.  But paradoxically, the best first step we can take in the direction of collaboration with the invisible realms is not to focus on the differences but to think of them as part of a single, whole earth in which material and subtle realities are blended.  When I go through my day and I have an experience of some subtle presence--a nature spirit perhaps or a visitor from a higher dimension, perhaps one of my colleagues in designing classes--I don't think, "Oh, right now I'm engaging with a subtle being from the subtle worlds."  Rather I think, "Oh, right now I'm engaging with a fellow member of the earth." The fact that I have a body and the intelligence I'm engaging with in the moment doesn't isn't really the most important fact about us.  The most important thing is that we are both life-forms inhabiting this world which in its wholeness has physical and non-physical sides, or as my friend Catherine MacCoun (author of a wonderful book, On Becoming an Alchemist) would say, "vertical" and "horizontal" dimensions.

Imagine meeting someone from another country whose culture is very different from your own.  For example, I meet someone from China.  There are obvious differences of language and culture between us, and I need to take those into account. But the most salient fact--the one that gives the overarching context to our meeting--is that we are both human beings living on the earth.  China is different from the United States but both are part of the earth.  A Chinese individual is different from me as an American in our cultural backgrounds and world views, but we are both people.  We both have hopes and fears. We both want to happy. We both want to love and be loved.

Recognizing this is not quite the same as saying we are part of a mystical Oneness.  Too often, I feel, we use the concept of "oneness" to obliterate important distinctions and differences.  Instead, it's saying that we we have things in common on which to build a relationship and develop a communication.

This is how I think of subtle beings.  Like me, they seek to love and be loved; they seek to fulfill the nature of their beingness; they seek to align and embody sacredness.  We have in common that we are part of Gaia, part of the cosmos, part of the Sacred, the Generative Mystery.  We have in common that we share the earth and its destiny.  This creates a link between us that can transcend the differences of our vibrational status, whether I'm vibrating to the frequency of physical matter or they are vibrating to the frequency of matter in a different state of being.

So going back to my original intent: yes, it is to champion and explore partnership between incarnate persons and subtle beings, but perhaps more deeply, it is to champion the realization of a single earth with two interacting ecologies, one of matter, one of energy and spirit.  If we can grasp this realization, collaboration with partners from earth's "subtle half" can begin to unfold more naturally.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Starting Over: Beginning the Field Notes

It's been nearly two years since I last wrote something in this blog.  During this time I've been publishing a monthly essay called David's Desk, available for free to anyone who signs up on the Lorian Association website (  This has satisfied my inner blogger.  Now I'm starting up yet another publication, a quarterly print journal available only through subscription from Lorian.  It's called View from the Borderlands, and it will contain overtly esoteric writings by myself and other colleagues.  However, I must have been bitten three times by the blogger bug, as I feel something else is needed: something which, like David's Desk, is free but which is not necessarily an essay, something in which I can share esoteric content arising from my interaction with the subtle realms of spirit but which need not go into the same depth and comprehensiveness as the articles contained in the View from the Borderlands.

I decided that what would fit the bill would be to take another run at writing a regular blog.  

A year ago I published a book through Lorian Press called Subtle Worlds:  An Explorer's Field Notes.  It was a big step for me in writing for the public an account of my engagements with the subtle worlds.  I am somewhat shy about these matters, so sharing my esoteric side so openly was not a small matter.  I'd been warming up to it through my classes over the years and also in writing a memoir about the training I received many years ago from my non-physical mentor, a being I called "John."  That memoir, entitled Apprenticed to Spirit, is now finally being published by Riverhead Books this August and is currently available for pre-order from Amazon-com.

I mention this because I view this blog as another iteration of these field notes.  But I hope they will also be a record, like Apprenticed, of what it means to me as an ordinary human being to be involved with the subtle worlds on a regular, ongoing basis.  This is not a usual thing in our culture, although over the years I have found that it's not so unusual either; it's just that most people don't talk about it for fear of being labeled crazy.

I happen to believe that contact and communication with the subtle worlds is going to become more common in the years ahead, so we will need more voices from people who are not afraid of this and, more importantly, can see it in a context of being a natural and ordinary occurrence.  We have a lot of baggage from the past to unlearn when it comes to dealing with subtle beings, and we also have a lot of toxic, negative images to deal with from modern media and its addiction to horror and drama.  I hope my voice will be one of these, but more importantly, I hope my voice, through my books, my publications, my classes, and yes, this blog, will inspire other, even more eloquent voices to come forward.

So this blog will constitute a starshaman's field notes as I continue to explore both the unseen worlds and the relationship between one person and those worlds.  I will try to offer something several times a week, even if they are only tiny snippets of thought or reflection.  Hopefully, they will be helpful to whomever reads this.

There's one ground rule.  I'm not going to take time in this blog to do much explaining. I'm not teaching a class here.  If you wonder what I'm talking about or where I'm coming from, you can read my books (Subtle Worlds or Apprenticed to Spirit are good places to start), take a class from me through Lorian, or check out our self-study modules.  If you would like to read what I have to say in a relatively non-esoteric context, you can check out David's Desk, either by receiving it in your email box once a month or reading past essays on "David's Page" on the Lorian website.  And if you would like more in-depth and comprehensive esoteric material, you can subscribe to View from the Borderlands.  That is where I can share material that will not fit either David's Desk or this blog. And periodically, I host an online webinar or forum so people can have a chance to talk with me, interact and ask questions.  The schedule for such things can be found on the Lorian website.

In short, this blog is only one of several ways in which people can engage with me, my thought, my teachings, and my worldview.  But hopefully it will be a personal and fun way, and I look forward to the field notes that will emerge.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


In recent days it has become even more clear to me the importance of understanding our power to bless. Blessing is a conscious participation in the nourishing and empowering activity of the Sacred, and it is one of our human blessings that we are capable of such participation.

Awhile ago I wrote a short introduction to the art of blessing and included in it an example of a four-fold blessing that I use daily in my own spiritual practice. I would like to offer that material here:

Blessing is the art of being spiritually present to another in a manner that draws out and supports the spiritual resources and energies within that person. The same is true if blessing is directed towards a situation, that it draws out the spiritual potentials that are present to achieve the highest good for everyone in that situation.

Blessing makes use of our expanded nature so that we may be present even to people or situations that are distant in the physical world. The only barriers to blessing exist in our hearts and minds, not in the world.

Anyone can give a blessing anytime and anywhere. You do not have to have special knowledge or be a special person or have special training. The capacity to bless is innate in each of us. All it requires is a loving heart, the intent to serve and help another, and the willingness to link yourself and the recipient into a larger wholeness of life, spirit and consciousness.

There are as many ways to bless as there are individuals to do so. A blessing is a gift we give to another or to a situation from our own unique spirit and our own attunement to sacredness. How we do this depends as much on who we are and the blessing that is needed as it does upon any particular technique.

A blessing not only helps the recipient but also leaves him or her—or the situation—more capable of achieving wholeness. A blessing strengthens the inherent sacredness within another or a situation. It does not impose in a way that would weaken or confuse another or a situation.

With that in mind, we honor and practice three kinds of blessing:


There are times when it is obvious what is needed: food, shelter, time, energy, money, an act of kindness and compassion, an act of love. There are times when we simply need to act to help another, times when prayer or good wishes, positive thoughts or loving feelings, while always welcome and always nourishing, are not enough. Then blessing must come through our actions wisely considered and skillfully executed.


When we share our energy with another, it may give him or her just the boost that’s needed to make a difference: to make the alignment with his or her own inner Light, to find the right thought or the inspiration that is needed, to overcome fatigue and low energy to find his or her own healing power. To give energy, though, requires that our energy is clear and clean and flows freely from the highest sources within us and around us; that it not impose upon the other or bind him or her to ourselves; that it not overwhelm the other with more than he or she can handle. A blessing must liberate, strengthen and leave the recipient better off than before. An extra boost of energy shared with wisdom and care can do just that in the right circumstances.

The sharing of our spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical energy may also clarify and stimulate a situation to move beyond obstruction and confusion, but again we must take care and wisdom not to give more that the situation can integrate or use. A blessing is not the same as taking over energetically; it is adding just enough to move the situation to a better place. Too much or the wrong application of energy in the wrong way can make a situation worse.

Sometimes the greatest blessing of energy is no energy at all, letting things settle to find their own way. This is the Blessing of Space..


When we bless, we mobilize spiritual resources to create a “blessing space” like an aura of energy around another or around a situation. This space holds the other person or situation in calm and clear attunement to their own highest spirit—or to the highest spirit that seeks unfoldment in the situation—heightening the possibility that that spirit will flow and act to create the blessings which are needed or wanted.
In this form of blessing, unless asked or intuitively guided otherwise, we use our energies to create and hold the blessing space and to assist the other or the situation to find and hold alignment with their own spiritual resources. We do not use our energies to manipulate the situation or to “energize” another. We do not impose our own energies upon another or a situation.

A spiritual resource in this context may mean the sacredness within a person; the presence of the Soul; spiritual allies; the flow of loving, compassionate, life-giving energies; creative inspiration; or whatever enables the person or the situation to move forward in a positive and beneficial way. A blessing enables a person wherever and whenever possible to access such resources for himself or herself, becoming empowered in the process and developing the skills to use such resources more easily and readily in the future.

Blessing empowers growth in spiritual ability for all concerned, including the one giving the blessing.

A blessing can be as simple as extending a flow of loving energy from your heart to that of another; it can be as direct as an act of kindness and compassion done on behalf of another. There need be nothing complex about it.

However, when I think of blessing--and when I create one as part of a practice, I think of it as having a simple structure based on a four-fold relationship:

  • The relationship to myself and my own innate spirituality;
  • The relationship to the Sacred as the ground of all being, the fundamental connection between me and others, and the source of the impulse for the highest good to emerge in all situations;
  • The relationship to the world as the community of which we are all a part, the source of integration, connection, and nourishment;
  • The relationship to the other, the recipient of the blessing, and the wholeness of that other’s life.

When we offer a blessing, we can, of course, simply ask that another spiritual source, such as God, bless the person or situation. Our role is then that of a mediator and petitioner. However, in Incarnational Spirituality, we recognize and affirm that each of us is also a generative source of spiritual energy and presence. We need not simply be a bystander or petitioner, but one who actively participates in the act of blessing, drawing on our own spiritual resources. The blessing then becomes a gift from our soul to another, strengthened by our human connection and empathy with the recipient. This has the advantage of flexing and developing our spiritual muscles and adding to our own inner growth.

We are not the sole source of the blessing, however. By attuning to the presence of God or the Generative Mystery within us and around us, in whatever way we are comfortable in doing so, we draw ourselves into the presence of sacredness which is the deepest and most natural power of connectedness between us and another, as well as being the universal source of goodness and the drive to unfold the highest within us. This power and presence then becomes an integral part of the blessing which empowers both the recipient and ourselves.

As incarnate individuals, we are part of the world; in Incarnational Spirituality, we are participants in the life and unfoldment of the World Soul, participants in a planetary consciousness. The world—which in Incarnational Spirituality includes both the physical and non-physical, seen and unseen, dimensions of matter and spirit—is our home, our shared community, the “Commons” that embraces each and all of us and gives us life and form. We find wholeness through our integration with our bodies, nature, life, matter, and the World Soul. A blessing flows not just to the individual by himself or herself, but to an individual embedded in the Commons of the earth, part of an ecology of life and consciousness. Acknowledging this larger wholeness in our blessing helps to integrate its energy and results into the recipient’s life and connections with the world around him or her.

Finally, the recipient of the blessing, in addition to being part of the Commons of the World, is an ecology in his or her own right, a complex interweaving of time and space, biography and potentials, energy and body, mind and emotions, consciousness and soul, spirit and sacredness. Our blessing needs to integrate and become part of the coherency of this personal ecology. We are blessing a whole person who has many aspects that are not visible or obvious to us, who is partly known and partly mystery. We bless on the basis on what we do know and can see, but our attunement and the intent of our blessing also needs to acknowledge the mystery and wonder, the depths and potentials we do not see and do not know.

In our own minds and hearts, we want to acknowledge and honor these four elements. This can be done swiftly, lovingly, organically. We might, for instance, simply picture a crossroads in which these four come together and we stand in the center point to call forth the blessing. We may inwardly (or vocally) call upon each of these four in crafting our blessing. Or, we can find our own unique way of honoring these four relationships which hold the power of blessing within us and for another.

An example of this structure is what I call the four-fold blessing. This is a standard blessing we use in Incarnational Spirituality, usually at the beginning of an activity, but it can be used anytime, anywhere.

  • Bless this place in which I am, with honor and gratitude for its presence and its gifts of space.
  • Bless my self, with honor and gratitude for the uniqueness of spirit, life, insight, and creativity which I bring to the world.
  • Bless others around me, seen and unseen, with honor and gratitude for the gifts we bring to each other, for the creativity and energy that can emerge from our collaboration.
  • Bless the activity I undertake, that it may prosper and be a blessing to all my world.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


My blogging these days is pretty much confined to a monthly essay called "David's Desk" that the Lorian Association sends out by email. This essay currently is my opportunity to share thoughts and tools for the spiritual journey; they are my personal insights and opinions and do not necessarily reflect the sentiments or thoughts of any other person in Lorian or of Lorian as a whole. If you would like to receive them, you can come on to the mailing list by writing to Previous issues of "David's Desk" are posted on our website at Here is the latest David's Desk:


I want to tell you about three phone calls I’ve had recently. The first was from a man I know slightly and whom I had not heard from for several years. It was a distressing call as he was facing total ruin in his life as a result of the current economic meltdown. He had just lost his job, was deeply in debt, and was facing losing his home. He was staring into a very scary, unknown future rising like a wall before him towards which he was hurtling, and he was filled with panic. He needed to talk to someone and reached out to me.
The second call was from a man I knew a little better but also whom I had not seen in several years. The last we had talked he had become ill but then I heard no more other than that he had moved with his family from the area. Now he was back, and he told me a harrowing story of his descent through a most dark time of extreme pain, illness, financial loss, and family crisis. His whole life had been turned upside down and inside out and in the process he had discovered resources of inner strength and calm. He had found an inner light and creativity he had not known he had possessed. He wasn’t quite recovered but he could see his way back. Having lost almost everything, he was now discovering and building a whole new life that was more attuned and wonderful than what he had had before.
The third call was from a close friend who had also been going through a very difficult time. I had not heard from him for close to a year and didn’t know the extent of his troubles. But he called not with a tale of woe but with a report that having been on the verge of bankruptcy, his business had suddenly taken off. In the midst of the growing recession, he was unexpectedly and suddenly prospering because his particular skills and services were valuable to businesses that were facing economic problems. And everything else in his life was alchemically coming together as well in a new alloy of joy and wholeness.
These three calls were from people facing, moving through, or emerging from a threshold of transformation. In this they seemed to me to represent the nature of the times in which we live. These are threshold times for all of us as humanity faces profound forces of change at work in the world today.
Interestingly, the threshold in all three calls was essentially the same. It was a threshold of dissolution and loss: loss of power, loss of livelihood, loss of home, loss of habitual ways of doing things, and in a deep way, loss of a familiar identity. The instinct when confronted with such losses is to hold on, to wrap around and cling to all that’s familiar as one is hurtled forward. The river of one’s life becomes frighteningly turbulent as it crashes against unexpected boulders and twists around unforeseen bends, and we grip all the more tenaciously and rigidly to the form of the boat we’ve been riding. But like a birth canal, often the channel of transformation towards which we are racing is navigated most skillfully if we can relax and let go and let the momentum carry us through. Floundering and striking out or fighting back with denial and anger only increases the likelihood of bashing against the boulders.
Not all thresholds are transformative in this way or have to be navigated through loss and pain, but I think given the tenor of the times, we will be seeing more and more of these kinds of experiences. Humanity has accumulated a lot of baggage that it will have to give up to win through to a more humane and blessing-full future, not least of which is its sense of identity as something special for whom the planet is a plaything and piggy bank to do with as it wishes. The current economic downturn is only a shadow of what may happen as we run up against climate change and finite limits to natural resources. This morning the news was full of speculation on the possible crippling impact on the already battered world economy if a full pandemic of the swine flu virus erupts, never mind the potential loss of millions of lives.
I am by instinct an optimist, and my inner experiences are unfailing in giving me faith in humanity’s innate goodness and spiritual capacities. At the same time, incarnation is the soul’s version of an extreme sporting event, one filled with thrills and chills as we measure ourselves against the challenges of evolution and the rush of unfolding new potentials. My oldest son likes to hurl himself off the sides of mountains wearing only a thin set of paragliding wings, and I have friends that like to put themselves in small boats hurtling down river rapids. They deliberately bring themselves to thresholds of challenge because of the expanded sense of self that emerges on the other side. Souls do the same thing with life itself, I’m convinced!
So in addition to my optimism about the future, I think we are at one of those places in planetary and human life where the ride is about to get very fast and very interesting indeed.
If this is so, what can we do?
The first step is not to fear the thresholds. This is easier said than done of course, especially when the threshold threatens to take everything from us that we think of as ourselves, maybe even our physical life, and also when it comes upon us unexpectedly, as such thresholds can do. But fear is additional baggage we don’t need to carry while navigating the rapids of change. The anchor of denial and resistance only makes us less maneuverable, not more.
In talking to the gentleman of the first call, there was little I could do for him in a practical way; he lives thousands of miles away. My first task was to listen as he poured out his fear, anger and despair. And just telling him not to be afraid, I knew, wouldn’t be very helpful as from his perspective he had every reason to be afraid. His fear was a center around which he was coalescing himself; that is, in a paradoxical way, it gave him a sense of stability, albeit a painful one.
A trained counselor might have been able to help him a good deal more than I could, for my perceptions are not psychological but energetic. So I couldn’t give him mental or emotional techniques to help him deal with his fear. But I could ask him to take some time to honor himself and his fear and to deliberately grieve over what he was losing. Part of his familiar life was dying, and to deny it was to lose touch with the transformative energies at work in his life. Taking time to deliberately stop and listen to his fears would, I knew, give the turbulence of his energy field a chance to steady itself and be held by his own attentiveness. Just flailing about mentally and emotionally with a fearful energy doesn’t go anywhere, but focusing on the fear and making it speak coherently and calmly to oneself helps to shift one’s inner experience from feeling helpless to feeling a sense of power, at least the power to listen, which is a start.
As he began to listen and to calm, he began to list positive things he could do, and each time he came up with a fearful objection to doing those things, I asked him to go back and honor the energy of the suggestion he had made. It might not work out but taking a positive step in a helpful direction was better energetically than doing nothing.
What I felt was my most important suggestion was that while looking for new employment he also seek out some form of volunteer work he could do to help others in a similar position as himself. If we can find an inner generosity to help others, it keeps our own creative energy from collapsing and constricting around the hard knot of our personal fears. Such constriction only makes our own process of manifestation much more difficult energetically.
Had his phone call been the last one, I could have told him the stories of the others. Part of his challenge was that he was at the start of the process, just facing the threshold and unsure of himself and his future. But the other two men had gone through experiences at least as bad and in one case much worse than what he was facing, and they had come out the other side feeling more powerful than before. They were different; they had been reborn. And they showed that a threshold is not the end. It’s a passage, not a destination.
In our times, that may be the most important knowledge of all.