Whispers

For some time now I’ve been contemplating how to describe my ‘flowers theory’ of how Nature or ‘Spirit through Nature’ communicates to all other life on the planet.

For example with flowers in general, there are the ‘geometric aspects of petal distribution’ that I’ve previously mentioned. There are the ‘wide variety of colors’ aspects per plant and how powerful that a color (a particular light-wave frequency perceived by the photoreceptor cones of our retina) can be.

Then there are the ‘flower-size-per-plant’ aspects; and because I usually go more for the magnificent, large blossoms images, this picture was one that I initially passed over, then came back to review for some unknown reason, then passed on again, then was drawn back to it until I finally got the ‘message’ that the image was suggesting to me: “Whispers”.  

Whispers?

With large blooms of vibrant colors we are awed by how gorgeous the flower is—how magnificently it is often petaled—how symmetrically the flower’s petals are dispersed and aligned, because flowers as a whole are often bright, bold expressions of nature’s shouting to ‘other-life-in-motion’ to “Stop and look at this!” (Or to at least ‘Stop and smell this—because you might like it.’)

But when only considered visually, with these smaller petal clusters on slender stalks or on ground covers, nature is more so ‘whispering’ her messages to other life forms—whatever those messages really are, of which I have no idea other than “LOOK AT THIS!” 

That ‘capturing other life form attention to the importance of the plant’ part, is one aspect that I think I do understand.

And likewise, those insects or avian species that feed from these vibrant natural expressions of love and life—who exist solely because of the plant’s flowers providing them the nourishment that they require, may view them differently and more essential to their continued existence than we humans often consider them.

So maybe for just a moment during your normal busy day, you might glimpse a distant waving-in-the-wind wildflower or perhaps even chance upon a lowly dandelion peeking through the sidewalk crack, and reconsider for a short moment the value or worth of their presence on the Earth here with the rest of us; and then imagine how stark our lives would be without those beautiful expressions of nature’s love and devotion to us all.

Or in another sense, what are the tiny flowers in the image above whispering to you?

Called or Uncalled

This quote was hand-carved over the archway to C. G. Jung’s study: “Called or uncalled: God is present.”

Which as Ken James, Ph.D. described during his session of the Jungian summit is to consider that whatever calls us to our supposed ‘purpose in life’ is always around us, ever-present; we just may not notice it being there for a very long time, until when we actually awaken to our true sense of life purpose.

Or in another sense that God Consciousness, or Grand Consciousness as I refer to it, is continually around us, embracing us, engulfing us, even if we fail to recognize it as such, because:   “Called or uncalled: God is present.”

Overall for his part in the summit Ken James was elaborating on “Synchronicity and the Personal Journey” and how we tended to immediately interpret and declare in our minds all events, situations, experiences in our lives as meaningful to us or not before we even allowed them to completely unfold and to show us how significant they might actually be to us.

In a broader sense we make life-defining judgments primarily from the ego perspective about how we want our lives to progress or to advance, rather than allowing our intuition (our higher connection) to guide us in the most beneficial and natural direction for our true soul growth.

But no matter which direction we do choose in life, our lives will play out in that one chosen direction for only so long before we may start to feel a dissonance with that path direction.  Then if our ego continues to ignore the discomfort, ‘hints’ may arise around us that might suggest we try a different direction in our lives; and if we still ignore those ‘hints’ then our Higher Self can become more insistent to capture our straying life focus and can create more obvious ‘turmoil’ in our lives until we finally stop and DO pay attention to what is happening to us at a deeper level—to how we are resonating (or not) with our current life situation.

Meaning: Do we feel harmonious with the direction we are heading or do we feel dissonant with it—out of sync, off the beat, uncomfortable enough to want to ‘change the tune’ in some way?

James says that we should try to stay more non-judgmentally aware of everything around us, and to stay more in harmony with what life is freely presenting to us rather than disregarding the sudden synchronicities that may pop up before us daily. 

Those ‘synchronicities’ are far from being coincidences—they are instead our soul’s intentional ‘stagings’ for enhancing/shifting our stagnant or our stressful life experience in some way to help us more beneficially learn from our situations/relationships and to ultimately advance our consciousness.  

In truth while we may think that we must search high and low to discover our true calling in LIFE, all we actually need to do is to simply be quiet enough to hear it as it calls to us.

The Jungian Online Conference 2021

Hm-m-m, maybe I am more Jungian than I realized. I’m currently listening to James Hollis, Ph.D., and he is already talking about most of what I write in this blog…about Finding Your Truth: determining who we are, what we stand for, and WHY we believe that we are here at this time, and how we share that with the world around us.

“If what I’m doing is not meaningful, then why am I doing it?…Something in us knows what is right for us, we just have to find it and listen to it.”

***

I’ll give you the 1st speaker’s video, James Hollis, Ph.D., but it will only be FREE for another couple hours. However others will follow for another two days to view within 24hrs for free.

***

 “…Despite our best intentions, sooner or later, we find ourselves in an emotional swampland. Exploring these swamplands help us to identify where we need to grow up, where we might be stuck in our lives, and where we need to act on what we believe to be true.

In this talk, James Hollis describes how we can make sense of our experiences by way of discernment and resonance. We have to sort what’s going on inside us, the present voices, and we need to recognize when we are unconsciously driven by our psychological histories. We have to sit with it, pay attention to what resonates in us on a deep level, and do what is meaningful for us. Relevant questions that we can ask ourselves are ‘Why am I here?’ and ‘What is wanting to enter the world through me?

During this session you’ll discover

  • How the internal guidance system supports what is right for us,
  • That our ultimate calling is to be in service to our soul, and
  • Why courage, patience, and taking risks is part of our journey.

About the Teacher

James Hollis, Ph.D., is a world-renowned Jungian analyst in private practice in Washington, D.C. He has written and published extensively and his works have been translated into numerous languages around the world. He is a core faculty member at Jung Platform.”

On Personal Change Before World Change

Mystic Path to Cosmic Consciousness

“Changing the world begins with the very personal process of changing ourself, the only place you can begin is where you are, and the only time you can begin is now.” – Gary Zukav

WOW, …seeing the Gary Zukav name sent me back to my earliest period of externally expressing what had been internally fermenting away during most of my young adulthood. Zukav had a way with words—a clear, concise manner of sharing heartfelt spiritual principles that few prior had been able to popularize. And of course having Oprah Winfrey latch on to him as a personal guru, certainly helped to spread his fame and fortune.  

It was probably the first time I’d heard the word “New-Age” expressed about a type of philosophy or literature, and I liked the term—NEW-AGE. It was a good way of optimistically viewing the world around us.

If you have no idea who he is or why you should be interested at all, here’s a little bio from Wiki:

“…Zukav’s next book, The Seat of the Soul, published in 1989, was a No. 1 New York Times Best Seller for 31 weeks and remained on the list for three years.[6] In an interview by Jeffrey Mishlove, for the popular Public Television series Thinking Allowed, Zukav summarized the concepts presented in The Seat of the Soul.

‘My objective was not to make the soul legitimate in terms of science. The soul is legitimate, period. It doesn’t need validation. At least that was my perception and so I wrote The Seat of the Soul to share the things that were most important to me. The Dancing Wu Li Masters was designed to open the mind and The Seat of the Soul, is a book designed to open the heart. And this is often the sequence that many people encounter as they move into an expanded awareness of who they are and why they are here.

Our evolution, until very recently, has been as five sensory humans evolving through the exploration of physical reality. That is the same thing as the pursuit of external power. Now we have crossed the threshold, we’re in new territory, a brand new domain. We are now becoming multi sensory. That means we are no longer confined to the five senses. Now I use these terms because the five senses together form a single sensory system and the object of that sensory system is physical reality. That’s what it is designed to detect. As we become multi sensory, we move beyond the limitations of the five senses and we now are evolving to a different mechanism in the exploration of physical reality. We are evolving through responsible choice of and with the assistance and guidance of non physical guides and teachers.

We are spiritual beings, we have always been spiritual beings and we will always BE spiritual beings. The difference is that now we are becoming aware of ourselves AS spiritual beings and that is making all the difference.’

In 1998 Zukav began an ongoing conversation with Oprah Winfrey, appearing on her television show 35 times – more than any other guest.[7] Oprah, who keeps a copy of The Seat of the Soul at her bedside, proclaimed: “The Seat of the Soul is my favorite book of all time, except for the Bible.”[8] Her favorite quote from The Seat of the Soul: ‘Every action, thought, and feeling is motivated by an intention, and that intention is a cause that exists as one with an effect…. In this most profound way, we are held responsible for every action, thought, and feeling, which is to say, for our every intention.’”

And that is HOW you change your current situation and eventually the world around all of us—with your every intention to make that more positive change.

See,….NEW-AGE isn’t such a bad term when it has such good intentions.

Ghosts In the Attic

Intergenerational Complexes in Analytical Psychology: The Suffering of GhostsThis book shows how the cultural unconscious with its multiple group dynamics, identities, nationalities, seething differences of conflicts, polarizations, and individual personalities are organized by cultural complexes and narrated by archetypal story formations, which the author calls ‘phantom narratives’. …” (Amazon.com)

***

Background: Since signing up for a FREE Jungian online conference soon to occur, I’ve been flooded with Jungian ads for books, training, etc., most of which I find interesting but not overwhelmingly so.

However when this book and blurb came through about Samuel Kimbles’ The Suffering of Ghosts book it triggered my memories on similar key experiences, from my Shamanic training for alleviating ancestral curses and for providing soul retrievals for clients, as well as ‘ghost removals’; combined with my first-hand witnessing of Past-life hypnotic journeys for clients to personally address ancient ancestral issues still festering in their current lives.

I know that’s a lot of stuff to process, but as strange as it often appears to be, no matter whatever medium of healing or techniques that you might employ, you all are still working with the same cosmic-soup, energetic layers of consciousness—just in different ways as framed through many different ‘healing’ perspectives.

And this “unconscious ancestral open-wounding underlying current social unrest” subject matter seemed to be what the book was alluding to: “…It shows how the cultural unconscious is narrated by archetypal story formations, which the author calls ‘phantom narratives’ …”.

Or a simpler way to say it is that we ALL have ghosts in our attics—and we are still haunted by those long-dead ‘phantom narratives’ that are stuck in both our personal and our collective unconscious which makes us reactively ‘act-out’ individually and collectively around the globe.

But even without being a Jungian analyst addressing this, the ‘phantom narratives’ social disruption causation is such a complex subject that to give it proper context here would be to write pages and pages of explanations on how even these two different training techniques that I’m most familiar with deal with similar client issues but in different ways by comparing those alternative perspectives on the subject matter of dealing with our known layers of consciousness: the sub-conscious (shamanic lower world), consciousness (s. middle world) and the super-conscious (s. upper world). 

And because that ‘ghosts in the attic’ theme is such an important topic to consider as social unrest grows around us, I can only explain what little I know of it through my own previous training:

Sequentially I had the Shamanic training first and learned how modern shamans dealt with clients who desired help with alleviating personal issues that physically/mentally presented as possible ‘soul loss’, ‘ancestral trauma’, or ‘other-being occupation’ (often called ‘possession’, but it doesn’t have to be demonic…it could simply be Aunt Susie who upon her death didn’t leave this plane of existence and thought you would be good to ‘hang with’ for awhile.)

For modern shamans, the shamanic practitioner is the agent who deals directly or through Spirit Guide help with whatever ‘original wound’ is found in the past where the soul-part might have fragmented off, and restores the ‘cleansed-and-purified lost soul-part’ back to the client to help them feel more whole again

Please keep in mind that as weird as this sounds, it actually is effective, but what that ‘work’ entails is all on the practitioner and NOT on the client to research the initial problem, to journey to the true source of the current-life problem in whatever past-life time-period that it first originated for them, and to then create the proper healing situation for all of those involved at that time, especially for the client so that the healing of the problem area then cascades in proper order from origination point in the past-life through all the generations and into the present, etc.  (Sorry, but it’s a really complicated procedure.)

However once I learned the hypnosis techniques to take a client through those ‘issue situations’ for themselves that were “seemingly past-life, but are eerily similar to the present”, I could quickly see that having the client see for themselves how the problem had first originated in a previous lifetime, and then talk them through shifting their personal perspective on what was happening at that time to allow for the emotional energy of those old woundings to release to allow for the healing of those past traumas, was far more empowering to the client than the shamanic techniques that I’d been previously trained in.  

It seemed to me that the huge difference in healing techniques between the ‘shamanic methods’ and the ‘hypnosis methods’ came down to this: From the shamantelling’ the passive, non-interactive client what was happening to them in that past-life situation and then at the end, explaining to them what I, the practitioner, had done to help alleviate the traumatic situation; to my instead using hypnosis and helping the client journey to the originating wound-creation time period and to the specific situation during that time so the client could see it first-hand and actually feel the emotion at the time of the wounding for themselves. And then let the client energetically heal the original wound themselves by releasing the fear and trauma energies that had accrued back then, and then by forgiving all the participants involved in the client’s past-life personal drama.

In short, from me telling them about it to them seeing/feeling it/healing it for themselves—it was a no-brainer.  I quickly determined that using the hypnosis techniques were exponentially greater for shifting higher a client’s overall issues because it self-empowered them to partake in their own healing.

And the other beauty of it was that the way that I did it—how I conducted the session and the past-life explorations was that the client never had to tell me what those personal “issues” were because they silently told their own High Self what those issues were that they wanted to better understand that were creating the problems in their current life; and their High Self then provided the 3 past-lives and the like-wise pertinent situations for the client to review and to examine.

It was simply a magical experience to watch unfold, and I loved doing it when I had the office at the time.

But the prime point here is that I had focused more so on just providing the healing space for clients to discover their cross-generational past-life issues and to show them how to resolve those deep woundings for themselves, without my interference or direct intervention in their past or current lives.

In that role I was strictly the facilitator for helping them in healing themselves rather than the direct healer of their issues. It was a far healthier and more self-empowered healing situation for the client.

And the other important point I wanted to make in this latest epic is that I think that our current social disruption and confrontational political/social environments are directly attributed to what this book describes as ‘phantom narratives’ or “…how the cultural unconscious is narrated by archetypal story formations…”.

And THAT is what needs deep healing for ALL of us!

***

Book REFERENCE—

Amazon reviewers:

“Sam Kimbles has once again substantially deepened our understanding of how unconscious dynamics operate in political, social, and cultural and group processes. In this book, he pulls together histories of violence, oppression, and social injustices to present to the reader an emotional field in which psyche generates its own responses and creates conditions for subjectivity grounded in the cultural unconscious. … – Andrew Samuels, former professor of analytical psychology, University of Essex, and author of ‘The Political Psyche’

***

“If your ghosts were stolen from Africa, sold into slavery, or were indigenous peoples deprived of their lands, or immigrants fleeing poverty, famine, and war or Jewish refugees from the Nazis, Central American refugees from gangs, all of you have terrible stories to tell. How do those of us who work with human suffering treat your pain? How do we heal the severed feeling of kinship in our culture, our recognition of each other as fellow citizens, all of us carriers of ancestral trauma? These are among the questions Samuel Kimbles addresses in his wise and compassionate book. . . . The Suffering of Ghosts is a major contribution to Jungian thought, a profound and hopeful call to bring what Jungians know about working with the unconscious into the social and cultural realm. If your ghosts are agitated, moaning and muttering, rolling over in their graves, read them this book. They will thank you for it.”Naomi Ruth Lowinsky, author of ‘The Rabbi, the Goddess and Jung: Getting the Word from Within’

Cultivating Joy

ॐ Nature Heals, Nature Reveals ॐ

“I don’t think anyone ‘finds’ joy. Rather, we cultivate it by searching for the preciousness of small things, the ordinary miracles, that strengthen our hearts so we can keep them open to what is difficult: delight in taking a shower or a slow walk that has no destination, in touching something soft, in noticing the one small, black bird who sings every morning from the top of the big old pine tree … I need to give my attention to the simple things that give me pleasure with the same fervor I have been giving it to the complex things with which I drive myself crazy.”

~ Dawna Markova

~ Art by Gill Bustamante

Many Paths—One Goal

But what IS that goal?

Numerous eastern religions would say the ultimate goal for our life experience was to gain our freedom from the wheel of samsara—the suffering of humankind—to reach total and complete enlightenment and God-consciousness, then to remain in that ‘ultimate highest love-frequency’ forever—in Oneness with ALL.

“The concept of Saṃsāra has roots in the post-Vedic literature; the theory is not discussed in the Vedas themselves.[7][8] It appears in developed form, but without mechanistic details, in the early Upanishads.[9][10] The full exposition of the Saṃsāra doctrine is found in Sramanic religions such as Buddhism and Jainism, as well as various schools of Hindu philosophy after about the mid-1st millennium BC.[10][11] The Saṃsāra doctrine is tied to the karma theory of Hinduism, and the liberation from Saṃsāra has been at the core of the spiritual quest of Indian traditions, as well as their internal disagreements.[12][13] The liberation from Saṃsāra is called Moksha, Nirvana, Mukti or Kaivalya.[6][14][15]” (wiki)

That was probably more background info than anyone wanted, but I do know we often assume that everyone understands whatever we say exactly as we intend it, when actually they don’t. That’s why I look for reference quotes so we’re on the same page for whatever I’m trying to describe.

Every religion that I’ve studied has its own version of what happens to us after death and how we should view both our LIFE while living, as well as to consider what we might  encounter when that ‘living’ is done.

Since I’ve personally conducted many hypnosis Past-life and Spirit World explorations with my own clients, I don’t have to be convinced of such a thing as reincarnation, although I might not call it that. Nor can I provide a ‘one-size-fits-all description’ for what is actually happening during LIFE itself, nor even attempt to explain the afterwards part because it’s simply beyond my present knowledge and capability.

I’ve seen for myself how pliable reality can be—numerous times—so when I quote from Mind Beyond Death that “life and death are simply concepts…”, then how can you the reader make sense of what seems like a lot of material substance in your own life?

 “The teachings of the six bardos point out the fundamental continuity of mind through all states of existence. From this perspective of what we call ‘life’ and ‘death’ are simply concepts—relative designations that are attributed to a continuous state of being, an indestructible awareness that is birthless and deathless. …” (p. 11)

I mean that I can talk about what I think it is, or what it SEEMS to be—this LIFE/DEATH continuum, but even that is context-dependent on everyone sharing that same context framework—the encasing frame around which we consider our world-view; and clearly in today’s world, there are few folks who agree on much of anything at present. So when ‘world-view context or framework’ gets tossed out the window of mutual understanding, making sense of any situation is pretty hard to even attempt.  

But what I CAN say is that there are many paths to explore for a more enriching living experience, just as there are many paths to finding your own spiritual fulfillment—to finding your own TRUTH.  

I can easily say this because I’ve personally traveled many of those diverse paths—some being more pleasant than others.

And after assessing those diverse personal travels, what do I know for certain?

I know for certain how little I actually know about what is happening to us on all levels of our existence.  For certain I only know what I think, what I’ve experienced, and what I’ve read or been told about our cyclical travels during this dimension and beyond.

And that’s the only knowledge I CAN share, because it’s like that old adage: ‘The more I learn, the less I actually know’ sort of thing.  

From the more I currently learn, it would seem that the more apparently ignorant I have always been; but there’s a reason for that: consciousness is a continual growth process.  We can’t learn the secrets of LIFE/DEATH/BEYOND until we are ready to make use of that knowledge.

And just as I believe what C. G. Jung mentioned long ago that the ‘collective unconscious’ was ready to shift higher, it does so only when the ‘collective CONSCIOUSNESS’ shifts higher as well.

While it doesn’t require the efforts of everyone on Earth to make that ‘collective consciousness’ shift higher, it does require that enough of us hold that higher frequency long enough for that momentous ‘collective shift’ TO occur.

I know I’m certainly ready for our ‘collective consciousness’ to shift higher.  

How about you?

Metamorphosis of the Gods—Shifting the Collective Unconscious

Drawing by Carl G. Jung, from The Red Book, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Red_Book_(Jung)

Tao & Zen  (image and quotes below from this site)

“Really interesting archetypal illustration drawn by Carl G. Jung. This man who looks like a wizard with wings he called Philemon, a kind of wisdom guide that came to Jung in his dreams, that he would talk to… with flowers blooming at his heart level, perhaps symbolize that he is holding the wisdom of nature in his hands? Buddha has also been represented holding a flower, symbolizing the transmission of the dharma that cannot be spoken, but is found in our connection to Nature…”

“’In his memoirs, Jung reported that he would often converse with Philemon as he strolled in the garden of his lakeside home in Küsnacht, Switzerland. Speaking with Aniela Jaffé, his close friend and colleague, he recalled, ‘Philemon was simply a superior knowledge, and he taught me psychological objectivity and the actuality of the soul. He formulated and expressed everything which I had never thought.’”

Source: Who is Philemon? https://philemonfoundation.org/about…/who-is-philemon/

“’We are living in what the Greeks called the right time for a ‘metamorphosis of the gods,’ i.e. of the fundamental principles and symbols. This peculiarity of our time, which is certainly not of our conscious choosing, is the expression of the unconscious [mind] within us who is changing. Coming generations will have to take account of this momentous transformation if humanity is not to destroy itself through the might of its own technology and science. Reason alone does not suffice. You can take away a man’s gods, but only to give him others in return.’”       ~Carl Jung, The Undiscovered Self (1958)

***

Carl Gustav Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology…” (Wiki) was another one of my aspirational heroes (the ‘BIG 3’ for me—Einstein, Fuller, Jung) during my early research on better understanding myself and others; with my favorite Jung book being his autobiography called, Memories, Dreams, Reflections.  

In his autobiography Jung admitted to being somewhat psychically gifted and extremely intuitive (connected higher to sources of wisdom). Those gifts lead him to developing his own philosophy on psychoanalysis separate from Freud’s at the time; as well as creating his ‘archetype theory’ which was basically this: “(Archetypes) are the psychic counterpart of instinct. It is described as a kind of innate unspecific knowledge, derived from the sum total of human history, which prefigures and directs conscious human behavior.” (Wiki on “Jungian Archetypes”) 

Meaning that we unconsciously recognize and naturally react in specific ways to certain ‘archetypal images and situations’ when we encounter them in our lives.

The ‘recognizing’ part is the unconscious aspect of how archetypes affect us, but the ‘reaction’ part is the more predictive human behavior because of that unconscious recognition.

Jung was artistically gifted as well, and loved to create personal ‘mandalas.’ “Carl Jung refers to the mandala as ‘the psychological expression of the totality of the self.’  Interestingly, Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist, explored the psychological effects of mandalas, while studying Eastern religion.” (Wiki)

He was a fascinating guy to study.

The Mobius Strip—Mind Beyond Death

A mobius strip is an endless looping band where the separate ends of the band were reconnected after giving it a half twist so the eye travels up and over and back again—right-side up then upside down then right-side up, etc.. You know—like the LIFE/DEATH process itself.

It’s a continuum of sorts—a thing with no beginning and no end.

So I think that was an appropriate image for the book cover of Dzogchen Ponlop’s Mind Beyond Death.

And for some weird reason this book has been on my mind lately so I’m guessing it’s time to share the info with others in case someone out there might be interested in it.

Back when I was seriously studying all that I could find on alternate realities, states of being, and life beyond death, etc., I got hooked on reading about Tibetan Buddhism. (I have a personal library of CDs, books, etc. for each ‘phase’ of learning that I have seemed to travel—even an entire ‘book shelf’ for each phase.)  

So back in 2011 I was in this ‘completed the Shamanism phase,’ was still in my ‘Kundalini Awakening phase’ (which truly sucked and still does at times) and was trying to figure out what was actually going on with what I was personally experiencing—you know, trying to make ‘sense of it’ rationally, because my life had become “50 Shades of Strange” nearly all the time back then.

Except ‘rational’ was not a word that applies to the illogical and unpredictable aspects of LIFE; and I just wanted something (more likely anything) to make a ‘kind of sense’ to me even if the context in which I had to view it was totally different from how I had previously considered it.

So one of the info sources I ran across at the time was Dzogchen Ponlop’s Mind Beyond Death, which described the Tibetan Buddhist bardo states of consciousness.

Per Wiki on BARDO:

“In some schools of Buddhism, bardo (Classical Tibetan: བར་དོ་ Wylie: bar do) or antarābhava (Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese: 中有, romanized in Chinese as zhōng yǒu and in Japanese as chūu) is an intermediate, transitional, or liminal state between death and rebirth.”

Per Amazon books on Ponlop’s MBD:

“…An indispensable guidebook through the journey of life and death, Mind Beyond Death weaves a synthesis of wisdom remarkable in its scope. With warm informality and profound understanding of the Western mind, the Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche makes the mysterious Tibetan teachings on the bardos—the intervals of life, death, and beyond—completely available to the modern reader….”

Per the bookcover blurb:

“ Drawing on a breathtaking range of material, Mind Beyond Death shows us how working with the bardos can be used to conquer death. Working with the bardos means taking hold of life and learning how to live with fearless abandon. Exploring the six bardos—not just the three bardos of death—MBD demonstrates that the secret to a good journey through and beyond death lies in how we live.

Walking skillfully through the bardos of dream, meditation, and daily life, The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche takes us deep into the mysterious death intervals, introducing us to their dazzling mindscape.…”

Per me:

“Holy cow! Is that what I actually saw?”

***

Yes, it likely was.  Anyway when I first read it, I took pages and pages of notes from the book; and I ran across that old note collection a few days ago realizing that this subject is what I had been writing about in the broadest sense, but without specifics; so I’ll close this current epic with one last quote and if anyone is interested in the book, you’ll know without my going into more depth on it.

Per Mind Beyond Death, page 11:

The teachings of the six bardos point out the fundamental continuity of mind through all states of existence. From this perspective of what we call ‘life’ and ‘death’ are simply concepts—relative designations that are attributed to a continuous state of being, an indestructible awareness that is birthless and deathless. …That nature of our mind is empty, luminous wisdom; it is primordially pure awareness; it is wakefulness that transcends duality. …”

Holographic Snapshots of the Whole

If you look closely at the image above, you can see a graphic metaphor for LIFE as we know it.

That blurry whitish background is the daisy itself more clearly focused in the lesser dew-drop versions of it on the spider web. As each droplet reflects the object that it mimics, it does so within its own volume capacity to hold the image precisely and in perfect proportion to its own droplet mass.

We are those varied-capacity droplets riding atop the web of LIFE reflecting our image source as the light shines through us. They may seem to our eyes to be greater or lesser degrees of the background image, but that is only due to the limits of our perception and to the angle of our view.

If our perception was unlimited and our awareness was unhindered, we could see that all reflected daisy images are equal and perfectly aligned within each droplet.

Just as we could eventually realize that our own reflected image of Grand Consciousness was already perfect in and of itself.

Examining the Roles That We Play

Eckhart Tolle

“Authentic human interactions become impossible when you lose yourself in a role.” – Eckhart Tolle

Over the course of our lives we learn many informative techniques to advance our personal lives in one direction or another. We may even choose a role in life often associated with our strong need for personal satisfaction or for our sense of inner fulfillment.  Or sometimes we seem to fall naturally into a role that seems most necessary for us to adopt at the time.

That was an inarticulate but politically correct way of saying that we often become a facsimile of whomever we need to be at the time most necessary for us to be that person.  

We tend to play roles in life. Sometimes we do it automatically—we mother, we protect, we defend, we humble ourselves before others, we lead, we follow, we pretend, we appease, we often do whatever is required of us at the time, even if we don’t know WHY we are doing it.

So why do we play these roles?

We may do so because we feel that we must play a certain role in that scenario to ‘get along’ with a significant person in our life (spouse, parent, boss, friend), or we may feel a strong inner compulsion to ‘act a certain way’ because we need that other person that we are role-playing for to like usto accept us—or at least to NOT ostracize us from their apparent influence in our life.

Role-playing became extremely important to us when we were dependent on others to provide for our most basic needs—like when we were children and had no other means of supporting or defending ourselves. Childhood is often when we learn the roles most necessary for our simple survival in a more hostile family environment: good girl—mother’s helper—friend to the lonely—daddy’s little girl—caretaker—confidant.

Or there were worse roles that we had few options in choosing as a child because we were forced to pretend that they were ‘normal’ for our family’s living arrangement back then, like the role of: family scapegoat, primary recipient of a parent’s ridicule, disgust, anger, or even parental sexual frustration.

Sometimes ‘normal’ was a strange word to use for what roles many children were required to adopt to simply survive their childhood, so I try to be very careful when I critique role-playing in general.

While we often think of ‘playing a role’ in life like putting on a different weight coat depending on the weather outside—meaning that you don what is required for your immediate comfort—role-playing can actually be a far deeper ‘need response’ than that, and can have primal childhood roots for that particular role’s development.

But when you become an adult and decide to live more authentically as the person that you have the true potential to be, it helps if you can recognize the previous ‘role-playing’ for what it often was: theatrical attempts to appease or placate, or to appear to be more “likeable” than we think we naturally are; or perhaps role-playing was your primary childhood survival-technique to make it through the day or night with what’s left of your sanity intact.

More enlightened folks can talk about showing ‘greater authenticity’ all that they want (including myself at times), but if there is an existential reason for the role-playing, then there will be deeper issues to address than uncovering a relationship’s more shallow, interactive plasticity.

Role-playing is often about developing some form of extroverted demeanor to gain acceptance by others (or at least to not incur their wrath), while authenticity is to stand strongly in your own skin and say to anyone within earshot that, “I have value in and of myself, with or without your personal approval or acceptance.”

Sounds obvious in a way but for whatever reason, not everyone can easily make that simple statement. Sometimes our inner fear or insecurity is too overpowering to allow us the courage of standing strongly on our own without the need for someone else’s approval.

If a ‘strong sense of self’ wasn’t something that we developed at an early age, then role-playing to counter not having it is often a hard behavioral habit to change, so I’m not condemning anyone or criticizing their manner of behavior if my talking about authenticity feels awkward or too foreign to them. Not at all.

But the hardest aspect of making a core personal change—especially when we’ve been relying on a deeply-evolved behavioral standby that has helped us survive to our current age, is to realize first and foremost that we are ‘falling into a role’ of some sort for whatever reason, whenever we naturally do it.

Self-awareness is only one step toward greater self-understanding.

And self-understanding can lead first to self-acceptance and then to self-empowerment, which often eliminates the need for most role-playing in our lives.

Finding your truth means to better understand who you truly are, and to appreciate yourself for being that remarkable person.

The Amazing Verb Called ‘Bucky’

I am such a fan of R. Buckminster Fuller that whenever I see someone else quote him, I stop whatever I’m doing and read it. This 5ft-2 inch intellectual powerhouse was an ‘American engineer, architect, and futurist who developed the geodesic dome—the only large dome that can be set directly on the ground as a complete structure and the only practical kind of building that has no limiting dimensions (i.e., beyond which the structural strength must be insufficient).’ (quote from Britannica.com )

My first awareness of Buckminster Fuller came as a child when I read a “Reader’s Digest” article on how he had turned his own life around from grief, economic failure, and suffering severe depression to become one of the most influential humans on the planet:

“…Fuller contemplated suicide by drowning in Lake Michigan, so that his family could benefit from a life insurance payment.[11]

(But instead of jumping into the lake…) …Fuller said that he had experienced a profound incident which would provide direction and purpose for his life. He felt as though he was suspended several feet above the ground enclosed in a white sphere of light. A voice spoke directly to Fuller, and declared:

‘From now on you need never await temporal attestation to your thought. You think the truth. You do not have the right to eliminate yourself. You do not belong to you. You belong to the Universe. Your significance will remain forever obscure to you, but you may assume that you are fulfilling your role if you apply yourself to converting your experiences to the highest advantage of others.[12]

Fuller stated that this experience led to a profound re-examination of his life. He ultimately chose to embark on ‘an experiment, to find what a single individual could contribute to changing the world and benefiting all humanity’….[13] “  (Wikipedia)

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Fuller was still living when I was in college for my bachelors degree, and one of my art professors at the time required us to read two of his books: I Seem to be a Verb and Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth. (The rest I read on my own because by then I was hooked.)  So this morning, the Tao & Zen  folks actually brought a smile to my face with this re-posting in his words:

Regenerative Cultures

“~The Wisdom of Bucky Fuller~

‘You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

You cannot change how someone thinks, but you can give them a tool to use which will lead them to think differently.

We are not going to be able to operate our Spaceship Earth successfully nor for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common. It has to be everybody or nobody.

If I ran a school, I’d give the average grade to the ones who gave me all the right answers, for being good parrots. I’d give the top grades to those who made a lot of mistakes and told me about them, and then told me what they learned from them.

A problem adequately stated is a problem well on its way to being solved. We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.

Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person.

Nature is a totally efficient, self-regenerating system. IF we discover the laws that govern this system and live synergistically within them, sustainability will follow and humankind will be a success.

You do not belong to you. You belong to the universe. The significance of you will remain forever obscure to you, but you may assume you are fulfilling your significance if you apply yourself to converting all you experience to highest advantage to others. Make the world work, for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation, without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone.

It is not for me to change you. The question is, how can I be of service to you without diminishing your degrees of freedom?

The minute you begin to do what you really want to do, it’s really a different kind of life.’

Source of Quotes: https://www.azquotes.com/author/5231-R_Buckminster_Fuller

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He was my kind of guy, and I really miss him.

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