Today, I asked Jeanne for guidance and here is what she offers us as we begin a new week:
Do not lose the self in regret, for there is no life there. Work through decisions made, choices, actions, and events in your lives—those self-imposed and those imposed by nature, the universe, and the actions of others—and, taking your lessons forward, keep moving into new life.
The world is changing too fast now. Are you going to be part of a new evolution revolution? That is really the only choice to make now. Such an evolution begins inside the self, in deciding whether or not you are ready to move on into new life, for that is what revolution offers: The opportunity for new life!
A personal revolution must precede external revolution. Though outer energy of revolt may precipitate a personal awakening, there will be no long-term impact in a positive direction if individuals do not elect to revolt within the self.
Revolt within the self takes many forms, but I suggest that a personal revolt be kindly and gently considerate of the self, but firmly imposed, that it be acquiesced to, documented, and processed with intent, as you remain always fully aware that it is taking you on a path leading to new life. This is the most long-lasting and evolutionary form of change.
As I have spoken of many times over the past decade: Change is here, present and active, but maturity and fearlessness must accompany an evolutionary change if you are to truly grow.
What do you truly seek in your personal life? What voice inside you speaks, asking to be heard? Who inside you wants to live?
As you ask these questions of the self, look at what holds you back and question it. Be truthful and deeply honest with the self as you ask: Is it real? Does it exist in reality, or is it something cogitated by the mind, placed there long ago? Did someone else plant an idea inside you that is keeping you stuck?
When I speak of moving on into new life with no regrets, I speak of severing all ties to old ideas of the self, to that which arouses fear and badness, guilt and pleasure alike. Learn to let go and find new life and new energy on your own terms now. This is what life itself requests at the turn of this new century.
The revolutionary energy of change is in constant flux; it does not hesitate, but remember that it is also ever-present, just waiting for your own circumstances to intersect it. When you are ready it will receive you. All you have to do is recognize it, tap into it, and go with the flow of it.
Are you ready now? Begin with asking that question, for it would be foolhardy to leap into such energy unprepared. Know the self deeply and with sobriety and maturity, taking full responsibility, decide how you wish to live in a rapidly changing world. No matter what choice you make, go into your life without regrets, for there is no life, no evolutionary energy, in regret.
If we fractionate the word compulsion into its component parts, com-puls-ion, we arrive at its literal root meaning: the condition of being with a pulse. A pulse is generated by a heartbeat. Where there is a heartbeat there is a living thing—a compulsion is a living thing with a life of its own.
When we experience a compulsion we are contending with an independent life force active within ourselves. Our conscious minds are challenged to become aware of the needs, habits, and expectations of this compelling life force we house within us, to cave to it or allow for its influence upon our lives, and, ultimately, to discover who or what it is, why we have it, and finally reach a reconciliation with it.
Long before we discover the who and why of a compulsion, we must deal with its power and pressure; its coursing pulse energetically demanding that we do something for it.
“I want _____!” it demands.
If we fill in the blank it might be that it wants food, wine, sex, objects, a job, activity, thought, feeling, or behavior. The categories are endless, but the common thread is consistent: a compulsion wants something from us; it insists we acquiesce to its demands and spend our lifetime and energy on its agenda.
Our first challenge is to become aware that we are under the spell of a compulsion and then suspend judgment that we are the compulsion or that we are flawed because we have it. Those kinds of judgments drain our energy and distract us from managing this “Not-I” within.
Our first goal is to stand up to the compulsion with the message: “I don’t know who you are or why you are here, but I’m willing to find out and see how I might help you or fit you into my life, but I refuse to be trammelled by your demands anymore! I come in peace, I come with respect, I come to reconcile with you, but I also come with firmness. I will not allow you to take control of my life without my consent.”
Many an author has expressed that the books “they” have written are actually the artifacts, the by-products of a reconciliation with their inner “Not-I;” compulsions that are given life in the stories they need to tell. Often, once the book is complete, the compulsion is satisfied and life, previously galvanized by the compulsion, is released to be enjoyed by conscious goals.
Compulsions may also be the artifacts of our genetic history. Perhaps, at the level of our collective inheritance, we house an artist, a musician, a drunk, a thief, a liar, or a philanderer. Again, we must suspend judgment and suspend victimhood if we are to directly encounter the “Not-I” of our inheritance. Our challenge, with our genetics, is to decide what we will give life to and what we can finally master and put to rest.
Perhaps it is our turn to solve the challenge of an addiction or compulsion that has dogged our ancestry for generations—it’s our turn, our chance, to bring things to resolution and closure. It’s not our fault we have an addiction or compulsion, it’s our opportunity to solve it or finally realize it, as in the case of letting the artist or musician in us finally live.
Sometimes compulsions are, in fact, living parts of our “I,” hidden from consciousness due to traumatic splintering. Often, in this case, the compulsion becomes the voice, the language of a hidden truth, as it pressures the conscious self to recognize it and bring it home in acceptance. This can lead to great confusion for the conscious mind, as it must contend with impulses, interests, and desires it deems unacceptable or destructive. If these influences are decoded as the hidden truths of life already lived, they take on a different meaning and can lead to inner reconciliation through healing dialogue.
Active imagination is a powerful tool that Jung devised to meet and reconcile the inner “I” and “Not-I.” In active imagination we welcome our inner parts—those we house consciously and those we house unconsciously—to meet us in open dialogue. We don’t speak for the compulsion; we allow the compulsion to speak freely, though not act freely. Action is off the table at this point. Action must be a conscious decision, made in sobriety, when all truths have been revealed. This must be the stance of consciousness toward all inner parts: “I’ll listen fairly to anything, but I reserve full decision making power over action. However, I will acquiesce to right action.”
In this circumstance, a compulsion is offered respect and allowed to fully state its case. The final disposition of its needs may be quite challenging and may ultimately find life in fantasy and story, but not in the world of everyday life.
The full realization and reconciliation of all that we are and all that we house is quite mysterious and worthy of a lifetime—a true lifetime achievement award. Compulsions are living forces within us that, when properly understood and reconciled, are major contributors to a life fully lived.
Once, a long time ago, when I was explaining to Chuck how I had gone out of my body, frightened that I was losing my mind, he blurted out with a big laugh: “It’s good to go out of your mind!” Anyone who works with Chuck will hear him say this at some point.
Every time he said this, it shook me. Every time I had another out-of-body, out-of-mind experience, I’d hear his voice telling me that it was good, that I should just let it happen, as often as possible. I could hear him telling me to keep training myself, in a shamanic sense: to let go of the constructs of this world by releasing my mind from attaching to them.
I knew he was right, but it took me a long time to be comfortable with letting myself go out of my mind. Now I can’t wait. Each day, as I sit and meditate, I await the moment of release from the things my mind grasps at. Sometimes I’m able to easily free myself, at other times I must sit for a long time as I work through the cogitations of my mind.
So what does that really mean, to lose the mind? In a shamanic sense, it means letting go of our judgments, our critical voices that tell us we cannot possibly be having this experience. It means shutting down our attachments to the known world and allowing ourselves to experience something outside of our body and our brain, momentarily forgetting everything our scientists, our religions, our parents, our teachers have told us is possible. It means freeing ourselves, even momentarily, from all that we perceive as real, tangible, and solid, and just letting ourselves have the experience.
Losing the mind in this way is a very sought after shamanic move, as Chuck always taught me. When Chuck suggested that I lose my mind as often as possible, he was asking me to face the dissolution of this world, this reality, and everything that I had been attached to my whole life. This went far beyond thoughts and perceptions. In fact, it extended even to letting go of the experiences themselves as anything to attach to. It took me a long time to understand this as well. Why wouldn’t I want to attach to those most amazing and transformative experiences?
In fact, Chuck was suggesting that, rather than seek out the experiences themselves, what I wanted was the enhanced awareness they offered. When we allow ourselves to lose our minds, we offer ourselves glimpses into infinity, glimpses of greater awareness. As we allow ourselves to have experiences that are out of the ordinary, we allow ourselves freedom from the attachments that hold us back in our daily lives too.
I had always had magical experiences in my life, but they got dismissed because of course they could not be true. They just could not happen in the world I lived in. But once I learned of the mystical experiences of the saints of my Catholic school upbringing, I had an inkling that in certain circles such phenomena were totally acceptable. But how would I ever be in a position to discuss such things? Even the Catholic Church, though it reveres such experiences, does not do so easily. It was in talking to Chuck about the shamanic view of the world that I finally found such experiences valued. What he described offered explanations for everything I had experienced, allowing me to release my lifelong fears that I was just plain crazy.
Under Chuck’s tutelage, I learned to balance the mystical experiences of my spirit while living in a world of solid objects and solid declarations of reality. In my inner world, I knew that reality did not work the way I had been taught. My spirit had always sought a far greater worldview. It had already experienced a world without boundaries, without limitations, without judgments. However, greater acceptance that such a world was actually a viable reality and fully accessible was not a process that happened overnight. It took a lot of work and incremental acceptance of a new sense of reality, based on my personal experiences.
In learning shamanic concepts, my psychic experiences, my meditation experiences, my magical, out-of-body experiences found a home, in a place of deep resonance. And that is when I learned that the experiences alone are not meant to be attached to, as Chuck had once suggested. For a time they were deeply meaningful—present and necessary to aid in growing—though eventually they wore thin. And then, the only thing that mattered was what came next to challenge me. It was in this manner that I began to understand that it was not the experiences themselves that were important in the long run, but just how open I could be to keep going, to keep changing myself, and to keep breaking through my attachments to a known world.
Every day I ask the universe to lead me, to teach me, to show me something important, to challenge me to let go of my mind, my self-importance, my grasping, needy, ignorant self. I ask that I learn from my experiences, and then I ask that I be freed from those experiences so that I can be open to another, and another, and another, with the intent that I never cease growing.
What am I to learn today? What am I to be shown; what gift of experience will I be offered? And can I accept it? Can I use it to go to a new level of my life on this earth, and enhance my spiritual awareness as well?
The world is now a far larger place, extending far beyond the mind and body, beyond what is real, as I have embraced a new idea of self as energy driven by a spirit that does not want to return to slumber. Real, to me, is no longer restricted to what others have taught me is real, but is open to interpretation. Real is what I experience. And that kind of real is enough for me.
To those who seek greater awareness, I humbly pass on what I have learned, as I ask myself to constantly face my ignorance and continue on this same path of enlightenment: Be open. Let your experiences come to you and, without judgment, release yourself from the cogitations of the mind. Come back to the world you live in more firmly grounded, more balanced in spirit and body, with a greater awareness of the possibilities that exist for you.
Your experiences will be uniquely yours, as mine are mine. But remember, the possibilities in this world are endless. Seek without grasping; experience will seek you.
Look inward now, rather than outward. Turn constantly away from the distractions in the world and seek truth and right answers within, for all of you contain all knowledge within.
Lose self-importance as you turn inward and become humble channels of intent. Let the self go, releasing it from all that now pursues it, and allow pure light to shine into your heart and guide you.
Ask for the light to enter your darkness. Let it in. Peek at it in small glimpses if that is all you can handle, but begin to let it in. Know that this light is available to everyone. This light of truth seeks your awareness, but only as a guide to understanding and not as a self-aggrandizing presence.
Allow the simple and empty self to greet the light of knowledge, as you greet the light of each new day, with wonder and innocence. This is how you will find your way through your darkness. Face the light that shines within with wonder and innocence and allow it to guide you, today and every day. This is what is necessary now, for all human beings.
Use it like a flashlight, as you turn from the darkness and the tales of further darkness that are being shouted across the land and around the world. Look inward, and let the light of truth shine now. Then listen to it, feel it, let it be present within and eventually turn it outward, as you go into your day. Take the light always with you. Let it aid you, guide you, speak to you, and show you a new direction.
With light, shadows recede. In the light all is revealed. In the light you will see and know the truth of your pain and your delight equally. You will discover who you truly are and who you are truly meant to be as you continue growing.
Turn inward, face the darkness with the light you carry always with you. One seeks the other—light seeks darkness, darkness seeks light—this is how new life emerges. As you turn inward know that new life is ready to envelop you.
Do not be afraid of what the light reveals, for it only reveals what you must know about the self at this time. The light is the purifier, the gift of all infinity, the way of all change. Seek the light within and use it with daring, intent upon changing the self.
Today is the day to begin a new phase of growth. Today is the day a new light seeks to lighten the shadows within. Today is a day of insight, full of potential for growth. Today is a new day in your lives.
Begin this day with wonder and innocence. Be open and fair. Be calm, gentle, and aware that there is greater meaning yet to be discovered about the self, about others, and life itself. Look inward with a new light of innocence and, with the intent of discovering greater meaning, seek new life.
A solution is reached when a problem is solved. Problems dissolve when a solvent is applied. Solvents break down barriers, divisions, and oppositions that result in a sense of unity and wholeness. This is known as resolution, or “re-solution” for the purposes of this blog.
The psyche is composed of many opposing parts, each with their separate points of view, separate needs, and separate desires. This is why, on some level, we are all bipolar beings, beings charged with the task of re-solving our polarities into a unified whole, what Jung called individuation.
Humans often ingest substances to re-solve the rigidities and polarities within the self that block unified action and fulfillment. A glass of wine might prove to be the dis-solving agent to loosen rigidity, relieve stress, quiet the mind, unleash vision, or allow us to open to the body and creativity, as we seek to transcend the wear and tear of daily life or the stilted energy of our deeply fragmented selves.
Wine is the highly celebrated fruit of Dionysus, the god of creativity and spontaneity. Wine is the transforming agent at the heart of the Christian mass. Wine is the agent that dissolves differences and takes us beyond our humanness. With it we commune with the gods. Of course, when we dry out, when the potion has run its course, we return to our humanness.
At the end of these journeys, however, the rigidities and polarities of our everyday lives return with a bad mood—a sobering moment to say the least. But, spiritual beings that we are, we long for the resolving qualities of dissolution again, a solution to solve our boredom and limitations, a solution to take us out—out of ourselves, beyond ourselves, or to feel fully free and whole within ourselves. We may find ourselves dependent on solutions, liquid or herbal, to solve our dilemmas.
The shamans of don Juan’s lineage recognized the power of these solvents. They realized that behind the solvents were entities that willingly catered to the desires of humans. The Ancient Shamans called these inorganic beings Allies, and they reveled in the belief that they could control these entities, who would reveal secrets like the fountain of youth to them. It was the contention of the New Seers of don Juan’s lineage, however, that this was the fatal flaw and downfall of those Ancient Shamans. The New Seers contended that the Ancients were duped into obtaining extraordinary powers in exchange for their attachment to these allies. In the shamanic world, this is the equivalent of addiction.
In the world of everyday life, we ingest all kinds of substances as we seek resolution to our problems, as we seek to achieve fulfillment and to transcend our human limitations. By our very nature we are consumers. We consume to solve and resolve our lives. From a shamanic point of view, this is a recipe for bondage, dependence upon substances that themselves consume the lion’s share of our lives.
The urge to seek resolution, wholeness, and transcendence is utterly healthy—it’s why we are here—and although it may be necessary to consume and engage the slippery slope of the inorganic world of allies, knowingly or unknowingly, there is a better solution: Engaging INTENT.
The shamans discovered Intent as an energetic wave that permeates the universe. We naturally engage intent to define our world. In our time, the mind has intervened to rationally limit our human potential. We engage intent largely to reinforce a known world and a known self. However, intent has the capability to open us up to the full realization of our true human potential, if we allow it to do so.
The mind, however, makes us nonbelievers, too shy to call out to intent, too impatient to allow it to unfold, too doubtful and judgmental to accept its path. In my experience, when we set an intent, simply by repeatedly intending it, it works its magic in the events, synchronicities, and encounters of our lives. Eventually, our intent is realized, though perhaps not as we might have expected.
In actuality, we constantly engage intent to create and reinforce the world we live in. We have become so entrenched in rigid definitions of a world of solid objects and unchanging self that we don’t believe anything else is possible and thus we limit our access to a greater world and greater solutions. We get caught in addictive behaviors as we turn to consuming solutions, seeking to gain temporary entrée into our hidden resources. Our access to intent and higher resolution, however, is limited by what we staunchly believe, what the mind rationally insists upon, and what the judgments of others reinforce.
We all have to encounter the inorganic world in our lives, we must all become consumers of one sort or another, but that world always exacts a toll in return for its gifts. Even as it asks us, “Are you really going to go down that path?” it entices us to do so, for its own energetic purposes.
The Ancient Shamans thought they could handle the power of the inorganic world, but the New Seers discovered that it was far more efficient to shift away from extraordinary powers in the human form and eternal life on earth to a new kind of freedom: no contracts, no attachments that could exact a toll on their energy, but instead total freedom to humbly continue without any special powers, other than that of engaging the pure power of intent on their continuing journeys in infinity.
When Carlos Castaneda got caught in the inorganic world of the Allies, don Juan, because he had refused to enter such worlds, didn’t know what to do. He turned to Carol Tiggs—another apprentice in Carlos’s group who had fully explored that world—and asked her to lead a mission to rescue Carlos. In this example, we are privy to don Juan’s process as he refused to break with his intent and be pulled into something that he knew was potentially harmful.
Once we set our intent, even if we forget that we have done so, the energetics of it are set in motion. This is not a rational process; it’s an energetic process. It defies logic, it defies rationality, it defies the belief system of the mind. It is not connected to effort, will, goodness or badness—the constructs of change ordained by the mind. It does not involve hidden contracts to arrive at its solution. It’s part of our inheritance, our natural endowment, if we can allow ourselves to engage this most natural solution, with unbending intent.
It is truly an energy thing! Just do it, as the shamans do, and literally call it to your changing self.