We are in the time of enthusiasm—I Ching hexagram #16—where thunder, the arousing, awakens the receptive earth below. The leader awakens enthusiasm in those he leads. Obama rouses the populace to enthusiastically support change, an end to needless greed.
Guidance suggests that enthusiasm move along the line of least resistance, that is, movement based on truth and nature, as expressed in the Tao, and not on the cogitation of delusional ideas. In their hearts the people know the truth and can accept change in accord with it. In contrast, the people resist change that does not flow with the truth of the heart. We ask our leaders to lead in the truth, not in the delusion. We must ask the same of ourselves, as we lead ourselves through the decisions of our daily lives, always, but most especially in this time of enthusiasm.
From where do we receive our enthusiasm, our impetus to right action? We are baited constantly by enthusiastic offers of energetic spice, promising contentment and fulfillment: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, another cup of coffee, another romantic hit online, another glass of wine. When we take the bait and attach, we enter the tunnels of excitement and receive energetic spikes, the bounty of the entity gods, but nothing lasting.
The I Ching counsels retreating to the temple in the time of enthusiasm, offering prayer and music to the ancestors and the gods. In this manner, we experience sacred communion with God. With this connection we intuit the direction to be followed, as the arousing is felt from the true source, the SELF, God, the Atman in all of us.
The sacred temple of our time is found in our own practice—be it meditation, sacred music or dance, or perhaps even Facebook—as we traverse the path that eventually takes us to the bridge leading to our infinite selves. From this infinite place we see, we know, right action. We can rest and rejuvenate in the bliss of this calm unattached energy, energy that informs right action along the least line of resistance; action in harmony with and originating from the Tao.
Beware deluded enthusiasm, recognizable in erratic bipolar spikes of energy and restlessness. True enthusiasm comes in calm energy that finds the middle way.
Change is good. This is one of my favorite mottos. Change is good. Back in the days before I had done a shamanic recapitulation I had another, similar, motto that went like this: Always change. Back then I was suffering from PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder), though I didn’t know this. But even so I knew that change was good, I just didn’t really know why, not on a deeper level anyway. Now I know that it was something at a deeper level that was stirring me to always change, PTSD acting as a catalyst that eventually led to self-discovery and real change. The form that change takes under the auspices of PTSD, however, is very different from change that takes place once freed of PTSD.
Back in the PTSD days, change came knocking in uncomfortable stirrings to move, to always change, to change my environment in some way, whether it be changing the furniture in every room of the house every few weeks or uprooting and moving to another apartment, another house, another city, another state, another country, another relationship. I did all of these things, under the auspices of always change, restlessness my constant companion. But something at a deeper level was always asking me: Why do I do this? Why do I have to keep moving and changing? Why can’t I just settle down?
I felt like I was running from something, that if I stopped in one place long enough whatever it was would catch up with me and that would be the death of me. For at some deeper level, I knew that death was what was chasing me—death in one form or another.
Now, on one level, this is true, for death is pursuing us all the time, reminding us that in the end it will get us. In my case, I sensed death differently, the stench of it deep inside me already. Although I didn’t know it, that smell of death—that I could never run far enough away from—was trying to alert me to what I carried inside me: a dying spirit, a dying innocence, a dying sense of hope, for these are some of the things that PTSD robs us of. Until we stop and face what the stench of death is trying to alert us to, we will constantly seek change in our outer world, to find just the right place where we will feel comfortable, safe, and at ease. I went into my late forties always changing before I stopped and faced what was pursuing me, the past that was embodied in that diagnosis of PTSD, a past I had no memory of.
When I first met Chuck, he presented me with those four little letters—PTSD. Oh, so that’s what’s wrong with me! At last I had a name for all that had driven me in so many unsettling ways, a name that felt right. “Yes, I get it, I suffer from PTSD,” I said to myself, “I just never knew it.” Now I had a home, a slot to fit into in the world, I had PTSD. But I would not stay there. I could not settle for long. I refused to be categorized, tagged and diagnosed, for always change was still my motto after all. And so I told myself to change, that change was good, that it was what I needed in order to heal. And so I began a changing, healing journey out of PTSD and into new life. Long and painful though that journey was I would not, in a million years, wish to live the way I used to live.
Now when I say that change is good, I’m talking about the deepest kind of change, change of the self at the deepest level, from the inside out. This involves letting go of everything that has upheld the world we’ve lived in—everything we’ve been taught and taught ourselves, everything we’ve believed and couldn’t bear to believe, everything we’ve created and controlled in order to be safe. This involves learning to let go of our judgments, resentments, fears, and regrets, opening instead to the truth of our infallibilities, our frailties, our imperfections, and our inflations. It involves discovering what it really means to be humble, to live simply, in balance with all of nature, taking only what is necessary. It involves learning to love ourselves so we can one day be available to love another, so we can understand what it means to be loved, and how to give and receive love on a far more expansive, interconnected level of consciousness, far beyond the needs of the self. It involves letting go of our ego selves, detaching from that which has held us in our defended states for so long, making way in the process for a new self. It involves allowing this new self to emerge out of the stench and fear of death that has encapsulated us in all of its forms and fully acknowledge that yes, death is the ultimate catalyst to evolutionary change. It involves discovering for the self what it means to be an evolving being, here in this lifetime to discover and resolve an evolutionary challenge, given another opportunity to get it right.
Opportunities abound, coming at many times throughout our lives. Our challenge is, indeed, to always change, to go with the flow of our lives, accepting full responsibility for where we are at all times, accepting that we are not perfect, that we are human beings, but also that we are evolutionary beings as well, spiritual beings seeking something higher, something far beyond our PTSD, our boredom, our fear, our self-pity and our hopelessness.
The deepest kind of change means facing who we’ve become and daring ourselves to become someone far more evolved, far more connected to life on this planet while striving always to become far more aware of the spiritual possibilities of all things, and far more aware of all life as sacred.
The creative, urging us on one level to do something about ourselves or our environment, stirs in us at all times. Perhaps we project it outwardly as I did, as an artist constantly creating something new, some new picture, sculpture, dance, play, music. But after a while a deeper creativity comes knocking, asking us to channel the ultimate creation: a new self. And you know what, it’s really okay to do that, to totally change and become someone new, for after all, in the end, it’s the evolution of the self that we’re all here to spur on to a new level. This is why, I believe, we’re all here—to always change—and such change is always good.
Here is the weekly channeled message from Jeanne. May you all find it comforting, guiding, and helpful in our challenging, changing times.
Behave differently now. It is time to be openhearted, considerate, kind and compassionate, not just within but also without. It is good to know right from wrong, good from bad, but it is far better to act with this knowing foremost in thought, word, and deed.
All who reside upon that earth at this time, a time of great turmoil and change, must turn from the distractions of want, desire, greed and overconsumption, and turn instead toward a leaner yet softer persona. This more gentle aspect of humanity must come into play now if all is to be accomplished that will lead to lasting change and a new paradigm.
Life must be struck down—life as it is now expressed and grasped at—for there is no longer room for more, there is only the necessity of less. If less is not embraced, less will be presented, and thus less will be forced upon you and less will become the norm. Thus, that which is necessary will ensue—balance will ensue—for that is what is desperately needed and called for upon that planet.
It is time to behave differently, to grasp at deeper meaning and greater awareness, and not just for the few but for the many. Departure from an old way of thinking and behaving is the first step in this much-needed change. As mentioned, if not activated on a personal level, then activation will come from outside, but in reality it will be reverberating inside each one of you in some deep way.
Learn that less is more, that balance is crucial; inside and outside the self, inside and outside the home, inside and outside of everything that you live, encounter, and trust. Balance is all that matters now—simple, lean balance.
Begin to pare down your individual greed and consumption, your individual desires and wants, by questioning the way you feel pulled, the way you are drawn, and the way you are also repelled. Study your world now with thoughts of balance, less, and inner and outer simplicity as your guiding tenets. In this manner begin to behave differently now.
Slow down. Think. Feel. Take less. Give more. Be good. Be kind. Be compassionate. To self and other extend these most gracious human attributes and know that you are participating in the change that is sweeping across your world, far and wide, yet near and dear as well.
Let go of what needs to be let go of, that which you no longer need or wish to carry. Let go of angers, resentments, and old pains that are not worthy of life-giving energy. Let go of that which takes you from your path of growth. Turn toward a simple life now. See that you do not need so much, that life itself offers what you need, and that there is enough to be had by all.
Return to balance within the self and thus return the world to balance, reducing negativity, disease, war, disturbing energies, conflicts within and without. Eradicate that which is no longer helpful and nurture only the positive. This is the side that needs attention now. Think and act and do that which is positive, right, and good. Although such positive actions may be painful to execute, so are they right, and this you all know.
Be responsible for changing the behaviors of the self. This is how to start moving in a new direction—the direction that is now needed—from gluttony to simplicity, from the negative to the positive, from bad to good, from dark to light. However you choose to see it, know that it is time to go deeper into your personal process of change.
I leave you with these thoughts today, asking you all to be responsible adults, as if your life depended on it because, in truth, it does—it always did and always will. Be fully responsible for the self. That is where to begin. I give you enough to go on, now take up the cause of change and begin to alter the self. The universe is waiting to take up this cause of change in a positive direction, so know that you will be met with energetically resonant energy in accompaniment. You will be well supported and well met. All you need to do is look in a new direction now, with new eyes and a new heart. It’s that simple.
I am deeply thankful to the dreamer behind the dream who leaves me with my last dream, closest to waking consciousness, that will guide me to clarity in making a most painful but necessary decision. In the movie Lincoln, Daniel Day Lewis’s physical representation of Lincoln leaves no doubt that he was crucified by the weight of his decisions. However right, we must all bear the pain of our decisions. Lincoln’s only solace, as a visionary acquiescing to his role in correcting the course of human affairs, was in knowing, at the deepest level, that his decisions were really not his at all, but were his own surrender to the dreamer behind the dream.
This morning, I pondered Einstein’s theory of relativity and the dreaming body, wondering if it was worthy of a blog. I opened William Buhlman’s book, Adventures Beyond the Body, at random. The dreamer behind the dream winked at me as the page I opened to had the heading: Einstein’s Dream! So, here it is. Now that was an easy decision!
Einstein proposed that time simply is relative. If we traveled in a spaceship at the speed of light for 40 earth years, we would actually only physically age several hours of earth time. Nonetheless, we will have had experiences of the equivalent of 40 earth years in those few hours. We will return young and refreshed, while earth and those upon it would have aged 40 years. This is what happens in our dreams every night.
As our physical body enters sleep, our dreaming body takes flight through universes of experiences—we are indeed multidimensional beings. In but a few minutes of earth time we will have traveled through years of dream experience. Years ago, I realized that if I tried to remember all my dreams in the night there was no time left in the day for anything else. My current intent in dreaming is to journey with awareness and bring back only the most important key elements. Every night presents new opportunities for journeys and discoveries.
Dreaming with awareness is the science of the 21st Century, though actually it’s just a rediscovery of ancient knowledge and practice. For instance, the ancient Hindus knew more about relativity than Einstein. The dreaming body, what the Hindus call the astral body, is actually capable of traveling beyond the speed of light, breaking Einstein’s cardinal rule that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. In an instant the dreaming body can project itself to the moon.
Often in dreaming, the dreamer behind the dream takes charge and sends us to waking consciousness with strange experiences and symbols, challenging us to crack the nut open for our answers to dense reality problems—that is, the problems of waking life. These strange jewels are the gifts accumulated through a night’s dreaming, as we travel through our life in other dimensions. They are meant to guide our decisions, which in turn will effect our greater interconnected whole being. In my dream, the dreamer behind the dream presented me with just the jewels I needed to make both my most challenging decision and the decision about what to write for this blog.
We discover through these journeys in dreaming that we are never alone, and some day, I’m quite certain, we will all meet face to face with the dreamer behind the dream of this infinite adventure. Until then, we are free to enjoy, discover, and explore infinity with abandon, every night, relatively free!
I dream each night, long and winding dreams that string me along, taking me through many structures, along roads and pathways, through intimate and public settings alike. I encounter people I know and people I’ve never met. Sometimes I’m an observer, sometimes I participate, sometimes I’m all parts of the dreaming self, the dream and dreamer alike.
I dream with the intent of training my awareness, my greater intention to be alert at the moment of death so that my time in the bardos may be limited, so that I may swiftly make my way through that state of dreaming and onto what comes next without getting caught. I’m also interested in learning as much as I can now, about the human potential beyond the mind and body. And so each night I set my intent to remain alert, to wake up in my dreams and remind myself that I’m dreaming, and to be proactive in my dreams.
This process of dream intent and training really began during my recapitulation, as I found myself able to tackle issues and do things that I could not ordinarily do in real life, everything from simply saying no to defending myself with masterful moves and extraordinary powers. I learned how to hone such skills, gradually daring myself to go beyond my normally passive and asleep self in real life too, being as fully awake and as powerful as I was in my dreams. As this powerful dream self eventually spilled over into real life, I grew into a new person as a result of the work I was doing in dreaming, complementing my recapitulation work so nicely
I began to understand that everything I was dreaming was part of the bigger picture of my recapitulation process and my life as a whole, and that my transformation was directly linked to all that I was doing in both waking and dreaming life, and so I took dreaming very seriously. As I found myself doing things in dreaming that I could not ordinarily do as a human being, I began to value the work, more eager to hone a supple energy body, for I saw that it offered a deeper understanding of the meaning of life itself.
Training our awareness is a gradual process, but a good first step is to begin each night as we are on the verge of going off to sleep by simply stating: “I intend to remain aware during dreaming.” Since we all dream anyway, this may be all it takes to begin honing the skills of awareness that will lead us to transformation, now, and later at our time of transition from this life.
Just as the signs and synchronicities in life may not at first be clear, so are dreams sometimes unclear, their meaning unapparent for days. At other times, they are immediately significant and helpful. Part of training to be a good dreamer is to sit with what we return from dreaming with long enough for its truth to be revealed. If we gloss over or forget—allow a dream to be too complicated or confusing to interpret or know on a deeper level—we limit ourselves. So part of the training involves doing inner work around the messages we receive in our dreams, to keep them in our awareness. As we work on this during waking hours, keeping our dream messages alive, our dreaming self gains strength as well. As we hone our energy body in dreaming, we begin taking back our personal energy too, making it available for use in this world as well.
We all go to sleep each night. We all dream each night. We all wake up each morning and reenter the life we live in reality. We see these two worlds—night and day, dreaming and sleeping—as so separate, but really they aren’t. They’re two sides of the same coin. We are the coin and both sides are us. The challenge is to meld them, to make them one flowing life. That’s how to become aware.