A Day in a Life: Seeing

This is how I see Jeanne's energy... - Art by Jan Ketchel
This is how I see Jeanne’s energy…
– Art by Jan Ketchel

I lie awake. It’s 2 AM and I can’t sleep. It’s the energy of now, I think, the restlessness of this time of transformation. My mind races. Thoughts swirl. An hour goes by. I still can’t sleep. I should get up, I think, go sit by the wood stove and meditate or read, but it’s too cold. I snuggle down in bed, pulling the covers up higher.

I say my mantra: “Look into your darkness until you see the eye of God.” I repeat it, looking into the darkness behind my eyes. As usual I see all kinds of eyes. Faces loom, strange and wonderful, eerily looking right back at me. I know that they are all eyes of God. God is in everyone and everything, whatever God may be. To me, God is the energy of all of us and of everything, not a being but simply who we all are. But I cannot still my humming mind.

I should be able to handle this, I think, I’m a hypnotist after all! I do self-hypnosis. I go to a calm place, a safe place, a beautiful place. I go deeper into my body, relaxing each muscle, calming my thoughts one at a time, dismissing them as soon as they arise. Without attachment, I let them go, knowing they will reappear again in the morning. Another hour passes. I still cannot fall back to sleep.

Now I open my eyes. Instead of looking into my inner darkness I peer into the night. This has always been a fascination of mine, another kind of mediative practice that I’ve always done. As I stare into the darkness of the bedroom I see energy, swirling, twirling, flipping and soaring energy that immediately comforts me. Yes, this is good, I think. And I wonder if Jeanne will come to me, for this is often how she appears, in her energy body, as a fluttering globe of white light, a white moth surrounded by an ethereal glow in the dark of night.

Once, when I told Chuck that this was how I saw her, we lay on our bed in the darkness one night and looked for her together. I am a visual person. I see things, actually see. I believe everyone can see the same way, see the same things, but I also know that we are all constructed differently and some parts of us are more dominant and more exercised than others. I’ve always been like this. I have a kind of synesthesia where I see numbers in designs; the days of the week, the hours of the day, the months of the year each with their own specific layout. When I do math, I see the numbers in their places on the spiraling pattern that always appears when I think of numbers. I calculate by visualizing. If I think of the days of the week, Wednesday for instance, there it is, right where it always is in the weekly design layout. I see words in shapes and colors. I thought everyone saw the same way, but now I know differently, that we all perceive the world in our own unique way.

I know that Chuck does not see the way I do. Where I am visual, he’s intuitive. So it stands to reason that his way of perceiving things is different. He was always a good hypnosis subject when I was doing my training because I could never ask him to visualize something, to see it in his mind’s eye. He challenged me to go beyond my own perception, to accept and allow for other possibilities. Everything is abstract to him, he feels things, while to me everything has shape and form, so I knew that when I asked him to look into the darkness with me on that night, I was asking him to come into my world, a very different world from the one he normally inhabits.

How I see the world... -Art by Jan Ketchel
How I see the world…
-Art by Jan Ketchel

“Don’t look too hard,” I said, “gaze the way the Shamans say to gaze. Notice that the darkness is not just one color. Notice that it’s not solid, that it’s in constant flux. Do you see that reddish light over there to the left?” I wondered if he could indeed see what I was perceiving. After a while, he said yes, and he described exactly what I saw.

“See how it moves?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said.

“Well,” I said, “that’s energy moving in the universe. That’s what the Shamans of Ancient Mexico talk about. We are all that.”

The other night, when I looked into the darkness, I called Jeanne to me, as I often do. “Are you there?” Out of the darkness she came.

“I can’t sleep,” I said. “Help me to sleep.” Her white fluttering globe came closer and closer until I blacked out.

In the morning, I was grateful that I had gotten a few more hours of sleep, but I clearly saw the power of the conscious mind, how it fights for precedence and how insidious our thoughts are, never willing to release us. The conscious mind feeds off us all day long and if we wake up at night it’s there waiting to suck our energy again. I went through a few more nights like that before, finally worn out perhaps, I slept deeply and solidly. I’d wake briefly but, without attachment, fall easily back to sleep after staring into the energy of the darkness. This activity, as well as being in my usual world, has also provided me with inspiration, the basis of many of my abstract paintings, the seeing of energy, day or night. Anyone can do it. Try it, whether sleepless of not, it’s quite an exhilarating experience. Allow the solid world to slowly dissolve into energy— vibratory strings, lines, dots—not unlike the pixilation of a digital image.

Perhaps the energy outside of us will calm down soon, perhaps we’ll all ride it to a new level. Perhaps, as Jeanne suggested in her message the other day, you’ll “Learn to flow with what comes and your fulfillment will loom large before you.” That’s what it’s like when I stare into the darkness, my fulfillment looms large before me. It comes to meet me, to speak to me in a different way, in image and abstraction, in the clarity of intuition that has no basis in visual seeing, but only exists in seeing the energy that we all are.

May you all be well and keep flowing!

Readers of Infinity: The Great Listener

Here is the channeled message from Jeanne for this week. Also look for Jan and Chuck’s blogs to be posted on Wednesday and Friday, according to our usual schedule. Have a great week!

It's changing time for all of us too! - Photo by Jan Ketchel
It’s changing time for all of us too!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Did you make it? Are you there? Did you reach some resolution on an important issue or decision? Do you feel like you’ve finally found the right answer?

Even so, keep in mind that backsliding is normal, that return to old sentiments, old desires, and old commitments is par for the course, until you are done. Keep in mind also that you’ve already traversed this territory so many times before, and so perhaps you really are done with backsliding. In all cases, acknowledge the progress made, the path already taken, and keep going, for no matter what, there is nowhere else to go except forward.

Do not allow life and growth to be curtailed now, for this is the energy of the changing time. You are all in it, whether you want to be or not. Whether you’ve planned for change or simply found yourself in a changing situation, know that it must be accepted and be made useful in your inevitably changing life.

Determine now that you are wholeheartedly accepting of a new journey and take measured, disciplined, thoughtful steps along that journey each day. Gather your energy and proceed, seeking your wholeness, in increments, as you gather your wits and your knowing about you.

Life is an ever-changing journey. Learn to flow with what comes and your fulfillment will loom large before you. You might not recognize it at first, for it often comes in unexpected ways, but in the long run you will know it by the tremor of its cadence and the stirrings of your heart in resonance. You will also know it by the utter calmness that comes over you. If those tremors and stirrings of resonance and that calmness do not appear to greet you, then just keep going. Your heart, the great listener and interpreter of all things, will tell you when it’s time to accept your new direction and your greater self. Whether you journey alone or with another, always use your heart as your guide.

In this time of resolution and change, in this time of movement and decision making, seek always the feelings of your heart, the knowledge of your inner being, to stabilize, aid, and ground you. Keep in mind that always your journey is endless—there is always new life to come.

Keep all doors open ahead of you, even as you close those behind you. And know that you will, by the guidance of your inner you, if truthfully accepted, find your way forward.

Do what you have to do, but do it with love and compassion, with gentleness and caring. Treat all people as you wish to be treated. Be brave and daring, but be cautious and concerned too. Be strong, but also be soft. Be disciplined and resolute, but also flowing. This is how your changing self, in your changing world, will manage this transition time with aplomb. Happy journeying!

Grab onto the energy of now and use it to your fullest advantage—to change!

Chuck’s Place: What Is the Meaning Of Diligence & Sorrow?

In Everyday Tao, Deng Ming-Dao states: “One cannot go far in life without diligence.”

Nature is Tao, constantly changing, so like us... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Nature is Tao, constantly changing,
so like us…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

He goes on to say: “It is useless to argue: this life is one of suffering. Nothing can be done except through our efforts. Disasters hit all of us without meaning or explanation. Wars are constant around the globe. Family members abuse and exploit one another. Hard work is often rewarded with betrayal. The government is a haven for those who would oppress others. Despite the great wealth of information, ignorance is ever present. Money is used for selfish gains and not to help others. Spiritual leaders are often shown to be hypocrites. Homelessness is rampant. Most people do not have enough to eat. Those who have enough eat more than their share. We spend our lives looking for love, only to find bitterness. We pin our hopes to distant dreams that never materialize. We listen to teachers who tell us to work hard, only to find that the world has changed by the time we leave school. We hurt ourselves with self-doubt, low self-esteem, and slavery to desires.”

“Prophets disappoint us, priests befuddle us, teachers deceive us, bosses exploit us, parents reject us, spouses desert us, children are taken from us, and at the end, it is just us, staring at the grave.”

“This life is one of suffering. Those who don’t know how to suffer are the worst off. Those who follow Tao know that there are times when things will be very difficult. That is the time to be diligent. There are times when the only correct thing we can do is to bear our troubles until a better day.”

On Sorrow, Deng Ming-Dao writes: “Sadness is part of being human.”

“People describe sorrow as a pain in the heart,” he goes on to say. “They don’t point to the head or anywhere else—they point to the heart. Everyone feels sadness. The ancients believed that different parts of the body held different emotions. But just as we need all our organs in order to be whole and functioning, so too must we accept all emotions as part of the cohesive and balanced whole of our inner lives. Every emotion has a function, and all of them together contribute to our actions.”

“Our emotions are learned; they are inherent. An infant, in the first hours after birth, already has emotions. Throughout childhood, it is apparent that children’s feelings remain integral parts of their personalities. We cannot destroy our emotions any more than we can live without organs. So the best thing to do is to accept them and the role they play in our lives.”

“When sadness comes, we have to accept it. It is here. It is part of our life. We cannot negate it. We cannot avoid it. We need not think that there is something wrong with us if we feel sad. We should accept it as something indelible and necessary.”

“No one likes sadness. But it plays a part in our lives, just as any one of our organs plays a part. But while sadness is indelible, it is not predominant either. Other emotions exist too, and they will inevitably follow sadness. Therefore, those who follow Tao seek to find any advantage sadness may offer.”

Thank you Taoist wisdom!

May you all be well,

A Day in a Life: Ability

Sometimes the path of Tao is not that clear, but we all have the ability to see it... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Sometimes the path of Tao is not that clear, but we all have the ability to see it…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

While I take a break from my writing schedule, I offer something from Everyday Tao by Deng Ming-Dao: Ability“To possess ability is to be self-reliant.”

“Tao is a person walking along a path. No one is carrying that person. There is no vehicle pictured. Following Tao is something each of us must do by ourselves.”

“But the path is difficult. It will test you. Walking in the mountains is hard enough. Rain and snow fall on you. Storms wash away the mountainside. Earthquakes shake the ground. Steepness wears at your legs. In life, the spiritual path is even more difficult. Although everything you want out of life is on that path, there are people who will hinder you and situations that will oppress you.”

“What do you do when life is difficult? You could call for help, but that is not always reliable. Sooner or later, life will catch you with no one around.”

“You might be without food or shelter during a time of natural disaster. You might be alone at a time when help cannot come quickly enough. You may even suffer the tragedy of having all your friends abandon you. That is why those who follow Tao emphasize the importance of having many abilities. If you have the self-reliance that comes with having many skills, you will not lose your equanimity. This cannot be emphasized enough. You cannot truly walk the whole path of Tao until you can cope with any unknown.”

“People say that those who follow Tao are serene, but that serenity is not because of some meditative trancelike state. It comes from the confidence of one who has ability.”

May you all find your way with great ability and always face the unknown with confidence.

Readers of Infinity: Wake Up To A New You

A little late! But here is the week’s channeled message from Jeanne. May you all feel and act upon the energy of change that is upon us. It’s what she speaks of.

There you are, glowingly alive! Welcome! - Photo by Jan Ketchel
There you are, glowingly alive!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Begin anew today, and everyday. There is no better time than now to determine who you are, who you want to be, and how you wish to be perceived in the world. Make yourself over today into the being you truly are.

Let life flow through you now as never before. Leave the old self behind with no regrets. Shed the old self and anoint the new self that you have struggled so hard to become as the leader of your world now.

Give your inner self permission to emerge and live more fully now. It’s the only way to be. Become the whole person you have always felt yourself to be. Become the inner self. Allow your emerging to begin now, and let it gradually take over, with sincerity, honesty, graciousness, and integrity.

Let this new self breathe a little bit more each day. Let this new self feel a little bit more each day just how right this life is. Allow your new self to guide you now, for this new self should be comprised of all the good that lies inside you, all the ancient wisdom and inner knowing that you have held back for so long. Let this new self be acceptable and let all that it brings forth be acceptable too.

Wake up to find yourself on new ground now. Take your first steps toward a new life, with determination, one step at a time. Welcome the new you to the world!