Tag Archives: bardos

Chuck’s Place: The Law of Compensation

In flight in life, grounded in death, beautiful nonetheless…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Carl Jung recognized the psyche’s insistence upon balancing itself out in some way. Thus, if we consciously live a one-sided attitude in waking life, our dreams will balance it out with characters and dramas that engage us in the exact opposite attitude. Freud captured this principle in describing sexually promiscuous dreams as balancing an individual’s sexually repressive waking life attitude.

Psychic researcher, both in human life and in his soul’s afterlife, Frederic Myers, teaches from infinity how this law of compensation extends into the life of the soul after its completion of physical life. Myers channels, through Geraldine Cummins, his observation of the soul’s residence in the Plane of Illusion, the immediate world we encounter after a brief adjustment phase subsequent to physical death. (See both The Road to Immortality and Beyond Human Personality by Geraldine Cummins.)

Similar to the Buddhist description of a personalized bardo, Myers describes how the soul’s imagination creates a world uniquely suited to fulfilling its unlived earthly dreams, or to feel fully the pain it caused others, as it compensates for the cruelty it delivered during its earthly sojourn.

Souls live and reside in these personal environments until they achieve the completed balance to further their soul’s journey at higher, more subtle and objective levels of infinity. Thus, the Plane of Illusion enacts the life necessary to compensate for and balance out the life just completed in human form.

On Earth, presently, we have two distinguished nonagenarians, Noam Chomsky and Sir David Attenborough, reflecting to us how this law of compensation is exacting its present toll upon our planet’s survival. In a recent podcast with Ezra Klein*, Chomsky states, without hesitation or reserve, that humankind has twenty years left to radically change its environmental behaviors before it faces definite extinction.

This deeply reflective 92-year-old scholar is bluntly pointing out how significant this time on Earth is for humanity. Within our current lifetime, decisions and actions now taken will determine the near immediate fate of our human race and planet Earth.

How much greater a wakeup call could there be? How awesome to be a participant in life, on this planet, at this moment in time! Such the opportunity to awaken to a world unfiltered by blurry narcissism!

Attenborough is gentler in his challenge to a humankind that has doubled its world population in the last fifty years, seriously squeezing out other life on the planet. In his Netflix series, A Life on Our Planet**, Attenborough invites us, in graphic detail, into the beautiful yet tenuous balance of all of nature, deeply interdependent and perilously impacted by human habit. He remains optimistic, appealing to our love and awe for our home planet to curb our attitude of entitled excess.

Much of the human population is reacting aberrantly to this intuitive knowing of the precarious state of the planet that both these distinguished sages affirm. Addictions of many kinds reflect a mass of humanity seeking to remain comfortably numb in the oblivion of a soothing, fanciful, materialistic womb. Staggering gun sales reflect the fantasy of survival in a post-apocalyptic world of diminished resource.

The objective truth is that humankind is emotionally and cognitively at a narcissistic stage of development. Narcissism represents an early developmental stage of the imagination, filtered and constrained by the needs of self. From the vantage point of narcissism, the purpose of other beings and resources is limited to serving the self, the boundary of the known world.

Decisions and actions stemming from this narrow view are often to grow and hoard as much as materially possible, to be able to move about as desired, and to continue to survive and thrive upon a dying planet. Migrants are often seen as aliens, trying to take what is not rightfully theirs, rather than as people seeking refuge from an increasingly uninhabitable planet.

The issue is not ultimately about caring for the less fortunate, however noble such a cause. The deeper issue is about facing and taking right action to save the planet. And right action is the willingness to sacrifice, to set limits upon the supposed sacrosanct right to more, more, more.

Very early in my college days, I ventured into an economics course, which insisted, as its sacred dogma, that humankind’s need for more was innate, and that the world must be irrevocably organized to meet this human demand. Who ever questions the given that the economy, jobs, the human population and the stock market must continually grow?

The world emerges now from its yearlong pandemic retreat. Already, CO2 emissions are climbing back to “normal”. All envision expansion as recovery. And yet, as Attenborough’s graphic display of the melting of Antarctica portends, the compensation for expansion will be the continued unleashing of endless viruses upon the world stage.

Chomsky points to atomic fusion as the likely safe antidote to our ever-growing world energy demand, but states that such a solution is decades beyond our twenty-year survival limit. But I ask, why do we accept, without question, this supposed absolute imperative that we accommodate our energy appetite?

Beyond this materialist fixation upon energy expansion lies the final frontier of energetic expansion into the province of our soul. The energy body, our subtle soul that innervates our physical body during the physical phase of our immortal life, is ripe for discovery and exploration now, while we reside in human form.

This is literally the stuff that dreams are made of. To open to this dimension of spiritual life is to direct the human felt manifest destiny for more into sustainable evolution. To awaken to this spiritual unfolding is to stretch the imagination beyond its narcissistic constraints, to take in the deeper reality in which the self is a participant but not everything.

The current initiatives to address climate change, at the highest levels of world governance, are laudable but likely to suffer the sad fate of most New Year’s resolutions. More likely, are continued attacks from nature herself—from viruses to earthquakes—to assist humankind, via compensation, to learn to curb and redirect its insatiable appetite for more.

Nature can take down our energy infrastructure in a heartbeat, teaching us how to live small and interdependently. The law of compensation insists that we will find our way to balance. All individuals are empowered to address this inevitable fate by squaring with the imbalances in their own lives.

Taking an honest accounting of one’s habits, and willingly sacrificing excess, in whatever form, is both the individual and the planetary imperative. All excess, voluntarily sacrificed, results in the accrual of energy for spiritual advancement and planetary survival. All individual sacrifice of excess additionally accrues to humankind’s growing account of energy for necessary attitudinal shift: from narcissism to right action.

The law of compensation is the truly sacrosanct law that governs this world, and the beyond. It will help us to grow and find fulfillment through mastering the art of sacrifice. We can aid this natural and spiritual law by voluntarily taking a personal inventory of habits and aligning with right action and true interdependent need.

Start small; all donations, of whatever size, are equally appreciated. Choose one small act of sacrifice today and notice its subtle appreciation by physical body and energetic spirit. Ask for help from the unseen and experience the synchronistic material response.

Put the law of compensation to best use: let material sacrifice be compensated by spiritual advance.

Appreciating sacrifice,


*Ezra Klein interviewing Noam Chomsky
**David Attenborough’s film trailer

Chuck’s Place: A World in Alzheimer’s

A golden compass

Elmer Green’s greatest gift to humankind was the guidebook he left behind, The Ozawkie Book of the Dead, the ultimate navigational tool for now. Elmer and his wife Alyce took a very successful journey through the fog of Alzheimer’s disease, as Alyce ultimately merged with her high SOUL, while still present in human form.

Simply understood, one’s high SOUL is a center of being that is pure truth, wisdom and love, whose action is only right action, action based on those principles. The center of the little soul is narcissistically limited by its ego’s narrow concern for its own self, as it lacks the broadest view of the high SOUL. Spiritual maturity is arriving at one’s high SOUL, a feat generally attained after death.

Alyce’s little soul was able to advance and merge with her high SOUL while still occupying her physical body in full blown Alzheimer’s disease. The journey of little soul, once identified with its physical body, to high SOUL, is the journey of all souls who leave this world upon physical death.

Elmer defined the human personality as a unit, which included the physical body and the little soul. The little soul has many dimensions. At the level of the personality, it is the mental and emotional components that innervate life in the human body. This soul, also called the astral body, essentially runs the human body, in everyday life, through the energy channels of the chakras.

Thus, for instance, the brain is the physical hard drive of the mind, which is actually the mental component of the soul, an entity completely separate from the brain and the physical body. In Alzheimer’s, as the brain deteriorates, the mind must wake up to itself without its usual identification with, and mooring in, the physical body.

Deprived of its physical connection to the body, the mind in Alzheimer’s begins to shift its focus to the astral plane, the plane it has always visited nightly in dreaming, as the body sleeps. Anyone who has any memory of their nightly dreams has some level of familiarity with life beyond the physical body, on the astral plane.

The challenge on the astral plane is to maintain a sober and coherent sense of self, as one encounters entities and partakes in roles and dream-life scenarios with completely unfamiliar characters. And yet, nothing seems unusual about one’s presence or identity to the characters in the dream.

As well, the continuity of dreamscapes can rapidly shift into whole new environments with new characters, seamlessly flowing into new vignettes, equally unfamiliar yet naturally flowing, as if one completely belonged. One’s identity,  once rooted in physical life in the everyday waking world, is challenged by the roles one finds oneself in while dreaming, as suddenly one may find oneself in intimate relationships with unknown people, behaving in ways that violate one’s waking sensibilities.

With growing consciousness in dreaming, one may be startled with contradictions that defy one’s waking identity. In Alzheimer’s, the option to wake up to the familiar physical body becomes increasingly remote. The challenge is to stabilize in the soul’s identity, as an ethereal energy body, living on the astral plane. Memory of life in the physical body may be accessible, but returning to it is no longer the priority. What is a priority, is to learn to navigate this astral plane of dreams with intent and, ultimately, to find one’s way beyond it to the light of the high SOUL.

This astral region of dreaming is the home of what the Buddhist’s call bardos, personalized dreamscapes where souls carry on their spiritual journeys after death. Bardos are life dreams constructed to help souls work through their karma and, ultimately, advance to merge with the light of their high SOUL.

Karma is simply the state of one’s knowledge and awareness upon dying, the state of consciousness one has to work with. If one is captivated by illusions and delusions, one’s astral residence in the bardos will enable one to eventually wake up from one’s limited dreams into a higher level of knowing, whereby shedding one’s prior karma.

The world we are currently in has launched us on a similar journey into the bardos: having lost our familiar groundedness, in a world we can no longer make sense of, we must find our way to high SOUL. We must elevate ourselves, and our world, to a new spiritual level, while still tied to this world in a physical life.

The parallel of now with Alzheimer’s is that our grounded hold on our everyday physical world of reason has been shattered. If we observe carefully, we find ourselves in a world of mushrooming irrational dreams lacking any rational compass. Our world has now completely entered the astral plane, where many karmic bardos are being acted out, clashing with each other at lightning speed.

Our world’s brain, if you will, is completely deteriorating, and our minds must wake up to the world-beyond-reason we now find ourselves in. Without the familiar mooring of reason, we must navigate this astral plane of wild dreams, in search of a new world order that works for the planet and its inhabitants. For this, our little souls must journey to the light of our high SOULS, where deeper truth becomes accessible.

The high SOUL exists in a plane beyond the desire body of the astral plane. This is the plane that radiates with truth, wisdom, and love. This is the plane that holds the guidance that can raise the Earth plane from its current playing field of astral fog.

The immediate challenge is, how to navigate this astral plane we are currently in. Buddhist guidance for those traversing through the bardos after death is to not get hooked by the bardos that seek to attract their attention, and cause them to lose focus on moving toward the light.

The application of this wisdom, to now, is to not get hooked by the conspiracy theories or outrageous behaviors that vie for one’s attention and vital energy. As well, to realize that the reasonable world that one once took for granted is gone, but that one can still steady oneself, and restore one’s internal rational compass.

Reason is an essential traveling companion for the journey of the little soul through the challenges of the astral plane. Though the astral plane is replete with worlds beyond reason, reason is crucial to its safe and successful navigation.

Thus, as one confronts the multiple bardos that appear on the world stage daily, guidance emphasizes non-attachment. In practical terms, this means not spending one’s emotional energy on tantrum reactions or heated arguments. Reason can aid in deciphering one’s best options, as navigational decisions are critical in this Scylla and Charybdis of the daily waking life of now.

This forging of little soul into an energy miser, seeking only its advance to the light of its high SOUL, can find expression in a loving equanimity for all one encounters, while maintaining safe distance from other little souls covetous of its energy. Without judgment simply move on.

The mission of now is an unfettered journey of heart, to the love, wisdom, and truth of the high SOUL.

Completion of this mission will safely land the world in its new rotation, with the fog of  Alzheimer’s lifted in the light of a new day. With the radiance of the high SOUL guiding human behavior, the Earth will find itself in the right hands!

Time to dream awake, really awake…

With affection,


Chuck’s Place: Journey To The Light

Are we ready to emerge from the bardos into the light? - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Are we ready to emerge from the bardos into the light?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

This past weekend, as Jan and I immersed ourselves in Dr. Elmer Green’s The Ozawkie Book of the Dead, I wrote: “If we intend to live with abandon we must first fully relive with abandon.” This was in reaction to Elmer’s exposition of the depths of the subconscious that completely encloses us in the bardos* of our unrealized selves, unable to find our way to the light.

I was reminded of the many traumatized individuals I have known, through the years, who were unable to be helped by lamas in their Buddhist retreats to release attachment to the impact of their traumatic pasts through mindfulness training.

Though mindfulness can still the mind and the central nervous system, it cannot absolve one of the necessary energetic encounters with unprocessed traumatic experience dissociated in the body and the psyche.

I picked up A Path with Heart, by Jack Kornfield, off the bathroom library shelf and opened to the chapter entitled “Psychotherapy and Meditation” where Jack, the Buddhist monk, eloquently confirms my above observations.

The next morning, from the same shelf, I picked an obscure book that Jan had purchased some time ago, entitled Activation of Energy by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and opened to “The Place of Technology.” In this chapter de Chardin wrote, in 1947:

“…From the psychic point of view the earth would seem to be becoming progressively hotter, continually even more incandescent. If we consider not its harmony but its general intensity, the earth has never been through a phase to equal the present.” (p. 161)

At the crossroads, where we've been, where we're going, and what's next? - Photo by Jan Ketchel
At the crossroads,
where we’ve been, where we’re going,
and what’s next?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Contrary to the Sunshine State’s recent ban on DEP officials using the term “climate change,” the truth is, global warming has us heated to a phase unequal to the past. And we find ourselves at an evolutionary crossroads as a result; the heat is boiling over everywhere. The challenge, as de Chardin describes, is for the light of consciousness to fully take charge of evolution now. But how will we bring light to the earth?

Last week, Netanyahu delivered an unprecedented speech to Congress, breaking ranks with all diplomacy as he anxiously expressed his unwavering position: Iran can never be trusted, ever. Don’t make a deal.

Obama responded to Netanyahu’s speech, saying that he heard no new ideas or solutions with this stay-the-course approach. In fact, the rise of terrorism throughout the world appears to be fueled in large measure by the powerlessness of this stalemate.

The other day, 47 Republican Senators wrote a letter to Iran warning that regardless of Obama’s negotiations regarding a nuclear arms agreement, Congress would undo any agreement when he left office. Some view this unprecedented behavior by the Senate as treason.

The heating up of politics and international tensions is part and parcel of the growing charge to humankind to shed truthful light on its problems and find solutions based on right action. There is no great God gonna come from the sky and make everything all right.

We are charged, just as we are in recapitulation, to find our way through the hazy bardos of our largely subconscious planet. In de Chardin’s first essay in Activation of Energy, “The Moment of Choice,” written at Christmas 1939 on the eve of World War II, he states:

“This will be the second time, then, in the span of one human life that we shall have known War. The second time, did I say? Is it not, rather, worse than that? Is it not the same Great War [WWI] that is still raging, the same single process: a world being re-cast — or disintegrating? (p. 13)

Well, here we are again. It’s not a new war; it’s a continuation of the same disintegrating process, heating up evermore powerfully, begging us to recapitulate, to face all the horrors and all the truths of our choices and behaviors since we took over the wheel, since we ate the apple in the garden from the tree of knowledge. We’ve been driving ever since and look where it has gotten us!

Are we going to wait until it's too late? - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Are we going to wait until it’s too late?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Unless we face ourselves and act in the light of truth and consciousness the globe will continue to heat up under the stewardship of the dark side: greed and self-interest.

Yes, there are guides, angels, bodhisattvas, masters, all dedicated to helping us find our way to union with that light, but none of those entities can lift us out of the bardos into the light. We must boil in our bardos and free ourselves before we can benefit from such guidance. Channels broadcast messages everywhere, but do we listen? Can we listen? On what are we satiated?

When I posed these issues to the I Ching yesterday, I received hexagram #27 The Corners of the Mouth (Providing Nourishment). This hexagram is a picture of an open mouth. The real crux of the issue is, what will we put into our mouths and what words will come out of our mouths?

The bottom three lines of the hexagram refer to actions that seek nourishment for oneself alone: actions of greed. The top three refer to nourishment for others: compassion.

I received the six in the fourth place. Here the I Ching states: “…this line refers to one occupying a high position and striving to let his light shine forth. To do this he needs helpers, because he cannot attain his lofty aim alone. With the greed of a hungry tiger he is on the lookout for the right people. Since he is not working for himself but for the good of all, there is no wrong in such zeal.” (p. 110 Wilhelm translation.) The guidance here: turn the hunger of greed toward the light; bite through to the truth.

I also got the nine at the top. Here the I Ching states: “This describes a sage of the highest order, from whom emanate all influences that provide nourishment for others. Such a position brings with it heavy responsibility. If he remains conscious of this fact, he has good fortune and may confidently undertake even great and difficult labors, such as crossing the great water. These undertakings bring general happiness for him and for all others.” (pp. 110-11)

The guidance here makes it pretty clear that it’s time to do the right thing, to take full responsibility and cross the waters of our personal recapitulations just as the world, as a collective unit, must face the truths of the choices of its human nature and compassionately right the course.

Eventually we come into the light... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Eventually we come into the light…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

There are no saviors. We are the saviors. We’ve been charged with using our heated up planet, to use its light to make things right, deepening its journey into the light.

Journeying into the light,

* Bardos refers to the Tibetan after-death bardo states, but is intentionally used in a broader context to suggest that we are in the bardos all the time, in a confusing state of disorientation that we must come to terms with (e.g. in recapitulation) so we can proceed into new life and higher realms of consciousness.

Chuck’s Place: Alzheimer’s & The Journey Of The Soul

Who knows what we will encounter as we take our first steps into the bardos... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Who knows what we will encounter as we take our first steps into the bardos…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The rational sensibility of the modern world observes the deterioration of the brain with Alzheimer’s disease and questions the validity of the soul. In effect, it asks the question, “What is left to ascend after death, when clearly there appears to be a total dismantling of the personality as the disease progresses?”

All religious systems, nonetheless, propose that a soul, an ethereal essence, separates from the body and continues to live after death. Hindu scientists have an elaborate understanding of the composition of that soul, or what they have termed the astral body. According to their findings, our abilities to think and feel originate in the astral body. The astral body, or soul, is intimately connected with the physical body; feelings are experienced in physical sensations and mental processes are connected with the brain. These two bodies, physical and astral, are inseparable except in dreaming, shamanic journeying, and in severe trauma, when the astral body—though still attached to the physical body—separates and goes off on its own journey.

Shamans utilize dreaming and journeying to explore life beyond the body, as they prepare for life after death, for the moment when the astral body completely separates from the physical body.

The Tibetan Buddhists, as outlined in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, have identified several bardos, or in-between worlds, that all humans encounter shortly after death. In the bardos we are all confronted with unresolved issues from our lives. Our ability to resolve, or not attach to these issues in the bardo states allows us to progress deeper into our soul’s unfolding journey in infinity. However, this cosmic recapitulation process in the bardos may require many lifetimes before we achieve true freedom. Alzheimer’s, as I see it, is the beginning of that cosmic bardo adventure, begun while still living in the human body, offering the opportunity to engage in recapitulation.

With the deterioration of the brain during Alzheimer’s, the astral body is freed to enter the bardos and deal with deep issues, as it is freed of engagement in the affairs of daily life. Deterioration of personality in this world in no way reflects loss of self, it simply reflects a breakdown of cognitive functioning connected to the physical body.

Things may clarify the deeper we go... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Things may clarify the deeper we go…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The mental and emotional self is fully present in its astral travels and is deeply engaged in working through karmic issues with souls from other lives, as well as those who have already crossed over, whom one was associated with in this life. Alzheimer’s offers an individual an extended opportunity, while still in human form, to resolve issues of many lives, with the added benefit of possibly breezing through the bardos after real death, moving quickly into higher spiritual realms. What appears in physical form as a difficult to manage and heartbreaking pathological disease, in spiritual form is actually an opportunity for great healing and advancement.

Relatives of Alzheimer’s patients are often treated to stories of these adventures in the bardos when the Alzheimer’s traveler is in lucid moments. He or she may speak of adventures with relatives and other beings in the astral realm. And, yes, some of those encounters with entities in the bardos realm can be quite terrifying, as patients might report their terror at feeling robbed or attacked, or having met evil or monstrous beings.

Nonetheless, if we can value their experiences as coming from layers of reality that we are unable to witness, rather than simply dismissing them as hallucinations, we might be granted glimpses of life beyond life. Not only are we offered valuable insight into what we will all one day encounter as we enter the bardos ourselves, but we are able to support our loved ones as they deepen their soul’s journey in infinity, preparing for their final launching.

Is Alzheimer's seeding new life? - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Is Alzheimer’s seeding new life?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Looking at Alzheimer’s from a different perspective,

I wish to thank Elmer Green, PhD, brain researcher and pioneer of biofeedback, for his insight into Alzheimer’s as he took the journey with his wife, Alyce, learning what she was encountering on her trips into the bardos. You can hear him talk about it here: The Ozawkie Book of the Dead He mentions his findings about Alzheimer’s within the first few minutes and goes into it in greater detail throughout the recording. It’s well worth listening to!

A Day in a Life: The Bardos & The Reality We Create

The consensus reality we all uphold... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
The consensus reality we all uphold…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

“The earth will never be destroyed,” said Chuck to me last night. “It’s a consensus reality.” What he meant was that there are millions of people upholding the idea of earth and everything in it as real. Each person now alive would have to drop their projections, lose their belief systems, free their minds, and release their attachments for the earth to suddenly fade from sight. It would be like taking a mass psychedelic trip or a giant thick fog rolling in, hiding from view all that we consider reality.

Does that idea send shockwaves of fear through you, the idea of having nothing to hold onto, nothing familiar in your life? Personally, I find the idea utterly freeing, the notion of all of this disappearing and there being nothing but the ethers: defined as a formless, infinitely elastic medium, also known as the space above the atmosphere of earth, the heavens composed of the moon, the stars and planets. Imagine the energy we’ve all projected into creating this reality, that we’ve spent our lives upholding, finally released, to be used for something far greater.

The bardos, negative emotional states, beliefs that we project within the consensus reality of this world, are always right next to us, ready to snag us and pull us back, away from such ideas as the one I postulate above. The bardos make up not only our consensus reality, the world we inhabit, but the world within as well, the world of thoughts and ideas that keep us caught in the repetition of our behaviors, habits, beliefs, stuck in the core issues that keep us from evolving, such as rejection, abandonment, entitlement, victimhood. The bardos are where worry, fear, indolence, strife, and negativity reside, popping up to defeat us in endless battles with the projections of this world. We turn to them more often than we turn to our spirits, which seek to be freed of all that is in this world so that we can enjoy “All That Is” in the ethers of infinity.

Our projections keep us bound to the bardos. I create my reality by that which I project. My needs, fears, and worries create my reality. If the consensus reality says that my symptoms indicate a certain condition, then I get sick. If I project my fears into the world, those fears come to haunt me. If I am certain that something bad will happen, then it will happen. In the bardos of my projections, in the thoughts I create, the ideas I uphold and the fears I hold onto, my world is created. If I am aware that I am doing this, however, I can change how I attach to the consensus reality. I can decide that no, I am not sick, I am not afraid, and only good things will happen to me. Suddenly, my reality shifts.

Detail of the Indolence card, the 8 of Cups from the Thoth Tarot Deck...
Detail of the Indolence card, the 8 of Cups from the Thoth Tarot Deck…

I also know that if I project my needs, fears and worries outwardly onto others then other people in my life will not advance either, even if I hold onto them with my deepest love. My sense of owning or entitlement to another human being only holds them back. We must let all beings go. Others will not move out of my sphere if I hold onto them with negative thinking either, with jealousies, hatred, or even with perceived brilliance, with adoration or worship. I must own and learn from all my projections if I am to free myself too to move on.

We have the power within us to change our reality, but do I really want to see the world obliterated? I don’t believe, as Chuck suggested last night, that it will ever happen at this worldly level, but it is what we are all charged with doing at an individual level. We must accept also that the world we have created is here for us to fully engage and learn from. We must fully live in this world—do our time so to speak—if we are to be at a point of detaching from it for the last time.

To fully live means that as we grow up and seek to make a mark in the world, we must encounter all that we project, all the challenges that belong to us in this lifetime. It’s so easy to fall back into the slumber of the bardos, but the true work of individuation is to journey through life becoming increasingly awake and aware of how things really work, and that takes work.

As we do our deep inner work, as we attempt to free ourselves of our personal projections and issues—in a process such as recapitulation, for example—we do free ourselves of this consensus reality in a step-by-step process of eliminating from our psyches all that once held us bound to the bardos. In the bardo states of this world we churn away overdoing, over indulging, over eating, over drinking, over stimulated to the point where our energy reserves are depleted and our spirits sunk to the depths, far from contact. In this depleted energy state we no longer contribute any energy either to the advancement of this world. As our own energy flags, we become nothing more than entities draining the energy that others contribute to a changing world.

Do I really want my world to disappear? - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Do I really want my world to disappear?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

If we are to be part of a changing world we must constantly contribute new energy to that change by changing ourselves. It is not healthy to stay in the bardos, dulling our energy and the energy of the world. If we are challenged to do anything during our lives, it is to keep the flame of change burning by adding to its potential by challenging ourselves to constantly shift into states of higher awareness.

Just as the bardos are there always ready to grab us, to sabotage our progress, so too are our spirits right there too, ready to connect with us. Our true work of individuation is the work of gaining knowledge of our spirits, of learning to trust them as we allow ourselves to drop our projections and have experiences of the ethers, of our energetic selves, even while we are living in this consensus reality. It is the work of the human being who is aware of reincarnation to live up to the challenges of each lifetime and gain the momentum to move beyond continuous cycles of reincarnation.

In pulling our heads up out of the bardos long enough to grasp the possibility of the disappearance of this consensus reality as we know it, we offer ourselves new energy and new momentum. Without fear that we are missing out or losing something, as we grow into later adulthood we must learn how to let go of our attachments to all that is in this world, knowing full well that each of us, even those closest to us and whom we love the most, are on the same journey.

Each individual is challenged to move out of the bardos and advance to a higher level of consciousness. In so doing, at our death we do not leave this world a more depleted place but a brighter place, our evolving energy feeding the fires of change. I feel this kind of vibrant energy every time I communicate with Jeanne. Her evolving beyond this consensus reality has left a brightness in my own life, and I have learned more from my connection with her than had I not dared myself to trust her and take up the challenges she gave to me during my recapitulation.

We are all as separate and individual as each drop of rainwater on this leaf... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
We are all as separate and individual as each drop of rainwater on this leaf…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

And I am aware now too that my true purpose extends far beyond this life and this reality. And so I am not afraid to imagine the world disappearing and all that is in this reality releasing—as it will upon my own dying—because I know that all of us are part of something greater, just as Jeanne and her soul group are.

Just trying to add to the energy flame of changing consciousness,