A young child dreams of seven white geese marching down a street. All the people the geese walk past fall down dead. Surprisingly, C. G. Jung suggests that this is a favorable dream, that this is nature, via the dream, introducing the young child to the world of time. Everything passes. To the child’s world of timelessness, still bathed in the myths and depths of the collective unconscious, life and death are introduced, including her own awareness of herself as a mortal being in this world.
Life in this world is a bipolar affair. We all grapple with it. At one pole we feel our link to the timeless, as we often live as if we have forever! Though we may negatively judge this ‘slothful’ attitude, it nonetheless is a link to infinite life in timelessness, as an energy body or spirit. At the other pole is the truth of aging and mortality in a physical body, observed and experienced in fading life within and all around us.
At the beginning of every day the Shamans of Ancient Mexico say: “We are beings who are going to die.” This is their intent to keep their awareness fully present to their limited time and opportunity for life in this world. We are all beings saddled with the bipolar conundrum of life and death.
What Jung highlighted in this young child’s fall from innocence was the introduction of change, which happens when we enter life in time. Everything passes in time. Accepting this basic truth helps us to feel and release a wave of sadness. The pain of loss will eventually pass. In the world of time things mature and change and new possibilities for life will arise.
If we are gripped by a craving or passion, we know, if we hold on, that the compulsion will eventually pass. We may not be ready yet, we may still be too attached to the timeless pole of our being that accepts no limitations, but eventually we may be ready to inhabit our corporeal reality and accept the limitations of life in the body.
The great advantage of life in time, in a physical body, is that we are freed to complete our unique experience of life, what Jung called individuation. In time we unfold into the discovery and fulfillment of all that we are. We begin new things, be they careers, relationships, gardens, or books. We can nurture and live the course of these engagements to completion because in time, for better of worse, everything passes.
In time we can answer the questions of our ancestors and pose new ones for ourselves. To fully individuate in our life in time we must recapitulate. If we leave fragments of our lives unknown to ourselves we will not be able to integrate the full knowledge of our journey and we will leave behind questions that must be answered before completion. Perhaps this is the basis for reincarnation, bardo life, or time in purgatory.
My wife Jan lived in Sweden for several years during her twenties. She always felt she went there to fulfill something unfinished in a past life, to connect with and live out unfinished business with people who had once been very important to her. She was welcomed there with open arms, loved unconditionally, and she loved fully and unconditionally in return. She fully embraced being Swedish, learned the language quickly and fluidly, and did all things Swedish like a true Swede. When it was done, it was done. Time to move on and return to life in present time.
My first wife, Jeanne, also completed unfinished business, though she did it in spirit form, after her physical death, reconnecting with the birth mother she never knew in her life as Jeanne Ketchel. It was the completion of her lives on earth, her final chapter in space and time, described in the final chapter of The Book of Us, channeled through Jan.
For although everything does pass in time, that which is not fully realized must be completed somewhere, somehow before we are fully freed to move on in timelessness. As everything passes, as we complete our many paths of individuation, we enter infinity, enriched by our lives and ready to explore new paths of heart, in and out of time.
The following recording was made August 2, 2014. It is approximately 50 minutes long and includes questions for Saleph from Jan, Chuck, and three of Saleph’s readers/listeners.
At one point in the recording, Saleph responds to a question about life choices and describes a road. Chuck mentioned afterwards, as we listened to the channeling, that one day Jeanne had a breakthrough while driving and described to him this same road. She was elated, because something was so clear to her, but Chuck just could not grasp what she meant. After this channeling he explained this to Jan and said that he still did not get what the big deal was with the road analogy. To Jeanne and Jan it makes perfect sense! How about you?
Here is the channeled session. Hope you enjoy it and that it all makes perfect sense!
Many are challenged to reconcile the memory and experiences of past lives as they intrude upon life in this life. Many others go in search of the karmic origin of current life struggles through past life regression.
Emphasis on karma alone narrows the focus of the full challenge of integrating a past life, which includes allowing the self to feel deep love and attachment in all the critical relationships of that life. The challenge lies as well in releasing the self, and all the loved ones of that past life, to be free to fully open to new love in new lives in completely different roles.
The enormity of growth required to achieve such openness to new beginnings and endings, to truly live what it means to “go with the flow,” may be the deepest purpose of the concensus reality of this dimension we call Earth. Most humans born in this dimension experience a blank slate of origin. Our parents are experienced as our first and only parents of our infinite journey. Everything that might have come before, in lifetimes of transpersonal living, is checked at the memory gate before we enter this life. We are thereby freed to limit our attachments to this life without the complexity and confusion of prior lives.
This arrangement offers us a training ground to deal with attachment, love, and loss on a manageable scale. Rudimentary attachment is critical to passing the starting gate of this dimension. Failure to thrive and death are the consequences of primary non-attachment.
However, beyond this starting gate are many gates of deepening attachment that will determine how welcome we truly feel in this world and how able we are to come to full flowering. It is very possible to survive yet constrict our physical, emotional, and spiritual selves to survive in what is experienced as unwelcome, exploitative, rejecting territory. Much of the first half of life may be taken up by the challenge of finding a secure anchor in this world so that we may eventually begin a process of unburdening recapitulation to free ourselves to begin to truly thrive in this life. That anchor is the adult self I wrote about in last week’s blog.
The ability to fully know and accept this life we were cast into, and to then shed its encasement in recapitulation, is a deep spiritual practice that teaches us to fully live and release the life we have lived, in this lifetime, so we can move on into new life now without constraints. Accomplishing this stupendous task prepares us to more fully encounter all the many past selves and past lives we have lived throughout our journey in infinity. In recapitulating this lifetime, we are freed of the need to constrict our cognitive and emotional knowledge and the need to have to hold ourselves together within some definite container.
To release one’s parents, siblings, spouses, and children to new lives and new roles within this lifetime frees them as well to experience endless possibilities within their own lives. All journeys have beginnings and endings.
In addition, all journeys—past and present—need to be equally honored with love and compassion for the self and all the intimate traveling companions of each journey. Such deep love and compassion open the gate to new and deeper journeys in infinity, unshielded by the illusion of limitation and unending attachment.
It’s been in the news, a man wakes up from a coma speaking only Swedish. He doesn’t recognize his wife or family. A diagnosis called Transient Global Amnesia has been applied to his condition. Medical personnel assigned to his case have also decided that he’s most likely in a dissociative fugue state, wherein a person forgets their past and can sometimes take on a new personality. When I first read the headline I was intrigued, having had my own experiences with the Swedish language and inventing a new personality, wondering if the man had woken up in a past life.
The man, it turns out, had lived in Sweden as a child and for much of his adult life, so the fact that he spoke the language was no mystery. The mystery in his case was, how could he forget his current life so easily? The Shamans of Ancient Mexico would diagnose him as having suffered a jolt to the assemblage point, a shift in awareness into a totally new world.
My own first encounters with speaking Swedish came in a dream when I was in my early twenties. In the dream I was traveling across the United States by wagon train. I leaned against the back of the wagon, in which I was traveling with my husband and children, and wept. Great sadness had occurred, the death of our child, whom we had just buried along the trail. My husband came up to console me. We spoke a language I had never heard before. I spoke fluently and without hesitation.
My dreaming self observed the entire dream episode, saw what I looked like and heard myself speaking this strange language. I even understood what I was saying, even though I didn’t understand the specific words. I saw that I was a tall and strapping woman, with thick blond hair tied back in a long braid. I was dressed in neat, clean, but poor cotton clothing, a long dress and apron. My husband was taller and wore a hat. His pants were tucked into high boots. My dreaming self watched as he came over and embraced me.
We wept together and then he told me that we’d have to move on, keep going, that everything would be okay. The rest of the people traveling with the wagon train were preparing to leave. We had to stay with the group. Moving on was essential. It was a strenuous journey, but I knew we’d make it to our destination. I just needed time to gather myself together, I told him. I’d be alright. Then I felt myself pull inward, into deep inner silence. I felt a core of strength shoot through me, like a fire rising out of the depths of me, energy like I had never felt in real life. Then I shook off my sorrow. There was life still to care for, life still to live. Times were tough, but the tough keep going. I woke up as I shrugged off my sorrow, that core of strength burning brightly inside me.
Upon awakening, I was immediately puzzled by the strange language I’d spoken and the sense of connection I felt with the woman in the dream. I knew it really was me, had been me, and that I too had that fiery core of inner strength inside me. I suspected, at the time, that the dream was related to a past life, though I had little knowledge of how that could be possible.
Within a year of the dream, I met my Swedish husband-to-be and six months after meeting him I was living in Sweden. It didn’t take long for me to recognize the Swedish language as the same language I’d spoken in my dream. I took language classes and within no time I was speaking Swedish fluently, like a native I was told, like a native from the southern part of Sweden called Smaland that had been so devastated by drought that the vast majority of farmers left and moved to America during the 1800s. I spent considerable time exploring the country and always found this southern region extremely warm and inviting, the forests and thick-walled cottages so familiar. At the time, all of this reinforced the real possibility that I had indeed lived a past life in Sweden.
At the time, however, I was dealing with my own deep issues, undiagnosed at the time. Indeed, I was living out my own dissociative fugue state. Many years later, as I write about in my books, I started working with Chuck. The first thing he did was give me a diagnosis of PTSD. The diagnosis gave me a sort of anchor, an anchor from which I could dive into the dark pool of the unconscious and do deep inner work, but it was not the answer. However, it was during that time that my past, including my decision to move to Sweden in the blink of an eye, all began to make sense. Unlike Michael Boatwright, however, the guy who woke up speaking Swedish recently, I had never lived in Sweden before, though I felt so at home there. I assimilated very quickly, learning not only the language but all the nuances of the culture as if I were, indeed, a native Swede.
Sweden offered me many opportunities. First, I got away from my past and, much like Michael Boatwright, I forgot what had happened to me during a certain part of my life, most of my childhood, in fact, as I write about in my books. I was also offered the opportunity to become a new me, and I did. I changed a lot while I was there. I stalked, as the Shamans of Ancient Mexico call it, a new personality. My introverted, shy self soon felt comfortable to become a new being. The distance really helped. I was so far from everyone and everything that had influenced me up until then that I felt really free for the first time in my life. And so I lived a new life for several years, until it was done, until it was time to return to what I had run away from, for I knew, instinctively, that I had run from something.
It would still be some time before I was ready to face my own mysteries. And, as I was to learn, a diagnosis, whether it be Transient Global Amnesia or PTSD, is not the real answer if one is to evolve. As Chuck likes to say, “Now let’s do the work!” The only thing that was going to help, was the work of recapitulation: facing the past, finding out why I was the way I was, and why I had to move so far away to begin with before I felt safe.
Upon return to the States, I had to reinvent myself once again, for the Swedish woman I had become was not appropriate for the life I embarked upon in New York City. Once again, I stalked a new personality, and I kept stalking different versions of who I thought I really was until I ran out of energy, until I finally collapsed and gave up. It was then that I met Chuck and began to learn about my own inner mysteries, the Shamans of Ancient Mexico, and the process of recapitulation. It was then that real change began and everything made sense.
It was then, as I embarked on a new journey of self-discovery, that I found I really did have within me that fiery core of inner strength that I’d experienced in my dream of the Swedish woman on the wagon train journey. For the most part, it had been deeply buried and inaccessible, as most of my life had been spent in a state of numbness, that dissociative fugue state. It was during my recapitulation that I saw my decision to move to Sweden in a different light. It became clear that it was a move on the part of my psyche to jolt my assemblage point.
That journey to a foreign land had been pivotal in rediscovering some important things about myself, to not only awaken a past life experience in this life—and live it again in a sense—but more importantly to give me a hint of the possible self to one day look forward to in the future. For I now know that the free woman I became in Sweden was an immature model of my more mature, true self. I didn’t know any of this at the time, of course, but all of this and much more has been revealed as I’ve stayed on the trail of a life of change, the same kind of trail that my dreaming self was on.
The other thing that my time in Sweden hinted at, I understand in retrospect, was the first hint that I would have to go back in order to go forward. If I was to birth myself into a new woman and allow that fiery core strength to become a part of this life in a real way, I would have to go back into the darkness of my past and retrieve it. I would have to, singlehandedly, move it forward, out of my past life, into this life.
This is the real energy that moves through all of us, through our many lifetimes and many life experiences, but we must discover our own path to retrieving it. We don’t really have to go anywhere to do it, either, unless we have to. We can stay right where we are and do our deep inner work. But if we are to evolve we must take the journey of deep self-exploration so we can harness our energy, hone it, and utilize it as we travel along our life’s journeys.