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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!

A Day in a Life: Illusion or Not?

I ponder the world as illusion. While channeling Jeanne’s message on Monday, I reached a personal moment of enlightenment when I grasped the idea that the inner world and the outer world are the same, that both are real and both are illusion. Carl Jung once noted that the inner world was as real or perhaps more real than the outer world. This has always been my experience, more of an inner world person than an outer world person. What I experienced in that moment of enlightenment on Monday was, from a shamanic point of view, a shift in the assemblage point, a shift in perception. This is when the world, as we know it, suddenly falls away and everything is seen and perceived differently. When this happens we are in another reality, “seeing” the world as it truly is, in shamanic terms, seeing the world as energy. So with that in mind, holding onto the idea that both worlds are real and illusory at the same time, I went into my week.

On Tuesday, I sat down to meditate in my favorite spot, looking out over the trees in the back yard. It was early morning; the sun was beginning to rise, battling the clouds for prominence. I wondered what the day would be like, rain or sun? I meditate with my eyes open. I softened my gaze as I did my breathing exercises, holding onto the out-breath ever so slightly in an attempt to linger a moment in emptiness and detach from thinking. Eventually, by focusing on slowly breathing in and out, I reached an in-between stage, where the outside world dissolved into a blurred picture and the inner world went quiet. This is a moment of shift in the assemblage point.

Sometimes I can stay suspended in this in-between space for a few seconds, sometimes longer. It’s as if my awareness is a thin sheet of glass, suspended between these two normal states of reality. I say thin, because invariably something will interfere to bring me back and then both the inner world of thought and the outer world of everyday reality come snapping back into sharp focus again. On Tuesday it was a flock of crows flying into the backyard that broke through the thin veneer of glass.

“Oh, here come the shamans, come to distract,” I thought. “Don’t attach.” And the glass immediately shattered as I watched the crows land in the trees right at eye level.

“Don’t attach,” I said again, softening my gaze. As I did so, I noticed that the crows literally dissolved as the glass pulled up between the two worlds again, which obviously was enough to pull me right back to thinking, to trying to grasp what I was experiencing. Of course, I wanted to check out if the crows were indeed still in the trees. So I looked directly at the treetops and yes, there were the crows sitting right where they had been.

“Okay,” I thought. “The crows are like these thoughts, flying into my mind and I must learn to let them go. I must learn to detach.” Again, I softened my gaze; focused on breathing, telling myself to let them fly past, just like the thoughts that were interfering.

“Even if those thoughts are attempting to grasp at this awakening experience I am having, it does not matter, let them go,” I said as I pushed everything away: thoughts, crows, trees, the inner and outer world.

“Just let it all go,” I whispered and, as the scenario played out, the thoughts flew away, the crows dissolved, and the thin sheet of shift, the glass, reappeared. I hung again in a moment of shift of the assemblage point, in inner silence, as the shamans call it, in nothingness, ever so briefly.

So, what did I learn during this experience? First of all, I experienced a volitional shift of the assemblage point, changing my perception of reality using a tried and true method: by meditation. Secondly, I saw the crows of thought and illusion dissolve into energy. If the crows are thoughts and thoughts belong to my inner world, I was able to underscore the moment of enlightenment I’d reached on Monday that the inner world and the outer world are both real and both illusion.

As I pondered this idea further, I thought about how thoughts are present only in the mind. In fact, they do not exist except in the mind, but they have the chance to become real when given form. In creative endeavors, as we paint, sculpt, dance, put them down in words and musical notes, as we write what we think, imagine, and discover, they manifest in this world of reality, no longer illusion but real. But until that manifestation they are illusion. These thoughts I now transcribe, though they existed in my mind, remained illusion until expressed in this form. They flew around in my head like those crows outside the window, seemingly real but not necessarily so, until this moment of landing, assembling into a long string of words that, hopefully, make sense.

I understand, in one sense, that my inner world, as real and important as it is to me, does not exist. And yet, I admit that it is extremely necessary, offering me the means to evolve, so I accept that my inner reality does exist. Even those very real crows existed one moment, but in the next dissolved, as I shifted my assemblage point so that the world of normal perception, reality, ceased to exist. At the same time, however, both the inner world and the outer world do exist; they are notches on the assemblage point. They are equally real, but equally illusion. But the thing to note is that our true awareness lies somewhere between or beyond those worlds, in the silence of that veneer of glass that is so hard to stay in. Does this make sense?

What I am getting at is that we all have these experiences. Our thoughts are simply thoughts, non-existent, present as energy inside us. If we can view them as such, we may be able to understand the idea of everything as illusion, but also as energy. When we hone that energy into something else, our thoughts become something different. They become tangible, expressed in forms that others can grasp, our personal experiences of illusion, of inner energy manifested.

Can we see the outside world in similar terms? The shamans say that our conjuring minds are responsible for the world of reality. We are taught from birth to see the world in a fixed position, and yet we all have had experiences of shifts in reality at some time or other in our lives, as Jeanne asked us to note in her message the other day. If thoughts are illusion, conjured by our mind, made manifest in the outer world, is not then the world of reality, conjured by this same universal mind, illusion as well? If everything we experience as reality at one time existed as thought, it stands that it can also dissolve back into its original energy form of thought, and thus, illusion.

As I sat and played with this idea the other day, dissolving the crows out of the trees one minute and placing them back in the trees the next I got it again, just how illusory the world is. My thoughts are nothing, the crows are nothing, I am nothing, but we are all energy. If we can hang just a little bit longer in that thin slip of world between the two illusions we may experience this sense of self as energy.

And why would we do this? As we shift our assemblage point, as we see differently, as our worlds dissolve, as we hold onto our awareness, we begin to train ourselves for the moment of death. This is what the Buddhists do, what the shamans do; they train their awareness for the moment of death. They learn how to hold onto awareness, how to stay connected to awareness of the self as energy so that, at the moment of death, they do not get caught in the illusions. They seek to hone the skills of awareness, so that they do not get caught in grasping, needing, desiring, in sadness or yearning for this world, which they have learned is but illusion.

According to these ancient disciplines, of Buddhism and shamanism, this is what we are here to learn. We are here to free ourselves from the endless cycles of being caught in the illusion that this is all there is. We are offered, with each new life, the opportunity to experience the moments of awakening to our true nature as energetic beings. This is what Jeanne was describing and asking us to note in her message.

Take note of the moments when the illusions of reality disappear, those aha moments when we experience life differently. These are the moments to keep striving for, to string together, until we fully grasp their significance and can volitionally return to them again and again. We must seek the space of thin veneer between worlds and thicken it so that we can stay in it longer. We must seek our true awareness and set it free in that in-between place; because that is what we will need to recall and hold onto at the moment of death.

The cool thing is that we are offered plenty of those moments of enlightenment now, in our present lives, in our present worlds. Try it. It’s fun!

Thanks for reading and passing these blogs on to others! Sending you all love and good wishes.

In awareness,

If you wish to correspond, please feel free to post a comment below. And don’t forget to check out our facebook page at: Riverwalker Press on facebook where we post daily comments and quotes.

#724 Chuck’s Place: “Seeing” with Jung: Prelude to Encounter

When the seers of ancient Mexico scanned the human body with their “seeing eye” they saw thousands of vortexes of twirling energy.* From this vantage point they discovered that we humans are physically comprised of countless individualistic energy fields functioning as an integrated unit.

Carl Jung discovered that the human psyche is similarly comprised of many complexes: segregated, individualistic sub-personalities, many of whom, though they co-exist in the psyche, remain unaware of the existence of each other. For Jung the dominant problem for modern Western civilization is its near total reliance on one complex within the psyche, that is, the ego complex. In fact, the rationally dominated modern ego complex dismisses, denies, and remains deeply alienated from the greater part of the psyche, appropriately called the unconscious. The vast majority of mental illness and world strife can be traced to this imbalanced condition within the human psyche.

The seers of ancient Mexico saw death as the unifying moment when all separate energy fields of the body become one energy. Jung discovered a method he termed individuation, that enabled the ego to embark on a journey of interaction and synthesis with all its opposing parts, to arrive at a place of psychic wholeness and equilibrium.

Jung himself undertook an intensive journey of self-discovery with his inner complexes or parts, as documented in the recently published primary source: The Red Book. Jung recorded the dialogue between his ego or conscious personality with complexes or characters within his psyche who spoke back to him autonomously with their own voices. Jung later termed this technique active imagination.

Through these dialogues, some of which were intense confrontations, Jung learned many things. He discovered that we have complexes inside our psyches that we acquire during our lifetime as well as complexes that we inherit. In his dialogues Jung spoke to figures from the Middle Ages who possessed ancient knowledge and wisdom and spoke in the vernacular of that time. From these experiences Jung determined that the unconscious was both personal and collective, of this life and beyond.

Jung also discovered that some complexes are quite powerful and can exert a strong effect on the ego. For instance, one complex with a female voice repeatedly attempted to seductively convince Jung that he was a great artist. Jung sternly refused this suggestion, stating in return that his use of art was part of his process of self-discovery. Jung realized how easy it could be for the naive, insecure ego to come under the sway of complexes with their own agendas, attempting to commandeer the ego through bolstering its self-importance. This became the basis of his understanding conditions such as psychic inflation and deflation, or in their extremes, mania and depression.

Inflation is a condition where the ego identifies with a complex, becomes greater than it truly is, and embarks on behaviors driven by the interests of the complex. In deflation the ego feels utterly diminished by an encounter with a complex, shrinking into powerlessness and depression.

Jung realized that his ego had to maintain control as he encountered these powerful complexes or sub-personalities within himself. To do this his ego had to be receptive to listening to points of view and potential truths that challenged completely his conscious attitude. He committed to honest reflection upon these views and submitted to change when he discovered his ego attitude to be limited. However, he refused to automatically accept any new truth without a scrutinous conscious processing.

Ultimately, Jung’s encounters with the perspectives of different complexes modified his personality in a new synthesis with a vastly broadened awareness. This enlarged consciousness was not an inflation, that is, an ego identification with a sub-personality. To the contrary, this new synthesis represents a reconciliation of many opposing parts of the self. The ego, in this new synthesis, accepts its relative but important place as the center of consciousness but not the center of the personality. The ego accepts its role as mediator of the greater forces of the self, with definite challenges to take on in this life. The ego acknowledges that it is not lord and master of the personality but, as a complex with consciousness, is charged with learning the truths of the self and acquiescing to the appropriate needs and expectations of the total self.

In a future blog I will explore in more detail the technique of active imagination. The necessary prerequisites to its practice are to be gleaned from Jung’s personal journey. Engaging directly the unknown self, or the unknown not-self, requires definite safety precautions.

1. The ego self must be ready to engage in dialogue with an entity or a complex within the self that is not part of the ego. Don’t underestimate how tightly the ego holds to the security of seeing itself as the whole personality. We must be ready to accept and make room for the Not I.

2. The ego must stay present and insist on consciousness remaining in control during interactions with other parts of the self. Sub-personalities are allowed a voice, but not a take-over coup of the personality.

3. The ego, with its growing knowledge and awareness, must not identify with any entity; that is, it must not see itself bigger than its humble ego self because of its ability to have contact with other entities or their influences. This would be inflation. Nor must it allow itself to turn over power and guidance of the personality to any entity, no matter how benevolent or helpful. The ego must ultimately take personal responsibility for all decisions. We are in this life to live it, grow from it, and learn from it. We are not here to turn our life over to another. This is an evasion of responsibility and ultimately a predatory arrangement, no matter who the entity is. In contrast, acquiescing to the higher power of the self, or spirit, is a decision rooted in consciousness, a decision based upon the resonance the ego feels in its encounter with spirit. This is not an evasion of responsibility but an acceptance of the appropriate ego position in relation to spirit. In simple terms, this is the ego assuming its proper role in alignment with the total personality versus going off on its own agenda or turning its life over to the control of another.

With these prerequisites in place we are ready to journey deeper into self and beyond, in interactions with infinity.

If you wish to correspond, please feel free to post a comment below.

Until we meet again,

* Paraphrased from Carlos Castaneda’s Magical Passes, page 91.

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