Woke up at midnight to a powerful headache. So begins the internal dialogue: “You didn’t take care of yourself. You brought this on. You won’t be able to sleep well. Tomorrow will be compromised. There is no way this headache will go away. Well, maybe if you took some Motrin. Some healer you are. You are powerless to change this pain…”
The impact of this messaging stirs anxiety and fear, and a general belief of defeat and failure, accompanied by a somewhat depressed mood.
The net effect of this internal dialogue is to securely embody a definition of self as flawed, limited, and of low value. To stalk such an experience is to add an impartial observer alongside this internal dialogue, with the intent to separate itself from these negative wrappings, and unleash the fullness of possibilities.
From this impartial place of awareness, the observer suspends judgment, awaiting other possibilities. Suddenly, a vague memory appears with some certain knowledge: “You can relieve your headache through your own agency, through your own intent.”
Immediately, the internal dialogue chips in: “That experience you think you remember was a fluke, maybe it didn’t really even happen. There’s no way you can eliminate your headache short of 1000mg of Motrin. Some healer you are.”
The stalking observer decides to place its full attention upon the details of its prior self-healing experience. Recapitulating that experience, it knows it began by placing full awareness upon the sensation of pain in the exact locale of the head from which it pulsated. From there, the command had been issued to release and relax, deeper and deeper.
The stalker decides to apply this method. The inner dialogue casts its aspersions, but the stalker finds inner silence, by simply placing its full attention upon the sensation, and giving the command to release and relax. No attention is given to the internal dialogue nor any other thought thread. The stalking observer then fully merges with the intent, into a state of being intent.
Within minutes, as relaxation and release deepen, the head becomes completely spacious, as inhaled breath flows freely through its caverns. The headache is completely erased! It never returns. Being intent has operationalized and fully realized its intent.
Don Juan Matus joked with his much younger apprentice, Carlos Castaneda, about how much physically older Carlos appeared than he. Don Juan attributed his youthful vitality to his refusal to uphold physical agreements he had never signed up for.
Socialization shapes and limits what we believe we are capable of physically changing. The body itself is governed by inherited archetypal intents, in the form of subconscious programs. The internal dialogue upholds these ‘facts’ of physical life. These facts are rarely challenged by consciousness.
Yogis, for eons, have demonstrated that full consciousness can be brought to, and take control of, every organ and biological system in the body. Being intent is the active agent of that consciousness. The key is to suspend the judgments of the internal dialogue, leading to inner silence, and then shifting into being intent.
The Sorcerers of Ancient Mexico became such masters of being intent that they turned their prowess into defying death, staying in human form indefinitely. Modern seers, though they appreciate such feats, see them as traps, as all beings must eventually change form through physical death, the destiny intent of the human form.
Nonetheless, being intent certainly opens the door to possibilities in human form, which are well-worth exploring. To be able to erase a full blown headache and slip into deeply rejuvenating sleep is deeply appreciated. It may not always be possible, but my motto, taken from my earliest mentor, Dr. Efren Ramirez, has always been: Anything is possible, until proven otherwise.
May all discover the possibilities of being intent for themselves.
An animal stalks its prey, waiting patiently, instinctively knowing the best moment to strike. Shamans regularly stalk a new identity, when the time has come for them to transform and move on into new life. In this New Era we find ourselves in, we must all stalk a new identity.
To stalk, we must first turn to the ego’s behavior and study its habitual patterns in order to know which to strike to ensure survival in this New Era. Stalking requires pragmatic objectivity to be effective. Belief systems that superimpose their interpretations upon reality miss the mark of what truly is. To stalk is to be a true scientist.
The salient quality of ego is its decision making capability. Though all species may be said to make decisions, only humans have the ability to act contrary to their instinctive programs. Humans, therefore, have functioned as the deliberative brain of planet Earth, altering instinctive programs at will. As a result, Planet Earth has entered into a period of revolt; in striking out the ruling human ego she stalks her own new identity.
We watch, every day, as Planet Earth continues her drastic transformation; evident currently in the fires of Australia, earthquakes in Puerto Rico, volcano in the Philippines, and tornadoes and early summer in different parts of mainland America.
If we stalk the governing ego of the world at present, in human form, what is revealed is an inflated sense of self-importance that blatantly denies the reality of climate change, and is focused on the total exploitation of the Earth, for the material gain of itself. This ego stance is intent upon completely imposing its will upon the Earth, positioning itself as the master of all of nature.
How can such a ruling attitude adapt to the multitude of changes happening daily before our eyes? At best, we might call it a valiant attempt to hold onto the dominating feature of the old era, in what we might characterize as, “ego’s last stand.” But, like buildings being toppled by earthquakes, this exaggerated attitude will, of necessity, collapse amidst the growing imperative of Earth’s transformation.
Ego, as the active side of decision making, is critical to survival in this New Era. However, ego must align itself with the true needs of the self, and the planet. This requires a perspective that considers the interdependent relationship of all things, what could be called the energetic oneness of everything.
The byproduct of this oneness, the glue that holds it all together, is love. Thus, for ego to align itself lovingly with the interconnected oneness of everything would be the correct attitude to stalk, as we inevitably go with the flow of the changes of this New Era.
Our New Era is replete with violation. Violation is the catalyst that opens the portal to new worlds. Trauma survivors and shamans alike know the transporting effect of violation ushering in unknown worlds.
What was once the restricted province of shamans and unwitting victims is now the everyday reality for the entire human race: violation and entry into new worlds of possibility. Blame for violation, at this stage, cannot contain the deeper truth, that we are all part of a collective shamanic journey now, our evolutionary destiny. We are not victims but adventurers forging a new path in a New Era.
Clearly, it is nature herself leading the charge of violation in this New Era, as Planet Earth reshapes herself. Current human ego decision making, at the highest levels, reflects nature’s ruthlessness. But here the analogy ends. Ruthlessness rooted in narcissistic injury is isolated and immature. Only ego, in the service of the greater good, can safely navigate this New Era we are in. Only ego in alignment with what is truly right for all can lead us safely forward.
As individuals, we are being asked to stalk our personal ego’s attitudes, decisions, and actions to determine their true intent. Is my ego aligned with interconnected reality and the greater good? On the local level of everyday life, in the body, is my ego in alignment with the true needs of the self? Does my ego cater to the special interest groups within the self that demand habits that undermine the health of the self?
The New Era we have entered requires a consensus reality to fortify its stability. That consensus reality is built upon a mass of individuals upholding a heart-centered loving foundation for ego to act from. This begins with stalking the ego in one’s everyday life, and striking from its repertoire self-centered thoughts, decisions, and behaviors.
The cumulative effect of a mass collective intent, lovingly bent upon the greater good, will be to arrive at the right attitude with which to live and lead this deeply reconfigured Planet Earth of the New Era. Make your own worthy contribution by first and foremost stalking your own ego, lovingly.
It’s a calm, dark early morning, the sun’s light completely obscured by dense clouds. The rain will arrive soon. Jan and I are reading the Visions seminars, March 2, 1932, as Jung discusses sealing up the projection-making factor of the psyche, the animus for women, the anima for men.
Having just completed the final touches on my previous blog, The Heart of Habit, Jung’s discussion clearly points to the next level of methodology to achieve self-knowledge, the step beyond avidya, the repetitive pattern of habit. Jung points to the science of alchemy, where the animus or anima is sealed tightly into a cauldron or retort, its energy and influence separated from actual reality, whereby freeing us to see the true nature of things devoid of the filters of opinions and moods that the projective-making factor normally shrouds the objective world with.
Jungs allusion here to alchemy actually mirrors psychotherapy, where the patient learns to not be controlled by the opinions and moods that generally overtake conscious perception and action. In therapy, the ego learns to differentiate itself from these automatic reactions and in that restraining process ultimately achieves release from the hold these deeper anima and animus entities generally exert upon daily life.
As Jan and I ponder the pragmatics of this transformative process, we suddenly notice a hunched up raccoon scamper across our yard and then climb up a pine tree. This is startling because although many animals find their way to our little sanctuary this is the first sighting of a raccoon on the grounds. Of course, we immediately seek the meaning of this synchronicity. What is the relationship between the alchemical retort holding the energized projection-making character in the psyche and the raccoon? Could the behavior of the raccoon be nature’s practical guide to this transformation?
The most striking feature of a raccoon is its mask. When we put on a mask we create secrecy, we hide a part of ourselves from public view and in turn we stalk a different personality. The Shamans of Ancient Mexico considered the art of stalking, the ability to fully embody another personality, a critical exercise in fluidity, a necessary skill to achieve freedom in the ever-changing worlds of infinity. In addition, when we outwardly live the mask we wear, we completely seal the container of the projective-making factor within our personality; we remove if from active influence over our lives.
This sealed alchemical retort, containing a powerful energetic part of ourselves, is then allowed its own transformative milieu within the sensory deprivation container of the self. Deprived of outside involvement and influence it loses its compulsive outwardly-directed fixation and crystalizes into a character that can take us deeper into the inner recesses of our being directly, as opposed to its former function of projecting those inner contents onto the outer world and drawing us into compulsive outwardly-seeking behaviors. This opens the door to direct inner relationship with the unconscious, largely removing its obscured projections from being acted upon in the outside world.
The key to raccoon’s success is its secrecy. The key to release from compulsion via raccoon medicine is to bottle up the compulsion and keep it completely secret from the rest of the self. The outer mask we then stalk life with completely avoids any contact with thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to the desired object. They are not indulged in in any way, as all attention and energy is focused on stalking another being, another way of being.
Eventually—and raccoon medicine requires a lengthy time period of at least 5 months—the energetics of the compulsion in the sealed retort will begin to crystalize into an inner guide, an inner helper that will take one to the deeper riches within the self.
Thank you, “Rocky Raccoon” for imparting the wisdom of your medicine for those ready for the inner secrecy and outer mask of transformation and self-knowledge.
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.
First, a shout out to a magical being who proposed that the “Raw Deal” be a blog topic, as a personal shift to a “New Deal” takes place. Thank you. You know who you are.
Roosevelt’s New Deal was a radical shift for America, one intended to shift the nation beyond entrenched victimhood into independence. This victim can be subtle and wily, as it can sneak in and bind our energy and take over our view through the character that I call “the Grudge.”
The Grudge is the repository of our accumulated resentments and entitlements, frustrated and fermenting in our chained bodies and spirits. The Grudge casts a negative, gray hue over our moods, thoughts, and interactions with the world. The Grudge gnaws on the raw deal of unmet needs such as betrayal, neglect, and abuse. The Grudge may dominate inwardly in powerlessness, isolation, and depression, or outwardly in open hostility and critical judgment, or both inwardly and outwardly simultaneously.
The Grudge is actually the warehouse for recapitulation. In recapitulation we sift through our accumulated grudge inventories and systematically free our energy for redeployment in a New Deal, beyond the confines of the Raw Deal.
Stalking, in the shamanic world, is learning how to live in any given world. In stalking the Raw Deal, we observe how our attitudes, behaviors and habits construct and uphold what we perceive as an unfair world, at least as we personally experience it. As we stalk the Raw Deal world we live in, we observe ourselves boxed into the corner by fate, circumstance, and choice—beings with clipped wings.
In recapitulation, we identify the building blocks of our raw deal world and follow through to their derivative roots. We discover, through recapitulation, the truths of our victimization; the deep-seated wounds to our innocence that have so restricted our joy and fulfillment. These wounds must be observed and fully felt. Equally, our response to those woundings—our defensive strategies to hide and protect our innocence—must be acknowledged and accepted. Herein lies the heart of the Grudge: the repository of unlived innocence.
The task at hand is to free our lost innocence from the protective hands of the Grudge, free it to come into mainstream life. Often the Grudge will hold on tightly, arguing that it is the job of the world, or those who failed innocence, to acknowledge their mistakes and compensate for lost time, lost life.
Though the Grudge often rightly points to those responsible for the Raw Deal to begin with—those beyond the self—the chance of outer compensation is fairly slim. Fortunately, the adult self that stalks the Raw Deal and elects to undertake a thorough recapitulation, is fully capable of freeing the Grudge, freeing the captive innocent self. Thus empowered, this adult self is then free to live out that innocence to fulfillment in this life. This is the adult self assuming full responsibility for its journey, its life, and whatever challenges infinity might have placed or continues to place before it. This is stalking the New Deal, a victimless life, fully freed from the protective custody of the Grudge, with energy redeployed for truly living.