Category Archives: Esoterica and Spirituality

Reflections on Ayahuasca, Psychedelics, Marijuana and a critical look at the Psychedelic Movement

In December of 2013 I visited the Peruvian jungle. Spending time away from modern civilization deep in the rainforest has been healing and beautiful on one hand but also eye-opening and disturbing on the other hand. It’s the fourth time I’ve been to Peru. The last time was in 2007. What I saw is that the ponerization of the world has reached even the most remote corners where the virus of “modern progress” has also infected that part of the world. Many people have this romantic view of exotic places like the Amazon and the natives who live there. The issue is not only the pathology of the modern world with its globalization, greed and capitalism, but that many natives themselves actually want that life style in so many ways. It’s a bit ironic, some of us are trying to escape the modern world and the people living in what we see as “paradise” yearn for what we are trying to get away from. But it’s a clash and doesn’t fit.

It’s not black and white and there is much we can learn from these cultures and their traditions. I’ve certainly learned a lot and the insights I gained from working with ayahuasca, the “grandmother”, have been revealing and healing in many ways, but we need to get over this romanticizing. I see this a lot here as well in the yoga community with people drawn to eastern practices and philosophies which also have become very distorted over time, romanticizing India and that whole guru culture. So many people don’t question any of that.

Luckily we were prepared with right intentions and lots of self-work under our belt already, working with an experienced curandero who lives deep in the jungle with his family. We traveled for 8 hours on a banana boat south of Pucallpa on the Rio Ucayali to get to the village. Thanks to my long-time Peruvian friend who came with us and who is very discerning and careful who to work with based on his own experiences this trip was very well planned. However, the fact that ayahuasca has become so popular over the years with thousands of people traveling to Peru to have “the experience” it has taken a toll on the culture and the people living there. We saw that as well. Ayahuasca tourism has risen exponentially and along with it many pseudo shamans who have become greedy for the almighty dollar.

Our curandero Pancho with his wife and daughter

Our curandero Pancho with his wife and daughter

There are even more disturbing things happening, some of it relating to sorcery and “wars” between curanderos who are greedy and envious. All of this is well-known in the jungle and ayahuasca has been used for black magic for a long time. Our curandero told us how ayahuasca is being used by some “shamans” for mind control to have power over others by making them ill and psychotic. Even when we were there he was under a psychic attack from a curandero of a neighboring village (about 20 miles away) who was envious of him because of his success as a shamanic healer with many people seeking him out. He was able to fight it off with the help of another shaman during one of the ceremonies. It’s like hyperdimensional warfare. Luckily we weren’t subjected to these attack and he held a safe space for us during the sessions. In the modern world ayahuasca is mostly being seen as this beautiful spiritual magic drink that, other than some purging and emotional/physical discomfort, has only positive effects. This is far from true. There have been cases of sexual abuse and people have died during ceremonies as well.

Not only in Peru, but here in the west coast it has become a lucrative “business”. I know of some “shamans” who charge $250 per person with 50-70 people in a ceremony….(you do the math)… without ever having gone through the long and tedious training and initiation to become an ayahuascero. Ayahuasca has become more and more popular. Nowadays you can even order it on amazon (virtual “amazon”). 12 years ago I remember hardly anyone who knew about it, Now I get invitations to participate in ceremonies on a regular basis, right here in Topanga……but I never accepted one….something doesn’t feel right about it with too many red flags and Jolane Abrams lays it out really well what is off in her talk below. Unfortunately there are many people who desperately want to try this brew because of the hype, so their critical thinking goes out the window along with their intuition and the projections and expectations kick in and then the curanderos are looked at like gurus, being put on a pedestal with all the transference issues that come along with that. Some shamans take advantage of this naiveté. Similar to the Indian Guru pathology and the abuses based on that. Same story different culture.

Jolane Abrams is giving a powerful presentation of the shadow side of ayahuasca tourism:

I don’t have the romanticism anymore as I had when I first went there eight years ago. Much of what Jolane said I can see down there now and it’s not a pretty picture. It’s gotten worse over the years. However, I don’t want to throw out the baby with the bath water. There is much beauty down there with amazing healers who live in the jungle or the Andes with incredible knowledge. We experienced an amazing time with healing and insightful ceremonies in a small intimate setting. But it’s not easy work by far and certainly not for everyone. It’s also not a magic drink, as Joane said, and the work never stops, with or without ayahuasca. It’s just another tool and like any tool it can be used for good or to harm and most harm happens mostly out of ignorance and wishful thinking.

My personal experience with psychedelics in general (I have worked with ayahuasca, san pedro, psilocybin mushrooms, DMT) is two-fold. On one hand they have provided incredible insight into myself and reality, but on the other hand it has also been very confusing and disturbing at times. My introduction to psychedelics happened with psilocybin mushrooms in 1996 which I used for a number of years in my mid twenties on the path of self-exploration and healing. These experiences have also led me to bodywork, yoga and qi gong, which I’ve been practicing ever since. However, many young kids use these drugs at parties without any proper preparation or intentions. That’s how I got introduced to them as well, but I stopped taking these substances recreational after a couple of disturbing experiences and then only worked with them on my own or with close friends with the intention of confronting issues within me, not just to “trip out” and enjoy some visual fireworks.

These were also emotional heavy times of confronting the shadow with periods of depression, despair and anger as my shadow was coming to light. Most of it were suppressed emotional states from past experiences, mostly childhood, confronting my shame  and sadness from childhood wounding.

However, looking back, I also didn’t have the context and knowledge to integrate these experiences, especially from a psychological perspective. I stopped doing any psychedelics for many years and focused more on integrating what had come up through deeper self-work, learning about psychology, integrating psychotherapy and using bodywork, yoga, dance, breath work and qi gong to get in touch with my emotional body through these body-mind modalities. Having said that, ayahuasca and other medicine plants can help some people (especially with regards to addiction and trauma) but it is important to combine it with psychotherapeutic work.

Dr. Gabor Maté, author of  “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction” talks about his view of the healing potential of ayahuasca:

At the same time these substances can open up doors in the psyche and suppressed trauma is brought to consciousness which can make things even worse and is too much for the individual to handle. It can be very detrimental for some people. That’s why psychological education and healing should be part of it and many times that alone is often enough without having to take any substance if one is sincere and sticks to the psychological healing process. Healing deep trauma, addiction and childhood wounds, which we ALL have and are dealing with to varying degrees takes its own time and trying to speed it up with psychedelic substances can often times make things worse than better. It’s also symptom of our fast-food and instant gratification culture wanting to be fixed as quickly as possible with the least of effort and work and for many people this is what attracts them to psychedelics and ayahuasca.

Many times using these substances becomes another buffer and avoidance. Looking back at my experiences I had to acknowledge that I was over-estimating myself and lying to myself about my healing process on some level. Just like many other people I got hooked on the “peak experience” and avoided deeper psychotherapeutic and sincere self-work without the use of these substances. This also ties into “spiritual bypassing” as I wrote about in “Spiritual Bypassing, Relationships and the Shadow”.

Marijuana

One of the revealing things the curandero I worked with in the jungle told me after the second ayahuasca ceremony is that I have an energy block/cyst in the area of my solar plexus due to residue of long-time marijuana use. He mentioned it’s related to something long time ago that is still stuck. In my twenties I certainly have smoked a lot and it’s interesting that he saw this because in the past years I hardly smoked, even staying off of it completely for a year, but I also have smoked it here and then again as well. He said he worked on it during one of the ceremonies and helped release it and I did felt a shift in me. I had to admit that I was lying to myself about my cannabis use, telling myself that I use it “responsibly” for “medicinal” purposes. For example, I’d smoke a little before doing yoga or getting bodywork since it helped me to get into my body more. But I also felt that I something wasn’t right about it and used it more as a crutch. Also, when I felt depressed or just off I’d smoke at times to elevate my mood. At times it helped me to work through what came up, however, truth to be told, I had more emotional breakthroughs when I stayed with an emotional discomfort instead of buffering it up with marijuana, especially this past year when old childhood wounds came to the surface again.

What the curandero said certainly didn’t come as a surprise but was a much-needed reminder of what I have been thinking about for a while, how marijuana can be abused and has negative consequences, especially to the energy body. With all the focus on the positive aspects of this plant and its healing properties, the other side and how it can be abused and be damaging is hardly addressed. Most research also relates to the physical benefits and that there are supposedly no physical dangers as opposed to alcohol for example. Based on that there is a big focus on legalizing marijuana with all the “pharmacies” popping up, where you just have to pay a little amount to get a “medical marijuana” card and you can buy and smoke all the pot you want “legally”.

I never got a “medical marijuana” card because I knew I’d abuse it even more. And that’s something to think about. Who really uses pot truly medicinal for serious conditions in a conscious manner, as opposed to recreational use and how do we lie to ourselves about it and are actually addicted to it? I think the addictive aspect of cannabis is also ignored in many ways, in particular psychological addiction and how much harm it does to the energy body. There are few studies about the negative side of marijuana, but none of them address these deeper issues from what I’ve seen. Of course “energetic effects” are hard to prove through conventional science.

When does "medicine" become abuse?

When does “medicine” become abuse?

To be clear, I’m all for decriminalization and legalizing marijuana. It’s about personal freedom and choice but this whole idea of “medicinal use” seems a bit convoluted. Most Doctors with a marijuana license basically prescribe cannabis to anyone who wants it. But considering it is supposedly a medicine and “prescription” no one really tells you what, how much and when to use it. You just get a card which is basically a free ticket to the candy store. Help yourself, smoke or eat as much you want whenever you want it. Seems a bit irresponsible to me.

I’m also not throwing out the baby with the bath water. I think the positive aspects of marijuana are well established and proven and we all can cite many cases where this is the case, in our own lives and the lives of others. Many people on facebook post hundreds of articles regarding that. So the baby is well secure and won’t be thrown out.  My intention, however, is to take a critical look at the other side which seems to be so ignored and denied in our personal lives or in the lives of others, how we tend to lie to ourselves about marijuana use.

Seeing some of my friends who are daily post smokers for years and even decades have also shown some red flags, especially energetically. Pot is more potent than ever before which actually has made me smoke it less. I simply couldn’t handle the intensity. I remember 15 years ago or so when I’d smoke a whole joint, got high and was basically sober again after two hours. Nowadays you take two puffs from some Frankenstein OG and it stays with you for hours and hours, basically the whole day (even waking up with a pot hangover) to the point of feeling uncomfortable, at least for me, since I’ve become very sensitive to it. Some people smoke a lot of it since they have built up a tolerance and are more high than sober on a daily basis, not being able to function without it. Extreme pot heads seem to have this energetic bubble that is hard to get through and many of them seem “emotionally retarded”, meaning emotional depth and regulation in a healthy way seems to be missing. I know of some people who have been diagnosed with PTSD and use pot to cope with their illness, claiming that it helps them to function. While it certainly can aid individuals with that condition under certain circumstances, some of them literally smoke it all day, every day, and it shows in their behavior that it is not helping them, but is in fact numbing them in an unhealthy way and keeps them from healing the Trauma.

Another interesting thing the curandero said is about medicinal plants in general. He’s a botanist and works with many different plants in the jungle, not only psychoactive ones. Every plant has a positive and negative side, just like anything and it’s all about context and application. He mentioned that it is important to truly honor the spirit of each plant and their intelligence, using them responsibly, so you are still the “master” and you use it instead of the plant becoming the master and “using you”. He said that there is a “reversal” in the modern world regarding marijuana and that this plant has negative effects on many people, resulting in all kinds of energy attachments and blockages. What he has seen in me he also saw in many other “gringos” who came to work with him. He said that medicine is not food and should never be used recreationally which makes sense and should be common sense, but somehow we have forgotten this, especially with marijuana.

Crowd_Of_People_Smoking_Cannabis

There are many articles about the benefits of marijuana and it’s good to look at that and bring it to awareness, but I virtually have not seen much from marijuana proponents who looks at the shadow side of this plant in a more objective manner. This also relates to other medicine plants and psychedelics in general where there is so much focus on the positive sides and how it has helped people (which is important to point out), but there are many cases where these drugs have done a lot of harm. There seems a lot of romanticizing going on about these plants. It’s somewhat understandable because many of them are illegal in most countries for reasons that are ridiculous, so everyone is focused on the positive aspects to help the decriminalization process. But that can also create a tunnel vision of wishful thinking and distortion regarding some other issues.

The tricky thing is that the harm is for the most part not a physical symptom, but an energetic one. One can damage the energy body with psychedelics, taking on all kinds of spirit attachments that can always leach on to anybody who force-opens one’s consciousness to the higher realms. Same goes for smoking pot. It opens up the energy body which can result in raptures in one’s aura that can be detrimental in the long run.

Dr. William J. Baldwin wrote about “spirit attachments” in his seminal work “Spirit Releasement Therapy”:

 “The condition of spirit possession, (that is, full or partial takeover of a living human by a discarnate being) has been recognized or at least theorized in every era and every culture. In 90% of societies worldwide there are records of possession-like phenomena. Extensive contemporary clinical evidence suggests that discarnate beings, the spirits of deceased humans, can influence living people by forming a physical or mental connection or attachment, and subsequently imposing detrimental physical and/or emotional conditions and symptoms. This condition has been called the “possession state,” “possession disorder,” “spirit possession,” or “spirit attachment”.

Earthbound spirits, the surviving consciousness of deceased humans, are the most prevalent possessing, obsessing or attaching entities to be found. The disembodied consciousness seems to attach itself and merge fully or partially with the subconscious mind of a living person, exerting some degree of influence on thought processes, emotions, behavior and the physical body. The entity becomes a parasite in the mind of the host.[...]

Severe stress may cause susceptibility to the influence of an intrusive spirit. Altering the consciousness with alcohol or drugs, especially the hallucinogens, loosens one’s external ego boundaries and opens the subconscious mind to infestation by discarnate beings.[...]

Spirit attachment does not require the permission of the host. This seems to be a violation of free will. It also appears to refute the popular notion that each person is totally responsible for creating his or her reality and that there are no victims. The apparent conflict here stems from the definitions of permission and free will choice. Ignorance and denial of the possibility of spirit interference is no defense against spirit attachment. Belief or lack of belief regarding the existence of intrusive entities has no bearing on the reality of these beings and their behavior.

In denial and ignorance, most people do not refuse permission to these nonphysical intruders. Individual sovereign beings have the right to deny any violation or intrusion by another being. With limited, if any, knowledge and distorted perceptions of the nature of the spirit world, the nonphysical reality, many people leave themselves open and create their own vulnerability as part of creating their own reality. It is fashionable today among many “new Age” enthusiasts to attempt to channel some higher power, a spirit teacher or master who will use the voice mechanism of any willing person to speak “words of wisdom”. Some use the terminology “for my highest good” when calling for a spirit to channel through. This activity constitutes permission and welcome for a discarnate spirit. The identifiers such as “master” and “teacher” and qualifiers such as “for my highest good” will be claimed by the entities as personally valid identifications, qualities or attributes.

 …The host is usually unaware of the presence of attached spirits. The thoughts, desires and behaviors of an attached entity are experienced as the person’s own thoughts, desires and behaviors. The thoughts, feelings, habits and desires do not seem foreign if they have been present for a long time, even from childhood. This is a major factor in the widespread denial of the concept and lack of acceptance of the phenomena of discarnate interference and spirit attachment, obsession or possession. The symptoms of spirit attachment can be very subtle. An attached spirit may be present without producing any noticeable symptoms.[...]

A living person can have dozens, even hundreds of attached spirits, as they occupy no physical space. They can attach to the aura or float within the aura outside the body. If any part of the body of the host has a physical weakness the earthbound can attach to that area because of a corresponding weakness or injury to the physical body of the spirit prior to death. A spirit can lodge in any of the chakras of the host, drawn by the particular energy of the chakra or by the physical structures of that level of the body.

Many areas of a person’s life can be influenced by one or more attached entities. In short, spirit attachment can interfere with any aspect of the life of the unsuspecting host.”

The curanderos and shamans who work responsibly with these plants know all about that. They are also aware of the hyperdimensional aspect of reality with all kinds of non-physical entities and “critters” that just “look” for an opening to feed off of us. There are many dangers – energetically, psychically and esoterically – when forcing oneself to enter a higher state of consciousness through these drugs. The trap is that many people look for “peak experiences” without doing the proper grounded work to prepare the body-mind for it with spiritual practices and sincere self-work, including psychotherapy. If you take these drugs and have not done the necessary deeper self-work to raise your being without any substances, it’s like shooting 1000 Volts through a cable that can only take 10 Volts. You’re gonna damage it and may take on spirit attachments.

Jonathan Zap wrote about the danger of using mind expanding drugs in party settings in his article “Alex Grey and the Mind Parasites”:

“Socially dense environments of strangers and substances mixing together are likely to default to lowest-common-denominator factors of social parasitism/sexual predation/chaotic acting out of fragmented personalities-what I sometimes call a carnival of lost souls. Everything depends on who are the particular people in a group that is having a boundary-dissolving experience or ritual. Naïve people frequently forget this. Such people think the ritual is what matters and take all comers, but this can be a disaster! Generally, I think it unwise to have boundary- dissolving experiences (such as sex and/or hallucinogenic trips) with people you don’t know and wouldn’t trust with your life, because you are trusting your life with them.[...]

I caution people about doing things such as going to a rave with a sketchy vibe redolent of prowling sexual agendas (in other words, almost any rave) and opening themselves to the toxic energy by taking a boundary-dissolving substance. Unless you want to internalize a carnival of lost souls it is probably unwise to blow yourself wide open in an setting of trance-inducing music/lighting and stoned people, many of them on the prowl for parasitic sexual encounters.”

It reminds me what William Chittick, translator of the works of the great Sufi Shaykh, Ibn al-’Arabi, wrote:

“Nowadays most people interested in the spirituality of the East desire the “experience,” though they may call what they are after intimate communion with God. Those familiar with the standards and norms of spiritual experience set down by disciplined paths like Sufism are usually appalled at the way Westerners seize upon any apparition from the domain outside of normal consciousness as a manifestation of the “spiritual.” In fact, there are innumerable realms in the unseen world, some of them far more dangerous than the worst jungles of the visible world. [Al-Arabi himself said]:
So preserve yourselves, my brothers, from the calamities of this place, for distinguishing it is extremely difficult! Souls find it sweet, and then within it they are duped, since they become completely enamored of it.”

Visionary artist Alex Grey also hinted at the “topic of all topics” and hyperdimensional control system based on some experiences he had on LSD:

“At one point I did feel that this entire thing has been orchestrated by these beings, that our coming together was not an accident… When we feel influenced to do certain things, or intuitively guided to do certain things – many times we may seek guidance from a higher realm - In the same way one can be vulnerable to the influence from beings from a lower realm.

I remember one time being on one of the most harrowing LSD adventures I ever had. I felt like I was a flapper in the wheel of fortune and every realm of being and dimension was one of these slots that the little flapper was open to. And in one such dimension that was flying by I saw this really strange insect-like creature lunge out at me. After I came back from this trip, and for days afterward, I was really feeling out of sorts and very energetically drained. And I realized that this thing had jumped out and was probably still embedded in my aura. So I did a whole cleansing to draw all the energy back into the heart and then expand it out from the heart to banish this being.”

Interestingly, while the curandero cautioned me to smoke marijuana, he highly recommended that I should smoke more tobacco. He said it helps the healing process and serves as a protection from psychic attacks from hyperdimensional forces. He knew very well that humanity is not on top of the food chain. Of course he was talking about pure natural tobacco, not commercial cigarettes with all the chemicals and additives. Native Americans have used tobacco for thousands of years as medicine and for protection without any cases of cancer relating to it. The over-the-top anti-smoking propaganda in the modern world is a topic on its own. However, most people don’t question any of that. There may be a complete different reason to discourage people from smoking tobacco through fear and guilt tactics and corrupted science that has nothing to do with “caring for our health”, especially in light of the “topic of all topics”. Most people fall into the fallacy believing that “smoking causes cancer”. Nope, question is WHAT is one smoking? Pure organic additive free tobacco or commercial cigarettes, for example? A careful study of this topic shows that the whole anti-smoking campaign is indeed based on lies, propaganda and corrupted science. It’s also interesting to see how marijuana is being promoted as completely harmless for the most part and tobacco is more and more demonized. What is really going on?

COINTELPRO and the Psychedelic Movement

This is another big topic most people are not aware of. Various researchers have uncovered how certain CIA operations (such as MK Ultra) have supplied the youth with LSD and other mind expanding drugs in the 60′s to vector people away from the rising anti-war movement for the purpose of creating a “controlled opposition”. Some people are aware that the CIA has used LSD for mind control experiments and believe that it back-fired for the powers that be, resulting in the psychedelic revolution led by Timothy Leary and the Pranksters around Ken Kesey. Later on the torch was taken over, so to speak, by Terence McKenna and nowadays there is “psychedelic guru” Daniel Pinchbeck and others promoting the use of psychedelics. However, more data has surfaced in the last couple of years that shows a different picture of what actually happened and is still going on nowadays. This ties into COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Programs).

These discoveries have triggered many people in the psychedelic movement as well as Burning Man community and the relating counter/sub culture. I have come to similar conclusions in my own research, showing that the psychedelic movement and hippie movement has indeed been created for the purpose of mind control, vectoring people away from truth and it still carries over into today’s “counter-culture” and New Age Movement. Some of it I already shared in my article “2012 – Collective Awakening or The End of the World“. A lot of people have emotional attachments to their “heroes” such as Timothy Leary, Gordon Wasson, Albert Hoffman, and Terence McKenna and so most the research is rejected without looking at it in more depth, resulting in cognitive dissonance. Considering my personal experiences with some of the key figureheads in the Burning Man/psychedelic/subculture movement which exposed their lack of critical thinking and also resulted in vile personal attacks against me, it actually proves that COINTELPRO is still well and alive. However, as mentioned in previous articles, not everyone is a conscious COINTELPRO agent. Good disinformation is truth mixed with lies and so many impressionable people who are not discerning can become “useful idiots” and patsies for COINTELPRO.

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Timothy Leary – COINTELPRO agent or “useful idiot”?

I have been duped by it as well many years ago when I was infatuated with McKenna’s work and what I thought I had experienced on psychedelics. Looking back I have to admit how I was overly emotionally driven, lacking critical thinking, buying into much New Age and pop-spirituality nonsense and also projected all kinds of illusions into my psychedelic experiences based on wishful thinking. These substances, while they do have the potential to aid in psychological healing as mentioned before, can be very harmful and misleading. Little did I know back then and I’m glad that didn’t get fully “enamored of it”. Knowing what I know now I certainly wouldn’t have done much of the things I did back them. But hindsight is 20/20 and all there is are lessons. The devil appears at times as angles of light indeed. I also had to work through my own cognitive dissonance regarding this topic and work through my bias, emotional attachment and wishful thinking.

Jan Irvin has revealed how the psychedelic revolution was launched by the CFR, CIA and the elite, and how R. Gordon Wasson, the so-called discoverer of magic mushrooms, and the founder of the field of ethnomycology, was himself a government asset, a friend of Edward Bernays – the father of propaganda, and is one of the key figures for launching one of the largest mind control operations in history. Irvin writes in R. Gordon Wasson: The Man, the Legend, the Myth -  Beginning a New History of Magic Mushrooms, Ethnomycology, and the Psychedelic Revolution:

“There are several reasons why the psychedelic movement may have been launched, including attempts to distract people from government policy failure; extracting information from people under the influence, such as with MK‐ULTRA; making money from the drugs through the pharmaceutical industry; and even pacifying people with a Huxleyan‐like soma or with positivist spirituality so that they could be more easily controlled.

In “Manufacturing the Deadhead: A product of social engineering…” Jan Irvin and Joe Atwill write:

“[...]All of this leaves us asking… Was the field of ethnomycology founded not, necessarily, to study the myths and legends of cultures that utilized these substances, but rather to study how they used them for control – the noble lie? Was it also founded to promote this neo-feudalist, archaic revival? Were MK-ULTRA Subproject 58, the psychedelic revolution, and the Deadhead an expression of that control? Are these systems of control being continued today through the rave culture and “Burning Man”?

So it appears.

Just as the ancient Greek hierophants created the mysteries of Eleusis, just as Emperor Titus created the story of Jesus and Christianity, just as the Levitical priests created Judaism and the “chosen” ideology; today the elites have spun a new religion, the New Dark Age, a.k.a. the Archaic Revival –and they call this reverse direction into history “evolution.” Wasson, McKenna, Leary, and Hoffman are but the hierophants of this New Dark Age, and its new mystery religion, which is nothing but mind control in disguise.

Though it seems incredible, Esalen, and Huxley, McKenna, Bernays, Wasson and Dulles appear to have been part of a secret agenda within the U.S. government that intends to usher in a post-modernist, neo-feudalism Dark Age and slavery in America. What makes this particularly difficult to believe is the unanswered question of the organization’s motivation. What would motivate such a group? Racism? Classism? Religious fervor? Power? All of the above? And how would it be able to maintain such secrecy, involving certainly hundreds, if not thousands of individuals over such a long time?

One thing is clear. Whatever is the basis for this organization, it resides within identifiable secret societies. The number of individuals that can be demonstrated to have taken part in creating the Deadhead who are also members of Skull and Bones, the Century Club and the Bohemian Club is simply too large to have been circumstantial. Moreover, Dr. Colin Ross has shown that high level Freemasonry was responsible for funding the original LSD research and this group should also be inspected closely.

We appeal to scholars and to the public to help us find the truth behind MK-ULTRA and the creation of the Deadhead and the post-modernist, neo-feudalism movement.

The authors are not looking to bring anyone out of one cave and into yet another, but to free humanity from this insanity. And only the truth is capable of that. Esalen, Aldous Huxley, Gordon Wasson, Timothy Leary, Terence McKenna, and the peddlers of this agenda: The spell is now undone and the true secrets of Eleusis, of the CIA and the psychedelic revolution, are now revealed for the entire world to see. [...]“

Referring to Irvin’s and Atwill’s work, Jay writes in Masculine Wisdom/Feminine Matter: the Drug-Fractured Psyche:

“[...]From my own observations and research concerning those who have had intense hallucinogenic drug experiences, definite patterns emerge. One of the most prominent patterns is the sense of the psyche being fragmented, disintegrating and becoming “one” with the all. The hallucinogen causes a kind of inner journey which shamans of primitive religions have embarked upon for millennia, but the result tends towards the same conclusion: monism. Yet oddly the philosophical monism adopted invariably leads many of the drugged to feel that their own psyche has fractured, divided, or split.

The so-called “revelations” most experience on the drug trips end up being very monotonous. It rarely occurs to the drugged that their narcissistic “insights” are one and the same as ancient pagan and eastern religions. Reality is thus viewed as an “illusion,” a “trick,” a product of their own mind (solipsism), and who they were/are as a person was annihilated or dismembered. The drug trip thus tends to result in the unwitting conversion of the drugged to some form of pantheism or animism. BBC reporter Bruce Parry, for example, logged several hallucinogenic rites and journeys that brought him to similar conclusions. Modern man’s lack of spiritual connection has allowed the return of ancient shamanism and paganism to reemerge with the 60s revolution. Unfortunately, the 60′s culture “revolution” was something engineered by elites in the pharmaceutical, banking and intelligence communities. Researchers Joe Atwill and Jan Irvin have done excellent work in demonstrating that claim here. The social engineering of revolution was in harmony with the Marxist plan of Theodore Adorno to, along with drugs, promote this very depersonalization and fragmentation through pop music.
[...]
The entire west and modernity in general has experienced a fracturing of the psyche and the forces of chaos and disintegration have taken the ascendant. Ancient societies, as Schneider notes in the interview below, were holistic and integrated. In nature, the part mirrors the whole. When societies model nature, harmony and progress truly take place. When human psyches and social orders give way to fracturing, they collapse, lacking the masculine order of form, instead being ruled by chaotic, uncontrolled forces of base nature. Powerful entities are aware of these ideas and have attempted to re-engineer the entire social order around a philosophy of materialistic techno utopia. Until we cease the mass drugging and shamanic trance the public have been placed under, and come to reject the complete inversion of all order and hierarchy through true philosophy and wisdom will we see things truly progress and experience freedom. Otherwise, equalitarianism and feminism are inverted philosophies that fragment and depersonalize.

Here are some other eye-opening excerpts from researchers relating to COINTELPRO, the corruption of the “Human Potential Movement” and the creation/infiltration of the Hippie, Psychedelic and New Age Movement:

“[...]Aldous Huxley also made an early connection between the effects experienced by those partaking of psychedelic drugs and the experiences of Eastern Mysticism and this set the consciousness-raising bomb off with a BANG! Along came Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert AKA Baba Ram Dass with their LSD and other modes of mind marvels, leading the parade of those who were “turned on, tuned in.” Abraham Maslow became a father figure to the new “wave” of those desiring to fill the gaping hole of their reality with “peak experiences.” Maslow cited psychedelic drugs as one of the means in which even ordinary people could have a little of what the Eastern Mystics worked many years to develop. Now, it could be had for a weekend seminar at Big Sur, or a study by mail course at only $29.95 per lesson! What a deal!

Peak Experiences…experience, experience, and experience…became the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow of the 1960’s. No one needed to live in Existential Despair any longer! Everyone could become a “spiritual voyager” and achieve extended periods in realms of consciousness they had only heard about in veiled, mysterious allusions down through the ages. Encounter groups, radical therapies, old and new combinations of theories and practice came rolling off the conveyor belt of techno-spirituality. The intangibles of spirit had been harnessed! Anyone could evoke some desirable experience by manipulating awareness at the basic physical and psychological levels. Never mind that all of this bypassed the vital processes of reason and conscious decision-making. By its very nature, the whole techno-spiritual machine operated completely without critical thinking; it tapped the bottomless pit of feeling-emotion…primal being. Never mind that much of this emotion was negative, confusing, anxious and fearful! Let’s just get it all out here in the open and have a party with it!

Each of the many techniques developed during this time was fully capable of producing an emotional high of one sort or another. There were endless “peak experiences,” and dramatic “personal breakthroughs.” The mixtures of Zen, yoga, meditation, and drugs along with strict mechanical technology, were a veritable adventure in awareness! The only problem was: in the midst of all this peaking, mind-blowing, turning on and tuning in, ecstasy and encountering, many people encountered things that, perhaps, ought not have been awakened. Boundaries were breached into unseeable and terrifying realms of consciousness.[...]

By the end of the decade of the 60’s, the “human potential” movement had become a veritable potpourri of religion, science, mysticism, magick and “the occult.” The drug use got out of hand, the “techniques” began to show serious flaws with a number of tragedies resulting in crime or madness, and the whole idea of human beings becoming “psychic supermen” hit the skids. The promise of the 60’s decayed into an aimless lethargy…old hippies living in communes, braiding their gray locks and lusting after the sweet young teeny boppers while they fired up another bong and reminisced about the “good old days” at Esalen.

But wait! Something else happened here! Remember, this is America! The home of the Free…Market that is. Many people suggest that the subsequent proliferation of the “New Age” consciousness raising movement was the result of big business seeing a pile of money to be made in the development of slick, newly packaged psychoanalysis and psychodrama. There was, indeed, mass distribution and Madison Avenue marketing of things like Mind Dynamics, Arica, Silva Mind Control, Transcendental Meditation, and on and on. Individual entrepreneurs knew a good thing when they saw it. However, there is more to this than meets the eye. This is important to our subject, so bear with me. [...]“

- from  Aliens and Cosmic COINTELPRO by Laura Knight-Jadczyk

“Hippies came out of no where and sort of co opted it, I think it was quite deliberate…they wanted to give the anti-war movement a face that would be completely unacceptable to mainstream America…I mean everything about them was offensive to mainstream America, to middle America, the hairstyles, the clothing styles, the open drug use, the music, everything about them was designed to repel mainstream America and prevent the anti-war movement from gaining any additional speed by putting this face on it…I think the whole hippy flower child thing was a creation of the Intelligence community to take the steam out of the anti-war movements and various other movements….The battle cry of the hippy movement was turn on, tune in, drop out…telling people don’t worry about it, get high.

- from Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon: Laurel Canyon, Covert Ops & the Dark Heart of the Hippy Dream by Dave McGowan

Burning Man

Burning Man

We can see the same thread in many “conscious movements” these days. It’s as if history is repeating itself with a different appearance, more tech, more potent drugs, new gadgets and hip clothes but the same attitude with even more pseudo New Age “spiritual techniques” to activate your “third eye”, DNA or speed up your “ascension process” and where sexual pathologies are often buffered up as “sexual healing” and “spirituality”. There is the usual “just focus on yourself”, focus on “we are all one” and our “oneness”. Don’t look at the “negative” things happening in the world, but “connect to earth”, meditate on the “Shift” to activate your light body, send love and light to the world and its leaders, etc.. As long as you “feel good” and focus on “love” everything will be ok. Everything is as it is supposed to be, etc. It is proclaimed that there is no objectivity, just your own subjective reality and you create your own reality by your thoughts and what you focus on. But as various ancient esoteric teachings and mystery schools have transmitted , even the “children of light” shall be deceived by false prophets and false teachings. And we see exactly that happening now:

“It is possible to obtain so-called esoteric results that are impure, but they are false and thus transitory. Here we refer to the vast realm of occultism, where the children of this century, more capable than the children of light, seek to apply their abilities beyond the visible world. This occurs in what we call ‘mysticism of phenomena‘.

It is curious to see how much these false prophets, magicians and ‘christs’ impressed themselves on the imagination of the men and even more of the women of the past. It is the same today.

For there is a type of human being who declines all moral responsibility for himself or for those to whom he is in duty bound. One comes across this type quite often, always trying to find someone else to shoulder his responsibilities as long as this someone else possesses some kind of authority, earned or otherwise. These people are open to any form of hypnotic suggestion and practically ask to be hypnotized. They are of good faith, but they search for the ‘marvelous’ because they are too weak or too lazy to undertake esoteric work successfully.

And the ‘wolves’ devour them finding justification in the fact that they are only the ‘scourings of humanity.’ But this is not true; for ‘scourings’ who are converted can become key figures on the esoteric chess-board. Mental apathy and emotional inertia are responsible for tipping man down the slope of least resistance even when armed with the best intentions, especially if he justifies himself for his human frailties by finding them normal, particularly on the sexual plane.“

- Boris Mouravieff, Gnosis

In light of the research presented above (and I encourage the reader to go to the resources and study them in-depth before coming to conclusions or dismissing the information hastily) and looking at the so-called psychedelic and counter-culture movement of today one can see that the intended effect of the agenda has been successful in many ways. What I have observed in many people who are part of said “conscious movements” and relating festival culture (such as Burning Man and Lightening in a Bottle) is that they shy away from looking at the world as it is with a distorted idea of what “positivity” and “negativity” means. Many of them insist that there is no objective reality and truth, but all is subjective, there is only “my” or “your” truth, reflecting the ideology of Solipsism:

“Solipsism is the most dangerous ideology that exists and is the biggest lie ever told. This mind-virus is so prevalent and insidious that it has infected the consciousness of many people. Solipsism is the primary deception manipulators use. They want people to unknowingly accept the tenants of solipsism, even if it is in the back of their minds at a non-conscious level. In its extreme form, one becomes unwilling to accept anything else no matter how much contradictory evidence is brought to one’s attention. Some people are adherents to solipsistic forms of thinking without realizing it.

In general and at its core derivation, solipsism is the notion that one’s own mind is all that really exists. One’s mind and perceptions are equated with truth and reality. The most common worldview that develops from solipsistic-based consciousness can be summarized as “there is no truth”, or “there is no such thing as truth”. This is a manufactured ideology brilliantly placed in the information flow to dissuade people from ever really awakening and embarking on the spiritual journey towards truth. Even if we began the spiritual journey on the path of truth at some point, when we have come to accept solipsism we have halted that journey.

The spiritual journey is about seeking truth. Solipsism is accepting as truth what you perceive, believe, think or feel to be true regardless of whether it is actually true or not. Someone in this modality of consciousness can progress into various ways of being. “The truth isn’t something to be discovered but something to be made up based on my own personal preferences, what I’m comfortable with, whether I like it or not, how I feel about it, or what information I have at a given moment. Nothing exists independently of the individual who is observing. There is no external reality. There is no truth. Whatever I decide is the truth is essentially what I’m going to live my life according to. There is no objective truth out there, only the subjective truth in me. What I believe, is what is true. You become an arbiter of truth. ” They dictate truth from the fantasy of whatever they want to believe to be true. They tell the universe “screw you, I’m god, I decide what truth is, reality doesn’t exist, things don’t actually occur outside of my belief in them, I create reality.”

To be convinced that there is no truth — it is all relative and based on one’s own perception no matter how contrary and oppositional that may be from what ‘is’, reality, truth, Natural Law principles —is a modality of consciousness and conditioning where you are open to have your sense of reality manipulated.

- from “The Concept of the Biggest Lie: Solipsism – The Anti-Truth”

It is very interesting to see how many psychonauts and people who use these substances a lot buy into much distorted spirituality and pop-psychology, engaging in “spiritual bypassing” and do not speak out about the atrocities and injustices in our world. A good example of that was my interaction with Daniel Pinchbeck as I wrote about here, where he attacked me personally, calling me an “anti-Semite”, stating that I have a “psychological disposition” because of my German background for speaking out against Zionism and questioning official history. I’ve received numerous ad hominem attacks from people of the  so-called “counter-culture” and psychedelic movement for simply presenting certain facts and information. The result of cognitive dissonance and one wonders how much the use of psychedelics plays part in that. Clearly just taking “entheogens” does not result automatically in cultural “de-programming” as McKenna claimed, for example. The contrary, most people I know who are big McKenna fans or part of the Burning Man community and counter-culture buy into much disinformation and the lies we have been told and taught. Political awareness is almost non-existent because it’s all just “illusion” anyway, as if turning a blind eye on it will not affect them.

For example, there is a well-known “healer” who works with ayahuasca in my area and is conducting ceremonies throughout the country. He’s also an outspoken Democrat and constantly posts on facebook supporting Obama, buying into the illusion of choice through voting in this two-party set-up.  A “shamanic healer” who not only believes in but supports the political circus side-show that is clearly used for social/cultural control and he even identifies himself with a country and political party? What an oxymoron! It shows that these mind expanding drugs are no “magic pill” that automatically pierce through the cultural conditioning and the lies we believe in.  Their use for so-called  ‘accessing of higher realities’ can distract people easily from what deeper spiritual and esoteric work is about, even giving one the illusion that one has “awoken”.

Anyone who looks into the information presented here sincerely in more depth and unbiased can clearly see the COINTELPRO and Mind Control thread starting in the 60s up until today. Some people dismiss this as “paranoia” or “conspiracy theory” but that view, based on lack of critical thinking, works in favor of certain forces who do not wish humanity to awaken for their own interests. And that is exactly their intention in this Stockholm Syndrome set-up.

“There are a thousand things which prevent a man from awakening, which keep him in the power of his dreams. In order to act consciously with the intention of awakening, it is necessary to know the nature of the forces which keep man in a state of sleep. First of all it must be realized that the sleep in which man exists is not normal but hypnotic sleep. Man is hypnotized and this hypnotic state is continually maintained and strengthened in him. One would think that there are forces for whom it is useful and profitable to keep man in a hypnotic state and prevent him from seeing the truth and understanding his position.”

- G. I. Gurdjieff

I have written about COINTELPRO, the corruption of spirituality and the fallacies of popular “New Age” ideas before. Most of it has been summarized in these two films I made with Humberto Braga. Considering the what has been revealed here about the psychedelic revolution it all fits together quite well:

“What’s next is the manipulation of spiritual values and tendencies. It is no accident that in the last few years we’ve seen a new religious thought. The religion of acquiescence and passivity: trusting in the process; whatever happens is what needs to happen; everyone is right where they need to be; you don’t resist; you acquiesce; to resist is to be negative, is to be fearful, is to be unconscious. A great prescription for convincing the natives to give over the keys to the kingdom, a very good, clever form of manipulation.”

- M.V. Summers

Truth is mixed with lies, so I’m not throwing out the baby with the bath water as I have mentioned before. However, the best way to swallow a lie is to sandwich it between some truth and that is the how COINTELPRO works. Psychedelics and marijuana may help certain people in certain circumstances at one point in their lives, but they can also be detrimental and steer people away from truth and healing. I have seen it in myself. It’s all about context and depends on the individual. However, I certainly do not promote the use of them. In fact, I feel it is better to engage in sincere self-work without any substances and if one is drawn to use them, one should be aware of the dangers, especially from an energetic perspective which seems not to be acknowledged by many people who promote the use of them.

There is still much more to be said about this topic. I hope this article encourages people to be more discerning and that they question the official history of the “psychedelic movement” and how it has been created and infiltrated via COINTELPRO. It would be very naive to simply dismiss it. We need to be aware of our emotional attachment and bias around this topic without falling into black and white thinking. In this day and age it becomes ever more apparent that nothing is as it seems and never has been.

We also need to remember that we all are “screwed up” in our own ways. Everyone is a bit whacky. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes, have our blind spots and lessons to learn. That’s when all our theoretical memorized spiritual and psychological understanding is being put to the test, not when things are going well, but when shit is going down. Everyone has a shadow. And some of us don’t even know how wounded and unconscious we really are, escaping it through drugs, distractions, food, sex, work, partying or even relationships because being alone simply brings up too much. The endless pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain.

As I wrote before, there is a spiritual war going on a physical and nonphysical level and this war is being fought through us. Spiritual evolution is not always a fun ride. The work required to “wake up” is not an easy path by far. There are many traps, distractions and temptations steering us away from ourselves. There are tests and lessons everywhere. But as long as we align ourselves with truth and are sincere in our work, even if we fail at times, screw up and take a step backwards, we are also being supported by the “universe”, guiding us to new opportunities and lessons, connecting us with others who we can learn from and they can learn from us as we help each other and help make this world a better place. But as we all know, truth is a tricky thing, and “aligning ourselves with truth” also entails to face the lies we are telling ourselves about why we do or have done certain things, all along justifying our own blindness.

“The moment of true initiation. It seems that, as the great masters teach us, it is not a moment of “great enlightenment.” It is not someone who comes to “show us reality.” It is not a “seeing all the world as a oneness.” It is seeing the self as a liar and a feeder on others. It is measuring the self with TRUTH. It is seeing that the predator has been feeding on the self, that the self has been feeding on others and propagating the infection on to all those who one claims to love and wish to help.

Initiation is not a glorious inpouring of life and love and tears for the beauty and oneness of the world.

It is sheer terror.

It is a descent into Hell. It is the Shamanic descent into the underworld to do battle with demons. It is the dismemberment of the body, the flaying of the flesh from the bones, and the subsequent rebuilding of the self on a different foundation – a foundation of spiritual verity.

And if I could convey to you that Hell, that sensation, that solitary test in which the soul is weighed, BY THE SELF, finally and completely and seen for what it has truly done, you would see how little truth there is because of all the beliefs of the Matrix that have been inculcated and promulgate and tended so carefully by our emotions and by the deceptions of the predator within who convinces us that we are “good” and “pure” and there is “oneness.”

Indeed, one sees that there is “oneness,” but one sees that the aspect of God that is experienced at this level is the black, sucking, feeding maw of STS (Service to Self). One sees how little true Love is actually manifested at this level of being. One sees that all of our illusions about “goodness” and truth and beauty are LIES. They are masks for more feeding. And that is so horrifying an initiation that few survive. That is “paying everything.”

Now, re-read what Gurdjieff had to say about the matter; how he pointed out that a person has to “pay in advance,” that the key is to accept the idea that one is not what one thinks, that there is a different reality from which our own is projected, and that developing this idea in the realm of pure thought, and then using it as the platform by which one can observe and analyze, is the key to being able to see for a moment, and then again.

One must be able to see the interactions of the Petty Tyrants in our lives, the Predators who prey on us in the Theological Reality. And then, one must be willing to act. It is only after action that the true nature of the Predator reveals itself just as the Vampire reacts with violence to being exposed by the presence of a mirror. Because, it must be kept always in mind that there ARE predators who are predators by choice – even if that choice is made at some level, in some part of themselves that is not available to even their own conscious awareness. They, too, are part of the Matrix, and they wouldn’t be able to play their roles if they were not consciously convinced that they are right, that they are “good,” that they are righteous and long-suffering.”

- Laura Knight-Jadczyk, The Wave 5&6

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On a closing note: Over the past year I have seen more and more people look through much New Age disinformation. More people see also through the ever more apparent corruption of government and institutions. There is also an increasing awareness of the topic of psychopaths in power. Some of it may be related to the fact that 2012 has not brought the collective awakening or “UFO disclosure” many “New Age” influenced people have hoped for and so they were forced to question it all and what they believed around the 2012 hype, well, at least some of them. We still have a long way to go.

Many people have opened up themselves to me over the past years who were and are going through much disillusionment regarding much of what they believed in. Thank you to those for your humility, courage and vulnerability. It gives me hope on so many levels and I have learned from you as well. These are not easy times for any of us. We are literally being “forced” to start looking at the world as it is and confront the lies we’ve been told and we tell ourselves. Also thank you to all the renegades who are not afraid to speak out and challenge people’s beliefs and world views. Renegades who use social media not for their own narcissistic tendencies but share vital information, spreading seeds of awareness to help make this world a better place by making the darkness conscious, even if it’s a thorn in the eye of others who get triggered and disturbed by what you have to say. Don’t ever become silent. Keep speaking out.

“This is the hardest time to live, but it is also the greatest honor to be alive now, and to be allowed to see this time. There is no other time like now. We should be thankful, for creation did not make weak spirits to live during this time. The old ones say ‘this is the time when the strongest spirits will live through and those who are empty shells, those who have lost the connection will not survive.’ We have become masters of survival -we will survive- it is our prophecy to do so.”

- Tiokasin Ghosthorse

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

- from ‘Lord of the Rings’


Love, Reality, and the Time of Transition – Video

This video sheds light into the nature of love, relationships, the “New Age” movement, reality-creation, quantum physics, objectivity vs. subjectivity and how it all relates to the topics of “conspiracy theories”, psychopathy, and the importance of self-work.

Love, Reality, and the Time of Transition has been selected as the #1 film 2011-2012 of the “Top 100 Global Development Movies”.

“The best positive, inspirational, thought-provoking movie of our times.”
- RYB TV

Written, narrated and audio editing by Bernhard Guenther
Visuals and video editing by Humberto Braga

Based on:

- All you need is Love!

- The Positivity of Objectivity and the Time of Transition

- Being the change you want to see in the world

Music:

“All You Need Is Love” – The Beatles
“Symetric Lifes” – H.U.V.A. Network
“We Are Analog” – Hol Baumann
“Oleander (Phutureprimitive Symbiotic Remix)” – Bluetech
“Floating Retention” – Cell
“Terpene” – Carbon Based Lifeforms
“Rain Geometries” – H.U.V.A. Network
“The Garden” – Adham Shaikh
“Orientations, Pt. 2 (Ephemeride 15.43°)” – H.U.V.A. Network
“Longing for Silence” – Asura
“Silent Running” – Carbon Based Lifeforms
“20 minutes” – Carbon Based Lifeforms
“Polyrytmi” – Carbon Based Lifeforms

FAIR USE NOTICE

This video may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes


Spiritual Bypassing, Relationships and the Shadow

“It is understatement in the extreme to say that spiritual deepening is not necessarily a benign, nice, neat, or comfortable process. Initially we may flirt with spiritual opening, doing some meditation practices, reading spiritual or metaphysical literature, trying out different teachers and teachings, perhaps hoping that our spiritual experiences will make us happier or more successful, but when we go — or are compelled to go — beyond spiritual dilettantism and cultism, reaching the point where we don’t give a damn about being spiritually correct and where spiritual deepening is not an option but a fundamental need, we find that it is much more of a sacrificial process than we bargained for, necessarily bringing us face to face with all that we have turned away from, risen above, or otherwise avoided in ourselves.

We have an astonishing ability to fool ourselves, and an equally astonishing ability to cut through what’s in the way of seeing more clearly. The first ability — which appears at every level of development — generates the very conditions that catalyze the second, conditions that feature enough suffering to really grab our attention. However unwittingly or unconsciously, we invite in circumstances that bring our dissatisfaction to such a peak — or through! — that something has to give, providing us with whatever rough grace is needed.”

- Robert Augustus Masters

Over the past 4 months I took a break from the external world and the internet for two months. I needed to go on a sabbatical to address some childhood wounds and issues that have come up for me. Life has shown me my shadow once again to be looked at and made conscious of.

I thought I had already worked through a lot, but now another layer has been opened up and raw wounds were painfully present, forcing me to feel a lot of emotions I had suppressed, mostly guilt, shame, and anger. I realized that I understood many things intellectually in the past, but didn’t fully break through the buffers and armor of my emotional self I thought I had already processed. Instead, I was projecting it outward towards others in my life. My Knowledge and Understanding was over-riding my Being, not fully embodying “the Work”, avoiding deeper issues that I couldn’t ignore anymore.  As Carl Jung said “personal unconscious must always be dealt with first… otherwise the gateway to the cosmic unconscious cannot be opened.

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The universe and life draw people and situations into our lives at times to deal with the personal unconscious, the darkness we need to make conscious in ourselves, before we can attain any higher spiritual states. Relationships are very powerful and challenging in that regard as we engage in the dance of shadow projection, triggering unconscious childhood wounds in each other.

When we are in the midst of challenging situations and life takes a downward spiral and everything seems to fall apart it is hard to make sense of it all. The pain and suffering can be intense, resulting in depression, resentment, anger, guilt and shame. We feel resentment if we feel wronged by another person and we blame him/her for the pain they have caused us. Or we blame ourselves with guilt and shame of how bad of a person we are. So we judge others or ourselves, reacting mechanically and unconsciously.

There is nothing wrong with feeling resentment, anger, guilt or shame. It’s ok to acknowledge and say “Ouch, you hurt me!” or admit our wrong-doings to others and making amends because we feel guilty and have hurt another person because of our actions. There is a place and healthy expression of negative emotions. It helps us to shine light into things we had suppressed. It only starts to become toxic and self-defeating if we keep lingering on resentment/anger or beating ourselves up with guilt and shame to the point that we diminish our healthy self-worth.

When we can’t let go of resentment and keep feeding our anger by continually pointing out everything the other person is doing and has done wrong, blaming him/her for our pain, then this issue is deeper and relates to our childhood wounding which is coming to surface. It relates to our needs not being met by our parents or old wounds from past relationships we haven’t fully processed and let go of are being reactivated. The same goes if we keep diminishing ourselves with guilt and shame, making ourselves feel worthless. It relates to our inner child that is carrying wounds we haven’t made conscious yet.

In that sense, negative emotions about ourselves or others can lead us into a downward spiral where we suffer mechanically and unconsciously. However, if we can recognize the triggers and reflect how this relates to our childhood wounds, without projecting them into the present and taking things personal, then we can use these negative emotions to suffer consciously in order to dissolve them and not react mechanically but respond with compassion and empathy towards ourselves and others. It’s about addressing, processing and resolving without blame.

This, of course, is sometimes easier said than done because our unconscious behaviors are hard to spot first, for the simple reason because they are unconscious. It is important not suppress or avoid negative emotions. They are not really “negative” to begin with but we tend to judge them as “bad” or we identify so strongly with them that we think we are them. Non-reacting doesn’t mean suppressing, but feeling them consciously, being vulnerable and in order to do that we need to tune into our body.

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Being a bodyworker and receiving massage on a regular basis as well as having a consistent yoga and qi gong practice has shown me many times the importance of the body-mind connection, how our traumas and childhood wounds are stored in our bodies. Our muscles, tissue, organs and bones are carriers of energy and memory, all of which is interrelated and connected. The body is a holistic organism where nothing is isolated.  Everything affects us physically and energetically on some level. Any experience we ever had, even things that happened to us but we’ve forgotten about or were not aware of, it is still held in the body. Be it grief, a broken relationship, emotional pain, everyday stress, childhood issues, injuries and accidents, past life trauma, etc….the body stores the experience and does not “forget” until it is released in the body.

Throughout my life I have worked through many issues with the help of these body-mind techniques, but as more had come up for me recently, I needed a new approach. After a difficult break-up with my partner, we decided to see a professional psychotherapist (as a couple and individual sessions) trained in Gestalt Therapy, Jungian Psychology, Trauma Work, Somatic Release Therapy and various other body-mind techniques.  At first I was reluctant to go. My ego came in, telling me “What? Me? I don’t need to go to therapy. I can work this out in my own!”. But I realized I had hit a wall and dead-end. My relationship with my partner was disintegrating as our individual childhood wounds were starring in each other’s faces crying for recognition. Too many triggers and mechanical reactions, not enough conscience and mindfulness.

Going to see a therapist was the best thing I could have done.  When I was telling her about what I was going through, she stopped me sometimes in mid-sentence, making me aware of subtle body-movements or facial expressions I made and wasn’t aware of as I was talking, gently guiding me to feel the underlying emotions, asking me where I feel it and, encouraging me to talk to it, helping me to get out of my head and feel more. Her presence of radiant empathy but with clear energetic boundaries was very powerful, giving me the space and safety to process without being judged.

Many times during these sessions I started crying out of nowhere as my therapist guided me through my body. I had emotional releases at home during this time as well, crying and grieving with intense sadness, emotions that have been “stuck” for decades or even past lives got released. Narcissistic wounding from childhood (when one or both parents tried to meet their needs through us and didn’t fully respond to our needs) and codependency issues came up (one can cause the other), two things many of us are dealing with, being aware of it or not.

Interestingly I was aware of these issues for years but realized now that I never worked through it on that deep emotional level as I was able to do now to thanks to therapy. I couldn’t have done it on my own.

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Four months later I feel an emotional depth and sensitivity with empathy and compassion I’ve never experienced before. Yet, the work never stops and it’s an ongoing process. The main thing I realized is how we all can easily engage in “spiritual bypassing” where we use spiritual and esoteric concepts to bypass basic psychological work, over-estimating ourselves and essentially lying to ourselves about our state of being, intellectualizing things and not embodying them. Especially nowadays with all the pop-psychology and new age material,  we can easily buffer up issues and avoid deeper psychotherapeutic work, fooling ourselves all along.

“All who are into the spiritual have engaged in spiritual bypassing. We need to accept that we have or are using it to avoid our psychological issues and to feel better about ourselves. We must view this with genuine compassion and understanding, not judgment or denial. We must be aware of our capacity for spiritual bypassing. We need to stop impaling ourselves on various spiritual shoulds and practices and preoccupations of being nice, positive, and spiritual. We need to recognize and act on addressing our darker or less spiritual emotions, impulses and intentions and stop denying them as part of who we are. We must be aware of our need to be someone special, spiritual, advanced, and stop dividing everything positive and negative, higher and lower, spiritual and non-spiritual. We want to reach a state of immunity to suffering.

Signs of spiritual bypassing include:

  • Minimizing, superficializing, or negotiation of our shadow side and negativity.
  • Global statements such as “everything is perfect” unfolding as it must. It’s all an illusion including your suffering. Just your ego.
  • Spiritually rationalized avoidance of feeling deeply especially our less pleasant emotions.

Efforts to eradicate the ego:

  • The greater the pain of our unresolved wounds, the greater the odds we will involve ourselves in spiritual bypassing
  • Wherein spiritual practice and attainment are used to avoid directly and unguardedly feeling the raw reality of suffering, keeping us safe.
  • Feeling a need to go deeper into spiritual practices if progress isn’t good enough, self-blame, but keeps them distracted from having to face and deal with their core pain.

When in the grip of spiritual bypassing we view it as unnecessary and only for the neurotic and at best strengthened the very egoity that spirituality might eradicate. It is very easy to couch our fear of psychotherapy in spiritual language. It may even keep us stuck conceptually on a higher level.

Cutting through spiritual bypassing means turning towards the painful, unwanted, scary shadow elements of ourselves. To do this we must cut through our numbness and defenses, approaching it with as much care as we can. If doing so seems to heal our heart, we are on the right path. When heart heals, it opens and expands, not shatters. When we denumb and become more comfortable with our own comfort we see what drove us into spiritual bypassing. This is a challenging journey to say the least.”

- Robert Augustus Masters

But even with psychotherapy we need to be discerning and choosing the right therapist is key. When I refer to psychotherapy I talk about techniques mentioned before (Gestalt Therapy, Jungian Psychology, Trauma Work, Somatic Release Therapy and various other body-mind techniques), not simply Freudian “talk therapy” or getting pharmaceuticals from a psychologist. As we all know, psychology has also become much distorted, however at the same time, there are many new concepts and practices that have evolved, combining spiritual and psychological work with body-mind techniques in very efficient and practical ways.

During the work with the therapist I didn’t only let go of my stigma around psychotherapy and my judgment that only very “damaged” people go to therapy, but realized that everyone, without exception, can benefit from basic psychotherapeutic work, because we all have issues and childhood wounds lingering in us to be recognized and healed. We all are wounded in different ways.

Especially in this day and age where life has become more complex and uncertain as the world is changing faster and faster, it is important that we dive deep into our unconscious to heal what needs to be healed. It is part of being the change you want to see in the world, confronting the shadow within and without.

There’s a lot in you that’s neither being carried into this persona system nor into your ego, as part of what you perceive as “you.” Just opposite to the ego, buried in the unconscious, is what Jung calls the shadow.

Now, the society will give you a role to play, and this means that you’ve got to cut out of your life many of the things that you, as a person, might think or do. These potentials get shunted down into the unconscious. Your society tells you, “You should do this, you should do that”; but it also says, “You mustn’t do this, you mustn’t do the other thing.” Those things you’d like to do, which are really not very nice things to want to do, those get placed down in the unconscious, too. This is the center of the personal unconscious.

The shadow is, so to say, the blind spot in your nature. It’s that which you won’t look at about yourself. This is the counterpart exactly of the Freudian unconscious, the repressed recollections as well as the repressed potentialities in you.

The shadow is that which you might have been had you been born on the other side of the tracks: the other person, the other you. It is made up of the desires and ideas within you that you are repressing—all of the introjected id. The shadow is the landfill of the self. Yet it is also a sort of vault: it holds great, unrealized potentialities within you.

The nature of your shadow is a function of the nature of your ego. It is the backside of your light side. In the myths, the shadow is represented as the monster that has to be overcome, the dragon. It is the dark thing that comes up from the abyss and confronts you the minute you begin moving down into the unconscious. It is the thing that scares you so that you don’t want to go down there. It knocks from below. Who’s that down there? Who’s that up there? This is all very, very mysterious and frightening.

If your personal role is too thin, too narrow—if you’ve buried too much of yourself within your shadow—you’re going to dry up. Most of your energies are not available to you. A lot can get gathered there in the depths. And eventually, enantiodromia is going to hit, and that unrecognized, unheeded demon is going to come roaring up into the light.

The shadow is the part of you that you don’t know is there. Your friends see it, however, and it’s also why some people don’t like you. The shadow is you as you might have been; it is that aspect of you which might have been if you had allowed yourself to fulfill your unacceptable potential.

Society, of course, does not recognize these aspects of your potential self. You are not recognizing these aspects of yourself either; you don’t know that they’re there or that you have repressed them. The shadow is that part of you that you won’t allow to show through, that includes good—I mean potent—as well as dangerous and disastrous aspects of your potential.

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”  - Carl G. Jung

You can recognize who it is by simply thinking of the people you don’t like. They correspond to that person whom you might have been—otherwise they wouldn’t mean very much to you. People who excite you either positively or negatively have caught something projected from yourself: “I do not love thee, Dr. Fell. The reason why I cannot tell, But this alone I know full well, I do not love thee, Dr. Fell?”

Why? Because he’s my shadow. I don’t know whether you’ve had similar experiences in your life, but there are people I despise the minute I see them. These people represent those aspects of myself, the existence of which I refuse to admit to myself. The ego tends to identify itself with the society, forgetting this shadow. It thinks it’s you. That’s the position society puts us in. Society does not give a darn whether you crack up when it’s through with you—that’s your problem.[...]

Jung calls the individual who identifies himself with his persona a mana personality; we would call him a stuffed shirt. That’s a person who is nothing but the role he or she plays. A person of this sort never lets his actual character develop. He remains simply a mask, and as his powers fail—as he makes mistakes and so forth—he becomes more and more frightened of himself, puts more and more of an effort into keeping up the mask. Then the separation between the persona and the self takes place, forcing the shadow to retreat further and further into the abyss.

You are to assimilate the shadow, embrace it. You don’t have to act on it, necessarily, but you must know it and accept it. You are not to assimilate the anima/animus—that’s a different challenge. You are to relate to it through the other.

The only way one can become a human being is through relationships to other human beings.

- Joseph Campbell, Pathways to Bliss

In everyday life, intimate relationships or just friendships can trigger the shadow in each other. When issues arise in a relationship as they always do at a certain point and the shadow comes out in each, projecting it on the other and hurting each other unconsciously, there is a chance to heal deep-rooted childhood wounds that are coming to surface again, each partner playing out the parent (or both) we were wounded by (as we all have been in various degrees because no parents are perfect), because of their own wounds. If we can recognize this and take our projections back, understanding that there is no one to blame, neither the partner nor the parents, but only lessons, the relationship can be transformed to a higher level.

But this requires sincere work of both partners with humility, compassion and empathy, especially since the projections won’t stop overnight and we keep getting triggered and slip back into unconscious behaviors. Sometimes a third person, a mediator or therapist is needed. It’s about addressing, processing and resolving, making amends and help each other in the process. This is not easy work by far because those old wounds can hurt a lot and we all tend to avoid pain and buffer it up with a band-aid, projecting it on the other person instead of healing it. It’s the fire where lead is transformed into gold.

If this is not possible and we don’t stay aware of the triggers and projections and keep taking things personally and blaming, the relationship will disintegrate, either because both don’t own their projections or one person is so repressed and wounded (trauma/addiction), not engaging in sincere self-work, that the projections intensify, masked up with unconscious anger and resentment, constantly finding fault in the other to justify these feelings, making him/her walk around on eggshells. Then the only way is to separate otherwise we will follow a downward spiral. We need to take care of ourselves first and foremost and can’t “do” anything for the other in this instance. This is not being selfish but mature. “Peaceful resolution” where both people own their projections and make amends is not always possible.

“Many continue to be seduced by the hope that their partner will change for the better, getting so used to being relationally undernourished that when a few crumbs of a desired outcome show up (often just after a serious fuss has been made about needing a closer relationship), those crumbs get framed as a feast, a reason to hang in there, to keep waiting and waiting and waiting… And while we’re waiting thus, we are doing little more than postponing our life, impaling ourselves on our hope (our nostalgia for the future), as if this is all we deserve.”

- Robert Augustus Masters

“Mr. Gurdjieff said that it would be necessary to develop oneself to such an extent that it would be possible to know and understand enough to be able to aid someone else in doing something necessary for himself, even when that person was not conscious of the need, and might work against you, that only in this sense was love properly responsible and worthy of the name of real love…….He added that, even with the best of intentions, most people would be too afraid to love another person in an active sense, or even to attempt to do anything for them; and that one of the terrifying aspects of love was that while it was possible to help another person to a certain degree, it was not possible to actually “do” anything for them.
If you see another man fall down, when he must walk, you can pick him up. But, although to take one more step is more necessary for him even than air, he must take this step alone; impossible for another person to take it for him.”

- P.D. Ouspensky

Being the target of shadow projection in an intimate relationship (or friendships) is the hardest, especially while you are doing your best to own your own projections and acknowledging the hurt you have caused because of your own unconscious behaviors. It hurts because we love the other person. But even in this pain, I know that the one who hurts me is in even more pain and it is not about me, so I meet it with compassion and empathy. Sometimes this is harder said than done, but it is the only way if we don’t want to repeat those lessons in the next relationship with a different face and being confronted with the shadow again and again.

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A strong indication of shadow projection is if we’re trying to “save” someone or try to be “saved” by someone, even if only unconsciously. The victim/savior relationship is one of the most common unconscious drives of what brings people together, mistaking that for love. It all relates to not getting certain needs met in childhood and trying to get them met through our partner or friends.

As long as we keep F.A.C.E. (Fear, Attachment, Control, Entitlement) we don’t learn the lessons, but keep projecting on the other. But the only person we’re really hurting is ourselves, even if we can’t see it in that moment.

The shadow dance, pushing and shoving, no one has more fault than the other, no one is better than the other. Sometimes one person’s actions seem to be way more hurtful than the other’s. But we will always have a very limited view on this. We don’t see the full picture. Karma and past life issues are at play as well. The universe always strives for balance in the bigger picture, even if we can’t see it (or don’t want to see it) in the situation we’re in. It’s the play of duality, the yin and yang, dark and light.

Intimate relationships can act like a fast-track in spiritual development, like a catalyst, because much of our unconscious shadow can easily hide as long as we avoid relationships or endlessly look for the “perfect partner” who will never appear. On the other hand, some of us go from relationship to relationship, afraid of being alone, not integrating the lessons from past relationships and constantly looking outside of ourselves for love and fulfilment.

In this day and age, relationships are very challenging, especially for the ones who seek truth sincerely within and without, stepping out of complacency and conformity, not playing by society’s rules, expectations and conditioned desires. We have to pay with ourselves, confronting the predator and shadow within first and foremost. So sometimes people and situations come into our lives that play out what we have been hiding all along, only for us to recognize without blame.

“The psychological rule says that when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside as fate. That is to say, when the individual remains undivided and does not become conscious of his inner opposite, the world must perforce act out the conflict and be torn into opposing halves.”

- Carl G.  Jung

One of the best tools that have helped me understand myself and others better is astrology, especially combined with psychotherapeutic work.

I’ve always liked astrology and learned a lot about myself ever since I got my first natal chart reading around 2001. Over the past four months I’ve gotten deeper into it and learned to appreciate the skill, knowledge and intuition of talented astrologers even more. Astrology has evolved over the years as well. I can highly recommend to get a professional natal chart reading at one point in your life. I have some basic astrology knowledge, but putting it all together with all the fine nuances and the bigger picture, a professional reading is absolutely essential, otherwise you will fool yourself and misinterpret many things in your chart. The only computer-generated chart interpretation I can recommend is Liz Green’s work at www.astro.com , especially her Psychological Horoscope, combining Jungian psychology with astrology as well as her Relationship Horoscope (the composite chart with another person showing the dynamics between the two).

However, it’s well worth to invest into a one-on-one reading with a professional astrologer, because no computer-generated chart can substitute the intuitive work of a competent astrologer looking at your chart as a whole.  There are many talented astrologers out there. Understanding your natal chart and how the current transits affect you opens up a whole new world and awareness that is very helpful for self-work and understanding yourself and others, resulting in acceptance and compassion.

“While studying astrology I have applied it to concrete cases many times. The experiment is most suggestive to a versatile mind, unreliable in the hands of the unimaginative, and dangerous in the hands of a fool, as those intuitive methods always are. If intelligently used the experiment is useful in cases where it is a matter of an opaque structure. It often provides surprising insights. The most definite limit of the experiment is lack of intelligence and literal-mindedness of the observer. Undoubtedly astrology today is flourishing as never before in the past, but it is still most unsatisfactorily explored despite very frequent use. It is an apt tool only when used intelligently. It is not at all foolproof and when used by a rationalistic and narrow mind it is a definite nuisance.

- Carl G. Jung

Whether we use psychological or esoteric terminology, the basic fact remains the same: human beings do not earn free will except through self-discovery, and they do not attempt self-discovery until things become so painful that they have no other choice. If the individual makes no effort to expand his consciousness so that he can understand the nature of his total unfoldment and can begin to cooperate with it, then it will seem that he his the pawn of fate and has no control over his life. He can only earn his freedom by learning about himself so that he can understand what value a particular experience has for the development of his whole self.”

- Liz Green

 But like with any of those systems (Astrology, Human Design, Numerology, etc.), while giving insight, they are all limited in their own way and there are other factors to consider. Readers of my blog know that there are forces affecting our planet, the hyperdimensional realm. There is the issue of genetic Psychopathy, the question of the soul and that we are not all the same inside and not all of us have the ability to activate the higher centers.  As mentioned before, these are very complex topics that need careful study and consideration. Then there are spirit attachments, which can alter personalities from subtle to very severe. There is  also the possibility of higher density souls that have incarnated in this time and age with a certain mission profile, who have a very hard time adapting to this physical experience.

Modern psychotherapy doesn’t acknowledge the possibility of psychic attack and hyperdimensional forces working through us. Most people still have a very anthropocentric worldview. Anyone who tries to awaken from the hypnosis humanity is under will be met with resistance and attack, which can come through our own minds or working through people close to us, draining us, distracting us and sabotaging any attempt to “escape the matrix”. Luckily the therapist I’ve been working with is aware of the aforementioned topics and incorporates them in her work as well. But even without understanding the non-physical realm, doing basic psychotherapeutic work can heal a lot and lay the very necessary foundation before we can rise to a higher level of consciousness and awareness. In fact it is essential.

“There are a thousand things which prevent a man from awakening, which keep him in the power of his dreams. In order to act consciously with the intention of awakening, it is necessary to know the nature of the forces which keep man in a state of sleep. First of all it must be realized that the sleep in which man exists is not normal but hypnotic sleep. Man is hypnotized and this hypnotic state is continually maintained and strengthened in him. One would think that there are forces for whom it is useful and profitable to keep man in a hypnotic state and prevent him from seeing the truth and understanding his position.”

- G. I. Gurdjieff

“And as we have learned from Jesus, Gurdjieff and the Gnostic Sufis, Castaneda, and the Cassiopaeans, the rules of this World in which we live were set up and are controlled by this STS hierarchy and have been for a very long time. Each and every time the revelation of this Control System is attempted, the Matrix goes into overdrive to destroy it. And it is clear that this is the present situation….It is in “seeing the unseen” that we become aware of higher levels of being; it is in ordinary human interactions that we experience the “battles” between the forces of STS and STO!And it is most definitely this factor that the Matrix Control System vigorously attempts to conceal!… In other words, we are not just talking about a “petty dispute,” we are talking about a battle of forces at other levels, manifesting – as ALWAYS – in human dynamics.

- Laura Knight Jadczyk, “The Wave” Volume 5&6 “Petty Tyrants & Facing the Unknown”

Considering all that, we can easily feel disempowered and overwhelmed and there is still so much we don’t know. We need to remember to take small steps one at a time, with patience and compassion for ourselves and others. We will always hurt others or self-sabotage our own development in the process of living life at times. We will look for blame and excuses, trying to make sense of challenging situations that can’t be understood in the moment, rationalizing our decisions and behaviors and lying to ourselves and others unconsciously. We will inflate our egos with self-importance and righteousness or diminish ourselves with pity, we can be over-emotional or emotionally closed off, we can be over-bearing with others or shy away from necessary confrontation to stand up for ourselves. We will overestimate our spiritual progress, engaging in spiritual bypassing or become too hard on ourselves. In short, we will always make mistakes and screw up sometimes. It’s life, but through the suffering and sincere self-work we learn and grow. That’s why we need compassion more than anything else.

Grieving is an essential and necessary stage in any form of self-work, which leads us to compassion and empathy. It can be painful and seemingly never-ending but the only way out is through and time heals all wounds if we keep working on ourselves and let grace guide us.

Mindful Grief means mourning and letting go of the past without expectation, fear, censure, blame, shame, control, and so forth. Without such mindful grief, neither past nor person can be laid to rest. When we grieve mindfully, we mourn every one of the disappointments, insults, and betrayals of the now irrevocably lost past. We mourn any abuse—physical, sexual, emotional. We mourn for how our parents [or friends and romantic partners] just did not want us, did not love us, or could not get past their own needs long enough to see us as the lovable beings we were and allow our unique self-emergence. We mourn every way they said no to the gift we sought to give them: full visibility of our true self, not the self we had to manufacture to please or protect them. We mourn all the times they saw how scared, forlorn, and sad we were and yet did not respond, relent, or apologize. We mourn because even now, after all these years, they still have not admitted their abuse or lack of compassion.

Grief’s favorite position is piggyback. If I am abandoned in the present and allow myself to grieve the abandonment, all the old abandonments of the past, which have been waiting their turn, jump onto my grieving shoulders. Also included in the piggybacking are the griefs of the human collective, what Virgil calls “the tears in things.” These are the givens of relationship: the sense of something missing, the fugitive intimacies, the inevitable endings. We carry sensitivities to all those in our hearts, and our personal griefs evoke them. What a way to find out we are not alone! We carry the heritage of the archetypal past and enrich it continually with our personal experience.

Jung suggests that working on our childhood issues is a necessary first step toward spiritual consciousness. As he puts it, the “personal unconscious must always be dealt with first… otherwise the gateway to the cosmic unconscious cannot be opened.” We cannot make up for losses, but we can learn to tolerate them and contain them. This is what the soulful journey of mourning is about.

Mourning is an action not a transaction. It is our personal responsibility, so we do not do it with the perpetrators of our losses, including our parents [and partners]. We interrupt our own healing as long as we still have to tell [them] how bad we think they were.

Some of us are not yet ready to face what really happened to us; we suspect or even know that we do not have the strength to follow the process through to its painful conclusion. It is important to respect this hesitancy and honor our own timing. Some tears may be shed today, some next year, some in thirty years. The inner child of the past tells her story a little at a time, lest we have too much to handle all at once. “Hurry or delay is interference,” D. W. Winnicott says. The fact that grief takes so long to be resolved is not a sign of our inadequacy. Rather, it betokens our depth of soul.

A cognitive recounting of the past may only be a memory of a memory unless it is connected strongly to a bodily feeling, because every cell in our body recalls every event that impinged upon us in childhood. The body, more than the mind, is the real human unconscious, storing both the memory of pain and our attempts to avoid it. The work, then, is to find the accurate sense of what we felt and not necessarily a story line of exactly what happened. In fact, the content of the memories is less crucial than the conflicts they represent and the reenactments we are still caught in. These are the true targets of grief, not the memory of what happened.

Actually, we may never know what truly happened in our past, not because it is so lost in oblivion but because it is continually shifting in our memory. At each phase of life, it rearranges itself to fit our new sense of ourselves and the world. Memories are selections from the past. Thus, our goal is not so much to reconstruct memory but to restructure our overall sense of the past to fit our changing needs.”

- David Richo

Through my own process of grieving I have tapped into the suffering of the collective even more, almost feeling the pain of the world. It is very humbling, helping me to feel compassion for myself, friends and for humanity, a heart-opening on a level I haven’t experienced before, encouraging me to speak out more and be more compassionate at the same time, to be of service the best I can while taking care of myself and working on myself. Yet still, it’s a long way to go and I accept the challenges as they come. We are all in this together and that’s what we signed up for.

“We begin with “my” grief and may remain there, but sometimes we shift to “our” grief as our rawness of heart starts to radiate out to include the suffering of others close to us. And then we may shift even further to “the” grief as we feel our collective suffering and allow that feeling to pervade us — which doesn’t just bring on more sorrow, but also more love, love that remains itself even as it freely weeps. Here there is huge heartache, enormous hurt, and deep opening — together carrying us through the extremes of sorrow into a spaciousness as naturally compassionate as it is vast.”

- Robert Augustus Masters

Someone wise said once: “How often do you have to pick up the phone until you get the message? You don’t get to move on in life until the lessons are learned and all there is are lessons, every day, every moment.” Meditating on this can have a profound healing effect and acceptance, compassion for self and others.

Some of my closest friends have been going through some challenging times recently, myself included, and I know there are many people out there who do as well. The intense astrological transits confirm it as well. Keep in mind, all there is are lessons and we learn as we go, step by step, sometimes some steps back, sometimes in circles but always moving. The only constant is change and as long as you are in this body there are lessons to be learned. Have faith!

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice-
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations, though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen branches and stones.
but little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do-
determined to save
the only life you could save.

- Mary Oliver, The Journey

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