Occulted Knowledge, Spiritual Bypassing, and The Necessity of Holistic Integral Self-Work
by Bernhard Guenther, November 1, 2021
- Misconceptions about “The Topic of All Topics”
- The Necessary Foundation of Holistic Self-Work
- The Ascension Movement, Lightworkers, and Star Seeds
- Occulted Knowledge and Different Levels of Teachings
- A Holistic Integral Approach
We live in times where we have access to more information than ever before in recorded (official) history. Thanks to the internet we can look up anything that we want and receive information within seconds. This access to virtually unlimited information has its pros and cons.
On the one hand, it can distract us via mindless media consumption, getting us addicted to the screen, social media, and lost in many rabbit holes of the internet. It can keep us head-centric, disconnected from the body, and isolated from the “outside” world. We then become like spectators and addicts needing the next dopamine hit to feed us and mask up anything we don’t want to feel or face within ourselves.
Our attention is being vectored away. Distracted, and with our attention span lowered and scattered, we are unable to focus and stay present. Many people become like mechanically programmed pavlovian dogs, needing their fix and can’t be without their smartphone or computer for a few hours (or even minutes). I have addressed the issue of information overload and getting lost in the rabbit hole before in this essay.
On the other hand, access to unlimited information has also helped us to take education into our own hands and communicate with people all over the world. We are able to learn and get informed about various topics we’re interested in, bypassing the corporate MSM and increasing censorship, if we can stay focused, present, and use discernment.
In particular, in the spiritual, esoteric, and occult domain, we now have access to teachings that were very hard to come by only a few years ago and weren’t even available to most people decades ago, let alone a hundred years ago or more. There are websites dedicated to downloading the complete works of any spiritual/esoteric tradition or spiritual master/teacher.
We live in the age of the apocalypse. Oftentimes I see people confusing the words apocalypse with “the end of the world” or “destruction” (mostly based on biblical religious programming) and occult with “evil” or something “negative”. However, the correct definitions are as follows:
- Apocalypse means “un-veiling” or “un-covering”
from Greek “apokalupsis”, apokaluptein: ‘uncover, reveal,’ from apo- ‘un-’ + kaluptein ‘to cover.’ [although the process itself can be, and is most often, “destructive” indeed]
- Occult simply means “hidden”: from Latin “occultare”: ‘secrete,’ frequentative of occulere: ‘conceal,’ based on celare: ‘to hide’.
During this age of unveiling and this Time of Transition, a lot of occult (hidden) knowledge is coming to the surface. More and more is being revealed and the darkness is coming to light (made conscious) during this Kali Yuga, collectively and personally/internally as we can clearly see now at an accelerated level. As the divine supramental consciousness is putting pressure from “above” to anchor itself to who and whatever is receptive, many people experience breakdowns and accelerated suffering and discomfort as the lower forces of nature and the subconscient resist the illumination. Anything that is not aligned with Truth, all our wounds/traumas, etc. are being put under the spotlight and rising to the surface. Whatever has been hidden needs to be revealed.
“With the approach of the era of the Holy Spirit, everything must be gradually brought to the light of day, not only the secrets of the laboratory but the deepest meanings of esotericism. The same must happen with illusions, errors and lies, which must also be revealed so that they can later be rectified.”
– Boris Mouravieff, Gnosis
If we can resist the (wounded) ego’s drive to blame the outside world, falling into victim/blame consciousness, getting caught up in the Doom & Gloom matrix fear frequency, or distract/disassociate ourselves from our internal landscape, we can use the suffering as a catalyst to look within and sincerely engage in the Great Work to transmute our Being.
There is divine guidance, support, and help along the way. The more sincere we are, take self-responsibility, and surrender to the ongoing process of ascent and descent, the more we align with Divine Will, getting out of the duality of hope and fear which the ego constantly clings to. All of us have come across certain teachings, guidance, and help synchronically that were tuned perfectly to each step of our journey.
At the same time, we can easily get overwhelmed with all the different teachings, modalities, and therapies, old and new that keep emerging. We then can easily fall into the trap of spiritual materialism (jumping from teaching to teaching) and spiritual bypassing (over-estimating our level of being, and using spiritual concepts to bypass necessary psychological work). We can succumb to these traps (or detours) when we become desperate, impatient or the ego hijacks our process and realizations.
We can also misinterpret certain teachings because we don’t have the level of being (and higher intellect) to truly grasp them, .i.e we don’t understand and apply them on an embodied level. We may resonate with them initially because it touches something real and true within us to a degree but our conditioned minds, bias, and wounded ego can also misappropriate Truth, only seeing what it wants to see, and hence distort any teaching to (unconsciously) justify, rationalize or normalize our issues and projections. This is one of the reasons why the popular saying “take what resonates and leave the rest” can be very deceiving for we can easily distort anything through our own ignorance and “false” resonance. I’ve explored that topic in my article “The Difference Between True and False Resonance.”
Misconceptions about “The Topic of All Topics”
For example, the hyperdimensional matrix control system and the subject of “entity attachment and interferences” have become much more known in the “truth movement”, certain spiritual and New Age circles, and yet there are still many misperceptions and misconceptions about the “the topic of all topics”. Many people, when discovering these topics, fall into fear when they come across this knowledge, which leaves them cycling in victim-perpetrator dynamics, blaming entities, and feeling completely powerless to the influence of the darker hostile forces that affect all of humanity, not understanding the deeper teaching function of these adverse forces.
As I’ve mentioned numerous times before, one of the popular assumptions that most people make when they suspect they are impacted by an “entity” is that they need to find someone who can “remove it” for them, and then the issue will be resolved. That is not the case. Removing an entity is not enough, for it/they will come back ten-fold (via attachment or interference) if the original “entry point” has not been closed. These entry points are related to ego blind spots, lower [animal] nature, shadow, wounds, weaknesses, addictions, and traumas, stemming from childhood and even past lives—that have gone unacknowledged, unintegrated, and unhealed.
What isn’t spoken about as much as the topic of “entities” is how trauma work, shadow work, and anchoring the Divine Force within are the essential keys to eliminating the influence of occult hostile forces in our lives—permanently. This world is a learning experience where we experience both light and darkness, ignorance and truth, and we must rise to greater levels of non-dual reactivity and true Self-awareness if we are to truly transcend the influence of these occult forces, who play on our weaknesses, core wounds, and mechanical nature like we are puppets on strings.
“Attacks from adverse forces are inevitable: you have to take them as tests on your way and go courageously through the ordeal. The struggle may be hard, but when you come out of it, you have gained something, you have advanced a step. There is even a necessity for the existence of the hostile forces. They make your determination stronger, your aspiration clearer. It is true, however, that they exist because you gave them reason to exist. So long as there is something in you which answers to them, their intervention is perfectly legitimate. If nothing in you responded, if they had no hold upon any part of your nature, they would retire and leave you.”
– The Mother, Collected Works of the Mother
“The hostile forces have a certain self-chosen function: it is to test the condition of the individual, of the work, of the earth itself and their readiness for the spiritual descent and fulfillment.”
– Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga
Moreover, many people who come to think that it is an “entity” that is the cause of the suffering in their lives (an assumption), may not even be dealing with an interference and/or attachment; but have created thought forms from their own traumas, fears, and projections, which has now started to negatively impact their psyche. These thought-forms have become “entities” of their own, turning into sub-personalities, and are filled with shadow material; our deepest fears and/or unrecognized & unhealed personal and intergenerational trauma. Often, it is ignorance that creates these strong feelings of fear as what we don’t know does indeed hurt us, as this shadow material gets denser the more we avoid engaging in the necessary psychological, spiritual, and embodiment practices to uncover our True Self.
Many people I’ve worked with over the years and who thought (and were very sure) they had entity interference, attachment or multiple had, in fact, none, but their issues were all related to unconscious childhood trauma/wounding, their unacknowledged shadow, or their own thought projections and self-created “entities” out of their thought-forms. It takes a light level of Being/soul embodiment to be abler to discern what is what. I’ve already addressed this issue in my article “Reflections on Occult Entity Interferences and the Hyperdimensional Matrix Control System” and my webinar “Occult Forces of Hyper-Dimensions”.
The Necessary Foundation of Holistic Self-Work
There has been a great imbalance occurring when people engage in self-work these days on the path towards awakening. On one hand, there are many people who only focus on psychological work, dismissing or not being aware of the spiritual reality that we are part of even beyond this lifetime.
Psychological work alone without aspiration to the Divine/connecting to Essence also usually ends up “digging in the mud” without end in sight and is just symptom management. Psychological work also needs to go beyond “talk therapy” or intellectual “analysis” getting caught up in the “story” but processed somatically through the body, preparing the vessel for the Divine to come through, bringing forth the True Self/Essence. In fact, you [and your intellect] can fool yourself that you have healed any issues by intellectually understanding the cause and reason of what happened [the story] but your body is still holding on to it.
On the other hand, there are many people who tend to only focus on spiritual practices without engaging in the necessary basic psychological work and shadow work to heal their childhood wounds and traumas. This leads to what is termed as “spiritual bypassing”— using spiritual techniques to bypass our human experience. Spiritual work also needs to go beyond trying to “transcend” the world via escapism but anchoring the Divine right here into our life and body without retreating anywhere but becoming spiritual warriors in service of the Divine.
It’s not either/or, it is both, integral and holistic, working on all levels.
And thirdly, we have people who do spiritual work and/or psychological work but are completely unaware of the matrix forces on a 3D level as well as the 4D occult (hidden) forces that are a part of our multidimensional reality. These hidden forces are what greatly impact and influence the direction of our lives, and of all of humanity in general. I’ve explored all the various imbalances and lack of holistic self-work in the essay “The Necessity to Surrender to the Divine and Spiritualize the Being.”
The Ascension Movement, Lightworkers, and Star Seeds
Throughout the years, I have worked with and heard from several people who were part of various “ascension movements”. They conveyed to me that they got hooked on all kinds of information about the galactic federation of light, guardians, the cabal, the alien agenda, stargates, earth grid work, tunnel of light/reincarnation trap, cosmic downloads, energy updates, ascension into 5D, up to 12D, ascension symptoms, and all kinds of information about star seeds, indigos, or past lives, which they strongly identified with at first.
However, none of this information and relating New Age modalities to “upgrade their light bodies”, “template” or “codes” has helped these individuals I talked to in the long run but, in fact, made things worse for them (even though there may have been a “positive placebo”/dopamine type effect at first but it was created on a false foundation.) They had ignored their most basic inner work, relating to childhood wounds/trauma, unconscious shadow, as well as basic somatic embodiment work.
“A man must, first of all, understand certain things. He has thousands of false ideas and false conceptions, chiefly about himself, and he must get rid of some of them before beginning to acquire anything new. Otherwise the new will be built on a wrong foundation and the result will be worse than before. To speak the truth is the most difficult thing in the world; one must study a great deal and for a long time in order to speak the truth. The wish alone is not enough. To speak the truth one must know what the truth is and what a lie is, and first of all in oneself. And this nobody wants to know.“
Engaging in spiritual bypassing, the wounded ego is very tempted to use concepts like “star seeds”, “indigos” or “lightworker” to identify with in order to feel special and mask up unconscious trauma that most often directly relates to one’s childhood and upbringing. It doesn’t imply that there is no truth to these concepts, but as I explored in my article “Wanderers, Purpose, and Esoteric Work in this Time of Transition”, the ego is always lurking in the back to hijack these labels for its own agenda.
In fact, I can own that I fell into this trap myself in the past, feeling alone, wounded, and not being able to “fit in” and relate to anyone, I used the concept of being a “wanderer/star seed” as an escape to make myself feel better and “special” which was nothing but a band-aid for I eventually had to face everything I was suppressing. It related to deep unconscious childhood trauma and narcissistic wounding [the result of growing up with a narcissistic parent] which I needed to work on and confront on a basic somatic and psychological level for these wounds (based on developmental trauma) were also the entry points of occult adverse forces and entities attacking me.
There is also the trap of taking off the old ego identity and developing a new “spiritual” identity instead. We can see that when people tend to give themselves new “spiritual” names which in subtle or not-so-subtle unconscious ways inflates their self-importance and mask up deep-rooted insecurity. Of course, the ego-personality will justify it in numerous ways. Ultimately it is about letting go of any labels and identifications in order to not only find our humanness but our true Divine Self.
Occulted Knowledge and Different Levels of Teachings
Most people lack the necessary psychological foundation when it comes to sincere self-work before entering the domain of the Occult, Esotericism, and fringe knowledge in general. Over the years, I’ve noticed that many people jump to this information without having worked on or addressed their most basic childhood wounds/traumas (which we ALL carry) and shadow aspects, nor are they engaged in any embodiment work (body-mind practices) and meditation. They keep looking for something else they can blame/project their issues on and, hence, can easily misapply occult esoteric and fringe knowledge.
It’s an easy trap to fall into because of the aforementioned “easy access” in our digital internet age. A good example is my essay “Organic Portals – Soulless Humans”. It is the most read article on my website by far and yet this topic is still so misunderstood by many people who have read it based on emails and comments I’ve received. They distort the information to blame and demonize others. It shows that reading something doesn’t automatically result in understanding.
Most of the ancient esoteric knowledge in the past was occulted (hidden) for a reason, not necessarily to keep people from awakening via suppressing knowledge (which happened and is happening as well) but to protect the seeker and honor an esoteric truth “Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you” as well as “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces” to test the sincerity of the seeker if he/she is even ready to be “initiated” into higher knowledge and the various stages of “awakening”.
Initiation in that sense has nothing to do with a ritual, ceremony, or anything external as some “secret societies” have hijacked the esoteric concept of “Initiation”. True initiation is an internal process, testing the sincerity of the seeker if he/she is truly ready to “cross the threshold” without the ego’s demands, bargains, or just based on fleeting curiosity but based on a true sincere call from his/her immortal soul, yearning to unite with the Divine.
As more and more people start to “awaken”, many young souls do not know [yet] what it actually takes to truly cross the threshold on the path towards awakening. Many seekers over-estimate themselves or under-estimate what The Great Work entails. Most often people mistake an intellectual understanding of how the Matrix manifests externally as “awakening”.
In order to escape the Matrix [called “General Law” in the esoteric traditions like “Gnosis”], it is necessary to engage in esoteric work with sincere conscious “super-efforts.” There is a “threshold” to be crossed, a void, which puts the seeker on The Way of The Great Work. The process and necessity of an inner bankruptcy [disillusionment, death of the personality], which initiates the seeker into “The Way” towards Awakening, is described in esoteric parables such as this one based on Esoteric Christianity [from “Gnosis” by Mouravieff]:
“…This void, which can only be crossed at the cost of considerable effort or even of super-efforts, operates selectively. The character and the quantity of effort necessary differ for each person, depending upon the nature and degree of deformation of the mind of each exterior man; an individual factor…This fragment of esoteric origin, gives some idea of the access to the Way:
I see a great building, one enormous mass. In the front wall is a narrow arch with open doors; behind them, dark mists. In front of the high threshold there is a young girl… a pretty Russian girl. A breeze comes from the dark and icy mists, a current of freezing air, bringing with it from the depths of the building the sound of a slow and muffled voice:
– ‘You who aspire to cross this threshold, do you know what awaits you here?
– ‘I know,’ answers the young girl.
– ‘Cold, hunger, hate, mockery, scorn, injustice, prison, illness and even death?’
– ‘I know it. ‘
– ‘Do you expect to be shunned by everyone? Do you expect to be totally alone?’
– ‘I am ready. I know it. I shall bear all the suffering and all the blows’.
– ‘Even if they do not come from enemies, but from parents, from friends?’
– ‘Yes… even from those…’
– ‘Good. Do you accept the sacrifice?’
– ‘An anonymous sacrifice? You will perish and nobody… but nobody will even know whose memory to honor?’
– ‘I have no use for recognition and pity. I have no use for a name.’
– ‘Are you ready for crime?’
The young girl bowed her head. – ‘Even for crime.’
The voice which was questioning her did not continue right away. At last it started again:
— ‘Do you know that one day you will believe no more in what you believe in now, and come to think that you have been a dupe and that it was for nothing that you have lost your young life?’
— ‘That too I know. Well though I know it, I wish to enter.’
The young girl crossed the threshold.
A heavy curtain fell. Gritting his teeth, someone uttered behind her: – ‘A foolish girl!’
At which, from another place, a voice replied: – ‘A saint!’”
– from “Gnosis” by Boris Mouravieff
The doorkeepers/guardians of the temple of truth understood that certain knowledge can drive some people mad for they have no foundation (no “inner wiring”) to ground it in. Some people are simply not ready for deeper occult/spiritual knowledge and it can be dangerous for them, misapplying/distorting it, driving them mad and it can retard their spiritual/soul development.
Similarly, nowadays, I’ve seen that a lot of so-called “fringe” and New Age information out there can push people deeper into psychosis, trauma, paranoia, and fear or it can result in over-estimating their level of being/awareness and inflate their ego. Moreover, as mentioned before, a lot of the fringe matrix/ascension material are gross distortions, projections, falsehood, and disinformation (most often truth mixed with lies) which appeal to the paranoid mind or just the curious intellect without discernment misapplying the concept of “resonance”.
Many deeply wounded people are attracted to all kinds of New Age fringe concepts and information who don’t have the capacity to be discerning. As a result, they get trapped in the mind, creating more suffering, negative through forms (or suppressing their shadow by forcing themselves to stay “positive”), and trauma which the occult hostile forces use as gateways to keep people stuck in paranoid thought loops and the victim/blame trap.
“One comes inevitably into contact with the vital plane and enters into it in the expansion of consciousness which results from an inner opening, but one ought never to put oneself into the hands of these beings and forces or allow oneself to be led by their suggestions and impulsions. This is one of the chief dangers of the spiritual life and to be on one’s guard against it is a necessity for the seeker if he wishes to arrive at his goal.
I would consider it best to have the spiritual and psychic development first and have it with the same fullness before entering the occult regions. Those who enter the latter first may find their spiritual realization much delayed—others fall into the mazy traps of the occult and do not come out in this life.”
– Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga
There are also different levels of teachings depending on where we are at on our soul journey, what we need and are ready for from a soul-level perspective, and not based on the demands of our impatient (wounded) ego. Everyone is different with unique lessons, paths, and at various stages of soul development – without judgment.
Any teaching is the reflection of the level of being and self-realization of the person teaching/transmitting it. It also depends on the receptivity of the student receiving them. For example in my life, I can see how I have gone through different stages and been drawn to various teachings depending on where I was at in my progress and process of self-work and psychological/spiritual development.
Most importantly, I couldn’t avoid basic somatic psychotherapy either along with body-mind and embodiment practices because I engaged in spiritual bypassing in the past as well and over-estimated my level of being. Combining somatic psychotherapeutic work with spiritual/esoteric work is key in this day and age. In other words, there needs to be a holistic approach, in my experience, similar to the four-fold approach I wrote about HERE.
John Baines wrote about these different levels of being and teachings in his book “The Stellar Man” using the analogy of the aquarium. You can substitute the word school for teaching. He comes from the perspective of Hermeticism but it can be applied to any teaching:
“The abundant esoteric mythology does not reveal the occult, but instead veils it, causing profound concern among those who seek, whether sincerely or falsely, the light of Hermetic truth. There are many schools, centers, and movements, each one with its own philosophy. Each of these currents apparently flows against the others and there is a great lack of agreement and coincidence in their teachings. Naturally, each school proclaims that its truth is correct and that those similar to it are imperfect or spurious. It is not our intention to criticize the different schools, but rather to guide seekers so they may find what they seek and at the same time obtain more insight into their personal motives.
Each seeker has a special concept of what he desires to find, and although he may indeed find what he is seeking, he will later realize that his discovery is not leading him to anything superior, real, or positive. Under the general context of “occult sciences,” there are those who feel attracted to spiritualism, yoga, Rosicrucianism, parapsychology, or mentalism. In turn, within each of these currents, there are numerous schools and “pseudo- schools.” The candidate for initiation finds it difficult to choose appropriately.
In the first place, we may say that each individual has his own level within the general average of humanity. It is as if we all lived in a water tank, similar to an aquarium, and each person found his own level of flotation according to the density of his body. There are many kinds of sapiens; there are those who are very low and others who are very high for their species. Under these conditions, it is natural that each person should seek an adequate movement or school appropriate to his own level; otherwise he would find it impossible to gain any benefit. In this case, it is understood that “like attracts like.”
Essentially there are no “higher” or “lower” teachings, techniques, or modalities in terms of good/bad judgment but what is suitable for where we are at since everyone is on a different level of being with different soul lessons. You cannot skip any steps. The best teaching for us is that which truly creates a difference in our lives and helps us become more of our true selves – the real “I” as opposed to the different personalities we tend to identify with.
Havings said that it’s always a red flag for me when people claim they have already done all/enough shadow, trauma, or inner child work and are looking for “more advanced techniques/modalities”. Proclaiming that is equally claiming that one is “enlightened” and fully soul-individuated and self-realized. One can also waste much time, even years, when this work is predominantly done intellectually without embodying it, and hence fool oneself that one has already “healed”.
Or, as I mentioned before, many people in the New Age/fringe/truth movement get hooked on all kinds of questionable techniques to “upgrade” their “DNA”, “light body”, “circuits” to “ascend to 5D”, etc. including many questionable techniques of “entity removals” etc. without having ever engaged in sincere psychological somatic inner work to close/heal the entry points where these forces tag into. The “spiritualized” ego [and wounded inner child] feeds off this “spiritual materialism” and self-importance where people overestimate their level of being.
In this clip, Laura and I talk to Eve Lorgen about this issue which she has seen as well.
To listen to the whole show go here: Hyperdimensional Hijacking, Trauma, And Reclaiming Your Soul – Eve Lorgen | TCM #57
A Holistic Integral Approach
This doesn’t imply just jumping from teaching to teaching or from modality to modality (even though we oftentimes learn by trial and error until we find what truly works for us) which could end up in spiritual materialism and the intellect getting hooked on knowledge instead of engaging in the Work.
Gurdjieff once told his student Ouspensky that if he’d had truly understood the essence of his work (i.e. embody it and live it), he wouldn’t need to read anything else anymore. But most of us keep reading and we need to learn constantly, however, it’s oftentimes more about constantly reminding ourselves what we already know (intellectually) for the most part, at least at some point in our journey. It’s just the intellect that can get hooked on that and trap itself by getting “addicted” to any teachings and information, believing itself to be awake, but still only dreaming to be awake. Sri Aurobindo experienced the same himself in his own process and he wrote about the limitations of the intellect as well.
Until we have the true inner experience it is just mental stuff that may resonate with us but it is not embodied which can fool us that we are more “advanced” than we actually are. As always, the mind is the trickster. It is also known in esoteric traditions and teachings that the more head-centric a person is, the harder it is for him/her to engage in the Work even though he/she may have more intellectual knowledge.
The learning never stops. Most of us do need to read and study more to gain more knowledge [especially in this age of short attention span] and receive feedback, and practical advice but most importantly we need to apply knowledge, and engage in the practices, especially on an embodied/somatic level. There is also only so much self-work you can do by yourself for we all have our subjective blindspots. Many of us are also still dealing with unconscious and unresolved trauma we are not even aware of because we have disassociated from it, hence, again, we need a holistic approach, working on all centers at the same time: Physical (somatic), psychological/emotional, intellectual, and spiritual.
Based on all the aforementioned issues and our personal experiences and having worked with thousands of people over the years, my partner Laura and I created a 12-week intensive online course “Time of Transition: Embodied Soul Awakening” based on the Four-fold approach of self-work in a truly holistic and integrative approach of “inner” work in the context of the “outer” work – understanding the matrix and cosmic forces influencing us. We combine all elements of the human experience in a complete program that will lead you through the fundamental psychological, somatic, spiritual, and esoteric practices needed for the evolutionary journey of consciousness that we, as humans, are being called to take.
This program gives people a deeper foundation for self-healing and self-work on a somatic, psychological, and spiritual level with many practical tools and exercises. To learn more about it go here: “Time of Transition: Embodied Soul Awakening”.
I want to emphasize that there is no “ONE” way. I’ve repeated this over and over in my work and writings. We all have our particular setup, lessons, challenges, karma, wounds, traumas, shadow, talents, and our individual process of awakening and healing. What works for one may not work for another. Even our work is not for everyone. However, what is very much needed, in my experience, is a holistic integral approach to life, self-work, and the process of awakening without escaping our bodies, life, or the world but transmute our whole being to eventually fully embody the divine supramental consciousness which is the great opportunity during this Time of Transition.
Most importantly is to ask yourself how sincere are you [with yourself] and do you have the 100% commitment “to answer the call” to cross “the threshold”? Every single soul will be faced with this choice at some point in their evolutionary journey over lifetimes. The only way out is in and through.