The Siege of Initiation

I alluded last time to my commitment to a spiritual path. In my bright-eyed enthusiasm, I neglected to mention the dark side of that coin, which, appropriately enough, now shines upon my life in its turn.

This world is a proving ground. Earthly existence is defined by tension and struggle between opposing forces. On the one hand, the human spirit desires to be free and to experience oneness and unconditional love; on the other hand, it is seduced into bondage, separation, and fear by all the myriad illusions of this world. It is our moment-to-moment freewill choice that decides which influence will win out.

Last week, prior to my trip to Model Expo in Helsinki to display a few of my Lego creations to the public, I was very much of two minds as to the task ahead of me, which is to let go of that material pursuit which has so consumed my artistic impulses for most of my life (not to mention a considerable amount of money). I figured that the exhibition would clarify the matter in my mind and bring me to a place where that letting go would be easier. In essence, I wished for my passion for turning ABS molded bricks into my original creations (MOCs) to burn itself out - a burnout that I've been trying to induce for months already. On some level, that notion did come true. I do feel more able to quit the hobby and sell off my collection than before. Doesn't mean the thought of it doesn't still cause me some amount of pain, but the way has opened up before me to the point where concrete action is feasible.

There's a lot more plot and drama to this story, but I'll try to pare it down to the most relevant bits here.

I was told, in a Tarot reading, that I would be going through an energetic battle (8 of Swords). That seems to be coming true already, although it may be that the real thing is yet to come. But judging from my dreams last night, and the way I've been feeling... yes, this is very much a battle of opposing energies. And it's one that I've been losing quite badly so far. Through emotional heaviness and negative thought patterns, I've found myself succumbing to confusion, powerlessness, and victimhood.

One of my dreams last night showed a small, reptilian demon acting like a harmless, cute little puppy that just needed someone to open a sealed packet of food for it. The girl's sympathy and compassion were winning out over her better judgment... next thing I saw was the same demon, ten times larger, swallowing a man's arm while its friend went for his other arm.

Don't feed the demons.

I was also shown, prior to falling fully asleep, a vision of myself and my shadow self. My shadow self was just too strong, too cunning for me; no matter which way I turned or what I tried to do, he was there ahead of me, sabotaging, overturning, perverting, diverting everything I did so that it fed into his plans instead of my own. There was no way to win at this game. As difficult as it was, I knew I had to stop fighting him, stop resenting him, stop relying on my own strength and limited vision. I tried to quiet myself, find peace, connect with the One in whom there is no separation and no conflict, to realize that I and my shadow were of the same stuff, just different expressions. The true I was neither little-me nor shadow-me, and yet contained both. The key to ending the struggle was understanding, acceptance, forgiveness, release. I did not actually attain that at the time, but I knew it and I went for it.

I'm being tested. I've been warned about this by a lot of people who've walked the spiritual path. There's no free lunch, no pill to be perfect, and no one-size-fits-all solution. It's a process that has to play out for each person. A process of shedding all those endless layers of false self, revealing always another, slightly more realized image of the perfection at the center. Every experience, pleasant or unpleasant, is an opportunity for progress. It's all in the attitude with which you meet it. For best results, choose love. Choose faith. Hold fast and have courage.

The Divine can appear as a terrible, punishing schoolmaster, or as a gentle, supportive teacher. Both forms have the same goal and the same purpose, merely different approaches. Life as struggle; life as gift. Both equally valid ways of seeing, both necessary. One to be transcended, the other to be realized.

Namasté, my friend. All the best. See you at the destination. Back Home.

Etheric Sex

I'm not writing this to brag about my experience, let me say that right out front. So you're not going to get the juicy details, just the essentials of it, plus a little theory.

Sex happens on multiple levels, including but not limited to the gross physical. (It also can be used either negatively or positively, like any other type of energy exchange.) But until very recently, I was only vaguely aware that sex could also happen without any physical component at all.

From this article and its comment section, I recently found out about something called ojas, which is an interesting topic in itself and makes good background for what follows here. It relates to the reason why certain spiritual practices have celibacy as a requirement. Since I have been totally celibate for some good number of weeks, I figure I'm pretty well set as far as ojas goes. Judging from what happened.

Regular sex (at least, the physical component) is centered around the genitals, pretty much, even though the entire body is certainly involved. With what I'm going to call “etheric sex,” the center of activity and stimulation is the heart chakra. Hmmm. The heart also happens to be the energy center responsible for feelings of love. And here's me, someone who's now used to having his heart chakra open and humming with unconditional love – and more than a little pleasure, too, on occasion, when conditions are right. All it takes is an open heart. Anyone should be able to feel it if they have the right mindset and just try.

Essentially, I guess what I felt was simply an amped-up version of that humming. And like the occasions when the flow spontaneously opens really wide, this time as well I had little to do but to get out of the way of what was happening. Stop interfering, stop analyzing, stop thinking about what a great blog entry it would make... and STOP FEARING IT. Fear is definitely the number-one obstacle. Because of fear, a deep-seated reluctance to allow myself to experience anything so wildly orgasmic and full-on intense, I stopped short of the ultimate release. I wanted it, but I just wasn't ready to let go completely of my inhibitions.

My partner was very patient and a masterful lover, but said that if I didn't quit chickening out and getting distracted, it would be over. Yes, my partner. No, there was nobody in the room with me. No one I could see, that is. I'm sure I just imagined her... him... it. But at the same time, he/she was definitely there, real. Reality is subjective. And invisible beings do exist, I'm sure of that. Anyway, I had to trust and submit without reservation, without condition or limitation in order for the thing to work and go all the way. It didn't happen, unfortunately. I was pretty damn high at one point, though....

This is the type of thing that can start happening in your life when you commit to the straighter spiritual path. I don't know how else to put it. These things, these mind-blowing new experiences, become a matter of course. At least, they have for me. I'll bet the times have a lot to do with it too. Galactic energies and all that. We're at a highly interesting point in the cycle, and the interestingness is not going to go away soon; on the contrary, it's very much on the rise.

If you want to take your life to the next level, there are some very simple things you can do to help that along. Stop eating junk, eat healthy food. Make a habit of prayer/meditation and gratitude. Simplify. Get rid of the TV and watch what you let into your head. Spend time in nature. Pay attention to little things. Listen to your inner voice. (You'll recognize it because it's the one that's never wrong.) And, if you're so inclined, read up on spiritual topics. Plenty of good reading material on the 'net, plus you have your original holy books and the related teachings. Follow whatever path suits you best. Don't settle for the same old same old. Be open to change. And remember, it's all a game. It's worth playing well, but it's also worth having fun with. If that all sounds good to you, then maybe it's time for some Next Level Up. You can do it!

P.S. Sungazing rules! (Especially at dawn!)

Death and desire: which one packs the dagger?

On the Mayan Tzolk'in calendar, my birthdate resonates as 13 Cimi. The number 13 stands for ascension and the completion of all things, a transcending force. Cimi is Death, the Transformer. A Death person is naturally prone to change and comfortable with transitions. Both of these qualities well describe my nature and my experience of life.

I was given a dream some time ago in which I had one simple task. There was a veil that could only be crossed when a person was ready – if they weren't ready, they wouldn't be there facing it. The veil seemed to be contiguous with the flowing garment of a skeletal figure who I recognized as Death. My job was to lift the veil for each person as they came through, so that they could see what lay hidden on the other side. The object they came to view was no mere object; it was a hole in space. The hole appeared as a single eye with lids on the sides instead of the top and bottom. Through that eye, when one looked intently, one could see something rather surprising: a little house on a hill, simply outlined and coloured, like a child's drawing. That drawing was a symbol for Home. A comforting place. It was where we were all from, and it was where we were all ultimately going. Each person who came through would look at this revelation and break into a smile. They'd known it all along, they just needed a little reminder to remember what they already knew. All the fears and doubts they might have had before entering, some timidly, some boldly, were shown to be pure illusion. There was nothing to do with them but to let them go and have a good laugh. Everyone left feeling greatly relieved, lightened, and renewed. Where they went after the viewing, I could not tell; they certainly didn't go out the way they came in. And that was my dream.

I felt quite troubled after I had the dream. I was very reluctant to accept that I could be one to carry out such a task, even though it had all felt most natural and easy in the dreaming world. I wondered if the dream meant I had to be some kind of “keeper of the veil” in this life. Would people come to me for a glimpse of that Truth? Seemed a little far-fetched. I still don't know what it means. But it was certainly one of my more interesting dreams.

Death is a theme I've become comfortable with on some deep, basic level, even though I have never actually been very closely touched by it in a concrete way in the short twenty-five years I've lived so far. I have never been to a funeral and I have never lost a family member closer than a little-known cousin. All my grandparents are still alive. I have often wondered at this, why it is that I've been spared those experiences for so long. It can't last forever, and it could end tomorrow for all I know. I do know that I would like to be present at the departure of my mother's father, to hold his hand and ease his passing. Of course, given that I'm leaving the country for the foreseeable future quite soon, I'd rather not necessarily have that come true, either!

Hmm, I was supposed to write about friends here. Bonds of friendship. Social ties. They've been greatly emphasized in my life in this past little while, following an extended period of relative, voluntary isolation. At a time in my life that's full of things to do, deadlines, and uncertainty (nothing I can't handle on my own, mostly, although I am keenly aware of and grateful for all the help and support I receive), destiny has decided to make friendships a major theme. I've felt drawn to reconnect with people, particularly those with whom I feel the closest spiritual kinship, but also many others. Part of it, I'm sure, is the need to finish things up before I leave, but that doesn't explain the case of one person, who just suddenly showed up in my life one lazy Sunday afternoon to shake things up even more when they were in pretty high flux already. I'm really glad she did, though, because the ensuing series of events and dynamics has been a challenge I can really sink my teeth into. I've been tested pretty hard by it already, and I know this is only the start. It's a nice grueling uphill climb, spiritually, after a whole lot of comparatively smooth territory for me.

Here's the thing: two things actually, that I've occasionally been feeling the desire for: a passionate but non-committed relationship (to balance out my first one, which was all commitment and not so much passion), and somebody to whom I could be a spiritual mentor. It's easy to see how the false ego can hijack such desires and really go for a joyride. A lot of potential for hurt and long-lasting damage there, if those things were to be pursued as actual goals in themselves. The only goal that should matter, the only one really worth pursuing, is to find one's way back to the divine source: back Home. Anything else is a diversion, purely optional and only desirable insofar as it is in line with the highest good for oneself and all others. Destiny, of course, is just that, ultimately: the highest good, the most desirable and perfect script for this play called life. And it really is all in hand, if we can just let go of our need to control events and control other people for the spineless satisfaction of our own Death-fearing ego selves.

In short, that weak and myopic part of me perceived the chance for both these desired things in the appearance of this new player on the stage. And so I set myself up for a fall, which I am happy to say I have pretty much worked through by now, but that bears telling here. What Destiny had in mind was something quite different, of course, than my misguided imaginings. Yes, she had just broken up with her boyfriend and seemed to be in the market for a new one; yes, she resonated strongly with me on a soul level and had questions to which I felt I could offer answers; but she was already on a different path, one that required an absolute, core-level renunciation of both desires on my part. I admit that it has not been easy, not easy at all to do that work on myself, but I have the necessary skills and tools to do it and since I committed to it, Destiny has been helping me along in little ways (thanks, universe).

The story is not over yet, but the rest remains to be seen. All will unfold as it must, regardless of the puny intentions of anyone. We human souls who walk this earth are as mites compared to the will of the Divine. Utterly inconsequential (that is, until we learn to be a lot closer to the Divine, at which point I suppose we will have bigger and better places to be). I am committed to the Great Work; that and no other shall be my guiding star.

In closing, I send a heartfelt prayer of thanks to the source of all things, which in its infinite wisdom has seen fit to try my heart and purify it in the flames of this holy purgatory which has but the appearance of profanity, for all things are holy that proceed from God, and there is nothing in existence that is not from that same source.

The perfection of your works, O Lord, is absolute. I embrace all things as they are: the suffering and the joy, the grime and the glory, the fall and the redemption, the loss and the gift. Whatsoever I lose for your sake, I will gain better in return. Help me to walk this path of your righteousness, for without your signs and angels I would quickly go astray. All is well when I am with you, and as long as it is so, I shall have no fear. Thank you for your longsuffering patience and your abundant grace gifts every day of my life. Your Love is everything, and everything is a manifestation of your Love. Let your Love be known in my heart and let it shine through even in the darkest hours to come. ~Your humble servant, this self.