“Nothing, absolutely nothing, can sterilize spiritual creativity so long as a man is—and realizes himself to be—free. Only the loss of freedom, or of the consciousness of freedom, can sterilize a creative spirit.”
I hear Bob Marley singing:
“Old pirates, yes, they rob I;
Sold I to the merchant ships…
But my hand was made strong
By the ‘and of the Almighty.
We forward in this generation
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.
Won’t you help to sing this song of freedom”
Our songs of freedom are sung through our creativity. Several years ago, sitting at a booth together at a book fair, Bonnie Lee Black and I talked about how more and more people are creating books even as fewer and fewer people actually read books—a strange dichotomy.
Freedom emerges through the creative urge of individuals. We have stories we must tell. I sometimes imagine that all these books that don’t get sold or appreciated by the “merchant ships”—our current market driven world—will be a goldmine of understanding for those who inhabit this planet long after we have gone. Our stories are laying tracks for those who will wonder what kind of world this was, back in what they called the 21st century.
We are the ancestors of future generations, born from our species and/or future inhabitants of this planet who come from somewhere else. Despite the pirates now working to greedily claim the bounty of our planet and our freedom, we strive forward with “the consciousness of freedom” in our individual and humble ways—the creative spirit.
I posted this on a different blog site December 8, 2013. I thought it was worth revisiting.
I’ve noticed a curious thing since Nelson Mandela’s death three days ago— astounding grace occurring for both my friends and myself. It’s the kind of grace that doesn’t necessarily make “things” better but rather opens the clouds of patterned oppression revealing insights of loving-kindness, generosity and acceptance—correcting course from obstructive thinking to open heartedness. It is as if all that love, patience, and compassion that lived in the one man, Nelson Mandela, was like a dandelion flower. When he passed from his worldly form all the little winged seedlings were cast abroad over the world.
I heard a speech that Nelson Mandela delivered in Britain right after his release from prison. With his deep soulful smile he said to the British people, “I love every one of you.” He wasn’t just saying I love you collectively as “a people” he was speaking into the heart of each individual. He was a true Bodhisattva. In Judaism there is a principle called Tikun Olam—to mend the world. We are not obliged to complete the job, neither are we exempt from trying, from doing our part in making a better world. Nelson Mandela’s part in mending the world was very large.
Here is an idea to honor the legacy of Nelson Mandela. Decide for one day to look into the eyes of every person you encounter as if you are looking into the eyes of Nelson Mandela. See them as Bodhisattvas, as loving menders of the world, as one who through patience and loving-kindness can and has changed history for the betterment of thousands of people. Notice how you feel.
I am walking through our local health food market without a list, feeling for what I will want to eat in the next few days. A woman whom I don’t know passes me and says, "I saw you and thought you were Ann Bancroft. But then I thought, no that can’t be, she's, you know."
"Dead," I say. I'm not timid about the great wonder. We both chuckle and then I say with a smile, referencing one of Ann Bancroft's great roles, “I used to be Mrs. Robinson.” (When I was married.) We both chuckle again and walk on.
Later I revisit the incident in my mind and I am reminded of a visionary experience I had years ago that came on the wings of the theme song of that same Ann Bancroft movie, The Graduate. I wrote about it in my memoir and now I feel I am being reminded by the Greater Mind that there is a love that never stops loving us.
Excerpt from Love on The Brink of History:
"One afternoon before I became involved with the Gnostic church, I was out doing housewife errands and pulled into the parking lot of a home-improvement store. I parked my car on the burning, midsummer tarmac, and as I walked toward the electric doors to the air-conditioned vastness of nuts, bolts, and lawn chairs, I passed a store employee. He was setting up some potted plants under a mister at the front of the store and boldly singing out a familiar song, paying no attention to me passing by, “And here’s to you Mrs. Robinson, Jesus loves you more than you will know.”
When I married, I took my husband's last name, Robinson. I was then Mrs. Robinson. Spirit often speaks to me through seemingly random incidents like this, which reveals an open portal for “presence” eternal. Occurrences like this are always guidance for something I’m puzzling through, or just a message from spirit to remind me of who I am and where I belong. Carl Jung called this synchronicity. I’ve recalled this experience over the years, and each time it is a real and comforting reminder of my purpose in this life."
Struggling to discipline myself to stay with my writing (I’ve begun a work of fiction), I nevertheless still need to take breaks from sitting. So after an hour at the screen I decided to do something physical which would not take too long.
Five years ago someone left a funky table across the road from my casita. I thought it was junk but hauled it over to my patio to use as a surface for potting plants. After a year of sun, wind, and snow the veneer had curled up and I was ready then to junk the table. But some salvage sensibility made me pull the veneer off. It was just press-board underneath and I bought a colorful printed piece of Mexican oilcloth to cover it. I’d overestimate the length and had a strip of the turquoise with red/orange flowers left after I'd stapled the oilcloth around the table, from the underside. The table served to brighten up the patio and protect the raw press-board from weather.
The other day, feeling spring, I decided to replace the now rotting turquoise oilcloth with a new color. I bought a red flowered pattern with blue and green, but this time I underestimated the size, and the piece was too small. I pulled out the leftover turquoise piece from two years ago and thought I'd go wild with two different colors and patterns. But it still wasn't enough. So I went back to the fabric store the next day. The proprietor had a yellow piece he'd sell me for half price because it was less than a yard. So now I had three colors.
My neighbor and I agreed that using all three colors looked the best. Now, during my quick break from writing, I began to staple-gun the three colors to the table (wrapping it under and stapling from underneath). Pressing the gun from that twisted position got more and more difficult each time I applied the stable gun to the under side of the table. Then the gun ran out of staples. I went rummaging for more staples, filled the gun, and then one staple got jammed. Now I needed to pull out my pliers. My break from writing was extending beyond my intended time.
I finally fixed the staple-gun but it jammed again because I couldn’t get a purchase against the underside of the table. I only needed two or three more staples and I could get back to my writing. But I just couldn’t get it, and without these last clinchers, the turquoise piece would not hold. So I turned the table upside down to lay it flat so I could staple it from above with more leverage. As I turned it over, one of the legs crumbled off. The underside of the tabletop onto which the leg was fastened had turned to sawdust. I noticed a black widow nested in the corner by another leg and an old wasp nest stuck to the underside. I didn't bother them and now realized this table is really and truly junk—finally ready for the dump. So I got a screwdriver to pull out the staples and save the oilcloth.
The black widow was getting agitated and then a wasp appeared, buzzing around my lengthening project. I assumed she was saying, "What the hell are you doing?" Eventhough I was sure that wasp nest was old and dried up. Why would she care about it? Now I believe I was right in my translation but perhaps not in the way I’d believed at the time.
I apologized to both of them for causing an earthquake. I tried to scoot a dustpan under the widow to take her to a new location, but she resisted; went and hid. I pushed that leg off the rotted tabletop to coax the widow out from underneath. The leg leaned off its bearing with ease, and the widow came with it. So with her riding on the table leg, I walked her out across the street to an area where I dump weeds. I apologized to her for making her a refugee.
My neighbor helped me carry the pieces of table out to the trash from where I’ll eventually have to take them to the dump.
When I told my friend this story she prized me on my mindfulness. "You could have been stung by the wasp, or bit by the black widow," (something that never really occurred to me. I was more concerned about not shooting myself in the face with the staple gun). "I'm sure it was because you did not become aggressive or loose your temper that they didn't hurt you." I suppose because I did not feel aggression or fear, to them I was just an act of nature. I guess meditating each morning really helps.
This morning when I went to open the curtains the wasp was sleepily clinging to the drape. I went and got a card and a glass, as I do with spiders. I spoke gently to it and told it I would take it outside. It came along willingly as I apologized again for disrupting its nest. Then I thought to look up what wasp means as totem:
Go to work on your goals and your goals will work on you. All the good things we build – end up building us. Make a plan, keep working towards it and let nothing get in your way.
Perhaps the wasp was saying “What the hell are you doing? Get back to your writing.”
The reunion of four friends after months of traveling was joyful. Conversation, always intelligent, ranged from psychology to hairstyles, from politics to typography. “Oh, that’s just my ego,” one friend said to a round of laughter. “I’m not sure I even know what an ego is,” said another. More laughter. We all agreed that there should only be one space after a period, not two.
Later I stayed with the question what is an ego, and this image came to me of the ego as a kind of guardian of the soul, which is a gateway. We are vulnerable beings and we have all in some way been wounded by a world of harsh dualities—loving parents who loose their temper and treat us harshly; playful friends who terrorize us with their games. And those are just the benign wounds. We all know it can be much worse.
The ego is that part of us that bears the wounds. Protecting our vulnerability, it receives the blows and shows the scars. It makes valiant attempts at what it believes will avoid any further wounding. When one moves one’s center of awareness from the guardian of the gate to the gateway itself, one can laugh about the foibles of the ego, because as a conscious adult one can decide how much vulnerability one wants to share or not.
There is not a soul incarnate in a body that does not suffer. The only child suffers from loneliness. The middle child of three suffers from rejection by her siblings. The mother suffers that her daughter wants nothing to do with her. The childless woman suffers for not having had children. We might believe that the grass is greener on the other side of our suffering but the truth does not bear this out. A deeper truth is the certainty that no matter how it looks from the other side, each person bears some degree of suffering. When we grok this we come to compassion—the deep recognition that we are all inside a conundrum of challenge that is in many ways painful, lonely, hurtful, fearful, sad…
Coming to the recognition that this is the condition of being human gives us the password to enter past the guardian-ego, past the gateway-soul to our spirit which has never been wounded, is not insecure, is not condemned, not fixated on pain, but whose whole enterprise is union with other spirits in the re-cognition that we are all one great glorious whirling unity.
My Bishop used to say, “Choose one path and stay with it if you want to reach the top. Switching pathways only keeps you wandering around the base of the mountain.”
The question hung in my being for two weeks. Have I just been wandering around the base of the mountain? I’ve not stuck with one path. I left the Gnostic Church after being ordained to the priesthood. I did stay with a wisdom teacher for twenty years at which point I felt I’d received all I could from him. Since then I’ve explored many different avenues, each of which could have been a life’s work: various forms of meditation, energy healing, mind/body techniques, front lines in neurological and epigenetic exploration. I’ve explored how hereditary traumas can pass down to later generations. I learned that the egg from which I was first formed was in my mother when she was just an egg in her mother. Have I just been dabbling? I certainly have no material position or platform in the world to show this is who I am and what I do.
I sat in meditation feeling the pain in my body until it called me to the bathtub. The water was not hot enough when I got in and I had to wait for the tank to heat again. I dove into my being with all the tools I’ve learned, Vipassana, Presence Process, tapping, hooponopono, accepting, watching, seeing… My immigrant maternal grandmother’s trauma revealed itself with more fullness than I’d seen up to this point. I felt its impact on my mother, witnessing her familiar characteristics as part of that pattern. I saw in turn how the patterns passed to me, and how I passed it along to my children. I saw anger, resentment, and bitterness. I saw how I carried what didn’t really belong to me but lived and had effect in me nevertheless.
I saw that the patterns and people at whom I pointed my finger were mirrors of myself, and I drew my attention from out to in. By the time the water became hot enough to stay I’d surrendered to my shadow. Metaphorically down on my knees I heard Leonard Cohen, “When they said repent I wondered what they meant.” Now I knew. I was in a state of repentance. I’m sorry, please forgive me, I love you, thank you.
I felt I’d just experienced another Baptism (we can have many over the course of the years). I got out of the bath and returned to sitting. With spine erect, hands in meditative mudra, I felt a halo about my whole body. It was a mandala of wholeness made up of all the various studies and practices I’ve learned, all the pathways I’ve only partially taken. Each one was crucial to the whole, none were false starts or errors, and I’d abandoned nothing. Each avenue of exploration contributed to this moment of recognition—I am whole. I allow my life to be what it will be. I am not in error needing to be fixed. I am not sick needing to be healed. All that I’ve loved, hated, been disrupted by, resisted… all are my teachers on this one pathway to the summit of this life.
Whatever you can say about anything, the opposite is also true. We don’t just inhale we also exhale—both parts of breathing constitute the whole.
My sister shows me her Israeli Identity papers. She points to her name in Hebrew letters that fill in the form; then to our parents’ names, then her children’s names. She smiles, her heart swells to be living in a country where the state recognizes her identity as blood lineage. I say, “It gives me the creeps.” We are two of a kind from opposite sides of the whole.
I sit in silence each morning noticing my breath, noticing my thoughts. I experience this life as a mystery that cannot be defined or limited by identity. Whatever you can say about me, whatever I can think about me is only an incomplete restricted frame, a partial construct. True science is the art of looking and our science has seen, through honest looking, into the mystery that in reality there is no there there. I’ve seen there is also no me here.
In the language of mathematics there are both integral and differential equations. The first breathes in, the second breathes out. The entire cosmos both integrates and differentiates. A star bursts into being radiating outward bright with elemental fire and eventually fades dull into black, sucking in everything around it.
One day I feel a void so empty I can see no reason for being. The next day the scent of pine, the smile of a baby swells my heart to golden light full of meaning.
One administration comes in with a confident stride of hope and a can-do enthusiasm that ignites the feeling of connection to all life. Then comes the attitude of building walls, fear of otherness, turning the equation from expansion to contraction.
I feel the entire cosmos expanding and contracting with the life force that animates this body, this life, and all being. I am that, beyond tribal identities or personal delineations.
The grandpa outside playing with his 18-month-old grandson teaches him, “up and down, up and down”
I glance at a printed article on my table entitled, “Beware of False Dichotomies.” I haven’t read it yet; don't know what it concludes; have no argument with it. I live in a world in which false and true are but two angles of vision divided by one mysterious mind.
For over 35 years I’ve had faith that eventually medicine would catch on to true healing. Pharmaceuticals and surgery seemed so heavy handed for such a refined and finely tuned instrument as the physical sentient body. I turned to natural remediation of my chronic ailments, but still, though they went a long way to preserve my body and keep it intact, the deeper healing eluded me.
The word heal comes from the word whole. When interferences, such as pathogens or trauma, disrupt the full and free flow of wholeness within the systems of the body, true health is not achieved.
Chinese healing systems work on the basis that the energy fields, from which the physical ensues, are the true source of healing. Acupuncture has been effective for centuries. But alas not all acupuncturists are masters of their art.
Various energy-healing technologies have been with us since the early 20th Century:
In the 1930s Royal Rife, the inventor of a high intensity microscope, “also reported that a 'beam ray' device of his invention could weaken or destroy the pathogens by energetically exciting destructive resonances in their constituent chemicals. * Sadly Rife was ahead of his time and his work was controversial.
Hulda Clark—a Canadian naturopath, whose work was popular in the second half of last century, claimed that all disease was caused by parasites. She invented a “Zapper” which delivers electrical currents at various frequencies that supposedly kill off corresponding parasites.
In the 1980s I was shown a computerized technology that reads the body’s vibrational fields and supposedly delivers improved vibrations to the faulty unhealthful ones.
Further developments in energy medicine have become more refined.
We are now at the dawn of the quantum age, beginning to effectively access information distortions in the human body field. And the world of medicine is perhaps more accepting of alternative approaches.
The most recent machine I’ve experienced is NES which is an acronym for Nutri-Energetics Systems. This modality is based on new understanding of the information and energy that make up the body field.
As I was in the process of receiving this healing modality, taking liquid drops coded by the NES technology, I had an “aha” moment—this is not frequency, this is information.
In the 1980s I practiced a form of bodywork called Trager, named for its founder, Milton Trager. Though it looked like massage, I was actually delivering information. I’d bring myself into a “lightness of being” state and then communicate that to the client. Dr. Trager said, “it’s contagious, your client will only catch it from you if you have it yourself.”
Infoceuticals work similarly. The computer program reads my body hologram and determines what aspects in my body field are struggling, because of misinformation, or a lack of flow. A certain type of water is encoded with the “lighter-freer-flowing” information my body field calls for (because the body is always reaching toward homeostasis).
The drops then imprint the body field, giving it information to correct flow, where it has been stultified or compromised. This invisible stimulus through the quantum field is more effective than trying to “fix” the physical or chemical levels, because it addresses the source of the disruption and stimulates the body’s response.
This takes medicine further conceptually, because it gets to the underlying causes of disease rather than just attempt to alleviate symptoms. It corrects the human body field so that it works according to its original blueprint.
So how is it affecting me? A digestive disturbance that for more than 35 years has fluctuated between chronic and acute is now settling and my overall digestive system feel stronger. The fallout from gut issues, Rheumatoid Arthritis, is subsiding. I have more sustained energy, a clearer mind, and most of all a desire to continue living.
Spoiler alert: Though the above statement was true after just two treatments, I had to go out of town for a month, unable to continue treatment. I experienced a little backslide (though I’m still much better than I was). For anyone wanting to go into this healing modality, I recommend making the commitment and staying the course.
You can find out more about NES Health from Luis Constantin MD, at https://heartandbiofield.com/
I’m trying to feel forgiveness father, for they know not what they do. But these minds, so far from the real, they have no vision beyond the horizon of their own stories and beliefs. They do not have eyes to see the world is not flat; they only see top or bottom, left or right. They cannot see the content of a man’s character. And I feel numb under a full moon that seems to cast more shadows than light.
Jesus, you said, "Perhaps people think that I have come to cast peace upon the world. They do not know that I have come to cast conflicts upon the earth: fire, sword, war. For there will be five in a house: there'll be three against two and two against three, father against son and son against father, and they will stand alone." *
I feel so alone now, for my house is as you said, no common comprehension, thrown asunder by un-common “facts” claiming blatant untruth. What can possibly be true on this babel, this globe where unseeing prevails and words are flung like pinballs, bouncing and crashing, never making real contact?
"I have cast fire upon the world, and look, I'm guarding it until it blazes."* I trust that you are guarding the world, here is the blaze you have set upon it. I feel like Joan of Arc with the flames following her “as she went riding in the dark.”†
Is truth draining from the world in favor of delusion, born of manipulated statistics, foreign objects hurling insults and blame. There is a hut in the forest in my heart calling me away from words. Inviting me to commune with the trees and the bears, and all that does not lie.
Tonight Leonard, my pen turns to fog under the silver moon. I can’t find it in me to say a little more and I feel to go with you where love goes on and on.
*Gospel of Thomas