|Tiger Lilies, Tamarack Creek|
Tamarack Creek helps weave the threads of my soul together. The hills are steep, and numerous troughs in the earth collect runoff, forming rivulets that provide water for meadows and trees. Stunning wildflowers bloom profusely in these meadows in July and August when the lower hills are brown and threatened by wildfire: Tiger lilies and columbine and larkspur flourish with tapestries of lupine, paintbrush and arrow-leaf tansy. Snow sometimes even covers these parts in mid to late June. When the snow melts away, wherever there is water, life springs forth, jewel-like and fresh. One sniff of a tiger lily, and my soul feels free again as rivulets feed roots and creeks, and creeks slide down into rivers, and rivers search for an ocean. Soon water will evaporate and return as snow and rain. As I sit next to the creek, feeling this cycle as though it were part of my own circulatory system, with new trees and branches strewn on the ground, I know why there has been so much cognitive dissonance in my life.
When I sit on a rock in the sun at 7,500 feet, I feel like a renegade. Who I am or what I have accomplished doesn’t matter at all, very much like when I was a child. What matters is the energy of the sun inflaming my solar plexus and pounding through my veins, the source lighting and warming and feeding the cells of all the plants and trees around me. I am part of that huge, radiating fire, wild and sentient and intense. Without it, I wouldn’t exist. Nothing would.
My soul is likewise a sun after all negativity has burned away; I can see it in my mind’s eye when I envision the subtle planes during meditation and ritual. At times, that is all I am, a conscious point of intense white light that resonates with the fiery life generated by the sun. As I sit by the creek, I can barely glimpse the source if I squint, but I know its light as it manifests the world around me.
I really am a fool. As I was growing up in Fresno, 7,000 feet below in the San Joaquin Valley, over the years I was taught to believe that other life forms such as plants and animals aren’t really alive the way humans are--they don’t have feelings or consciousness--and I believed it. Next to Tamarack Creek, I sense consciousness all around me, in the sunlight and the flowers and the towering trees, in the birds and the chipmunks, even in the water and the rocks. I cannot believe that the sun that gives life to everything on the planet is devoid of consciousness, that the earth providing a home for that life is also without consciousness, that the incredible plants and trees around me do not have their own forms of consciousness.
As I mentioned in the previous post, I was also conditioned to believe that I am right-handed when I am really left-handed. I was conditioned to believe that the vast majority of the foods that weigh down grocery shelves are good for me when most of them are actually killing me because I have celiac disease and other food intolerances. I don’t know why I am surprised that I have been lied to about nature: In a capitalistic system, considering nature lifeless makes it easier to kill it and exploit it without remorse.
|Lupine and Paintbrush by Tamarack Creek|
I have also been conditioned to believe that anyone in this society who claims to see ghosts or sense subtle forces is highly suspect, possibly even insane, yet after going through a process of self-purification, I have grown more aware of a spiritual dimension, regularly sensing subtle energies, whether they are the feelings and thoughts of other people or the consciousness of plants and animals or the presence of supernatural entities. Either my reality is a lie, or what is generally considered reality in this society is so much of a twisted over-simplification that it ends up being a lie. Based on my experiences, I can no longer believe in a materialistic view of the cosmos. I officially declare that I have moved beyond my social conditioning: I am now a member of the fellowship of the sacred light.
When I was a child, I was quite good at following directions. I smiled at the teacher a lot and gave one hundred percent in school and during sports activities. I had high hopes of doing great things. Then I became ill, and that is when I first started questioning authority and drawing negative subtle forces to me.
I have discovered that foods that cause allergic reactions affect me on a subtle level: I feel depression for no reason other than that I eat a piece of bread or something with corn syrup in it, and the ensuing psychological distress over time attracts harmful subtle forces. While I was meditating during the self-purification process, for example, my subconscious mind revealed hundreds of headless, black spiders attached to my aura as well as black blobs and polyps, all of which were feeding off of my energy and maintaining psychological distress. After clearing my mind of these entities, my depression wained; I stopped hearing critical voices in my head and unexpectedly began having visions of symbols that reveal spiritual principle, such as the lemniscate, the thousand-petaled lotus, the golden, equal-armed cross. Some higher aspect of myself began communicating with me.
For me, evil forces are not like the demons presented in movies. They are invisible, but my subconscious mind presents an image of them in my mind’s eye. I am not clairvoyant like some psychics. I have only once actually glimpsed one spirit for a moment. I am, however, clair-audient and clair-sentient: I have heard them distinctly, and I have been shaken and nudged and touched and enveloped by them. Most of the time I simply sense their presence. Some seem to be discarnate humans, but demonic spirits for me include any entity that causes harm for its own benefit or delight. Some, of course, are probably no more intentionally vicious than a virus or a bacteria, but many of them, at least in the way that my subconscious presents them to me, appear alarmingly malicious.
During meditation, in other words, I discovered how demons and gods and angels are born: Those who are sensitive to subtle energies tune their mind to lower or higher energies, and symbolic images that personify them rise into the conscious mind. In other words, the subconscious mind gives form to the forces the way that it gives form to forces and ideas in dreams: through symbolism. The force is real, but the image that rises into the conscious mind is symbolic.
Celiac disease, an incurable, chronic physical illness, has attracted insidious forces to my psyche for the better part of four decades. I have never dabbled in the dark arts, but because of this disease dark spirits have attacked me and evil entities have latched onto my psyche. One night not long ago, for instance, just before I began manifesting the worst symptoms of the disease, a demonic spirit, cold, heavy, and invisible, enveloped me, paralyzing me for about fifteen minutes. I wasn’t afraid because this has happened to me several times before, and I knew that if my soul radiated light like the sun, I would mentally repulse it. The simplicity of that might sound absurd, but I have discovered that if a dark spirit cannot latch onto fear or negativity in the aura and instead encounters inner light, it is either repulsed or loses interest. Before it departed, however, it pressed down on my stomach, the part of the body that celiac disease ravages the most, for about a minute, as if to indicate that worse things were in store for me. Soon after that, I began having irregular heartbeats caused by the disease for as long as two hours at a time.
In Fresno, people tend to question your sanity if you claim that you have experienced malicious or demonic spirits. Even claiming that you have a soul is enough to make some rational people flee in terror and never come back. So much of “rationality,” though, is about appearances and agreement about what is true. What can be perceived by the physical senses is “real” because a group of people or a device has provided some sort of verifiable proof. Then a larger group of people agree that the proof is real, which can lead to an even larger number of people accepting it without question.
When relying on the five senses, agreement about the reality of a rock or a tree seems fairly easy, but what a physical object really is on the subatomic level has become more and more difficult to determine. According to chem1.com, “Our intuitive view of the ‘real world’ is one in which objects have definite masses, sizes, locations and velocities. Once we get down to the atomic level, this simple view begins to break down. It becomes totally useless when we move down to the subatomic level and consider the lightest of all chemically-significant particles, the electron....The electronic structure of an atom can only be determined indirectly by observing the manner in which atoms absorb and emit light." Whether light is made up of particles or waves depends on who or what is observing it. Agreement about a subjective state or a subtle force, of course, is even more difficult.
How did those in power benefit by conditioning me to believe that there is no spiritual dimension or that there is only one savior and one god and one devil to believe in? I remained oblivious to the god-like potentials within me. If I thought about it at all, I tended to believe that the spirit world does not exist or that it exists in a realm far beyond me where some god or savior is waiting to judge me for my mistakes, as if I were given a reliable guidebook for addressing each and every problem in this increasingly complex world. I did not know until I began having visions that I could tune my mind to the god-like potentials represented by the Tree of Life and develop them in myself. I did not know, while working at McDonald’s and Target and Home Depot, that I could move beyond social conditioning and learn to become more psychic and speak my truth effectively and create beauty and know the Christ force and become a courageous peaceful warrior and a magnificent king ruling the domain of my own mind. With that knowledge, it's a lot harder to remain merely a compliant unit of labor.
|Rusty Oven, Tamarack Creek|
I now often perceive the world around me with a different set of senses, what I call my soul senses, which in my case means that I see, feel, or hear forces that others do not perceive. And I am well aware that when I say that I perceive subtle forces, I sound crazy, but this is my reality, which has stemmed from a chronic illness that has led to self-purification and greater psychic ability.
There is an old saying: “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” In Fresno, CA, however, the one-eyed man is insane. By claiming that I perceive forces that others cannot verify, I am no longer conforming to reigning beliefs about reality, and no doubt when people read this I will become forever unemployable, but I did not choose to break out of conformity: I couldn’t help it. I have been conditioned as much as the next guy to rely on appearances to make my way in the world. My father, for instance, would often declare that the world is ninety-five percent appearances (or some variation thereof). My father was well aware that we live in a culture where people tend to be judged quickly and decisively based on their worth as a unit of labor. My father used to say that if you focus on appearances, you’ll end up okay, you’ll find a job and be able to support a family. Because of my chronic illness, my compulsion to be creative, and my perception of subtle forces, I discovered that maintaining appearances while remaining true to myself has not been quite so easy.
In older cultures, many adepts, or “gurus,” believe people from Western societies are far too spiritually immature to take on as students. In Fresno, CA, I have had to deal with spiritual realities without assistance from a guru or anyone else. I had to break on through to the other side, so to speak, by myself. I would have preferred to live a life based on appearances; instead I have had to rely only on myself to weave together threads of experience to understand the truth about the forces behind appearances. I know that evil exists, just as I know that higher and more exalted forces exist than people in this society generally acknowledge, and they are not all associated with the Judeo-Christian tradition.
|Tree of Life|
Each sphere, or state of being, on the Tree of Life contains a virtue--an ideal, balanced use of its energy--and a vice--a potentially damaging, unbalanced use of its energy. In the sphere of the intellect known as Hod, the virtue is truth and the vice is dishonesty. (Except in the highest spheres, energy exists within the law of polarity.) When striving to climb the Tree of Life, I discovered that it is extremely important to strive for the ideal in each sphere. If I was glamorized by appearances or caught up in illusion, I would not understand the virtue within each of the higher spheres. In fact I would not know the spiritual dimension at all because I wouldn’t be able to see beyond the physical plane to experience subtle forces and comprehend spiritual principle. The state of being “above” Hod is the sphere of nature and the arts known as Netzach, which means Beauty. If I did not live the truth, I would not be as affected by the beauty of nature or the great works of humanity and not as compelled to create beauty myself. I know that if I did not live the truth, I would have been unable to experience the Vision of Harmony and the Mysteries of Sacrifice in the state of being above Netzach known as Tiphareth, the Christ center.
Living the truth, the virtue of Hod, is one of the most difficult things a person can do in any society. I have struggled over the years to know the truth about myself mainly because of the misery caused by chronic illness. During a long process of experimentation I figured out that I am allergic to eggs, milk, and corn and eliminated them from my diet, but I did not, until recently, realize that gluten was threatening my health. For far too long I remained ill and depressed, no matter how I experimented with my diet, emotionally and spiritually floating in a black pool, just barely keeping my head above water. After awhile I developed a heightened awareness of evil as I absorbed black subtle forces.
|Tiger Lilies, Arrow Leaf Tansy, Angelica|
According to Beth Beurkens, M.A., a wake-up call “may come to us involuntarily, tearing the fabric of daily life. Accidents, illness, loss, and misfortune can all have a spiritual dimension to them. The loss of a career, a serious illness, a near-death experience or the death of someone close may all serve as turning points for rethinking the purpose and meaning of our lives. Feelings of disconnection, disorientation and suffering often accompany the inner call to a spiritual path.” She goes on to say that “emotionally challenging, sometimes life-threatening crises are similar to the calls that indigenous shamans receive. They may be the beginning of the initiatory process.” My illness and my visions were my wake up calls. As I mentioned, I managed to survive by purifying myself physically and mentally, with the added benefit that I became more psychic. It’s second nature for me now to perceive dark energies and spiritual taints with my subtle senses--in myself and other people.
There are spiritual taints in places where you least expect them. I feel them, and I can see them in my mind’s eye, not because I want to or because I am biased against anyone in particular, but because they simply present themselves to me. For instance, I stepped into the office of a person at a local college one day and immediately sensed something was terribly awry despite all appearances to the contrary. The man, whom I had met only once before, was strikingly handsome and genial and did an excellent job revealing how to operate a computer program, but I could see in my mind’s eye that blackness was floating in currents throughout his office. He was nice enough to me, but I was in the awkward position of knowing that he had attracted an evil taint into his sphere of influence. I couldn’t ignore it, but I couldn’t say anything about it without sounding insane and unemployable.
Sometimes I am physically affected by a person’s antagonistic thoughts. For instance, one of my wife’s friends appeared pleasant enough when around us both, but she kept hurling hateful subtle energy at me that literally felt like a large screw twisting with great force into my heart chakra. I had no idea at first what was happening until I realized that it only occurred when she was visiting us and when I was talking. I have rarely felt anything so damaging on a subtle level before or since.
I must confess that before I developed this sensitivity, I was often quick to demonize individuals or groups (Republicans and corporate CEO’s, for instance) but I often remained oblivious to the presence of the evil beneath appearances. Despite living in a country with a long history of genocide and slavery as well as mass shootings nearly every day, I used to downplay evil as merely a label that we place on aberrant behavior or as a form of insanity. Even if evil existed, I rationalized, a person could remain so morally superior that he would remain untouched by it. I’ve discovered, though, that with all the evil in the media, in corporations, in politics, and with all the taints in daily life, maintaining spiritual balance is a struggle that requires constant vigilance and dedication. For me, self-purification is the only effective way to keep evil at bay. The more negative energy I eliminate from my psyche, the more I can see beneath appearances. I am, for instance, often able to detect on a subtle level what a person is thinking or feeling, a skill that I sorely needed more than once.
I suspect that thanks to the spiritual taint associated with my illness, I have also drawn several sociopaths into my life, including John Blackmore. (See previous posts.) Once, I drove with my wife to Blackmore’s house to feed his cats since my wife was afraid to go alone. While waiting for her to finish giving the cats their food and water, I sensed someone was hanging out in one of the back rooms of the house. Sure that I would find a transient squatting in the house while Blackmore was on vacation, I tiptoed toward the back bedroom. The closer I got, the more certain I was that some angry and hateful person was hiding in the house. I approached the doorway to his bedroom with some trepidation, but when I peaked into the room, to my surprise I didn’t see anyone. I searched the closets and under the bed without finding any evidence of another person, the whole time feeling like I was being watched. As I was leaving, I turned to take one last look and felt a kind of energy emanating from the corner of the room that can only be described as demonic. It didn’t occur to me at the time, but now I realize that Blackmore had attracted this evil through his own thoughts and feelings.
Humanity is on the brink of a world-wide crisis due to overpopulation, global warming, economic meltdown, pollution, ecosystem loss, species extinction and weapons proliferation. I may be a fool, but I believe that large-scale crises will become humanity’s wake up call. After centuries of building to these crisis points, we will no doubt take many years to reestablish equilibrium. It took me over a decade to purify myself and overcome my illness, but only after I had reached a point where I had to change or die. We will no doubt as a species experience several agonizing periods where we have to move beyond social conditioning and break out of conformity in order to deal effectively on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level with large-scale problems.
One day after purifying myself, I envisioned the color pink in my heart chakra. I was startled but remembered that pink is often a symbol of love, hence the prevalence of the color during Valentine’s Day. I checked the color code of the Tree of Life, which indicates different states of being, for the colors associated with the heart center and discovered that pink is the color that represents the highest form of spiritual love. That day, as I was walking by my wife, I saw the same color in her heart center as well. Perhaps once we have dealt with our crises and purified ourselves, we will be able to see that color in every human being.