Archive for the 'subconscious' Category

“Please relay this message”

March 19, 2015

Suppose you got such a request from the soul of someone who is locked outside of the person to whom the soul is related.  The connection between the physical incarnation of the person and their soul became so tenuous that the physical person was no longer sufficiently in touch with their soul, and their soul was locked out in the cold.  Kind of like going for a space walk and then finding oneself locked out of the mothership.

There’s a soul who has made that request of me:  “Please tell my person to get in touch with me so we can re-connect.”

Well, I can’t get this person to even accept that such a connection is possible, I can’t get them to listen to me, much less have a direct dialogue with me, during which I could try to suggest how, if they were willing, I could try to teach them to find and expand their connection to their higher self.  They do not appear to want to have contact with me.

But their soul is a great buddy of mine.  In fact, Gita refers to him as my Buddy.  For a long time, I’ve thought my Buddy extended down into his person, that my connection with this soul, the physical person was in on, too.  But Gita advised me not to assume that other people are as integrated with the vast reaches of ourselves beyond the tips of our iceberg that is our self in our physical body as I am.  (This integration is what allowed me to help my mother at her passing.)  She said to me, “Find out if this person is connected enough to their soul to be in on the relationship with you.”

So, are you?

In the meantime, I am trying to figure out how to deal with their soul.  Does that soul have to keep waiting out in the cold while their person reads books on love and maybe becomes willing to have life experiences that will re-open their connection with their soul?  How much do I take that soul into my heart, even temporarily, if that is not going to happen at the other end?  What is my responsibility, what do I feel called upon to do, what would be enabling, what would be cruel not to do, what do I actually feel capable of doing?

Not sure.  Gita says I should put the question out there, wait for an answer, and act according to that answer (or the lack thereof).  That plan is certainly an improvement on doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

I hope I have taken the first step with this post.



Talking to myself

October 19, 2013

I wrote a comment last night (to Gail Collins’ column about Texas politics) about waiting for Sen. Ted Cruz to flame out and wanting to open the flue wider to accelerate the process.

This morning, when I was looking to see if there were any more replies I needed to respond to, it occurred to me that this is what I think a central task in life is in general:  to open up our flues (the crown chakra, according to some people) and let us follow our trajectories instead of remaining stalled.

When I wrote my comment, I was focused on how Cruz really does remind me of the Republican presidential hopefuls last election who showed up at all those debates during primary season and flamed out (I started the comment with how I am reminded of them by him).  They went out one at a time, it seemed, seriatim, and I had the sensation of waiting for the process to run its course until we got a nominee.  Here, I hear Cruz as a demagogue with an unconstructive approach to governing and a negative impact on the federal legislative community (that would be Congress I’m talking about).  So then I got into the flame metaphor, and and thought about our wood burning stove, and there you go, my comment.

But I really am concerned with the issue of opening up our spiritual fontanel (the place in a baby’s skull where the plates don’t fuse until after birth), as well as opening up our hearts.  If I think of our wood burning stove, we need to open the door to put wood in the stove and we need an open flue for the chimney to draw the way it needs to in order for the combustion process to occur effectively and efficiently and not to fill the room with smoke.  I think there’s a parallel for all those things in our spiritual lives.  (Maybe I will elaborate on them in a subsequent post.)

What is so mysterious, I think, is, whence the spark?  How do we catch a spark?  Henri Nouwen wrote Life of the Beloved I think in the hopes of doing that, but apparently succeeded mainly in explaining to those already with the spark what that’s all about.

I feel as though I “caught the spark” listening to a concert on TV during which I thought I perceived something like faith in the eyes of one of the musicians.  It was as if his faith ignited mine.  Why those details were part of my experience of relocating my faith I think has to do with old karma and past lives, which I mention in order to explain why I don’t think that listening to a concert is going to be the answer for everybody.

I see the acquisition of that which reveals the world as it looks through faith, as a positive thing.  Obviously, not everybody shares this characterization.  Some people see it more like the catching of a virus that confers pathology.  Some other people pay lip service to seeing faith as a positive thing, but believe and behave in ways that are not consistent with a perspective through faith.

So when I find myself teaching myself something, what is that all about?  It, to my way of thinking, is about pulling out some understanding deep within us which we have trouble bringing up to conscious thinking.  It emerges through some other process, and then we can read it back with our conscious minds.  It is clearly consonant with some inchoate understandings we already have, but it helps us conceptualize them more clearly.  If this were occurring through the imagination and cognitive thinking, I don’t think we would have the sensation of reading the thing written as if we are a separate person from the person who wrote it.


July 1, 2013

Twice today (here and here) I wrote a comment on the NYTimes website that unwittingly echoed what somebody else wrote.  In both cases I hadn’t read their comment when I wrote mine.

This is not the first time I’ve had this happen, and it’s not always an echo of other people’s comments — sometimes it’s other articles and columns in the paper I echo without having read them.

I’m not sure what to do about it.  I think it happens because of how I take in information.  I also sometimes find myself having an emotional reaction before an event actually takes place, so there’s probably also another element, involving my perception and its relationship to linear time.  So I don’t think the issue going to go away, that its occurrence is just an aberration for me.

I will mull this over to figure out whether to change my process for writing comments.

Is the main event finding God or just finding?

May 3, 2013

I’ve been trying to make this point for years, especially after reading The Social Animal by David Brooks.  We have a strand of mental capability that is not the thinking mind or the emotional reactive part of our mind.  I made the point in my comment to his column in the NYTimes for today, I tried to make the point to him directly after he spoke at Harvard a couple of years ago.  My results are a lesson for me to remember that people need to come to their own realizations themselves, however much my own task may seem to me to be to keep repeating my understanding and modeling it.

This part of our mental apparatus that I’m talking about is what gets an airing during meditation and it’s the part through which we commune with the forces beyond us and within us that are greater than ourselves (God, if you like).

I often think it’s more important that people learn to locate this part of themselves and to use it than it is that they “find God” with it.

And I wonder if the emphasis on belief in God, or not, has gotten us distracted.  I do think that if we stumble into communing with God, we become much more aware of this part of us, so finding God is a tempting goal.  But I think it can also lead to the dead end of people thinking they’ve found God when what they are doing is thinking about the idea of God and finding God and imagining it and intellectualizing it.  And people who try to provide shortcuts to finding God may unintentionally induce people into mistaking the process of the shortcut for the dynamic that occurs when the goal is reached.  And beyond that, we lose a lot of people who find belief in God a dealbreaker but who would be fine with locating and using this piece of mental apparatus, I think.



Today’s fashion statement

April 29, 2013

I didn’t intend to make one, and I’m not really sure what I said, but here it is.

Friday night I left a comment on the PBS NewsHour’s “Doubleheader” blog post.  The post included commentary on the gathering of the many presidents at the opening of the Bush Library.  I mentioned in my comment Nixon in his presidential windbreaker and Pope Benedict in his red shoes after their respective resignations.

Today I went to help out at the hospice office.  I was to greet people showing up for a grief group.  I had been wearing a pair of somewhat fashionable jeans (which I had bought used) and a white button-down shirt with vertical blue stripes.  I figured I needed to be a little more presentable, so I decided to add a blue blazer and less casual shoes than I usually wear.

What I ended up with, without realizing it, was a Yale jacket and red Mary Janes (the striped white and blue lining of the blazer was a nice match for my shirt and the Mary Janes showed off my multi-hued striped socks).  The blazer I got through some kind of offer to Yale alumns I had responded to a couple of years ago, the shoes reminded me of how my mother put me in red shoes when I was a pre-schooler.

So in a way, I echoed the behavior I was gently chiding in my Doubleheader comment: holding onto the past with jacket and shoe choices.  But I wasn’t aware of the echo until this evening, long after the event was over and I was back home and in my usual duds.

“No holding back”

April 21, 2013

There’s a lyric in a song by Jackson Browne that says “If you ever need holding with no holding back” that caught my attention long ago.  (It’s in “Sky Blue and Black” — there’s a live version from a concert in Milan that I like.)

Here’s why I was thinking about it this morning.

It occurred to me that there’s a difference between receiving the same thing from others when there’s no holding back and when there is — same thing, different sources, one holding something back (because there’s more they could do) and one not (they are doing everything they can).  There is something in the act of giving one’s all that makes a qualitative difference, I think; as a recipient I can perceive the difference.

This idea has application in regular social relationships on the physical plane, but it also has significance on other planes.  People who perceive ghosts don’t expect them to show up in a body on their doorstep, but people who perceive others who are in bodies and who communicate through their subconscious too expect that those people, if they are giving their all, will interact on the physical plane.  They are not ghosts, they are not God, what they can give includes a physical aspect, and if they don’t offer that, then they are holding back.  And that is a difference that makes a difference.

No one listening

March 25, 2013

I can’t say I have no one listening to me, but I can say that I have a limited audience of people who make it their business to listen to me in person, to read what I write, etc.

There are other people who have a similar message to mine — I don’t pretend I am a unique source — so in that regard it doesn’t much matter whether people listen to me in these ways.

But I think the real action comes through other means of taking up the message, through the subconscious, because that’s the means through which the subsequent learning itself will come.  How do we reach people in their subconscious?

I think it may actually involve mechanisms that are considered dysfunctional in other contexts: enmeshment, lack of appropriate boundaries, interpenetration, etc.  People affected by the disease of alcoholism are particularly good at this.  If you do it with the wrong person, however, you just get somebody else’s garbage, and that’s not helpful.  But throwing out the method entirely I think is like throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

The further goal is for people to be reached in their subconscious by forces beyond ourselves, but people who already have been reached in this way can sometimes share a little of something helpful through the subconscious themselves, I think.

Wrong number

December 30, 2012

I was going to write, “Sorry, wrong number,” but that wouldn’t capture what happened.

Once, years ago, a medical provider to a family member called me, thinking I was another medical provider, and I got to hear how medical providers talk to each other when there’s a problem.  It was not flattering to either of them — to the one who called or to the one he thought he had called.   (It took awhile before he would hear that I wasn’t the person he thought he had called.)

There’s a spiritual story about a man who discovers he can “call” people through their subconscious and manipulate them, like a hypnotist with a self-serving agenda.  Eventually, his mother gets curious about how he comes to amass all kinds of wealth and benefits he clearly hasn’t earned the old-fashioned way, and goes undercover like a cop on a chat site. Or maybe she is recruited out of the old-age home to figure this out on behalf of others, who feel victimized and frustrated but don’t understand what’s going on.

In any event, she engages in an interaction and ends up intercepting one of these instances of manipulative hypnotic communication.  Only, at the time, she actually isn’t aware she’s his mother or that she’s on this mission, because if she were, he would know it, too, and evade her and it.  This ignorance leaves her vulnerable to his manipulative charms, but the beauty part is that he will have a very negative reaction to her if they meet, and that will puncture the manipulation for her and allow her to reconstruct the problem and her role in dismantling it, so all she has to do is engage with him, fall for it, and then meet him on the physical plane.

She does, the illusion is exposed, and she reports back to headquarters how it is that somebody who has no idea what they are doing has come to assume positions as if he does — he is like that impostor whom we hear some people claiming a particular religious or political leader to be.

What happens next?  I’m not sure.  My suspicion is that it’s the beginning of a long process, that what will improve the situation turns out not to be trying to persuade the impostor to climb down from his pedestal, or trying to embarrass him or shame him into getting down, but, rather, trying to dismantle the pedestal piece by piece while he’s on it.  Because it’s actually the pedestal that’s the problem.  And we thank him for his service for bringing that to everyone’s attention.

Maybe I should have called this, “You can’t fool (your) Mother.”


Connections and disconnections

December 15, 2012

I was interested to read an explanation of sort for why a person might shoot small children at a school:

Often in a haze of illness, the schoolhouse gunmen are usually aware of the taboo they are breaking by targeting children, said Dewey G. Cornell, a clinical psychologist at the University of Virginia and director of the Virginia Youth Violence Project. “They know it’s a tremendous statement that shocks people,” Dr. Cornell said, “and that is a reflection of their tremendous pain and their drive to communicate that pain.”

That’s quoted from

Nation’s Pain Is Renewed, and Difficult Questions Are Asked Once More

Published: December 14, 2012

in the NYTimes.

I had written a comment (to Gail Collins’ op-ed column; I wrote it before I read what Cornell said in the article, but after I had heard him on the PBS NewsHour), about how I have been taken aback by the crossing of a line in the shooting of small children.  I compared it to a similar reaction I had to the slamming of planes into sky scrapers.  I want to say, “We [humans] don’t do that.”  The apparent coldness, the disconnectedness from fellow feelings for others are what strike me.

So, being the person I am, I have the urge to harmonize in some way Cornell’s explanation with my own reaction.

When I myself have felt what I want to describe as unbearable pain, the kind when you can’t stand being in your own skin, in your own body, my response has been to try to escape up into the spiritual realm until I have enough distance to process the event.  (Watching my child being beaten is an example.)  It’s hard to do in the moment, at least for me it is, because the pain seems to close the heart and my heart needs to be open to receive the help.  I suspect that this is why prudent people pursue training, usually through religious practice, to keep the heart sufficiently open even in these situations.

I wonder if people who cross bright lines in their pain lack even more on-going connection to what I call the spiritual realm, but which can also be thought of in other terms, like Plato’s forms or forces in the universe or the collective unconscious or Source.  I wonder if they are, first, cut off from themselves, and then, cut off from others and from a sense of community probably most of us have without being fully aware of it.  And if a person is cut off from themselves, I think their awareness of the universe at large and of other people is not mediated through a conduit that includes compassion — I suspect they are using a mental process that includes information but lacks other components for understanding the world.  So when pain is overwhelming for them, I’m thinking that they don’t have a safe harbor to escape to and that they don’t have in place the internal equivalent of Jersey barriers on a highway — a strong (internalized) connection to identifying with others and with community —  to keep them from crossing bright lines.

For me, then, the issue turns into how to foster people’s feeling connected and how to coach them or encourage them to locate in themselves that part of our mental apparatus through which we connect.

Make friends with your subconscious

November 18, 2012

I should be outside pruning rose bushes, but I just wanted to write something brief using a different type of approach to, not so much the subjects of my previous two posts, but to a comment I wrote in response to one of those NYTimes sort of philosophical pieces in “The Stone” subset of their Opinionator section.

My point is about how there are multiple strands to our “selves.”  Most of us using the internet dwell (and overly so, in my opinion) in only some of these strands and may not be aware there are others.

So that’s why I called this post “Make friends with your subconscious.”  People not adverse to theism or spiritual development tend to do this through prayer and meditation, but I think other people may do it through the arts (especially music), sports, nature, communicating with pets.  I think some people may do through higher math, but I think it’s trickier to lose the intellectualizing self enough through doing that as a way to be in the strand of the self that slides around without the constraints the intellectualizing strand has.  Of course, some people do this (whether intentionally or not) in ways that cause them and others distress, and it can become extreme enough that we label it an illness (as in, mental illness) — I certainly don’t advocate doing that.

But just as we talk about parents spending quality time with their children, I think we need to spend quality time with our subconscious.