by Sarah Olson
The Army refiled five charges against 1st Lt. Ehren Watada late last week, paving the way for a possible second court-martial for the highest-ranking member of the military to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq. When his first court-martial ended in a mistrial on Feb. 7, serious debate had not yet begun to surface on the emerging opposition to the war within the military, the legality of the war, and the right of military personnel to publicly disobey illegal orders. Though it's unclear that a second court-martial may legally proceed, the possibility brings these issues back into focus.
I was one of two journalists subpoenaed to testify in Lt. Watada's court-martial. I objected on the grounds that members of the military must be free to speak with journalists without fear of retribution or censure. That so few critical voices in the military are given an ongoing platform in the media contributes to an inaccurate view of the Iraq War and erroneous ideas about how to ameliorate the problems. Supporting the troops requires that we listen to what they have to say.
Opposition Is Growing
Army Specialist Mark Wilkerson was just sentenced to seven months in prison for refusing to return to Iraq. Last year, he wrote:
"In the year I was in Iraq, I saw kids waving American flags in the first months. Then they threw rocks. Then they planted IEDs. Then they blew themselves up in city squares full of people. …Hundreds of billions of American dollars, thousands of American lives, and tens of thousands of Iraqi lives have all been wasted in this war. I feel as though many more soldiers want to say things like this, but are afraid of retribution, and who's really listening anyway?"
Ivan Brobeck, a Marine who went to Canada rather than return to Iraq, was released from prison Feb. 6, just in time for the birth of his first child. Army Medic Agustín Aguayo awaits a March 6 court-martial in Germany and is facing up to seven years in prison. He's a conscientious objector who refused to load his gun during the year he spent as a combat medic in Iraq. Despite nearly three years of attempting to have his conscientious objector status approved, Aguayo was ordered back to Iraq. When his commanding officers threatened to send him to Iraq in shackles, he climbed out his bedroom window and went AWOL into Germany. According to the Pentagon, there are at least 8,000 soldiers who have quietly gone AWOL. Hundreds more have gone to Canada.
The Appeal for Redress has received over 1,600 active-duty signatures. The online petition says, "As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq. Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price." What began as a simple online petition has exploded into public dissent: soldiers are attending antiwar demonstrations and holding press conferences. Liam Madden, one of the appeal's founders, embarked on a cross-country speaking tour just two weeks after being released from the Marines.
Last February, a Zogby poll showed that 72 percent of soldiers wanted the U.S. to leave Iraq by the end of 2006. Opinion has not grown more sanguine. Though soldiers have stinging criticisms of the Iraq War, we rarely get to hear them. Instead, Lt. Watada is relentlessly juxtaposed with soldiers who have no apparent qualms about their orders.
Speaking Against the War
When Lt. Watada announced his opposition to the Iraq War on June 7, 2006, many called him a coward. He took an oath, they argued, and must obey orders regardless of the war's legality. Even those sympathetic to Lt. Watada's beliefs sometimes appear uneasy with his public opposition to the Iraq War, especially when speaking to members of the press.
Whether members of the military should abandon individual responsibility when they go to war is a debate worth having. While members of the military agree to certain speech restrictions, the extent of those limitations is by no means immutable. In fact, it is one of several questions in Lt. Watada's prosecution.
Members of the military agree not to speak contemptuously about the commander in chief. Lt. Watada expressed himself respectfully, out of uniform, off base, and after work hours. It seems that the specter of military law is so dark and mysterious a force that ordinary civilians have ceded their ability to question the authority of those that wield it.
Why is our civilian society so comfortable allowing the military to determine the parameters of acceptable speech during a time of war? Lt. Watada – along with the thousands of men and women who are returning from Iraq today – is uniquely positioned to speak about the military mission in Iraq. What do we lose when we allow the systematic exclusion of their voices?
The Iraq War is messy. It's inconvenient. The absence of soldiers denouncing the war in mainstream consciousness likely has something to do with the public's unwillingness to face the war itself. What does it mean if this war is actually illegal? Is each of us complicit in the perpetration of a war not thoroughly vetted by the media, debated by Congress, nor considered by the public? The starkness of the answers is reflected in the faces of the men and women returning from battle. But if we don't hear from Ivan Brobeck, Mark Wilkerson, Agustín Aguayo, and the hundreds of other Iraq veterans returning to the United States isolated and disillusioned, it's easier to believe that everything is going just fine.
“History has no culmination!” proclaims the intellectual Alexander Herzen to Karl Marx in a dream at the close of Tom Stoppard’s “Coast of Utopia.” It has no goal. “There is no libretto.”
Sara Krulwich/The New York Times
Adam Dannheisser, left, as Marx, and Ethan Hawke as Michael Bakunin in "The Coast of Utopia: Shipwreck."
Sara Krulwich/The New York Times
In “The Coast of Utopia: Salvage,” Brian F. O’Byrne plays Alexander Herzen.
Given the sold-out houses and multiple-marathon performances of this 3-play, 70-some-role, 41-actor, 8-hour epic now at Lincoln Center, it is difficult to tell whether many other viewers felt, as I often did, that Herzen’s words applied not only to history but to Mr. Stoppard’s version of it.
No well-structured libretto. No driving, cumulative impulse. No culmination. Henry James described Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” as a loose, baggy monster, and this trilogy often seems like one too, as if its creator were intent on cramming it all in, telling the story of a generation of revolutionary Russian intellectuals from the 1830s through the 1860s, their loves and hates, their affairs and ideals, the turmoil and tragedy of their times — all with Tolstoyan sweep if not Tolstoyan realism.
Of course the titles of these plays promise something else, a focused, dialectical drama: “Voyage,” “Shipwreck,” “Salvage.” Or as the Hegelian intellectuals in these plays might have put it, Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis. But it’s a tease: There are plenty of theses tossed about but no real syntheses. Forget classical structure, focused problems, neat or even unsettling resolutions.
Mr. Stoppard is so playful and intelligent of course that this might well have been part of the point. And that at least is worth thinking about. Mr. Stoppard was not just writing about an obscure group of spoiled Russian aristocrats like Michael Bakunin and Alexander Herzen, who often lived in exile while paving the way for the revolution that was to traumatically disrupt the next century. These dreamers and agitators actually raised issues about utopia and revolution, individual freedom and social welfare, anarchy and order, that have a contemporary resonance, which is one reason why Mr. Stoppard may have found them so compelling.
Their bohemian lives and anti-bourgeois sentiments were echoed in late-20th-century counterculture. Their arguments about political reform and revolutionary fervor are paraphrased in contemporary debates. And perhaps Herzen — the sovereign intellect of the trilogy, who clearly sees the dangers of tyranny latent in utopian dreams, and who, at the peak of his career in the 1850s and 1860s, lives in London — might even bear a familial resemblance to Mr. Stoppard himself: an émigré in Britain, renowned, as Herzen was, for quicksilver dialogue, wide-ranging learning, skeptical wit and mind-shifting writings.
If Mr. Stoppard had written a more focused play, Herzen would have been at its center. A Russian friend described Herzen’s “extraordinary mind which darted from one topic to another with unbelievable swiftness, with inexhaustible wit and brilliance,” capable of “instantaneous, unexpected juxtaposition of quite dissimilar things.”
Mr. Stoppard points out that when the philosopher Isaiah Berlin stumbled across Herzen’s memoirs while researching Karl Marx’s life, it changed Berlin’s life. In his writings Berlin later called Herzen — the illegitimate son of a wealthy Russian gentleman — “a political (and consequently a moral) thinker of the first importance.”
Berlin wrote that “as an acute and prophetic observer of his times” Herzen was the equal of Marx and Tocqueville, but “as a moralist he is more interesting and original than either.”
What does Herzen represent for Berlin and Mr. Stoppard? Berlin explained that for the generations before Herzen, the French Revolution inspired both ecstatic hopes and in the Terror that followed, disastrous disillusion. One reason for the popularity of German idealists like Hegel for Herzen’s generation was that they prevented disillusion and encouraged new hopes.
Earlier revolutionaries, the arguments went, had not been sufficiently aware of history’s processes. But now the powers of reason would reveal history’s laws and disclose its evolutionary and progressive transformations. Marx went further, arguing that history was a science: revolution was a necessary development; the revolutionary was history’s servant.
At the beginning of Mr. Stoppard’s trilogy, the young Bakunin spouts Hegel’s formulas like a fountain; his faith in imminent salvation is almost religious. Marx ultimately becomes Bakunin’s dour rival. In Mr. Stoppard’s portrayal Bakunin treats revolution as a game; Bakunin, the anarchist, prefers to see himself, not history, as the prime mover.
For Mr. Stoppard as for Berlin, Herzen is the dissenter who gradually sees through the ecstasies and hopes of his friends. He refuses to accept that reason can discern history’s laws, or that history is intrinsically progressive, leading to a grand revolution that would set things right. History has no libretto (as Herzen said in his writings as well as in the play). If it did, he writes, “it would lose all interest,” becoming “boring” and “ludicrous.”
What history offers instead is an arena through which humans stumble about, seeking grand revolutions when they should be satisfied with what he calls “progress by peaceful steps.” Herzen rejects what he calls, in the play, the “utopia of the ant heap,” the notion that for the collective good of future generations, current generations can be trod upon.
Herzen was tireless in his crusade for freeing Russia’s serfs and reforming Russian society. But he enshrined the idea of individual liberty above sweeping visions of social utopia; he is also the prophet who anticipates tyrannical storms in the promises of a world far better than the one we are given.
I think Mr. Stoppard wanted Herzen’s culminating vision of human frailty and compromise to grow out of the tragedies of his personal life: the death of a beloved son, the betrayal in his wife’s love affair with a good friend, the impossibility of ever returning to his native land. All of Mr. Stoppard’s utopian intellectuals are tossed about by passions, betrayals, imperfections and confusions. But they dream of their brave new worlds, while for Herzen life’s problems are not awaiting resolution: they are intrinsically beyond solution.
Yet watching “The Coast of Utopia” I never felt Herzen’s personal experience turn into political insight. Perhaps that would have meant violating Herzen’s principles and providing a dramatic world less loose and baggy, in which there is unity, purpose, culmination. But at least you can feel even in the tumult of these plays, how great the temptation is to give in to the impulse that some culmination is possible to history’s meanderings.
It is tempting to move from notions of imperfect reform to dreams of religious apocalypse, from notions of charitable enterprise to ideas of expendable human material: individuals or classes readily sacrificed for the sake of a brave new world.
Herzen, in the play and in his writings, refers to the strident revolutionaries of the 1860s as the sickened descendants of his generation, “the syphilis of our revolutionary passions.” Could he really have had any idea of what was to come in Russia, let alone how powerful those temptations remain?
MUSING #1: IT'S ALL YOU BABY!
I lay on the floor, half out of my body. I was at a spiritual dance ceremony, dancing around the tree of life for renewal and my prayers. I'd danced this dance before. In the past I the dances I attended were outside in Oregon. Here I was near NYC in a gymnasium. It wasn't an easy dance. Everything was different. I found myself bitching internally about this or that. As I danced I felt myself going a little out of my body. But I'd get close to totally falling into Spirit and then something would bring me back. I was wondering if the dance was really going to work. Would it get me out of the low self esteem funk and depression I'd been suffering... feeling lost in the world? You see it's hard to totally let go of all your roots and identity... to travel itinerantly in the world to learn unattachment and trust in abundance.
In the circle of the Dance, I stepped round and round, feeling like maybe it wasn't going to work this time. Usually, when I danced this Dance in the past, I would be way out in the realms of Spirit as soon as I got to the site. I tried to let go of my fear of failure, and I prayed that somehow it would all work for me... that my prayers to be centered, ground, in alignment with my highest Spirit in Unconditional Love, Joy, Abundance, and Fun would be answered.
Suddenly, a Shaman's face was in mine. A rattle shaked. An Eagle feather pulled me into a heap on the floor. And there I was in an all to familiar way. Laying half out of my body, but not feeling quite like I was really going out far enough to get the message, the healing. I waited for the Shaman to work on me. He didn't. I remembered he'd just had back surgery. "Uggh!", I thought as he was a really powerful for me in the past. I thought maybe nothing would really move for me. Then another Shaman came up to work on me. This one worked more with words. He was good, but I doubted whether he could really move things for me. I had a thought one of the two young men I'd met in my travels the past two years. Two particular guys, magicians, shamans, who could shake me out to my highest realms. As the second Shaman murmured words to me, asking the spirit that was in me to help me, give me a message, I realized that just as a healing or a drug experiences open us up sometimes, and yet we don't need to rely on them, because once we've experienced a way of being, we could will ourselves back to that way of being.... so could I will myself to that space that my two young men had taken me to. I remember that the Shaman, the healer doesn't do anything to us or for, otherwise we would all be happy and healthy right now, as countless monks, lay people, samaritans, and well wishers have certainly wished for us. I know I pray for people as I pass them on the street. I pray for my clients and friends, and yet sometimes they still do not seem to heal. I remembered that healers merely hold space for us to heal ourselves and offer us a ritual by which to do so.
And so I remembered that power for myself. I came up on my hands and knees and gave a whoop and a deep cough to shake off the old unwanted pattern of being... and to feel reborn like I had in the past. Once, twice, three times, I whooped and coughed and came into a laughing ecstatic state!
And I remembered. Just as I hold space for people to remember and heal themselves while I hold space... I remembered my own power to heal myself. In a new way of course. And in the coming days, as I found myself emotionally "down", I would remember to realize I had a choice, and I'd whoop and cough and jump myself into a joyful ecstatic state! That vibration we call Reiki, or Unconditional Love, or God, or Goddess is always there. It is we who choose to be separate.
May you remember your power, and empowerment to vibrate at One with your highest Spirit and feel the vibration of Love and Joy that is in the very air we breath, the rocks we trod on, the blades of grass poking through the side walk!
MUSING #2: BREAKTHROUGH THINKING
In January, I fasted in Key West and read Deepak Chopra's Perfect Health. Definitely a good read. In it, Chopra talks of "Breakthrough Thinking", oddly enough a corporate term. The idea is to let go of limited thinking and hold space for amazing productivity. I realized that has always been my policy with Reiki. My first month of doing Reiki, I worked on a housemate for twenty minutes to help his headache. I laid my hands on him, maybe rubbed his head a little. His headache went away. "Wow, I thought. If I can do 'this little', and someone's headache can go away. What's cancer? AIDS? just a few hours more of doing nothing but laying my hands on someone?" I realized that the simple experience of witnessing laying of hands catalyze someone's healing themselves, relaxing, feeling better, etc, through everything I thought I knew about reality out the window. And so when I would see client's, i would alway hold the intention for miraculous healing. I knew that Reiki always went to highest good, and why wouldn't it be somebody's highest good to be healthy in the human form? Yes, I know there are stories and thereby realities of secondary gains to illnesses sometimes, and people talk of karma. But what if all that were just forgiven in the flash of an instant? in the flash of intention?
It's all just stories we have about how we choose to view what we call reality. Optimists see glasses half full. Pessimists see them half empty. There are endless overlaps of what we see because of the endless thoughts that go through our head.
People told me I had "strong Reiki hands". Once a Reiki Master happened into my treatment room at a free clinic. I asked her intention for her session. She wanted to work on chronic neck pain. I said, "So your intention is to release the pattern creating the neck pain, and take on the pattern of complete alignment, flexibility, strength, mobility, and comfort in your back and neck?" She said, "Oh, I've had this condition for years, and I've done Reiki for years, and I know we couldn't do that much in just one session." I said, "Humour me; we can always ask." She did. We did. I did my five minutes of hand waving in her aura, and laying of hands while she sat in the chair in the tiny tiny room that was my treatment room at the clinic. After I thought we were done, I asked her how she felt and if there was any pain or tension anywhere. She exclaimed, "The pain is gone!" I replied that I had hoped as much. I ran into her two weeks later at an event and she said the pain still hadn't returned.
And so I always tell my students to hold space for the best imagined or better. Then at least we aren't limiting our consciousness and thereby limiting reality.
And as I read Chopra's book, I realized that this was "breakthrough thinking". And I wondered how often we limit ourselves in our lives because of limited thoughts. How often do we think either/or instead of both? How often do we think we can't when we could try and perhaps we could? How often do we project a task to be hard instead of affirming ease? I read an interesting breakthrough thought the other day on Steve Pavlina's website http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/07/10-reasons-you-should-never-get-a-job/ where Steve suggests that many people think they can earn money only per hour of work, instead of having money flow in 24/7!
MUSING #3: A CASTANADA EXPERIENCE
Tired in Palm Springs, I nodded off on a couch in front of a guy I just met. Our mutual friend sat beside me. I went into a dream state. Deeply in. So deep it felt real. Then I awoke, and was a bit shocked to realize where I was. I murmured "Wow, I was way out in some dreams." The Guy said, "where'd you go?" I couldn't remember. He said it was ok. I would. I left with my friend who'd been sitting beside me. I was high on Spirit. The world looked different. I felt very aligned and in touch with the Earth energies as we drove off to the magical Joshua Tree. I said as much to my friend. He said he'd tranced out on the couch too, and was feeling similar feelings. I asked him if The Guy had training in shamanism. My friend said he thought he might. Whatever catalyzed the magic that jump started us into a state of awareness, we enjoyed a magical powerful night on the desert at Joshua Tree.
MUSING #4: WHITE TANTRA(tm)
At the Dance, I had prayed for guidance about what to do for the Winter. I met a beautiful, glowing woman who mentioned something about going to a solstice yoga retreat in Florida. Her comment glowed to me. I knew I had to go, or at least investigate it. I looked at the Happy, Holy, Healthy Organization website (www.3ho.org). I'd been warned by my friend that it would look strange, but that there was a strong crowd of hippie nomads and kewl folks there. the ritual had been offered to the hippies as a way to get the "high" without drugs. Once I worked out of my familial Christmas obligations, I got myself to Florida for this amazing event started by Yogi Bhajan in the late 1960's.
The White Tantra(tm) helps clear out our blocks and align us fully with our authentic souls or self or highest spirit. It our our kundalini. I found the retreat amazing in helping be get back into my center, and reconnect with my spirit. I wouldn't say it took me to a new space, but it provided a different vehicle for getting there. In the past, willpower, sex, Reiki, energywork, excercise, nature, deep connections, etc. have all had their way of arising my kundalini.
I really like the intent of the Retreat, the White Tantra, and the Kundalini... to align us fully with our souls, dissolve our blocks, and get us healthy and into prosperity.
I definitely recommend the 3ho.org events.
MUSING #5: JUST ASK
I was on the train, on my way to San Francisco. Tired. Sleepy. Five days in Death Valley. In the last 4 months, I had not been in one place more than 3 weeks, and most of the time less than that. Hard to keep centered, moving around so much. And hard to keep centered when you are always visiting with people. When I get tired, I start wondering whether it is time to settle down for a bit. It's the old trap of taking the present moment and projecting it onto the entire future. I remember escorting, and when I was tired, I would think "poor me selling my body". Then I'd remember I'd chosen the profession joyfully. And I could stop. And I'd realize, I was just tired and needed to go home to sleep.
So there I was on the train to San Francisco. My pendulum attuned to my Spirit and Intuition had led me there. Though I'd thought about trying to stay in Palm Springs a while. I'd thoroughly enjoyed the wilderness of Joshua Tree and Death Valley. And so I thought, "Why am I going to San Francisco?" And yet, I knew that when I talked of going to Asia, my body would lighten, my heart would tingle. And when I felt that last month in Key West, as I pondered what to do with myself... the plan to head west to San Francisco, and make some money, and head to Asia had hatched. Now I was having second thoughts. Tired, my head was spinning. "Do I want to head off to Asia and be moving around there? I don't know why I am going there other than I feel called to. I like the Nature here in the US. I like being in my own culture. I remember the challenges of travelling in the Second and Third World, in foreign cultures." I began to feel myself sink into a depression. Then I thought to pray. "If my highest good is to go to San Francisco and Asia, let me be at peace with it! May that holey part of me that the clairvoyant said was causing my second guessing, over thinking decision making habit be sealed up! May I move forward in empowered Trust!"
I dozed off. I awoke to beautiful scenery along the river between Martinez and Richmond. I found my heart tingle with excitement. I found myself vibrating in excitement to be back in the amazing San Francisco! My first days were full of that excitement of being kind of in that tourist mindset of seeing the city anew. And yet I was grateful for how I know San Francisco: my friends here, the resources for a queer man, the food, the chance to serve my clients.
And I relearned that old lesson of Asking! When we are not happy, or healthy, we must ask for change. Only then will we have the awareness to see the Universe holding out it loving embrace to help us Be our intentions.
MUSING #6: RETURNING TO REIKI, ONENESS
The last few years I have been learning about shifting reality. And that has taken me down the path of seeing how every thought anchors us to a reality. It can get overwhelming as we have so many thoughts and so many possible realities. In Seth's Eternal Validity of the Soul by Jane Roberts, Seth says that those who believe in good and evil, or demons, will generally have a more unpleasant time than those who believe in a general goodness in the world.
And recently I have been remembering and thereby experiencing what a wonderful story Reiki is. To walk the street and feel energy fluxes that are unconditional love. That I can know that if I feel dis-ease on the emotional, physical, or spiritual level, I can lay my hands on myself and become at ease. I don't have to think about why I have the dis-ease, or what it is. It is just energy. It can move, realign. And I can know that there is no real reason that i ought not feel good. And if I walk the world and see others I can relate to them on this energy flux of Reiki or Unconditional love. That though my mind might create separation with judgements, we are all just patterns of this cosmic energy goo, and I can beam Reiki and receive Reiki at the same time. And that I can just flow my life with it... like one giant intuitive Reiki treatment. I can choose to let my inquisitive mind rest and trust in the flow of Reiki. That it all moves to highest good. That the vibrations I feel are merely flows of energy, neither good nor bad. That it is Divine and knows where to go.
MUSING #7: TRUSTING YOUR DESTINY
This is a Yogi Bhajan story I read about in the Aquarian times. One of the first solstice gatherings was held on private land with some stipulations that got broken by some of the attendees. And so 60 carloads had to move to a new site miles away. Yogi Bhajan played traffic director, waving a cloth as the cars went out the driveway. Sixty carloads passed him. Then he got into a car. And he passed all sixty cars on a narrow two lane road, replete with blind hills and curves, in one fell swoop! He knew his destiny and that it wasn't about dying in a car wreck that day.
This is much like the trust and intention I mentioned before. As some of you know, I've acknowledged Death as the one known in this life. And so I set the intention to die a healthy, mobile, man in my 90's during an orgasm with someone that is kewl with me doing so. When we set intentions and remember them, it allows us to move forward in trust rather than in fear. As we think, so we create.
MUSING 8: STREAMS OF CONSCIOUSNESS AND STREAMS OF REALITY
The other day as I was walking through San Francisco, remembering the power of a walking meditation.... someplace I read, I think in a Castanada book, that walking was a good way to get us into our power.... I felt the buzz of the Universe, the Reiki, the Kundalini, the Unconditional Love vibration, or whatever you might call it. I remember the feeling as I used to feel it as I walked these streets 8 years ago. No fear, no depression, no nagging mind. Just presence. Maybe a thought drifts through. But more or less presence.
And I remembered how it used to be when I got stoned. And then I'd remember the last time I got stoned. The funny things I did. The great thoughts I had. It's similar to revisiting an old haunt. When you are away, you don't always remember the events of the place, or the names of the people. But when you come back, and block of consciousness comes back.
And I remember Gregg Braden mentioning in the Isiah Effect how we might jump from one state of reality to another. That it can be a large jump. That even as we head to armageddon, if we pray and focus on peace that at the last instant we might jump into that peace, even though it appears not. It's like changing lanes on a highway versus suddenly shapeshifting to a whole other highway.
And I thought of my recent readings of Seth's Eternal Validity of the Soul (by Jane Roberts) where Seth talks of multiple dimensions. There is the one where I send the email. And the one where I don't. The one where I settled down instead of travelling nomadically. It's just we tend to keep our awareness in one, though Seth says that in our dreamstates we visit others.
And I realized so it is as we go from scarcity consciousness to abundance consciousness, or fear to trust based consciousness. Those realities are there all the time. The more we remember to choose the stream we prefer, the more we remember, the more we ARE it, the more it becomes habit to be there. At times I remember the reality of going for a walk when I was short $200 for rent and meeting a Reiki client who happened to prepay for his next Reiki training. And yet I forget and fall in the conditional abundance, or scarcity stream. The more we put our thoughts, intentions, and awareness in the streams that bring us joy, the more we see, and live that reality.
Seth talks about this in Eternal Validity of the Soul and suggests that even our thoughts and projections can spin off into parallel dimensions. So we might as well choose to be aware in the dimension that brings us the most joy. And we might as well transmute our thoughts and projections and judgments about others into the best space possible. Certainly, that's one reason choosing to be in the Reiki awareness as much as possible makes good sense and good fun.
MUSING #9: UNCONDITIONAL JOY
As many of you know I have been challenged in decision making eccessively the last year. What I have been tasting lately is a place of unconditional joy. Not that I've been thoroughly happy or joyful every moment, but on a day to day or week to week basis I have often been tapping into the ecstatic Present state. Usually with every transition from one location to the next I go through a fear and dread of change, an attachment and grief of what I will "lose" when I leave, some shock at the new surroundings, and then an appreciation of the new place. I've been in some quite different places the last months from my parent's suburban home, to my aunt and uncle's country home, from the barren Death Valley to the lush Florida Keys, from the dry desert of Joshua Tree to the crashing waves with surfers at Malibu, from the quiet peace of Joshua Tree to the chaotic throb of San Francisco. And at each place I have reached a place of appreciation and love for the place. Then there are the people, the events, the activities of each place. And I realize what a breakthrough thought or concept it is to be in a place of unconditional love and joy. If we are in a state of bliss in each moment, how do we move through space and time? We are so entrained with the ideas of scarcity, constant improvement, judgment of bad and good, that we often base our decisions and movement through life in those terms. Whereas if we were to be in a place of constant meditation and unconditional love, we would constant be leaving moments we love for the next moment. A solution which I've proposed in the past is to follow "what glows". Forget the drama of having to have some negative reason for leaving... it feels right to continue in the same place or relationship or job or home, or it doesn't. Yes, we can ask for improvements or change in attitude or embellishments, AND we can also listen to our hearts and intuition.
I remember hiking with some friends in Hawaii once. One of them decided to turn back and leave our group. There was conversation, pleading, dramatic judgment, and then gossipy theories about why and what after he left. And I kept thinking and even suggesting, that he, for whatever reason, felt called to turn back and leave us. If we trust Spirit, we can just know that for some reason it is for the best. The rest is story, drama, rationalization. And I realized that people so often unconsciously like drama, and dramatic justification. Sometimes we just don't know or allow ourselves to move on because Spirit is calling us on. Instead we have to find fault or blame or justification.
MUSING #10: NEVER COME BACK
I was at a wonderful demonstration of healing work by Helena Messenger (www.helenamessenger.com) and Gary Robertson last month. And got a new insight on how to look at being totally present in all chakras...something I have called being totally aligned and integrated in all chakras and connected from your Highest Spirit to the Core of the Earth. Helena told of how when she was a little girl her brother beat her with a hammer and she was dead for 45 minutes. In this time she "saw God" and was told she had more to do back here on Earth. At one point she was telling this story to a group of people and a woman said, "Aren't you sad you had to come back [here to Earth]?" And Helena replied, "I never left [God/Heaven]." Helena says we want to be there and here simultaneously. That to be totally present is to be in all dimensions that we visit at once.
It's hard to explain, but I have tasted that feeling. And it makes sense... It is not about denying the lower numbered chakras and the body. But being present to that and God/Spirit/Goddess at the same time as well to the other dimensions..
posted by Rob Yellow-Wheels