Regardless of how far you continue on the inner journey to that core of your being beyond bliss, personalities, legally and ethically defined belief systems, into greater and greater degreees of that understanding which cannot be tempted by doubts and fears, you cannot seem to avoid encounters with the scepticism and doubts of others, and no amount of sympathy for the self-imposed suffering seems able to alleviate the weight of their grieving, much as you might wish it to. Compassion, you discover, does not have any limits, but its effectiveness can easily be docked by the engrained belief systems of its intended recipients, and such cargos can easily be left unattended quayside for years.
The esoteric details behind all this can be summed up by referencing the relative “hardness” of the sufferers mental and astral bodies and their ability to repel the “softening” energies which comprise compassion and sympathy. The rational/ analytical component encouraged by state approved education and career advancement inevitably builds not only the strength necessary for technical or academic advancement but also the rigid attachment to the unquestioned assumptions and the inevitable groupthink of the disciplines involved.
Career paths of all stripes turn out to be reality tunnels as strictly defined as any conservative religion. As the individual products of the educated affluent West are mainly what I deal with as a facilitator, such situations become commonplace for me, as perhaps they do for you. And as such, our inner strengths are supported by our personal experiences in meditation, ritual and consciousness projection, rather than externally imposed ethics, rules and expectations, not to mention dietary and health care demands, we can be quietly confident in our attitudes and statements.
We have encountered ourselves in expanded states, seen snippets of past and future lives, conversed with spirits both high and low, felt vampiric and manipulative entities around our addicted friends and family members, been inspired by beings seemingly angelic and been amused by the joyful playfulness of elementals and fairies as we garden.
We suffer pain and loss as any do, but we can usually see its deeper purpose and can refrain from the anger of blaming the medical system, society or God. We know, more or less, that we are the authors of our own fates and that ‘good luck’ and ‘chance’ are merely conversational options selected for the comfort of others. Sometimes, and it is not as rare as some might suppose, we see and/or sense the spirits being grieved close to those living and longing for them. The close proximity of spirits is no surprise for us, even if our perceptions are not as clear and direct as we would wish, and our longing to have it be as real for the grieving can be something of a psychic burden as we shrink from becoming the one eyed man in the land of the blind.
Our status is not officially recognised or celebrated as our practice falls outside measurable definitions and slips into that grey area of mystery, where no ammount of anecdotes can supply the necessary scientific respect. We survive on the quiet gratefulness of our clients who whisper our names to friends. For me, the label ‘psychic facilitator’ is as good as any.. And as one who records his experiences in writing as well as activating the energies of what I might call harmonious resolution, I often come up against the materialism and engrained scepticism of our culture and wish to challenge it.
My first attempt at deflating rhetoric was “the afterlife is for everyone and all you have to do to get there is die.” In this I wished to return the inner knowing of the ancients, the Egyptian, Greek, Celtic and Druidic lifestreams which I passed through on my way to here, to wrestle it back from the ignorant dogmas of religion and science, those self appointed elites and their too often successful demolition of commonsense in favour of rules and proofs expressed in a jargon only they have access to.
I argued that two hundred years of spiritualistic communications showed that neither “wealth nor fame, religiosity, piety, membership in any elite club or society, stack of good deeds, genius or the lack of it, devotion to worthy causes, hard work in the salt mines, lazing about on the beach, refraining from sex or sloshing about in it,” that none of it matters ultimately, that paradise is perfectly suited to any temperament, ethnicity or culture, that all comfort zones are effortlessly catered to. I suggested that yes, it was “the ultimate revolution, the final secret, the last unfolding, the pearl of great price, the alchemical wedding, the philosopher’s stone.” Grand claims on a simple, and some might say shakey, premise, but in this case the emperor really did have very few vestments and removing those veils to reveal the radiance, was, well, easy peasy. Fans of Sartre and Derrida might be bored.
A more recent example is a personal essay in the Globe and Mail, where a man copes with the repeated occurence of early death amongst his family and friends through the calming ritual of a daily run. Cancer, lung disease, brain tumors, are all seen as attackers, vile destroyers of social harmony and happiness. Death is okay when it waits until old age, but not when it shows up in youth or middle age. As the gentleman writes, “I have too many dead people in my life.”. And since he is “a non-religious person, running is my spirituality.” Well, I am a non-religious person too, and spirituality is my spirituality, A personal spirituality, synthesized from several mystical and occult traditions. Spiritualism, theosophy, hermeticism, paganism and what has come to be known as the Western Esoteric Tradition. It is a mouthful and one that many would not care to hear regurgitated.
Yoga and mindfulness meditation have achieved a degree of respectability of late, but beyond that it is all a bit woo-woo for most, although spirit contacts seem to be edging in from the border realms of ghost stories and Hollywood exorcisms. But back to the gentleman’s running ritual: it becomes almost religious as he speaks of the soft joys of freshly fallen snow and how he continues to “think about and talk to my dad” as he runs. About “how cold he must be under the ground” and how he “would cry”. About the two daughters born after his death. About “work stress and the need for advice.” About “how much he missed him.”
For folk like me, who can easily imagine, from our own experience and the archives of psychic research contributed to by generations of sensitives, this translates into a one way conversation with a spirit whose presence is denied, which can be very saddening and frustrating for the spirit. The grieving, unfortunately, think only of their own sadness and not that of those who would love to tell them of their survival, new life and the ease of travel which makes observing the growth of grandchildren a simple and renewable pleasure. We long to end this sad disconnect and have everyone be blessed with the knowing we swim in daily. But we are usually left sunbathing on the island of understanding while the rest of society splash through the ignorance of denial and the struggle of hand-me-down faith. Perhaps we are similar to would-be interventionist counsellors watching the circular despair of addicts descending ‘down down the dark ladder’.
But as a writer I have the option of allowing words to convey my experience of truth. And so I composed a sort of reply and sent it along to the Globe and Mail, wherepon I was informed that due to the many submissions it might take two months for a reply, and maybe never if they decided not to use it. And so, here it is, saved from possible oblivion:
“Life And Life Only”
Why? Because there is nothing else. No departure, no dissolution. No resurrection. No doubt, no fear, no need for reassurance. No threats of damnation, no promises of salvation. I live beyond all of that. Have done for decades. Ever since my father passed, way back in ’68, and I fewlt his presence, saw his spirit, felt him talk. He said, more than once, “Try to imagine I’ve gone on a long holiday.” Contrasted to my mother’s grief, my attempts to share it and mix it in with my teenage confusions, he always seemed cheerful, sometimes downright serene.
Perhaps he’d absorbed some Hindu philiosophy while serving in India, 41-46, waiting for the Japanese who never showed up? He certainly enjoyed his curries hot, in the two or three Indian eateries in the downtown Glasgow of the 1960’s. I would watch in amazement as the sweat rolled down his face and I picked away at the foreign substances. He’d passed just as the Beatles were in India, doing their own absorbing with the Maharishi, and on my last hospital visit, we’d both read the Sunday papers at our leisure, me gobbling up the post-Sgt. Pepper news, and him giving no indication that his emphesema was making almost anything other than lying in bed impossible.
I’d given up on the Catholicism of my youth, that pre-Vatican Two stew of sinfulness, some years before. Even at thirteen I could see it was a crock. I’d replaced it with the explosive genius of sixties pop, everything from the Beatles to Dylan, Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix. One could, and did, get lost in the glorious upending of tired musical forms. Easy it was to be enraptured.
Once in the GTA with my in-laws, I submerged myself in North American culture, both the US and Canadian versions, which by 69/70 were a fascinating cauldron of political and social upheaval. That and the continued unfolding of great rock music, some of the greatest ever set to vinyl. And by then it was incorporating many of the now classic mystical insights produced by the ingestion of psychedelics. ‘You, you are the crown of creation’ indeed. My father’s psychic presence retreated into the background but never completely disappeared. Slowly I found some books on psychic communication and realised that talking to spirits wasn’t just the silly pasttime of the old and lonely, but the most revolutionary act. By its very presence it overthrew all religious and scientific dogma and created a direct line of communication from the various spheres of spirit everyone else seemed keen to ignore or deny.
It was stupid, it was delusional, it was demonic. It tempted you to sidestep the challenges of life and fall for the promise of some all-inclusive endless vacation in some paradisical fantasy. Like all occult trickery, it seduced you into thinking you could short circuit your responsibilities to family, society, democracy, consumerism and a host of other constructs set to consume your personal resources. But as a seventies devotee of hippie counter culture, I was already far down that path.
Slap bang in that first wave of psychedelic rejigging of consciousness, now back in the limelight as a cure-all for addiction, depression, the grinding down of terminal illness and boredom at work, I had watched as almost every perception dear to the rational analytical brain had melted in favour of stupendous radiance and endlessly morphing design patterns, and come to understand that perception was all, and that the reality tunnels most of us lived by only helped us get to the end of the week safely, with a slight profit, by keeping us chained to comfortable illusions. Illusions like materialism, illusions like death, illusions like desire, illusions like proof.
Eventually other spirits made their presences felt and other teachers and books helped me cope with the high strangeness of it all. Gurdjieff, Castaneda and Seth did great business in the seventies. Of course, so did Hare Krisna, Moonies and Christian evangelism. While many wars, civil and empire-aggressive, shuddered our sense of basic humanity, ripping thousands to shreds and depleting many sensitive spirits, the sunny, and often terminally naive, promise of new-age consciousness began to blossom. Feminism and gay rights rocked many old boats in the patriarch’s harbour. Something called the world wide web began to be whispered about. Compact discs were silent between songs. Crop circles seemed to offer undeniable evidence, but evidence of what exactly? Aliens, devas, gullibility? I spent a good part of the nineties exploring that marvelous enigma.
Yet I made it to the millenium with my sanity and psychic abilities intact. I came out of the closet, the psychic one, and began, as they say, to practice. The new age community, linking up planetwide through the internet, provided intrigued clients and some sort of landing area for all those who couldn’t fit into the mainstream. It was large enough that you could cherry pick your areas and settle without burdening yourself with an overload of defense mechanisms. My first successful long distance healing was with someone in Australia. A thrilled client and a cheque in the mail. With those kind of distances I wondered if I might heal someone in the orbiting space station.
Still surrounded on all sides by materialism, scepticism and outright mockery, I and others like me cruised onward through our lives, calm and even keeled through the welter of disasters, plagues, famines, eruptions and wars. If you interact with the dead long enough, you come to see that mostly they are fine, once the forced adjustment period of their transition is traversed. They settle in the spirit country of their choice and continue their lives in family, community and culture. Some of their family is already there and they quickly see that the rest will arrive sooner or later. They miss the so-called living as much as we miss them, but it’s kinda easier for them to visit. They do get a bit frustrated with not being noticed and resort to the usual plumbing and electrical tricks to get our attention. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Our encultured ability to deny is remarkable. We like to get on undisturbed. There are careers to follow, families to raise, bills to pay. Many of us can do without all that ghost nonsense.
But I kinda like it myself. Its really quite entertaining, if you let it settle around you as merely more human activity unfolding from desire and ambition. Your buddy wants to tell you about his great new girlfriend or how he shucked that shitty job, your cousin wants to crow about his new million dollar home, that friend who passed from cancer wants you to know they’re doing just fine now, half the family is close by, including the ones they never really liked, and would you please tell their grieving spouse to let it all go and for god’s sake get a life. They are all so human in their needs and passions. Nothing changes, not really. They drop that physical body and another appears immediately in its place. But those thoughts, emotions and habits of a lifetime, they don’t take a holiday.
Sure there’s a dark side, but not ruled by demons as far as I can tell. Ruled more by addictions, – dope, booze, gambling, sex lust, power lust, angers and hatreds. They tend to inhabit darker, nastier places. Spirit ghettoes of rage, arguing and mutual harassment. And they can stay there, mired in their attitudes, for what seems like a long time, refusing all invites to sunnier paradises. Telling you you are a dupe, a do-gooder, a liar, a deceiver, a get-thee-behind-me Satan. And in that they are not unlike the sceptics of this world, the woo-woo mockers seeing tinfoil hats on any who wander from the comfort of the self-affirming crowd. But that’s the life we live, those of us who talk to the dead, telepath with spirits and clairvoyantly perceive what those wildly successful horror films teach you to be afraid of.