Monday, June 17, 2019

A Special Fire - Just for me!

As a child growing up in a dilapidated motel owned by my parents, we lived with my Crazy Granny, who was senile more or less from the time I was born. My memories are of her sitting on the porch in a rocking chair, literally waiting for Gabriel's horn. While waiting, she sang old hymns (mainly Amazing Grace), and talked in that 3-minute loop common to the demented and the elderly, wherein her entire existence could be summed up in these experiences that were all that seemed to remain of her memory. She spoke of Gert and Winnie, neither of whom I ever met, and who may have been nothing more than her invisible friends. And she spoke a lot to God and Jesus, asking them to take her home even though she would also proclaim in the same breath that she didn't want to die. Maybe she was hoping to be beamed up while still in her human garb, rather like Ezekiel and his fiery chariot. Who's to say?
Whenever I came home from school, I would ask how she was doing, and listen to the loop, which always concluded with, "And now I'm a-sittin' here, a-waitin' for Gabriel's horn."
Being a somewhat devious child, I had an instinct that she wasn't as daffy as she was trying to get everyone to believe, so one afternoon I crawled underneath the porch with one of those plastic recorders from 3rd grade music class, and just as she was praying for Gabriel to sound his horn... I let 'er rip!
Next thing I know, I hear a clatter and a howl as Crazy Granny topples over backward in her rocking chair, feet up in the air like some deranged cartoon character, and all the while praying at the top of her lungs, "Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming!" as she tried to scramble up and right herself lest Jesus catch a glimpse of her size 10 bloomers which had been revealed when her faded cotton dress flew up over her head.
Needless to say, when I crawled out from under the porch, I wasn't the most popular kid on the block with my mother, but when I locked eyes with Granny and she realized that Gabriel was none other than her toe-headed granddaughter, there was a new understanding between us.
From that day forward, she had more lucidity when talking with me privately - in other words, she really could carry on a conversation beyond that 3-minute loop, though she would fall right back into it whenever anyone else entered the room. My guess was that she was bored with life and with the lives of those around her, and so she was recreating the reality that had been far more real to her - those 3-minutes of memories when she was really Awake, Aware and Alive (the 3 "A's). It's been suggested that perhaps Gabriel's recorder shifted her assemblage point, but I would not want to take credit for the workings of an archangel.
Once, a few years before she died, I asked her what she really thought when she heard that horn sound. She just smiled. "There's a special fire just for you," she said, shaking her bony finger. "The devil has a special fire, just for you."


Excerpted from "Into the Infinite"
All rights reserved

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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Dreaming and the Dead

I normally wouldn't include this extremely personal anecdote in my blog, but as it appears to have significant relevance to another event described on my website (link provided below)  it seems appropriate to draw the connection between the two events for possible future reference. With that said...

Had a really peculiar dream last night. Basically I was in a remote wilderness-like location with 2 other people - not sure who they were, but both were female. I had gone there to meet a man who I was going to ask to kill me. I believe it was my double, Orlando. When I found him there, I told him, "I want you to kill me and throw my body into Winterlake (or maybe the winter lake)." My 2 friends were trying to talk me out of it, but I was adamant and he seemed willing to do it.

I could actually see the lake. The water appeared silver, winter-cold, maybe even beginning to ice over. I was afraid but not terrified, and I went to him, went into his arms, and surrendered to my fate. For a long time, he just held me there, mentally projecting the words, "Are you sure?" I was very sure. I didn't know how he would do it, though I suspected he would just snap my neck. I remember thinking/hoping it wouldn't be a knife. Just didn't want a lot of pain.

The dream becomes fuzzy from there. He was standing behind me, resting his hands on my shoulders, but making no move to proceed. One of my friends said to him, "Are you going to do it or not?" He very softly said, "It's good. It's all good." Whatever he actually did, I don't know. I lost consciousness (at least inside the dream), but I do remember feeling the frigid cold of the water, so maybe my own double did me in... which is one of those things I've always wondered about in that nasty big picture. Do we have to die to become immortal? That thought is troublesome for so many reasons - not to mention paradoxically ironic. Do we have to die to rejoin with our double? I have no answer... just a very disturbing dream that has left me feeling displaced and yet somehow energized this morning.

Later in the day, I remembered two things. One was my shamanic initiation with the character of Anubis, which I described under the heading "Initiation" on the Quantum Shaman Website. The other was this passage from Castaneda's first book, which seems to have ever-increasing relevance as a pattern starts to emerge...

"Once on the other side, the man will have to wander around. His good fortune would be to find a helper nearby - not too far from the entrance. The man has to ask him for help. In his own words he has to ask the helper to teach him and make him a diablero. When the helper agrees, he kills the man on the spot, and while he is dead, he teaches him.
"When you make the trip yourself, depending on your luck, you may find a great diablero in the helper who will kill you and teach you.. After your return, you will not be the same man. You are committed to come back to see your helper often. And you are committed to wander farther and farther from the entrance, until finally one day you will go too far and will not be able to return..."
-Carlos Castaneda, The Teachings of Don Juan

It leaves me wondering what I learned while I was dead and sinking into the cold depths of Winterlake. And it leaves me wondering what will happen when I return again to the Otherworld and reconnect with my "helper." 

Curiouser and curiouser.

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Friday, December 21, 2018

Why Do We NEED To Be Liked?

In the Carlos Castaneda group I admin on Facebook, the question was asked, "Why are humans addicted to being liked?"

Good question. Simple answer: Fear - the first enemy of the warrior. Most humans fear they aren't good enough, smart enough, sexy enough and so they start performing like monkeys at the circus in the desperate need to be liked. That need is one of the most insidious attachments known to Man. Fortunately, warriors rather quickly learn that being liked creates a codependency between oneself and the world at large. In order to be liked, you have to be a certain way. You have to be agreeable, tell people what they want to hear, stroke their ego by telling them they're right even when they are dead-bang wrong. and smile even if your lips crack and bleed. The list is long. And the cost of membership in the I'm Likable Club is far too high for anyone pursuing a genuine path of spiritual evolution.

When you stop trying to be likable and become authentic, you'll find your circle of "friends" diminishes accordingly (unless they are also authentic - which perhaps one person in ten thousand might be if you hit it on a good day ). One of those ugly truths no one wants to believe, but which is impossible to deny if you really look at your life through honest eyes.

I used to have a large circle of friends and acquaintances. Everybody said they liked me. That is... right up until the time when I lost the need to be liked, opened my eyes as a seer, and realized that being liked is directly dependent on being a liar, a joker and an ego-stroker, and what can start to resemble a spineless yes-man suckling at the teat of emotional neediness to such an extent that you  forget who you are (if you ever knew) and become a mirror reflecting the needs and wants of all those "friends" who probably don't really know much about you at all. What's your last name? Where did you grow up? Are your parents living or dead? Do you have a dog, or even a pet goldfish? Are you married? Straight? Gay? An alien from Proxima Centauri?

Put simply - they don't know you, yet they demand that you should know them, and to that end they will inundate you with their tales of power and glory, none of which have anything to really do with who they are despite what they might think. You are simply the sounding board against which they sing themselves into being, and the song is both long and tedious, for it is all too often a series of unrelated events linked together only by the memories of the one doing the telling. And let's face it - memories can be iffy at best, and storytellers can be accomplished bullshit artists when it suits the obsessively demanding needs of their inflated self-importance.

If that's what you want to be, what you want to do with your life, then smile and nod and stroke the spiny ego of the other monkeys and you'll probably sleep like a baby at night - and also at work and in the shower and in everything else you do, for the rest of your life. Most people do go through life asleep and unaware. It's how we're programmed, after all. Be polite. Be attentive. Always smile. Act like a lady (whatever that means). Be good. Think only positive thoughts. Keep your chin up even when the chips are down. And all the other meaningless platitudes shoved down our throats and up our rear entry from the moment we are born, and long before even that. Again, nothing necessarily wrong with those things if they are what floats your boat on the dark sea of the desperate need to be liked. But there's more to life, and once you realize it, it's going to cost you that warm and pleasant cocoon that tends to form around those who are liked so much by so many.

Okay, that's the gist of it. Fear makes monkeys of us all. Now here's an anecdote to illustrate why clarity plays a huge role in shattering those comfort zones and dragging the seeker out of her sheltering matrix and into the real world (usually kicking and screaming all the way).

As many of you know, I used to be deeply involved in the Star Trek community. My first professional book was a Trek novel, and I was active in the underground press in that genre for over 20 years. It was a very deep love of mine because when I was a young and environmentally isolated girl of 11-years old, it was my teacher in many ways. It taught me how to recognize my prejudices against things and people I didn't understand, and to eliminate those prejudices through logic, kindness and, yes, love. It taught me how to be a decent human being even though I had grown up with an abusive father and a religious upbringing that could have warped even the most rational mind if not for the introduction of logic and common sense prevalent in Star Trek. It taught me how to speak properly and to lose the hillbilly drawl that was common to the neck of the dark woods in which I had been raised. The list here is also long.

Ultimately... Star Trek brought me together with people who became my friends. I formed friendships that seemed genuine and real at the time (and most of them actually were - at the time). But with that said... it also has to be noted in this discussion about the need to be liked, that this group of "friends" vanished abruptly when I stopped writing the novels and short stories that were the foundation of that underground community. Not surprising. I don't even blame them for not really "liking" me anymore. But it did open my eyes to the fact that most people who like you do so because you are of service to them in one way or another. You feed them, and when you no longer do that - for whatever reason - most of them just quietly drift away; some become angry or outright hostile; others try to hang on in weird ways that usually rely on trying to change you in some fashion.

It was when my involvement in the Star Trek community was beginning to give way to other interests that three of my former friends (actually more like acquaintances) asked to come up to my house for a visit. I was a bit surprised at the timing, but agreed. When they arrived, it quickly became clear that they had created an agenda which they hoped would bring me back into the writing community. I was properly praised, my ego dutifully stroked, and then came the anvil. "But it would be so much easier if you would smile more." Followed by, "And take more of an interest in Suzy Cue's writing because she's currently the most popular." And topped off with, "We all love you, but..."


There's always a "but," isn't there?

It was that "but" which really opened my eyes to the fact that being liked really does mean being what everyone else wants you to be, with no regard whatsoever for who you are. In reality, I find it annoying to walk around with a stupid grin on my face for no reason whatsoever. If you want me to smile, do something funny. Say something nice. Oh - wait a minute! That would be me asking you to live up to my expectations, so scratch that. Hmmm. Another reality was that Suzy Cue's writing was some of the most atrocious drivel ever to fall forth from a rickety keyboard onto a 5 1/4" floppy drive where - hopefully - it has all been deteriorated into oblivion through entropy and improved technology. Oh - but wait another minute! That would be me putting my judgment on Suzy Cue and asking her to be better than perhaps she can be, so scratch that as well. Sorry, Suzy Cue. Pay no attention to that bitch behind the curtain. But then... (But... but... but...)  "We all love you..."

No. You really don't. You don't know me. It's not that I'm hard to get to know. It's that you didn't ask. And I'm perfectly okay with that. Because - truth be told - there was no reason to ask beyond polite social niceties. You liked me because I provided you with what you wanted, and I liked you because you made me feel  liked and appreciated... and there was nothing necessarily wrong with any of that, except that it was no more real than a unicorn or a virgin. It was simply a mutual addiction - and once recognized as such, it gave me the awareness to walk away from a segment of my life that had served its purpose, and start a new adventure. I took what I had learned and loved from those days and brought it forward, giving it the power and the permission to evolve, grow, and transcend. The core of what I had truly loved (Star Trek itself) remains a very real part of my original foundation. But the need to be liked within the community became a distant thing of a distant past.

Getting past the attachment to being liked is one of the most crucial steps toward freedom. At a certain point, Orlando (my mentor/double) threw me out of the cosmic classroom and told me to go forth and slam my ideas, conclusions and Knowledge up against the sharpest minds in the field to see if what I had learned would hold up under intense scrutiny, disagreement and even outright anger and hatred at times. It was a brutal process, but entirely necessary as a means of assimilation - putting together the pieces of what I had learned into a workable system of knowledge.

The hardest part in the beginning was getting past the need to be liked. What I discovered during that brutal process of assimilation falls in line with an old adage: "A speaker of truth has no friends." But beyond even that, a speaker of truth has no need to be liked.

If you are at a point in your journey where you are ready to slam your ideas, conclusions and Knowledge up against others, go for it. Just be prepared for the fact that not everyone is going to agree with you and - if they are truly your friend - they will yank any false beliefs or false foundations right out from under you... not because they are mean, but because moving forward on a foundation of false conclusions only means that foundation will fail somewhere along the way. Better sooner than later.

With that said... if you are going to approach your personal assimilation as I've described, the first thing you have to do is to get beyond the need to be liked or even accepted. Mikal Nyght says, "This road will not make you any friends. It won't make anyone love you. It might get you killed." There are multiple reasons for this, not the least of which is that you become a threat to the status quo. People don't like that. They need to be liked, remember?

Test your ideas and conclusions. But be willing to remain open to modification of your existing belief systems. Just because something seems on the surface to be true doesn't necessarily mean it is. And don't expect anyone to like you along the way. Love yourself. The rest takes care of itself.


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Saturday, August 11, 2018

Love: Not Just A Pesky Human Feeling

A few thoughts on love, collected from various conversations with seekers along the way.


Love isn't "just" a fluffy human feeling/emotion. It is actually a moving/living force which has the power to create or destroy, depending on the intent and will of the practitioner.

Without love, nothing gets done. Others may argue that it's sheer intellect that drives them, but I would challenge that belief. If one doesn't love life, one has no reason to go on breathing. Even if you hate your job, your friends and all your inbred relatives, there is something inside you that loves life or finds a reason to terminate it (whether immediately or in the long-term). Love is what drives us to do anything and everything - if you are willing to stop and actually think about it. Silly example: I might rightfully detest my unscrupulous competitors in our business, but it is my love of seeing them fall on their face that keeps me going. Even anger has its roots in love if you are willing to look deep enough.

Ultimate folly: trying to explain love to someone who refuses to admit its existence.

Love can either be used to create, or suckled at like the teat of addiction. Too many people seem to think love is about what you do for others or some funny feeling in the pit of your stomach when you're really just feeling an urge to make whoopie. But real love is probably the most selfish thing of all. It is what moves the Will. Without love in some form, there is very little reason to do anything - if you stop to think about it. If not... then love is just lovey-dovey, frilly-willy, hippie-dippie.

Some insist love is delusional – that it doesn’t exist at all. If you think love is delusional, why bother saying so... unless you just need to bolster that belief in yourself. Clearly, anyone who believes that has no real clue what unconditional love actually is, and such statements are typically made from a perspective of fear, even if it's masquerading as intellectual posturing.

As far as love from a Toltec perspective, I'm not even saying love is necessarily an aspect of Toltec. But there is more to life beyond even Toltec - something that seems to be difficult for Toltecs to comprehend. In that way, Toltec has become just another religion for most who claim to follow it. And if they are truly following it, they have missed the point altogether since true Nagualism advocates losing all programming, including its own.

I don't make comments or posts on the internet to entertain people, and certainly with no delusion that I can teach them anything. Put another way – you can't teach a pig to sing. It only wastes your time and annoys the pig.  Nobody is really listening, so why are we even talking?

The only devil is religion itself.
Every time I even use the word “teach” in any form, someone is sure to accuse me of trying to convert others in some weirdly religious manner. Truth be told, I'm as far from religious as it is possible to be. Religions are the quantifiable "devil" they try to warn everyone else about - hiding in plain sight... and a lot of Toltecs fall right into quasi-religious adherence to Carlos Castaneda's methods, even when it becomes obvious those methods might not be working for them as individuals. But because Carlos said so, it is gospel, and therein lies the dark danger of religious quackery.

The problem is - so many of the "practices" are followed willy-nilly, when Nagualism must be practiced as a system of knowledge. But people don't want to hear that because it means real work and not just adherence to a single aspect, such as dreaming or stalking or recapitulation. It also means throwing all the books away and forging our own path to freedom and not just to an altar piled high with someone else's books. If not practiced impeccably, Nagualism (like anything else) runs the very high risk of becoming just one more cult following (not unlike Catholicism).

Another commenter on a group I belong to spoke at length about meeting Taisha Abelar, Florinda Donner, and others in the Toltec community who were contemporaries of Carlos Castaneda. But as I told him, who you met is pretty much irrelevant. *shrugs* I met William Shatner on numerous occasions, but that doesn't make me Captain Kirk. I had ample opportunity to meet Castaneda but never did because I recognized the allure of his celebrity and the tendency humans have to become infatuated with it and to even draw false conclusions about the person based on their own projections. So I chose not to go down that road, but to walk my own path with heart... alone. Not a decision I have ever regretted.

If we're talking about meeting others in Dreaming, that's a different category altogether. I once met Carlos in a dream, and he was with a "witch" who attempted to stop my heart. It was an interesting encounter - a test of the type that tells me exactly why I have no great desire to play power games with people who like to play power games. What's the point? I won't be put in a position to have to prove myself to anyone - I have nothing to defend, after all, nothing to prove. So I told Carlos and his witch to take a flying leap, which they did. Did I win? Did I lose? Neither. The only winning move is not to play.

It’s been argued that love is dangerous or delusional because “love forces you to fall in love with it.” Actually, no. Love doesn't want you to love it. It isn't sentient in and of itself, so it doesn't give a rat's ass one way or the other. Love is a force and a motivational tool. You can pick it up, and you can even put it down if that's your choice. But to think it controls us... I can't help but see that as a manifestation of fear rather than a reflection of reality.

Another commenter said: "None of these emanations [Editor’s note: love, fear, hate, all human emotions] have any reason for existence except to supply sentience and sentient beings. Otherwise I doubt they would even exist. And as such, I believe sentience created them for their own purpose."

That's circular logic at its best and really doesn't make sense in the big picture. You would have to assume sentience existed in the first place, and that is getting perilously close to belief in a deity or creator of some sort - a belief with which I don't personally align. I choose to think all emotions come from us (from all living things - not just humans, but all living things) and that each one serves its own purpose. Even the so-called negative emotions have a purpose. Anger can give us strength. Fear can enable us to run when something wants to have us for its dinner. Even the darkest emotion of hate can keep us safe from something that wishes to harm us. Love, on the other hand, gives us reasons to do things we might otherwise never do. These things weren't created by sentience, but by necessity - in the long and arduous process of evolution.

The path of the death defier is rooted deeply in love - love of life, love of being, love of this Earth. Sure, we could dig up other words for it, but I think most of us know what the word means even if some feel the deep-seated need to banish it to the realm of "delusional." It is love of life, the unknown, the mystery, that makes me choose the path of the death defier. Maybe some can choose that path from a purely intellectual assemblage, but I think that would become sterile and dull after a century or two, and probably a lot sooner.

The only way anyone knows of Love is by allowing the assemblage point to assemble it. We learn by doing, in other words. Aside from that, it's all just psychobabble while the ship is sinking.

To those who would say that love is an addiction, or that “Love makes you fall in love with it, so it is therefore an attachment…”  I've found that, with clarity, a warrior can have love without needing love. Kinda like... I can have a piece of cake without needing it. I do agree that some (most) people seem to believe they need love. That's part of the program - absolutely! Everything in our culture promotes that belief because love is a commodity to be sold and profited from; but the warrior with clarity knows love isn't something that can be bought or possessed. And there are so many different kinds of love - most of which are transient but nonetheless useful when they come around - unless they are allowed to turn into obsessive love, at which point they aren't really love at all... but that's a whole other discussion for another day.

Bottom line - only unconditional love is unconditional. Up to and including the part where we realize we can have it without needing it. Love becomes part of us. I'm sure most warriors would argue that we need clarity and power. I don't disagree. I just think we also benefit from unconditional love - which actually boosts power and clarity for anyone who is willing to step past their fear of it and experience it directly instead of trying to analyze it from a safe distance.

Another thing I find troublesome is what I consider to be absurd speculation - the time-wasting variety. "What if Trump is the anti-Christ?" That's a good example of absurd speculation, since the debate would hinge on whether one is pre-programmed and pre-tenderized by the Eagle to believe in an "anti-Christ" in the first place. "What if Carlos made it all up?" One of those have-you-stopped-beating-your-wife-yet kinda questions. First, no matter what answer you give, it's wrong. And second, there is no way to know whether Carlos did or didn't invent the whole concoction, so... it’s wasting time/energy just discussing it. But contemplation is a necessary part of the path (like love).

Assimilation is simply putting together
the pieces of what you've learned.
One thing my mentor stressed was what he called "the art of assimilation." At a certain point, he said, "I've taught you all I can for now. I want you to take what you've learned and slam it up against the real world to see how it fares in the harsh light of day." The result was that assimilation is the process that forces warriors to integrate what they have learned into their day-to-day life and into their spiritual evolution. Without assimilation, it's all still just information. So, yes, contemplation is part of the equation, whether contemplating the potential effects of whether Castaneda made it up, or contemplating the statement that "We are beings who are going to die."

My concern also arises when well-meaning believers (in just about anything) pass their erroneous beliefs on to the next generation. It's one thing to tell your kid fairy tales about Santa Claus or the tooth fairy. Maybe even that is a touchy subject with some; but to fill the heads of children with a belief in a punishing, vengeful deity that demands their lifelong and unwavering belief and worship... It's that kind of belief that creates whole new generations of fearful bigots who polish up their pitchforks and turn into angry mobs in the name of some (imagined) "God." I agree that all should be free to find their own path, but where do we draw the line between that and the fact that while they are in the process of finding themselves, they are often a very real danger to every other living thing on the planet? It's a rhetorical question - but one that needs to be asked. I realize we can't legislate against stupidity, but there is clearly a problem that can no longer be swept under the elephant in the room.

Sex, Love and the Man On the Moon

So many people equate sex with love and love with sex, when the reality is that they have very little to do with one another. Maybe nothing at all. Nature/biology designed us in such a way that we are driven by our hormones to mate-or-die. In that way, Vulcans and their pon farr got nothin' on us horny, sad little hoomans. But sex ain't love and making babies ain't love. It's biology, straight-up and often ugly. (Thus the term: bumpin' uglies. It's a medical term. Look it up. Really, really!) It makes us crazy. We'll fight for it. Risk life and limb for it. Even kill Captain Kirk for it! But it still ain't love... just sex. Nothin' more, nothin' less, so sorry to burst anyone's fragile belief hymen.

Some humans go to the bother of "falling in love" in the aftermath of sex, or in the advance anticipation of it, because nature also designed us to be at least somewhat partner-oriented in the raising of all those babies we accidentally or even deliberately make when being driven to distraction by the mating dance. Back in "olden times" it was vitally important to have a nurturing mother and protective/providing father. Sloths and mammoths and warlords, oh my! Nowadays, maybe that kind of partnership isn't required as much, but our biology is still hard-wired through DNA to the past even though culture/society has evolved (de-evolved?) around us and we find ourselves in "the future" without having even a gnat's ass comprehension of how we got here.

No matter... point simply being - there's a vast difference between The Mating Drive and the creative power of love as a spiritual/evolutionary force. Knowing the difference can save a lot of hurt and herpes, and keep one out of shrink's offices and divorce court.

To argue against love is to argue against life.


A Related Article On this Blog:
Love: The Catalytic Force of Immortality

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Thursday, July 05, 2018

The Origins of Fear

There was a recent discussion on my Quantum Shaman Facebook Group regarding various tools used in the pursuit of spiritual Knowledge. The discussion opened with a look at Ouija boards, and the comments that followed were, to be honest, surprising to me, coming as they did from people who profess to be on a path of spiritual evolution and personal enlightenment.

Why my surprise? Because of the depth of outright fear expressed - fear that one might become possessed by using a Ouija board, not seeming to understand that The Exorcist was fiction, just another Hollyweird fairy tale designed to scare the crap out of horny teenagers at the movies on an otherwise dull Friday night. And yet, the idea that Ouija boards promote possession by demons invaded pop culture like a virus and spawned a terror that remains rampant to this day, some 45 years after Linda Blair told Father Karras that his mother sucks cocks in hell, and proceeded to masturbate with a cross.

It's just a movie, people. Just like Ouija, Witchboard and all the others. Fiction.

Demons sold separately.
Some assembly required.
A Ouija board is a very simple tool, and it is one which can be used wisely or foolishly.  It does not come with a slew of demons or angels, nor does it have any interest whatsoever in possessing your soul (assuming you have gone to the bother of nurturing one).

The warrior who sees realizes that a Ouija board is a piece of processed wood accompanied by a piece of plastic. There is nothing sinister about it, other than what the users bring with them.

This is true of any tool - tarot cards, runes, crystals, hammers, a saw, a screwdriver. It's the intent and mindset of the user that determines the outcome. Point being - to fear a Ouija board is tantamount to being afraid of a wooden picture frame or a sippy cup. The tool has only the power you give to it.

People are afraid of tools because they have been programmed to be afraid of them. Between Hollywood, social media, and Christianity, it's a wonder anyone can walk down the street in broad daylight without being afraid of demons, dark spirits or some other form of boogeyman.

I was asked privately, "Della, why are you harping on this?" Simple. I'm tired of all the fear-based posturing in the so-called "spiritual community." Tired of people hopping on the new age bandwagon and believing whatever they're told by some self-proclaimed guru or nagual or yogi in the same way people hop on any religious bandwagon and become "believers" instead of seekers. I take my role in the spiritual community very seriously - and I would define it as assisting seekers in stripping away the programming & false belief systems that ground them in fear and create insurmountable limitations as a result.

Most of the things we fear are only shadows created by our own false beliefs - but we start to see the shadows as monsters and then make the doubly-dangerous mistake of concluding that the monsters are real and must be banished. And so it ends up that a lot of people devote themselves to banishing "the devil" when, in reality, they might as well be committed to banishing Cylons or Orks.

When I used to do psychic readings, I was often told by fearful xtians, "Oh, Della, don't you know that stuff is of the devil?" When I read Tarot cards, same thing - "Those things are evil - a tool of Satan!" When I have channeled Orlando (my double) I am constantly asked, "Are you SURE it's not an evil spirit? Are you SURE it's not the devil himself?"

Yes, I'm sure. And you would be, too, if you did the actual work instead of constantly trying to tell everyone else how dangerous it is or how the devil is out to get them or how many crystals you own to protect you from the (imagined) evil forces. After awhile, fear is not only self-limiting, it spreads like a virus to those around you because that is its nature and that is the agenda of the consensus - to keep you in a tight program of what you've been told is right or wrong. And don't forget to follow the money and the power. More often than not, you will find priests and politicians at the root of the root of all evil. So put a hundred dollar bill in the collection plate, cast your vote for what you've been told is truth, justice & The Right Way... but never forget you are just a pawn on the playing field of the powers that be until such time as you throw your fears away, get off your ass, and actually do the work of finding out for yourself. What's possible? What's right? What's wrong? What's real? (Helpful hint: virtually nothing we believe is real, which is why this is so important).

After awhile, I came to realize that I'm probably wasting my time even attempting to overcome the fear and self-limiting belief systems that run rampant in the so-called "spiritual community." People clearly want to be afraid and believe in "the devil" (or the evil-du-jour) because it's a comfort zone that requires no thought, no action, and no forward motion. As long as they can wholeheartedly believe (not "know" but just blindly believe) that Ouija boards are evil or Tarot cards are of the devil, or channeling is always from the demonic realms, then they have abdicated any responsibility for actually doing the work of direct personal experience. Easier to believe a wild-eyed Baptist minister that Hell is a reality than to think it through for oneself. Easier to think the boogeyman will get us if we ____________ (fill in the blank) than to strip away the insane beliefs that assault our senses from cradle to grave.

Ask yourself this: where did you first come to believe in god or the devil (or whatever deities and demons your religion foists upon you)? I can virtually guarantee it didn't just come to you while you were sipping a mint julep on the porch one hot summer afternoon. It came to you from parents or teachers or so-called "religious leaders". It's something you were told and not something you have experienced. And therein lies the fatal fallacy that slaughters all sense of reason.

If a man picks up a hammer and uses it to kill half a dozen people, is it because he was possessed by the evil hammer, or because he was mentally ill? Same thing with Ouija boards and Tarot cards and runes and channeling. Should we all stop using hammers because somebody used one to kill someone? Think about it. Tools are just tools - they can be used to build houses or kill your spouse. And it's still not the fault of the tool.

It will always be easier to stand still and shriek in fear than to move forward into the unknown. Sure, there are dangers, but they are largely self-created and self-perpetuating. But there are also incredible wonders that you will never discover if you are hobbled and shackled by your own pre-programmed belief systems and irrational fears.

This path is dangerous to your comfort zones. Cowards need not apply.

Della Van Hise, July 5, 2018
All Rights Reserved

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Saturday, May 12, 2018

Of Ghosts and Roses

Once Located in Land o'Lakes, Florida, the Green Gables
Motel was an insignificant blight on an otherwise lush, green
landscape. Oh - and it was also irrefutably haunted.
The place where I grew up was either haunted or cursed (take your pick). I saw my first full-body apparition at the age of 8 - not once, but twice, in my bedroom. Many odd things happened there over the years, including my "father's" suicide in that same room in the year 1973.(No sympathies, please - the man was a tyrant, and as it turned out, not my father at all). 

I was 6 or 7 here, standing by the "pond" which is actually
an extension of Lake Padgett.
The property was actually a 10-unit motel, a tiny house held together by termites holding hands, and several outbuildings. The 5-acres backed up to a pond/swamp/lake, and it was known that an aquifer ran underneath the entire property, giving additional credence to the possibility that the land itself was haunted, since it's a somewhat accepted fact among paranormal investigators that water increases spirit energy. 

Shortly after the death of The Old Man, I moved out at the age of 17, leaving the place in the rear-view mirror. For several years, nothing unusual happened in my own life, though my mother did say she saw a "man" standing outside the bedroom window (yes, the same room) more than once. That might be entirely explainable, if not for the fact that the house was actually raised at least 2 feet and so the "man" would have had to be 8' tall or more... but no matter. We'll file that under the heading of, "Weird Shit Happens In Florida."

It was 15 years or more after I left that I began being "pulled" back to that haunted motel. In dreaming. Or, more precisely in what might be called an astral or out-of-body state. The first time this occurred, I was intentionally terrified by a dark force that apparently resides on the property. The "dream" was such that the details were more than crystal clear - the house still stood exactly as it had when I was perhaps 8 years old. Faded red carpet in the living room, jalousie windows covered with dust, curtains that had seen better days, the broken-down flower-pattern sofa, and the lush green grounds out in the courtyard. In one corner stood the forgotten old console television dragged home from some thrift shop, never worked right and only got 2 channels on a good day. The scent of amarillo lilies and tea roses drifting in through the open window... a setting that might have been nostalgically idyllic if not for the overwhelming and literally heart-stopping sense of pure evil that permeated the very fabric of the vision itself. 

In the context of the dreaming, I knew I had been called there to do battle with this Thing. It had no name. No gender. No identity of its own. It was simply a living force - though I cannot even say with certainty that it was alive at all. I found a sword in my hand, though it was more accurately a dagger, and a small  one at that. At this time in my life, I had never been trained in the use of daggers, knives or other sharp objects, other than for cutting into a juicy steak, so I was not only out of my league with this Thing, but also lacking in any type of skill set. I felt the entity laugh at me, projecting its power onto me as if to smother me. I was dying. I knew I would die. And then it was dark and I was back in my own bed somewhere in southern California. 

In reality, the house and all the motel units had long since been torn down, the property abandoned, where it would be eventually reclaimed by nature. But at the moment I awakened in my own bed, I realized some other force had actually pulled me out of there - a force for which I had no name at the time, but one which has since come to answer to the name of my own double, Orlando. Though I was grateful (beyond words) for his intervention, I felt I had been utterly defeated by this Thing which was apparently attached to the property where I grew up. It was not something I wanted to think about. It was certainly not something I ever wanted to encounter again. And so I ignored it, hoping it would go away.

A few years passed, so long that I had almost forgotten about the Thing and the defeat and the terror it had caused me. But then I was again pulled back into that same crystal-clear setting sometime around 1980...  This time, I was better prepared - though to be honest I could think of no reason why I had been singled out to do battle with something that was light years beyond my own abilities. Though I had trained heavily in martial arts for several years by this time, I was no fool. Even the most proficient martial artist would be no match for what amounts to an invisible opponent, one comprised of the pixels of Evil Intent itself. As my first martial arts teacher once said, "You can't fight the devil with a toothpick." Funny, since neither he nor I believed in "the devil," but the sentiment was clear and absolutely true. So when the Thing moved against me in this second encounter, I lay down the dagger and said out loud, "If it was your intent to kill me, would I not already be dead?"

The double is the vessel of our awareness beyond this mortal
form. We create it and strengthen it through intent, and
most of all, through unconditional love of Life itself.
The entity paused, but didn't stop its advance - though I did sense that it might have been considering my words. Then it was dark again, and Orlando was reeling me in, back into the safety of my own bed, my own body, somewhere in the stagnant suburbia of San Diego. I mumbled something that amounted to a thank you. Orlando only harrumphed. "If you die, so do I," he said as if it should have been obvious. "Self-preservation is a powerful motivator." And then he, too, was gone, leaving behind only the sharp echo of his words.

Time passed again. Over the years in between Then and Now, I engaged my path with heart fully, beginning in 1988 and continuing to this day. I studied the works of Carlos Castaneda, and found that they validated many of my own experiences, including my interaction with what the Toltecs call "the double." I applied myself to the healing arts, the mystical arts, and spent the next 20 years or so in what amounted to a self-imposed state of monkhood - reading, learning, practicing, applying the knowledge to my life, being particularly drawn toward the mystery which is the double. Wrote about it extensively in my first book (Quantum Shaman), and experienced so many magnificently strange things that I finally defeated the programming that tells us our dreams and visions are impossible, and insists that only the Real World exists. Sounds easy, perhaps, but it's the hardest thing any of us ever have to do - but it is also the only thing that gives us our freedom and awakens us to our own power.

Me & mom - with one of the motel units in the background.
Further back among the trees is the lake/swamp.
Then, last night - the early morning hours of May 12, 2018 - I was drawn back to that Dreaming again, into the same eerie setting that looked like something out of a scratchy celluloid commercial from the late 1950s. This time, I found myself in one of the dilapidated motel units - unit #9 to be precise. In the context of this dream, my mother was still alive (though she passed of natural causes in 2006). It was known to me that she had been living in this unit, but now the dark entity stood between her and myself. It was playing a wicked game of hide-and-seek this time - condensing itself down to the size of a little boy, hiding in the shadows, trying to lure me to come in and chase after it.

Instead, I called out to my mother, but there was no answer. Intuitively, I knew this was not because any real harm had come to her, but because the entity wanted me to think it had harmed her. It wanted to anger me. It wanted to get an emotional response rather than an impeccable one. It wanted me to come into its domain, into the darkness where it held all the power. This continued for several minutes, until I finally said to It, "I'm not going to chase you because I don't want you jumping out at me (my attempt to lure it into making a false move). If you want to play, come out and show yourself."

Love reaches where anger & fear cannot.
After awhile, I felt a movement in the darkness, like a cold wind sneaking in through a crack in the window. When it emerged and once again projected the full force of its Evil Intent toward me, I literally felt myself transform in an instant. The dagger I had been holding had become a single white rose. My own body was taller, more ethereal, and most definitely male. I was the double. I was Orlando. Though I could not physically see the entity, I laid the rose at its feet and only then realized there were tears in my eyes. In Orlando's voice, I heard myself say to the entity, "I am sorry for whatever happened to make you what you are."

For a moment, there was only the most profound silence I have ever experienced.Then the vision shivered and shimmered and I simply knew the entity was gone, and I also knew it was unconditional love that had defeated it (or freed it) without ever a battle needing to be fought.

So perhaps you can't fight the devil with a toothpick. Maybe with a rose. And definitely with the quantifiable force of Love.

Copyright ©  2018
Della Van Hise
All Rights Reserved

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