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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Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Trouble With Teaching

Stolen with permission from Mikal Nyght's forum, Immortal Spirit.  At the author's request, a few revisions were made for publication here. I can only offer my complete and heartfelt agreement to every word expressed in this entry. (Quantum Shaman)

The Trouble With Teaching

I spent most of this past weekend involved in an amusing but intense conflict with an apprentice. It matters little to me. I have all the time in the world. Most don't.

The problem with attempting to teach is that most who call themselves apprentices or even just seekers appear to wholeheartedly believe they are already Masters of the Universe, Keepers of All Knowledge, and Resident Experts on Everything In Existence. The mere fact that the reality of it is a trifle different never occurs to them, and they will spend most of their time arguing for what they often say is their "right to be heard" (*banging fist on the table and expanding chest like a puffer fish*) 

My hearing is excellent. My experience is comparatively vast when held up next to that of most 18-30 year olds who initially say they want to learn from me, but then create entire little armies of dissenters who do nothing but argue and attempt to discredit the messenger. If that's your goal, it's fairly easy to do. After all, this messenger has claimed to be immortal, so he has given you all the ammunition you should need to bury his credibility in a shiny mahogany coffin somewhere in the vicinity of Forest Lawn. It isn't necessary to endlessly debate my teachings. It is only necessary that - if you really want to learn - you try them and be willing to move on if you find they don't work for you, or even if they don't resonate with your existing programming to such an extent that you are filled with angst and dread at the mere thought of continuing on this path I have described.

No one is holding you in place but you. What's amusing to me is when someone points out to me some little corner of the internet where a few "seekers" are gathered together lambasting me or my teachings, or Carlos Castaneda, or Miguel Ruiz, or Della Van Hise, or Buddha, or Somebody None of Us Ever Heard of... not because the dissenters are right or wrong, but because the teachings have rattled the cage of their comfort zones, and now the demons of their own self-importance are angry and demanding their day in court, when the only ones really on trial are themselves - The Program vs. The Seekers. And, sadly, The Program always wins because there is nothing more validating than a bunch of naysayers piled up in a huddle suckling at the festering boob of consensual validation itself.

Do what works for you. But don't assume that when something doesn't work for you, it's the fault of the teaching or even the teacher. Most times, apprentices fail not because the teachings are flawed, but because the apprentice insists on remaining flawed even when being offered a long list of workable solutions. I'm not speaking only of my own teachings, but any teachings of any competent spiritual adviser.

Carlos Castaneda once said in an interview that he considered himself to be a flawed student, not any sort of master, and that the teachings offered by don Juan and transcribed by himself were not for everybody, but only for the few who could shed their self-importance and overcome their fears. And while that might sound elitist or even arrogant to some, I would have to agree with his assessment, particularly with how it applies to my own efforts to pass along the Knowledge I have gathered over the long march of The First Fundamental Lie (aka Time). Those who argue the hardest are those who do the least, or who are perpetually looking for "work-arounds" that allow them to circumvent the task of unraveling the garbage that clearly holds them prisoner to the garbage. I always welcome questions and even discussions that might be called heated. All I ask is that both parties speak from experience. Direct personal experience. If one party isn't doing that, the game is already forfeit. Experience trumps belief every time.

It must also be taken into account that words do not exist to adequately explain much of what occurs within the apprentice during this process of bootstrap evolution. It reminds me of the oft-repeated statement that only when you are on the far side of the bridge do you have the capacity to look over your shoulder to see how the bridge was built. Change is difficult on a good day, and virtually impossible on a bad day. Some might say most days are bad days, but my perspective is that most days are insignificantly neutral. Life is what you make of it. If you Intend to attain the immortal condition, nothing can stop you. If you're looking for reasons to say it's impossible, you've already lost the battle (and yourself).

Define what you want. Know who you are and don't pretend to be someone you aren't. If you are being someone you aren't, where is that going to lead you? Are you trying to emulate the change you want to embody, or are you just being a poser while you wait for Death to come calling?

Love is the reason.

If you aren't doing whatever it is you do out of a sense of love and wonder, you are running in place on a slippery slope. You can't waste my time. But you can definitely waste your own. Think about it.

Darkly everafter,
Mikal Nyght


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Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Let's (not) Pretend

One of the biggest steps I ever took was coming to accept myself, including and especially my so-called "dark nature" and all. I've told this tale before, but will repeat it briefly, since it has bearing here. There was a time when some friends were visiting here in the desert, shortly after we moved here, but just prior to our re-engaging with Orlando through his letters - probably around early 1994. I was in a transition phase, not really knowing what I was going to do next in my life - whether to pursue writing or venture off into another area altogether. I'd had some major setbacks in my writing career, and nothing else seemed to be opening up, so I was at a crossroads where none of the intersecting streets had a name or even a hint as to where they might lead.

These three friends, well-meaning but a bit naive, kept insisting that if only I would try to be more positive, more cheerful, more on the sunny side of the street as opposed to the shadows... in other words, if only I would be more like them... all would be well and I would find happiness waiting at the end of that rainbow they always seemed to be dancing on. And yet, in hindsight and based on how their lives have unfolded since that time now 25 years in the past, I have to say they would have been right at home in Stepford. One of them became a closet alcoholic (and had been all along), another addicted to drugs (and had been all along), and the third became what amounts to a card-carrying internet troll. So much for their sage advice.

Pretending to be happy doesn't make you happy. Acting as if you have all the answers doesn't make you wise. Believing you know what's right doesn't make it right.

And yet, perhaps because I was extremely vulnerable at the time, I found myself thinking on their words and actually trying to be more fill-in-the-blank.  Ultimately, however, all I was doing was attempting to upload yet another false personality. By trying to subjugate my autumn spirit and mask it with spring, I was programming myself to ignore the beauty of a falling leaf only because society in general finds more value in a fresh blossom (because that is what they have programmed themselves to believe). In trying to always outrun the storm because someone had told me there was more value in the sunlight, I was failing to appreciate the soft caress of the rain, the delicate beauty of the snow. In attempting to be something I wasn't, I was losing track of who I-Am.

It took awhile for me to go through this process, but ultimately I began to see that it is only by working with our nature that we can learn to enhance, expand, and evolve. That isn't to say we can't achieve greater balance, but the balance I discovered is one of finding joy, delight, happiness, beauty and appreciation within my own nature instead of trying to upload someone else's program of what we're "supposta" be. When I finally realized that and accepted that about myself is when - "coincidentally" - Orlando reappeared in our lives and the path began to really unfold. As long as I was trying to be something else, I was lost in the program.

So by all means, toss those programs out the window! A predisposition to "darkness" isn't evil anymore than the night is evil. Evil is always a matter of human intent, and it's nothing more than a social/cultural program that makes us question our nature. There are some people - many, in fact - who are hard-wired to the moon over the sun, the rain over the cloudless sky, autumn over summer, night over day. It is simply a variation in the yin and yang - and to try to "fix" it would be like trying to fix someone because they have green eyes instead of blue, blonde hair instead of brown. If all women looked like Hollywood's idea of perfection, we would live in a malnourished world indeed. If we all ran around like bliss ninnies without ever acknowledging that our trials and tribulations shape us as much if not more than our happiness, we would all sit in a field of yellow flowers staring at the sun until we were blind.

Never let anyone tell you who you are.  That's your secret, your power, and your evolution.


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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

A Trick of the Light

Watching Netflix tonight with Wendy when a very old lamp in my room came on all by itself and began to flicker erratically. Since I had received a shiny new K-2 meter for xmas, I whipped it out and it registered a mid-level EM-field. Tested it against other devices in the room, nada. Just the lamp. Over the course of the evening, the light remained on at a low level (it's a 3-way), flickering from time to time.

It's been a very odd 24 hours. Last night I was awakened by a VERY bright light in the room and the hissing of the kittens. No way to describe it. At first I thought it was like a flood light, but as I sat up and really observed it, I realized it had no specific source. It crossed my mind that perhaps we had finally been nuked and this was a slow-motion reaction. It also crossed my mind that it was that pesky go-into-the-light-carolann-light some see when they are crossing over. Neither alternative was particularly reassuring. Considering the date, I wondered if it might be the Christmas star, but I have no such beliefs, so that one had to be discarded as well.

The light lasted perhaps 1-2 full minutes, accompanied by an odd "warbling" sound somewhat like one of the old-style British sirens, but at a much faster speed. When the sound stopped, the light seemed to "fold" into itself and went out altogether. The kittens had run under the bed and stayed there until morning. I considered joining them, but chose instead to stare out the screen door into the night, wondering... wondering.


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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Double, Double - There Can Be Only One

It was recently brought to my attention that some are teaching the idea that warrior-seekers have more than one double. And while it is true that the double can take on many forms and manifestations, it's been my experience and observation that the double is simply the other half of the warrior - with the word "double" implying two and not dozens or hundreds despite what our initial observations might try to tell us.

For example, when I first started out on this journey I was probably about 6 years old - long before I realized there was a path or a journey, but was simply compelled and propelled to seek that "something else" - my double took the appearance of a character from a very old black-and-white tv show. The explorer. The adventurer. The one never settled but always moving, seeking something just out of reach. I've written extensively about this in my first book, Quantum Shaman, for anyone who might want more detailed accounts.

As I grew older, at about age 11, the paradigm of the double morphed into a different character, but with the same general characteristics. A loner among humans. But still a traveler. An explorer of the vast unknown. Over the years, my double changed several times until he eventually settled into the persona I call, simply, Orlando. Still the mystery man and the magician, the traveler and the sage, but now an eternal being (an immortal, if you prefer) who moves in and out of the unknown with the same ease we would move in and out of an open door. He is the teacher and the inspiration, the motivation. He is the dreamer and the dreamed - and though he might appear slightly different than that initial paradigm so loved by a 6-year-old child, the essence of him is the same. The One who is many who is still and only The One.

Humans (even otherwise advanced warriors) try to explain it by claiming we have many doubles, or the double exists before we are born, but for anyone with direct personal experience and seeing, the double is the self in eternity - the energetic vessel of our awareness. Having "many doubles" would result in being very fragmented., Can't very well inhabit the totality of yourself if you're split into dozens of pieces.
 The self dreams the double. Once it has learned to dream the double, the self arrives at this weird crossroad and a moment comes when one realizes that it is the double who dreams the self. Your double is dreaming you. No one knows how it happens. We only know that it does happen. That's the mystery of us as luminous beings. You can awaken in either one.  (Carlos Castaneda - Tales of Power
What I've discovered is that "the self dreams the double" is what amounts to the warrior's beginnings on the path. We long for something "more" and we even intuit that it exists (or that it can exist). This longing is comparable to what we feel when looking at the stars - the sense of wonder, the love of the Earth, the embrace of the mysterious nagual. This is how we dream the double - until it becomes our Intent to manifest our longing into an actuality that defies explanation. That actuality is the double. Once the double becomes its own assemblage point (and it does have a "life of its own") it could be said that the double begins dreaming the warrior - in the sense that double and self have formed a pact to seek Knowledge and Freedom.

To the double's perception, time is an illusion, and so
moving between 3000 BC and 3000 AD are no different.
Because the double is not limited by time but can move freely throughout the space-time continuum, it can experience hundreds or thousands of "other lives" (what humans mistakenly call "past lives"). They aren't "past" - they are all happening right now, simultaneously, within the hologram of All That Is - but because humans seem to need this idea of "time" to sort experience, there is a tendency to think in terms of past, present, future.

In reality, the double is the vessel that moves through the All, acquiring knowledge and experience which would be impossible for the mortal warrior. The warrior can't very well go live a lifetime or ten in ancient Greece or on the dark side of an Antarean moon, but the double can and does.

Through silent knowing, dreaming, meditation and so forth, the double then "dreams" the warrior - by communicating the experiences s/he has gathered along the way. Sometimes we remember the other self (we remember specifics, that is). Most times, we don't recall these things on a conscious level, but as with everything else in life, the "quasi-memories of the other self" are stored in the brain/mind and can be accessed with the proper tools & disciplines. When the double & self fully conjoin (usually but not always at the time of mortal "death") the "two" become One under a single assemblage point which contains the full knowledge & awareness of both (ergo... totality of oneself). This is also the state of what I have personally come to call the singularity of consciousness.

To read more about the double, and how to achieve a more direct level of communication with your own, consider this Quantum Shaman workshop:

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Four Allies

Carlos Castaneda put forth the 4 enemies of a man of knowledge.  Don Miguel Ruiz penned the 4 agreements. I'm going to suggest the 4 allies, without which the warrior has very little chance of reaching Freedom.

1. Common Sense
Look at all things through the eyes of reason first & foremost. Think of Occam's Razor. IF after thorough examination no rational explanation presents itself, ONLY then look for more implausible possibilities. Example: so much fear surrounds what CC called "the flyers." One explanation is that they are an alien intelligence that survives by feeding on human energy. While that is a possibility (though remote) a far more likely explanation is that we create our own reality through fear of what we don't understand. In this case, are we running from our own "shadows"? Common sense must prevail until such time as it can't. When common sense is abandoned, so is the warrior's ability to function in the tonal.

2. Clarity 
While clarity is the second enemy according to Castaneda, it's also the second ally. Without clarity, humans tend to mistake the finger pointing at the moon for the moon itself. When a warrior encounters something unexpected or unknown, it's important to look at it without all the programming & reality filters that can cloud our judgment and lead to erroneous conclusions.Be willing to let go of your belief systems in order to perceive the actuality of What Is.

3. Empathy 
Walk a mile in the other guy's shoes - whether he's your friend, your enemy, your dog or the inorganic being living in the corner of your basement. Over-confidence and arrogance should appear somewhere on the list of enemies, for when a warrior is without empathy, he is without fluidity. Only when you know where "the other guy" is coming from can you have any insights into where he is going... and why. Knowing this can save your life, but far more important it can give you a humble advantage in all things.

4. Anonymity 
When a warrior practices anonymity, she is giving herself the opportunity to defeat her self-importance and embrace her full potential rather than trying to mold her behaviours to pre-existing ideas and programs (whether her own or those of the consensus). When you do something without desire or demand for recognition or reward, you have taken a large step in the direction of achieving a direct and permanent state of gnosis (silent knowing) with your double. The double is the true self, the anonymous and eternal Other who is without "identity," yet who is the totality of the I-Am (pure existence.)

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