A Hidden Resource Guide

http://rebrn.com/re/minimalist-falling-into-blue-1714149/

by Donny Duke

In my mid twenties to early thirties the inner doors were flung wide open. Especially intense were the 3 and a half years immediately following a spiritual experience that happened when I was 28, and I was able to consciously explore not only dream and transition states between waking and sleeping (hypnagogia and hynopompia) and the trances such as the cataleptic (sleep paralysis) that sometimes accompany them, and consequently too the out of body experience often resulting from such a trance, but also dreamless sleep. There in the deepest most hidden place inside me, in my center, way beyond or behind dream, I entered into the realm of soul, just a short baptismal shock, but in that journey, a very involved inner journey that took a number of stages and a week or so, I took my conscious, that part of me that thinks and feels and dreams, down into my center and connected it to the soul, and why I call it the soul is the spirit of this article.

I understand now that such an opening of the inner consciousness is unusual, where you can consciously explore the inner life with as much conscious awareness and will as you have in waking life, where you have lucid dreams most every night, or frequent cycles of that, can learn to go from waking to dreaming consciously, from dreaming into the states between sleeping and waking (twilight I call them), from twilight into the cataleptic trance, and from there out of the body, but my list isn’t to suggest OBE is the direction of the exploration. For me this opening was temporary, and it slowly closed, not completely, but the unusual degree of opening I’m describing, especially the last two items, cataleptic trance and OBE, were the first things to go and in the ensuing years to become rare events.

I suspect in a future humanity such a metaphysical opening to our inner consciousness will be the norm, a spiritual opening as well, but for now it’s rare to experience even a short period of this, more common to have a smaller opening, where things like lucid dreams and OBE’s happen a couple of times a week, using those two inner experiences because they are now the most talked about net-wise, interest in sleep paralysis notwithstanding, but even this more common smaller opening is not yet common in humanity.

If you find yourself experiencing such an opening, large or small, and many are today, though not enough to light an inner revolution in humanity, not even enough to make the nightly news, you have a rare opportunity to experience firsthand what most everyone else does secondhand. You can know and not only believe that consciousness transcends material process, a knowledge that can transform your life if you understand what it means. To see it firsthand, however, involves conscious inner exploration, which is more than awakening within dream and trying some technique like looking at your hands or some trick to manipulate the dream more. In other articles, such as “The Epic of Man”[i] and “You’re like Wow, That Really Was Enchanted With a Rock”,[ii] I try and give a sense of what inner exploration is and where it can lead to in relation to its transcendence over material process. Here my direction isn’t towards the outer world or inner worlds but inside to the well of soul, our center.

The following inner journey took place around 1989 when I was 28 I believe, some months after the spiritual experience I mention above, before the net I might add, and before I aligned myself with any spiritual tradition or teachers, when I was exploring on my own and not a part of any group involved with spirituality or dreaming. It took place over the course of a week.

It’s night, and I’m alone on the football field I played on in junior high school, and I become lucid. Since I have an avid practice in waking life of meditation and pranayama, I decide to try it in dream, and so I begin to sit down in a meditative posture, but as I do a monster jumps at me out of nowhere, it’s eyes wide gyros spinning madly. It scares the hell out of me, and I wake myself up.

During the next day I got the suspicion that the monster was trying to prevent me from meditating, and so I resolve in my next lucid dream to follow through with it no matter what I may encounter to try and prevent me. I was just exploring dream and didn’t even have a destination in mind, at this point just trying to find doorways of dream to go deeper.

I’m in a huge motor pool, in a part of it where there aren’t many vehicles parked, and I see in the distance the buildings of the motor pool change colors, one color just following another, and the anomaly triggers lucidity, as an anomaly in dream often can. I remember my intention and sit down to meditate, but as I do I hear a blaring horn and seeing coming directly at me a mac truck. I settle into my resolve not to be scared out of the sitting and continue to settle into meditating. When the truck gets to me, up until that point being everything that looks and sounds real enough to run me over, it vanishes, doing that over me, its form rapidly turning into nothing as my eyes close and I see nothing. Instead of going into another dream or waking up in my bed as often happens when a dream goes blank, I remain in the blank but have a sense of falling. This blank falling state I’ve known many times, since it so often occurs in transitions from one dream to another or to waking consciousness. The difference here is that I see I can stay there, am not being captured by another dream image or by waking. I remain in that falling place for perhaps a minute or more, and then I open my eyes and am awake in bed, the falling state itself being so close to waking all you have to do is open your eyes.

I thought about that falling place for a couple of days or so, during which time I encountered a phrase in an English translation (prose) of Hesiod’s Theogony that speaks of a hammer that takes nine days to reach Tartarus, and while I didn’t believe that falling place I had found led to Tartarus, I believed Hesiod talks about inner journeys in-between the lines sometimes, using symbol imagery to describe it. The phrase led me to the idea that the falling place led to a destination, but what that was I had no earthly idea. I made the determination next time I became lucid in dream to get into and remain in that falling place until I arrived somewhere.

I don’t remember the context of the dream the next time I was lucid within one, only that I get into the falling place via meditation and remain there, knowing if I just open my eyes I’m awake in bed. Something happens to my sense of time, and I don’t how long I’ve been falling in that blank space. I almost reflexively open my eyes, and become cross with myself for not continuing onward. I decide next time to count as I travel in that blankness.

The next lucid dream, which doesn’t happen that same night but does the next night, I again get into the falling place and began counting the seconds like I learned to do out loud parachuting out of aircraft in the army, counting then to only 4 seconds until the chute opened, or was supposed to. I count to know how long I’m falling, but here the counting goes on and on, and again I lose the sense of time, losing count as well, and, though I resist the strong sense to open my eyes, I cannot shake the growing sense of terror that’s welling up inside me, like I’m falling into a bottomless pit from which I shall never again return. Then I hear both my mother and sister as though they’re standing over me, pleading with me in voices I know are their most fearful and most sincere, to open my eyes because I’m being tricked, and I’m in the hospital in a coma. The sense is that if I don’t listen to them I will never return to them, or the outer world either for that matter. It so happens that my greatest attachments at that time are my mom and sister, and my greatest fear is going into a coma during inner exploration, not to some never ending dream-state experience but to a blank alone like this darkness. I open my eyes and am not in the hospital in a coma but am simply awake in bed, nobody there but me. I see quickly that I’ve been fooled and resolve next time to go all the way until I get there, still not knowing where there is but more assured it’s somewhere significant because something very smart is trying to keep me from getting there.

Whether it’s the next night I fall again I’m not sure, but it’s very soon after the above dream, though it’s not exactly a dream but inner travel, and I don’t remember the process of becoming lucid or getting into the falling state, only that I’m there and determined to go all the way. I lose sense of time again, but there is no welling terror, or any real fear, and no intelligence trying to stop me. I have no idea how long I fall, but it’s a long time to my notion of time. Suddenly with a great shock I arrive somewhere. It’s like I’m immersed in a limitless ocean of a whole other order of existence, one formless save for identical small objects sparsely floating around that appear somewhat like half-notes or arches, and though they appear to be objects, I feel them as beings. Outer space would be a way to give some picture of what this ocean is like, but there are no celestial bodies or blackness, though it is dim. It’s lit but with a different kind of light than we know here, giving the space a glow that’s now glowing in me, and I feel the warmest and safest I’ve ever felt, and this place is so familiar to me, like I’ve been here many times but only have forgotten about it. An immense force is rushing through me, and I feel its intense vibration in every part of me, but it’s so comfortable I only want to bask in it. It seems there’s a sound to the place, which I feel in me as well as without, but it’s not sound as we know it that you hear with your ears. It’s like the sound silence would make if it made any sound if that makes any sense. I see myself floating towards one of the little arches, and I unwillingly go through it, hoping I don’t harm it by doing that, but I see it on the other side of me unchanged. Then, as abruptly as I found myself there, I find myself out, and I come awake in my bed and marvel at how I could come up immediately from such a deep place, although I am still glowing from its warmth and power.

This experience did not change my life, was only significant in that I knew I’d reached some place of spirit in me because the experience there was so different than anything else I’d ever experienced in existence, making spirit the only word that fit. At the time I didn’t think of it as the soul or its well in us, was not at the time even considering the soul as something that existed in us, didn’t even feel I’d reached the innermost place inside me, my center. That interpretation was to come years later, as this inner journey came to be more important and singular to the results of my inner exploration, the destinations, it taking stages, days,  to complete, wasn’t somewhere I got to in one go, was somewhere I had to overcome my greatest attachments and greatest fears to get to, was somewhere something[iii] very intelligent that knew me like a book, something hostile and tricky, was trying to stop me from going to, was somewhere where I went out of this existence in another kind of being, into spirit.

What put this experience and others I was to have that followed into a context of finding of the soul, were the teachings of Mother and Sri Aurobindo, that I was to encounter and immerse myself in, starting on a visit to Auroville, India, in 1995. I’m not speaking of just the writings and talks they’ve left behind, but of inner contact with them and with my soul (or psychic being, who they point you to more than they point to themselves as your guide) when I’m speaking of their help in putting this inner journey into a context of a stage in the journey of finding the soul, help I’m getting in the writing of this article[iv], which has gone through a major rewrite based on their criticisms of the first draft, which had to do with, among other things, not clouding this journey over with descriptions here of experiences that didn’t happen during it but relate to it, things I’ve written about elsewhere or will write at some point.

In an earlier article, one actually published and not just posted on my blog, I describe other experiences in relation to the soul and put the above journey in the cosmology of the Integral Yoga and as well the cosmology of science if it would ever consent to see beyond the material envelope and the cosmos, but the article’s not just a regurgitation of their teachings. It’s based on descriptions of personal experience that confirm, for me at least, the yoga’s cosmology.[v]

If in this inner journey I describe I did indeed reach my soul center, I by no means experienced its full scope and depth, and I imagine we can go much deeper into it than I did in that very brief baptism. It’s the way with me; I get a taste usually and not a full course dinner. Be that as it may, I didn’t go anywhere anyone else can’t if they have the inner opening to make such journeys, and not everyone does, probably not even most. Though we all have the right to be treated as human beings equally, we are not equal in everything, especially in the most important thing, which is the development of our soul, and we are all at a different stages of soul development, and it depends on  how developed your soul is, your psychic being, as to whether you have an opening of the inner consciousness to make such journeys as I describe. If you don’t, you probably aren’t too interested in making them anyway, since your soul isn’t at that place of contact with your surface self, your ego, and pushing you to.

I will speculate though, whether your soul’s nudging you some from behind the veil or not, whether your psychic being is mature enough to do that, that you’ve made this inner journey many, many times, especially when you were a child, make it now though more rarely, but have no recollection of it at all. It’s difficult enough just to remember our nightly dreams. How much more so what we experience in dreamless sleep. You’ve made the journey when you wake up feeling like you slept like a log, like you’ve been replenished, like you had your batteries recharged. It would stand to reason that, if it’s true we are souls that have put on this material envelope akin to the way a deep sea diver dons a diving suit, or however you want to look at it, we’d need to come up to the surface every so often to get more air and sustenance, what we do when we go down into our center, the well of soul.

When you make journey consciously, however, you connect your conscious with the inmost deeps, make the hard link whereby your soul can come out more from behind the curtain of thoughts and dreams and be your guide on the way. On the way to God the soul would say.

 

[i] https://acollaborationwiththeunknown.wordpress.com/the-epic-of-man/

[ii] https://harms-end.com/2016/07/31/youre-like-wow-that-really-was-enchanted-with-a-rock/

[iii] I was to meet this intelligence face to face some months after, not its true form but one it wore in its manipulations of me as a small child. That experience I describe in an article posted on our blog: https://harms-end.com/2015/11/19/breaking-silence/ I’ll only mention here that it was on that first visit to Auroville that I met its true form, a story I have yet to write.

[iv] Writing this I was reading Notes on the Way, a compilation of talks by Mother. Though perhaps only a disciple would see this as a synchronicity, I feel it’s no accident I read the following immediately after making the revisions: “The other day when Z read to me his article, it was neutral (vague gesture at mid-height), all the while neutral, than all of a sudden, a spark of Ananada; it was this which made me appreciate it.” It might add to the possibility of synchronicity if I said that Douglas had just bought me the book that morning in our weekly sitting at their Samadhi. Notes on the Way, courtesy of Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust 1980, 2002.

[v] http://www.shift.is/2015/03/whats-bigger-than-the-universe-hang-on-whats-bigger-than-everything/http://www.shift.is/2015/03/whats-bigger-than-the-universe-hang-on-whats-bigger-than-everything/

Introduction to Soul Power

Me walking the dogs, image credit: Dhina
by Donny Duke

Posting this song around the net takes a great leap of faith. (You can find the link to it at the bottom of this article.) The world has become explosively reactionary, due in large part to the Internet. It’s put a microscope on us, shows us stuff about us that’s always been there but that we just haven’t seen so pronounced and in our face, ugly and dirty things, and, self-righteous and hypocrites that we are, we weren’t ready for the vision. Who can show this to us? If you think about it, there’s no better person than the kind of person most react to, explode upon, once they’ve been unjustly lynched in the net of public opinion and reason comes onto the scene. The person, however, has to show their soul, and that’s just what I aim to do.

The soul is as misunderstood a concept as God, used to mean a variety of things. While it’s been talked about in both religion and the arts for thousands of years, I’d argue true knowledge of it has not yet entered the public mind. We know of enlightenment, but we don’t generally know of the soul change, that our soul not only influences us from within, turns us towards God, more and more as we allow it, but it can also surface and replace the ego once we are in the emptiness of enlightenment liberated from ego. My use of the term comes from my own experience informed by the teachings and inner guidance of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo. Since my aim here is not to introduce the soul but its power, I won’t elaborate on what the soul is, as my teachers and I see it, or its evolution for that matter, though in a future article I may do so, one I’m planning to write about the finding of the soul.

I would imagine the soul’s purpose is more varied than the universe, and as it evolves, or its evolving aspect the psychic being I should say, the dynamic personality of the soul, it wouldn’t necessarily take on some aspect of the world to help set right, some world problem to help solve, but as my psychic being has reached the place of maturity where it’s free to choose its comings and goings[i], it has donned the scapegoat process. I should stress here I’m speaking of my soul and not Donny, and while it would stand to reason that Donny too should be as developed as his soul, soul process is irrational, oftentimes runs contrary to our reason, is free to don a very fucked up outer personality for some purpose the likes of which you see playing out here: Donny coming online, or getting in line with his soul I should say, in order to help with the huge obstacle in our collective evolution, the making and maintaining of scapegoats, and as well help remove an equally huge obstacle, the sexual abuse of children. The song I’m introducing holds this double purpose, sings the removal of both obstacles simultaneously, what can only be done by the seeing of the soul, not by a blind one-sided world power making the pedophile the seemingly foolproof universal scapegoat.

While the word scapegoat and its use is cliché, and today we seem more comfortable with the less defining phrase the ‘other’, the making and persecution of scapegoats is still the big hold up in realizing a viable human unity, what we’d need to achieve if we’re going to make it on this crowded planet. Put simply, a ‘humanity’ scapegoat is a group of people who are what they are by nature, not by choice, not speaking of quirks in the nature, but things fundamental like race or sexuality, whether they like or want to be that or not, speaking of sexuality, people who we don’t have to treat as fellow human beings with the same rights as everyone else, people we can vent on, who it’s generally socially acceptable to bear ill will towards, to hate, people on whom we project human evil so we don’t see it in ourselves, people we blame for the problems in our world so we ourselves can feel free of responsibility for those problems.

Though it may not be readily apparent, the scapegoat is as much a part of life in ego consciousness as the alpha male or female, what can almost be called a need of the ego and its maintenance, a need of the animal we are evolving out of I might say, equating here ego identity with animal identity. The scapegoat’s scope and purpose is quite visibly illustrated in the book and film 1984, and I’d argue 1984 is not only showing a frightening future to try to avoid, but at the same time doing what creative expression often does so closely aligned as it is with dream, albeit largely unconsciously. It’s showing the present social conditions of the writer in an exaggerated and larger than life form. What in 1984 people go to an auditorium to do, vent their penned up hatred and frustration on the scapegoat as he’s flashed across a screen, so they don’t turn that on the system, we do in the auditorium of our hearts and minds. It’s like the book and film is showing us what we do on the inside, using the outer symbol of an auditorium, even if such wasn’t intended by the creators, since, in any genuine creative expression, something of the representative nature of our world comes into play, and we see a little behind things, see much more than the human creator envisioned.

My psychic being became a conscious soul two lifetimes ago. It had donned the life of a black man in the South (of the U.S.) just before the turn of the 20th century, a person who “could play the guitar just like a-ringing a bell.”[ii] He played with his soul, that is, his soul was involved in his music to the point you could hear its qualities, as it was reaching adulthood. The scapegoat of his day, African-American, he was killed by the KKK, for playing his guitar in white establishments, and because he was on the edge of fame. I re-experienced the last day of his life in one of those dreams that last much longer than the time it takes to dream it and one where it was as though I was here in the world, not in dream, as there was no shifting of either the material in the dream or its field until the very end. It was as though I actually re-experienced the last day of his life. I was lucid but inside him experiencing both myself and he, aware of my thoughts and feelings and his thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations, except at the very moment of his death, when the flames reached him as his home burned down,  his wife and children screaming as they were burned alive, when I became the fly on the wall observer outside of him. There was no need to feel the whole brunt of that moment a second time.

In my last life I was a Jewish man in Nazi Germany, the scapegoat of his time and place, of historic proportions, as African Americans were in the Old South. Though it was also a dream that showed me this, or the defining moment I saw it was in a dream, a very recent one, I’ve dreamed all my life of having a Jewish identity, inexplicably, since neither my mother nor father are Jewish, as I had dreamed of that black man in various stages of his life throughout this life, and I am neither black nor mulatto, although he wasn’t a guitar picker until that defining dream but someone of great talent or intellect, like an artist, a scientist, a university professor, and so forth. The remembrance of past lives is like that. It comes not as some instant revelation, although the defining moment is pretty revealing and may come as somewhat a surprise, but as an essential piece of your personal puzzle falling into place, fitting essentially into your process.

It’s not details such as names, addresses, and the like you remember, or it hasn’t been with me, and nor is it in the teachings of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo (I can’t tell you the name of the guitar picker or even what state he lived in, despite such a revealing dream about him, as those details disappeared upon awakening), but moments when the soul comes to the surface or very near, like the last day of the guitar picker’s life.[iii] I should also say these two recent lives are the only ones I remember, and my memory of them comes as a necessity of my present life, to do the work my soul has set before me. To truly remember your past lives, “one must become a wholly conscious being, conscious in all its parts, totally united with one’s divine origin.”[iv]

With the Jewish man the defining dream was full of all the shifts and strangeness of dream material, where he was part of a small group of Jews being hidden by farmers in the countryside, the railroad tracks leading to the death camps a central feature of the dream, that threat and utter despair over the whole situation taking him to rock bottom. The dream revolved around a soul moment when he had a momentary experience of liberation from ego, enlightenment. It’s not only sadhana that can take us there; sorrow can too if it hits the right note, a soul note.

In the dream there were a score of others who experienced the same, and I feel that represents an unknown aspect of the holocaust: out of the millions who suffered the horror there were those whose soul was reaching maturity, and they experienced the spiritual liberation or a flash of it. You might imagine some marched into death triumphant. Neither the Nazis nor any hate group has any control over the soul. You might also imagine that, in a representative world, nothing and no one can touch the soul, it being the reality in it and behind it, all else mere symbol and representation, the will-o-wisp of dream really, even Nazis.

Such definitive soul contact did not arise automatically. In this my present life, soon after reaching maturity as man, when I was around 30 years old, I made the inner journey to my center, the well of soul, connecting my surface conscious with it. It’s a lengthy story I won’t relate here other than to say that I’d opened the inner consciousness, was not only lucid in dream very often but also learning to try and remain conscious as I fell asleep and during a full period of sleep, all the way through a night’s dreaming, and it was in dreamless sleep I found my soul, “on a remote extremity of sleep,”[v] but it was a journey in stages, over the course of several days, a journey I made one time, a journey that had me face my greatest fears and overcome my strongest attachments. You might imagine that to find the soul is actually to find it inside you, and that, while a strong belief in it or feeling of it can bring or indicate contact with it, you won’t have the definitive concrete contact until you go to the deepest most remote place inside you and find it.

“Turn Around Soul”, the song I’m introducing, was shown I feel in the dream of the guitar picker, specifically in the dream short that came at the end of the dream, a dream short something that comes often at the end of a powerful dream that’s a basic summation of the dream, a symbolic representation of it, so different from the dream itself as to seem another dream, but there is no interval between it and the dream it’s symbolizing. If this song does get heard by my society then it is what that dream short was showing: being heard. I was watching a man with a guitar on a high ridge overlooking a large valley below. He was both black and white, not mulatto but actually a black man and a white man at the same time, an impossibility dream can do. There were lay lines along the ridge, and he was trying to hook his guitar into one so to be heard in the valley below. He made some unsuccessful attempts until he was finally able to hook into the one closest to  him, which made his acoustic guitar electric, and it was like he was inventing the electric guitar by hooking into that lay line. When he connected, his guitar music resounded throughout the whole valley, and it was more than sound I heard. I heard reality resound, a common feature of powerful dream, it ending with a sound, simply a large ‘crack’ in some cases, that you feel in your very soul.

I doubt most will believe that the soul can do what I show it doing here, write an entire song. While many believe in the soul, few know that it’s capable of healing us, as individuals and as a society. We not only have an immune system to heal our bodies; we have one also to heal our hearts and minds, to set right what’s messed up about us. It’s this innate and largely unknown immune system I want to show with my song, a system of soul more powerful than any world system, what sets worlds right.

The lyrics were sung to me over a period of months, via inner voice and vision. First came the two lines that form the backbone of the song, “Hold on tight. Turn around slowly.” It was sung by a female singing group complete with musical accompaniment and had a pop sound to it. Knowing there was no way I could manifest it into outer reality with my not so great voice and guitar skills, I nonetheless focused on it so that a full song would come, something I’ve learned to do with voice and vision over a period of some 15 years. With this song, unlike my others written from inner vision, I accepted only lyrics that I knew were from my soul, not from anywhere else, not even from the divine. Years of soul contact has enabled me to distinguish its voice from any other, knowing also that it often sings when it does speak to me.

After the initial lines, more came but very slowly, one or two lines a day (and not every day) that not only fit into the song but were also what I needed to hear that day, what I needed to see. Soon I had a skeleton of a song but didn’t even know what it was about. By the time I knew it was about what it’s about it was too late to turn back, and I couldn’t deny I needed to sing it and my society needed to hear it. I must say this is embarrassing for me, or for the ego I should say, and singing so openly about being a pedophile in today’s society is not what I want to do, why no doubt my soul kind of snuck it up on me, knowing I’d not have completed it if I had know what it was about from the first.

Then came some months of the song being filled in, one or two lines a day, with many, many corrections to the lyrics, all of which were sung to me, now in my voice and guitar, and in a couple of instances, where I was having a hard time, even my hands were shown playing the guitar in vision so I’d know the right cords and right way to sing it. I still haven’t gotten it all right, very far from it, but this is the best I can do with the talent I have. It would be appropriate to mention here that my family, especially Douglas, my psychic being partner, a life partnership other than romantic/sexual not yet generally known to be possible, had a lot to do with the development of the music. He and my family kept it from getting out of  hand,  making sure it matched my so-so voice and guitar skills, else I would sound like an out of tune hillbilly.

It’s a contemporary folk song, a person and their guitar singing about their society and their between a rock and a hard place position in it. You have to engage with the lyrics to appreciate it, which are largely symbolic, poetic even, and it’s not so much meant to stir the emotions as much as it’s meant to stir the soul. No doubt it’ll make a lot of people mad as hell. That’s not my intention, and if it makes you angry, figure out what it’s saying and then see what you got. It goes from the general to the specific, each verse getting more specific, taking you on a soul journey. So what you’ve got is a soul, and by showing you mine, I hope you hear yours. At the very least, you should be introduced to the soul’s power.

Please click here to hear the song.

Turn Around Soul

1)
I’m sittin’ here on the bottom baby,
hold down tight,
standing all over town.
That would be
on the stairway.
I’m well armed.
I can’t believe he’s out there.
To keep them in line.
It’s huge practice huge practice.
Find it on the news.
Closed weapons by the rest of the world.
What a cost to our humanity.
Run around soul. 2x’s
How high we step there
and turn them in line.
God sent me to my soul, 2x’s
in a straight line.
Make you soul know you go,
hold south you fix.
Oh wave your fingers are you gone?
How should I change? 2x’s
Make a new world. 2x’s 

(Chorus):

Hold on tight,
turn around slowly today.
Inside out,
turn around slowly today.
Hold on tight
turn around slowly
in vision
will today
turn around soul. 2x’s
Hold on today. 2x’s

2)
To be somethin’ different
So keep it from runnin’.
To be somethin’ different
that warrant is for your arrest
on the 7 seas.
Take the best metro back there.
Walk heel in line. 2x’s
And that weakness was no longer
on the 7 seas.
The spirit was to find peace.
Entire soul. 2x’s
I can’t believe he’s out there.
To keep them in line.
One realize.
I promise I promise.
Come and speak,
cause I’m livin’ in a world that’s new,
vision of a world that’s true.
I saw the planet.
I am one another. 2x

 (Chorus)

3)
Find them and expose them
shows no solid arm.
Truth will be an attitude.
You have to live there.
I’ve seen him upside down.
I’ve seen him to my soul.
I am warm and I am cold
like the light of the world.
I’ll grow up
in the wild frame.
You hear Houston
name names.
My hand’s in the system
cause I’m livin’ in a world that’s new,
inner in the world that’s true,
when nature comes together,
from our door 2x’s
open.
What about soul? 2x’s
You can springtime
oh, oh, oh, oh,
above the world,
thunder like we’ll make together.
It’s a surrounding world. 2x’s 

(Chorus)

4)
Con you’re out there
problem in line.
You’ll have to see
how much we step there
over the years.
What in the a dark city?
Hold on out there.
With my hidin’,
with my terrorizin’,
In that flaming member you can’t decide.
The answer,
oh, oh, oh,
words of sound and murder came from his incantation.
What it cost to worlds.
What a cost to our humanity.
Run around soul. 2x’s
Dark science
turn of the century
pedophile. 2x’s 

(Chorus)

5)
Lacking in the system,
in the whole human race.
And there’s another thing
I didn’t question
in America,
when America.
Here’s something under there.
Don’t see my mind
and show of peace. 2x’s
You see what he means.
Allow this arm.
I’m well armed.
This could be real.
That was the most soul
word I ever heard,
a conscious soul. 2x’s
Oh the inner kingdom.
Of I’ve been born.
I’m the nineteen.
I’m your friend.
I’m the only romancing need
goin’ in the wind.
As long as it takes
if you mean work on one’s center.
Callin’ me today.
Please don’t put yourself in harm’s way.
Master and able it’s possible.
To believe. 2x’s
This is the melody.
Pledge the long road,
here in the top
in ‘bove the house. 2x’s 

(Chorus)

(addition to chorus, excluding last line “Hold on today”)
Turn around love,
yield today,
turn around love.
turn around soul,
entire soul.
It could be real,
a conscious soul.
I can have no beginning.
I can be soul.
What about soul,
run around soul? 2x’s this and above line
Turn around soul. 2x’s
It won’t be long. 2x’s

*          *          *          *          *          *          *

[i] “The time [on the other side] depends also on the development and on a certain rhythm of the being – for some there is practically immediate rebirth, for others it takes longer, for some it may take centuries; but here, again, once the psychic being is sufficiently developed, it is free to choose its own rhythm and its own intervals.” Letters On Yoga, Volume 1, page 444, by Sri Aurobindo, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Press.

[ii] Lyrics from the song “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry.

[iii] “But this memory is not a thing of the mental kind. Those who claim to have been such a baron of the Middle Ages or such a person who lived at such a place and such a time, are fanciful, they are simply victims of their own mental imagination. In fact, what remains of past lives are not beautiful pictures in which you appear as a mighty lord in a castle or a victorious general at the head of an army--that is only romance. What remains is the memory of those instants when the psychic being emerged from the depths of your being and revealed itself to you--that is to say, the memory of those instants when you were wholly conscious. That growth of consciousness is progressively effectuated in the course of evolution, and the memory of past lives is generally limited to the critical moments of evolution, to the decisive turns that marked the progress of your consciousness.” From: The Writings of the Mother, Memory of Past Lives, 1958, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust.

[iv] Ibid.

[v] Savitri, Book VII, Canto III, by Sri Aurobindo, Sri Aurobindo Press

Mahakali On The Wall

By Douglas McElheny

Recently here at Harm’s End we were able to finally do something we’ve wanted to do for a while which is upgrade our satsung room with some dark blue carpet and a fresh coat of white paint on the walls. We also got some nice meditation cushions, and the final touch was some nice pictures of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo to hang on the walls.

To get the pictures Donny and I went to a place in town called Harpagon Workshop, which is a department of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, and which has a very large photo gallery with thousands of pictures of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother of all different sizes. In addition to shopping for the satsung room, I was also on the lookout for one more picture for my room, one that would be directly across from me as I’m sitting in my chair. Shortly after we arrived at the gallery one picture really popped out at me of the Mother standing at the top of a staircase. I was drawn strongly to the picture, and thought it would be good one for my room.

Later on, as Donny and I were admiring the picture newly hung on my wall, he told me that this particular photo was the first image he ever saw of the Mother. It had been on the cover of a book called The Sunlit Path, which is a compilation of the Mother’s writings. I was also already familiar with the photo as well as that book, but Donny told me something I didn’t know about it, and that was that it was taken on the Kali Puja day when the Mother came down the stairs, and then gave blessings to all the ashramites. I found that very interesting since I had drawn the card that represents Mahakali1 that day from The Eternity Game, and I took it as confirmation that this indeed was the photo that was needed for my room. I also thought this could herald more involvement from that particular aspect of the Divine Shakti in my sadhana which is good news since the name of that card in The Eternity Game is ‘Power’ and its aspects are ‘Transformation’, ‘Rapidity’ and ‘Height.’ In the description of the card Medhananda states that:

Her way is a rapid transformation by the sudden and immediately effective removal of all obstacles opposing her divine will.2

For that to happen though:

she insists that we take our seat on the highest heights of our consciousness; only then can she shatter our limitations and smallness. Only when our aspiration mounts like a flame will she remove the enemies from our path.3

So getting Mahakali’s help isn’t easy, but maybe I’m nearing the point where that sort of decisive and irrevocable help is possible. I hope so. I did have one experience of Mahakali’s help a year or so ago on a day when I was caught up in a strong movement of anxiety. I had drawn the Mahakali card for that day and remembering that prompted me to call on her for help. It wasn’t instantaneous, but shortly after that the anxiety quickly lifted leaving me feeling peaceful. That wasn’t the end of my trouble with anxiety, but it showed me the possibility of Mahakali’s intervention.

It bears mentioning as an endnote to this post that after these events occurred I saw they would make a good article showing synchronicity, and had been planning to write it over the coming weekend. On Saturday I also drew the Mahakali card, which prompted me to follow through on writing the article, and I also took it as a sign that writing it was timely and fit with my process.

Notes and References

  1. Mahakali is one of the four aspects of the Divine Mother referred to by both Sri Aurobindo and the Mother in their writings and talks.
  2. Medhananda, The Eternity Game, pg 53
  3. Ibid

 

An Arising Of Desire

By Douglas McElheny

Recently I attended a conference called ‘Pain: Its Cause and Cure’ at the Sri Aurobindo Center For Advanced Research (SACAR) in Pondicherry India. I had arranged to stay at the SACAR guest house and arrived the evening before the conference began. While eating dinner I got to know a lady from Texas named Debbie who was attending the conference as well. I also took note of a pretty young Indian woman who came into the dining area briefly, but I didn’t actually meet her.

That night I had this dream:

I’m attending a lecture at the pain conference. I’m next to Debbie, though she looks much younger, and we just end up holding hands. I’m feeling desire and thinking we might hook up later. I end up resting my head on our clasped hands, but this puts my head behind a tall guy so I can’t see the PowerPoint presentation on the projector screen.

The dream was a little puzzling for me because, although Debbie was admittedly cute for her age (60), I didn’t really feel attracted to her sexually, though I liked her personality-wise. Anyway, at 9 a.m. we all went into the lecture hall and sat ourselves at two person desks. A very tall Indian woman sat down in the seat directly in front of me, effectively blocking my view of the screen, so that I had to lean to the side and peer around her in order to see it. I was struck by the exactness of the outer event matching what had happened in the dream, and I figured there was some meaning there, but I wasn’t sure what it might be.  Arriving a little late was the pretty young Indian woman from the night before, and as is often the case when such beauty is around, my vital wants to eat it through my eyes, sexual staring I call it. It’s an urge that still just comes, like a reflex even though there’s part of me that would gladly be rid of it. As I sat there listening to the speakers, the desire would come in waves, and I would repeatedly have to use my will to keep pulling myself away from it. Later that afternoon I found myself sitting at the same table as her at lunch and found out her name, I’ll call her N. in this article, but I didn’t talk much to her. Then that evening at dinner she arrived late, and she sat down at the table with me and another American man, Don. The three of us conversed for a little while, and I found her quite charming and sweet as well as pretty. There was something too about her vital that my vital really found appealing, and I could feel that vital thrill you experience when you’re interacting with someone you’re really attracted to. It’s a kind of feeding, one you can keep at bay, but I didn’t do such a good job of it here. This thing in her vital though wasn’t anything flirtatious or overtly sexual, but quite the opposite really. She was actually very much a lady, and if you give my vital the choice between the tart and the lady it will take the lady the majority of the time though perhaps not every time.

At some point I excused myself to go up to my room, and that’s when my vital problems really began. What happened was the vital latched onto the idea of inviting N. to my house so she could see the work I’m doing here with some young tamil adults that live in a multi apartment complex with me and my partner in the endeavor Donny. It’s a work that’s been going on for a number of years, and Donny I both feel that what our house needs now, beyond some changes and structure within it, is for people in the community here to come and see what we’re doing. Since I knew I was going to this pain conference at SACAR and would be mixing with a large group of people, I was on the lookout for potential prospects to invite.

So with N. my vital took that ball and ran with it with, producing waves of thoughts and fantasies about bringing her to the house. Most of the scenarios the vital was cooking up we’re just about being around and her taking in her vital energy the same way I had at dinner the night before, but there were to a lesser degree outright romantic and sexual thoughts and feelings. The morning of that second day at the conference it was hard to stay focused because of the vital tumult. I kept trying to reject it, and also to turn my attention away from it by focusing on the lecturers and what they were saying.  I’d succeed for a while and there’d be a space of clarity, but then another wave of it would come and it became quite apparent that my dream from two nights before, and the way my view of the screen was actually physically blocked the day before were foreshadowing this vital movement which was ‘blocking’ my view of the conference. And though the love interest in the dream was a young Debbie, it was N. it was referring to.

One thing that really helped though as these waves of desire would come was something Donny and I had been talking about just days before that had come from his muse which said:

What is a victory,
getting over a temptation?
Getting over a limitation1

These lines may not look like much at first glance, but the idea here is quite powerful. Looking at something as a temptation automatically gives it the association of badness, and creates a resistance or aversion to it that just makes it harder to throw out. Looking it as a limitation though takes that charge away from it. You can still see it for what it is, which is something getting in the way of one’s sadhana and not make excuses for it, but you can deal with it in a more calm and detached manner. Which is what I was able to do.

Now in addition to taking that attitude of a limitation towards the vital desire, I also tried to reason with the vital, pointing out things like the fact that having N. visit the house would mean wrestling with this desire, and the fact that even if she was game and I was willing to put a halt to twelve years of celibacy, my lower back problems would make it impossible to really enjoy intimacy with her or anyone else for that matter. I don’t remember exactly at what point in the day it happened, but there was a decisive moment where my vital basically said “Yeah, you’re right” and let go of the idea of bringing her over to the house. At that moment I felt something lift within me and instantly felt lighter and more clear to the point that when Donny came to visit me at the SACAR guest house late that evening he remarked that I seemed to be quite clear and focused. The thoughts and imaginings of bringing N. to the house still came a little bit, but the vital push and urgency that had been behind them was just a fraction of what it had been before.

The next day however it became apparent that while the vital had let go of the desire to invite N. to the house, it still hadn’t totally let go of the desire to be around her and to interact with her while the conference was still going on. During lunch an Austrian man and I spoke a little Spanish to each other, and N., who was also at our table, showed some interest by mentioning she really likes a Netflix series called Narcos which is full of Spanish. So I took that opportunity to teach her a few words in Spanish as a way to interact with her. That in itself may not have been inappropriate. You can do something like that in the right way and for the right reason, and when I woke up on the morning of the fourth and last day of the retreat I made a strong resolution not to follow the vital’s desire to interact with N. and to try and handle whatever interaction came up in the right way, i.e. without vitally eating.

What was amazing though was that after having made that resolution it seemed like every time I turned around, there she was. So I taught her a number of Spanish words that day as well as explained some concepts in Spanish such as gender and different words for the verb ‘to be’. I also talked about places I’d traveled in Latin America and she told me she had a sister that was living in Mexico. I tried not to vitally eat, but I don’t think I was completely successful. The truth is I still have things to learn regarding the subtleties of when I’m vitally eating or not eating when having these more casual interactions with someone I’m sexually attracted to. Overall though, I felt pretty good about things at the end of the day, felt like I’d been the friend she needed me to be and it seemed that her interest had been perked further not just in Spanish, but also in the possibility of traveling in Latin America. I wondered if maybe that’s something that will be important in her process. That’s just speculation though.

Be that as it may, when I got home from the conference and was reflecting on everything that had happened, I was initially a little disheartened since I hadn’t had the romantic/sexual thing come up that strongly in many years, didn’t think it actually could come up that strongly anymore. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised though. Even though I’ve put a lot of effort into breaking the habit of following the romantic/sexual impulse in all its forms in waking life, it’s still there. It’s also in dreams too, though outright sexual dreams and nocturnal emissions aren’t nearly as common as they used to be. When the romantic/sexual impulse does come up in dreams it’s usually just on the level of feeling and flirting where often there’s the potential for sex later if I can find myself alone with this person. Even these types of dreams aren’t so common anymore, but even if I were able to free my waking and dream life completely from these movements, they could still rise up from the subconscient according to Sri Aurobindo2. What I think it basically boils down to is that until you reach a certain turning point in the yoga these things will always have the potential to rise when given the right stimulus. And with N. I had a very strong stimulus both physically and vitally that was hitting on all cylinders as far as what gets me going sexually and romantically. I will say however that it didn’t get its hooks into me as badly as it has in the past, and I think that’s because of the effort I’ve put into breaking the habit of following that impulse over the course of many years, and also because mentally I understand I’m not going to get any lasting satisfaction from a romantic/sexual relationship.

Now of course it’s good that I didn’t get as carried away with the vital movement as I have in the past, but it seems like the process of getting free of these things is interminable, like the curve of a hyperbola which gets closer and closer to its asymptotes as it extends into infinity but doesn’t ever actually touch them. So what is the turning point? It seems to me it could be different things for different people. For some people it might be something really major like the vital being becoming fully converted and giving itself wholly to the divine instead of the pursuit of its desires, or the psychic being suddenly and irrevocably coming to the front. A letter I recently reread of Sri Aurobindo’s gives me reason to believe though that it can happen in a more subtle way. He tells us:

By constant effort and aspiration one can arrive at a turning point when the psychic asserts itself and what seems a very slight psychological change or reversal alters the whole balance of the nature.3

Now other people might read this differently than I do, but it doesn’t appear to me that he’s describing the psychic being coming completely forward in this quotation. I think what he’s talking about here is a turning point where the psychic being wouldn’t be fully out in front, but its influence would become more powerful than the resistance of the outer nature. Then it would only be a matter of time for things like the complete conversion of the vital, or the psychic being coming irrevocably forward to happen.

However that turning point happens though, you have to carry on with your effort and aspiration until you reach it, and that’s hard. I’m finding in my own case that the vital has become fairly neutral, and while it’s not opposing the sadhana much, it’s not putting its enthusiasm into it much either. It also gets discouraged and I’m finding the only way is to will myself forward despite movements of discouragement and loss of faith. It’s kind of like walking in the desert, and while you come across the occasional oasis, you wonder if you’re ever going to find your way out of it. I hope one day to be able to tell people what’s it like on the other side of that desert.

References

  1. Copyright Donny Duke
  2. ‘When the waking consciousness has renounced the indulgence of the sexual desires and impulses, these take refuge in the subconscient as impressions, memories, suppressed desires and come up in sleep as dreams and involuntary sleep emissions. If the waking consciousness is not itself clear, if, that is to say, though there is no physical indulgence, yet there are imaginations in the mind or desires in the vital or the body, then these dreams and emissions can be frequent. Even if the waking consciousness is clear, the subconscient emergences can still come for a time, but in time they diminish.’ Sri Aurobindo, CWSA Volume 31 – Letters on Yoga Volume 4, pg 526
  3. Sri Aurobindo, CWSA Volume 28 – Letters on Yoga Volume 1, pg 121

Bed Hopping With The Hostiles

By Douglas McElheny

About a week ago I had a dream where I was taking in a very beautiful mountain setting. When I awoke the next morning I felt a strong desire to get myself together and focused on the sadhana, which for me largely revolves around rejecting the unwanted thoughts and trying to keep the mind quiet.  I was able to build up a little momentum over the course of two days, and on the late evening of the second day I felt a little bit of calm and clearness open up inside me. It was nice because I haven’t had anything happen like that in a while, and it may have been what that mountain scene in my dream represented. A beautiful scene in nature can also have that effect of clearing you out on the inside.

Anyway I sat with the feeling  for a while, and then something odd happened before I went to bed.  Over the course of say 10 minutes there were around seven quick flickers of the power going out, but so fast it didn’t reset any of the clocks in the house. At first I wondered if was just my lamp, but on the third time or so I noticed my lava lamp was going out too. Now I know this isn’t some odd paranormal event I’m describing, but there was something queer about it, something that ‘tingled my spider sense’ so to speak.

So I went to bed and probably fell asleep around 11pm. I awoke a little after midnight to the sound of the smoke detector in my room chirping about every 30 seconds.  It does that when the battery gets low, and though it isn’t loud, it’s enough to keep you from falling asleep. I knew the detector would keep it up until the battery got changed, but rather than going to the garage and getting the ladder so I could change the battery, I decided to move to the guest bedroom for the night.  Once I got in there I  could still hear the chirping of the detector a little bit, but I figured if I put a pillow over my head that would muffle it enough that I could go back to sleep. Then strangely enough the chirping suddenly stopped. I decided though to stay in the guest bedroom in case it started doing it again and was able to fall asleep.

About an hour later I woke up from a rather obscure dream where I think I had been in bed in cataleptic trance (sleep paralysis), but not lucidly aware of that.  In the dream I could hear my parents outside the room fixing the smoke detector.  I was feeling a sense of unease and fear as I lay there, but without any specific cause.   At the end of the dream my mother came in and stood by the bed, and, still feeling the fear, I reached out and grabbed her arm for comfort.  I think it was right after that that I woke up.

Upon awakening I was still feeling the fear and didn’t want to open my eyes.  I figured a hostile force was trying to rattle me, and since the smoke detector was still keeping quiet, I went back to my room.  I really wanted to be back in my bed and next to the altar I have on my nightstand.  As I was getting back in bed I was thinking about my second altar on my computer desk as well as my collection of spiritual books, and how all three of those things added to the spiritual and protective atmosphere of the room.  I also thought about how in the guest room I’d been sleeping on top of the 3,000 plus comic books I’d collected as a teenager that are stored under the bed.  I realized those densely packed comic books we’re giving off a pretty low vital vibration.  Not as low perhaps as 3,000 porno magazines, but low enough that they degraded the atmosphere of the room and probably made things more conducive to a hostile influence.  That may sound far-fetched to some people, but allow me to share a quote that forever changed the way I look at books.  It’s from the book Nirvana: An Occult Experience by the Theosophist George Arundale.  He tells us:

I went the other day into one of our largest bookshops, and I found myself amidst a weird babel of sounds.  Every volume was vocal.  In each book was its author speaking his message – in some cases powerfully, clearly, upliftingly; in other cases, at the other extreme, vaguely, purposelessly, vulgarly, perhaps, often sordidly, or sometime with a well-chiseled form distressingly empty of purpose.  Each work was a sound-scheme, often a jarring sound-scheme, but sometimes a beautiful symphony.  Each book too, was a light-scheme, a dull light-scheme, a lurid light-scheme, a bright, clear light-scheme, now and then a gorgeous light-scheme.  I was not able to follow up this discovery, but I knew that books are alive, that some are in the savage state, and thence there is graded ascent in evolution to God-books, as the Scriptures, and others less than these, yet great.  I cannot pursue further this fascinating theme, but it will be realized that books are no longer mere tomes, they are living beings, for which their creators have serious responsibility, which speak and shed their influence around them.  A book in a room is a factor with which we have to reckon; a library is a potent force.1

Sri Aurobindo has pointed out in his letters that there are hostile forces standing ready to try and spoil any positive movement in the sadhana as well as the existence of mischievous vital physical entities that can do things like cause accidents to happen. In light of that, there does seem to be something to this idea of a gremlin which can cause mechanical or electronic problems, and I imagine a lot of people could relate a strange or bizarre occurrence with a mechanical or electronic device.  In fact, I just read a column the other day in one of our local papers where the writer talked about how her washing machine had been acting up but then went back to functioning normally after she prayed for it to start working again.  And the strangeness continued at our house too the following day with another smoke detector chirping for a few minutes before suddenly stopping.

Now to some people my theories about what happened here will just look like paranoid hogwash, but if you’re the type of person that is open to these ideas, and if I’ve communicated all this effectively, I think you’ll be able to see the possibility that something got into the atmosphere of the house and then set things up so I would retreat to the guest bedroom.  Whether it was something mischievous or hostile, or some combination of the two, I can’t say for sure, but the element of fear in my dream suggests something hostile to me. Why that hostile being or force didn’t try to attack me in my own room I don’t know, since I’ve had my share of brushes with the hostiles while sleeping in my own bed.  Maybe for some reason that night I wasn’t as vulnerable in my room.

Regardless I guess I got out of the guest bedroom before too much damage was done, since the next day I still had the strong urge to press on with the sadhana. Nothing really noteworthy happened on that day, but then on the fourth day after the mountain scene dream something else nice happened, and I found myself quite easily and spontaneously making the movement inwardly of remembering the divine and offering my work to the divine throughout the day.  It was so simple though; there were no bells and whistles about it, just a quiet and uncomplicated movement of devotion. It was a small opening of the heart chakra I believe and fit perfectly with the card I had drawn that day from Medhananda’s Eternity Game,2 which was ‘Heart’. That card represents the heart chakra, and like each card in the game it has four aspects. I usually pay attention to the aspect that is upright, and that day that aspect was ‘Simplicity.’  

The Heart Card
The Heart Card

Getting back to our main topic here I think I should point out the fact that most of the time nothing bad or scary happens to me when I find myself in cataleptic trance. While it’s true that hostile forces can come along and try to scare us or trick us in that state, the state itself is nothing to dread or be afraid of.  These hostile forces want us to be afraid of this state because you can have an out of body experience from there or, as I’ve found, very easily enter into a lucid dream. Now I can only speculate, but I think what happened in this case was hostile forces could see what was going on with me that day I experienced the calmness and clearness, perhaps saw that I was ripe to enter cataleptic trance or maybe even have a lucid dream, and they wanted to spoil any nice or uplifting dream experience I might have had. Or maybe the goal was to get me in the guest bedroom on top of those comic books and give me some bad dream experiences in an attempt to stifle the opening that was happening sadhana-wise. Or maybe they had both objectives.  How much they might have succeeded is impossible for me to say.  All I know is after my day of simplicity my four day sadhana rally came to an end, but that may not have been primarily due to hostile influences.  I feel these surges in the sadhana come from within, are cyclical and peter out or withdraw due to inner causes.  It’s natural part of the process, but at the same time not an excuse to be lax and just wait for the next sadhana rally to come.

So in closing I think the main lesson of this article is the hostiles are craftily standing by to throw a wrench in the works when they see any glimmer of light.  I don’t want to encourage anyone to obsess about this, but to just be aware of it and on one’s guard.  And if it comes to pass that they do knock you down, just get up, try to learn whatever lesson is there, and carry on.

Notes and References

  1. Nirvana An Occult Experience by G.S. Arundale pgs 174-175
  2. The Eternity Game is an oracle I use frequently that was created by Medhananda for the Integral Yoga.