Imagine you are setting out on an ocean voyage. The seas are calm, the sky is blue, not a cloud to be seen, just a few transparent puffs of white floating gently with the breeze. Yours is a small craft, which will carry you across the seas so you can visit various worlds that, for you, have remained unexplored.
On the first of your island stops you encounter a strange individual. Very tall you would say, a giant perhaps, who lives on a tiny island you have just set ashore on. The giant comes forward to greet you as you disembark and receives you with great warmth. He asks you to join him for a time as he has a story to tell you. This tale is about you, a story he could not possibly know unless he could actually see inside of you.
The story begins with your childhood when you were first set loose upon this world. He informs you that various actions were put into place at that time to protect you and guide you forward. Although it may have appeared that you were alone in the beginning, this truly was never the case. Into your small craft went amulets and jewels and other precious items all designed to assist you on your journey through Life. Some of the items were for immediate use, others for much later on. Some of these items were imbued with magical powers that you could activate when required.
"One day," the giant goes on, "when you were sailing about the world in your tiny craft, you dropped one of your amulets over the side and down into the water it went. A fish swimming by scooped it up and swallowed it whole. This fish was later caught by a fisherman who, while preparing it for dinner, threw out the amulet along with the rest of the waste. The amulet was then found by a child who took it to her mother who exchanged it for a loaf of bread. From there, the amulet traveled further until it landed in a Castle with other types of treasure to be traded again for other goods. Eventually the amulet made its way to a market where it was purchased by a sea trader who greatly admired its beauty. So, from your hand to the sea, through several more hands along the way, your amulet has circumnavigated the globe. Now here you are listening to me, a giant of a man who lives alone on an island in the sea."
"So what is the point of this story?" you may ask.
And the giant carries on with explaining your presence on his island home.
"Now that the amulet is so well traveled, where would it likely be at this time?"
"Is it with you, sir?" you ask.
"Why yes," he answers, "with me."
And with that said the giant reaches into his pocket and hands you the amulet. "But how did you know it was for me?" you ask.
"Because you are the one who showed up here today and what reason might you have other than to collect your amulet?"
"You mean I knew I was coming here all along?"
"Yes," he answers, "in a fashion. You see, it's your inner sense of direction that brought you here to retrieve something you had lost. We always return for the things we have misplaced if we want to feel complete."
With that said, the giant retreats from the scene and returns to the island interior from where he came. With the amulet in hand you climb aboard your vessel and proceed out to sea. "Very strange," you say to yourself, "I did not even know that the amulet was missing. And here by such good fortune it is returned to me. How truly wonderful this is. I wonder what awaits me next."
Shortly after you set out a storm rises on the sea and tosses your small vessel about. "I cannot steer," you realize, "so I must let go and allow the vessel its own free rein." You then nod off to sleep while the storm rages about you.
Early the next day, you awaken to find yourself lying in the sand on another island shore. You look around, but no one appears to be about. Some sea birds land nearby looking for food and a few turtles crawl along the sand heading back to the sea. You sit up, dust yourself off and locate your craft, which is higher up on the beach. You proceed to look around this environment trying to familiarize yourself with the place you have landed on.
Suddenly a man in a majestic white robe appears on the scene. You notice that he has a long white beard and is carrying a wooden staff. He greets you with a curious look and begins speaking.
"What are you doing here?" he asks.
"I don't know," you reply. "A storm overtook me last night, while I was at sea in my small vessel. I could no longer control my craft so I surrendered to the storm's might. This morning I found myself here on this island and I have no idea where I am."
"Follow me," the bearded man continues. "I know why you came. You are here to receive instruction which I am to provide. This is to help you on your journey across the sea."
So up a hill you go, following the bearded man, wondering what lies ahead here.
Arriving at the top of the hill you come upon a beautiful garden of flowers surrounded by a structure of large white columns arranged in a circle. At the center of this garden there is a marble bench which your escort directs you to sit on. "Prepare to receive wisdom from the Great Creator," he advises. As you sit down you notice a small pebble at your feet which you reach for and hold in your hand. Your guide notices and says to you: "That is good. Now your instruction will surely take hold."
A short while later the bearded man awakens you. It appears you fell asleep while receiving your instruction. Aware of your concern he reassures you: "you have indeed received much wisdom this day and, because you held on firmly to the stone in your hand, it will surely take hold."
The instruction finished the bearded man guides you back to the beach where he found you earlier. It is time to set out again upon the sea. In your hand is the stone that you retrieved in the garden. You know you must carry it with you from now on. You are unsure why but place it with the other jewels and gifts that have accumulated since your journey began. The amulet is there, as are other artifacts related to your history. The stone is now the latest arrival as part of a continuum of gifts that the Universe has provided you. Realizing your good fortune, you feel blessed, appreciating that you are well looked after; and knowing that wherever you go your needs will be met.
This is another beautiful sunny day and a light breeze is blowing across the bow of your craft. Ahead you see a grand island that seems to beckon you. This time you are sure you will go ashore as you know to follow your heart now when that feeling stirs. Arriving on this island you are greeted by a group of people with friendly smiling faces. You notice that there is something strangely familiar about these individuals as they help you to disembark. They greet you warmly, ask how you are and inquire about your travels. You tell them about meeting the giant on that first island and hearing the story of the amulet, about the storm that blew you ashore onto the second island and meeting the bearded man with the beautiful flowing robe. You describe the garden with its circle of columns and how you received instruction while sitting on a bench at its center.
"And what do you remember of your instruction?" they ask, curious.
"Not a lot, really," you answer, "except that when I sighted this island I knew I had to land here."
"How is that?" they inquire further.
"I don't know for certain, except that the feeling inside was so strong, I just had to follow my heart and come ashore here. Strangely enough that was not the case with the first or second islands I visited. The first island appeared before me rather suddenly and I went ashore to look around. That's when I met the giant and heard the story about the amulet. The second island I woke up on, having been blown there by a fierce storm the night before. The bearded old man with the long white robe then appeared and led me to the garden where I received instruction, after which I was escorted back to my craft and returned to the sea. Upon sighting this particular island I chose to land here. I felt drawn to this place my some irresistible force that called to me."
"Somehow you knew you belonged here?" inquires a member of the group.
"Well yes," you add. "This island felt vaguely familiar, something like Home perhaps."
"And that is so," another voice chimes in. "When we set out on our respective journeys, we don't know what we might encounter. But bit by bit pieces are given to us that help us find our way. Eventually that direction becomes better defined and we know more clearly where it is we want to go. When we choose Home, we choose consciously that destination that we recognize as our place of origin. We may never be absolutely certain, but we are confident enough to choose our direction all the same and we return ourselves to where we began.
Once back here we realize that this place is different now as we have traveled far, inwardly and outwardly, and have learned much. So, we are larger and wiser than when we first set out. And now we recognize with greater confidence that place called Home because of the feeling it stirs within us." "Yes, I see." you reply. "This has been a kind of adventure, a dream perhaps, a dream of lost loves and retrieved gifts, a dream of wisdom gained and danger averted, of beginnings and endings and all things in between. Yes, I understand that this journey was my own and, now that I have returned Home safely, I know that I am not alone."
"And you were never really alone," they add. "We were there with you all along, sometimes in spirit, sometimes in form. You see, one of us was the giant that you first encountered; another was the amulet that you had lost accidentally. One of us was the wise bearded man who guided you on your instruction and still another was the stone you held tightly in your hand. Some of us were the sea, others the birds above and others were the breeze that took you from shore to shore. All of us were present," they go on, "to help you find your way. You were never alone, because we were there to guide you and, yes, challenge you, to help you stay focused on direction Home." There are smiles everywhere you look now as the group breaks up to return to their homes on the island. You too follow along, making your way up a now familiar path and affirm to yourself once again that Home is always in your heart and you are there by choice.
The heart of life's mystery is within us and we are within it. The orchestra warms up to play the overture. We take a deep breath. We exhale. The God within us jumps in and the music begins.
Imagine an orchestra leader or band member forgetting where they are and what to play next. "What am I supposed to do?" they might ask, feeling bewildered and confused, holding a magnificent instrument that is theirs alone and not knowing what to do with it. This is a reflection of who we are at this point in history looking around, wondering what to do next. The Maestro taps the podium. What are to do? What do we do?
We take up the challenge and move forward, that's what we do. We learn our parts. We jump in. We play our song. We make our contribution to the whole. But, we forgot, didn't we? How do we get back to our place? How do we learn to play our part again? That is the question we will answer now.
Long ago, when we were young, is when we lost our way. We turned away from our true path and focused on survival. Survival at that time meant giving up our self. That part of us was being battered by numerous forces that included meeting basic needs, dealing with dysfunctional authority figures who did not know how to provide healthy modeling and direction. Some of us discarded our self in favor of a more pressing reality, getting through life today given this barrage of conflicting directives.
Our parents lost their way too, and the generation before them and so on, all the way back to when the "big sleep" overcame us. Before then we had been in touch with the Creator whenever we chose to focus on our divinity. We knew the Creator did not sit on Mount Olympus with all His buddies as some stories would have it. At some level, we were still aware that He traveled with us, as us. For example, Jesus' task was to reawaken the population to that truth, but he was misunderstood and idolized. Jesus came to tell everyone that they were just like him, able to call upon all the truths of life in this world and know these in their hearts.
Jesus said: "you shall do wonders greater than these" referring to what was then considered extraordinary - water into wine and raising the dead come to mind as examples. These were quite marvelous feats but then so is levitating a body or pulling a rabbit out of a hat as many of today's magicians are able to do. Jesus was not a mere trickster, but rather as a carrier of the truth. And that truth was that everyone carried the truth. This very important truth, which was theirs to begin with, is manifested in the metaphors of Jesus' teachings. It is every person's task to uncover that truth, dust it off and share it with the world.
Today we have an information explosion. The internet, newspapers and electronic media connect us to every part of the world and to every source of both useful and not so useful information we could ever desire. Yet many lives remain unfulfilled and devoid of personal meaning. Because very little of this information resonates with our truth, our reality, or our piece of the cosmic puzzle. Much sifting of this information onslaught is required to discern something of value. Much of it, as we well know, is simple disinformation issued for the purpose of advancing another's agenda.
I have referred to this truth we are seeking as the Golden Truth, the pulse that animates all life, our heart and our soul. These are symbols for an inner reality that connects us with All-That-Is, the Great Creator, The Inner Voice. This inner reality is the key to who we are. Our feelings, our heart and our soul take us there. We are truth and we are God in this realm. Let us choose to awaken and retrieve that reality for ourselves.
We were lulled to sleep as children. More accurately, we were conditioned to the dominant trance of our culture. In part, this happened because our parents looked to us to fill their hungry hearts which were left wanting by their emotionally distant parents who never had their needs met either. This cycle of looking to the young for emotional fulfillment perpetuated this symbiotic cycle and kept the population trapped in this interminable sleep. This emotional hunger keeps us looking for comfort outside ourselves while our connection to the divine goes unattended. The responsibility for breaking this cycle has now shifted to us.
At this time in history, there is a movement afoot to challenge the old rule and return us to our roots, our divine heritage. This is the place where we can no longer be enslaved because we all belong to God. God is us, and that is the plain and simple truth. Healing ourselves will take us there. We need to trust ourselves, to see and believe that this power we seek has always been ours. It was through a certain misfortune of circumstances and adaptations in previous generations that we lost our way.
When you learn to trust yourself and recognize that this is your correct path, you cannot be enslaved to anyone ever again. You can only belong to the Creator who gave you life and invited you on this journey of self-exploration and self-discovery across the mountains and plains of the earth and the hills and valleys of your heart. "Come play with me" the Creator said that day, "and I'll join you there momentarily. Don't forget who I am now, and certainly don't forget who you are" was likely added. Oops, looks like we did forget after all.
There is a movement afoot to affirm who we are, who we truly are. As we undo the misdirection that enslaved us over the past several centuries, we return to that center within, the place where the Self turns on iis axis and shows us our part in this grand design.
We are now here at the threshold we must cross, the one predicted by the soothsayers and prophets of years gone by. From seers like Nostradamus to great poets like William Shakespeare, from Walt Whitman to the Buddha, from Bob Dylan to the Dalai Lama, they keep reminding us of the same reality, that there is only one truth that lights up our lives. Christ, God, Mohammed or Krishna lives and is here among us, rising right now among the throng we will call The Army of Light. We are here and the Creator is among us. There is nothing but joy to be had in this knowledge.
We must now realize that there is no savior per se, only us saving ourselves. We are the answer to our prayers. Our 12 step groups, our spiritual growth classes, our meditation exercises, our New Age studies, whatever calls us, commands our attention and draws us inward can be a way out of our sleep. Whatever alerts us to the world within and without, whatever places us in the therapist's office or a support group is our challenge to heed and our path to follow. That is our goal friends, to find our one true path and see it to the end. We can no longer shut out our heart-centered lives. Healing our wounds will be set us free. I believe that with all my heart and I've dedicated my life to it.
As we ponder this next horizon we ask ourselves how do we get there? The repression of previous generations that denied us our emotional and feeling reality can no longer restrain us. We move beyond this particular stumbling block? I've already mentioned some of the healing movements that are currently afoot, helping people recover hope, confront childhood traumas and deal with similar blockages. What is the essence of all these healing thrusts? Let's examine that now.
When therapists take clients on to their caseload there is one primary purpose which is to assist this person in overcoming the blockages to their evolution at the moment. Initially, it may not look this, their problem having been tagged as a phobia, work trauma, parental intrusion or other psychological infraction, but that is what it is. We evolve more or less naturally with healthy parenting and mentoring. When these processes go awry we become blocked. With the right kind of help we become unblocked and return to our natural path. It is when we continue to evolve. Perhaps clumsily at first, but certainly more consciously now that our inner guidance is leading the way.
At this time in our collective human history we, as a species, can choose. We can embrace Conscious Evolution or we can remain unconscious and continue stumbling along in concert with our unexamined script. The latter has been the unspoken and unchallenged status quo until now, while the former is the newly articulated spiritual path many of us are choosing to follow. Major aspects of a new age psychology and spiritual awareness are focused on Conscious Evolution. The New Age has given us great resource material.* But some aspects of this movement do nothing more than identify the current fad and try to capitalize on it. This false application of healthy ideas will not have any longevity. The True Path attracts truth seekers who are thoughtful and responsible and approach this newly emerging material with discernment.
Conscious Evolution is exactly that; becoming conscious of who we are, what we feel and think, and taking 100% responsibility for ourselves. We can no more deny this to ourselves than we can stop our breathing. It is now a fact of our lives. Becoming awake means we become responsible and fully alive, experiencing both the pain and the ecstasy of life's freedom when lived consciously.
When we first attempted to shut out life's pain, we immediately became enslaved to it. Caught in its grip we writhed and twisted in a desperate attempt to set ourselves free. But, we couldn't because we had shut off access to our center, our feeling network, our Heart, the place where everything is processed. Without this center of feeling activity to guide us we became lost. Many so called experts would offer us their brand of salvation. But no brand would ever work, unless it included a route back to our Self. In our center of experience is where the damage lay and needed correcting. This is where the psychological and emotional blows first took place and knocked us off course. These injuries would stay within, buried but active, until we owned them and took responsibility to work our way through them.
Psychological and emotional wounds have an uncanny ability to deny time. The fact that they occurred many years ago is irrelevant. Emotional wounds know nothing of time; they continue to fester and drive us. We are speaking here of unhealed wounds that have kept us stuck. There is no absence of woundedness within our lives. There is only an absence of healing.
Our unhealed wounds threw us off course. Those injuries are what need to be addressed in the present. Otherwise, they continue to exist unhealed. Through my years of practice I worked with many adults, male and female, who were beginning to remember childhood sexual abuse decades after it had occurred. Those marks were as fresh as the day they were inflicted and their wounded heart closed up. That is the woundedness that keeps us from our Self until we find the courage to go within, to the scene of the crime, and repair the original rupture. Most of us need to undertake this mission.
I had many cases like this during my years of practice. It frequently happened that someone would show up at my office recounting a recurrent dream or repeating behavior pattern that kept them stuck in some quagmire, be that low self-esteem, anxiety or depression. Oftentimes these wounds were wrapped in guilt and shame. These people were at war with themselves without knowing why. An injured part of them was trying get their attention and another part them kept trying to push the memory away, judging it as old, frightening or irrelevant.
After an initial assessment, the client was advised that this war would continue unless their approach changed, unless they listened to the feeling memory and understood what it was trying to tell them. After realizing that I was not going to align with their protector self, the part of them that wanted to continue denying their experiences, they would finally accept that they had to go through these feelings and I would guide them along. Through the process of accepting and feeling their pain they learned that therapy was safe and brought with it increased emotional freedom.
Working through feelings is exactly like this. These have to be accepted before we can finally move forward and bring more consciousness into our evolution. As repressed feelings began to be released, using the tools of acceptance and emotional expression, the client would see for themselves that this was the better alternative, one they could apply to many dimensions of life experience. They were no longer at odds with themselves by trying to reject what needed to be heard. Listening to those voices, accepting and moving through the blocked feelings, always proved to be the better option.
As a client began accepting and listening to their feeling nature, they were typically moved to tears. They often felt a strong urge to forgive themselves for their contributions of self-criticism and self-denigration. They could end the cycle of replicating what they had learned from unhealthy authority figures. The role I played in my patients' lives, was that of ally, mentor and supporter. Therapy ended when they adopted and incorporated those roles for themselves.
This explains why so few of us can do transformation on our own. In fact, none of us really do. We don't all necessarily go to a support group or seek the assistance of a therapist, but we do talk to friends, write in journals or visit a talk show that addresses our problem. We all suffer in the same way, especially when we are closed up. We all feel as if the world is doing something to us when we are in fact recycling those original traumatic circumstances and the associated feelings. We repeat such behavior until we find the right help and learn a better way. No one moves forward psychologically, spiritually or emotionally until their state of woundedness has been accepted and healed. This process of acceptance is at the heart of Conscious Evolution. Choosing to heal ourselves by uncovering our unconscious blockages is the first step. Choosing our brand of emotional and spiritual growth is the next step on the horizon.