A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for the ‘helping’ Category

The Certainty Principle~

The only constant in the Universe is change. I have read that the old teachers taught their students when following their principles, that one must never be certain, for as surely as they were certain, they were certainly wrong. That has stuck with me in such a resounding fashion over the years, that the moment I begin to see anyone certain they are doing “God’s” work, I get nervous. We humans have a tendency to go on Crusades when we feel we are on a mission for God, and history has shown us how that will end.

I cannot tell you that you are or are not doing God’s work. That will only be shown by the test of time. I can assure you of this, however, when you trod on the rights of others in the name of whatever action you believe is God-ordained; when you decide that others will have to sacrifice for your goals, and don’t they dare complain, you have walked out from under the umbrella of protection you thought you had when you began this or that course of action. You never have that right. You never have the right to tell others what they will or will not do in pursuit of your goals. The only person you have the right to ask sacrifice of is yourself. If others cannot give what you think they must, it is time for you to back off and ask if you are truly doing this work for God or for yourself.

Manifest Destiny, under any disguise, is wrong. I am well aware that I am flying in the face of many who believe they are God’s instruments, but the truth of the matter is that every human being, no matter if they are living the way you think they should or not, is a child of God. If God intends to remove that person from your path, it will be done, and you will not have to lift a finger, or will only have to lift a finger, and it is done. If, however, that indigenous soul remains obstinately in your path, it may be time for you to step off the mark you made in the sand, and look at what you are doing. They may be doing what they are doing for what you perceive to be the wrong reasons, they may be wrong in their pursuit of their goals, I cannot say, but they may also have rights that cannot and should not be denied.

I wish I could tell you that all will be sunny and warm if you do or do not do as you feel is right. I cannot. Life is messy, and seldom has well ordered results, and truly caring for the well-being of others is never a neat and proper process. I can tell you this, however, if you do your best to observe the sacredness of all life in the pursuit of your goals, God can, and has been known to arrange things such that all works out for the best possible results in the end. It doesn’t always look that way from our perspective, it is difficult to see the forest for the trees, I can personally attest to that, but it is always necessary, when all else fails, to follow the principles we have been taught, and let God do the rest.

In the Spider’s Web ~

marenostrumuniverseMost often when scientists come to conclusions, the cosmology of the ancients is displaced with newer and wider observations. This time, however, on Naked Science, I heard a phrase that made a great deal of sense. According to their scientific observers, the structure of parts of the universe resemble nothing so much as a spider’s web.

To the Native American Holy People, those who go on vision quest and see into other realms, the teachings have been for generations that Grandmother Spider was one of Wakan Tanka’s helpers in creating our universe. Since she had visited me some time ago, appearing three consecutive days at my place of work. (White sac spider, quite poisonous, but it was outdoors, and I gave a tobacco offering each time,) I have tried to absorb all I could of the teachings about her, as that had never happened to me before.

“In the beginning, there was the dark purple light at the dawn of being. Spider iktomishaWoman spun a line to form the east, west, north, and south. Breath entered man at the time of the yellow light. At the time of the red light, man proudly faced his creator. Spider Woman used the clay of the earth, red, yellow, white, and black, to create people. To each she attached a thread of her web which came from the doorway at the top of her head. This thread was the gift of creative wisdom. Three times she sent a great flood to destroy those who had forgotten the gift of her thread. Those who remembered floated to the new world and climbed to safety through the Sipapu Pole the womb of Mother Earth.”

Her “medicine” is about creativity, about numbers and letters, and writing and mathematics. All those things which help us make sense of our world. I took her instruction to mean the working more thoroughly with my art, and try to do at least a little art work every day. She is considered the Holy Web Weaver, connecting our past, present, and future.

How totems work, at least for me ~

It seems best to start with Wagle Shun, my south totem teacher. I have felt her presence since I was a small child and will admit that it is her wisdom that has kept me from crashing on the rocks during the early part of my journey. Since she is the totem of the mystic, there is every reason to suspect that this is why I followed that path. Whenever I see one of those wonderful little figurines of her in a home I visit, I start asking the questions that will tell me if the person that collects them is one of her students. I start with her because her gentle guidance is available to everyone if she is who I believe her to be.

Proverbs is full of mention of her, most especially the eighth chapter. It is also full of mention of her opposite number, Folly, whose animal I am unsure of. I believe Wagle Shun is my teacher’s totem, and is most certainly the way she communicates with me. It is she who first taught me not to envy others the things that are theirs by birth, which, once I knew my birth totem was a good chuckle, since that is the raven, and a reminder of Aesop’s fables. Who knows, maybe I am folly and am finally allowing Wisdom to teach me. That would certainly be the way my life has gone, so it wouldn’t surprise me if it were at least an allegorical truth.

These two totems, along with the Snowy Owl and the butterfly have drawn me from early youth. I have had some strong lessons to learn from them. Note the amount of airy totems, which is where my head usually is and then it will be no surprise to you that I had to learn from another totem, one that had drawn me but I had not explored the lessons, the otter, how to stay grounded, balanced and playful. If you understand that the animals as the Native American sees them, are teachers, not G-ds, they can teach you also.

You can start out by looking at the animals that drew your attention in childhood, what were they trying to teach you? Even domestic animals have lessons to teach so do not discredit their influence in your life lessons. If you cannot remember being drawn to any wild ones, there is another, rather slightly off-beat way to learn about totems that have to do with you personally. Everyone is familiar with astrology, some believe in it, some don’t. That’s fine, I will not try to persuade you one way or the other, but it is a tool, should you choose to use it, that can lead you to the knowledge of at least four of the animals that will have been a fairly strong influence in your life.

First go to Alabe.com, look down the page to where you can pull a free birth chart. Enter your data there, save the chart on your computer, it will be a gif image, and save the write-up in a Word document, or other word processing software. (Open Office is free on the web and does all that Microsoft’s does without spending an arm and a leg.) When you have them on your own computer where you can study them, pick out the “houses” that are your birth sign (your character), your moon sign (your inner self), your rising sign (your outward projection for others to see) and the North Node, which will tell you where you are headed in your learning patterns.

After you have found the astrological “houses” involved for your birth, look at Sun Bear’s Dancing with the Wheel. It can be found at most Public Libraries if you cannot afford it, but is a wonderful book to have if you are interested in Native American cosmology at all, so I wouldn’t hesitate to spend the money if you have it. You will find the totems for those four “houses” in that workbook, and full explanations of the lessons those four animals have to teach you. It is not quite the same as having a “Medicine” teacher find your totems for you, but is a good way to start with learning about totems.

Anger, there is help . . .

Dealing with my own anger issues has been one of the toughest problems, but one of the most important to accomplish. When I am incredibly angry, the “low” voices are at their strongest, and I can hear them most clearly. Their presence is uncomfortable in and of itself, and reason enough to find ways to deal with this very normal emotion.

For me, and apparently for all humans, intense anger blocks the flow of love. Now, that’s only logical, but, when you think about, and indeed consciously contemplate it, that would explain quite clearly why some one like me is particularly bothered by the angry blockage of that flow.

At the risk of sounding terribly esoteric, I will try to explain this as I understand it. Apparently, there is some sort of tear or opening in the “fabric” that protects the human entity from hearing the sounds, and seeing the events, that happen on subtler, less visible or audible layers of the universe. I wish I could put this in more scientific terms, but I am under the understanding that it has something to do with the bands of light and sound that are normally perceptible to the human eye and ear.

Now, I am not insisting that what I hear is the result of some sane and sober process, because it often feels just the opposite, and I am quick to discourage those who would willingly subject themselves to any “New Age” process that might open one to this sort of thing. Don’t do it, it’s not fun. Learning to live with it has been a harrowing process and I have made many, some disastrous, mistakes in the learning process!

Now, put that insight into practice in that this “window” or tear leaves me open to hearing “low” angry, nasty destructive voices. When I open myself, however, to love and release my own anger, the flow of the loving energy “blocks”, if you will, the sound of the “low” voices. This was one of the most important steps in my development, and happened under the minstering of “Charismatics”, which is why I will not label that way of life as evil. They did me much good. It is simply that, like all human perspectives, they are not perfect. Oooops, neither am I.

The next step in my learning, however, came from a Buddhist teacher who showed me the benefits of “letting go”, completely, of all attachment to outcomes. I will not say that I have been a resounding success at this, but most of the time I am able, sometimes with much prayer and meditation, to let go of my “right” to expect the results I want from what I do, or even from what others do. It is extremely helpful in that I get angry less often when I succeed at this, and am able to relax and let the flow of love keep the disturbing voices at bay.

It is here that the mantra, “Grant me the serenity, courage and wisdom . . .” has been of great service in my life. I am most grateful to AA for making their teachings public, and most grateful to Dr. Neibuhr for development of that prayer.

EDIT ~

12.3.2008, looking back to see what I had said, I find that I did not give the name of the Buddhist teacher whose worked helped me so much. Since his teaching is quite available to the public, that is unfair. Thich Nhat Hanh is his name, the book is Anger, Wisdom for Cooling the Flames. Excellent learning resource, and comes in CD as well.

Mysticism ~

I have often been amused at the tongue in cheek correlation between the idea of walking through the mists on a dewy morning and walking through the mists on a “mystical” journey. Yes, I know that is either corney or punny, choose, But the metaphorical connection to mysticism and a misty morning obviously struck the photographer of one of my favorite desktop backgrounds, because this photo is entitled, Mystic morning, Yosemite. Yet, is it tongue in cheek or just a deeper connection than apparent on the surface? When you walk down the path to look at the mysteries of the Universe, there is no guarantee that you are seeing any more clearly than your less adventuresome neighbor who follows the truth as he perceives it, in a normal psalter.

So, why do we do it? Why are we drawn down a path that is never ever going to able truthfully to guarantee us any clarity of vision? I have been frank enough with you that you all know that I hear voices, some of them not the kind ones that one would take to be a holy teacher or friend. For me, following the path of the mystics was simply because any other direction and I was crazy or possessed.

But, I am not the first to follow that path, nor will I be the last. So what draws us? Most of my fellow wanderers are intelligent enough not to buy the swill that’s sold at the street corner that this is a way to “know the truth”, no one can honestly guarantee that. However, when you sit down and talk at length with the wanderers, most have experienced something that cannot be explained by a “normal” take on religion. Some may, like myself, have repeat experiences that will not go away. Some may have only one experience but it so filled them with awe or wonder or dread, that the only thing they could do was seek an answer from somewhere.

The photo above on the right was taken by a close friend who has experienced the pictured phenomena for most of her life. When she was sent to me, it was during a time when the encounters were not always pleasant. She would not discuss these things with her grandparents or their church, as she knew she would go through an exorcism, and she knew she wasn’t experiencing that sort of phenomenon in her life. When we met, it took a while for her to trust that I did not deal with the devil, but as we progressed we became inseparable friends.  There were lessons on prayer and meditation, things she should already have known from the church, there were lessons on being sensitive to “Spirit” and listening to what she needed to know. I didn’t teach her, Spirit did. We are still close friends, even though separated by many miles.

She now serves where she is, I where I live. All we can provide is a bit of light shining in the dark. Sometimes the mist is so thick we can only see a few steps ahead, it isn’t easy, I wouldn’t try to sell anyone the path I walk. But if you are already on it, please wave, we can sit down and share a cup of coffee and some fellowship!

Abiding . . . . . .3rd part.

Please forgive me for the length of this discourse, this is so basic to the path I have walked, and though I would by no means hold myself up as a marked holy person, the fact that the voices have made life more difficult for me, and may be doing the same for others, they have made it more difficult even at times, to hold onto reality and my place in the sun. This is, again, the reason I share my path with you, if what I have learned can in any way ease your path, I will feel it was worth the risk in exposing myself this way.

Again, simple ceremonies, such as Tai Chi, or walking the labyrinth, or laying out ones “sacred” items, even if it is nothing more than the book you are reading, your copy of Holy Writ, (be it Bible or Quran, or Bhagavadgita, or Torah), perhaps a candle, a cloth for the table on which you will work and take notes. These things help to put you in the “space of prayer”. What ever works for you, that is what you do. Do not tell another that they are doing it “wrong” even if they are frustrated and asking you how you ‘do it’. Share with them the way that works with you and let them find the way Spirit works best with them.

I have worked with several “students”, other voice hearers mostly, who have been dedicated to wanting to learn a sane way to live and learn and serve Holiness. In the progression of learning, I have found that there comes a time when Spirit takes over the lessons. Spirit will still send them back to me to get more depth, but she begins to lead them in their learning. I have had more than one with whom this has happened. They would come sit with me and we would talk about a concept that needed to be introduced into their lives, and they would leave me shaking their heads, puzzled at what that was all about.

Over the next several days, she would show them the lesson in the best way for them to learn it. It would amaze me. I was not their teacher, she was, I must say that because of that, I began to think of myself as a mentor much more than a teacher, as I simply facilitated the learning process in my charges. This is why I say to you do not insist on a specific way of learning for anyone else. If Spirit works with you as she has worked with me, you are not the teacher, you can only show what works with you, and let Spirit guide the others from there.

I will emphasize again, the only command Y’shua gave was to love, the basis of Buddha’s teachings was kindness to all. If the dog comes to you and starts talking about killing the neighbor, warn the dog that such talk will get it permanently kenneled, you don’t live that kind of life. I have never sought students, they have come to me. I would never encourage one who does not hear voices already to try to hear them. It is difficult to discern the source of those voices and there are many that will attempt to guide you in the wrong direction. That is the reason for the emphasis on compassion in my teachings. A voice hearer cannot afford to live any other way. Let the ones whose minds are not so open to the realms of light and dark be the ones to condemn others, it is not your job, and you cannot afford to let such thought patterns creep into your thinking. Not in any way!

Now, perhaps I need to discuss something here that will help you understand how I came to “teach” the way I do. I worked for a time in a spiritually oriented drug rehab center. The administrator spoke of the fact that alcohol, like drugs, opened up the mind to the lower realms of the spirit. It really made no sense to me at the time, and in context of his conversation on that day, would not have lead to what occured to me later. It was in knowing a gentleman whose association had been with AA and learned their way of viewing the spiritual life that it all came together.

I have come to realize that AA’s practice is a solid spiritual path that cares not the parent faith, simply disciplines the individual to live a personally spiritual life. With all the things that have been brought into my awareness regarding my own difficulties, this makes a great deal of sense. Again, it is not about what you call yourself, it is about how you live your life.

Therefore, know that I would not willingly teach anyone who has the will to hurt another, if you have not already been broken by the pain of what you have suffered it is not mine to break you. If, however, you are ready to live a life in service to the highest, I can help get you on track, that is all. I am not some grand “faith healer”, I am not some incredible “evangelist”, I am a simple woman, living a simple life, willing to share the path that has brought peace to my troubled mind in times that in their way are no more nor less troubled than the past. It is my sincerest hope that if you are also a voice hearer, what I share will help you to find a path of peace and gentle grace.

Abiding . . . . . . .again.

The reason that I use this particular “piece” of illuminated sky to illustrate the topic of abiding is the first beatitude as translated by NDK,

Blessed are those who base their lives in the luminosity of Spirit; theirs shall be the ability to bear edible fruit.

Basing our lives in the luminosity of Spirit is the principle task then, toward living a life that abides in Spirit. But, how do you do that? It is not easy, and it must be realized that there is discipline of one’s own spirit that must take place in order to base oneself in the luminosity of the Holy Spirit. This is not something that spontaneously occurs when you say please, it happens over time, and only if you allow Spirit to take the polishing cloth to you on a daily basis.

So, how does this process occur? Prayer! Yes, prayer. Daily meditational and vocal prayer. I say both types, because we westerners are apt to think of prayer as a “Christmas list” of wants and needs. That is only a very small part of an active prayer life. We were, indeed, encouraged to think of the “Aba-Eem” as being willing to answer our every need and even many of our desires, by Y’shua. But that is only a part of what effective prayer entails.

First, there is actually an attitude of prayer. The Natives of North America call it walking with a light step. To a Tibetan monk, it is so much a part of his training that by the time you would meet him, it is woven into his entire being. But, there it is, isn’t it? Training. There are many Christians who believe that if you “train” and weave, and discipline the spiritual life, you drain the spontenaity out of your service, and therefore, the Holy Spirit. That is a factor that must be watched for, they didn’t come to that conclusion sucking it out of their thumbs.

Ouch, that means you have to learn to walk a balance beam. Too much insistence on “doing it” this particular way, does indeed leave Spirit outside the door. I will share with you here that the first time I realized what the Buddhists were doing and enjoyed it was when I learned to do Tai Chi, it is a daily exercise that is meditational in nature. It is  prayer in motion. Doing Tai Chi teaches you the proper attitude that actually puts you in an internal “place of prayer”.

This same thing is accomplished for the western mind by the walking of the labyrinth. It is a deliberate stilling of the mind, while remaining aware of the “flow” of things all around you and in you. And, that, dear reader, may be the very key as to why these disciplines work to increase our awareness of Spirit. She is not called the “ruach ha’kodesh” for no reason. That phrase means Holy Breath, and could even be taken to mean Holy Gentle Breeze.

In fact, there is much in the Gospels to indicate that Y’shua thought of her as the essential life force in the very air you breathe. You could think of the Holy Spirit as being available to you as Oxygen, and not be far wrong. It is this level of awareness of Spirit that is involved in basing your life in the luminosity of The One.

Perhaps I need here, to address the reason that I call the Holy Spirit her, rather than him (Christian usage, as in the spirit of Christ). I would like you to look at Proverbs chapter 8

1 Doth not wisdom acry? and understanding put forth her voice?

2 She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.

3 She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.

4 Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.

5 O ye asimple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding bheart.

6 Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.

7 For my mouth shall aspeak btruth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.

9 They are all plain to him that aunderstandeth, and right to them that find bknowledge.

10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.

11 For awisdom is better than brubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

12 I wisdom dwell with aprudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.

13 The afear of the Lord is to bhate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.

15 By me akings reign, and princes decree justice.

16 By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.

17 I alove them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

18 Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable ariches and righteousness.

19 My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.

20 I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:

21 That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.

22 The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his aworks of old.

23 I was set up from aeverlasting, from the bbeginning, or ever the earth was.

24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.

25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:

26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor athe highest part of the dust of the world.

27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a acompass upon the face of the depth:

28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:

29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:

30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;

31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.

32 Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.

33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.

34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.

35 For whoso findeth me findeth alife, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.

36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love adeath.

Now, I am sorely aware that I have gone on too long, though I am by no means finished with what Spirit has taught me about this particular lesson, so I will here divide this into another post. If you wish to read on, please do so, but this is a good place to stop and contemplate if you are tired. Thanks,
Su

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