The idea that the material world in which we live, move, and have our being is really a symbol system for a deeper reality is, for some people, pretty obvious. The interpretations, however, are many and varied.
Some people believe that the symbol system is a self-created reality that manifests in order for the higher self to communicate with the conscious mind. When you consider that All is, ultimately, God/One, that is the simplest and truest explanation. And there are certainly manifest capabilities of human beings that show us that this can be directly the case, e.g., psychokinesis.
But I want to talk about it from a different perspective and level. The only way I can talk about it in practical terms is to recount some strange experiences of my own. I hesitate to do this because I don’t want to bore the reader, yet there is really no better way to be practical than to set forth more or less concrete examples which may find resonance in the experiences of others. I will try to make it as short as possible, while still including enough detail to convey the truly weird complexity of some of these cosmic dramatizations. Before I get to the practical application of all of this information, there are a few more important things that need to be covered.
So far, we have discussed the fact that Gurdjieff, Castaneda, and the Cassiopaeans have all talked about the prison of third density reality. Gurdjieff opines that it is because of forces that act on man to control him, and these forces are somewhat nebulous and belong to different levels or worlds of creation. According to don Juan, we are in prison because the Predator has “given us his mind” in order to feed on us. He talks about the higher worlds in terms of the unknown and the unknowable. The Cassiopaeans say we are in prison essentially because we chose it in order to learn and acquire experience — that God/the Universe more or less has “fun” in the great Cosmic Drama planned at Level Seven and executed down through the levels of density like a play with writers, producers, directors, actors, and so forth. And, all of these parts are “played” by One Being.
At the same time, Ouspensky suggests that we can also choose which of the forces or laws (or parts in the play) we live under. He notes that “Forces pass through man and he takes this, as his own desires, sympathies, and attractions. But it is only forces passing through him from all directions.”
In such a case, a person lives under the “law of accident”, as he puts it. The Cassiopaeans say that this condition of randomness means that man is living under a control system that is designed to keep him confused and unaware so that he can continue as food for higher density beings. Don Juan says, in effect, a similar thing. I would call it the Law of Chaos.
Then, Gurdjieff suggests that this state of confusion and accidentalness begin to disappear when we begin to wake up. He points out that “this law is very big and many sided. It is a question of degree. Only in the Absolute are things absolute. For us, it is a long stairway and on each step, one is more free.” He suggests that we cannot really do anything — that is, have any control over our choices and direction at all, until we reach the higher levels, and that the only way to do this is to begin to try to understand these influences because, as he says: “If we know, we may change something.”
What he seems to be saying is that this “knowing” is part of the process of opening ourselves to higher forces. He notes that: “Higher forces or higher influences are normal, cosmic; but we can open ourselves to receive them, or shut ourselves off from them. If we are asleep, we are more closed to them, and the more we are asleep, the more we are closed. If we awake, we open ourselves to higher influences.”
This “opening ourselves to higher forces” seems to be a key element because it is then that we can begin to differentiate between what influence comes from what higher source and make some sort of consciousness shift so as to select which influence one wishes to be “under”.
This goes back to the Eclipsing of Realities example, where these realities are described as Thought Centers that traverse all densities. Ouspensky remarks that:
“Man and even mankind does not exist separately, but as a part of the whole of organic life. The earth needs organic life as a whole — men, animals and plants. The Ray of Creation is a growing branch, and this communication is necessary in order that the branch may grow further. Everything is connected, nothing is separate, and smaller things, if they exist, serve something bigger… Organic life is a particular cosmic unit and man is a unit in this big mass of organic life. He has the possibility of further development, but this development depends on man’s own effort and understanding. It enters into the cosmic purpose that a certain number of men should develop, but not all, for that would contradict another cosmic purpose. Evidently mankind must be on earth and must lead this life and suffer. But a certain number of men can escape, this also enters into the cosmic purpose…”1
How this is done, the Cassiopaeans suggest, is through becoming aware of the meaning of the Symbols of Reality. We first become aware of these symbols as manifested in ourselves — physically, psychically, emotionally and mentally — and then expand this outward to understand our environment. It seems that our environment and experiences, individually and collectively, reflects our Selection of Influences. Thus, we must first begin to examine ourselves, our thoughts and actions and from whence they actually originate, that is to say, which influence is dominant, and then we can begin to make choices about whether or not we will continue to interact with — or enact — this influence. Our environment and experiences then will begin to demonstrate the results of these choices, thereby giving us a feedback system that confirms or denies the rightness of our choice. And our choices, made in relation to our reality, can be either dependent upon outward perception, or inward perception. Ouspensky says:
“If we begin to know ourselves, we get rid of a law… So in order to free oneself from laws it is first necessary to find one law from which one can liberate oneself, and get free from it. Then, when one has freed oneself from this law, one can find another. Again one liberates oneself, and so on. This is the practical way to study laws… There are laws which hinder us on all sides or keep us in subjection…”2
Becoming Free of these laws of confusion and accidentalness is possible in a number of ways. This is observationally established if one studies the extensive literature that has emerged from the many religions and philosophies. But, when one studies this body of material, there are certain things that become apparent only upon comparison, and Gurdjieff enunciates these problems pretty clearly. He describes them as the “Four Ways”.
We have talked about mind and illusion, and all being “One”. Yes, all is mind/consciousness, but my point has been, throughout all this labor, that we need to be practical here and deal with things that are more accessible at our particular level of development.
We are at living at third density. That’s a fact. Our present consciousness fragments are focused here. So, trying to jump from third density to “becoming One” in Cosmic terms is like trying to put the cart before the horse and jumping directly into seventh density concepts. Yes, we can know about them to a limited extent — we can entertain ourselves with them — but for all practical purposes, we have to learn what it is we have to learn to go the next step — here and now. This seems to be a sort of law, and this is where we fall into obfuscation. But, again, there is a reason for that, as we will see.
Many channeled sources talk about this idea of “being One” and the creation of the Illusion by the Mind, and all of that is true! The deception enters in when they suggest that all we have to do is sit under a Bo Tree, contemplate our navel, and become Buddha like. Yes, in some very rare instances it is possible, and in some other instances, acquiring of powers is also possible, but it is when you begin to examine the literature, the Fruits agenda, that you find some funny little glitches in such a teaching.
Carla Rueckert McCarty (The Ra Material) was recently quoted in an e-mail forwarded to our e-groups discussion list saying:
To me, there are basically two ways of working spiritually in this density, the way of love and the way of wisdom.
In general, I would say that Buddhism follows the way of wisdom, and Christianity, the way of the heart.
In a wisdom structure, you are going for knowledge, peace, detachment, aiming towards a feeling of emptiness and nothing. It is very peaceful and calm, but I find it the slow track compared to the way of love.
In the way of love, one is going for compassion and purity of passion and the will that is behind that, aiming towards a feeling of fullness and unification of all.
For myself, I find that this density’s work seems to be the following of the love in the present moment, of opening the heart to that present moment and the love in it. This is usually not peaceful or calm, but it feels right. I think it’s a matter of preference. Both ways of learning are useful.
This is a pretty standard New Age interpretation. It is somewhat broader and more accepting than the Fundamentalist Christian perspective, but not much. It is, in effect, the Way of the Monk or Saint.
As noted, there are actually more than two ways; there are, as mentioned above, four.3 There is the Way of the Monk, the Way of the Yogi, the Way of the Fakir, and, the Fourth Way, which Gurdjieff taught and which is, apparently, derived from his long contact with Sufi teachings. The Fourth Way is, more or less, the way that is open to humanity that takes advantage of all the conditions that exist in normal life, and is certainly quite similar to what don Juan was advocating, (up to a point), as well as what the Cassiopaeans have explicated.
The Way of the Monk is much like what is described by Carla as her chosen mode. This is the way of faith, the way of religious feeling, the way of religious sacrifice. This is the way for people with very strong religious emotions and imagination. It is a long, hard way, as the writer herself notes when saying, “This is usually not peaceful or calm, but it feels right.”
Such a way consists of years and years of struggling with the self, on struggling with the emotions — on feelings. The individual subjects all of his/her emotions to one emotion, and thereby develops unity in self. This person is working on developing emotional will. Carla states this quite clearly by saying, “In the way of love, one is going for compassion and purity of passion and will that is behind that, aiming towards a feeling of fullness and unification of all.”
But Gurdjieff suggests that, in such a person, the physical body and the mental body may remain undeveloped and then, in order to make use of what the Monk/Saint has attained, attention must be focused on developing the body and the capacity to think. But, this can only be done by another series of sacrifices. The monk has to become a yogi and a fakir. Very few do this because they die before they overcome the difficulties. There is another problem with this way, dealing with wrong crystallizations as Gurdjieff called them in the excerpt quoted in the previous section.
The way of “wisdom”, as Carla refers to it, or otherwise known as the Way of the Yogi, is the way of knowledge, the way of the mind. This way consists in developing the mind, but may result, as Carla also notes quite accurately, in leaving the body and the emotions undeveloped. She says: “In a wisdom structure, you are going for knowledge, peace, detachment, aiming towards a feeling of emptiness and nothing. It is very peaceful and calm.” But, without development of the physical and emotional bodies, the individual may be unable to make use of his attainments without going back to work on the body and the emotions. Such a person “knows everything”, but can do nothing. He/she then has to go back and work on obtaining results by means of another series of prolonged efforts of application of what he knows.
The main difference between the path of knowledge and the ways of the Fakir and Monk is that the yogi eventually has the advantage of understanding his position, of knowing what he lacks, what he must do, and in what direction he must go. This is more than the Way of the Monk can achieve, since the Monk dies in his belief that he has achieved something, but it is an empty victory of knowledge since, again, very few are able to take the next step because they die before achieving it.
The Way of the Fakir is the way of struggle with the physical body. It is long and difficult. The object is to attain transcendence by developing physical will and power over the body. This is attained by means of terrible sufferings, by torturing the body. The whole thing consists of various incredibly difficult physical sacrifices such as standing motionless in the same position for hours, days, months, or years. If he doesn’t get sick and die before he reaches his goal, he may achieve something. What does he achieve? He has acquired physical will; but has nothing to which he can apply it. He can’t make use of it for gaining knowledge or self-perfection because, usually by this time, he is too old and he dies.
In the Way of the Fakir, there is usually no teacher. The practitioner may have witnessed some incredible feat of will that so impresses and obsesses him that he longs to emulate it — to have such an accomplishment for his own.
In the Way of the Monk, the main thing is the teacher. Part of the work of the Way of the Monk consists in having absolute faith in the teacher and in submitting to him, or his teachings, absolutely in faith and obedience. Generally this way seeks faith in God, the love of God, in constant efforts to obey and serve God by only expressing love no matter what. Of course, as the history of religion shows us, such a person’s understanding of the idea of God and of serving God may be very subjective and contradictory.
Fortunately, nowadays, it is becoming more and more accepted that this Way of the Monk can operate in different contexts so that people are less inclined to kill those who don’t follow their particular concept of God.4
But still, those who follow this path generally cling to the idea that it is the “best” or a “better” path than others. Carla is essentially saying this. She says that she considers the way of the heart to be the “fast track”, and for her and many others, it is — the fast track to become an “immortal thing”.
In the Way of the Yogi, one starts with a teacher, or many teachers, but ends up being one’s own teacher. One learns methods by study, and then begins to apply them independently.
The main thing about these three ways is that they all require a significant retirement from ordinary life. Much of the struggle must, of necessity, take place in “retirement” or private meditation. Each of these methods is opposed to everyday life in some significant way, so the practitioners generally have some difficulty adjusting in the “real world”.
The Fourth Way, according to Gurdjieff, and that which the Cassiopaeans and Sufis seem to be advocating, is one that requires no retirement from the real world. It also has no definite form, as do the ways of the fakir, the monk and the yogi.
“Work” in the Fourth Way consists of utilizing life as a person finds it in their own milieu to work on all of their aspects simultaneously. They work on the physical mastery, mental development, and emotional integration and control. And this is done through awareness combined with knowledge and will and love, correctly understood. One must become master of his body, his mind, and his emotions.
The chief demand of the Fourth Way, according to both Sufi teachings and the Cassiopaeans, is understanding. We are to become aware of as much as possible about our reality and do nothing that we do not understand except as experiment to discover and understand more. The more we understand what we are doing and why and how, the greater our consciousness. Purification of emotions can be accelerated by understanding.
Faith — as it is commonly understood — is not required in this way. In fact, faith in the Christian sense — is opposed. In this Fourth Way, a person must “satisfy himself of the truth of what he is told” by research and investigation and experiment. Until he is satisfied, he should not act “in faith”. However, faith is built in this way, faith of an altogether different kind.
Of the four ways, the way of the fakir is the crudest, as Gurdjieff remarked. The fakir knows very little and understands very little, but he has incredible mastery over his physical body.
The “monk” knows little better. He is driven by his religious feeling and by his chosen religious tradition, and by a desire for achievement — that is, he wants salvation. He trusts his belief system, which incorporates his chosen teacher (Jesus, Buddha, whomever), and he believes that all his efforts and sacrifices are pleasing to God.
How this works is revealed in several clues in the above correspondence. Carla states that the “way of wisdom aims for … emptiness” and the “way of the heart aims toward … a feeling of fullness.” This brings us back to don Juan’s remark about the Predator:
In order to keep us obedient, meek, and weak, the predators … “gave us their mind! … The predators’ mind is baroque, contradictory, morose, filled with the fear of being discovered any minute now”.
“I know that even though you have never suffered hunger … you have food anxiety, which is none other than the anxiety of the predator who fears that any moment now its maneuver is going to be uncovered and food is going to be denied. Through the mind, which, after all, is their mind, the predators inject into the lives of human beings whatever is convenient for them. And they ensure, in this manner, a degree of security to act as a buffer against their fear.”
People who choose the way of the heart are very much aware of feeling these very sensations within: contradiction, guilt (fear of being discovered any minute now) and hunger. They constantly seek to manifest love in the face of these negative emotions in order to fill the void within. Carla tells us about her struggles when she says: “This is usually not peaceful or calm, but it feels right.”
The usual condition of such a path can be stated as follows: “I find myself in all kinds of painful and miserable situations. I find myself feeling things about people and situations that are negative or the situations themselves that manifest in my life are negative and painful. But I am choosing to overcome this by the manifestation — via will — of love of everything and everybody in all of these miserable situations. By doing this, I am ‘going for compassion and purity of passion and will that is behind that, aiming towards a feeling of fullness and unification of all.’”
In other words, I can be tortured inside and outside and all around, but I am going to give love and feel love so that God will love me and then I can concentrate on amassing this full feeling of love inside no matter what!
Thus, she is overcoming the predator’s mind by refusing to accept the contradictions, the moroseness, the guilt, and the hunger. And, indeed, this is a way to overcome the laws, a way to generate the struggle between yes and no. And it certainly will have results as the literature shows. Paraphrasing Gurdjieff:
Speaking in relative terms, the monk can attain in a week of fasting and prayer and concentration on manifesting of love, what the fakir accomplishes in a month of torture. He thus becomes free of the Predator’s mind.
The yogi knows considerably more. He gains knowledge of the existence of the Predator’s mind, and he knows that he wants to be free of it. He knows why he wants it, so he studies to gain knowledge of how it can be done. What he learns, eventually, if he is doing his “homework”, is that to be free of the “laws” he must produce a certain “substance” in himself.
He learns that a certain kind of mental exercise or concentration of consciousness — in concert with a certain emotional state — can produce this substance in one day. Of course, it may have taken him a lifetime to learn this — the very same lifetime that the Monk has been spending on producing the necessary emotion that lacks the state of consciousness.
But generally, the progress of the Monk is much less because the yogi begins with a teacher who has already achieved a certain level and much of this knowledge can be communicated in practical ways that save time.
Thus, the result is that the relative relationships show us that a yogi can produce in one day what the monk produces in a week and the fakir in a month.
But, that is taking all things as equal. We can’t leave out of the equation that any given person may have already “done the work” along one line in a given former life, and be ready to do the work in another line in this lifetime. Perhaps, for Carla, this is the case. Her attachment to rituals doesn’t suggest that, but then, no one is in a position to judge what is between another individual and their “God”. We might conjecture that such persons who find it to be the way that “feels right” and moves them along more rapidly, have already done the way of the yogi and the way of the fakir in a previous/simultaneous lifetime. For some, the way of the heart may be the final piece of the puzzle of self-integration. And for such, it may indeed be precisely right.
For others, the way of the heart has already been done, and they then focus on the way of the fakir or the yogi. And in still others, all three ways have been done, and they cycle very rapidly through the various ways in a single life, consolidating their various crystallizations. It is really impossible for any one person to judge one way as “right” and another as “wrong”. Every individual and every situation is different.
The reader who finds the material on these pages to be resonant or in sync with what is felt and/or known deep inside, may have already proceeded along the ways of the fakir, monk and yogi, and is now looking for synthesis and practical application in order to merge this awareness.
In the Fourth Way, according to Gurdjieff, and with related Sufi texts supporting (though they are obscure and deliberately so), the seeker knows about the other ways, knows that there are definite substances that must be produced in the body — knows that they can be produced by a month of torture, a week of prayer and fasting, or a day of mental exercises. He also knows that these substances can be produced in another way: The Fourth Way, though I do not necessarily mean the Fourth Way exactly as explicated by Gurdjieff and Ouspensky.
What are we speaking about here?
In studying the literature of religious, paranormal and psi phenomena, one begins to note some odd connections.
There are fakirs and yogis who can control their bodily functions to a degree that passes ordinary understanding. They can slow their metabolism, control their heartbeat, produce extreme heat or cold, levitate, run for days on end without stopping, bi-locate, and apparently manifest material objects with their minds. I have even heard that there have been some who have gone into meditation and then, in the view of their students or brothers, have just gone — POOF! — disappeared instantly in a blinding flash of light, never to be seen again! Obviously, they have removed themselves from some of the laws of third density to a greater or lesser extent. At the same time, one can read about Christian saints who have done the same things. There are shamans who give evidence of the same accomplishments, and practitioners of various paths of magic or rituals. So, we can see by these road signs that there is a certain correlation as described by Gurdjieff.
Then, there are the anomalous miracles that just seem to occur spontaneously. In such cases, a certain reference seems to recur over and over again, and that is the relationship between psi, genetics, and DNA. Time and time again a person who had strange powers would remark that “Oh, I inherited the sight from my aunt, or grandmother, or mother, or uncle or whatever.” And, it is not always “the sight”. There are many powers that manifest with this comment.
Then, there is the peculiar connection of the endocrine system to psi phenomena. Many serious studies of poltergeist type phenomena note that it is most often, if not always, manifested in the presence of either a pubescent child or a sexually fluctuating woman, including those who are in one or another stage of menopause. Hormones produced by the endocrine system play a part in turning DNA on and off.
One thing is clear to me after all of these years of study: psi phenomena, whether it is healing or manifestation of matter or bi-location or whatever has almost no relation whatsoever to one’s state of spirituality. In my work, I encountered a family line that could stop the flow of blood with the touch of a hand, yet nearly every member was alcoholic, promiscuous, abusive to partners and children, and generally what one would consider to be ethically deficient. Yet, certain members of this line had this interesting power and were often called upon by neighbors and friends to save lives — even if they had to be hauled out of a bar dead drunk to do it!
Another curious thing is that the many notations of psi phenomena onset after a severe trauma to the head, or a strong electrical shock. Electrical current can alter DNA by affecting the permeability of the neural membranes or by altering the balance or composition of neurotransmitters, thus turning on or off DNA. (In later volumes of this series I will get into this in more technical detail so that the reader can really apply it to their lives in individual situations.)
It seems that the thing that stands between the physical and ethereal worlds, or between third and fourth densities, and which is reflected in our awareness, is our DNA. It seems to be the interface or operating system that determines how much, how well, how completely our souls can manifest via the instrument of our bodies, in third density reality. Certain, shall we call them ecstatic, practices, which include the three ways discussed above, have been shown to have effects on both the electric current in the body as well as the chemicals, including hormones and neurotransmitters.
It has often been noted that only 2% of our DNA is involved in coding the proteins that make up our bodies. The rest is referred to as “junk”. There are theories about why this is so, including the “Selfish Gene” theory where it is postulated that human beings are merely constructs created by DNA for the purpose of propagating DNA!
Another thing noted is that we seem to utilize only 5 to 10% of our brains — and there are many theories about why this is so as well. I would like to suggest that there is a connection.
So, we have a curious series of factors to contend with that all seem to point in the direction of DNA being far more interesting and mysterious than we might have supposed.
On the one hand we have such naturally transmitted powers, and on the other hand we have folks who can engage in some activity that either temporarily or permanently changes something in their physiology — and the apparent result is becoming free of the laws of third density. The only problem is, as noted above, if the change is not across the board, so to speak, it merely becomes a blip on the screen — an aberration — a signpost that something is happening, but is of no practical value without knowledge of application in the four bodies, as it were. The following excerpt from the Cassiopaean transcripts will become important as we go on with the story here. The discussion was about the Symbols of Reality as they manifest in the body as physical pain related to some pathological disorder.
October 10, 1998
A: When one receives message of pain… could it be symbolic of potential advancement of neo-physicality?
Q: (L) I have known a lot of people who had pain who are just unhappy people.
A: But why unhappy? Think, my dear… and remember, your consciousness operates on four levels, not just one! Physical body, consciousness, genetic body and spirit-etheric body.
Q: (L) Are those the four composites of the human manifestation in third density?
A: 3rd and 4th. One leads oneself, through physical actions, as well as psychic ones, to develop these “problems” when one is preparing to “bump it up” a notch.
Remember what Ouspensky said:
The four Ways are ways of liberation from unnecessary laws. You can be shown the Way… but you must work yourself. Most of the laws we have to obey are the result of our sleep and our unconsciousness. Every step we make in becoming more conscious sets us more free.
Suppose a man is satisfied with mechanical life; then he cuts himself off from higher influences [that could teach him how to awaken] and receives only influences [from lower levels, including his own inclinations].
Certainly he is then in a worse position than a man who receives influences from higher worlds. Many influences can be received mechanically, but many others need effort…5 (Emphasis added.)
So, the whole thing seems to center around being in contact with higher influences. We have already talked about the prolific amount of channeling that is going on all over the planet, increasing in volume and variety daily. And we have been talking about the fact that some, if not most, of this is effectively influences from lower levels. What I mean by that is what I would colloquially call the difference between dead dude communications and truly higher density sources.
Why do I make such a distinction? Isn’t a “dead dude” a “fifth density” soul? Aren’t communications from “dead dudes” effectively communications from fifth density? Doesn’t that make them “higher”? What about communications from fourth density beings? Clearly, they are “higher”. Well, this is part of the problem of becoming aware and “choosing” which influence you wish to be under, and it is not as easy as one might think!
As already noted, as far as I know, until the coming of Ra via Elkins, Rueckert and McCarty, the concept of fourth density was poorly defined. Yes, Gurdjieff was obviously talking about it, and it is thought that his knowledge was derived from ancient secret mystery schools in Central Asia; but it also seems that his extrapolations about it may have given it a certain twist.
My own thoughts about it, after discussing with my husband Ark the various differences in what Gurdjieff was saying and doing, examining his writings and talks about his experiences, are that it is very likely that Gurdjieff was actually experimenting with ways to open ordinary people of Western culture to higher understanding in ways they could accommodate to their lifestyles. It may even have been that he had a mandate to do this, or it may simply have been his own idea.
Nevertheless, prior to the ideas about densities, there really wasn’t much of an option about existence: it was physical or astral; dead or alive; in the body or out of the body; earth or heaven/hell. Those were the choices. When you died here on earth, you only had the option of being ethereal or astral, or something similar. You were “in the spirit” or “in the body”.
Of course, it wasn’t exactly that simple. Just as there are economic and class distinctions here on earth, a whole plethora of sources devised intricate and elaborate systems of levels and stages of advancement through the astral realms. Helena Blavatsky, Rudolf Steiner, Alice Bailey, and others down to the present-day weekly “channel o’choice” have added endless permutations to these planes, sub-planes and hierarchical systems.
These explanations seem to have been created in response to the growing awareness that something was fishy in the other world! While everyone liked to think that, when you die, you are suddenly either taken up into heaven to sit with God or Buddha or whomever; or you descend to hell with no possibility of cooling your heels, it was increasingly apparent that this might not be the case. The many voices being heard from the “spirit world” made it abundantly clear that there was very complicated activity going on out of the range of human perception and understanding. And, some of it was distinctly unpleasant.
So planes and sub-planes, and causal planes and mid-causal planes were delivered to humanity as the solution to this problem. The key now became to determine what level of entity one was in communication with in order to determine the validity or usefulness of the information. Naturally, once such a hierarchy has been defined, the knowing spirit inevitably claims membership in the highest levels!
At a certain point in the confusion, there was a big step in the history of channeling: “Seth”. Michael Topper writes about Seth:
What made the Seth material so noticeable, and what allows it to stand up well today, has much to do with the channeler Jane Roberts herself who…along with the channeled text…narrated a continuous chronicle of her own internal struggle with the whole phenomenon of channeling, as well as the content of the material.
The uniform quality, consistency and integrity of the Seth teachings, which spanned many years (compared to various one-shot sources today) was largely due to the strangeness and unfamiliarity of such a mode visited upon any consciousness at that “early” time, meeting head on a rational and intelligent…if critical and initially quite skeptical…personality.
As Roberts herself states from the perspective of experience, it was indeed the initial deep reservations accompanying her reluctant participation in so extreme a phenomenon that kept the keel even, and helped therefore to keep the communication steadily aligned between the potential shoals of egoism on the one hand, and reductive rationalization on the other.
There is, as anyone should be able to tell, a universe of difference between these carefully monitored, combed and curried sessions and the modern immoderate opus cavalierly compiled in the interval of time since the Summons of Seth, wherein the chief feature of the recent books seems to be the channeler Herself, lavishly displayed on the pages of the photo insert, coyly captioned “from childhood to the mature adult present” (in which, having donned a pyramidal dunce cap in a moment of pure caprice the subject became so suddenly Serendipitous Host to some materializing entity, quite helpfully clarifying things at the outset by announcing Its Enlightenment!)6
In considering the Seth material as a whole, we can recommend it on the great virtue alone (taken for granted by now, but quite unique for its time), that it introduced the important key of probability to the field of psychological reality. Prior to this, the idea was exclusively an abstruse phenomenon of physics occurring only at the Heisenberg-indeterminacy level, describing “position and velocity of electrons”.
This concept, introduced by Seth, enabled humanity to strip the material mind from its fixation upon rigid causal conditioning and deterministic hypotheses of action. The Seth discussion of multidimensionality and the branching probable paths of conscious navigation through the wake-and-dream-state, served to shift the fulcrum of power to the psychic present, thereby helping at once to loosen the mental clamps of a dominant behaviorist psychology and to perform a long-overdue correction to the religio-spiritual emphasis on karma or the irresistible pressure of past actions, mnemonic conditioning, etc.
In this respect then the Seth material served its purpose admirably; and that purpose was to help consciousness take the next great step, the necessary step into a whole new Stage of spiritual progress and development. (Topper, “Channeling, UFOs And The Positive/Negative Realms Beyond This World”, http://www.cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php?topic=1256.0)
That said, having spent a lot of time dealing with spirit attachment, spirit possession, obsession, and related maladies, I can assure you that entities on the other side can and do lie. William Baldwin, Ph.D., writes:
Spirit attachment does not require the permission of the host. This seems to be a violation of free will. It also appears to refute the popular notion that each person is totally responsible for creating his or her reality and that there are no victims. The apparent conflict here stems from the definitions of permission and free will choice. Ignorance and denial of the possibility of spirit interference is no defense against spirit attachment. Belief or lack of belief regarding the existence of intrusive entities has no bearing on the reality of these beings and their behavior.
In denial and ignorance, most people do not refuse permission to these nonphysical intruders. Individual sovereign beings have the right to deny any violation or intrusion by another being. With limited, if any, knowledge and distorted perceptions of the nature of the spirit world, the nonphysical reality, many people leave themselves open and create their own vulnerability as part of creating their own reality. It is fashionable today among many “new Age” enthusiasts to attempt to channel some higher power, a spirit teacher or master who will use the voice mechanism of any willing person to speak “words of wisdom”. Some use the terminology “for my highest good” when calling for a spirit to channel through. This activity constitutes permission and welcome for a discarnate spirit. The identifiers such as “master” and “teacher” and qualifiers such as “for my highest good” will be claimed by the entities as personally valid identifications, qualities or attributes.
…The host is usually unaware of the presence of attached spirits. The thoughts, desires and behaviors of an attached entity are experienced as the person’s own thoughts, desires and behaviors. The thoughts, feelings, habits and desires do not seem foreign if they have been present for a long time, even from childhood. This is a major factor in the widespread denial of the concept and lack of acceptance of the phenomena of discarnate interference and spirit attachment, obsession or possession.
In most cases, a person can only experience and acknowledge the reality of the condition after an attached entity has been released. The realization may come some months after a releasement session as the person suddenly notices the absence of a familiar attitude, desire, addiction or behavior.
The symptoms of spirit attachment can be very subtle. An attached spirit may be present without producing any noticeable symptoms.
…A living person can have dozens, even hundreds of attached spirits, as they occupy no physical space. They can attach to the aura or float within the aura outside the body. If any part of the body of the host has a physical weakness the earthbound can attach to that area because of a corresponding weakness or injury to the physical body of the spirit prior to death. A spirit can lodge in any of the chakras of the host, drawn by the particular energy of the chakra or by the physical structures of that level of the body.
…The mental, emotional and physical influence of an attached entity can alter the original path of karmic options and opportunities of the host. It can disrupt the planned lifeline by hastening death or prolonging life, thus interfering with any specific checkout point. An entity of the opposite gender can influence the sexual preference and gender orientation. An attached entity can influence the choice of marriage partners and the choice of a partner for an extra-marital affair.7 (Emphasis added.)
There sure seems to be a lot of this sort of thing going on out there. Baldwin suggests that the number of people suffering one or more attachments at any given time is about 100%! I was pretty shocked when I read that figure. In fact, when I began experimenting with the techniques of the therapeutic modality, I had a lot of misgivings about it. It just seemed too far-fetched and wild even for my open-minded approach to reality.
So, as a sort of experiment, I began to use the differential diagnosis technique with subjects who had agreed to participate in an experimental therapy, but were not told any details whatsoever as to what this would entail. I think they were more or less expecting something dramatic rather than a small series of questions artfully designed to reveal the presence of attached entities. And, at the point I shifted into the questions designed to identify spirit attachment, I made sure to do it in a subtle way, burying the questions in a series of other innocuous questions. I certainly didn’t want to contaminate my experiment, so I was being very careful! If this idea was a hokey theory, I was determined to expose it!
Well, the results were nothing short of astounding. In case after case, there were attachments — usually more than one. The most startling thing about it was that the release therapy worked in amazing ways! Problems that had persisted with standard hypnotic therapies utilizing repeated suggestions and/or post-hypnotic suggestions, (which sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t) would virtually disappear almost instantly with the release of the attaching entity.
In a couple of cases, individuals who were in marriages that were highly unsatisfactory and even miserable, but had been unable to extricate themselves because they would “weaken at the thought”, or would “argue with themselves” over the rightness of leaving, were suddenly freed of these fears, co-dependencies, and so forth. It was established in a couple of these sessions that the subject had been invaded at an opportune moment by an entity that wanted to be with the marriage partner and that the attaching entity had influenced the subject to marry that person in the first place! Whenever the “core” person, or host, would try to leave the relationship, a full-bore inner struggle would take place, preventing the wishes of the host from prevailing. This was always perceived as the subject’s own doubts and misgivings about leaving.
Physical ailments, fears and phobias, addictions, and personality irregularities of many kinds were dissolved almost by magic! I was completely stunned! Not only that, but all of my ideas about children being protected in their innocence from such infestation had to be tossed aside as it became more and more evident that many attachments took place during very ordinary childhood traumas!
But the point is — this may be part of the true condition of mankind’s prison! As Dr. Baldwin notes above: “In denial and ignorance, most people do not refuse permission to these nonphysical intruders… Many people leave themselves open and create their own vulnerability as part of creating their own reality.” What a concept!
I hate to have to admit it, but this sentence applied to me for a very long time. In fact, it applies to all of us, to one extent or another and that is why I am going to tell you some stories about my becoming aware. These were complex interactions with many people, and at many points, the various players involved all had the same opportunities to become aware and make choices as a result of this awareness. We will see how those choices were presented and how they operated in the Symbols of Reality, and we will see what the Fruits of the various choices were. When we are done with these stories, it is hoped that there will be a very clear understanding of how to read the signs and, possibly, what the results can be, though each person will have their own idea of how to respond to the lessons and what a desirable outcome is.
As I have recounted to some extent in Amazing Grace, discovering the Truth and Meaning of our existence — or even just my existence since, for all I know, everything else is an illusion — has been the driving force behind my whole lifetime of internal and external process.
At any given time when I participated in any activity whatsoever, it was always with the idea that I might learn something about God from it. Even when I was at the stage of complete atheism, it was an experiment. In my early years I studied Wicca and various forms of shamanism, ritual magic and so forth. I was cautious about material experimentation with such things, preferring to study further and compare, so I think I saved myself a lot of grief that I have since observed in other people who did not have the same reservations about “practice”.
Weaving in and out of all this study was, of course, my family’s religious background (which had been inculcated at a very early age) coming from a long line of preachers and religious scholars. This influence was very strong, so my programmed inclination whenever I reached the end of a particular study that had shown itself to be, in effect, only a fragment of the answer, was to revert to this familiar religious path until some other study beckoned. What this means is that my many years of study and dedication to knowledge were punctuated by periods of The Way of the Monk. As a teenager, I even dreamed of being a nun when I grew up. I seemed to experience a cyclical fluctuation between cold cerebral analysis and passionate pursuit of an intimate emotional relationship with God. The curious thing was that I could enter into either state with equal ardor and dedication.
I know well the agonizing struggle of “going for compassion and purity of passion and will… aiming towards a feeling of fullness and unification of all.” I viscerally understand “following of the love in the present moment, of opening the heart to that present moment and the love in it.” And I also experienced the fact that “This is usually not peaceful or calm.” I also know what it is like to achieve it to greater or lesser extent and what it costs the mind and body. I have great fondness for this way.
But I am a practical person, and finding a balanced combination of cerebration and emotion has been my particular struggle. I have to really control my urge to “give my body up to be burned,” to “give all I own to the poor,” and to sacrifice myself in any number of ways as a martyr. For me, that is far more difficult than subjecting all of my emotions to one emotion to develop emotional will.
As I have written in Amazing Grace, at a certain point in my life I decided that this way of the heart was, indeed, the path for me and I embraced it wholeheartedly. I was 30 years old and pretty worn out from seeking God in knowledge; or at least I wasn’t getting anywhere with it that felt satisfying, so the urgings of my ex-husband to get back with God in the old-fashioned, fundamental way were like an anchor beckoning me to come and rest. So, to put it bluntly, I plunged headfirst into the faith trip.
Not being one to do anything halfway, I put all thinking aside, all knowledge aside, and essentially submitted myself willingly and by choice to believe that faith would take me home. To make the point of how effectively this was accomplished, I will share a funny event.
In the early days of this plunge, I was sitting in church with my ex-husband and children. I was observing the order of the service, the standing up, sitting down, turning to page so-and-so to sing a hymn, the kneeling and praying and so forth. I realized suddenly, from my training as a hypnotherapist, that this whole process was a form of hypnosis. In studying mass or group hypnosis, we had been taught about what is called the “Yes set”. The yes set is designed to put people into a mild trance state, to entrain their brain function, and to make them receptive to the deepening of the trance and any suggestions that follow. It is accomplished by getting a group of people to either respond “yes” to a series of questions, or to get them to comply with a series of innocuous requests. In so doing, they give their will to the person making the request.
One way this works for charismatic public speakers is for them to deliberately pose several questions in a row (at least three) that they are certain everyone, or most everyone, will agree with. For example: a politician might begin his campaign speech with these three questions:
“Are you tired of high taxes?”
“Have you had enough of crime and violence in this country?”
“Is everyone tired of spending their hard earned dollars for less and less every week?”
Hardly anyone would disagree with any of these questions. But, by agreeing with them, by saying “yes” three times in a row — even if only mentally — the first stage of induction has just been accomplished!
So, there I was, realizing that what was being done in this church — and churches around the world and down through the centuries — was that people were being hypnotized. So, what did I think about this? Well, since I had decided to take the plunge, I decided that it was okay because it was hypnosis for the right reasons! Yup! That’s me talking there! When I do something, I go all the way!
Immediately, my life began to fall apart.
Of course, being committed to this path meant that the only interpretation for this phenomenon of my life going to Hell when I was trying to get to Heaven was to think of it as a test of my faith. Not being a quitter by any stretch of the imagination, I wasn’t going to let things like deteriorating physical health, long drawn out suffering and death of a loved one, or financial disaster after financial disaster stop me! No sir! I fasted, prayed, and assiduously schooled my thoughts and emotions to one thing and one thing only: “going for compassion and purity of passion and will… aiming towards a feeling of fullness and unification of all… following of the love in the present moment, of opening the heart to that present moment and the love in it.”
The more things came against me, the more I suffered, the more I was attacked from within and without, the more my resolve strengthened. I refused to even ask “why?” I read the book of Job again and again to comfort myself that at least I was not alone in my suffering. I regularly sought to experience vicariously the sufferings of Christ on the cross so that, by comparison, nothing I experienced could possibly be considered suffering! I took no offense at offense, whether intended or not; I forgave and loved and comforted my hurts by transforming them in the crucible of my suffering to pure and passionate love for God, for Jesus, and for all mankind.
It’s easy to talk about suffering in an abstract way, but what do I really mean by it? Suffering is relative. The old saying, “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man with no feet,” applies here. I don’t want to go through the whole scene so I will make it short:
I had been ill in 1980 with a fever that left me with damaged heart valves. In 1984, the physical labor I had been doing just to manage a home and three children, caring for my aged grandmother, and a now failing business put so much strain on my heart that I was near collapse when I found myself pregnant with my fourth child. Just to cover the bases of those who will say, “Don’t you know what causes it?” let me add that I became pregnant while on contraceptives.
Being in the faith trip, of course meant that my choice was to sacrifice any health considerations for the sake of the child.8 My kidneys began to fail, and the residual damage from two back injuries, which occurred when I was a teenager, began to manifest. (I had seriously injured the lumbar vertebrae in a fall while skating and the second was a pelvic/sacral injury that occurred in a toss from the back of a horse.) In my previous three pregnancies, I had received competent care because I had been in a position to obtain it. But now, only the minimal care was available due to the deteriorating financial state.
Also, during this time we were being plagued by some sort of haunting that my young daughter was perceiving as an alligator outside her window, and that we could sense in “cold spots” in the house as well as “see” out of the corner of our eyes. In retrospect, there were a lot of clues of abduction type activity going on, though this was not something I had in my knowledge base at the time.
In the midst of this situation, my grandmother’s cancer, which had been in remission for 11 years, went metastatic. I was physically incapable of doing all that was on my shoulders, but somehow I did it anyway. (Looking back, I have no idea how I did it!) I was exhausted all the time, dealing with pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, a heart that wanted to back flush several times a day, three small children, a depressed husband who wandered about wondering what to do about the financial situation, and a dying grandmother who was more than a mother to me.
Meanwhile, our former business partner, my own mother, in whom we had placed utmost confidence, and who had maneuvered all our financial assets into her control, had emptied our bank accounts, maxed out our credit cards, and was now suing us to foreclose on our house! And did it! For all the details on that situation, I can only suggest that you read Amazing Grace.
Somewhere along the way during this time — much of which blurs in my memory due to the horror of it all — I had what I call my “Boat ride to Damascus.”
We were bringing our commercial fishing boat down from its docking 40 miles or so north of where we lived, to put it in at the marina where it was to be sold. Because of our schedule, we made the trip at night. Forty miles is not far in a car, but a big commercial fishing boat doesn’t do 60 mph, so it was several hours of travel time. I was doing the steering while my ex-husband was on deck keeping an eye out for bird racks or other obstructions.
I was alone in the steering cabin with nothing but the red glow of the instrument panel and the low rumble of the diesel engine under the floor. This trip was sort of an admission that all was going down the tubes. I was struggling with my hurt and anger and bewilderment, praying fervently for understanding and compassion and love to fill my heart in spite of the apparent hopelessness of the situation.
I wanted to be filled with the Love of God. I wanted to subsume all of the experience into that single pointed devotion the brings the “peace that passes understanding.” Over and over again I was repeating, “Help me oh Lord! Help me!” The agony of the struggle was deeper than the mind can fathom or words can express. The Apostle Paul describes it in Romans 8:26: “[F]or we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.”
Well, the beginning of that verse says: “So too the Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness…”
What happened next was a sensation of growing heat in the solar plexus, accompanied by a buzzing sound in my ears that soon became a sort of “inaudible BOOM”! The only way I can describe this is that it could be reproduced by being stone deaf and standing between two huge Chinese gongs while they are being struck simultaneously. It was a soul-deep resonating to some sort of long, slow and rhythmic internal sound that descended around me like a warm, comforting cloud.
And there was a voice; not audible, and not really in my head, so to speak, but a voice nevertheless that was supernally rich and rapturously tender.
“You KNOW that I LOVE you, my child,” the voice said. “But until you remove the darkness from between us, I can do nothing.”
The words vibrated every cell in my body from a depth of being that is impossible to describe.
“WHAT?!?” I cried back. My mind raced through all the aspects of my life. Like the proverbial moment before death when all of a person’s deeds pass before their eyes, I reviewed every facet of my existence, enumerating all the ways in which I was endeavoring to seek only to do the will of God. I couldn’t find a single breach in this “contract” where one could think that evil would enter the picture. In a sense, I was laying all this out as a sort of legal pleading in my mind.
At this point, a response came, though not in words. It was a movie being run in my mind/soul/awareness. I was shown my children in a series of vignettes that brought up the deep love and devotion I had for them, and the purpose was made clear that I was to understand that my love for my children, as great as it was, was merely a “human” love and could, in no way, equal the love of the Creator for his creation. I was being infused with this love. It was consoling and warmly caressing to a level that is impossible to express with words.
Then the scene changed and I was shown my children being warned about an ant bed; that they should leave the ants alone and not “play in the dirt” of the anthill. But, as children will, their curiosity about the anthill led them to it, and their lack of knowledge of ants coupled with their foolhardy, naive bravery caused them to begin to jump into the anthill just to see what would happen. The result was that they suddenly were covered with ants, biting and stinging them and they were running to me, screaming for relief.
Then, there I was, soothing them and brushing away the ants, and explaining that I could get rid of the ants, and I could put salve on the bites to soothe the pain, but it would do no good if they hadn’t learned something from the experience about ants, and certainly, they would never forget what it felt like to be bitten by them. There might be scars on the skin, and certainly there would be scars in the mind.
Well, I certainly didn’t see how my life related to children playing in an ant bed! “What are the ants?” I asked. “What is the evil in my life?”
And the voice came again, this time with overtones of sternness combined with sorrow: “Learn!”
And it reverberated away into silence as the sound of the engines began to return to my awareness. I was still feeling the sensation of the great infusion of love that had come with the first part of the interaction. I call it that, because it was hardly a vision in strict terms, though something happened of a visionary nature.
For weeks I was sustained by this love, and I certainly needed it.
My grandmother died two weeks after the sheriff delivered the eviction notice saying that we had been foreclosed and must vacate the house that had belonged to her for over 40 years, which she had transferred ownership to me, and which I had then trusted to my mother for tax purposes, in her name. (The taxes were lower because she could claim more exemptions).
My grandmother died as much from a broken heart at the betrayal by her daughter (my mother) as from the cancer.
We were effectively homeless and broke. We still had property of our own, but it was undeveloped and located out in the boondocks away from everything. We could have sold it and used the money to rent a house, but I knew that would be only a temporary solution. We certainly couldn’t buy a house because my ex-husband was too depressed to work and our credit had been destroyed in the collapse of the business.
So we sold our equipment and used the money to buy building materials, and went to the woods to live on the land. We built a small house and moved in with the necessities, putting most of my furniture and books and other possessions in storage. The only luxury we kept at hand was my piano. There we were, in a cabin in the woods with no electricity or running water, but we had a baby grand in the corner!
At this point there was the daily struggle to see to it that there was enough food for my small children so that they would not have to go to bed hungry at night. Most of the time they didn’t even have shoes to wear, and it was only by charity that they had clothes. We went from owning several homes, investment property and a business, to literally nothing.
And then, there was the work.
I don’t know how many of you have tried the living on the land philosophy/lifestyle, but it’s a lot of work. When you have a hand pump in the yard about 40 feet from the house, it is a lot of work to keep water available for all the normal uses of five people — especially when three of those people are small children.
My already compromised physical condition was really not up to that level of work. But, I was determined to maintain as normal a standard of living as possible, so it was a question of determination and will to continue to do what had to be done against the deterioration of my body.
But enough of that! The point was to establish the objectivity of suffering. Suffice it to say, that through all of this, I was sure that my faith was being tested and tried by fire. I never wavered. I will admit that I often woke up at night in so much psychological and emotional pain at the loss of my grandmother (actual) and my mother (virtual), as well as the worries for the future of my children (realistic), that I would get up and pace in the darkness, wringing my hands and crying. I would find a quiet, private place, and sit and rock and weep in the struggle to continue to find the love in the moment, so that I could go on another day.
I continued to ponder the command to “learn” that had been given so many months before on the boat. I needed that contact again. It was at this point that I decided that the only way I was going to accomplish this objective was to be able to truly open my heart to God so that he could infuse me on a permanent basis with this thing I so much lacked. Thus, the idea grew in me that I must still my own voice, both internal and external, so that I could hear daily the voice that betokens God’s presence within.
I searched the Bible for clues as to how to go about this within the parameters of the religion. I knew about meditation and that this was one way to achieve a contact, but since I was in the faith trip, whatever I did had to be within the guidelines. I found a reference in Psalms where the psalmist says: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable unto thee, Oh Lord.”
Well, that’s good enough for me! There it was, right in the Bible!
I began to meditate on the love of God. That seemed to be the acceptable way to do it by the rules. And it was at this point that things began to really happen.
As I wrote in Amazing Grace, one Sunday during this time, I was sitting in church during the Pastoral prayer. I was praying hard along with the Minister that God would send the Holy Ghost to me to help me understand all that I needed to understand. The pastor’s wife, a gifted musician, was evoking celestial harmonies in counterpoint to the mellifluous voice of the shepherd of our flock, lost in the drama of the prayer. It was my favorite part of the service because he was so erudite and articulate and she was so talented a partner in service to God.
Suddenly, I heard a buzzing noise, or a crackling sound; similar to the sound of bacon sizzling in the pan; and the voice of the pastor and the resonant “Amens” from the congregation became very far away and metallic sounding exactly as if I were hearing them broadcast from a loudspeaker under water.
This shocked me and my eyes snapped open to see if my vision was impaired because I thought I might be having a stroke or something. I was completely dismayed to see that the Minister, standing at the podium, gripping the stand with both hands, his eyes closed and his head thrown back in the profound drama of his praying, was overlaid with a shimmering, living, image of a wolf!
It was exactly as if a film was being projected onto him where the image of the wolf, in full color, was a sort of alter ego and all the expressions of the pastor were corrupted and twisted by the matching expressions of the wolf. When the Minister would move his hands or shake his head — so did the wolf. The gaping jaws of this toothsome figure from Hell exactly matched every move of the Minister’s mouth! It was not a solid figure; it was a projection of light, so to speak.
I quickly looked around the sanctuary to see if this was a complete delusion, and was shocked to see similar overlays on all the people there. Many of them were sheep, but there were also pigs and cows and other creatures represented.
I was horrified! I was sure that the Devil had me now for sure! Here I was, in the middle of church, seeing our beloved Minister in the guise of a wolf! It was damnation for certain!
I closed my eyes and prayed harder. The sound anomaly continued and I opened my eyes to peek again. The wolf was still there dramatizing the euphoniously intoned pastoral prayer.
I squeezed my eyes tightly shut and prayed and prayed and rebuked Satan and finally began to just repeat the Lord’s prayer over and over again to drive this image from my reality. Soon, it began to taper off and die away and when I opened my eyes again, the wolf was gone and I was very relieved to have won this battle with Satan.
A couple of Sundays later, we arrived a little late, expecting the services to be already started. We were surprised to see the congregation all gathered outside the church door, milling about like lost sheep.
We discovered that the Minister had done a midnight flit, so to speak, leaving the church in a bad way, having embezzled a huge amount of money from the funds that were supposed to pay the bills for the building and supply the various organizations. There was even a bill for dock rent for a rather large yacht that the church was also paying for, unbeknownst to all the members.
All the expensive furnishings of the luxurious parsonage were gone, the mortgages on both buildings were on the verge of foreclosure, the electricity was about to be shut off — and the Minister and his family were gone to parts unknown. A real wolf in sheep’s clothing, so to speak.
I was stunned. I realized that my vision was exactly what I had been praying for: The Holy Spirit revealing the truth to me; and I had rebuked it and cast it away!
This resulted in a shift in my faith in my own ability to be “in touch” with God, or whoever was in charge of this Universe. Clearly, I had been shown the truth under the surface, and my self-doubts and belief in the authority of others had interfered with my “communion with Holy Spirit”.
I understood an essential thing: if you truly pray for guidance, deeply and sincerely, it will come, but it may not be what you want to hear or believe and it may go against what others are saying or teaching.
But this, of course, raised other questions. The most dominant was how was one to tell when it was a misleading influence and how to tell if it was truly a Divine Revelation? If a number of people are claiming that the “Holy Spirit” is giving them revelations and these revelations are contradictory, then somebody is right excluding the others, or all of them are wrong. We have only our knowledge and reason with which to analyze and compare.
So it was back to the books.
One point that should be made here is: I had faith, I prayed diligently and fervently, I struggled and strove for that love, that subsuming of all other emotions into an all pervasive, comprehensive Love of God — and it surely did something!
There were actually, during that time, other events that could be termed visionary and ecstatic, but they aren’t relevant, so I won’t go into them now. Suffice it to say, they were supportive in every way of the idea that I had to learn what was under the surface in order to know what to accept as truth, or even partial truth. The only way to discern a “lying spirit” was to have some yardstick by which to determine as much of the objective truth as possible. That meant knowledge, “testing the spirits” by checking up on their accuracy.
Not long after, my fourth child was born and I was basically forced to spend more time studying and meditating and, as some of you know, the result of this period was my still unpublished book: The Noah Syndrome.
At this point, I was 33 years old and had spent three years in this experiment which did not really start as an experiment, but that is how it turned out.
What emerged in my mind was the fact that when you ask a question — if the question is a burning one — your life becomes the answer. All of your experiences and interactions and so forth shape themselves around the core of the answer that you are seeking in your soul. In this case, the question was: How to be One with God, and the answer was, Love is the answer, but you have to have knowledge to know what Love really is. As the writer of the book of James says:
Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort, or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfectly and fully developed, lacking in nothing. If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God who gives to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him. Only it must be in faith that he asks, with no wavering — no hesitating, no doubting… What is the use for anyone to profess to have faith if he has no works? Can faith save? … Faith if it does not have works, by itself is destitute of power — inoperative, dead… You see that a man is justified through what he does and not alone through faith — through works of obedience as well as by what he believes. (Amplified, Zondervan)
I understood that the poverty of my life, the torment and the suffering, the loss of things I loved, and the many related and complex events were an expression of my actual state of being the poverty of my knowledge relative to what I was capable of knowing. When I plunged headfirst into “Faith without knowledge/works” I was choosing death, for “faith without works is… dead.”
But what were these works? What was it that God gives liberally and ungrudgingly? Knowledge.
For that which is known about God, is evident to them [man] and made plain in their inner consciousness; because God has shown it to them. For, ever since the creation of the world, His invisible nature and attributes have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made — His handiwork. (Amplified, Zondervan)
According to the Sufi perspective, There is no God but God and knowledge concerns itself with knowing God. But in order to gain knowledge of God, it is necessary to utilize the intermediary of creation, which is, in fact, the purpose of all that exists. It not only is God, it is the path to God. It is incumbent upon the seeker to learn all he can with a view toward God. All things must be gathered into the knowledge base of the Seeker to be taken back to God exactly as described in the Parable of the Talents.
To not work as diligently as possible to know God through the creation — and that includes all branches of knowledge and art and craft — is defined by the apostle as passing judgment on God.
And so, since they did not see fit to acknowledge God or approve of Him or consider Him worth the knowing… [His invisible nature and attributes have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made — His handiwork.] O man, whoever you are who judges and condemns another… for in posing as judge and passing sentence on another you condemn yourself, because you who judge are habitually practicing the very same things that you censure and denounce… (Amplified, Zondervan)
This seems to be precisely what I experienced. I dove into the faith/love and light trip and all Hell broke loose!
In looking back over the experiences recounted above, we can see that I was thinking about and focusing on “love and light and faith”. But that is not what I experienced in my creation! Though, in a funny sort of way, my faith was answered! But, what an answer! Not at all what I was expecting!
Now, it has been recently suggested by a correspondent that I have some sort of inherent ability to manifest that is so powerful that my environment and experiences shift suddenly and dramatically in response to my inner state. This may be so, but I don’t think I am alone in this. I think that it is true to one extent or another with everyone. It is true that you create your own reality and in some twisted sense, it is true that you do it by what you think and focus on… but there is a real Catch 22 involved in there and it is that factor that we are going to be investigating next!
3 There is actually a Fifth Way, but we are not going to discuss this just now. Suffice it to say that Fifth Way work is rare, and reserved for rare individuals who emerge at nodal points in human history. Indeed, we are at such a point, but there is little point in describing the Fifth Way for general readers.
4 Note that this was written before 9-11 and the takeover of the U.S. by a “fundamentalist ideology” that promotes the ideals of the Inquisition: Kill them all, God will know his own.
5 Ouspensky, The Fourth Way.
6 I really laughed at Michael Topper’s veiled allusion to Ramtha.
7 William J. Baldwin, D.D.S., Ph.D., Spirit Releasement Therapy: A Technique Manual (Falls Church, VA: Human Potential Foundation, 1993).
8 I probably would not make the same choice now, but I don’t regret that choice at all. My third daughter and fourth child is a remarkable human being. The reader has her to thank for copyediting this manuscript.