Thursday, 21 June 2018

If we were suddenly allowed into paradise

  Are you well? Do you feel the emotional coldness many of us feel?

When divers go deep, their bodies adapt to a greater pressure. When they come back to the surface, they have to make decompression stops - otherwise they could die...

If a Bedouin finds someone dying from thirst in the desert, they don't gave them a lot to drink. They give only a few sips.

The inhabitant of the desert knows that the thirsty guy would swallow the entire gourd if they let them, and they would die from the shock. So, in spite of their supplications, they let them wait for more...

When it is freezing cold and you spend some time outside without gloves, after a while your hands get used to the temperature. The painful moments happens when you come back inside and warm up your hands...

"That which is below is like that which is above & that which is above is like that which is below to do the miracles of one only thing"... What we experience in the physical world always teaches us some truth about the invisible worlds...
I once reassured a friend who had great difficulty in being surrounded by people. She craved company but she couldn't bear it! I had the same problem...

When we catch ourselves not wanting what we believed we wanted, whilst still wanting it when don't have it, we, human beings, have a tendency to judge ourselves. All we understand is that there is something wrong with us. But no, there is nothing wrong...

The big mistake you make only once when coming back inside with cold hands in winter is to turn the hot water tap on... It burns! Even cold water feels warm when our hands are even colder...

It takes time to get used to the warmth again, and able to enjoy it.

Sometimes life is lonely. When we find the way back to human warmth, much to our surprise, we can't stand it. It's normal. There is nothing wrong with us.

If we were suddenly allowed into paradise, it would be a terrible shock...

Dear unknown friend,

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Calming the emotional storm

Dear unknown friend, 
 One of my best friends was an atheist. I believe in  Spirit. 

However we enjoyed sharing our thoughts and feelings. We understood each other.

 There is no need to agree to understand, no need to convince anyone to chose another path than the path they have chosen for themselves. I am not an atheist, but who knows, maybe in another life, I will chose to be one? 

 I am a Christian but I rarely use the word. I don't go to church. I don't believe in all the stuff they tell you to believe and how you should feel and behave... I am a Christian because there are a few things in the Gospel that speak to my heart. I am also a story teller, so let me just tell you a Jesus story. A small one. 
 Jesus was in a boat with his friends the disciples. He was sleeping. The weather turned bad. Soon there was a storm rocking the boat. The disciples were very scared, and Jesus kept sleeping. They woke him up in a panic! 

 "Hey! Jesus! We're going to capsize!" 
Jesus stood up in the boat, opened his arms, told the storm to calm down.... and the storm calmed down! 
 This was the story. I hope it was not too long! 

 Maybe it is literally true. Have you ever had this feeling of being somehow connected to the atmosphere and felt you could ask the rain to wait a little bit for you to have time to go home? Then the rain apparently held on and started pouring down just after you passed your door, saying thank you!  
 Of course this can easily be called "pure coincidence" and dismissed, but sometimes it happens and even though you can't prove it, you feel you're not alone...  At times, the same kind of experience repeats itself again and again, the rain, the bus, the person you meet just at the right time at the right place to tell you something you needed to know... sometimes life seems to flow harmoniously, as if orchestrated.... so why not? 
 However there is another way to understand this story. Whether it is true or not doesn't matter actually. This story is also a symbolic story. The storm is an emotional storm. The boat is our body. Jesus is our heart, and the disciples the parts of us that feel overwhelmed...  

 When we wake up, we become able of to understand others, including those who hurt us...  When we are emotional like small children we feel angry, scared, lonely, abandoned, worthless, resentful when we are not treated well. It's normal to feel awful when we are hurt. It's as natural as a storm. It is a storm. 
 We shouldn't feel bad about feeling bad when we feel bad; it only make things worse when we beat ourselves up for not being loving and peaceful. 
 The storm is natural and we need to become supernatural. By this I mean understanding someone else point of view and their feelings, along with ours. This is enough to calm down an inner storm. Understanding is all we need. Understanding is love. 
 The philosophers of old used to say: "Know yourself" 
 Today, many repeat: "Love yourself".  
 It's the same thing really. 
 Feel well! 

Saturday, 20 January 2018

The Magician

Dear unknown friend,

I hope this letter finds you well, relaxed and happy to be who you are...

This morning, on my way to the coffee shop I noticed that I was walking a little bit too quickly for a Saturday.

It occurred to me that I have made my life a race, which I want to win, because the prize is something I value and desire a lot, which is: a life without racing.

It's crazy isn't it? Normally, if the end of the race is the prize, I should be able to win straight away, just by stopping right now. Why am I racing? Do I need more love?

I am loved and I can feel it, when I see my parents, my siblings, my friends...
I am quite happy to be myself, in spite of the dark bits I haven't dissolve yet; life loves me, the Great Spirit makes me grow like a desired plant in a corner of the earth... Why am I still racing then?

Before it was different. I felt so bad in my own skin, I had so much to prove to myself before I could allow a little bit of self esteem and self love in, and become more able to receive love from others in the process... I had to race like a fish in heated water.

But now... why do I carry on ? I must be addicted..

Of course, I still have a few important goals and desires, but I have evolved a long way and it's not efficient to be impatient and race race race...

By the way, I imagine the eyebrows of a few among those who know (and love) me going up at the idea of my life being a race... Inner life and mental pursuits can be a race as well...

I am addicted to living in a state of inner agitation.

When I was reading these letters to an unknown friend I talked about (Meditations on the Tarot), I loved especially the interpretation of the first Arcane, Le Bateleur, in English The Magician.

He is perfectly focused. He is juggling with symbols without even looking at what he's doing. He doesn't need to. His mind has gone clear and silent. The oscillations of his mental substance have stopped.

Being able to shut up, verbally and mentally, is the first condition, and maybe the summit of the art. My unknown friend asked me, in his first letter: "Did you ever drink silence?"

I have never drunk silence as beautifully as he described it to me, but I have become much more silent than I used to be...

There are two ways to train becoming silent, my friend. There are probably more than two but let me explain with two...

One way is to try to stay mentally silent for as long as possible, like you were holding your breath. In this way, each time we practice, we end up failing. Moreover, it's quite difficult, if not impossible at all, to hold on our train of thoughts. How could we stay there without thinking to anything, without even thinking that we are practicing an exercise which consists of not thinking? Because if we don't even think that we are doing an exercise consisting of not thinking, how can we know what we are doing?

...Try to stop a train of thoughts like that. As soon as you don't think that you shouldn't think, you start thinking to something else without noticing...

It's called the monkey mind. It's a funny trickster.

The other way to train is to observe and notice the moments of silence which do happen at times between two thoughts...

One day I was on my way back home. I drove my car up a little mountain road. The sun was setting. Suddenly I noticed the sky. It had become breathtakingly beautiful. I didn't know I was still able to be so impressed just by the sky, but on that day, I was shocked by the beauty. I went: "Ahhh!"

For a few seconds, there were no thoughts in my mind. There was only the sky, the flamboyant red clouds, the mountains...
Even when there is no amazing sunset over loved mountains to offer us an unexpected moment of silence, there are silent blips between our thoughts. We can observe and cherish them like precious gifts. Then they become familiar and they grow....

One day, we become apt at going "Ahh" in front of a grey wall, because everything, absolutely everything is as beautiful as the most beautiful sky, all the time.
We just don't notice.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Antivenom for the soul (Dear unknown friend)

Dear unknown friend,

a long time ago, I found a big book in an esoteric bookshop; the title was "Meditation sur les 22 Arcanes du Tarot". The chapters were 22 letters addressed to an unknown friend.

When I was reading these letters, I was fighting a lonely battle. I was suffering from soul poisoning.
I enjoyed this friendship very much. It helped me through difficult times. Dear unknown friend, now I am writing to you.

Do you how antivenom is made? Venom is collected from snakes; horses are injected with it. The horses fight the venom. Then the human draw blood from the horses, the antivenom is in it.

This is literally true, and this is also a metaphor. Dear friend, maybe you are a "horse" as well... It's our job to be poisoned and fight within our own souls. Whether we know it or not, we are useful. The suffering is more bearable when it makes sense though. We are making antivenom for ourselves and others...

A famous verse of the Emerald Table goes like this:

"That which is below is like that which is above & that which is above is like that which is below to do the miracles of one only thing"

A way to understand what it means is to see anything that exists in the material world as a reflection of something that exists in the invisible planes, that is the psychological and spiritual planes...
If some beings, in our case horses, do make antivenom in their own bodies for the benefit of weaker beings, then the same process must exist "above", in the psychic and spiritual dimensions.

Another way to look at it is to compare humanity as a whole to a body. Some individuals belong to the immune system. We are "white cells". Our job is the meet the poisons, absorb them so that they do not spread, and recycle them. We become the antidote. We are filters in the psychic world...

Our whole humanity is poisoned. Guilt, shame, fears, excessive pride, a species we are really mad. We have fever! We do terrible things. We are putting our own life and the life of other species at risk. We spread suffering. This is very strange. How could we have expected Mother Nature to give rise to such a mad species as ourselves?
But, as Buddha mentioned, what is important for now is not to find out about the causes, but to heal! We will wonder how it all happened later.

Many people seem to cope with the poison well and live "normal" lives. They work, they have families, they pay their bills... we, the black sheep, could feel very bad about ourselves by comparison. I don't know what color we are when we are horses, but when we are sheep, we are black.

On the physical plane, there is no confusion: my arms are mine, my neighbor's legs are his, he can't go about walking with my legs without asking for permission...

However, at the level of psychic energies, we are not as separated. It is possible to be a sponge and absorb emotions that we have not created. It is also possible to squeeze some of our own feelings out of ourselves... for any passing sponge to absorb!
We are all doing it all the time...

At this level of reality, we, the white cells looking like black sheep, keep absorbing the poisons others squeeze out.
Jumping form one metaphor to another, we are the ones who have to walk with the bad legs, and be blamed.
Blaming is one among many ways to squeeze feelings of guilt, shame or other poisons out of oneself and project them onto others..

Sometimes we absorb the poisons simply by being sensitive, and too open. Sometimes, the poisons are violently forced upon us, like when we are blamed or have to endure all kind of violence. The process is called "scapegoating". In some ancient civilizations, animal or even human sacrifices were practiced.

The people believed they were offering lives to please God or the gods, when they were actually offering the blood of the victims to themselves, as a way to be relieved from their own violence.

A scapegoat can be tempted to become a bully at the first opportunity. Many people switch from one role to the other, submissive at work, obnoxious in private...

And there are the ultimate scapegoats. The weakest one who can't pass the rubbish onto others, and the strongest, who do not want to inflict onto others what was inflicted onto them.

I have learned a lot about the poison and how to fight it within.
Dear unknown friend, I am here to tell you about it...

Bullies on the Bus (Dear unknown friend...)

Dear unknown friend,

I was talking about scapegoating in my last letter, and a memory came up afterwards.

One day of last autumn, I was on a bus in London, on my way back from a gardening job. Two seats in front of me were three boys in their school uniforms. Two of them were sitting and one was standing in front of them, in the area near the bus doors. The two sitting ones were playing with him.

The game was not friendly. He let them do, though. He didn't try to put some distance between himself and them. One grabbed him by the tie and pulled, throwing him out of balance... but they kept talking together, like school mates do. Then the other sitting boy grabbed his hands and twisted them, until the poor boy asked, in a low voice... "please...."

Later, the first bully took the boy's hat. He tried to get it back but the bully didn't let him. He claimed he would throw the hat through the window at the next stop to see the boy getting off the bus, picking his hat and getting back on the bus before the doors closed...if he had time. The bully kept pretending he would do it.... but didn't. When a bully plays with a scapegoat, you know, they play with their emotions.

I was observing, feeling spiky butterflies in my stomach. I was wondering if it would be a good thing to intervene. The scapegoat looked so familiar with his bullies, so accepting...

But then I saw him take a fifty pence coin out of his pocket, offering to pay to get his hat back. The bully pretended to throw it through the window again. I grabbed the hat from behind. -Surprise! I threw it to the boy who said "thank you" without looking at me.

I said out loud:

"You look like bullies!"

The little bully answered:

"Oh shut up!"

I insisted. I said:

"You heard me!"

He told me to shut up again, I repeated he had heard what I had to say again, and I let him utter the last useless word.

This stopped the bullying anyway.

A bit later, he told me: "We know each other!..." as if this justified anything. We, human beings, have a tendency to believe that more is permitted with those we are familiar with. In a sense, it's true, familiar ways are ways we can't use with anyone. Does that justifies violence? Of course not.

I answered, a bit stupidly "I hope so!" as if things would have been worse if they didn't. Never mind. I had named the behavior. Naming is like switching on the light in the shadow...Shaming is not necessary.

Nobody else, on that bus, had said anything. I don't blame them. In our world, we are blaming far too much, and not understanding enough. Maybe on that day I did the right thing. I don't always do. If I took advantage of this one right thing I did to point my finger at others in an accusatory manner, I would just perpetuate this habit of putting others down to feel better than them...

We need to be kind with ourselves and with others. We don't do spontaneously the "right things". We need to become aware, we need to overcome fears, we need to fail quite a few times before one day, we do or just say the right thing for once... and it's OK. It's life such as it is. We're learning...

May we all be happy!

I wish you to feel good as often and intensely as possible!

Take care.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Me too

Me too!

Yes I have been sexually harassed, and this post is not about making fun of women complaining about being badly treated. It's important to respect boundaries.

The last relationship I was in was abusive.

When you are a man, but using physical strength to balance power is not an option, then you can be sexually abused even by someone who is 15 kilograms short of muscles compared to you. I should have left but I had my whole lot of good and bad reasons to stay.

Abuse was complete absence of respect of my boundaries. I normally enjoy making love when it works well with a good emotional connection, but even though I was younger than I am today, when it happens on average twice per day, you can get a bit fed up, especially when you are never given the time you need to feel desire before you have to perform again...

Being pestered again and again and again is harassment. It is violence.

The choice I had was resisting by means of arguing, shouting, running outside.... or just letting the demanding hands getting me mechanically ready to perform so as to be done with it as quickly as possible.

As I am quite intuitive, I felt I was used as a kind of barrier between her and some kind of unbearable void. |Her behavior was compulsive. There was not much of a human connection in the process.

I remember one night, I was reading a very good novel, as you do in bed before putting the light off, but she kept interrupting my reading with such impatience I couldn't enjoy the end of the chapter. I jumped out of bed, put my clothes on and went walking outside. It was winter and freezing cold. She ran after me in a panic. I still see her, running bare feet, in an white bath robe floating around her, in the dark and desert street. She just couldn't bear not being permanently held, fucked, kissed...

I had my own bad and good reasons to stay. I have never been into any other relationship ever since.

Without respect no closeness is possible.


Monday, 14 August 2017

Sometimes you don't know what's real...

I was 22. I was playing bad guitar in front of my tent.
It was very hot. It was siesta time on the campsite.

All I was interested in at that time was to learn how to play the guitar but I was quite bad at it. I did not realise that my approach to music was entirely wrong. I wasn't playing music. I was just desperately testing my levels of self worth, entirely invested in this instrument, and nothing else really mattered.

I didn't understand how music worked, and I didn't know how to learn. I wouldn't have trusted a teacher. I wouldn't have trusted anybody for anything that mattered, and the only thing that really mattered was being able to play the guitar as a proof of being worth something on earth...

I was doing my little things when I heard a loud male voice. "Stop it!"
I instantly put the guitar down and looked around. Nobody was there. No angry bearded fellow was to be seen...

I was not sure I had really heard it. It must have been in my head. Then a little boy came up to me. He was about 3 years old. He laughed and told me: "I told you to stop!"
I looked at him, I found nothing to say, and he went.

Sometimes you don't know what's real...