There Will Be More School Shootings

by Ross Bishop

The Intersection of Social Failure

Sandy hook

Airplanes they say, crash because of multiple systems failures. Columbine, Sandy Hook, Aurora and Virginia Tech all represent significant multiple failures in the ways we regulate weapons and in our approaches to troubled people. The sad thing is that these tragedies are only the tip of a rather large iceberg. These problems have been screaming for resolution for a long time, and as is so often the case in America, it takes a catastrophe to bring them to our attention.

Limiting the availability of assault weapons and high capacity magazines is an essential part of the solution, but it is not the total answer. There are actually five important areas that intersect to create mass shooting tragedies, and each adds an element that ultimately together leads to disaster. These areas are: the way we view and treat troubled people, the sad failure of our mental health system, restrictions in the law, the availability of assault weapons and the nature of the dysfunction that drives mass killers.

There are answers to each of these aspects. Some will be expensive and others will require changes in our way of thinking. But since most of the changes will have to come through the political process, we can expect the special interests to be busy protecting their private agendas. However, one thing is absolutely assured – unless we do something substantial and soon, we’ll be having funerals for more a lot more innocent schoolchildren.

This is a complicated matter that touches on personal privacy issues, the right to own firearms, the power of the state vs individual freedom – especially as it relates to the confinement of angry, but not mentally ill people, the limits of police power, unlawful search and seizure and of course, the right of children to go to school or the mall without the threat of being killed.

The underlying fabric to this dilemma is the way we view and treat troubled people. We shun them, we fear them. They are the pariahs of society and we treat them like they used to treat the lepers in the Old Testament. Even with our enlightened modern perspective, we still try to sweep troubled people under the rug – or into alleys and freeway underpasses. A big part of our resolving this issue will have to do with us finding compassion in our hearts for these suffering people.

When it comes to the allocation of social resources, the emotionally troubled are always at the bottom of the barrel and the first to have funding cut when money gets tight. Over the past three years, conservatives in Congress have cut $4.3 billion from the federal mental health budget.

Our present mental health system has failed for two primary reasons – a lack of funding for facilities and resources and the inability of psychology to meaningfully help troubled people.

There was a time when we had large state mental hospitals. They were truly awful places, expensive warehouses for the mentally ill that offered little prospect for patients to ever get better. It was found that smaller, community-based mental health facilities could produce some results, so Congress shut off funding for big state hospitals – and then never bothered to provide money for community based health care. Also, people didn’t want mental health clinics in their neighborhoods, so faced with tight budgets and local opposition, the politicians folded.

Troubled people were simply turned out into the street to fend for themselves. In the public brouhaha after the horrible Virginia Tech shootings, gaping holes were exposed in the state of Virginia’s mental health system. The conservative Virginia legislature, traditionally opposed to any public funding for health care, allocated $43 million toward the state’s mental health system. A year later, when the media had gone away, the same legislature cut the state’s mental health budget by $50 million.

Troubled people don’t have a political lobby. There is no one to protest when mental health budgets are slashed and resources are eliminated. Plus, as I said, mental health care is always one of the first targets of budget cutting conservatives who are concerned about the expansion of socialized medicine. Political conservatives seem to possess antipathy towards the treatment of troubled people. Psychologists are typically viewed as fuzzy thinking liberals who want to help troubled people by providing socialized medicine.

When you read expert opinions and media accounts of shooters, keep a few things in mind: Mental illness has fairly specific diagnoses. And taken as a group, mentally ill people are no more violent than you are. There are a lot of people walking around who you might call “nuts” in street vernacular, who do not fit into the defined categories of mental illness.

There is a small percentage of mentally ill people, and we are not talking about large numbers here – specifically those with severe and untreated symptoms of schizophrenia with psychosis, major depression or bi-polar disorder, who are about twice as likely to be violent. Psychiatrists have created a category of illness called Antisocial Personality Disorder, which is sort of a catch-all for antisocial behavior.

People who have schizophrenia and substance-use issues do pose an even greater risk. They have a nine times higher risk of being violent. The association is especially marked in regards to homicide. People with schizophrenia are nearly 20 times as likely to kill as people unaffected by the disease. But, these are largely individual killings. Mass shooters are rarely substance abusers. And we should carefully distinguish between typical murderers, (remembering that any murder is a horrible thing!) and the special category of mass killers, because there are important differences.

We make a serious error when we categorically label mass killers as mentally ill. Mental illness is certainly an important consideration, but the mentally ill account for less than half of all multiple victim shootings. Of the 60 most recent mass shooters, acute paranoia, delusions, and depression were rampant among them, but only 38 of them displayed signs of mental health problems (not necessarily mental illness), prior to the killings.

Actually, there are even far fewer mentally ill involved if we only consider the “big” events. The large group of shooters, and we are only talking about 60 men out of a population of 35,000,000 young men, consists of troubled people who are not technically mentally ill, but who pose a serious threat because of their towering rage. Of the three major and many smaller gun tragedies in the nation in 2012, only one of the perpetrators seems to have been mentally ill. The others were just angry, feeling that they were right and everybody else was wrong. They see other people as responsible for their problems. They externalize blame, scapegoating groups or individuals – family, co-workers, neighbors — for whatever is wrong in their lives.

Violence is neither a diagnosis nor is it a disease, and ours remains a violent society. If you read the news, people kill each other every day, by the hundreds – in Afghanistan, New York and East LA, and very few of these people are mentally ill. A military officer who kills masses of people with a Predator drone may be many things, but he is not mentally ill. A drug dealer seeking to avenge a bad drug deal is little different from the mass shooter who seeks revenge for the abuses he feels have been done to him. These killers have been profiled by Paul Mullen, an esteemed Australian forensic psychologist:

They’re almost all male, there is one exception. They’re young. They tend to be in their 20s. They are typically social isolates. They very rarely have close friends or confidants. They almost never have an intimate relationship, although they sometimes have had brief relationships, which have usually failed.(1)

Interestingly, they’re not like many offenders, they don’t tend to have problems with alcohol and drugs. They’re certainly not impulsive, quite the reverse. These are rather rigid, obsessional individuals who plan everything extremely carefully. And most of these massacres have been planned for days, weeks, sometimes months ahead.

The other thing about them is that they are angry and resentful at the world, they blame the world for not having recognised their qualities, for having mistreated them and misused them. Resentment is central to their personalities.

They spend their time ruminating on all those past slights and offences. And they begin to develop a hatred for the whole world.

Perhaps most important of all, these people are on a project to suicide. They go out there to die, and they go out to die literally in what they see as a blaze of glory. They are seeking a sort of personal vindication through fame or, more precisely, infamy.

To summarize: although direct research is somewhat limited because shooters usually commit suicide, they do operate from an almost stereotypical pattern. The shooter kills in public during the daytime, plans his offense well in advance and comes prepared with a powerful arsenal of weapons. He has no escape plan and expects to be killed during the incident. The killer is driven by strong feelings of anger and resentment, flowing from beliefs of being persecuted or grossly mistreated. He is driven by fantasies of revenge.

These killers are calculating and delusional, but most often not mentally ill. If you met one, you’d think they were odd, but their behavior would not alert you to what they were planning. They can be episodic, so people who spend time with them such as parents, friends and teachers will know that something is wrong, but that can be said for many people, and trying to pick out a potential shooter from the millions troubled, frustrated and disenfranchised people is a daunting task to say the least.

But what is a teacher or parent to do? Several of the recent crop of mass killers could easily have been helped by a residential facility, but even though their problems had been identified, there was simply no program or facility to help them, and no mechanism in place to allow them to be legally referred out for help. So the concerns of teachers, family members and even therapists fell into an abyss in the system with as we now know, tragic consequences!

Most often a teacher or parent’s only resource is to call the police, but the police can only respond to a direct, immanent, violent threat. This puts the subject, if he looses his rigid composure (which is uncommon), into a criminal justice system that is neither equipped or prepared to deal with him.

There are almost no resources to help troubled people – no housing, no supervision, no guidance, counseling or vocational training. A callous political calculation has been made that killings such as Columbine, Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook are a cheaper alternative than to create community based mental health clinics and the billions of dollars and large infrastructure that would require.

Shooters do not see themselves as troubled but rather as victims, so these angry young men vehemently resist taking medications, being confined or receiving treatment. Many of the drugs they are prescribed have truly awful side effects (including violent behavior), further complicating an already difficult situation. These men are smart but their dysfunction is likely to have already brought them up against teachers, the police and psychiatrists, and they will have learned how to play the system to avoid being confined.

The lack of community support makes the well-meaning teacher or parent who seeks help for a subject, a target for the subject’s smoldering rage. And as we have sadly seen, these men can lash out with incredibly destructive rage or in a most interesting modern twist, lawsuits! Most parents are also unwilling to see their sons as troubled because that reflects back on them as parenting failures.

A critical element in the discussion of mass shooters obviously involves guns and their accessibility. There is a group of people in our society who fear that the government might try and take away their freedoms. These are usually men who feel personally powerless. And for people who feel powerless, like a victimized shooter or an NRA member, an assault rifle can be the great equalizer.

The need of these men to defend themselves against a fantasied governmental incursion has led them to create an open market for assault style weapons that regrettably, can easily get into the wrong hands (either legally or illegally). The fear of these “Defenders of Freedom” puts the rest of us at grave risk. Eighty percent of the perpetrators of the 62 most recent mass shootings obtained their weapons legally.

Gushow

Besides, home security can easily be accomplished by less aggressive weapons. And as far as protection from a governmental incursion is concerned, if you consider the premise of armed civilians going up against the might of the Army with its tanks, trained troops and helicopter gunships, the whole concept becomes pretty ridiculous. But, in one sense the NRA is right, guns are only the instruments of mayhem. But, the pivotal factor that the NRA conveniently chooses to ignore is that a rage filled person with a Bushmaster assault rifle is massively more deadly and dangerous than one without. Mass killers don’t use knives or baseball bats. Assault weapons have been perfected as instruments of death and they are incredibly effective at doing it! And that is why we must get them and high capacity magazines off the street!

The NRA, controlled and funded by gun manufacturers, purposefully and unconscionably, fuels their member’s fears, as it attempts to gain support for its private agenda, which is a society where everyone carries guns – essentially a throwback to the violent Wild West of the 1880′s.

The other aspect of the weapons discussion has to do with their sheer availability. There are over 350,000,000 guns in America and anyone who wants a gun can easily get one. You can go to any city in America and in 48 hours purchase enough guns and ammunition (including heavy weapons), to equip a small army.

gun  show

America is violent country. Our homicide rates are SEVEN TIMES higher than rates in the other high-income countries. More than half of all murders are committed with guns. Our firearm homicide rates are TWENTY TIMES higher. For youths fifteen to twenty-four years old, firearm homicide rates in America are FORTY THREE TIMES higher than in other countries.(1)

Another issue in this discussion, and what has until now been a sacred cow, is the failure of psychotherapy to heal people. The simple truth is that psychotherapy and drugs just don’t work very well. But, since they have been the only game in town and they come from the esteemed medical profession, politicians give them approval because of the way the legal system esteems psychiatry, (which even amongst practicing psychotherapists is a standing joke!) The alternative is to warehouse troubled people like we do criminals – who we also don’t seem to know how to help.

Shamanism (and you must accept my bias here) has a remarkable record of helping emotionally troubled people to heal, but it is a foreign concept from “backward” tribal cultures, difficult to teach in university classrooms and is spiritually and not medically or “scientifically” based. Besides, there are relatively few really qualified shaman around. So, even though the psychotherapy car already has several flat tires, we continue to try and drive it down the road.

The law doesn’t help much in dealing with troubled people either. The courts are understandably, exceedingly touchy about confining someone against their will without a certification of mental illness. And as I said, most mass killers do not meet the the mental illness requirement. Acts of mass murder are so heinous that it is difficult to attribute them to normal people, but shooters are merely the extreme fringe of a culture that engages in deadly violence every day. In America hundreds of people are killed every single day. I don’t personally agree with the psychiatric categorizations of mental illness, but these are the rules that the law and the courts have chosen to adopt.

When a troubled person attracts attention, the police are usually called. But the only resource a police officer has is jail, and that’s only going to be for a short time. Sometimes they can pawn the troubled person off to a shelter. If a seriously troubled person comes for therapy, unless he or she represents an imminent and immediate threat to themselves or to others, the system effectively forbids the therapist from doing anything beyond counseling. Even if the subject is a ticking time bomb, unless he or she expresses an active desire to cause harm, therapists, the police, teachers, the clergy and even the courts are denied any real resource for intervention.

And when a person does present an active threat, they can only be hospitalized for 72 hours before being committed as mentally ill, if they actually happen to be so, and if there is a bed available, which these days is rare. A colleague of mine in Virginia had a potentially violent client, checked with the state and found 70 other violent people already waiting in line. By the end of the day, this violent and potentially explosive man was back on the street. The only consolation for mental health professionals is the miracle that more killings aren’t happening every day!

I would like to end by making a few suggestions. These are not complete answers, but they would go a very long way toward mitigating the current situation:

GUNS
Since an assault weapon cannot be used for hunting, and personal defense can be easily accomplished by other means, it is time that society took a stand and joined the rest of the civilized world to establish bans on assault weapons and large capacity magazines. Further, the purposefully designed loopholes in the present reporting system for weapons sales such as unregulated private and gun show sales must be closed. Unfortunately, having the government maintain a list of gun owners feeds right into the paranoia that makes NRA members want assault weapons in the first place!

IDENTIFYING POTENTIAL SHOOTERS
In a many cases, troubled people can be identified before things go bad. I have mentioned having a referral system based on observations from therapists, law enforcement officers, clergy, teachers and even family members. It would be simple to backstop these referrals with a qualified professional so that errors would be minimized.

There are tests that could help identify people who are likely to need help in the future. It would be possible to test all sixteen to twenty year olds for a host of issues. This could cull out most, but unfortunately not all, of the people likely to be future shooters.

But, there is no sense identifying these people if we are not going to provide the resources to help them. The names of people meeting critical criteria could be denied access to firearms. Civil libertarians will not like it, but under the circumstances, it would seem to be a reasonable limitation of personal freedom. Access to this list could be selectively given to parents, teachers, the clergy, therapists, the courts and law enforcement officers.

RESOURCES
There is a desperate need for community based, residential facilities for troubled people. These facilities must be sufficiently funded and staffed so that the needs of patients could be addressed and the reasonable concerns of neighbors mitigated. This would provide a badly needed resource for parents, therapists, law enforcement officers, the clergy, the courts and educators who, with some changes in the law, could refer out troubled people with protection from retribution and lawsuits. This represents a very large expenditure, probably the equivalent cost of an aircraft carrier or a few nuclear missiles.

PSYCHOTHERAPY
Psychotherapy has emphasized cognitive behavioral health for years. Cognitions and behaviors are measurable, observable. And to some extent, altering thoughts and behaviors does help MANAGE emotional issues. But in only rare cases does it HEAL them. This leaves open room for relapse when the person is subjected to challenging circumstances.

There are other healing methods like shamanism that have an established history of providing exactly the healing that troubled shooters require. These approaches can reach the cause of the underlying problems and address them. It is time to begin looking into some of these alternate approaches.

THE LAW
Confining someone against their will who is not mentally ill and who already feels victimized by the world is going to pose a nightmare for the courts and legislators. Where do you draw the line? What about errors in diagnosis? And there will be some. This matter is subjective and emotionally loaded, presenting land mines for the legal system.
As I said, this is a complex issue with many moving parts.

Solutions will require changes in the concerns some politicians have about socialized medicine and our present legal prohibitions around personal privacy. Creating community based mental health clinics will be expensive. But most importantly, what needs to change are the views, fear and ostracism we hold towards troubled people.We need to find our compassion for them. Societies do not die in a cataclysm, that is only the final event in a series of unresolved social issues that cause the social fabric to decay. To delay, to not provide care for the many troubled people who live amongst us, is to only invite more school shootings, and the painful thing about that is what it says about a society that is unwilling to respond to the cries of its neediest people. Perhaps the Mayans were right after all.

 

(1) To clarify Mullen’s point: Interviews tell us that mass shooters are not exactly loners. They do not seek isolation, and have “friends,” but their social experience is marked by a history of struggling to connect. They experience rejection by their peers or they draw back from potential friendships, assuming they’ll be rejected if they try. They believe they are perceived as unimportant and insignificant. Many mass shooters, rather than wanting to be alone, end up that way because they cannot maintain a connection.

(2) (http://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/johns-hopkins-center-for-gun-policy-and-research/publications/WhitePaper102512_CGPR.pdf)

 Copyright 2013 Ross Bishop

Healing

by Ross Bishop

In the Western world, healing is a lot like plumbing repair. You fix what is broken. A bad heart is simply a bad heart and you deal with it. And we have developed some simply phenomenal techniques and technologies for doing that.

In more traditional societies the healing process requires that in addition to dealing with the immediate problem, one also must also address the cause of the failure. In tribal belief systems the body is having trouble because of an underlying emotional or psychic cause and both must be addressed if the individual is to heal.

In shamanic practice, what is called “soul loss” is considered to be the source of emotional or physical disturbance. Soul loss can occur from shock or trauma or more typically from habitually refusing to listen to the guidance of the gods or spirits. When presented with cancer, arthritis or heart disease, a shaman will look for the emotional or psychic disturbance which has resulted in an emotional or physical “breakdown.” The shaman knows that unless these originating causes are addressed, the disturbance within the client’s system will simply either reoccur or manifest elsewhere in another form.

People who know nothing of shamanic practices will often speak of feeling a hole in their spirit. If this separated part is not “retrieved,” the person is then vulnerable to both spiritual and physical assault.

Navaho medicine woman Annie Kahn describes illness as “the habit of excluding,” which disturbs our natural harmony. She says, “To heal, one must . . . accept. This very act causes healing.” Similarly, the Iroquois believe that disease results from the conflict created when the soul’s needs are not being met. They believe that the soul becomes resentful when ignored, and then creates difficulties for the individual.

The soul’s perspective is, of course, God’s perspective. So, to the Iroquois, disease is the result of us turning away from God. In a similar vein, the Mayans see disease as the result of the gods being disturbed by a person’s behavior or attitude. The misalignment of man’s spiritual nature as the source of physical or emotional trouble is a theme found often in the beliefs of indigenous cultures.

Carl Jung wrote, “When the God is not acknowledged, egomania develops, and out of this mania comes sickness.” It has taken many years, but even some Western physicians are beginning to see thingsfrom a larger perspective. Jean Achterberg, a professor of psychology and physical medicine writes, “It is becoming increasingly clear, that what the shamans refer to as soul loss – that is, injury to the inviolate core which is the essence of a person’s being – does manifest as despair, immunological damage, cancer, and a host of other very serious disorders.”

So, your blood pressure may be high, your cholesterol count may be worrisome, your joints may be stiff or one of your arteries may be weakening, but to traditional healers the heart disease, arthritis, stroke or cancer which could manifest from these things are regrettable, but natural extensions of originating psychic or emotional disturbance.

In ancient belief systems, this is where the concept of sacrifice became important. To the ancients, including our Greek and Roman predecessors, “healing” meant to do service to the gods, or in other words, to make a sacrifice so that one would bring into conscious awareness one’s misalignment with the Universal. Sacrifice in its essence then, means making sacred that which has been profaned, i.e., to learn to love that to which one has been closed. In making life sacred, the toxicity of human hubris is drawn out from people as they heal the wounds created by their ego-driven fear. In fact, the origin of our word “gift” comes from a Germanic word meaning that which is toxic to the profane.

In making each act, every moment sacred, life itself becomes sacred. People are then brought back to their essential connection to the universe. Sacrifice becomes an act of contrition, a way to resolve karma. To cure a ‘disease’ is to heal the spiritual body, which has lost touch with the rest of the universe. Unfortunately, the concept of sacrifice became corrupted in some societies and has been further exploited in our modern understanding by Hollywood’s insatiable appetite for sensationalism.

When Jesus healed the sick it was through forgiveness, not through the manipulation of the body. In Christian theology, the Holy Spirit, the third part of the Trinity, is described as the creative, healing and renewing presence of God, which must be reintroduced into a disharmonious system in order to heal it.

In my other writings I address The Universal Rule, which is to: LOVE EVERYTHING. That which we do not love, we profane. And, it is that profanity which can make us ill. In the ancient tradition, it is that which we do not love to which we need to make sacrifice, i.e., to make sacred in order that we may heal.

A corollary to the Universal Rule is Walker’s Rule, which states that, “Anything you do not love will become a lesson.” Using Walker’s Rule, we see the implications for healing spelled out in the tribal philosophies mentioned earlier. Whether it is “the habit of excluding,” “soul loss,” or “the unmet soul,” illness is the natural result of turning away from our God-self.

Close your heart and you will feel discomfort – physical and/or emotional discomfort. That’s Walker’s rule in operation. Persist, and the contraction will create pain and eventually disease. The Universe is obliged to let you know when you close your heart. That is the purpose of contraction, pain and disease, each operating to awaken at a deeper level of awareness.

We generally think of closing our hearts in relation to other people, but the person we close our hearts to the most is ourselves. As Bartholomew put it, “If you had a friend who treated you the way you treat yourself, you’d get another friend!”

So the process of healing begins with the love of self. And I know it’s the umpteenth time you’ve heard that message, and as simple as it is to say, I also know that it can be a difficult thing to do. What I want to reinforce is that in addressing this issue you also address the core reason you came to earth. You are here to make a conscious connection with your God-self and the most vital part of that process is learning to love and accept yourself.

Learning to love yourself can be problematic and is far too complex a subject to deal with in these few paragraphs, but my two books, Healing The Shadow and Truth were specifically written to address the issues related to self love. But for the moment, it will help you a great deal to become aware of what you do not love.

If you will consciously try to practice the Universal Rule to LOVE EVERYTHING, you will begin to see where there are soft spots in your process. Scan your life and practice loving everything in it. Watch for “blips” or rough spots that indicate a problem. Now turn your attention to yourself. What do you think of yourself? Any lack of love there? AS you do this you will become aware of places where you hold back, where you do not love, where you are reluctant to open your heart. This is valuable information, because it is around these contractions that disease can form if they are left unattended.

If you want to take this further, and I hope you will, you can deal with those issues by learning the Shamanic Journey and Tangible Truth processes taught in my books and CD’s. I’m sorry to sound like a commercial, but there is just no way to teach these techniques in a short article. The positive message is that you can do something about the negative views you hold of yourself. Having better health is an important reason, and so is the opportunity to have a happier life.

I will leave you with a thought from my friend Don Robertson:

“What if each waking moment could be used to reveal the love that I am?”

Namiste`

©2004 Blue Lotus Press. 
Reproduction is permitted with attribution.

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Spirituality and Life

by Ross Bishop

I wrote a few weeks ago that maybe I could shorten these pieces when I figured out which words were God’s and which one’s were mine. Without consciously thinking about it, I touched on something far deeper than just these writings. Several of you wrote me about that thought and we began a dialogue about the role of spirituality in contemporary life.

You see, in the old days, just about everything was done for very different reasons than it is today. People lived close to the spirits of nature and life was a spiritual experience. The plants were honored for their healing powers and gift of food, and the animals were respected for their unique and powerful qualities. Illness was seen as a disharmony between the person and the gods that needed attention. Gratitude was given to the gods for good harvests, loving friends and daily meals. By our standards these people were superstitious and ignorant. They would see our world as narcissistic, superficial and in serious need of healing.

The shaman stood at the center of the old world, a lynchpin between the people and the world of the spirits or gods. Shaman did ceremony to honor the spiritual beings and to encourage their help. The shamanic journey was a powerful ceremony that opened the door to healing. A shaman’s song and his drumming brought healing. The shaman knew the plants and animal spirits and could call upon their power for healing. Dancing and ceremony was done to rebalance that which human hubris had set asunder and to help in dealing with a sickness or injury. Shaman drew or carved images of the gods to honor them, and imbued these images with special healing properties. A person in need of healing might be given a stone or jewel talisman with special properties to ward off disruptive spirits. These objects were valued by the community for their mystical properties. Sometimes they would be loaned to other villages to provide needed help.

Somewhere along the line, a shaman learned to set special healing stones in gold or silver, perhaps because it was a very special stone or as a special token to a tribal elder or chief. Other dancers, storytellers, and makers of sacred images became specialized and prized for their work. The pieces they created took on a meaning beyond their spiritual significance. Some of these objects began to be traded as their spiritual value made them valuable. But as they traveled further from home, the spiritual significance of these items diminished with the loss of connection to their native culture, but their uniqueness and art held special value of its own. As time progressed, the “art” began to take on a life separate from its mystical roots.

As the world became commercial, value was created in these things for their craft. Music, dance, literature, theater, poetry, carving and painting all became forms unto themselves and took on profane value and would only occasionally look back to their spiritual origins. “Exotic” things from far away lands became curios for wealthy merchants and princes. Gems and stones were valued for their beauty and priced for their rarity, not for their healing power. Craft and the arts became businesses – art for art’s sake and for entertainment, developing their own culture and values.

Living in town allowed people to specialize their skills and trade for what they needed, separating them further from nature. When food was purchased in the market, there was more reason to thank the farmer than to thank God. New religions tended to destroy the practices of older, competing nature-based faiths in order to eliminate the competition. In the “New World” for example, the Spaniards built Catholic churches on the foundations of the Aztec and Inca temples they destroyed.

Also about this time, science began to explain the mechanics of the world and removed much of the mystery and magic from life. It offered itself as a substitute for God, proclaiming that, “God is dead.” Science offered explanations for how things worked but for all its many accomplishments, was never intended to explain why things were as they are. And, when medicine comes in a bottle or capsule, we tend to thank the pharmacist, not its Maker.

Also, the spiritual institutions of the time had become incredibly corrupt. They had totally lost touch with the needs of the people. As science and commerce threatened their dominance over society, the various faiths tightened their control, creating forms of religious rigidity (the Inquisition, Puritanism) previously unknown except in cult situations. This rigidity ultimately alienated the populace and hastened the demise of these fundamentalist faiths.

The Industrial Revolution with its focus on capitalism and materialistic values drove a stake into society’s spiritual heart. Any remaining spiritual significance was forced out of life or turned into a ritualistic shell. God went out of daily life and was no longer found at home or in the fields, forests and meadows. So we stopped saying grace at dinner and thanking God for our lives. Besides, when God vanishes from nature, it is easier to cut down trees or pollute the streams and oceans.

And so today we have arrived at a place that is almost completely opposite from our beginnings. Commerce and the desire for power drives modern society. Heart and healing are left for charities. We seek to dominate and control nature. We no longer thank God for our existence and have removed spirituality – ceremony and ritual – from our daily lives. The modern global corporation is the most spiritually empty and heartless institution ever created by man.

Today, largely outside the West, a great rebirth of spirituality is underway all over the planet. People are beginning to seek alternatives to economic life. As much a protest against Western capitalism as a religious movement, Islam is attracting millions of new followers. Catholicism has blossomed all throughout Africa and in the 3rd and 4th worlds. There has even been serious talk that the next Pope could come from Africa. Just about all you hear on the radio in the Caribbean these days is religious or spiritual music. It may not be your brand of spirituality, but fundamentalist Christians swung the recent American presidential election. Today in Kansas fundamentalists are arguing that children should be taught that there is an order and consciousness to the universe that precedes scientific explanations like evolution.

Change of this kind gathers energy quietly, almost silently, amongst millions of individuals and then with seeming suddenness, bursts to the surface like the great tsunami. It is an unkempt and messy process, that makes strange bedfellows of people with diverse beliefs, but it comes with an unstoppable force.

The bloody and painful battle to end slavery and create racial equality (the Civil War, the civil rights movement, etc.) and the more recent struggle for sexual equality reorder social values. They ultimately bring us closer together, and push us to appreciate each other more. The world changed after WW II and America changed because of the conflict over Viet Nam. We also still have a ways to go.

Our present difficulties with HIV/AIDS, gay rights and animal rights will bring us even closer together, not just as people but also as species. These ãdifficultiesä will be followed by global struggles for racial, ethnic and gender equality. Eventually they will lead to a massive struggle for global economic equality. These struggles are never easy and sometimes bloody, but they do serve to join our hearts.

The recent tsunamis in Southeast Asia that came in seconds with the power of many, many nuclear weapons, reminds us of the frailty of human life and the falseness of our belief in dominance over nature. Global warming and the tsunamis are just a small few first steps in a process that will disturb the security created by false economic gods. There will be more.

People ask me why I became a shaman. Truthfully, I didnât have much choice in the matter. You see, God and I have not been on good terms for much of my life. My early years were pretty rough and I used to blame God when things went “wrong.” And, as some of you know, you can milk that anger for a long time. It allows you to hold your negative beliefs about yourself, not look at why your life isn’t working and to not have to change. You’re not very happy, life is a pain and you rationalize and compromise everything you do, but you donât have to face that awful self that you are sure is inside. As Carlos Rey wrote, ãOur dreams are what we are meant to be. Our life is what we settled for.ä

Interestingly, at the same time all this painful stuff was happening in my life, there was a deep spiritual connection within me that I could not deny. It kept pushing me into a series of experiences that forced me into conflict with the beliefs I held about myself. I didnât always understand what was happening, because as is so often true in life, you only really see by hindsight. Grudgingly I began to give up my old refuge of hurt and pain. So there I was, being pulled like a moth into a flame in spite of my anger and resistance. It felt pretty schizophrenic sometimes, and I certainly didn’t like it! Eventually, as life is wont to do, I got thrown into a series of crises that “encouraged” me to give up my old ways of being and thinking in favor of a more enlightened perspective.

I’d love to be able to say that I saw the light and chose this path because I knew it was for my higher good. I didn’t. Much of the time, at least in the early stages, I got dragged through the mud by the nose and only changed because I didn’t want to have to do that again! Today it is a much different story, but I paid a price to get here.

I have remained a shaman because it is the best way I could find to get close to God. And, after giving up my struggles, it has become the most important thing in my life. I can’t paint or draw worth a darn. I love music but I’ve never been able to get past figuring out scales on sheet music. I couldn’t find God in any of the organized religions, but I can shaman right up there with the best in the world, so once I was led onto this path, I took it.

I know that many of you are going through your own version of what I experienced. The task I have set for myself is to help you avoid some of the rocks and pitfalls I fell into, and to help you find a more gentle way to come home. And it is possible. I know that now. And, the Universe is changing to more readily facilitate your process. Many of you have told me that you feel this already happening.

We are being asked to find spiritual direction in our lives. Each of the global forces of which I speak is going to push you to open the places where your heart is closed. Much of this will focus on your lack of love for yourself. You are also going to be asked in a hundred different ways to “re-find” your connection to the Creator. The result looks like putting spirituality back in life (note that I said spirituality, not religion). You are going to be asked (ever more forcefully) to move from your present beliefs and feelings of unworthiness to a place of compassion. T.S. Eliot wrote, ãWe must not cease from exploration and at the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began, and to know it for the first time.ä

Today you have the luxury of working at your own pace. That isn’t going to last a great deal longer. Take my word for it, start now, start today. It is a lot easier if you do it now instead of waiting until you don’t have a choice. Make your spiritual growth the most important thing in your life. If you donât do it today, circumstances will demand it of you tomorrow.

So, what should you do? It’s really rather simple. Just open your heart to the next person you come into contact with. Then do the same with the next person and the one after that, and so on. Do this especially if you are irritated or have issues with them. Watch where you hold back, where you are uncomfortable or fear being embarrassed, or otherwise hold back.

Call up six people you care about and tell them that you are glad that they are in your life. Give a bunch of people today an extra warm greeting or maybe even a hug. Later in the day when you realize that you have been pulled off track and forgot about being compassionate, just stop and start all over. The wonderful thing about life is that each moment is disconnected from the next. At any point you can change what you have been doing and start over.

The goal is to practice loving others until you can hold that space with every waking moment. And, when you have made good progress toward loving others, then start to work on loving yourself.

Somewhere in this process you will begin to bump up against the fears and beliefs that keep you from loving freely and openly, and that is when the work really begins. The first thing to do is to not deny that youâve hit a bump. Donât blame them, donât blame circumstances or life. Itâs your bump. Otherwise you wouldnât be hurting, youâd be an observer. What you are up against is old conditioning that created beliefs like: you can be hurt, you are not lovable, you are not good enough, etc., etc. These are the things that keep you from being compassionate. Untangling those old feelings can take a little time and itâs too complex a subject to be dealt with in an article, but my books and CD’s are dedicated to helping with this part of the process. You can order them from my web site: www.rossbishop.com.

When I set out to design a workshop about this work I chose to focus on relationship because relationships are our most powerful teachers. I teach the methods and techniques that you will need to deal with the challenges that lie ahead. I invite you to join us sometime for a weekend of growth.

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly. -Richard Bach

©2005 Blue Lotus Press. 
Reproduction is permitted with attribution.

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Why Can’t I Heal?

by Ross Bishop

No one likes emotional pain, and yet we all have it. Some of us carry around a lot of it. We all want to heal; yet doing that seems almost beyond our reach. We try and try and sometimes it doesn’t seem as though we are accomplishing very much. We look for answers in the stars, get advice from psychics, do the I-Ching and consult all manner of oracles. We look to God for help, and feel frustrated and abandoned when our pain and problems continue. Interestingly, we persistently refuse to do the one thing that would make a real difference.

What is it that keeps you from being at peace? What stifles your passion and keeps you from being the person you could be? Yes, life can be unfair and your partner can be a jerk, but those aren’t the things that really hold you back, are they?

When push comes to shove, you get scared. You’ve been hurt and you’re afraid to be hurt again. You shut down, close off and pull back from life. This isn’t about sexual or racial discrimination or being smart enough or the hundred other things you blame your failures on. They can be factors, but they are not causal. The bottom line is that you fear that when you are tested, you won’t measure up. It has felt that way in the past, so it’s better to hide in obscurity than to risk being found out and rejected.

I’m not here to give you another pep talk about overcoming your fears or self-doubts. That stuff doesn’t really work anyway. What we have to look at is the conflict between the deeper truth that you know – that you really are a beautiful, wonderful, special person, and the manifested fears that dominate your life. This conflict is the reason that life and healing can be so difficult.

You come to the table sincerely wanting to heal your pain, while at the same time, another part of you holds powerful negative beliefs about yourself. It’s like a two-headed monster pulling in opposite directions. You want peace, you want to heal, and this other part of you is so convinced that this is not possible that it finds ways to sabotage everything you try to do. It’s not being contrary, it sincerely believes that it must keep you safe by protecting you from certain condemnation. I love Bartholomew’s line that, “If you had a friend who said the kind of things you say to yourself, you’d get another friend!”

This all becomes more complicated because we have free will. Having free will means that if we are going to change our beliefs, we must be the ones who decide. No one else can do it for us. Essentially, you look to God and plead, “Please help me to heal.” And God looks down and says, “How? You won’t let me!” And so long as you hold beliefs that you are unlovable and unworthy, you’re not going to get very far in your healing. And God cannot do much about it (at least directly – more about this later). To do so would violate free will.

So, God cannot help you until you decide to accept His love. And unfortunately we humans can be pretty stubborn. This is not a small matter. Many people force themselves to endure extraordinary pain and suffering before they give up their ego-based beliefs and surrender to His love. When people come to me for healing it is because they are desperate, beaten down and frustrated. If they felt that their old way of doing things could still work, they wouldn’t be asking for my help. Sometimes people come wanting a miracle so that they can avoid their pain, not have to change and go on with life, but it doesn’t work that way. Saving them would be about the worst thing I could do for them. That’s why God doesn’t do it either.

We see this pattern very clearly with alcohol and drug addiction. Addicts begin to destroy their lives and create a lot of pain for themselves and the people around them. Hopefully at some point they realize that something is very wrong. They (usually with the help of loved ones and friends) put themselves into a rehab program, and then they very frequently relapse. Why? Because they have stopped using, but they have not dealt with the deeper pain that caused them to abuse in the first place. It is only (in most cases) the second collapse that makes them realize that they are going to have to reach much deeper if they are going to deal with what’s actually driving them. Then real healing can take place.

Unfortunately, our society really gets in the way of people’s innate healing processes. One of the great foundations of Western civilization has been our attitude toward overcoming obstacles, no matter how difficult. We have tamed rivers, conquered diseases and walked on the moon. We have built great cities in hostile deserts and harnessed the vast power of nuclear energy. We can do almost anything we choose.

Our Roman ancestors gave us the motto, “carpe diem”, which translates to “seize the day,” and it expresses our attitude toward taking control of life. We seek to conquer nature so that we can control our fate. All you need do is reach out and seize life by the throat and bend it to your will. It’s only a matter of desire and determination. If it is not happening, either you are not doing it right, you’re not trying hard enough or something else is wrong with you. Right? Well, not exactly.

That’s the funny thing about life. Whenever you act in contravention to the Universal, something always comes through the cracks to upset the furniture. Feudalism didn’t work, slavery didn’t work, monarchy didn’t work, religion didn’t work, colonialism didn’t work, fascism didn’t work and materialistic capitalism is next. People oppressed by these social structures will always create conflict with it. As has been said, “Those who you keep down will eventually drag you down.”

One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. What the establishment calls terrorism, repressed people will see as patriotic heroism. Whatever you call it, it keeps tripping up and undermining the establishment.

The thing is, regardless of what you would like to have happen, the you that you see in the mirror does not control your life. The Universe (another you) does. You may want to be the captain of your ship, but the fundamental trajectory of your life is controlled by a process far greater than your worldly desires. And that is a very difficult concept for some Westerners to swallow.

We have created a culture that in some very important ways runs almost completely counter to the Universal. As an example, “success” in the West means checking your humanity at the door. Al Davis crystallized this philosophy with his slogan “Win baby, win,” for his Oakland Raider football team. Unspoken in his words are, “at any cost.” The great football deity, Vince Lombardi preached, “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.”

The shadow side of this version of achievement is that when people “fail,” the emotional burden placed upon them can be very heavy. If you don’t climb to the top of the heap, or if you don’t want that kind of success, you are just not as good as the other guys. We build shame and feelings of inadequacy into the process as negative motivators.

We have always known that the captains of industry could be heartless and that politicians were corrupt. We leave the idea of compassion to our spiritual teachers and healers. It seems that in this society one can have truth or power, but not both. However, this is mostly because what we call power is not true power. It is intimidation and manipulation, and these qualities are incompatible with truth.

People of real power – the Lincoln’s, Gandhi’s, Martin Luther King’s and Mother Theresa’s of the world, achieved real success by touching the fundamental humanity in people’s hearts. Bill Gates, Ken Lay, Dick Cheney, John Ashcroft and most of corporate America cannot do that. They have bought into another belief system built on false power, manipulation and a “win at any cost” mentality. These people have turned away from the basic reason we have come to earth. They worship “false gods” as it were, as compensation for the truth that they have forsaken. We came to earth to learn to listen to our hearts – the very thing that Western scientific society strives so very hard to deny.

What is shaping and controlling your life is the degree to which you love yourself, or your relationship with God (which are the same thing). You are not in control of that process. A much larger force, we could call it “love of self,” is shaping and guiding the events of your life. You have influence on that path, which I will talk about later, but you do not determine it. And, as loving and wonderful as the place of self love can be, we fear it.

I want to tell you about one of my favorite cartoons. The setting is the foyer of a lecture hall with doors opening to two different lectures. At the first door there is a large line of people waiting expectantly with pens and notebooks in hand. There is no one at the second door. The sign over the first lecture hall reads, “Lecture about God.” The sign over the [empty] second door, simply reads, “God.”

We can chuckle at the cartoon, but it illustrates the fundamental dilemma that we all face in reconnecting with our God-consciousness. It’s easy to read books and learn to meditate and go to workshops about spiritual growth, but actually facing God is a significantly different matter. It forces us out of the protection of our intellect into what feels like the less secure realm of feelings and emotions. Unfortunately, this is what life on earth is ultimately about. A matter at which, by the way, we have done rather poorly.

It’s pretty incredible if you think about it. If you were to add up the hours spent and the energy expended over these thousands of years in prayer, doing ceremony, going to church and reading holy writings like the Bible, Buddha’s Sutras or the Bhagavad-Gita, etc., all over the world, by a hundred generations, the total expenditure of human time and energy has been simply astronomical. All the effort that has been expended toward spiritual development – to reach enlightenment, or personal peace, or God awareness, or whatever you want to call it, could have built thousands of great cities, but what have we gotten for it?

It wasn’t a waste of time. There have been notable and laudable achievements. Feudalism is gone, slavery is uncommon and many people around the planet live in relative freedom today. But ethnic and racial conflict and strife are frequent. We still let people starve and die from easily preventable diseases. Half the world’s population doesn’t have clean drinking water, decent sanitation, etc., etc. So we have a long way to go in terms of learning to love each other, and to that end, I think one has to question whether we’ve been really getting our time and money’s worth from our spiritual endeavors.

Fundamentalists will tell us that we have been impeded toward enlightenment because of our personal weaknesses and sinful behavior, but I do not think that is the case. That is a setup to create guilt and shame and to make people dependent upon fundamentalist religion for salvation. As an aside, the more I learn about these fundamentalist beliefs, the more difficult it is for me to see these people as Christian. It’s like a Middle Eastern terrorist wrapping him or herself in the cloak of Islam. No matter what you wrap it in, a fish still smells like a fish.

Certainly we have a ways to go in our development, and lord knows, we make our share of mistakes, but the vast majority of people all around the planet are good, well meaning, caring, loving, decent souls. It has always been that way, and yet real connection with our God-selves eludes us. I have said before in these writings that when you find something massively “out of kilter” in human society, you need to look for deeper and more significant explanations, and that is certainly true in this case.

The simple answer is that the game of life has been rigged. For thousands of years during The Age of Karma, your chances of making a really meaningful God-connection have been virtually nil. Profound spiritual development has been designed out of the process, while the desire for enlightenment has not. The resulting inevitable frustration was intended. Christ came to us with a message of love and compassion, knowing full well that we would not be able to go there. He lovingly set us up.

There are two basic reasons for this. Imagine humankind as a giant spring. The more you wind it up, the more power it has to do work. Over thousands of years of failure in making a meaningful God connection, we have built up a powerful inner frustration. We have looked again and again for salvation, and He hasn’t been there (so we thought). We have internalized the resulting feelings of abandonment as personal unworthiness.

These feelings and our eons-old frustration with God, hold enormous potential energy. They are an enormous spring; all wound up and ready to erupt. That frustration will provide the energy for a monumental and unprecedented transformation of human consciousness.

As I work with groups I ask people about their relationship with God. I also ask them how worthy they feel. The results are surprising. What are the odds that you could take room after room of hundreds and hundreds of people and have almost every person tell you that they felt unworthy? I have had that experience repeated many, many times. When we find a substantial anomaly in the human experience, we are obliged to look for deeper explanations. It is my judgment that around the world, humankind’s giant spring is becoming explosively loaded.

I said that there were two reasons for the separation from the God experience. The first involves the creation of potential energy as we have discussed. The second has to do with ownership.

How different does it feel for you to work for and earn something than to have it handed to you? Certainly gifts are nice, but when you have paid with something through your hard work and effort, it takes on a much greater significance. To strengthen that concept even further, it is when you have lost something that you really come to appreciate it. Read the accounts of how near-death experiences massively change people’s appreciation for life. And, the further out you go, the greater the appreciation you feel for what you have had.

So what does all this have to do with God? Well, how separated do you feel from the God-consciousness right now? How alone and unloved and unlovable do you feel at your core? How deeply do the feelings of unworthiness cut into your gut? When you come back to the God-space, your feelings of separation will foster an appreciation of that space simply not possible in any other way. And the pain that you have experienced along the way will energize your process. And from where you are probably sitting at the moment, the process can seem unfair, arbitrary and perhaps even cruel. I assure you that it is not. It is our resistance to opening our hearts that causes us pain and makes the process difficult.

What you need in order to grow and develop has been determined, and you are going to experience what you need, regardless of how you feel about it. And because much of what you need to learn puts you up against your fears and anxieties, I can assure you that you are not going to like it.

The good news is that the rules are changing and that you are going to come home. We have entered an age with somewhat different rules from those of the past. This age, which will be known as The Age of Awakening, will be a 50-year period of unprecedented transformation in human consciousness.

So where does that leave you? Probably confused, frustrated and maybe a little bit scared. The bleed-through of your past life experiences during The Age of Karma has probably left a pretty sour taste in your mouth when it comes to your relationship with God. It strongly influences your present-day beliefs and attitudes.

So this grand process is going to affect all of humanity and you will be swept up in it. Are you powerless to affect the outcome? The answer is yes and no. You are not going to be able to stand in front of the parade with a flag and affect the course of the great ship of life. Humankind is on its path, and the collective agendas of 6 billion other people will determine where we go.

Now, does that mean that you should just sit on the couch, turn on Oprah and wait for enlightenment? No. Life does not work that way. There is a very important related issue, which you do control. You may not be able to direct your life, but you do decide how you will respond to what happens. I will repeat: the quality of your life experience is largely determined not by what happens, but by how you respond to it. Whether you look at life from an individual or a societal perspective, there is only one process occurring. You are being asked to learn to love. To love others for certain, but most importantly, to learn to love yourself. The more we do that, the easier life becomes. Life does not change; we change how we relate to it.

Here’s the secret: as you become more loving and compassionate, you affect what happens to you because the Universe “backs off.” The Universe is here to teach you to love, and as you begin to get the lesson and live more in harmony with life, you don’t need more “training.”

The goal is to learn to live in harmony with the Universal Principle to LOVE EVERYTHING. Good, bad, scary, sweet, disruptive or harmonious, your goal is to learn to love the process. You don’t have to like what is happening, but if you work at it, you can come to see and appreciate the powerful opportunity for change contained in even the most difficult and trying of circumstances.

So that’s the goal. In concept, loving yourself is simple, but as you know, doing it can be difficult. And, that “difficulty” encompasses the challenge laid before you in completing what you came here to do. Most people are able to love to a point. Deciding that they deserve to be loved and unconditionally opening their hearts presents significant difficulty. I have written about learning to love yourself in several of these articles and the subject is addressed at length in my new book Truth.

Ok, so what do you do? Even if you accept that everything I have said so far is correct, you are still stuck with the person you see in the mirror every morning. That person gets scared, angry, judgmental and occasionally downright petty. What can you do to help that person to heal?

Start by practicing loving other people. Make it a conscious effort, 24 hours a day. Start with loving the people you know that you do not have major issues with. Note that I said love, not like. You may disagree with another person’s choices, but you can still love them for who they are. Practice opening your heart to them and work to keep it open. Watch to see if your attitude changes when their behavior changes, especially if they change their behavior toward you.

When you feel as though you have begun to love the people you know, then practice loving strangers, like the guy in the other car, the person ahead of you in line or the clerk at the store. Again, you won’t always like what they do, but love who they are. This can be easier with strangers because they are safer. After all, you don’t know them and they don’t know you. Remember, this is about changing what goes on inside you.

Then when you are ready, work on learning to love the people who push your buttons, who you have issues with, who aggravate you or that you simply dislike. In order to do that, it helps to separate behavior from issues. If you were to see someone walking naked down the street for example, you could have any number of reactions ranging from curiosity to amusement. You might not like what they were doing, but you would be largely uninvolved in the occurrence. If you told a friend about the incident it would be from a place of curiosity or perhaps humor, even shock or surprise. You would not be involved in what had happened.

If on the other hand, you had issues about your own sexuality, the naked person’s behavior might cause any number of more intense reactions. Seeing their uninhibited sexuality might drive you to become incensed and berate them or even throw stones, for example. If you told someone about what had happened, it might be with moral indignation. Emotionally you would have become very involved in the naked person’s behavior, and that is the difference. This is where we often get into trouble in relationship. We condemn the other for their “nakedness,” while failing or refusing to recognize that our emotional involvement is far deeper than that of the casual, uninvolved observer.

Once you have begun to recognize your own involvement in the creation of an issue, then try to look past the issue to see, to truly see, the other person. Nine times out of ten you will find a scared, fearful, alone, hurt person on the other side of this issue. If you can grasp that, you can better respond to what is really going on instead of the stuff you usually squabble over. They will probably still be difficult to deal with; so don’t set yourself up to get run over. But, this is not about them. You will feel better about yourself for dealing with the situation this way.

In order to move toward your own healing you must learn to love everything. Love them for their willingness to participate – even in a “negative” way – toward making you aware of your resistance to loving unconditionally. Also, if you wish, thank them for helping with the growth and development of our species.

And, if you cannot do any of that, then fake it. That’s right, cheat. If you do this earnestly, even though you do not believe it, you will find that you naturally begin to migrate to a better space. So, even if you fake it, you’ll actually begin to feel better, and that will reinforce doing it even more.

If you can’t fake it, you will want to look more deeply into the issue you are confronting. Do the shamanic journey process to identify the fear that is being triggered and work with the old fear and pain that you are carrying. This is a place where good professional help can be beneficial.

Then after all that, go into the bathroom, look into the mirror and start to work on loving yourself.

©2004 Blue Lotus Press. 
Reproduction is permitted with attribution.

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HEALING – Part I, Belief

Going Deeper
by Ross Bishop

If you lived in a traditional society and presented your tribal shaman with a case of cancer, arthritis, heart disease, snakebite or the breakup of a relationship, the shaman would address the immediate problem and then search for the deeper emotional or psychic disturbance that was causing your dilemma. In traditional societies, the healing process requires that the cause of the failure be addressed as well as the immediate difficulty. If only the presenting or symptomatic cause is addressed, the shaman knows the disturbance will either recur or manifest elsewhere in the person’s system. He or she knows that until the originating problem is resolved, the client will only get temporary relief.

Your blood pressure may be high, your cholesterol count may be off the charts, your joints may be stiff and your arteries may be weak, but to traditional healers, the heart disease, arthritis, stroke or cancer that can develop from these systemic problems, although regrettable, are natural progressions from unhealed psychic or emotional disturbances. Moving away from the purely physical, your personal relationships may be a mess and you may be having a difficult time fitting into the world, but just as with physical problems, unless you address the deeper causes to these difficulties, you only address the manifestation without attending to what is driving it.

Allow me to be clear: if an organ or a body system becomes dysfunctional, it is essential to intervene and bring the system to a more normal state, but in addressing the systemic failure, we must not be confused about this being healing, for it is not. It is restoration of the highest order, and it is vitally important!

Restoration usually entails adding something to the body such as drugs, or a physical intervention such as heart surgery or splints to a broken bone. This is extremely important work, but it does not address underlying cause. At this point one might be inclined to ask, “Well what about accidents? Don’t hearts sometimes just fail?” And the answer, in my belief, is, “No, they do not.” There are no accidents, no random events. Everything that happens here is providential. It is purposeful and intended.

In tribal belief systems, the body experiences problems because of an underlying emotional or psychic cause referred to as “soul loss.” Soul loss can occur as the result of a shock or trauma, but more typically it is the result of habitually refusing to listen to the guidance of the gods or spirits.

The misalignment of spiritual nature as the source of a person’s physical or emotional difficulties is a theme found frequently in the precepts of indigenous cultures. The Iroquois, for example, speak of disease as resulting from the conflict created when the soul’s needs are not met. They believe the soul becomes “resentful” when ignored and then creates difficulties for the individual. The soul’s perspective is, of course, God’s perspective. So to the Iroquois, disease is the result of turning away from the God Space.

The Mayans would agree. They see disease as the result of a disturbance to the relationship between people and the gods, created by an individual’s disharmonious behaviors and attitudes. Healing requires that individuals make changes not only in their behaviors but also to their beliefs.

Navaho medicine woman Annie Kahn describes illness as, “the habit of excluding,” which disturbs the natural harmony. She says, “To heal, one must . . . accept. This very act causes healing.” People who know nothing of shamanic practices often speak of feeling a hole in their spirit. If this separated part is not “retrieved,” the person is then vulnerable to emotional and physical problems.

We get romantic about tribal cultures holding these truths, without realizing that these beliefs were once a very important part of our own culture as well. When Christ healed the sick, it was through blessing and forgiveness, not through the manipulation of the body. When he put his hands on someone, it was “to reawaken,” to remind,” the tissues of the body of their normal state. He was rebalancing the natural order. In Christian theology, the Holy Spirit, the third and frequently neglected part of the Trinity, is described as the creative, healing and renewing presence of God. In shamanic practice, a disharmonious system must be brought back into a resonant state in order for it to heal.

Carl Jung wrote, “When the God is not acknowledged, egomania develops, and out of this mania comes sickness.” Once regarded as a “quaint” and “primitive” idea by Western intellectuals, some physicians are beginning to recognize and accept the wisdom of these ancient and time-tested concepts. Jean Achterberg, a professor of psychology and physical medicine writes, “It is becoming increasingly clear, that what the shamans refer to as soul loss – injury to the inviolate core which is the essence of a person’s being – does manifest as despair, immunological damage, cancer, and a host of other very serious disorders.”

So in summary, to heal you must address the deeper disturbance that created the surface manifestation. You must release the beliefs that drive it. In the shaman’s view, it is soul loss that leads to the creation of pain and physical and/or emotional disease. When we heal, we eliminate the things we have identified with which are “not us.”

Healing means finding your true self. It means striping away and releasing the contrary beliefs and attitudes that keep the real self, hidden. Healing does not involve adding anything to the system, whether that is pharmaceuticals or knowledge. Rather, healing is a process of releasing the beliefs, fear and anxieties that keep you out of the God Space. It is not about learning anything, taking drugs, surgery or acquiring some esoteric meditation or yoga technique.

HEALING MEANS LETTING GO

You cannot alter the aspects of yourself that are part of The Universal. This is a safety mechanism built into the process. But our fears and beliefs can and do present significant impediments to our holding that space.

This is not a small matter. Bringing our beliefs to the surface is messy and disruptive to the life structure we have created, no matter how dysfunctional it may be. Nisargadatta Maharaj said, “The search for reality is the most dangerous of all undertakings for it destroys the world in which you live.”

One of the biggest obstacles in counseling is getting a client to let go of the life structures she has created, no matter how dysfunctional they may be, in order to make room for new behaviors and attitudes. When people come for healing, it is because they are hurting and frustrated. If they felt their old way of doing things would still work, they wouldn’t be asking for help! The challenge is helping them feel safe enough to risk finding a different way of life.

In the moment, it is easier to avoid the inner child’s fears and pain and simply push through a challenging situation. And until you are ready, really ready, to give up your fears and limiting beliefs, they will interfere with your ability to be whole. What you need to do in concept is very simple. But you have to be ready to go there. You must really want it!

There is an old Chinese story about a famous healer who lived near the top of a mountain. He had a great gift, but the climb to reach him was difficult, especially for people with afflictions. Someone asked him once why he did not move lower so people who needed his healing could reach him more easily. His answer was most interesting. He said, “Those who really want to heal will get here.” His answer may seem callous, but there is a great deal of truth in what he said.

When a person comes for healing I know we are dealing with at least two personality parts. One part of them sincerely wants to heal or they would not be in my healing room, but the other part of them is afraid. Otherwise the client would have already healed herself and would not need help. The dilemma for the therapy process is that in order for someone to heal, she needs to confront pain she has been avoiding all these years. She must come to terms with the beliefs she holds about herself. So by asking her to address what she has been avoiding, the initial healing work actually stirs the pot and makes her feel worse than when she came in! Fortunately, this pain is short-lived, and after a little work, she begins to feel the powerful benefit of living from a new and healthier place.

Sometimes people come wanting a miracle in order to avoid dealing with the pain of having to change themselves, but it doesn’t work that way. That would be just about the worst thing that could happen for them.

Part II: Making A Sacrifice.

Copyright 2007 Blue Lotus Press

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What’s Next?

by Ross Bishop

Change is rarely easy. It is made difficult because it means the end of what has been and adapting to a new way of being. We don’t think much about eggs that become chickens or caterpillars that turn into butterflies, because they are “natural.” I don’t know how an acorn feels when it sprouts and turns into an oak tree, but if you have given birth, you are intimately familiar with the pain of the process of creation.

Your transition to greater awareness is a natural process too, but if resisted, can be fraught with fear and anxiety. We humans run on emotion and we become attached to the way things are, even if they cause us problems. In a large setting like a nation change is almost certain to create conflict, as we observe what happens in Congress, for example. The same is true for individual spiritual growth. Adyashanti said:

“Enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the facade of pretence. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.”

If you are uncomfortable about all the changes, it might be helpful to remember that you are the one creating them. Humanity is evolving its consciousness. That collective transformation places a good deal of pressure on social institutions to change and adapt, which is something they are not very good at. Most social institutions have been created to defend what has been. They are rarely instruments of change.

Because change creates fear, there is the inevitable resistance that creates pushback, both individually and societally. Why else do you think political conservatives, who are heavily invested in the established order, are reacting so strongly to what has been happening lately? Conscious of it or not, they can feel the undercurrent of what is taking place, and it frightens them. After all, they have a lot to lose. You are far more powerful than you realize.

OK, so things are changing. What should you do to help yourself not get caught up in fear and resistance? I will offer suggestions in three areas: your emotional, spiritual and physical selves.

You came to earth to facilitate your spiritual development. The earth environment allows you to shift your spiritual issues into the emotional realm where they can be more easily addressed. So, let’s talk about those first.

Your emotional fears reside in your shadow, your personal emotional swamp. When you were young, the pain from some situation (or a series of interactions) overwhelmed your limited ability to cope, and this was the result. Part of you felt overwhelmed and inadequate to address what was happening, and those feelings persist into the present. The closed off part of you is locked up in that past. You are capable of dealing with the wound, but you’d rather not. You do not want to expose what feels like proof of your unworthiness. No one does. We generally have to be pushed by life circumstances to address it.

Those circumstances are The Universe’s way of asking you to consider whether the things you came to believe, especially about yourself, are really true. The Universe does this by enlisting the assistance of some other person(s) who needs to work on another aspect of the same issue. It brings you together to create what you call “a problem.” The Universe’s interest is to help you become aware of the emotional contractions that inhibit your spiritual development.

Your focus will be on the other, on your pain and the situation, while The Universe is asking you to consider the beliefs you hold (especially about yourself) that cause you to shut down your compassion and led to the creation of the problem. Think of a problem you had recently. How much would things have been different if you been able to move to greater compassion? You will find this to be true for every problem you face. We typically focus on the “issues,” but that’s largely an intellectual exercise. But what every problem really needs, and it don’t matter what the problem is, is more compassion. This is why I teach, “The only thing any situation needs is more love.”

I want to make a distinction between a “situation” and a “problem.” The difference has to do with your emotional involvement. A situation, wether you like what is happening or not, is a disharmony that needs to be resolved. A problem, on the other hand, is a situation into which you have been drawn emotionally. Because you feel unsafe, in order to defend yourself, you will have moved into your rational mind and shut down your compassion. That’s why it is easier to give advice than to take it. I don’t have space to go into the details about the emotional process here, but I have written a book about it that offers a good deal of help in dealing with it (see Healing The Shadow, below).

Also, the changes in the general environment are making it much easier for people to resolve their issues today. I have been doing healing and transformational work for 30 years, and people today are making incredible leaps in dealing with issues that in the past would have taken them a lot longer.

The other side of the coin is that the pressure for change is also increasing. The shift in our collective consciousness is creating an energy that is sweeping everything up in it. People who have avoided issues for years are being forcefully nudged as never before. People who are strongly attached to what has been are going to have an increasingly difficult time because the pressure will only increase as our human consciousness continues to evolve.

While you concentrate most of your attention on your emotional issues, as you should, there are some other things you might want to consider to enhance your spiritual process. Spiritual work can be disturbed by emotional turbulence, but if you can find practices that suit you, you will significantly advance your development.

Meditation is a wonderful way to help calm the emotions and it can also help you make a profound spiritual connection. But, it is necessary to address the major tsunamis in your emotional ocean so that their turbulence won’t keep crashing over your sea wall of calm. That’s probably why meditation hasn’t worked for you in the past.

Something else very beneficial is to develop your spiritual roots. There are many philosophies and teachers out there, and when you are ready, you will find one that is right for you. But here too, you’ll need to calm your stronger emotional swings. I don’t generally recommend religious pursuits, because as Carl Jung said, “The best way to avoid a spiritual experience is to go to church.”

Another important, and often neglected aspect of spiritual development, is your physical self. Your resistance to caring for your body is another way The Universe tries to help you be more aware of your emotional attachments. You have taken physical form so that you could do your work here and you need to keep it in good running order. You’ve heard it a thousand times, but exercise and a good diet are simply essential. If the instrument is not properly tuned, it simply will not play well. There is no universal technique, we are all different. Find something that works for you.

You might also want to consider movement practices like yoga, tai chi or even aikido that help you to open up and center. You can also do things like massage, something we tend to view as a luxury. Curiously today, many people in our culture have finely tuned their physical selves and yet they exist in a spiritual wasteland. That is obviously regrettable.

The thing to keep in mind is that you are going to have to address your emotional issues eventually. You rally have no choice. The Universe is not going to sit back and simply allow you to continue as you are today. Your emotions block your spiritual development and The Universe is going to push and push on you with increasing intensity until you give in and resolve the false beliefs you carry about yourself. The thing is, postponing the inevitable only makes the process more painful. I could not have made this transition by myself. I needed the help of a competent shaman. I tried years of therapy and found that it just didn’t go deep enough. Find yourself a good shaman and get started.

copyright 2012 Blue Lotus Press

 

 

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Two Choices

by Ross Bishop

Pretend that you are looking into two large rooms. The rooms appear identical – the same people, the same relationships, etc. But appearances can be deceiving. If you look carefully, there are important differences.

In Room One, everyone operates from ego, much as in our world today. Every relationship in this room is based upon uncertainty and anxiety: “Will they like me?” “Will they reject me?” “Am I good enough?” “If I take a risk will I be rejected?” People operate from ego in this room because it is not safe to risk being vulnerable. In other words, everything in Room One is based in some kind of fear.

As a result, power and manipulation are the dominant qualities found in this room. People judge and criticize to gain leverage in an unstable and inherently unfriendly environment. They create artificial hierarchies based upon wealth, power and position. They compete, not for accomplishment but to establish dominance. Money and position are important in Room One because they convey the imprimatur of “success.” In Room One, truth is consistently corrupted to serve the needs of power. If you extend these qualities out, you end up with the social dynamics one finds in a penitentiary.

The people in Room Two operate from the God Space. Relationships in Room Two are built upon compassion, respect, love for each other and acceptance. These qualities bring people together instead of driving wedges between them. In Room Two, people feel accepted and valuable, and that makes them want to contribute, simply because it makes life more enjoyable.

In Room One, family relationships are based in insecurity and fear. Because of their fears of being wounded, parents are not able to love their children freely and without reservation. Children cannot be granted the freedom to be who they really are because it threatens the parent’s already shaky sense of security. Therefore children are made to conform to their parent’s fears.

In relationships in Room One, partners are reluctant to truly commit. Instead they spar defensively from the fear of being hurt, rejected or perhaps even abandoned. As a result, relationships in Room One are shallow, pockmarked with problems and easily broken. People depend upon outside acceptance to determine whether or not they are acceptable or lovable. It isn’t that they do not care, they are afraid to allow their caring to be exposed because it makes them too vulnerable.

In Room Two, people know they are loved, and that frees them to be open and give love and compassion freely to each other. They can be in relationship without the fear and anxiety driven by the “holdbacks” that dominate relationships Room One.

People in Room Two live in the “now,” in the moment. They respond to what is really going on, whereas the people in Room One have been hurt and they fear a repetition of their past. Therefore they live in a past which is projected into the future. And since everyone in Room One operates from fear, the likelihood of their being hurt again is real.

I remember reading about a Honda assembly worker who would drive to work looking for Hondas with windshield wipers out of adjustment. He would stop to fix the maladjusted wipers. This man loved his work and he believed in his company! How rare that is on our world today! This is the spirit that Room Two generates.

In truth, it isn’t long before the two rooms take on dramatically different appearances. Where the people in Room Two are peaceful and content, people in Room One will be anxious and nervous. Fights and arguments constantly break out all over Room One. People lie, cheat and steal to get ahead and to “look better” than their competitors. Because there are conflicts in Room One, there will be a need for laws, law enforcement and a military. There is bruising competition and conflict in Room One that drives stress levels off the charts, therefore there is disease. In Room Two people work together and help each other. Work is done joyously and people are fulfilled.

The secret to being in Room One vs. Room Two is that the rooms are not places, they are states of mind. And, the wonderful thing about your state of mind is that you determine what it will be. Your state of mind is yours and yours alone to determine. In each moment you get to decide how you are going to relate to your life. You decide in which room you will reside for that moment.

Life often doesn’t feel that way. it pushes on us, bumps us, it sometimes even threatens us. It is difficult to hold center in the midst of all the commotion. But that is the challenge. It is what you came here to learn.

External events are real, but you decide how you will respond to them, and knowing that you have that power is a very important step toward enlightenment. You will always have feelings, but those are still your feelings. What you do with them is your choice. If you move beyond your feelings into the ego state and create emotion, then you have given control of your life over to your ego and chosen to live in Room One.

“Aren’t feelings natural?” people ask. Of course they are. But this is not true about emotion. Notice that feelings are contained within the self. You do something and I will have a feeling about it. I may chose to act on my feelings, but the point is, the act is still a choice – my choice.

If however when you act, I move into emotion, it is a different situation entirely. Emotions are based upon the fear involved in our connection and they exist to manipulate that connection.

What we call anger (which is really rage) exists to create distance between us. This thing we call love (which is really attachment) is created so that I will not feel alone. Emotions have an agenda, feelings just are.

If I truly love, what you do will not affect my love – even though I may not like what you are doing. If however, we are attached co-dependently, everything you do could threaten my security. Emotions are the way we lean on each other. Feelings are how we support one another.

Your state of mind is not determined by outside circumstances. Affected by them, of course, but linked to them, no. You can hold the God Space under even the most trying of circumstances. When they are lowering you into the pot of boiling oil, you can still hold the God Space. And, whether or not you are going to hold the God Space is completely your choice. It is the one thing in the universe that is yours alone to determine.

Other, people do not have to accept your love, but that is their choice (and their loss). The important thing is that you’ll feel better for doing it. If they choose to join you, that’s wonderful! It makes life that much better, but it doesn’t make life good. Only you do that. And, that is what determines the quality of your life experience. What happens doesn’t matter. How you react to what happens, matters a great deal.

I think that one of the most important books written in the 20th century is Viktor Frankl’s, Man’s Search For Meaning, in which he relates his WWII experiences living in Nazi concentration camps. I think this book should be required reading for everyone. I have reproduced a selection from Frankl’s book in the section following this article.

So, if the choice is always available, the question is what are you going to do with this moment? Life isn’t going to change much in the short term, so you can’t depend on life to determine your state of mind. The question always will be, how are you going to respond to life?

So why don’t we do it? Why do we continue to live in Room One, when the benefits of living in Room Two are so obvious? The answer is because, if you open up, you might get hurt, you might be rejected. And that fear simply destroys us. Some part of you believes that if you open up and make yourself vulnerable, you will be cast into the psychic abyss. Underneath all the words, the ideas and the concepts, is a little kid who believes that if she takes that risk, God is going to reject her (again).

There is so much more to say about this part, but there isn’t space here. I have addressed the subject and what to do about it at length in my books Healing The Shadow, Truth and Journey to Enlightenment. At the core is a large Misunderstanding that profoundly affects everything you do. We have found that the most effective way to address the Misunderstanding and its surrounding issues is the shamanic journey process.

Consider just this much – Are you really gaining anything by keeping yourself locked up in Room One? You’re still in pain and miserable much of the time. How much worse could it get? The fourteenth century Persian spiritual master, Abu Said ibn Abi Al Khair, defined the Islamic devotional practice known as Sufism by teaching:

What’s in your head – throw it away!
What’s in your hand – give it up!
Whatever happens – don’t turn away from it.

I am certain that there is something in your life at this moment that is begging for love and compassion. Perhaps it is a friend, a colleague, a partner or one of your children. And, I can also guarantee that some part of you could use love too! Take a moment, stop reading, go inside and give love to yourself. Then give it to the other people. Go ahead, close your eyes and do it right now. . .

Feels better doesn’t it? Whether or not you have changed the world, it makes you feel better, it makes your life better. And that is vitally important! The heck with the rest of the world! If it makes you feel better, do it! If they cannot go there with you, that’ s unfortunate, but don’t let that pull down your life!

After you have done that, then send love to the person you are angry with that you have been withholding your love from. . .

Copyright©2009 Blue Lotus Press

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Psychic Healing

by Ross Bishop

I recently read a book called The Desert Pilgrim. In it was a story about a monk’s healing of a deaf child. It deeply resonated with my growing understanding of the power of faith. The monk is speaking:

“When you’re on the spiritual path, you’re on the right road. Listen, there was a mother who brought her young daughter here the other day. The daughter was deaf. The mother had taken her to doctors, but they could do nothing. ‘Oh Papa, won’t you help my daughter,’ the woman begged. ‘I can help your daughter and I will,’ I said. I sat her down on the bench right where you are. I spit on my two fingers and placed them in the daughter’s ears. The girl closed her eyes and I began to chant a prayer of healing in Russian.
 


’But what if it doesn’t work?’ the mother cried. ‘What if it doesn’t work?’

‘And it’s not going to work with you asking that question,’ I said. ‘You of little faith, go on out of the room right now, immediately.’ I kicked her out and returned to the daughter, the girl who had perfect faith. I spit on my fingers again and placed them in her ears. I chanted. I asked that God’s healing powers come down upon her. We joined together in our prayers and after a few minutes the girl said that she could hear my voice. She raced outside and found her mother and told her that her deafness was gone.

So that’s the kind of faith you have to have, the faith of a little child. You must come to the kingdom of God like an innocent.”

What follows are some excerpts from a book entitled Cosmic Healing, by Barbara Brodsky. Barbara is quite devoted to the work of John of God in Brazil. The man known as John, whose name is Joao Teixeira de Faria, allows himself be taken over by healing entities, who claim to be great healers from the past. These beings perform remarkable healings. I have witnessed their work myself on people who have found the faith to allow themselves to be healed as in the story of the deaf girl.

Barbara writes at length about her own process of healing from both blindness and deafness. What makes her book unique is that Barbara has an excellent channeling connection with an entity named Aaron. I have never read an account of what psychic healing looks like “from the inside.”

The thing I would like to emphasize is how different from common reality things become when you introduce deeply held spirituality. Things change. The laws of conventional physics seem to not not hold as forces we do not normally encounter are brought into play. This is why science has such a difficult time embracing the world of spirit and why it will remain difficult for science to ever understand what shaman and psychic healers do. The everyday world is not the same realm that psychic healers operate in. They are able to do their work because they can enter other realms where things not possible in this realm are possible. That is why they appear to be “miraculous.”
 
Because psychic healing appears like magic, the field is unfortunately full of charlatans who use deception to hoodwink people into believing that they are doing the real thing. A little subterfuge and a willing client can be convinced that a piece of gristle is a cancerous tumor, removed without making an incision. India and the Philippines are full of these people.

So, here is Aaron, the channeled entity, speaking about the entities who work through John of God, courtesy of Barbara Brodsky and her book, Cosmic Healing:

. . .So, what is happening when the Entities work? What I say here is a mix of what I have seen, what I understand from past observations of similar work in other times and places, and what the Entities have explained to me.

. . . Like all beings, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Francis Xavier, Dr. Oswaldo Cruz, Dr. Augusto de Almeida, (note: the beings John claims come through him) –  I am offering just a few examples – have each lived in many incarnations. They were healers in many incarnations. Here is one in which they are known. But their soul force is far greater than simply the single being whose name they currently bear for your human comfort. . .

When the Entity picks up the knife, in the moment before contact it is still a knife of earth density, although a frequently used tool will carry a higher vibration even when not in the Entity’s hands. When the Entity, which knows itself to be nothing more than infinite love and intelligence expressing as Light, lifts the knife, he literally charges the knife with Energy. Just as the Entity gives its energetic force to the water you drink here (the Casa) to bring it to a higher vibration, so does the Entity bring the knife to a higher vibration. The knife is made up of molecules that are simply a different expression of Light. When the knife’s vibrational frequency is raised, all that is held is a shaft of Light. To human eyes, the knife still looks like a knife, although in the glimpse that Barbara got of it, she saw something a bit different. Barbara saw the simple knife’s transformation into a crystal of Light superimposed over the form of the earthly knife. The implement the Entity holds is now both the crystal of Light and the metal knife; there is no duality between them.

What cuts the skin is not the knife blade. That is why it can be very dull. (note: to make a point, John often does surgery with a common table knife.)  What cuts the skin is energy expressing as Light. There is no need of a sharp scalpel. There is no need for sterilization of the tool. The power of its high vibrational frequency would not destroy, but would simply release anything harmful, like shaking dust off a blanket. The Entity could have used something other than metal but only certain material could sustain that vibration; softer material would explode with the charge. The best tool to hold the vibration is something like metal or crystal, any substance that won’t disintegrate quickly. But he could just as easily have used a spoon. However, it would be harder for people who truly believe that he is cutting with a knife to accept the spoon.

When a body cell suffers trauma there is seepage of fluid. If you cut into many cells and their blood vessels, you can have severe bleeding. In traditional surgery the surgeon cuts with a knife and disrupts the integrity of the individual cells. The Entities have a very different approach. The knife is not used as a sharp implement but as an Energetic tool. Through the knife, the Entity brings a high energy that gently pushes between the cells. Picture a dense cluster of balloons. If you wish to move through, you can hack your way with a knife, breaking balloons, or you can gently sweep them to either side with your hands. The latter illustrates how the Entities cut into body tissue. The cells are invited to move aside and very few are traumatized so there is little bleeding. Even most blood vessels are energetically redirected to create an opening. Blood flow is redirected. When the work is finished the cells are invited to come back together and the blood flow is released into the normal channel. The wounds heal quickly.

When the Entity inserts a finger into the incision, the finger retains a semi-solidity, yielding when necessary, firm where necessary in order to grasp. The Entity can very easily shift that finger from a primarily material form to a more Light-based form. This surgery has some small kinship to your much more primitive laser surgery. The finger is Light and Light projects from it. It can easily cut away, for example, malignant tissue. This cutting process is also similar to what Barbara does to restore a photograph on her computer. She enlarges the picture enough to see the individual pixels. If the eye has a bit of red from the flash bulb, she is able to remove the color red and change it to the brown of the eye, or the white. She is able to be very precise. If there is a stray single hair over the face, she can pick up the color of the adjacent pixel, delete the brown of hair and paste in the appropriate flesh color, thus removing the hair from the picture.

The Entities can work this way using the body as their palette, clearly perceiving the difference between benign and malignant cells. Just as Barbara would not disturb the pixels of the surrounding photograph to correct that single troublesome pixel, so the Entity can follow any thread-like path of malignancy with no damage to the surrounding tissues. The high intensity Light cuts away the cancerous thread. Then it reaches in, almost like cutting the hemline of a skirt where there is a very tight stitch, and releases one thread at a time. When the entire malignancy is released, it can be withdrawn whole and intact, or piece by piece.

When I say, “cut away” this is never by force. The malignant cells are cut away, but the Entity also communicates to the distorted tissue, giving clarity, explaining that in that malignant cell’s effort to protect the body it is doing harm. There is no force; free will is observed even at the cellular level.

The healthy cell contains very pure water with a high vibration. The malignant or otherwise distorted cell has water with a low vibration. Light touches deep within, helping to purify the water content of all the remaining cells. This higher vibration is supported by the intake of high frequency water, and by the high energy of the Current.

When the Entity feels that that which needed to be treated has either been physically removed through surgery or successfully invited to transform into healthy tissue, he will then use the same Light that was used to make the incision, to heal the incision. The healing is swift for two reasons. Firstly, there has been very little trauma to the tissues. Secondly, the Entities energetically invite the reconnection of the tissues. Think of two slabs of clay. If you bring their raw ends together, they meet, but may not stick. If you apply water to both raw ends so that a light film of water and clay exists on each side, and you then bring them together gently, they will unite. The molecules will bind. The healing of the incision is similar but energy is used in place of water. Before they close the incision they energize the cells so that there is high vibration and movement, and then invite their edges to meet.


 
When closing the incision we are dealing with the water content of the cells, but more so with the radiant energy within each cell. Light draws the tissue together. There is only a thin seam remaining. This is true of both the deeper layers and the surface layer. If the human could be kept from moving for about an hour, and if the Entity were able to reinforce its Light healing of the seam within the hour, no stitches at all would be necessary. But the human being will move and there are not enough Entities involved in this work for one to attend to one human for the ideal length of time. The compromise they have developed,however, is quite satisfactory; it will heal very quickly, leaving only the barest trace of a scar or none at all.

Visible and invisible surgeries are equally effective in most situations. It is my understanding that in the case of a distortion such as a malignancy, the visible surgery may allow a quicker removal of the distortion through the incision, but ultimately, either means will give the same results.

The second style of visible surgery that you asked to have explained may be used to heal any portion of the body or mind, but does not require a skin incision. Instead, the Kelly clamp enters the nostril, a convenient entry point, so that no cutting is necessary.

I watched the Entity access the body in this way in order to repair a foot injury.

The nostril also leads into an area which we could call the seat of the soul, the third eye. From there it is easy to access the eight major chakras.



In the process of placing the clamp into the nostril, when that clamp penetrates into the body the solidity of the clamp dissolves; it is just Light. The body structure around it also temporarily dissolves into a semi-material form, much more Light than solid. Perhaps you have watched your own face in a mirror for a long period of time and seen how other aspects of the self come forward into the face, even past beings. If you have not thusly observed the face, you may wish to try it, just looking easily at your face in a mirror for about 20 minutes. How dramatically the face seems to change. Perhaps you have seen this in deep meditation when looking into another’s face. The facial features are just molecules held together temporarily in this form. The form opens up. So when working with the Kelly clamp, there is not a hard metal tool being forced through the nasal bones, sinuses and into the skull. Immediately, all is light.

The Kelly clamp is used, I believe, because as uncomfortable as it may seem, it is a bit more comfortable for people to view than to watch the Entity push Medium João’s finger far up the nostril. I mean no disrespect here. It is a culturally conditioned form that a finger does not go there. I am uncertain whether the metal material of the clamp has an advantage over the flesh of the finger, but certainly the use of the tool is easier on Medium João. These tools have been brought to a high vibration before surgery. They are consecrated to this work. Certainly a new tool could be used but the Entity would need time to bring it up to the necessary vibration.

Another visible surgery is the scraping of the eyeball. Again the knife is Light and what appears to be only a scraping away, is also the bringing of Light into wherever it is most needed. People observe what seems to be pressure on the eye, which is the effect of the Light. The matter that results from the scraping is the result of karma and distortion that have been burned away and released.

What is the relationship between our free will and healing?

The Entities cannot create something against the will of the human. On a conscious level the human may wish to heal, but the human may also be attached to the status quo. The illness is a result of many conditions. Often it relates to old karma that is not fully resolved. The illness may have become a hiding place, offering a veil so that the human does not have to see deeper issues. If the human is deeply willing, the Entities will support the balance and release of old karma. The high vibration of the Casa is a supportive environment for this work to happen.

You have noted that surgery can be done away from the Casa and wondered why people have needed to come to Brazil. For the human with highest intention to healing, ready to look honestly at issues that have enhanced distortion, the work can be done from afar. That human must also take responsibility for meditation and other practices that maintain a high enough energy to support the healing work. At the Casa it is easier. The environment itself provides that high vibration.

I was curious about the anesthesia at the Casa and how it worked. I observed a woman during surgery for a large growth on her breast. She was standing, eyes open, and didn’t flinch at all as the knife cut deeply into the breast, or as the Entity inserted fingers and clamp to remove a lot of tissue. The only thing the Entity did before the procedure was to hold his hand to her head for a few moments.

What is pain? There are many nerve endings throughout the body. Certain sensations such as extreme heat or cold, or penetration by something sharp, are felt as uncomfortable or unpleasant. There is a very fast movement through the neural pathways from the site of injury to the brain. The mind perceives this sensation as pain; therefore, the habitual reaction to pain arises. The Entity energetically blocks the perception of pain moving to the brain. Sensation is still experienced, perhaps as heat or pressure but the brain does not register that perception as pain.

Could you explain further how the Entity blocks the perception of pain?

There are two parts to this answer. For the first, the closest metaphor I can offer is a heat shield. If an object is radiating heat and you place a shield between you and that object the heat remains but you do not feel it. Energy has many forms. It can be active as in the type of energy used to create an incision; it can be passive, or even receptive. Essentially the Entity inserts an energy catcher at the point where the nerve connects to the brain. This energy is receptive; it acts like a blotter absorbing the pain impulse.

To understand the second part you must understand perception. Only rarely is bare perception experienced, uninfluenced by old conditioning. Jumping into a cold lake may feel pleasant or unpleasant regardless of water temperature. Much of what is perceived is based upon prior conditioning. If you expect the sensation to be unpleasant, you contract before it is experienced. This first contraction influences the next experience. The Entities help bring the perception faculty to a centered place of bare perception. Thus there may be a feeling of heat or pressure, but the body does not jump in alarm and contract with the anticipation of pain. When the body stays soft, the sensation that does exist is just sensation. Most pain is largely a result of contraction around sensation. So there is this mix in anesthesia. There is blockage of the strongest sensation and the assistance to stay centered and not contract.

Note: Some years ago a man named Markides wrote an interesting book about a powerful healer who lived on the island of Cypress who used the pseudonym Daskalos. You can find the book, The Magus of Strovolos on Amazon.

Copyright©2010 Blue Lotus Press

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