Poppies near the Kings River


BANISHING THE LORD OF DESPAIR AND CRUELTY


   There are places where it doesn’t matter at all what you’ve done with your life in the little time you’ve been allotted, places where one moment you were a child and the next you were old and you realize you haven't changed much in the core of your being, places where you might be lost in a daydream and then suddenly feel powerfully connected to the Soul of the World. My Dad with his fishing gear spent much of his free time in search of these places, and when he found one I felt his soul quietly tune to the "Heartbeat of Mother Earth," the Schumann Resonance. As my soul tuned to the peace in his soul, I too experienced the harmony in the trees and grass and water and stones.
   On a fishing trip one day when I was twelve or so, my brother and I searched together for a way down into the river canyon. Our Dad had already thrashed his way through poison oak and had slid the rest of the way down a steep slope, but my brother and I kept searching for an easier way. We followed a faint trail down to the edge of a cliff and stared at the river below. Then my brother dared me to climb down the cliff. He insisted so much that I finally began the treacherous descent. Halfway down I realized that I was in a potentially fatal situation. The incline was steep, almost straight up and down, and if I fell, I would hit rocks fifteen to twenty feet below. I panicked for just a moment and then treated the situation simply as a problem that had to be solved. With my senses totally engaged, I soon descended to the bottom like a seasoned mountain climber.
   “Come on down,” I yelled.
   “No way,” he muttered.
   “C’mon, it’s easy!”
   “Nope,” he replied, and to my complete surprise he disappeared.
   Another time my brother and I were hiking, with him about fifty feet ahead of me on a trail that suddenly rose to a ledge about twelve feet above the creek. I was running to keep up with him and suddenly noticed him motionless at the highest point of the ledge. When I caught up with him, I suddenly experienced absolute terror before I could even sense any danger in our circumstances. I had, in fact, simply come into range of my brother’s emotional sphere of influence, which had immediately paralyzed me with fear. I looked around and discovered that we couldn’t climb up or down. We could only go forward or backward on a very narrow ledge. My brother was literally shaking, eyes wide with terror. When I was finally able to turn my gaze down at the creek, the water seemed menacingly far away, and I was certain that I would slip and plunge to my death if I tried to move even a little.
   We both stood quaking on the ledge, unable to move or even talk, for what seemed like an eternity. Suddenly, to my great surprise, my brother inched down the path without a word, leaving me alone on the ridge, still paralyzed. I don’t know how long I stood cowering there, but my Dad finally found me and coaxed me down the path. When I turned around, I couldn’t believe that I had even been afraid. I had experienced situations far more dangerous than that without even breaking a sweat.
   I experienced, with both my father and brother, the little-understood ability to adjust the mind to the emotional and mental frequencies of other people. I felt my father’s deep sense of peace and harmony and my brother’s fear of heights. As a child in nature, unlike my father, I tended to be more concerned with playing than being meditative, and, unlike my brother, I never once felt climber’s panic while on my own, no matter how steep the cliff or treacherous the trail. Telepathy is the communication of thoughts and feelings through means other than the physical senses, involving mechanisms not currently understood by science. Ten years ago, despite my childhood experiences, I would have maintained the materialistic viewpoint that telepathy is a fantasy of the delusional brain, but in the past ten years, due to my spiritual practices, I unexpectedly became telepathic--not all the time, mind you, but often enough to know that we are connected on a fundamental spiritual level. Often I will be swept by a wave of emotion or hear a word or see an image from the mind of another person, and I know that I’m not delusional because more often than not I ask them what they are thinking and discover my intuition was correct.
   Most of us have thought of a person and then a little while later unexpectedly received a phone call from that very person. We tend to dismiss such occurrences as mere coincidence despite the mounting evidence in favor of telepathy. Unfortunately, the experience of telepathy is extremely difficult to duplicate for several reasons. First of all, it often occurs between people who are unusually close to each other, such as identical twins, or during moments of extreme emotion, or during spontaneous daydreams when the mind relaxes into a mental frequency that allows psychic connection. The attempt to produce the occurrence of telepathy at will presents a basic obstacle because demanding the effort creates an element of struggle that makes the appropriate mental state impossible. Because testimonial is necessarily the basic form of evidence, documentation gathered over decades of study is usually treated as merely anecdotal.

Lupine near the Kings River

   The belief in telepathy, however, is the basis for common religious practices, such as prayer and invocation. Uncountable people throughout history have believed that it is possible to connect through the power of prayer with imperceptible deities. A materialistic scientist therefore finds himself in the uncomfortable position of claiming that billions of people are essentially crazy.
   Oddly, many rational people accept telepathy as an unassailable fact on the spiritual level--between the mind of a physical person and a spiritual entity--but dismiss as delusional anyone claiming that telepathy has occurred between two people in the flesh. Stranger still, in some parts of the country, a man could lose his job for claiming that Jesus doesn't answer prayers, on the one hand, and on the other hand the same man might lose his job for claiming that he can read people's minds.

Pounding Stone at Confluence of Kings River and Big Creek

   Perhaps not coincidentally, the experience of telepathy is sometimes compared to a “religious experience.” In other words, people sometimes feel when experiencing telepathy that they have slipped into a spiritual mode of thinking that transcends limited personal subjectivity. This suggests that there is indeed a spiritual dimension that the human mind can access, a dimension that is not just “out there” but within each person.
   The experience of telepathy, and many other things considered paranormal, flows from this imperceptible spiritual dimension, which accounts for why so many things cannot be explained nor explained away.
   The phenomenon of telepathy between two individuals is closely akin to mass hysteria and mob mentality, both well-documented. In moments of crisis or intense emotion, a thought form can explode through a group, causing inexplicable symptoms of disease, such as vomiting, rashes, or fainting, or strange behaviors, such as uncontrollable laughter or dancing, or unruly conduct, such as violence or wild adulation.
   A belief in the phenomenon of the group mind is commonly held in esoteric spiritual orders. A group mind consists of a number of people tuning to specific mental frequencies, usually in order to contact the mind of a particular deity or spiritual entity. Here, we are treading on ground that hidden mystery traditions have explored for ages, and we encounter again the belief that thought, specifically a thought form filled with emotion, can influence individuals and large groups. In this case, it is believed that a powerful connecting thought form can create a frequency that exalts a person's mind as high as the angels. In the case of a group mind formed by a mob, of course, the thought form can reduce a person or a group of people to the level of the beasts, or lower.
   On a personal level, if there is anything significant about me, it is simply this: I have transformed my emotional and mental frequencies from deeply negative to extremely positive through physical and mental purification and positive visualization. I remained mired in despair for the better part of two decades, then transformed myself into a person who for over a decade now has experienced peace and harmony on a regular basis. During those twenty years of despair I completely ignored the spiritual dimension, but for the past ten years I have become far more intuitive than I could have believed possible, and I believe my transformation has ramifications for society as a whole because of our innate tendency to tune to each other’s emotional and mental frequencies, for good or ill.
   My father died when I was a teenager. Around the same time, I began experiencing a debilitating, chronic physical condition that causes severe depression. I had no choice--with the grief and illness and despair, I literally had to establish harmony in my life to survive, a process that took over twenty years of serious attention, mainly because I had to do it by myself. First, I eliminated everything from my diet that caused physical or mental disturbances, a very slow process. Then I went through a long process of mental purification. In other words, I started meditating and eliminated negative energies from the chakras, the energy centers within the aura. Soon, I unexpectedly began having visions of archetypal symbols that led me to the ancient symbol systems of the Tarot and the Tree of Life. The Tarot and the Tree reveal the major facets of human experience and together offer the keys of ancient wisdom both to solve ingrained emotional, mental, and spiritual problems and to achieve higher awareness.

Pestle next to Pounding Stone

   After my self-purification I have experienced over and over the effect people have on each other through thoughts and feelings. Intense negative emotions especially seem to envelop me. I have, for instance, felt homicidal rage emanating from a person who did an excellent job looking like nothing was wrong. Usually strong emotions will "float" over to me during what appears to be a normal conversation. Perhaps the most unusual example regards an intelligent young woman who appears extremely well-adjusted. Six times when I have been waxing eloquent on some topic in the young woman’s presence, I have suddenly experienced negative energy boring like a huge screw into my heart chakra, so quickly and intensely that I felt an almost overwhelming urge each time to lash out at the young woman. At first, I had no idea what was happening, and then I realized that the force she projected reversed the clockwise turning energy vortex of the chakra, an act that can have damaging consequences to the physical heart. Our young friend has a hidden and extremely disquieting ability to project powerful negative thought-forms in a way that can do serious harm to other people, an ability possessed perhaps only by shamans or true magicians. She might not even realize that she has the ability, which she might have developed in response to some recurring abuse or trauma in childhood, but I know also that she has caused other people to have a similar "irrational" reaction to her.

Pestles next to Pounding Stones

   As I have mentioned previously, before the age of forty-two I had no belief at all in a spiritual dimension and knew nothing whatsoever about the occult or the paranormal, but after my visions of archetypal symbols and heightened awareness of other people's thoughts and feelings, I began doing some intense research on different spiritual traditions. I discovered that the Gods in different cultures throughout history are different versions of the same forces symbolically represented by the Tree of Life and the Tarot. I began treating the archetypal figures in Tarot cards, perhaps because they are more commonplace and human than the Gods in different pantheons, as "allies" and discovered ways that they could help me to banish negative energies and bring positive energies through into my sphere of influence--to invoke, in other words, the forces of spiritual harmony, abundance, and magnificence.
   Our ally below is obviously no stranger to depression. I’m sure many of us can identify with this person’s despair.

Nine of Swords

Nine of Swords, Lord of Despair and Cruelty
Decan: Mars in 11 - 20 degrees of Gemini
Tree of Life Association: Moon in Yesod (Ninth Sphere)

   Your ally sits up in bed, hands covering her face. Nine swords hang horizontally over the bed, three of which, as your ally bends forward, seem to pierce the four chakras related to the spiritual dimension of the self: the crown, the third eye, the throat, and the heart. At first glance, your ally appears to be suffering from the effects of cruelty, which is a vice of Mars stemming from unbalanced force in that sphere, or she might be suffering from grief, which is a common result of the constant change associated with the Moon. However, on the level associated with the element of Air in the ninth sphere, the influences of Mars and Gemini can also be felt on a deeper level. The scene suggests that a blockage of the life-force between the higher and lower chakras, the energy centers in the aura, causes the despair. Stress and trauma from dysfunction and cruelty can close or block the chakras. Gemini symbolizes the dual nature of the self, the physical and spiritual aspects of the human being. Your ally is covering her eyes, blinding herself to the spiritual dimension and its relationship to the physical dimension of the self, hence the blackness in the background. All levels of being are connected, and this is no different in the chakra system of the aura. The true power of Mars on the physical level is linked to a balance of the higher chakras with the lower chakras, the life-force flowing harmoniously throughout the whole system, both upward and downward. When a blockage exists between the spiritual and physical levels, the life-force on the lower levels, which includes the sex-life (associated with the Moon), is adversely affected, and weakness and psychological suffering can result. It’s no accident that for your ally the spiritual dimension is blacked out and the lower half of the body is covered. However, there is always hope. On the blanket are red roses, red symbolically associated with both Mars and romantic love. Also on the blanket are astrological signs, a reminder that the psyche always has the potential to balance the life-forces and regain the health of both mind and body.

Pounding Stone near Friant/Kern Canal

   Why despair and cruelty? Despair can easily turn into cruelty, especially when fear is introduced. In times of crisis we tend, both individually and collectively, to believe someone else is to blame for our despair, and once we find a suitable scapegoat, whether a person or a group, we project our anger and frustration and hatred at them for causing negative feelings. This is often based on the erroneous belief that harmony can be established by changing or even eliminating types of people that the majority has labeled as "different" or "subhuman."
   Fear is often both the cause of our denial and the reason for lashing out. Often the self finds it too threatening to identify the actual psychological sources of dissatisfaction or disturbance (usually the people close to us), so fear motivates people, even strangers, to band together and blame a person or group based on ethnicity, race, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or any of a host of other reasons instead.
   The danger is the very fact that we are able to influence each other on a subtle level to the point of frenzy or paralyzing fear with thought-forms charged with intense emotion. In a split second we are capable of profoundly affecting each other on a subtle psychological level for good or ill. We can get so swept up in demonizing a target, whether an individual or group, that we are capable of leaping into extremely expensive and damaging conflicts without moral justification.
   In order to adequately address personal and collective tendencies that lead to cruelty, we must first acknowledge the powerful, subtle psychological effects that we can have on each other, as I learned growing up with my brother and father and later through self-purification.
   I have discovered through my spiritual practices that we are able to control physical and mental health to a very large degree. The mind can purify the various chakras and energy sheaths in the aura surrounding the body, eliminating negativity, and that has a tremendous impact on overall health and well-being, which then has a positive effect on the people around us. The mind can eliminate, or "banish," negative thoughts and feelings and replace them with positive energies like the archetypal energies represented by the Tarot and the Tree of Life.
   Like my father, for many years I chased peace throughout the mountains. I have hiked through numerous watersheds on ancient Native American trails in remote areas where now only cowboys and determined hunters occasionally stray. The only predators I have encountered are coyotes and bobcats and a few mountain lions because the more intimidating predators like bears and wolves have already been cleared out by hunters and ranchers. I have gone on many adventures searching for wildflowers and birds, instead of fishing like my father, and finding evidence time and again of native cultures that were also "cleared out" a century or so ago. In some remote areas, I have found numerous Native American village sites with pestles still in the mortars of the pounding stones, and I have also discovered many house pits where huts once stood.
   At first, I did not even realize that I was hiking on ancient trails, some perhaps thousands of years old, until I kept stumbling upon one native village site after another as I explored the mountains. Grazing cattle still follow the ancient trails from one water source to another and keep many of the trails distinct. I am amazed every time I discover a native site, and I can’t help but wonder why we as a people are not lamenting more about the genocide that occurred so recently on our continent.
   After the genocide in Europe in World War II, of course, we have lived with the fear of global annihilation, and many other complex problems such as overpopulation and global warming continue to threaten to unravel civilization and the environment. Genocide a century ago is a haunting reminder that past is prologue, not one of the many immediate threats to survival, but I have realized due to a spiritual transformation that lack of resources is not the essential problem: lack of inner peace and harmony is the source of most, if not all, of our thorniest difficulties. We have enough resources on the planet and enough resourcefulness in ourselves to enable the vast majority of people to live satisfying lives. There are many paths to inner peace. A great gift that we can give to the world is to let inner peace and harmony ripple out into the world.

Take the next path.
Follow a quiet path.