Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Baby's Breath

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness

Picture, if you would, a newborn child as it sleeps on its back.

See this child breathe, and watch how its belly rises and falls with each breath while its chest remains still.

Now try this: Place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your belly. As you breathe, take note of which hand is rising and falling. Under balanced conditions, the hand on your belly is the only one that should be moving.

The idea, here, is that each breath is best taken with the diaphragm, as this will exercise the full capacity of the lungs. Which makes a lot of sense, does in not? After all, the diaphragm is specifically designed for the purpose of lung expansion and contraction. Yes, chest breathing can do similar, but “similar” is the equivalent of “shallow” and “weak” and implicit of “unwell.”

Due to stresses from the outside world, as each of us makes our way through life our breathing will gradually change from a circular, deep, diaphragm-induced breath pattern—like the worry-free sleeping child—to a shallow, chest-induced breath pattern with pauses between each inhale and exhale—like most grown adults. This is such a common occurrence yet so little has been said in regard to it that few of us realize the maladjustment or the profoundly negative impact it has on our day to day lives.

As humans, we need a plentiful and continuous amount of fresh air in order to maintain our well-being. However, with what we’ll likely find as our typical breathing patterns, we do not enable ourselves to receive this.

Like I said, chest breathing is shallow and quick. This prevents us from taking in the necessary volume of air required for good health. To make matters worse, this chest breathing is often done with a gap between each breath. Not only does this pause further reduce the amount of air we inhale, but it momentarily cuts off the breath completely.

To better grasp why this is so important, let’s look at how the mechanical ventilation system of a building works in relation to the humans working inside of it. Such a system is designed and installed for a continuous flow of fresh air. To maintain health, when fresh air is pumped in, stale air is pumped out—always at the rate determined during the design process per specifications such as building volume and occupancy level.

This mechanical system is very similar to a human body exhibiting proper lung function. Unfortunately, most of these bodies are breathing poorly, and the results are very different…

Let’s imagine working in a shed with closed doors and windows on a humid, 98.6 degree day. In addition, let’s pretend that the ventilation system is dysfunctional and only works at 20 percent of full capacity; blowing a little bit of air in, waiting several moments, and then pulling a little bit of air out.

I’m sure you can imagine how the atmosphere inside this shed would get very unpleasant very quickly and only continue to worsen. This is the difference between breathing at 20 percent of full capacity, which is normal for most people, and breathing at the 100 percent capacity we have been created to breathe at.

With chest-induced and broken-flow breathing, this is, in effect, how we are treating our bodies. For this reason, it comes as no surprise that we are continually plagued by stress and dis-ease. Such a predicament only worsens when we choose to smoke habitually, work in stale or polluted air environments, have lung issues, or a combination of the three.

Our bodies require full and continual refreshment. Oxygen must constantly fill the body as an aid to clearing out toxins and supporting revitalization at the cellular level—both of which aid greatly in providing health and balance to all aspects of life.

There is a species of Grape Hyacinth known as Muscari neglectum.

The word muscari is from the Greek muschos, meaning “musk,” and is a reference to scent. Neglectum is from Latin and means “neglected, disregarded.”

This same flower that translates to “scent neglected” is commonly referred to as “Baby’s Breath.”

Indeed, the baby’s breath has been neglected.

Note: This is a modified version of a post originally published on 6/15/12 to former personal blog “Without a Story.”

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Kundalini Awakening: The True Sacrament of Confirmation

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
--Acts 2:1-4

Confirmation As Per the Roman Catholic Church

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church – Part 2 in line 1285 in Section 2, Chapter 1, Article 2:
Baptism, the Eucharist, and the sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the "sacraments of Christian initiation," whose unity must be safeguarded. It must be explained to the faithful that the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. For "by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed."
Further down on line 1303 under Segment III, “The Effects of Confirmation,” it goes on to say:
From this fact, Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace:
- it roots us more deeply in the divine filiation which makes us cry, "Abba! Father!";
- it unites us more firmly to Christ;
- it increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us;
- it renders our bond with the Church more perfect;
- it gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross[.]

Catholic Confirmation: As I Recall My Own

When I was in 8th grade and 14 years old, we, as a class of students at a Catholic school, prepared for and then received the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Of preparation, I only recall two things: one was about memorizing the “8 Gifts of the Holy Spirit” and another few-sentence bit, and one was that the teacher would repeatedly yell at us that, You are not even confirmation candidates! when we’d make a mistake while reciting them. (I don’t know. Maybe God withholds love from those with a poor memory, especially under stress.)

Of the actual Confirmation service, well, let’s just say it was nothing spectacular. To start we walked up the center aisle of the church in order of height, girls on one side and boys on the other, and then basically, if I recall correctly, had a regular mass but with the incorporation of a segment where we’d lined up and had chrism put on our foreheads as the bishop said some ritualistic words.

We’d then gone on our way, supposedly “sealed” with the Holy Spirit.

Catholic Confirmation: The Effects, Personally and Generally Noted

One would think that being “sealed” with the Holy Spirit and being “fully initiated in Christ” would be some awesomely-felt bestowal of Grace; like a fire would be lit inside; like one would be suddenly ready to die in the name of Jesus. According to the Catechism, line 1303, I and others should have been crying: “Abba! Father!”

Absurd as it sounds to say it this way, the most “action” I, and it had appeared most if not all others, had felt was the bishop’s thumb physically slipping around as he put the chrism on my forehead. I’ve personally been in a Confirmation, I’ve been witness to at least three others, and I’ve been surrounded by Catholics my whole life, but I can’t say I’ve heard anyone—ever—joyfully, gratefully, happily, or whateverly aver anything like “Abba! Father!” (...Only, "Oh, my God!" when surprising things happen.)

Next, line 1303 tells us that Confirmation “unites us more firmly to Christ” and “increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us.” Again, one would think this would be perceivable in some way. Maybe one would suddenly realize deeper spiritual truths or treat self and other more kindly and lovingly. If such is true, it was certainly lost on me, and I’ve no doubt, on countless others.

Similar to this are the final two effects which note the “[rendering of] our bond with the Church [as] more perfect,” and “a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith … as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross.”

From the time I can remember remembering, I have always rejected the Church. I’d always felt terribly ashamed of myself regarding any apparent faith in Jesus, about “preaching the Good Word,” about all of it. If it didn’t seem like it at times, the reasons are three-fold:
  1. Fear of reprisal,
  2. Despair and apathy, and/or
  3. Dumping it down other people’s throats (minus the lethality of the Crusaders) in attempt to prove to myself that it’s “right” and “true.”
Folks, there was nothing “perfect” prior to Confirmation, and there was certainly nothing rendered “more perfect” due to Confirmation. It seems to me the story is more or less the same for most others.

To follow, we’d received Confirmation at the end of grade school. If everyone from all the surrounding schools had been “confirmed in Christ” and had truly experienced and attained what is claimed, how does that justify my Catholic high school experience?

How does it justify the behavior of the kids who, like the flick of a light switch, suddenly went from a friend to not even looking at me, ever, because now they we’re too popular and cool and athletic? How does it justify the behavior of the kids who spent most weekends drinking underage and illegally smoking pot? How does it justify the behavior of the kids who had non-marital sexual relations? How does it justify the behavior of the kids who didn’t really care about Catholicism but simply went through the motions because that’s what they’d been taught to do, because they were attending a parent-paid Catholic school? How does it justify the behavior of the kids who picked on others, who committed acts of vandalism and violence?

Moving on then to college and the “real world,” with uncommon exception we’d see an intensification of the above and more (unless for deeper repression) without one deliberately doing the hard, inner work; for age just makes people more of who they’d been programmed to be as children.

Let's not forget the fair amount of the Church clergy itself, top of the hierarchy to the bottom, who are not only thoroughly "initiated in Christ" and the Church, but regularly engage in any and/or all acts of alcoholism, gluttony, pedophilia, and more commonly just a few decades ago, child-beating.

These are only some of the most prominent issues that come to mind, but in total they are extraordinarily prevalent and are wildly misaligned with the claimed effects of Confirmation.

Of the relatively fewer people who aren’t so messed up, it’s highly doubtful to me that the Sacrament of Confirmation did anything for them. If so, I’d argue it’s vastly more about their beliefs that it did something special than based on some amazing metaphysical transformation.

From Fiction To Fact

What I have come to find is that the play the Church has been putting on is just that—a play. It’s a false show designed to make people feel "connected" and "holy" (if not holier-than-thou). It's about appearances and keeping people in the dark while bonded to a man-made, profit-seeking organization.

Just like Baptism and First Holy Communion, children are indoctrinated very early, before they develop the skill of critical thinking. They’re “taken” while still under the control of their parents who had been forced into the same position and who will now willingly put their kids through the same deal to justify to themselves that “it’s the right thing to do” as not to have to face disapproval and their own potential errors and repressed hurts.

Unfortunately, these sacraments are not things any church has the divine right—much less the ability—to bestow, especially not to people at such an early age and with such negative intention and “false truth” to back them. (Average clergy probably don't realize the deception, but the higher up the pyramid, the more they most certainly do.)

As I will now get to, the truth of the “Holy Spirit in man” is known and has been known for eons. But Western man has rejected it because it doesn’t turn a profit or maintain dependency.

True “Confirmation in the Holy Spirit” comes from within, often unexpectedly, by way of Divine Grace. It is commonly triggered by an external experience, such as an effect of a mass meditation or with the touch or glance of a true spiritual master through what is called “Shaktipat.”

It is not handed out willy-nilly to everyone and their brother like some “complementary gift” for reaching a certain age or for following a certain set of dogma. It comes to whomever it may come, from any walk of life, in “Divine Timing” and with reasons no unawakened person can say. And when the experience arrives, you will very most likely know it.

It’s called a kundalini awakening.

Kundalini Awakening

Kundalini (a Sanskrit word), or "Divine Fire," is the Spirit of God in man that, for most people, resides dormant at the base of their spines. It is the primal, creative force of existence and the higher-dimensional catalyst of human evolution and divine-self-realization.

As far as I know, in the East, kundalini has never not been known. It’s always been highly respected: countless songs, books, chants, gods, and so on have been created in honor of it. Kundalini goes by many names and is of a female essence (making it no wonder why patriarchal Western man so thoroughly rejects it).

Kundalini begins as an upward moving energy, from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. It is not unusual for the awakening energy to cause a burning sensation (some have said it had initially felt to them like a freight train blazing up their spines) as well as a diverse array of other physical, psychological, and emotional effects. Psychic phenomena such as clairvoyance and clairaudience are also commonly experienced. The awakening is frequently accompanied by a feeling of great joy and gratitude, if not a heavenly bliss.

The result of this awakening is an expansion of conscious Self-awareness. Additionally, the cosmic unfoldment that begins with kundalini gradually opens the awakening one to "superpowers." This is the foundation of the Saints’ and others’ abilities to work “miracles.” Hence, Jesus’ statements:

  • “Verily, I say unto you: Those who believe in me will do the works that I am doing. And they shall do even greater works than these because I am going to my Father.” (John 14:12)
  • “…for truly I say unto you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say unto this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it shall move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)

Nearly without exception (some never leave the state of bliss), however, this light of heightened awareness brings to the now-awakened’s attention a mind-blowing level of darkness that had been residing within them, much previously unseen, much simply avoided, and must now be cleaned up: negative karma, repressed trauma, fear, false belief, and all the self- and other-harming behaviors, addictions, compulsions, and so on taken on in reaction to them.

Here is where one drops into what is commonly known as the “dark night of the soul.” It becomes necessary to feel one’s way through and purge whatever internal horrors arise in order to fully integrate the light opened to them with the awakening.

The consequence of this awakening and healing is nothing short of realizing one’s true, whole, spiritual nature.

I’m exceedingly doubtful that anyone who’s ever experienced the run-of-the-mill religious “Confirmation” has experienced a simultaneous kundalini awakening.

My Kundalini Experience

“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
--Matthew 18:20
On the evening of 12/12/12, I took part in an online, global meditation. At the time given, all began the same guided mediation.

As the meditation went on, I felt like my body’s energy was gradually and subtly rising, like a gently vivid vibration in every cell of my body. Then about halfway through, I began smiling and laughing gently. Soon after, my face shaped itself in a way I’m not sure it ever has; it felt strange and somewhere between laughing and crying with joy.

There then came a part where I nearly “lost it.” My hands were sweating and felt like they were plugged into an electrical outlet. My breathing had also become so involuntarily voluminous that I had to mouth-breathe wide and deep to keep up. I’d also felt for a time as though my body had gone stiff, as if frozen in my seated position.

When the meditation ended, I laid on the floor on my back feeling unfathomably energized. What came to fill me was a joy like nothing I’d previously known, not even close. With every inhale I felt both the subtle and the powerful vibrations and shudders that we’re now consuming my body. With every exhale, I trembled intensely; my arms hopped, my legs jerked, and my abdomen and back tensed up. My hands still felt like there was lightning inside of them, and my teeth chattered like mad. I’d also felt unusually cold.

Following about 10 minutes of this, I began laughing hysterically with a "causeless" joy while continuing to shake uncontrollably. Laying on the floor for maybe 30 to 60 minutes, my body finally calmed. This was just the beginning.

The Darkness

In the immediate days after, I continued to feel deeply joyful and experienced periodic episodes of shaking and the like, although most of this eventually subsided. Within about four months I’d fallen into a dark night of the soul. The weight of inner darkness to initially arise was so phenomenally overwhelming and nearly unbearable: the strongest part feeling as though all the psycho-emotional torment of my prior 28 years was slammed into a 36-hour window. I didn’t handle it well and became incredibly sick.

One thing that I feel important to point out about this illness is that as diverse as the multitude of symptoms and specific issues have been over the course of the four and a half years since, they were never, as far as I’m aware, anything other than troubles I’d struggled with previously in my life—just wildly intensified. In other words, as I’d stated earlier as to kundalini burning out negative karma, such illness arose wholly as an in-my-face means of saying, "This darkness has been hiding within you, physically and metaphysically, and it needs to be healed—right now."

This dark night (which is always hard but doesn’t imply lengthy, raging sickness) is a critical step to the process of being “Confirmed in the Holy Spirit.” You see, the Holy Spirit is your Highest Self. The kundalini awakening and subsequent dark night(s) are thus a multi-level, multi-dimensional, massive purging of inner darkness and a realignment of one's human self to one’s Higher-Self, to God.

Living Confirmation

Perhaps not surprisingly, if we substitute “Christ” as a person for “Christ Consciousness” as an awakened energy of existence, if we dump out the notions of rendering a “more perfect” bond with the Church, the “Effects of Confirmation” via line 1303 in the Catholic Catechism suddenly feel very true and real.

Hopefully one day soon Western religion's Powers-That-Be will admit to giving their congregants a raw deal. And then give them the truth.

Monday, October 9, 2017

“You Have To Do Something!”: Misunderstanding Inactivity

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness

Nothing Must Be Something because Nothing Is (Non-)Actionable

People have told me many times throughout my life: “Do something. You have to do something!”

But I didn’t.

I mean, I did.

I did nothing.

Because I didn’t know what to do or how to do it or anything like that.

It took me 30 years of deep suffering, years of self-help, and a major spiritual awakening into a dark night of the soul—to the point where I lost everything except food, clothes, and shelter and my health went totally to hell—to see that I’d spent my life struggling with helplessness, hopelessness, worthlessness, disempowerment, abandonment; embedded with lack, failure, and victim mentalities; believing myself unlovable and invisible; inept socially and sexually; feeling interminably disconnected from everyone; laden with copious amounts of shame, guilt, anger, and depression; endlessly fearing threats, abuse, and punishment; and manifesting experiences of self-sabotage of anything personally meaningful.

Carrying all this baggage, for someone to say to me, “Do something!” was meaningless.

To me, walking down the same general hallway of (apparent) life-options that 7 billion other humans are also walking down, there were no higher-self-serving doorways. Sure, there was the eat-oatmeal-for-breakfast-yet-again doorway, as were there the doorways like visit-the-dentist and go-to-work-then-to-the-gym-then-come-home-eat-dinner-and-play-videogames-all-night. But otherwise, where many saw open doors leading to potential and growth and pleasure, I saw featureless wall space.

Okay, so I exaggerated a bit. Sometimes I did see an open doorway. But why even attempt going through? After all, I’d just fuck it up, or someone would rip me a new asshole in the process. Might as well just stay at home and play videogames.

The Outward Appearance of So Much Baggage: Laziness and Boredom

Whether I or other with these or remotely akin troubles, a common way this inner muck may reveal itself (temporarily excluding neurotic and dependency/addiction-type behaviors) is through laziness.

Outwardly, it’s as most all of us know it. The “lazy” person feels ho-hum, only gets bare necessities completed, and otherwise mostly sits around watching TV or smoking pot or absorbing one’s self in some other “time-killing” manner of escape. If one is lucky enough to have something in their life that motivates them (e.g.: a sport they enjoy to play), they may or may not exhibit higher intensity about it, but they will ever return to the state of lethargy.

What’s key to recognize, well beyond the superficiality of apparent laziness or observer-created beliefs such as, “It’s just a phase,” or, “It’s part of his personality,” is that this behavior is a numbed reaction to unresolved traumas.

A related trait is boredom. The first thing that comes to mind when I think of boredom is overstimulation. In order to deal with all the internal and consequent stressors of trauma, one has to have an abundance of coping mechanisms. But all the stressors plus all the added stimuli included with coping will put one into increasing levels of overload.

To some greater or lesser degree, is this not how most people are now living? We’ve been treading into depths of stimuli more abundant and stronger than ever before, so much so that we have to dramatically desensitize in order to block ourselves from overwhelm. (Most people having no clue how much.) This numbing may have its survival benefits, but it also makes us dependent: when the stimuli are reduced we experience withdrawal and feel as if in a void—we experience boredom.

Back in the day people could peacefully chill on a rocking chair and play cards with another or sit under a tree and gaze at the horizon and feel satisfied. But now people are so overstimulated and traumatically numb while carrying such a strong, culturally-induced belief that they “must do something productive” that life becomes a vacuum when nothing immediately and sharply stimulating is available.

Generally, then, when in this position, even when one seriously considers “doing something,” what the person looks for internally is a feeling, which is to say that things like income, possible material gains, etc. don’t necessarily even come into the picture, or do so as more of an afterthought. This person thinks of possibilities of what they could do based on what would give them some sense of being alive, some sense of fulfillment, of value and importance.

Trouble is, few things light them up, and of those few things, none appear conceivable of achieving. This leads to a lack of motivation and a mental reinforcement of one’s seeming inability to do. Laziness and boredom thus perpetuate.

How Does It Feel?

Think about this for a second. Unless you’re living or have lived what I’m talking about and know it, imagine having no motivation, no inspiration, no belief that you can achieve, no sense that you deserve better than the worst. And someone starts telling you, likely in frustration: “Stop being so lazy! You have to do something!”

Not very motivating, is it? No, it’s not. And it’s wildly unhelpful, too. In fact you feel pathetic and despairing, worse than if they’d said nothing at all.

But they don’t see this. They don’t see the hurt in your eyes, the sadness in your face. They don’t see your slumped shoulders or hear the words between the lines that you speak back to them. They don’t see beyond the blatant visual inactivity before them.

They see only what they want to see, and that’s what keeps them safe…

Hypocritical Commands

What’s striking about this type of situation is that, by the nature of the blindly demanding words, the speakers almost necessarily have to have their own traumas; they must almost necessarily have psycho-emotional blinders on that prevent them from seeing the truth of the situation—that if people aren’t bothering to do anything productive—are being “lazy” or are “bored”—it is because they can’t do anything productive.

Furthermore, while words are the weakest of ways to teach or help (action and energy being the strongest), statements as mentioned here, although they will cause upset, are frequently empty in the sense that they’re usually spoken by one who cannot see his own flaws: The subject one is challenging another about is the same thing he either wishes not to face or simply doesn’t have the conscious awareness to see as also existent within himself.

For instance, when someone tells a “lazy” person, “C’mon. You have to do something,” all they’re doing is revealing one of two things:
  1. they have the exact same issues and don’t want to change—think of parents who can’t quit smoking so they repeatedly urge their kid to stop, or
  2. while they personally may not exhibit the characteristics of laziness, they are either overachievers or, at minimum, doing for fear of rejection (likely by their parents, even if their parents are dead).
The former should be self-explanatory: it’s laziness teaching laziness through an unwillingness or inability to walk one’s talk. Of the latter: One doesn’t act under the belief that he "already is" a reject, and one acts for fear of “becoming” or being perceived as a reject. They’re merely two sides of the same coin. One doesn’t comprehend help, whatever that could imply, and the other sees nothing amiss because he fits in with authoritative direction and “The Almighty Way of Busyness.” Yet, because the “pusher” is also troubled but his troubles are culturally praised, he imagines that by telling others what to do he must be somehow “helping.” Of course, he cannot be, for he has not helped himself. What can he give to another that he does not himself first have?

Live Clearly To Give Clearly

In nearly all unsolicited cases, when we actively point out where we perceive others to be wrong and incompetent (in whatever way) or we tell them what they “should” do as if they are wrong and incompetent (that’s the subtle message we send them), we’re only serving to point out the same things denied or unrealized within ourselves.

If we truly want to help, we must be clear about ourselves first—because if we can’t be clear about ourselves, we haven’t the foggiest about what’s really going on with someone else. Even if one, such as a psychoanalyst, were to intellectually get it, the knowledge remains useless if unintegrated, if unfelt, if prior trauma still obscures one’s willingness to see or accept the uncomfortable truth in another because it resonates with the uncomfortable truth in one’s self.

To get to this point requires serious, inward-focused effort. It doesn’t magically happen due to the process of aging, it’s not intrinsically bestowed when acquiring titles like “parent” or “coach” or “teacher,” and it doesn’t come about with our external accumulation of medals or degrees. It’s vastly, if not wholly, a result of scouring our inner world and opening to both our feeling and intuitive capacities.

Only in this way is there an understanding of the line between when we’re seeking to control others and when we’re truly helping them; only in this way is there clarity as to someone who’s consciously choosing not to be productive and one who’s being inhibited by deep inner struggles.

The kind of people who can truly help others as described here are the ones who:
  1. Quickly recognize the inhibition as caused by deep psycho-emotional wounding, and
  2. Reach out with a hand and ask, “Would you like some help?” and, if accepted, offer compassionate service rather than dump on them for not being who they're "supposed" to be.

Guidance: Useless Vs. Useful

The last thing I’d like to discuss is the form of guidance, and I’m going to ask you to imagine again.

Imagine that you join a baseball team and practice regularly with the team, at home, and with friends. You’re interested in the sport, but your skill level is quite poor. And people, maybe even the coaches and your parents, are forever saying to you, “Catch the ball!” “Dang, kid. Put your glove in front of the incoming ball and close it!” “Why can’t you just catch the ball?”

Makes you feel like a self-loathing, failed waste of life and space, does it not?

Wouldn’t it be magnificent, then, if people would instead say something kindly and useful? “Avoid hiding your face behind the mitt. You’ll never catch the ball if you can’t see it, and it’s far safer.” Or, “Let’s try working with catching at shorter distances and work up to longer ones.” Or, “You’ll get better with practice. I’ll show you some useful techniques.”

What this imagining reveals to us is how open-endedly useless a phrase like, “You have to do something!” is. It's like telling an alcoholic, "Stop drinking!" Such statements neither point out specific issues nor offer anything by way of solution.

What needs to be done can be described using an immediate example: this blog. Generally when I write, I
  1. point out specific issues,
  2. thoroughly illustrate my points, often through experience, and then
  3. offer solutions.
I do this because it’s the practical, meaningful, helpful thing to do. And I don’t publish anything unless I feel I have a sufficient handle on it; something for which, although, yes, I can make mistakes, I’d like to believe I can be quite honest with myself about because the inner work naturally results with ever-deepening self-integrity, honesty, and so forth.

Know Yourself, and Know Your Place

They say, “The road to hell is filled with good intentions.”

I understand that those who use phrases like, “Just do something!” are usually well-meaning. But this is also the proverbial “road to hell.”

For the idle one, such “advice” is taken not as help but more as an attack, and one they cannot adequately defend against. Thus the “commander’s” words do the reverse of the intended. As for the “commander,” he most likely is only using this type of phrase to in some way, unconsciously to himself, protect his own ego. He’s thus doing double damage.

It’s therefore vital to do the inner work. For only then, to the extent that we have helped and have begun to know our true selves, will we be able to serve others, will we be able to clearly feel and intuit what is truly going on with another and how to help them effectively—something for which, as will probably be both surprising and disturbing to many, means that sometimes we help by not helping at all.


You may also wish to see this similar post from 5/1/15 titled, "Change Your Perspective! (Damnit!)"

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Soul Fragments of Childhood

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness

If the average person were to look at my childhood interests, they’d probably think little if anything unhealthy of them: X-Men cards, Transformers, Nintendo, etc.—they were no different than the interests of millions of other kids born around 1984, and we all generally grew up just fine, didn’t we…?

And I bet my interests would be assumed to be nothing beyond a more or less random selection of what was available at that time; products of, say, parental allowance with regard to TV shows, or mere excitement-based attraction where toys are concerned.

It might be surprising to hear that “turning out just fine” is both questionable and relative, and that in many instances the interests were hardly “random.” The error in “turning out just fine” has many implications, most of which will not be discussed here (e.g.: societal honor of alcoholism). As for interests and consequent choices, these were actually often made in response to deeply unconscious but very specific desires and knowledge that conscious awareness could not then reveal.

As I now see in hindsight, certain items and themes resonated deeply with me for their being unconscious revelations of both life struggles and reminders of who I really am.

I will now get into some personal details to describe what I’m talking about. Please use this as an opportunity to examine your own childhood interests and how they may or do reflect your own inner self. You can read all about my own findings, but they can’t really do you any good unless you apply the underlying concepts to your own life. Knowledge is useless until it is felt, until it is given purpose.

Why My Interests Are So Interesting (To Me)

G.I. Joe’s
Like so many other kids, I had plenty of G.I. Joe’s and played with them all the time. What’s worth noting is the fact that I’d always bought or been given the Cobra figures, that is, “the bad guy.” I don’t remember there ever being a conscious choice whether to take the side of G.I. Joe or Cobra or both—it just “happened” that Cobra figures were “mine,” and I’d made no qualms about it.

Consequently, for most of my life I’d always felt like I was the bad guy; I’d always believed myself to be rejected, unwanted, the problem, a sinner; I’d always believed that the problems of life and other were my fault, and others frequently blamed me as if this we’re true.

As a child I’d had plenty of Legos, too. In general, I loved Legos because I’m an inherently creative individual, and I like working with my hands. I’d rarely assembled anything, however, that was not given piece-for-piece with a set of instructions due to deep childhood programming associated with a “necessity” to “follow the rules” for fear of “chaos” and an inability to cope with free expression.

The three primary Lego sets I’d played with were City, Fire (within City), and Space.

I can see the City set, with all the formality of roads, buildings, etc., as resonant with an inner desire for structure, for order. Similar to what I suggested in a previous post in regard to occupation, my sense is that my draw to having many Fire stations and vehicles was an expression of repressed, “burning” anger. I also see it as a “cry for rescue.” I wonder, too, if the predominance of the color red had attracted me based on how we respond unconsciously to different colors. In this case, I’d probably felt my life to be lacking in, uh, life, in an experientially satisfying intensity.

The Space set is a fascinating topic. As a kid I’d wanted to be an astronaut. Like most kids, though, my soul was crushed in the process of “growing up,” and all such hopes were flushed down the drain. Still, I’d maintained a pleasure of looking at the starry night sky, and had long held a fixation with gazing at the constellation Orion—this is, until just a few years ago when I’d read that certain souls currently incarnated on Earth have actually come from other star systems. For some reason my fixation promptly disappeared, though I couldn’t have consciously said why. Awesomely enough, I recently found out in a “Soul Realignment” Akashic Reading that I received from a friend, my soul originated in and has a strong connection to the star system commonly known as Nihal, or Beta Leporis, in the constellation Lepas which is located immediately below Orion.

My interest in space, hardly intellectually and vastly more in a felt sense, seems a yearning for freedom, a longing for unlimited expansion and beauty. Perhaps the Space Legos were a sort of way to “get home.”

Video Games
From Day 1, I’ve always enjoyed playing classics like Super Mario Brothers, Mario Cart, Paperboy, and so on. But beyond these and particularly into my “last” days of gaming some 7-ish years ago, my focus was very often on shooters (e.g.: Doom), fighters (Mortal Kombat), and/or war games (Warcraft II). These were effectively an outlet for easing my pent-up anger. Which could also be noted about my love for the Resident Evil series, but this was more closely a reflection of my zombified sense of self.

I’d also enjoyed playing a number of arcade-style racing games. These games, such as Burnout 3: Takedown, often contained features where I could ease inner turmoil by slamming into others and knocking them off the road, or as in the game Road Rash, beat the hell out of other motorcyclists with a variety weapons until they crashed.

The names of many games alone should be red flags of the psycho-emotional distortions required to find pleasure in playing them.

Otherwise, I had few games but would play them 1000 times over to get every secret, every award, every everything. Unable to feel or prove my worth in “real life” and feeling terribly lonely, I took to connecting and achieving in a virtual world.

TV Shows
The last thing I’d like to mention is TV "programming." My staple shows as a kid were cartoons. There were soooooo many in all, and I know I could find something in at least some of them, but I’m going to pass up on doing so. What I’d more like to point out are the live action/non-animated shows I'd begun watching in my mid- to late-childhood years. There were some "friendly" shows, yes, but I'd also gotten into ones such as Rescue 911 and Unsolved Mysteries.

By all means, Unsolved Mysteries had some cool, if creepy, UFO stories (and maybe some others that I no longer recall). But by and large, heavily based on truth or not, the two shows were loaded with trauma drama and fear. Like soap operas (I can still remember the names and faces of people from General Hospital that my mom watched every day 25 years ago), why in the world would anyone allow themselves to become daily and hourly absorbed in these things unless the constant drama and fear resonated with trauma already within one’s self?

For short of having psycho-emotional distortions, there’s really nothing pleasurable about seeing, as I recall in what I think was an episode of Rescue 911, a little girl hear her mother say she’s going to put her infant in the bath, so the girl accidentally fills the tub (unbeknownst to the mom) with blazing hot water and then puts the baby in and burns all its skin off. Or, as in Unsolved Mysteries episodes, where some guy goes into some place and kills the people—only for the viewer to find out that the killer is still loose. [Cue, Robert Stack:] “If you have any information…”

Yes, sure, if one is viewing such content for the sake of, say, documentary purposes or on occasion, I totally get it. But I feel like only one with a whacked out psyche and in a state of emotional unrest would call this “entertainment” and watch it over and over again every night for years. And I was only around 7 or 10 years old when I'd watched these.


When you do your own self-inquiry, there are a few useful things to keep in mind in terms of resonance.

One thing is that your interests could be anything; don’t limit them to the obvious “kid stuff.” If as a kid you collected rocks or had a replica of every pair of shoes that Nike had designed for Michael Jordan, so be it.

A second thing is that life is presenting to you what is in some way resonant with you.

Above, I’d mentioned my resonation with Cobra due to the belief that I was “the bad guy.” This is how it worked in my case but may not be so in everyone else’s. For example, you might find that as a kid you’d only played with G.I. Joe, the good guy, and get thinking that you must therefore be a good person. You may be “good” from the standpoint that you’ve never killed anyone or shoplifted, but “good” is word of extraordinary relativity whose implications have to be thoroughly evaluated.

It’s possible that you could believe about yourself all the negative things I had about myself but chosen the side of G.I. Joe for the sake of trying to prove to yourself that, “I really am the good guy.” As deeper “proof,” you might remember your playtimes occurring such that Cobra always lost; perhaps you even got into frequent fights with friends contending that G.I. Joe’s weapons are better or that So-and-So did such-and-such and the bad guy “clearly” lost. Be careful with your interpretation.

Another important consideration is that children will, to varying extents, get what resonates with their parents.

Is what you were allowed as a child really what you’d wanted, or were you denied what you’d wanted and forced to “accept” and “be happy” with what your parents wanted you to want?

Understanding the implications of this question is important because it leads to an answer, potentially a shocking one, as to you becoming who your parents had wanted you to become to the exclusion of you becoming yourself. In saying that you’d been denied this toy or that TV show (or whatever), the denial itself could be a pathway to understanding the unwanted you who you’ve become in response.

Do you harbor resentment against your parents? Did you force on yourself the belief that, “Mother and Father are right, and I’ll be better off if I follow their ways”? Did you repress anger and end up seeking “freedom” through less healthy means? Have you since become a parent and now deny your own kids the same?

Returning Home, One Piece at a Time

This existence is one of self-discovery.

Our interests in childhood (as with our interests throughout life) are reflections of our soul. Each interest thus guides us back to our own selves: sometimes reasonably directly, but usually in first allowing us to play with who it is we are not in order that we may eventually become dissatisfied and seek instead who we truly are.