Sunday, 30 December 2007

Post No. 032 - Response to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto

There are places on this earth which have the misfortune to be critical to what is happening in this world. These are places, as opposed to people, experiencing the old (apparently Chinese) curse "may you live in interesting times"...

As a digression, if you're young, you may find that sentiment strange, as excitement and stimulation are a part of the culture of the young (and young at heart), and ALWAYS have been. That's one form of "interesting": there are others, with a sense of understatement and/or irony.

As an example, I have spent most of my life with the threat of a nuclear war coming out of the tension between the USA and the USSR. During that time, Cuba had a time when it was the centre of the world's political focus(see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_missile_crisis); later on, the tensions in the Middle East (still ongoing - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_conflicts_in_the_Middle_East) have threatened, at times, to trigger conflicts which could escalate into larger conflicts. On that point, don't forget that World One, and hence World War Two, were effectively triggered (not caused - the causes include empire aspirations, secret treaties, etc) by an assassination in the Balkans, which we knew until recently as Yugoslavia, and now has split, after a vicious war, into a number of nations.

Now, at the risk of boring those of you who have little or no interest in politics, I have a bit of background to present before I get into the spells and magical response to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Stick with it: you may actually find that what happens overseas is actually quite relevant to wherever you live (I'm in Australia).

Since 2001, one of the major sources of international political concern has been terrorism - and that concern has led to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq (let me say I consider the invasion of Iraq to be "flawed", but the invasion of Afghanistan to remove the Taliban was, in my opinion, justifiable - just also a bit flawed in its execution), and the placing of considerable international (political) pressure on nations such as Pakistan and Indonesia.

Pakistan, obviously, is the country I wish to touch on in this post (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pakistan for some general information). Politically speaking, it is probably fair to say that Pakistan is a flawed ally in the so-called "war on terror": the desire to be - or to be seen as - an ally of Western powers such as the USA and Britain is fairly prominent at higher social levels; at lower levels of social power, I have the impression that there is a fair amount of support for resisting what is seen as Western cultural imperialism, or simply for maintaining the old, tribal ways - hence, the trouble stamping out support for terrorism (such as the cross-border support for the insurgency in Iraq). Consequently, there is a fair bit of internal conflict/tension, and the current military dictatorship (what's that? you didn't know Pakistan wasn't a democracy? Oh, OK - maybe have a look at the comments about suspension of the constitution at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/pk.html [yes folks, that IS at the CIA's website) is a bit stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Elections are scheduled for early January (the 8th, I think), and these would be significant step towards reestablishing a democracy, hopefully a stable one, which would hopefully be inherently fair for all it's people and thus resistant to terrorist influences. With the assassination of Benazir Bhutto a few days ago, those elections are looking decidedly unlikely - Bhutto's party has pulled out, as has the other opposition party.

Worse than that, there have been riots and more people have died.

This situation is dire - not only for those who live in Pakistan, but also other nations in the world. If the nation slips into civil war, or otherwise fails as a nation, I could see the USA trying to become directly involved, which will further alienate other Muslim nations (SERIOUSLY alienate). At the least, this will harm actions against terrorism (although I think a change of President of the USA will improve actions against terrorism, and other aspects of that dominant global power on the world - incidentally, have a look at Jeff Lily's post http://druidjournal.net/2007/12/18/vaster-than-empires-and-more-slow/); at the worst, it could stress the existing tensions in the Middle East and lead to a larger conflict. (It may also increase oil prices, but I sincerely hope you are not motivated by such selfishness.)

Hence, apart from the direct suffering of those in Pakistan, I consider there are other, pragmatic reasons we should be concerned about what is happening in Pakistan.

I personally have commenced (psychic) work to try to calm the area - to channel the outrage into constructive actions, to stop the presumptions that certain parties are involved (either directly or through not taking inaction), and to stimulate whatever will lead to a healthier society there. I'm mainly using runic energies (Isa for calm, Peorth for truth and Dagaz for transformation), but you could also use Goddess energies (such as Durga to reinforce healthy boundaries, Ceridwen for wisdom, etc).

There is something else you can do: be the change you wish to see (which is, I understand, a Mohandas K. Gandhi [also known as the Mahatma, or Great Soul] quote).

In what areas of your life are you presuming blame should be attributed, or reacting with rage and/or anger (see my post http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2007/10/anger-is-noit-emotion.html), or contributing to a situation which is not beneficial to those in it?

If you genuinely wish to work in the best interests of the people of Pakistan, fix yourself so you remove those energies from the world in general and the current troubles in Pakistan in particular (it doesn't matter that the energies are distant: they are available to be drawn on by those - physical and nonphysical - who wish to foment trouble in Pakistan.

If you are prepared to attempt that change in yourself, which would involve consulting with your Higher Self/guides by meditation, and taking whatever action comes from that (such as affirmations to change long set habits of thought or reaction), you are the sort of person I would be interested in for my future internet based group, the Grove of Ghyldeptis.

Anyway, it is late, and I must get some sleep, so I will leave this at that,

Love, light, hugs and blessings
Gnwmythr

I will add a photo to this post later.

Tags: anger, emotions, energy work, Grove of Gyhldeptis, interpersonal interactions, judging others, leadership, life lessons, lifestyles, stress, control,
First published: Sunday 30th December, 2007
Last edited: Sunday 30th December, 2007

Friday, 30 November 2007

Post No. 031 - Emotions and spellcraft

Something I learnt from my many years as a Buddhist is the importance of focus when trying to achieve something. The approach came across to me - initially, at any rate - as a case of tame the mind, and then the emotions will follow like the subordinate creatures they should be. It took quite a few years and experiences, and only came to the fullness of my understanding AFTER I had stopped using Buddhism as my primary identification, that Buddhism is about calmly embracing and unifying all aspects of oneself, including so-called "dark" emotions like jealousy, fear, etc (see http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2007/10/them-and-us.html). It's probably akin to shadow work in Wicca - working with one's shadows, the aspects of oneself that one doesn't want shown out to everyone in the bright light.

Sound a bit scary? It shouldn't. The power that goes to these more negative aspects of ourselves the energy we feed them by trying to deny them: it's a bit like trying to cover a splash of tar or contrasting paint by putting more and more tar or contrasting paint over it. Perhaps another, slightly different explanation would be trying to cover the smell of food starting to go off by using perfume: the food will keep rotting more and more, until we are eventually forced to take it out to the rubbish bin.

OUR emotions are OURS. We can work with them just as we can with most things - for instance, most of us can exercise to increase our vitality and well being (although we may need to find what form of exercise is best for us); most of us can improve our diet and thereby reduce our vulnerability to disease and increase our sense of wellbeing. Many people know they can work with meditation to calm and harness the energy of the mind. Well, it's the same with emotions.

Some people are doing this already. I've seen on TV quite a few send ups of people (generally Californians) who get counselling as a regular part of life. Well, the facts are that people who aren't afraid to genuinely seek and work with counselling, or growth work, may be ahead of many others when it comes to working with emotions, particularly our shadow self.

As with everything else, some techniques suit some and not others: in my opinion, the wide range of counselling techniques available (do you know how many techniques there are available? Have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_counseling_topics as a starting point anyway :) ) don't include techniques that suit every person at every stage of their life (and what suits a person at one stage, may not at some other time). Working with emotions can also be done through things like focusing on doing an activity well (which is, in essence, a Zen technique), or moving activities (such as Tai Chi or doing the gardening).

Some techniques are dangerous: getting drunk or escaping emotions through drugs may allow some people to get through moments when they feel overwhelmed, but there is usually psychic damage (particularly to the state of the aura), and the risks of other damage such as addiction, psychosis, etc. Did you know that obsession and possession are potential dangers from getting drunk? That's one reason some people have a change of character when they become drunk. Lobsang Rampa (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lobsang_Rampa) talks about the damage to the aura of alcohol and other drugs, but I consider he over-emphasises that harm at the expense of some of the other forms of harm, including the health damage doctors talk about.

Yet there can be a benefit to a moderate amount of drinking for some people: it may help them to open up to friends, or to relax and release some of the energy they are dealing with. Whether that is a good thing or not depends on the company they choose to keep. That same qualification applies to counselling: if you don't trust your counsellor, or if they are not in harmony with your best interests, they can be damaging. That does not constitute grounds for condemning all counsellors: it is grounds for finding a suitable technique and /or counsellor.

One technique you can use for knowing your emotions better is the results of your spellcraft.

Let's take a fairly obvious example: trying to send healing to someone you dislike. If you send healing to someone you love, your love will be a conduit for the energy, a motivator to get you to try your best, and an energy that will enhance everything you touch on that quest. (It might also lead you to overdo things and drain yourself as well, but that's a different matter.) If you dislike someone, unless you are very skilled at identifying, owning and working with your emotions, what will be sent is probably a bucket of light and three of crud. What do you think the effect of that will be?

Notice the qualification I gave there? If you are not afraid to be open about your feelings, and have some skill at working with them, then you are FAR more likely to be able to overcome them than someone who determinedly says "no, I love everyone in the whole wide world - so how could I possibly dislike person X?" I'm tempted to get flippant and say something like you can help them and you don't even have to stop hating them, but the reality is once you invest some effort into caring for them, you may find your views start to change anyway. And, I have to say, there's absolutely no point sending them three buckets of healing and five minutes after the healing session ends sending then ten of crud.

(On that, in my case, I can generally feel the direction that energy is flowing or moving, so if I am feeling irritated by someone and feel some movement towards them, I know I'm slipping and starting to do what is basically psychic attack. {This is far more common in everyday life than most realise: gossip and slagging off at others is the usual external sign of such attack, but controlling activity [see http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2007/10/control.html] is also significant.)}Other techniques that help control this are flaming and closing one's aura, routinely asking for protection for those one may affect (see http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2007/11/protection.html), and asking one's guides to give signals when one is adversely affecting others - perhaps asking that, if it is for the Highest Spiritual Good, people one is adversely affecting oh, say, scratch the tip of their nose. If you see that, you then ask for and check protection exists around both you and the other person, and ask your constructive influence guides to repeat that within, say, 30 seconds - to rule out your paranoia causing the other person, if they're sensitive, reacting to your suggestion, and to exclude things like a bit of hay fever. Have a look at my post http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2007/06/psychic-attack-energy-protection-and.html for more on this.)

Let's go back to spells. When I'm assessing the results of my spellcraft to explore my self, I look at:
- Higher Self
- conscious self
- unconscious self.

Let's say I am working on a healing spell, and find myself being drawn closer to that person. If that is a harmonious situation, it could be that my unconscious is remembering past life situations of friendship and there is a "liking" there. If there is no liking, but our paths still get closer, it could be that my Higher Self has identified that I could learn from the person.

That illustration is a it weak. Let's say I do a spell to bring wealth to someone else. Maybe the spell seems to work, but the person is guilty about being better off, When I meditate on my various levels, I may well find that my unconscious is jealous, which has resulted in a touch of guilt as an expression of fear in the recipient, but my conscious and Higher Selves may well be aware that this person needs a break. (The solution here would be to set up a psychic filter on one's energies - the short term solution, at any rate. The longer term solution may involve working with accepting fate, or trying to create and get into a circle of "giving forward" [see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pay_it_forward or ], or using an affirmation to build generosity.)

This is still a bit shaky as an illustration: what is needed is another level of analysis at each level: "too much, too little and out of specification". This is a bit of a formula for planning things like HAZOPs (HAZard and OPerability analysis, where one considers, for instance, what happens in an engineering process if there is too little water, too much water or the water is not the proper quality).

Let's consider the sending someone else wealth scenario again.

Let's say the Higher Self was overendowed with generosity. How would that show? Perhaps as not enough coming back to oneself. If the unconscious was underendowed with generosity, then perhaps the spell would not be as effective as it should be. Let's say the conscious self had a slightly embittered idea of generosity (possibly because one didn't quite believe that giving would ultimately lead to one receiving as well?): then perhaps the results aren't quite what one asked for (so, instead of the person you are supposed to be working for, say, getting a raise at work, something may happen which cuts down on expenses - which can be OK, but you still didn't quite get what you claimed to be working for.

I'm going to leave this topic at this for now. The best way I can illustrate this is with a matrix, so I'll get going on that over the next few weeks.

Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr


This post has no photo as it will eventually have a matrix uploaded as a JPEG.

Tags: emotions, energy work, responsibility, Buddhism, drugs, Lobsang Rampa, love, personal characteristics, self knowledge

First published: Saturday 1st December, 2007
Last edited: Saturday 1st December, 2007

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Post No. 030 - Families, funerals and Bev Brock


I am on my way back to my home city of Melbourne. I’ve just spent several weeks in Brisbane, sharing my mothers’ last few days on this plane, attending her funeral, and helping my father move into the new phase of his life. I should probably be specific at this stage, and point out that these are my adoptive parents: they are, to me, my parents – they loved me, they nurtured and raised me, and I have never questioned the role they played - and play – in my life. I have also never questioned the love that my birth parents had and have for me, and the role my surviving birth mother still plays (I made contact with her a few years ago: my birth father had died of throat cancer from smoking before I found them). I, until recently, could clearly say that I had two mothers – and I would challenge any who dispute that. They both loved me; the circumstances of this life dictated that their love was manifested into my life in different ways – and different, overlapping periods.

Does that make you feel uncomfortable, that I write I have (or had) two mothers? After I have explained the situation, I would have to question any discomfort with my statement about having two mothers – are you scared about new things, situations or ideas? Things that stretch your boundaries? Hmmm. Let us hope not.

It’s been quite a learning experience – including how much funerals are for the living, not the dead. I had been planning on coming up to Brisbane for a while, possibly a couple of months, to give my (adoptive) father and (adoptive) sister a hand in caring for Mum. I was going to fit this in with working at the Brisbane office of the company I work for (that company has been very supportive). I drove up over a weekend, as I’ve done a few times in recent years – particularly after we were told bout of cancer would be Mum’s last (she’s had a few bouts over the last four or five years. The extra car helps with the logistics, particularly of me going from hospital to work and back. I’ve jumped ahead there a little: Mum had a couple of falls, including one with a home care nurse, so she was put into palliative care earlier than anticipated – and I brought forward my plans for my temporary move.

I hadn’t planned on starting this blog with so much personal stuff: I apologise, it’s probably just part of my grieving process. I (I coped with the time with Mum in the palliative care unit by writing poetry [baaad poetry – you won’t see it here]). will get to some topics of more general interest soon.

Anyway, I arrived at Brisbane just in time: Mum was lucid enough to recognise me and kiss my hands, and I gave her the last two mouthfuls she ever ate. That was on a Sunday in late October. The next night we were told she was likely to pass, so all of us stayed in the palliative care room the whole night. She hung on in there, though. The night had started with a crisis, with all of us taking turns holding her hand, and talking to her, although she was largely non-responsive. After that, we settled in to a routine. My part of the routine was to take the evening shift: I would go there straight after work, hold Mum’s hand and talk to her about who was there, what we were doing, what my day had been like, and so forth. While I was doing this, whoever was going to be taking the night shifts, after midnight, would get some sleep. I would leave near midnight, go “home” (my parents’ house was a temporary home for the duration), come back for a while the next morning while my father and sister and anyone else who had stayed went home for a shower and a quick nap, and then off to work (often I could leave as soon as someone else turned up). Mum had a couple more crises during that week; and this is where I start to diverge from what many would consider “typical”.

You see, I have been doing “rescue”, or guiding the souls of the dead, since I learnt that ability at ASPECTS in the 1980s. I tend to do this mostly during sleep state these days, but still occasionally have a formal rescue session (often largely for teaching purposes). As such, I am reasonably well able to tune in to the astral world (although not so well at the etheric). As we were all gathered round Mum in the physical world, I could see Mum’s parents, our Nan and Pop, with her – and others who had passed. I could see the distance between Mum’s soul and her spirit helpers close as she became more aware of them, and more comfortable with the preparations for her passing – and then, everything stopped.

I’ve had someone who was partly friend, partly foster mother to me in the late 80s when I was making my way in Melbourne and dealing with quite a few emotional issues, pass around 15 years ago. She still pops in for a chat from time to time, and has even asked me to check on her daughter once. When Cheryl, the woman’s name at the time, passed after 18 months of extremely tough struggle, events happened much more quickly and easily at the end. Maybe that was Cheryl’s greater familiarity with matters of the spirit (she was a spiritualist, and also had performed rescue work); maybe Cheryl was worn out after 18 months of being in and out of hospital. I wasn’t there physically, but saw, from the astral, the ties to her chakras – including the Silver Cord – ease off and part, and “the Golden Bowl shatter’d”: the emptying of her aura as Cheryl passed.

With Mum, I even had glimpses of an Angel of Death, just hovering round, in the background. Some of the trouble passing was, I thought, partly Mum’s tough Scottish constitution – her parents had been the same with their passing. I consulted with my teacher and a few other trusted friends, and eventually the answer seems to have been tied up with Mercury being retrograde – which, apparently, is associated with (amongst other things) problems with journeys. Within a few minutes of Mercury going direct, Mum had passed.

She’s still resting, a bit confused, on some of the “introductory” levels where people receive healing – and, after her years of ill health, Mum needs it. A few months after her diagnosis, Mum said she had accepted her coming death, but just wished she could have a bit more time. Maybe Mum wasn’t as well prepared as she thought ...

Now, I’m well familiar with the stages of growth that go with death (anger, denial, negotiation, acceptance, etc), and have even had the privilege of hearing Elisabeth Kübler-Ross speak at Melbourne’s Dallas Brooks Hall in the 80s (she told a rather amazing story about – as one of triplets - standing in for her sisters on dates that I’m still deciding whether or not I believe J ). Coping with those stages was part of the planning my (adoptive) sister and I went through when working out how to help Mum and Dad. But there’s more to this than that. I have spent most of my life, from my teenage years, as a Tibetan Buddhist. That is a belief system which is well capable of helping prepare for death, but I think the symbology needs some minor reviewing and updating. I think living life so one doesn’t have any regrets is one thing everyone, irrespective of their belief system, can do to prepare for their passing. Having no regrets, by the way, does NOT mean having lots of parties and raves (ever hear the joke that, if, when asked whether you can remember the sixties, you say “yes”, then you weren’t there? [Well, you weren’t part of the drug scene, at least]): it means things like the last words I ever spoke to my mother as I left to go to work (I got the call about her passing just as I arrived) were “Love you”.

That’s something my partner and I have made a point of saying when we part or end a phone call: we started that because of some serious health problems she had a few years ago. On my partner, I had eventually settled on going to Brisbane for four weeks, but am heading back a week early: I miss my partner and my own space, she’s been missing me, I’ve been missing those segment of my family called “friends”, and I’m reasonably sure Dad will be OK. He coped with the funeral, and we’ve been talking about the waves of grief we experience each day. Mum was brought back for the funeral, but the main part of the funeral was for the living (around 80 or show) to show respect for Mum, and for the remaining family to move through some of the stages of grief.

So I’m back on the road again (with apologies to whoever sang that). And it’s my experiences on the road that are the driving force behind this post.

I’ve currently stopped in Forbes: I’d planned on trying to get to Wagga Wagga, but found the heat affecting me – I even had to turn the air conditioning on (which I don’t have to normally do with this sort of long distance driving until the air temperature is around 40 deg. C). That, however, didn’t help, and I stopped driving early as I just wasn’t in a fit state to get to the next town. So I have been reflecting as I recover, and my thoughts over the last few weeks have crystallised enough that they demand to put down, before they fade and blur.

I stopped at Glen Innes for a day, all yesterday. On our (my partner and I came up for a while son after Mum’s diagnosis) last trip up here, we took a “wrong” turn, and wound up there. We sometimes take off for a weekend and see where we wind up, so no major problems there (a few of the photos for this blog have come from such trips). Anyway, in Glen Innes we found the Australian Standing Stones (see http://www.australianstandingstones.com/ for more; a couple of photos are in the “Superheroes” post). On that trip, though, only having two days to get back to Melbourne we couldn’t stop; on this trip, I had a couple of extra days leave, and could take my time.

The stones were erected as a Southern Hemisphere version of Scotland’s Ring of Brodgar: it’s creators make no claims for any mystical or spiritual power – it was done to celebrate this area’s Celtic heritage, brought in by the white settlers in the area. The winter and summer solstices are observed at the stones, and there is some sort of ritual at the annual Celtic festival. In any case, having time to walk amongst the stones, show my respect for them, and just sit and enjoy the power of the place which has evolved (maybe though others wanting it to have a power overcomes any lack of ritual for that purpose, a bit like my wandering whether Harry Potter’s Expecto Patronum charm will lead to something). The power is of peace: I hope, dear Reader, you would notice it if you went there, or anywhere similar. I’ve read a few stories of people who missed the power of a place because they were expecting something spectacular J

I enjoyed doing the usual tourist things, I was able to find out more about my mother’s Scottish heritage and I bought a unicorn wand necklace. I also found I was being comforted by many animals: a pet dog at every motel I’ve stayed at so far, a pet cat at a museum and another pet dog at an art gallery.

I also found a few people uncomfortable because I am “different”: I have a fairly butch image, and that obviously unsettled some people, mostly males although one woman in a restaurant in Cootamundra was rude enough to make a comment in a stage whisper. Having a lesbian symbol tattooed on one shoulder probably didn’t help their discomfort, as it confirmed my being a lesbian.

Are you comfortable with same sex attracted people? Do you know some, or have some as friends? How about bisexuals – or transgender or intersex people, or people from other ethnic groups or religions? Do you have friends of the opposite sex if you are heterosexual, or same sex if you are gay or lesbian?

If not, you have a (spiritual) problem.

If you live in a small country town like the ones I am travelling through now, or the one I left many years ago, and don’t have around 10% of the population being openly and safely same sex attracted, your town has a spiritual problem.

Spirituality is not about setting arbitrary rules that exclude people, or prejudge them on any basis other than their actual, known personality. Spirituality is about being the best that you can, and helping others be the best that you can, and maybe establishing a relationship with Deity in the process (the maybe is because of the spiritual growth I experienced as a Buddhist [see Note 1]). Setting rules so you can stay in your comfort zone, and force others to stay in their comfort zones, in not being spiritual.

Men setting rules about what women can or cannot do is purely and simply wrong – ESPECIALLY if they spout that crap about “respecting women” while doing so (and don’t assume that is a characteristic of a particular ethnic or religious group: it isn’t).

Let’s look at the issue of gender for a moment:
- there are women who are “butch” in their image who are not lesbians (and deep voiced, but are not transgender), and who are no less female for that (and transgender females are unquestionably female, just as transgender males are unquestionably male);
- there are men who are effeminate and straight, and are no less male for that;
- women can be as sex obsessed as many men: more so, and cruder, in some cases;
- there are men working in professions that are predominantly occupied by women, who go through similar experiences to those of women in non-traditional workplaces (such as engineering)
- there are women who don’t want children, and are no less female because of that (and there are women who want children but are infertile: I feel sorry for the sorrow they go through when around fertile women who assume all women are fertile);
- men can be gentle and caring, and as besotted by their children, as women (despite not bearing the child for nine months).

Does that last point surprise or shock you? Then perhaps you are falling in to the trap of believing stereotypes, or the trap of wanting to live an aspect of life (e.g., mother) so fully that you forget it does not apply to all others. There is a term gay and lesbian advocates have developed: “heteronormative”. It means presuming that being heterosexual is “the norm”. Well, it isn’t, and there are a lot of people who make that mistake in their circumstances. In the case of lesbian and gays, it sets up a barrier that discourages being open: it creates doubt as to how the heteronormative person will behave.

Think that it shouldn’t? Try living on the receiving end of such bigotry and prejudice for a few decades (yes, I mean decades!) and see if you still think so.

I’ll give some more examples of what can happen to members of minorities – consider the experiences of just one transgender woman:

- having a transgender friend, one who “passed” extremely well (meaning she looked and sounded female in the stereotypical sense), who a neighbour had tried to kill (knife attack) disappear because she couldn’t handle the flashbacks from the attack

- burying one transgender acquaintance who committed suicide because of the lack of acceptance (i.e., discrimination) she experienced (have you ever lived with such widespread, fundamental rejection that it is powerful enough to drive you to commit suicide? This is, incidentally, an unusually low number – research shows that transgender people experience one of the highest levels of assaults and harassment of any group in society: no wonder there is a profound reluctance to be “out”)

- physical threats

- the extreme, personal violence of being referred to incorrectly (i.e., as a male; this behaviour also has been indulged by some women who consider violence a male problem – I, incidentally, consider the woman in Cootamundra I referred to earlier to have been violent [verbally] in her behaviour towards me)

- discrimination on the basis of being female (interestingly enough, some trans women who try to do something constructive about discrimination against women [e.g., in the workplace] may be attacked for doing so - even if they had been doing that before they transitioned, in the case of this example, her experiences were used to illustrate that things like discrimination against women doing the same work in pay do exist; this woman has also experienced presumptions that attempts to get other women to be more assertive were actually an attempt to get women to be more violent! (women can be violent – almost anyone can be, if they are pushed enough: see my previous posts about the problem of the “them and us” mentality);

- discrimination because her body used to be male (her real, essential spirit has ALWAYS been female in this incarnation, and she is in far greater harmony/alignment with the Goddess than some women who were born female; incidentally, some lesbians have also been subjected to a presumed lack of balance in their relationship because there is no male genitalia involved);

- discrimination; prior to her having surgery, because she hadn’t had surgery: this sort of stupidity fails to take into consideration issues such as men who are castrated through, perhaps, a fire or a car accident – they don’t suddenly become female, or want to become female: one’s sense of gender does not come only from genitalia);

- lack of acceptance until she could prove she had experienced sex as a female (I kid you not! This is about as brainless an attitude as those who think female pets somehow “have” to have a litter before they are neutered)

- having people (male and female) walk in on her while she is showering, under weak pretexts, to see if she has had surgery or not;

- discrimination because the surgery isn't perfect and she doesn't have periods (although she has, at times, taken the hormone tablets in a way that replicates a cycle)

- discrimination because some women attracted to her find the notion of possibly being attracted to a woman so repugnant (think about social conditioning [heteronormativity, etc] biasing those women against anything other than heterosexuality) that they would rather join in the behaviour that drives some transgender people to commit suicide rather than admit to being broad minded enough/developed enough to be bisexual;

- discrimination because some men fear the possibility of being attracted to her (which in itself shows an incredibly deep fear of homosexuality - and incorrect ideas about gender identity);

- discrimination justified on the basis of “respecting” women (how is being disrespectful to one particular woman because of her medical history being respectful to women?);

- discrimination because she is lesbian (gender and sexuality ARE DIFFERENT - see http://www.transgendervictoria.com/?p=p_2&sName=definitions; transgender people include opposite attracted, same sex attracted, either/both sex attracted and not interested in sex people JUST AS DO THE REST OF THE POPULATION);

- discrimination because she is different, and people have to grow/expand their personal world and its concepts to cater for my existence;

- discrimination because she doesn't fit stereotypical images of women (her voice is unusually deep, and there are a few other differences - all of which occur in some women who were born female, such as this woman’s partner).

These experiences were all inflicted by people who were, amongst their other faults, incapable of accepting new experiences constructively. I’ve been involved in lobbying for human rights in a wide range of situations, and the lobbyist is always graceful enough to give the person being lobbied “the benefit of the doubt” - maybe the person being lobbied is a nice person, and just need a bit of educating. (For example, there is plenty of medical evidence to support the transgender person’s statements that they are of the gender they identify as [including some brain research, albeit from a small sample], and lots of research showing that same sex attracted people are the same as others – no better, no worse, and that goes back to the 1950s).

Well, I’m not lobbying in this blog, and to that attitude I say: bollocks.

There are people who are capable of, say, meeting a transgender woman and – without having been educated on transgender issues at all – are capable of behaving with respect and consideration and manners, shown by accepting the trans person on her or his terms. The difference is that these people are in tune with their Higher Self, and the more noble aspects of life that that attunement gives.

Those people can genuinely say they are spiritual: not the small minded person who is afraid of being stretched by meeting someone who is different. If you cannot handle such experiences, you are certainly far away from being ready to leave this world and start exploring some of the other glories of creation.

I’ve found it interesting – sadly so, at times – watching the reactions of people to me at Mum’s funeral and while I am travelling to me. Most people at the funeral were quite accepting, welcoming and supportive of me, despite not having met from times before I came out. In those cases, they knew that Mum accepted me as I was, and maybe that influenced them. Sadly, I know there are some families who reject LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) members, or those who, perhaps, change their faith. As I’ve travelled, I’ve found people who would probably be inclined to reject such people from their own families: in my opinion, those people are being totally, completely and utterly disrespectful of my mother, and I absolutely will NOT tolerate that disrespect. Who the hell do they think they are, to prejudge me, when my MOTHER, the woman who raised, nurtured and loved me, thought I was still as deserving of that love after all I’ve been through?

Their lack of spirituality is, under the present circumstances, a rather small matter to me :)

I’ll give another example from when I was driving up to Brisbane. I heard an interview with Bev Brock, the former partner of now deceased racing car driver Peter Brock. In that interview, Bev Brock claimed that Peter Brock was not happy with his new girlfriend, and that the new woman was staying out of the public view because she didn’t want to be challenged on being a scarlet woman. Now, I can understand Bev Brock being emotional, and I don’t know – or care, particularly – about which side is telling “the truth” (my experience is that it usually lies somewhere in between), but there is also the possibility of the new girlfriend (I apologise for not remembering her name) not going out in public because that is her way of grieving. I always thought those people who got stuck into Lindy Chamberlain because she didn’t react the way they thought she should were appallingly ignorant of human behaviour.

In your life, dear Reader, I would like to suggest that you be very wary of falling into the same trap I’ve just illustrated: the discrimination of assuming others will – or should – be the same as oneself is a subtle one, but it is a significant (spiritual) problem nonetheless, and underlies many of the examples I’ve included on discrimination.

I have one more point related to the situation between Peter and Bev Brock and the new woman: polyamory. One of the biases that exists and is very widespread in this world (well, amongst Western cultures, at any rate) is that intimate relationships should be between only two people (whether they are same or opposite sex – and I don’t know how you start considering some of the other genders/sexes). That isn’t necessarily so. Quite a few years ago, I found myself in a relationship where my partner was seriously torn between myself and her ex (with apologies to the singer of the 1976 song “Torn Between Two Lovers”, Mary MacGregor). She basically loved both of us, and couldn’t work out which one of us to choose: so I told her not to choose. She didn’t, and we wound up in a sort of ménage a trois - technically, a vee, rather than a triad: look at the Wikipedia article on Polyamory for more on this. At the time, I didn’t know the term polyamory: my life would have been easier if I did, but I was in tune with my soul enough, and caring about the other people involved enough, to come up with and suggest something which didn’t fit society’s rules, but was for the best of all involved. That is an example of the sort of attunement I am talking about.

That same sort of attunement and willingness to embrace the new helped me, as a child, to move away from Christianity to Buddhism (the priest who presided over my mother’s [Anglican] funeral never realised that he had a Druidess giving the eulogy). On the topic of Christianity, fairly obviously I do not consider the Pope to be a spiritual person. I hope you, dear Reader, can cope with matters better than the Pope.

May you always greet new things bravely, and never be afraid of broadening your mind.
Love, light, hugs and blessings
Gnwmythr
POSTSCRIPT: one of the unexpected side effects of my mother's passing that I have found is that I am dealing with a few areas in my life that are potential regrets when I pass - situations where I didn't see opportunities, or thought I didn't deserve them, etc. I have long thought I wound up being different to many other people because of the number of situations where I felt I came close to death (e.g., having a car travelling in the opposite direction on a hot Queensland summer's days pick up a large chunk of bitumen and throw it into my windscreen). Whether I was in actuality close to death is immaterial: I genuinely felt I was, and in some cases even went through the sensations that the pilot Blackthorne went through when he almost died by attempting Hari Kari in James Clavell's novel Shogun (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shogun_%28novel%29, or better yet, read the book - it has some good lessons on socialisation, and the various forms that courage can take). I now live a far less risky life, and am emotionally more settled (not settled, mind you!), so haven't had any of the spurs to rethink my life that the half dozen incidents before I turned 28 gave me: maybe this is one way I will still get those motivating influences.
This post's photo is from Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve, near Frankston (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langwarrin). This was established as a military training reserve at the time of the British Empire's war in the Sudan in the 1880s, was used for training in the Boer War and then was converted to a hospital/recovery base for soldiers in the First World War. In the last part of the 20th Century (about 1970s, I think) it was converted to a Flora and Fauna reserve.
Tags: life lessons, personal characteristics, polarity, responsibility, respect, family
First published: Tuesday 20th November, 2007
Last edited: Saturday 1st December, 2007

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Post No. 029 - Protection

I'm writing this to get it started, but will be adding more. The notes at the end of this post are significant, and I also have bundled a few links at the end as well. At this stage, my main point is probably that I want to make the case for a bit of common sense, here.

If I walk onto a railway line close in front of a train travelling at significant speed, I will get hit - if I don't get out the way. To prevent this happening, I would suggest there is a case for some sort of separation for the good of - predominantly - me. That doesn't make the train evil. If I open my aura to strong energies, energies that are stronger than my capacity to handle energies at that time and place, I may find myself experiencing the psychic equivalent of being hit by a train.

If I go overseas, I could wind up with stomach bugs and diarrhoea - perhaps because of poor hygiene practices, but - in some cases - perhaps equally because I am simply not used to the local water (it may, for instance, have a different salinity or iron concentration). In those later cases, the water is also not evil. If I try a new psychic methodology or practice that I am not familiar with, I may experience some discomfort. This is also somewhat akin to the situation of needing to develop one's psychic strength that I alluded to in the previous example, and have posted about elsewhere in this blog. That doesn't make the new practice evil, nor even mean that one shouldn't pursue it.

If I try to play classical and pop music at the same time, my ears may regret my musical inclinations. If I have an aura that is predominantly one particularly colour, I may regret the consequences of wearing a colour that clashes with it. That doesn't make either colour or music style evil.

There are actions that can best be described as evil - I consider Hitler, the Cultural Revolution, the apartheid regime and Robert Mugabe's current appalling regime in Zimbabwe to be examples of such. Some crimes fit into that description as well. When I say this, I am taking a harder line view of evil than that expressed by M. Scott Peck in "People of the Lie", which argues that evil is (in my paraphrasing) around people trying to control others (see my post on control): I am referring to conscious, deliberate, choices.

However, in the overwhelming majority of cases, protection is against things like disharmony, or one's overestimation of one's own abilities.

I have some procedures I have set out to "enshrine" a few common sense elements of establishing protection for oneself, for a group that one is part of, or for others who are not present (it is important to respect free will under those circumstances). Over the next few months I will put those into a Word flow chart (I will be doing that as part of preparing to establish the Grove of Gyhldeptis anyway), then convert them to JPEG files and upload them to this post. One of the key aspects of this is checking that whatever one has done to establish protection has actually worked: if you ask for protection, but find you are not, then you have a problem which needs to be solved before you do whatever it was you originally wanted protection for - which, on the extremely rare cases I have encountered it, was annoying, irritating and frustrating - and due to my guides wanting to make sure I would actually show some personal responsibility and check.

Because of the forthcoming uploads, I won't add a photo to this post.

The other point I wish to make is that I am as thorough and precise as I can be. Some examples of the prayers I use for protection follow. (If you use these, you don't have to read out the "See Note ..." :) ) Another one is one that I was taught more recently, when studying Correllian Wicca, and is effective as a quick prayer at any time you need it:
"There is but one power in the Universe and I am a perfect manifestation of that Power. As such, I will that the boundaries of my aura be strong and healthy, repelling all negative and unwanted energy while allowing positibe and healing energy in."

Prior to writing this post:at the start of each day:I ask for maximum protection, healing, guidance and white ballasting [see Note 1] from constructive forces [see Note 2] for the Highest Spiritual Good [see Note 3] for myself, my family, friends and my and their supporting units [see Note 4], and all units that will affect or be affected by us [see Note 5], in all times, places, dimensions, levels and realities [see Note 6] throughout this day until I ask for such protection again [see Note 7].

when going to sleep:
I ask for maximum protection from constructive forces for the Highest Spiritual Good for myself, my family and friends, and my and their supporting units, and all units that will affect or be affected by us, in all times, places, dimensions, levels and realities throughout this night/sleep until I ask for such protection again.

for a ritual (I combine this prayer with other work to establish - and check - protection):
I ask for maximum protection from constructive forces for the Highest Spiritual Good for myself, my family and friends, and my and their supporting units, and all units that will affect or be affected by us, in all times, places, dimensions, levels and realities throughout this working until we ask for such protection again.

After writing this post:at the start of each day:I ask for maximum protection from constructive forces for the Highest Spiritual Good for myself, my family, friends and others as is for the Highest Spiritual Good, and my and their supporting units, and all units that will affect or be affected by us, in all times, places, dimensions, levels and realities throughout this day until I ask for such protection again.

when going to sleep:I ask for maximum protection from constructive forces for the Highest Spiritual Good for myself, my family, friends and others as is for the Highest Spiritual Good, and my and their supporting units, and all units that will affect or be affected by us, in all times, places, dimensions, levels and realities throughout this night/sleep until I ask for such protection again.

for a ritual (I combine this prayer with other work to establish - and check - protection):I ask for maximum protection from constructive forces for the Highest Spiritual Good for myself, my family, friends and others as is for the Highest Spiritual Good, and my and their supporting units, and all units that will affect or be affected by us, in all times, places, dimensions, levels and realities throughout this working until we ask for such protection again.

Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr

This post has no photo, as it will soon have some figures added.

Tags: protection, planes of existence, interpersonal interactions, karma, life lessons, Lobsang Rampa, love, past lives, Psychic attack, Seth,

First published: Saturday 10th November, 2007
Last edited: Saturday 1st Decmber, 2007

Note 1:
Although this request is basically for protection, my experience is that protection is more effective when it comes with a few extra add-ons (and my teaching at ASPECTS was to ask for these). Not doing so is a bit like sending a SWAT team in to rescue someone who has been kidnapped and critically injured without then providing any medical care: the organisers would look silly if they had someone saved who then had a preventable death from injuries. You may well need a small boost to your energies and state of being, which in itself would re-energise your aura and enhance the natural protection that a healthy aura can provide. Similarly, a little judicious guidance may be a case of "spend a penny, save a pound", or "a stitch in time saves nine": it's a bit like saying to someone, don't drive round that blind corner, there's a cliff round there. As a metaphysical example, consider "Don't walk through that alley, there's a cloud of depressive energy there you don't need to experience."

The term "white ballasting" is a reversal of "negative ballasting", which refers to things which tend to drain or drag one down. White ballasting is a request for things which are uplifting, healing, inspiring, constructive, etc - whether that is a shop attendant smiling, seeing the sun come out from behind some clouds, overhearing a comment which inspires one to patience or a balanced perspective, having positive thoughts forms packed into one's aura, etc.

Note 2:
Just on the off chance that some of the evil dudes (pardon my use of an Americanism) I alluded to are listening in and decide to but in and give their idea of "protection", I specify that I want the help of constructive forces. These are not necessarily all "nice, white Light" type people (the term I was originally taught to use at ASPECTS was "Divine Light Force", and I frequently still use that, but with a much broader understanding of what is "good" than when I started off a few decades ago :) ) - although they are often are. In some cases, I can best be helped by forces that some would consider "undesirable", perhaps because they focus on involutionary aspects where one's focus is on inner reflection, getting to know oneself and focusing on oneself rather than selflessly serving others (and that period will typically be followed by an outwardly focused period, much as the [Wiccan] year is divided into Light ["evolutionary"] and Dark ["involutionary"] halves).

I also consider that making such a specific request demonstrates that I am reasonably aware, and less likely to be gullible or naive (and perhaps thus deserving of better protection?).

Note 3:
Sometimes I have to go through an unpleasant experience for the benefit of my long term spiritual good, whether that is to pay a karmic debt, to strengthen me by being challenged or pushed to the limit or to trigger something in someone else (it is truly amazing what friends will do for each other: Richard Bach's novel "Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah" [pub. 1977, ISBN 0-440-20488-7; see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illusions_%28novel%29, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Bach for more on that author] proposes an interesting, but extreme example of such behaviour; on a more common note, I have had people thank me for something which seems minor to me but is major to them - and I owe others debts for such favours, for instance, the people who introduced me to Lobsang Rampa, sailing and Wicca). In such cases, I am asking that my request to - effectively - have smooth sailing be overridden if I should undergo an unpleasant experience for the ultimate good of myself. You could think of it as something like having to undergo a short term, relatively short (relative being in the view of the soul, not this lifetime) pain for long term good - a bit like the short term discomfort of a massage for long term comfort and health.

(That comment is a bit arguable, if you consider gentle massage techniques like myotherapy [see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myotherapy]. I was originally going to use having shin splints broken off during a sports massage as an example: that was originally described to me [in the 1980s] as overworked muscles trying to stabilise themselves by latching on to nearby bone, and I could feel such attachments on the side of my shin being dislodged when I had my first ever sports massage [after around a dozen years of fairly athletic competition in sailing], and felt a dramatic improvement when I next went for a run. However, when I've tried Wikipedia for a reference, I found a different description [see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shin_splints]; I don't know if that is a cultural variation or not, but I've changed the example anyway.)

Note 4:
If you ask most people who are the most important, supportive people in their life, they'll often go through a bit of a sequence like partner first (that's good, counts as "family"), parents (family again) and maybe other family members (not all families are constructive organisations, however - for instance, some parents are abusive of children, some adult children are abusive of elderly parents, and a number of families have splits of varying severity across various lines). Friends will often get a guernsey - old colloquialism there - sorry :) ; it means, young whippersnappers, that friends will often get the credit they deserve as being important, supportive parts of people's lives. In fact, my initial reaction to someone who doesn't mention friends is that their life may be lacking balance and be unduly focused on family. But important, supportive people go well beyond family and friends: teachers (with apologies to grammar teachers), mentors (I have had several of those, in various fields of life), good bosses (in fact, I'm writing this in the city where I was able to go to while my mother was ill [and for her subsequent death and funeral, and afterwards to help my father get established in his new phase of life] largely because of a good boss), good neighbours, etc can all be important and supportive - one might even find a telling off by a judge or cop when going off the rails is enough to turn some people's lives round and qualify that judge or cop as a "supporting unit".

A "supporting unit" is a person, place or thing that helps one to be all that one can be: I've focused on people, but it could also be music that one finds relaxing (after a stressful time) or reinvigorating (after a tiring time), a special physical, astral or mental place that one goes to, or an organisation where one is learning or being given the opportunity to serve. All of those deserve to be included when you are asking for protection in their own right; more realistically, people tend to get motivated into asking for protection for those who are of significance to them, which means the subtle people, places, energies and things that are supportive of oneself and those one is close to. To take a specific example, if a special mentor gets a great deal of pleasure from a music system, you want that system looked after and kept safe and in good working order as well, so the special mentor can keep doing their special mentoring :)

As I worked through this, I've become aware just how self centred this is, and I will now propose to use a variation to include people who are deserving of protection, even though neither I nor those significant to me may not know them - whether that is someone who is making a special effort, or getting a hard time and deserves a break, or someone else. To do this, I will add the phrase "and others as is for the Highest Spiritual Good".

Right, now for the next essay (this has wound up being juuuust a tad longer than I anticipated :) ).

Note 5:
"And all units that will affect or be affected by us" came originally out of refining the request for protection for a circle where specific work was being done: it is a way of asking specifically that those one is seeking to help (whether "those" are people, places, things or energies) be given whatever help is necessary, including but not limited to protection (my legal influences are showing!), to enable the help to be as effective as possible.

This request is also extended to those who could interfere with or unduly influence that request. Now, those people are not only people who are evil: in fact, most such influences are perfectly ordinary everyday people. For instance, consider the child who wants a tired parent to give them some attention when it may be that the parent needs sleep now, after which they can give quality time to that child; the child would be a unit who is influencing the parent, if healing and/or help is being sent to them. By making this request, what may happen is that the child may see the parent is desperately tired and say "Mummy/Daddy, you go get some sleep" (such miracles can and do happen). On a slightly harder note, think of someone who does someone unforgivable to you or your family - perhaps harm one of your children, if you have any, or harm a parent or a close friend if you don't have children. Under such circumstances, what tends to happen is that many people want revenge, rather than justice, and that desire can carry through into future lifetimes (see my posts on past life regressions and working with karma as an energy). Now consider the possibility that you may well have done such harm to others (if you can't admit the possibility, you may well be wasting your time reading this blog): you may well have changed from the person you were two hundred or two thousand or twenty thousand years ago when you did that harm, and be perfectly willing to admit you made a mistake, but that grudge and hurt held by your victim could still be restricting you. Under those circumstances, if you are a reasonably evolved person, you generally wish to make up for your past wrongdoing and wish your victim well, but you still want to be able to get on with your life and with making yourself a better person. So, include those people as "units affecting you" and they could well be given enough healing to change their attitude - maybe even enough to acknowledge past reparations you have made in other lives.

I'll finish this with one more example: let's say you forget to properly secure your car's handbrake, and it rolls down the hill and damages the bumper of another car. For the you immediately apologise, loan your car to the "victim" while you arrange and pay for repairs (or hire them another car, if that is on your car insurance or you are rich enough to do so) and make further reparations (e.g., tickets to favourite events). However, the person concerned may be so wrapped up in their car that this isn't enough for them, and they want to keep milking the accident for all it is worth, or maybe they just want to thump you or smash your car because of their problem with anger (remember that, in my opinion, anger is a behaviour, not an emotion). By asking for protection to include "units affecting" you are asking that you be kept safe from such unreasonable, troubled people - and also your family & friends and others of significance to you. Furthermore, the prayer (particularly the modified version) would also include others who are possibly affected by that person - such as their family. If they are behaving this way with you, a complete stranger in this example, they may (it's not guaranteed!) well exhibit such irrational extremism with others as well, including perhaps their children.

Note 6:
Most people interested in metaphysics know about the different levels of reality - physical, etheric, astral (some have a couple of levels here), mental, spiritual and soul (with possibly causal as a further level). We exist on all of these levels: we have an astral body (which leaves the body during sleep and at death, which it survives), an etheric body (which is capable of leaving the body: in my experience, there can be some confusion about whether one is experiencing astral travel or etheric travel). The higher levels of our being are what we interpret as our Higher Self, and at even higher levels, connect us to all of creation. This request is asking that the protection and help be at all levels of our existence: to use an analogy, there's not much point making sure the tyres on a car are safe if the body is going to be allowed to fall apart because of rust.

The request further extends to include all places that all of these units will be, and all times - until the next request for protection has been made. (Perhaps this request would even cover the alley with the cloud of depressive energy I mentioned in Note 1, particularly when combined with what I wrote about in Note 5?)

It goes further to include alternate realities and dimensions, and I refer you to the works by Seth, as channelled by Jane Roberts, to gain an understanding of these.

Note 7:
Out of respect for those who are providing the requested protection, etc, I specify a time. If I don't, I consider that I am being a bit like someone who, say, calls an ambulance officer in for a shift, and then says "now please that shift going for all the rest of eternity". By including a time element, I am - in my case, given my awareness and the way I think and have agreed matters with my guides - demonstrating my awareness that I may be receiving this protection from a range of entities/units.

Links for references made in the text of this post:
- my post on developing psychic strength: Cross-training , persistence, priorities
- M. Scott Peck's "People of the Lie": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Peck
- my post on control: Control
- ASPECTS and John Fitzsimons: http://home.vicnet.net.au/~johnf/welcome.htm
- Lobsang Rampa: http://www.karenmutton.com/rampa/intro.htm and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lobsang_Rampa
- my post on working with karma as an energy: Workshop on Past Lives - Part 1: working with karm...
- my post on past life regressions: Workshop on Past Lives - Part 2: regressions
- my post on anger being a behaviour, not an emotion: Anger is not an emotion
- levels of existence: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plane_%28metaphysics%29
- astral travel: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astral_projection and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astral_plane
- etheric travel: I will have to find this in some of my books: for now, try http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etheric_plane
- Seth and Jane Roberts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Roberts

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Post No. 028 - The flaws of scientific methods


On the ABC web site (that's the Australian Broadcasting Commission, by the way) was an article reporting a scientific study which apparently shows that positive thinking does not work on cancer. The article reported comments conceding there were benefits to emotional states, but claims there is no evidence of improved survival. Quoting from the article:

"Researchers led by James Coyne, professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, found no correlation to a cancer victim's mental wellbeing and their ultimate chances of beating off the disease.

"The belief that a patient's psychological state can impact the course and outcome of their cancer is one that has been prominent among patients and medical professionals alike," Professor Coyne wrote in the study.

"While there can be lots of emotional and social benefits of psychotherapy, patients should not seek such experiences solely on the expectation that they are extending their lives," he said."


In my opinion, this is a good example of the flaws of scientific methods: "one size fits all" research.

In my opinion, there are some people who positive thinking would help, and others who it wouldn't. Accordingly, rather than ask "will it work?", the study should have asked "what are the limits outside of which it will/will not work?" In other words, what types of people will this work on, and what types of people will it not work on? That's a subtlety which does exist in research into medical drugs (notably, what the "contraindications" are for any particular drug), so hopefully that will eventually catch on in other scientific research circles.

In my day job as an engineer, I frequently use scientific methods, the results of scientific research, and work with scientists from time to time: it can be a very useful way of thinking - but it can also be inappropriate or even a hindrance. If I have to fix a problem quickly (e.g., for safety reasons), I'll use my engineering judgement - my "gut feeling", if necessary, "based on experience" ... well, that's the official engineering jargon. It basically means there are times when intuition and "guesstimates" are more valid than scientific method. Because of that experience. I have no problems pointing out flaws in scientific method - such as the research reported in this article.

However, that's just my opinion. The article details are:
Positive thinking doesn't stop cancer: US scientists http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/10/23/2066862.htm

Have a read and work out what YOUR opinion is :)


Love, light, hugs and blessings


Gnwmythr

This post photo is taken in the Bass Valley (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bass_Coast_Shire) southeast of Melbourne.

Tags: cross-fertilisation (ideas), science,

First published: Tuesday 23rd October, 2007

Monday, 22 October 2007

Post No. 027 - Communication

The following flow chart (presented as four figures - you should be able to click on each to see it full size) outlines the approach I teach regarding communication, and is based on the saying "communication is a process of mutual exploration to a common, shared understanding". Note that it is a process, meaning it takes time, that it needs to be mutual (if it is to be effective), and that it aims towards a common, shared understanding, meaning that respect is required, which means that concessions have to be made for the different meanings attributed to words, tones, etc. There can be a fair few lessons in communicating, which is why I have added a fair few tags.


Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr

This post photo's are the flow chart :)

Tags: communication, energy work, interpersonal interactions, judging others, life lessons, personal characteristics, mirrorology,
First published: Monday 22nd October, 2007

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Post No. 026 - Judging others


Although I consider myself to be a spiritual person, I actually consider that I am an extremely judgemental person (I am an INFJ personality type for those who are familiar with such things) - but I judge people on the basis of what they do, and the sort of people they choose to be (as far as they can choose). I do NOT judge people on the basis of things they cannot choose (I am speaking in terms of the choices that are available after they have been born: I am NOT discussing the planning of an incarnation before birth/conception), such as their race, sex, sexuality, gender identity, any disabilities, etc.

Many people who are middle aged know of the comment in Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech (a great moment in the fight for human [civil] rights - not only in the USA, where the speech was made and was probably largely intended for*) to the effect that "I have a dream ... of a world where my children are judged, NOT by the colour of their skin-" at which point many people's recollections (in my experience) cease. It was an impassioned, genuine and moving plea for an end to racism, one which I wholeheartedly support - but Dr King didn't stop at that point. With the rest of it, it is (something like) "I have a dream ... of a world where my children are judged, NOT by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their CHARACTER."

Spiritual growth involves making decisions about what one is going to do - are you going to go along with the guy asking you to go and kill a few people 'cos he seems like a charismatic dude? No? Doesn't surprise me - that one's a bit obvious. But how about the dude (or "dudette") who has been quite accurate in what they've said so far, been quite supportive and helpful and understanding, and who you've developed quite well under, but now they've started to, say ... put the hard word on you in some way. Would you be duped, or would you maintain your faculties and reason and think and discuss your concerns with the head honcho/honchette concerned? (If you can't discuss the matter, you may have a problem.)

In my case, I am aware that there are people who's ambitions and consciously directed path in life are completely incompatible with mine. I don't have to mix with those people, or tolerate their actions. I consider that I should NOT hate them (see my previous posts on things like psychic attack [at http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2007/06/psychic-attack-energy-protection-and.html] for an explanation of why the emotion of hate, even if it is not verbalised or acted on, can still be a major problem), but I can judge their actions and say "those actions are harmful to ...". If the actions are harmful to me or third parties, I consider that no only am I warranted in taking some action, I am obligated to do so (see my post at http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2007/06/workshop-on-past-lives-part-1-working.html for my thoughts on the karmic implications of inaction).

As an example of this, consider the situation of someone trying to kill a child: you may not be able to physically restrain the attacker, but you can at least call the police (and if you don't, you would be charged with being an accessory). Again, that's a fairly clear cut example (and I touched on this from the point of view of kids who are abused but aren't believed by adults they try to tell in my post at http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2007/10/them-and-us.html).

What about someone who is ... say, a dangerous driver because they speed or tailgate? What can or should you do in that situation? You could say casually to the person "hey mate, have you thought about what could happen to others - maybe someones kid - if you have an accident?" If you know that won't work, well, I'll give a range of suggestions here: You could:
- report them through Crimestoppers (anonymously, if you wish)
- ask for/cast spells for protection for all those who are unfortunate enough to be anywhere near them on the roads
- do some work (spells, or at least ask) for them to get some constructive guidance in their sleep state (whether from their Higher Self or [constructive] guides) so that they grow up and realise the danger they are creating for other people.

Here in Australia we've had some very successful education which has changed social attitude to the extent that drink-driving is no longer socially acceptable. Now, if someone was going to try and drive while drunk, there is a good chance that the person's friends would take their keys off them. If you judge someone actions and find that they are going to harm others, there are plenty of precedents for taking action.

Another example I would put into this category is the person who does not accept people who are "different" - such as LGBTI people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex; if you haven't come across the last two terms previously, see http://www.transgendervictoria.com/?p=p_2&sName=definitions, http://home.vicnet.net.au/~aissg/ and http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=297615). Apart from the psychic attack that comes with holding those misbegotten beliefs, there is absolutely NO excuse for the lack of respect (including the lack of manners) inherent in failing to accept LGBTI people - yet I've seen too many in so-called Christian (I use that qualification, "so-called", because there are GENUINE Christians who do accept LGBTI people), New Age, Wiccan, etc, etc, etc groups who make that mistake.

The so-called Christians often claim their bigotry because of selective acceptance/interpretation of parts of the Bible; some Wiccans because of a mistaken belief that female essence can only be experienced by people who were born female, or that polarity can only be balanced by having someone who is physically male and physically female involved. Those beliefs are absolute rubbish - there are males around who are far better at tuning in to and calling on female energies than some women I know, and vice versa, and transsexuals are attuned to the energies of the identified gender rather than their birth gender - and that is without raising the issue of some people I know who claim to neither male nor female (I personally know two such people; also, see again the definitions pages I gave links for earlier).

I am a lesbian: I have quite a butch image (which actually started largely because I have had to build up my physical strength so I could realistically care for my partner, who has physical mobility problems arising from severe arthritis in her mid-40s [the choice was being able to wear strappy tops vs. being strong enough to lift her if she fell or got stuck somewhere: the tops lost out, and I've become quite fond of being physically strong - and judge anyone who would choose otherwise quite harshly, on the grounds of selfishness]), and have encountered quite strong discrimination as a result of not fitting other people's stereotypical view of what is "feminine".

I have even had someone - who claimed to be a lesbian, but also claimed not to have raised the issue in the words she had used - ask me if I and my partner "missed having the male energy" when we had our commitment ceremony! What complete crap - commitment ceremonies/marriages/relationships are about LOVE, not meeting some third parties misguided mistakes about balance!

Such mistaken beliefs are actively harmful of LGBTI people and, as a (karmic) result, the person who holds those beliefs. As a minimum, those attitudes contribute to the restrictions of life and quality of life that are inflicted on many LGBTI people; at their worst, they are DIRECTLY responsible for contributions to suicides. (Discrimination within the LGBTI communities can also occur [e.g., G against L, G & L against B, GLB against T, etc]; when it does, it is just as wrong as other discrimination - not more, just as wrong, and some of it IS attributable to the effects of being discriminated against by society generally, and NONE of that justifies any other person discriminating against LGBTI people, any more than the flaws and problems of any group of humanas justifies treating all of that group as if they are the same.)

As another example of this sort of problematic judging others, there is the person who claims to be being "respectful" - typically, respectful of women, and in the practice of their "respect" they condemn women to live restricted lives where they are unable to do much. There are sections of Australian society which are like that - and there are sections of the Wiccan world who are like that. (Did you jump to the conclusion that I could be talking about Muslims? Two of the best engineers I have ever worked with are women who are Muslim. They are EXTREMELY capable, and they are working in a profession that is still a bit of a "Boy's club".) I say to such people who try to justify their bigotry on the basis of "respect": deal with your own inadequacies which result in you feeling threatened when women are strong, independent and capable - and living their own lives, or whatever ignorance/prejudice/discomfort with anything or anyone new or outside your personal boundaries to date (see my coming post on courage, and my post on control at http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2007/10/control.html).

(Anyone who does have such problems also has to deal with the weight of the law, whether that is through breaching anti-discrimination law [did you know it is illegal to discriminate against women breastfeeding in public in Victoria?], using wrong pronouns in the case of transgender people or laws around assault or threats.)

If the person's actions are going to genuinely only harm themselves, I consider the situation is less clear cut. Ironically, situations such as people harming their health through perhaps smoking or maybe major weight gain would possibly be more likely to result in friends being concerned and saying something than other actions where third parties are harmed (e.g., the dangerous driving), but - in my opinion - the karmic case for taking action is less clear cut. (The friendship motivation is quite understandable to me, though, having been on both sides of that sort of situation a few times in my life.)

It's a bit hard to think of examples where no-one else is harmed. Probably one of the clearest examples I can think of is someone who is a member of the Flat Earth Society - i.e., someone who believes (or says they believe) that the Earth is flat. If they are serious, I personally consider them wrong - and, while I wouldn't hire them to be an interplanetary rocket scientist, I wouldn't hold their beliefs against them.

I personally have seen the down side of destructive judgementalism - I have been on the receiving end of enormous discrimination, including physical threats and prolonged lack of acceptance that nearly drove me to suicide. Despite that, I know that there is a constructive judgementalism, and neither shirk from being judgemental in a constructive way nor from saying so. I judge those people who have a problem with other people being themselves in ways that don't harm others (such as lesbians, gays, transgender people, women who don't fit social stereotypes, and men who don't fit social stereotypes), and those elements of the Wiccan world who have a problem with any balance of polarity that does not involve physically male and physically female people, as having a major problem themselves.

Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr

* See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Have_A_Dream for more on the speech concerned, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_King_Jr (accessed on Friday 17th November, 2006, at which time the article had a note advising that sections of the article required amendment to comply with Wikipedia’s standards) for more on Dr King. At the time concerned, Wikipedia article began with this, which is a useful sumamry: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American political activist, the most famous leader of the American civil rights movement, and a Baptist minister. Considered a peacemaker throughout the world for his promotion of nonviolence and equal treatment for different races, he received the Nobel Peace Prize before he was assassinated in 1968. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Jimmy Carter in 1977, the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004, and in 1986, Martin Luther King Day was established in his honor. King's most influential and well-known speech is the "I Have A Dream" speech.

This post's photo was taken at Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve, near Frankston (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langwarrin). This was established as a military training reserve at the time of the British Empire's war in the Sudan in the 1880s, was used for training in the Boer War and then was converted to a hospital/recovery base for soldiers in the First World War. In the last part of the 20th Century (about 1970s, I think) it was converted to a Flora and Fauna reserve.

Tags: about me, interpersonal interactions, karma, personal characteristics, judging others, discrimination, polarity,
First published: Sunday 21st October, 2007

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Post No. 025 - Control



I'll begin this post by letting you know I will add more to it.

When I was doing my intensive learning, at a New Age group called ASPECTS (see http://home.vicnet.net.au/~johnf/welcome.htm), in the early 80s, one of the biggest "sins" we could commit was "control" - in the sense of controlling others. It is called lack of respect for free will in Wiccan circles, and I have seen some very interesting debates on it.

I agree that that lack of respect for free will, which I will continue to refer to as "control", is a major problem. I also consider that it is very, very, very prevalent in Australian society in other circumstances. The most common example of this is someone trying to pressure others into going to a party by saying "What are ya - a party pooper?" Similar types of control - and make no mistake about it: that is exactly what it is, and it is as evil as someone casting a spell to deliberately influence another - include pressuring people to drink ("What are ya? A ").

Swinburne University of Technology's "National Centre for Women" (now the "National Centre for Gender and Cultural Diversity") did a study of male engineering students in the 1990s, and found that humour was used as a weapon to control other (male) engineering students. (See http://www.sisr.net/ncgcd/ for more, including exploring getting a copy of the paper - the lead author was Dr Sue Lewis). This is a perfect example of the problem behaviour I am referring to as "control".

As with my post on anger (see http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2007/10/anger-is-noit-emotion.html), control can be viewed - at what I will call, for want of a better term, less progressed spiritual development - as a problem in it's own right. So, someone who is at an early stage of their development may acknowledge their problem behaviours as anger, smacking people in the teeth and control. As they get a little more experienced and evolved, they will start to look into this in more detail, and possibly identify their problems as suppressing problems until they explode, lack of of confidence in communication (leading to aforementioned suppression of problems), inappropriate ways of expressing frustration owing to lack of communication skills, confusing respect for people and inappropriate tolerance of behaviour leading to undue tolerance instead of smacking people in the teeth, lack of faith in the universe, wanting to be popular causing controlling behaviours, etc.

It is like training to become an elite athlete. Early days may involve learning to run around the block, whereas more advanced training may involve development of tactical running skills up hills, improved use of abs to maintain core stability in uneven ground, etc.

This does illustrate how important it is to "know thyself" when doing spiritual, psychic or personal growth work. It is fairly easy to develop one's psychic skills without developing oneself as a person, and then to take action which one genuinely thinks is helpful, wheras it is actually perhaps more based on what is personally comfortable for oneself. An example of this may be a spell to "encourage" someone to give up a life of crime: the other person involved may be trying to reinforce a lesson by learning something the hard way. in that case, talking to the person and doing some energy work to help heal them, or being an example oneself, or doing spells they ask for (for instance, to get a job to develop self esteem) may be more constructive.

Another point I will mention is the importance of not forgetting, as you start to identify more lessons, to remember that that in itself is a sign of progress :)


Love, light, hugs and blessings


Gnwmythr

This post's photo is also taken from the same trip I raved about in my last post, and is another view of the Ninety Mile Beach at sunset.

Tags: life lessons, interpersonal interactions, karma, control

First published: Sunday 14th October, 2007

Post No. 024 - Them and us



One of the aspects I found quite enlightening about Buddhism is the notion of integrating our darker self: those parts of ourself that we do not like or want to admit. This has also carried through into my experience of Wicca, where I've encountered it under the term "shadow work".





This view is quite refreshing when looking at the hard line "us and them" mentality of quite a few people I've met with respect to criminals. The attitude seems to be "I could never be like that". Well, I have to question that. OK, so maybe it would take a lot more than just a moment or two, or a month, or maybe even a year in someone else's shoes before you snapped and wound up like them: but if you genuinely grew up in an abusive environment where everyone took law breaking and violence as the norm, would you REALLY be so inspired that you could reject all that social conditioning and rise above it? I'd be happy with a genuine yes that only involved you breaking free of that yourself: you don't have to be a Bishop Desmond Tutu or a Mohandas K. "Mahatma" Gandhi inspiring others.





Oops - I mentioned Mohandas K. Gandhi: but he had a privileged upbringing, didn't he?





Our attitudes tend to influence our behaviour in different ways in different circumstances. For instance, in the example I gave of breaking free of social conditioning, I used a situation of deprivation and abuse: what is your situation? What is the social conditioning you had, and have you sifted through that to reject the less desirable or inappropriate conditioning and accept or embrace the good, constructive influences that encourage compassion? If not, then I would seriously question any "yes" answer to my previous question. I could say "You haven't been able to do this in a situation of comfort, so why would you do it in a situation of hardship?", but that is not an honest question: quite a few people's responses do tend to adapt to different situations (they "rise to meet the occasion", so to speak). So, I'll adapt that question: "Including allowance for genuine - not fanciful or wishful - 'rising to the occasion', would you, if born into a life of extreme hardship and abuse and surrounded by unspiritual values, be a spiritual person?"





I have thought about this myself, as I have had a physically privileged life (middle class Australia in the 60s and 70s) but some significant emotional trauma. On the basis of this life I'd rank myself at "pass; could do better". If take my most recent past life into consideration, I'd cut that back to "could do better".




Any time you get judgmental about other people, especially criminals (including child abusers*), I respectfully suggest that you could beneficially take a step back and consider the old saying "there, but for the Grace of Deity, go I".

Incidentally, this post is NOT an argument in favour of doing nothing and allowing the world to have miserable places on the off chance you could get incarnated into that and test yourself. If you take that attitude, your selfishness (failure to consider others' suffering) is resulting in you incurring negative karma. Have a look at my post http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2007/10/stress-warts-and-blackmailing-universe.html.

Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr
* Something I've heard from time to time is that child abusers are more likely to be child abusers themselves. Although I have heard of cases where abusers have been abused themselves, on the whole I consider that's a bit of an "urban myth", and a nasty one at that. The people I've known who have been the victims of child abuse have been (or been capable of being) good or even exceptional parents. I suspect that what comes through there is a desire not to repeat the errors they have been subjected to, something I have touched on previously (se http://gnwmythr.blogspot.com/2007/10/tough-love.html). In one case of non-sexual abuse, the person concerned had a tendency to repeat some of the mistakes of the parents involved, but that is more a case of people generally repeating patterns they are not aware of, particularly when they have been saturated by the values of a harsh or emotionally restricted culture. Before you think that it is impossible you could ever be an abuser, put yourself in the most deprived and depraved situation for raising a child that you could imagine, and consider how you would have coped and reacted both now AND before you were evolved enough to be considering that question. I experienced one incidence of sexual abuse as a child, at school, and people close to me have experienced prolonged and severe abuse (including sexual), so I tend to be as sensitive as anyone else about this topic, but I won't hate, or react blindly or dishonestly to try to salve my conscience or pain. (And there is a need for children to be believed when they talk about being abused!) Sorry to get so serious at the end of this post, but the topic is exactly that: serious, of great importance.
This post's photo is taken from the same trip I raved about in my last post, and is a view of the Ninety Mile Beach at sunset.

Tags: responsibility, about me, Buddhism, change, emotions, initiation, karma, life lessons, mirrorology, past lives, personal characteristics,

First published: Sunday 14th October, 2007