This article was referenced in Chris Jorgensen’s last teleconference and will be the topic of discussion for the Long-Distance Teleconference on Sunday, October 28th. Please join us if you can. Click here for the connection details.
Jean Hammond: written in July, 2012
As we know, our world is changing rapidly. Perhaps you, like me, find it a challenge sometimes to keep up with outer events both local and worldwide. On the one hand there are wonderful things happening through on-Tone people, and it was gratifying tonight to see, for a change, largely positive stories reported on the NBC Nightly News. On the other hand, there are destructive things happening, and as Alan has been indicating, no one (including those who have some spiritual understanding) is exempt from feeling the effects of mayhem that human nature creates.
Have you, also like me, ever had nameless heebie-jeebies that make you quake in odd moments—wacko images or feeling currents of angst that sail in especially during the night, causing disrupted sleep and the experience of waking up exhausted from handling jumbled vibrational elements that take time to dig out of before entering the day? Some correspondents have been indicating their experience of this kind of thing now occurring more intensely (also my experience at times), and in ways that have not been the case before. As I write, perhaps more of you are nodding! It seems that many are interested in understanding and exploring more about how to handle the vibrational impact of “the wackos” that come to us as we live in today’s world that contains trauma (both accumulated and being created fresh daily) in so many aspects of our Earth’s overloaded systems.
There can be the understandable tendency to attribute “the wackos” to outer things that can be grabbed in consciousness in order to explain what is going on—like the effects of the solar storm that recently raced toward Earth, or here in high altitude Colorado we might even attribute vibrational heebie-jeebies to being closer to the thinning ozone layer. We might think it’s this person or that situation. Or at the other end of the spectrum take it all personally and think there is something horribly wrong with us—even “after all the spiritual training I’ve been through!” (It is also useful to acknowledge that on some occasions, feeling the heebie-jeebies can relate to perception. A young woman, who was in the Colorado theatre minutes before the mayhem erupted, said she suddenly felt something “weird,” stepped outside for a breath of fresh air, and avoided the carnage.) For this consideration I’d like to approach the topic without assuming we know what “wackos” are attached to.
Psychologists, doctors, teachers, parents and many others are becoming aware that navigating in today’s world requires personal implementation of coping mechanisms to maintain a modicum of well being, and even to survive. Articles of all kinds keep appearing with helpful suggestions such as this one in a recent Newsweek magazine, titled Don’t Let Chaos Get You Down by Dr. Andrew Weil. He speaks of a newly defined syndrome called “nature-deficit disorder”—the result of sedentary, indoor jobs, and goes on to give Five Tips for Modern Life: mindfulness training i.e. come into the present moment; sleep in complete darkness and get into bright light during the day; make social interaction a priority; avoid disturbing sounds and cultivate silence; and reduce information overload by limiting time on the Internet, with e-mails, and on the phone.
Others have these kinds of things to say: In Let’s Give Thanks: It’ll Make Us Feel Better by Seth Borenstein, he says: “Scientists are not just looking at the emotions behind gratitude but the nuts-and-bolts physiology as well. Preliminary theories look at the brain chemistry and hormones in the blood and neurotransmitters in the brain that are connected to feelings of gratitude…and the left prefrontal cortex of the brain, which also is associated with positive emotions such as love and compassion, seems to be a key spot…” He quotes psychology professor Michael McCullough, who has studied people who are asked to be regularly thankful: “When you are stopping and counting your blessings, you are sort of hijacking your emotional system…out of a funk into a good place.” In Give Thanks Instead of Going Shopping by Lisa Wirthman, she says that people who practice being grateful are twenty-five percent happier, sleep a half hour more per night, exercise more than average, decrease their dietary fat intake by up to twenty percent, and “can live up to seven years longer with frequent positive emotions.”
Giving to Others Benefits Your Health by Joyce Davis outlines how health experts say charity offers a “helper’s high” of endorphins that bring physical changes to the body, reduce physical pain, hostility and stress while spiking energy and exhilaration. In Volunteering Helps Keep Seniors Healthy, Ruth Long suggests “those [seniors] who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer.”
It is being suggested that travel is a useful way to get away from it all in order to reduce stress even temporarily, and there certainly are places where there is qualitative atmosphere to experience, such as this description in the Smithsonian magazine, of a traveler’s trip to the floor of Maui’s Haleakala Crater: “If you spend any time at all inside Haleakala, you will be overcome by what Mark Twain called its ‘healing solitudes.’ It induces tranquility and encourages reflection.”
In Soldiers at War Turn to Gardens for Peace of Mind by Dean Fosdick, he outlines “the long history of soldiers growing plants in the extreme conditions of a war zone. ‘Trench Gardens’ produced needed food as well as healing diversion for soldiers mired in the muck on both sides of the Western Front in World War I. American prisoners of war cultivated ‘barbed wire gardens’ to augment starvation rations and provide some mental escape during World War II. Most recently, such ‘defiant gardens’ have cropped up at isolated combat outposts in Iraq and Afghanistan, much as they did around GI Quonset huts in the Vietnam of four decades ago”—and goes on to quote Kenneth Helphand, a professor of landscape architecture who described such gardens as focusing hope, life, home, work and beauty in the midst of extreme conditions where death is all around. And at the Morikami Museum in Delray Beach, Florida, there are newly created Japanese Gardens designed by Hoichi Kurisu who says his primary goal was “to make people feel peaceful, forever calm, energized” and that his intention was that anyone “strolling through the pine forest or bamboo grove would find a refuge where it is possible to lay aside the chaos of a troubled world.”
I recently noted a label on the inside of a man’s jacket that said, “Tommy Bahama can help you escape the troubles of the modern world to a place that’s relaxed and worry free…where life is one long weekend.” So even the clothing industry is capitalizing on our stressed world! It is good to see people becoming aware that changes in lifestyle and approaches to living are needed. We can rightly utilize many of the foregoing suggestions and might develop our own ways of mitigating impinging oddities. I find it helpful to think of a beautiful image or sound before sleep—and exercise, doing something creative, or giving an attunement is useful. A cousin held a very responsible job for years in Bangkok where he engineered and oversaw the implementation of massive designs for moving water inland so that the city would not continue to sink. At his recent memorial service, his son spoke of his favorite memory of his father. When undue pressure developed, John would suddenly say, “Let’s go fishing!” and they would do just that.
The media is not always helpful in the way news is conveyed, often being fear mongers by hyping up stories about airport security, food safety, bullying in schools, the latest terrorist threat, and the like. One columnist recently said, “Fear sells. If it bleeds, it leads.” Half mute and mute are great buttons! Without completely “tuning out” and “turning off,” we can diffuse the content in order to remain peripherally aware of what we might need to have in consciousness for our service. This can also be done with creepy situations and disturbing vibrational factors.
However, much more needs to develop at other levels regarding handling the skewed currents that “the wackos” bring to us as we live in the midst of the world’s fried nervous system. What is needed is: the presence of conscious focus that functions as a vanguard for the Whole. Some of the best advice ever given me (a fleeting comment from Alan many years ago) is: “Stay in your own substance.” With increasing intensity in the world, many people are becoming pincushions, allowing themselves to be vibrationally stabbed by specific things that happen, or randomly punctured by floating feeling currents that drift around in the mass consciousness. Once a deep knowing of what one’s own substance is, is firmly established, then a distinct “place” appears out of which to operate.
Our “own substance” focuses through the nature of our outer Being—its unique physical, mental and emotional shape and the way these capacities allow us to register on Earth—and through the nature of our inner Being with its unique pathway of attunement with the Lord.
There are interesting ways to come to really know our “own substance,” thereby opening the way for vanguard function. A central one is to always keep oil in our personal lamp (regardless of many things that want or even scream for our attention, including the heebie-jeebies), so that there is always a bank account of pneumaplasm available for spending on the greater works as they come along. Who wants to be out of gas when such opportunities appear—sometimes in a moment “when ye think not”! Direct radiation and service should be provided dominantly to what is on one’s individual “band”—and not to any and everything. It is important to not let any old vibratory pattern mix with one’s own—rather, to discern those invisible boundaries and then perceive the specific jobs that really are relevant to one’s Being.
Another vanguard function is developing the conscious ability to generate ahead of form—being able to “be with” what is yet to manifest. This requires attentiveness to the heaven—a wonderful way to engage with a level above the “wackos” in the world! This ability emerges largely out of our “own substance” that is the nature of our inner Being and how we sustain attunement with the Lord. Developing the skill to “be with” requires quietness—an internal space that must be found above the world’s audible and vibrational screeching. A newly named syndrome is neophilia , defined as: the need to have the latest (usually tech gadgets), and such people are neophiles. Everything has its use, but it is human nature to do anything to avoid quiet!
In TIME’s February 6 issue, Dr. Oz speaks of the Charms of the Quiet Child and says: “The accomplishment of deep thinkers, great poets, world-changing scientists stack up quite nicely against those of Oscar winners and Olympians, even if there’s not the same temperamental sizzle to go along with them….But the fact is, they, like thousands of history’s other greats, might never have achieved the things they did without their quiet focus.” There are many dimensions to the story of David and Goliath. Perhaps his relatively quiet life caring for sheep gave space for generating much oil, and “being with” what was coming around the corner—so when the crucial moment came, he “had it” to do the job that then manifested.
A great deal can go on in quietness. The intensification of attunement with the Lord that is possible in such an atmosphere is not just for individual sanctuary out of the general level of buzz. We each have a heavenly “bucket list”—essences of Spirit for which we are uniquely responsible, and also specific things we came to bring into the Earth this time around. Quietness can allow greater awareness of these—after all, we don’t want to miss knowing our full commission! And giving attention to our lists will also help to dispel heebie-jeebies. A few items have been chalked off my heavenly bucket list, but there are still plenty of items to fulfill. J. S. Bach put “S. D. B.” on the top of every composition: “soli Deo gloria—to God alone be glory.” We may sign every act of our lives with that attitude as awareness of the nature of the One who sent us deepens.
Quietness can promote relaxation—not just for personal reconstitution, but so that the lines of force of service unique to each of us can be strengthened, and our personal world given space to come to rest before the initiation of new cycles. Also, the level of perception now needed requires more quiet in which to formulate in the midst of our often scratchy world. And in quietness, strange patterns can be consciously and prayerfully placed upon the internal altar we each have—put there for the Lord’s Spirit to work upon.
So as we live in this amazing era, we along with many others can enjoy gardens, volunteer, give thanks, reduce information overload, “go fishing,” and do whatever else is useful to offer our some-times bombarded psyches what is needed in the moment—all the while developing the vanguard substance needed by the Whole that goes beyond just coping.
As the fire of the Dragon’s breath licks and jabs at humanity, seeking to control the Body and keep it enslaved by inducing fear of heebie-jeebies, creepy-crawlies and “the wackos,” there is another place we can indwell—the Blue of the Flame. It is cool there. Cool heads are needed in this world—those who can live above the inferno that Revelation’s creature tries to inflict. The monstrous animal may appear to come at us with nostrils flared and breathing fire and smoke, or sometimes just flick its tail, and loves to think, “I gotcha!” if it can see that its perverse stimulus got through to someone. The Dragon’s fire kills. God’s fire purifies, strengthens, and causes all things to be made new. We can live in the core of that fire.
I am constantly aware of being on loan to this level of things and living a privileged life beyond all reason, centered in knowing spiritual wealth. To have encountered in this incarnation a spiritual path that provided the opportunity to wake up and become conscious of the real world is an unspeakable gift. We have heard that those to whom much has been given, much is expected. As we singers filed out through the audience to a triumphant organ fanfare after our Christmas choral performance, I observed many listeners mouthing “Thank you.” The sight of those bright faces has stayed with me. I see them now. Their inaudible expression can symbolize many on Earth who thank those who generate vanguard substance for them, and for the Body. Let us not let anyone down!
I know we all wish the Olympic Summer Games about to begin, to be an enjoyable and safe world event. The Greek lyric poet, Pindar, immortalized the original Games twenty-five centuries ago this way:
Whirling the stone disk in his hand, Nikeus spun a length beyond all others,
and his fellowship burst into uproar of acclamation.
Into that evening the winsome light of a moon, full blown, burned on.
And every precinct in that glad celebration was filled with song.
Those who can now “spin a length beyond all others” spiritually speaking, unafraid to lead, are largely unconsciously known but nevertheless felt by the Body.