Thought I was going to title each post by first indicating what day it was, but I think I am behind on my days and I don’t know if I can post everyday, so I am dropping that.
Had a great conversation with my friend Shelley last night. She asked me why I had elected not to bring money with me on the trip. I squirmed a bit when answering – basically I felt that I had been not so much instructed by the spirits but invited by them to enter into a new type of relationship with the Divine, based on the teachings of Jesus and a host of other spiritual teachers. The work of Daniel Suelo has been a huge inspiration to me in this regard.
“The spirits tell me time and time again that the things I need will come to me,” I said to her. “They’ve said that everything I need will be provided by the Father, provided that I relax. I keep hearing that over and over. ‘Relax. Be at peace with yourself.’ I want to know if they are telling the truth, and the only way to know that is to do it.”
“I understand,” she said. “It’s an experiment.”
“Yeah,” I said, smiling. “I guess it is.”
Shelley said that she felt what I was doing brings up interesting issues about the nature of giving, and what it means to have to ask someone for help. It’s not easy being vulnerable, and asking for help can be hard. I confessed to her that I sometimes felt guilty about accepting her hospitality, because I didn’t like taking help from anybody. I like to be the person who is showering people with hospitality, gifts and aid – and I haven’t been able to really do that lately. At least, I’ve believed that I haven’t been in a position to really help others. But I suppose that’s all about perspective.
In any case, Shelley said it made her happy to help me out, and she knew that if the situation was reversed, and she was the one on a pilgrimage, I would help her, and that ultimately what you give, you receive.
She also told me that there are four things she’s fairly confident are essential to living a good life.
1. Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you.
2. Be kind. (we actually had an interesting discussion about how “kindness” doesn’t equal “meekness”, and that sometimes, in certain situations, the most “kind” thing to do is to let someone know that they’re being a dick).
3. Gratitude. (I forget this one constantly)
The Vulnerability one stuck with me for a while. I realized that unless you’re vulnerable, you can’t feel anything, and if you can’t feel anything, you can’t respond appropriately to other people and your environment, which will pretty much leave you ineffective and miserable most of the time. It’s only by being willing to feel shit and allow ourselves to be hurt that we can also access the hidden reserves of strength and love within us.
The next day, I saw my friend Carl, a friend of mine who I went to college with. He’s a working actor, and I haven’t seen him in years. We hung out in Dolores Park (no coconut-and-rum guy this time) and talked about spirituality, plant shamanism, what it feels like to watch ourselves grow older and see our friends get married, what it means to be keep one’s childlike innocence, and the challenges of trying to earn one’s living as an artist.
It was great seeing him, and he gave me his full support re: my journey. Before we parted ways, he gave me his lucky bracelet, saying I might need it. I was really touched.
It’s really meant a lot these past few days to share all of what I’ve been going through with friends, receiving challenging feedback as well as support. It’s helped to bolster my courage.
I feel like San Francisco was a brief resting hub for me – a way station. But tomorrow it will be time to leave. I was fortunate to be able to stay here as long as I have, but I know that the longer I stay, the harder it will be for me to go. And I need to go.
I just wish I could see the path. But I can’t. It’s totally dark. I don’t know where it leads.
While going for a walk in Vegas a few weeks back, I asked the spirits what was the proper mental attitude to take towards this journey. The minute I asked, I saw two birds fly past me, one right on the tail of the other, following it at breakneck speed. They almost looked like one bird with four wings – that’s how close they were.
A while later, I had a dream that I was driving a truck. The windows were tinted and I couldn’t see where I was going at all. But I was still driving. And I wasn’t hitting anything. I didn’t think it could last though. “Any minute now,” I told myself. “Any minute I am going to hit something!”
But I don’t. I’m just driving along, and everything is fine.
Finally, I can’t take it anymore. I stick out my head to get a look at the road. And all of a sudden there are twists and turns, and giant rocks in my way. I’m swerving left and right, trying to avoid flying off the road, trying not to hit anything. I don’t understand how I could have driven the truck for as long as I did, totally blind, and not had an accident already.
Finally the truck dissolved around me and became like sand. Then little holes appeared in the ground and rattlesnakes came out, hissing and rattling their tales. Ahead of me, I could see a church, and behind me was the remains of the truck. I knew I only had time to head in one direction. I either had to make for the church or try to rebuild the truck…
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:24-27)
So the truck (the vehicle of travel) was my “house.” And it was strong as a rock as long as long as I couldn’t see where I was going. But the minute I gave in to fear and tried to see the obstacles ahead so that I could respond to them, the truck fell apart and became sand.
It’s totally counter-intuitive. When you’re driving a truck (like, a REAL truck and not a dream truck), you need to see where the fuck you’re going or you will have an accident. It’s irrational to think that by not seeing the path, you have a better chance of making it to your destination.
So according to Jesus, what’s one of the ways to make sure that your house (or truck) is founded on rock?
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:25-34)
This is not rational. It just isn’t.
This has been the main reason that my fear has been so frustrating. There is no ready antidote to it. If I was afraid of someone breaking into my house, I’d buy a lock. If I was afraid of getting sick, I’d get health insurance. If it was a rational problem, I could take rational steps to mitigate my fears and maybe even push them out of my mind.
But there’s nothing rational about trusting in a Power(s) that you can’t see. That’s why it involves a leap of faith.
Well…it’s brought me this far. It’s shown me this much…maybe it’ll be okay.
But to let go like that. To really surrender to the Force. To let it lead you where It will…
I don’t know why I’m agonizing over this. What am I going to do? Give up?
In spite of all my wanderings and escape attempts, I always end up back here, in this same place, time and time again.
All roads lead me to the One Road.
The Road that leads to the Axis Mundi.
If I run now, I’m just going to find myself facing it again. Might as well get it over with now. There’s some big astrological event currently happening called the Cardinal Grand Cross, and it’s supposed to reach its apex tomorrow, April 23rd. According to astrologists, it’s a time for big, dramatic changes. This is what Sarah Varcas has to say about it:
A Grand Cross is a rare astrological event and augurs a time of incredible energy and potential. It is both destructive and creative: it destroys to clear a path for the new to be born. A Grand Cross always corresponds to a specific astrological quality and this is a Cardinal Cross, meaning that its energy is that of new beginnings. It is here not to preserve what exists or to bridge the gap between the present and the future. No, it is here to manifest the future right now, leaving nothing of the old in its wake.
At times it can be a brutal energy which we experience as a lightening strike in our lives setting fire to everything that we held dear. There is violence in this configuration, but it is the violence of birth, the battle for life, the pains that augur a whole new beginning. The destructive quality of this cross is not destruction for suffering’s sake but for liberation’s. The more we can trust this to be true the better able we will be to stand firm in the face of its mighty power and allow it to act within our lives as it must.
In another post, Varcas has this to say:
This time will not return to us. There will be others in due course, of a different order and resonance, to help us move through the most intransigent aspects of our psyches, but this particular opportunity is a rare and valuable one. If we can open ourselves to its energy and resolve to allow change to be what is necessary and not what we ordain it to be, we may discover that awakening is more powerful than we ever conceived, than we could ever conceive. That it introduces a whole new order of being which isn’t about happiness, personal satisfaction or living the life we want. Instead awakening is revealed to us now as the very essence of the incoming Aquarian age which demands that we live in a state of radical trust, a recognition that if we can dream it, it is too small for these times and if we want it with all our heart then our heart yet needs to expand beyond it.
Sounds like as good a time as any to switch off my targeting computer.