The embodied path on Earth is a little more difficult than other paths. We would like you to understand why. When a human being is formed, when a soul resides in a body, some very important things happen. There becomes an identification at many different levels: an identification with the body and its sensations of both pleasure and pain, an identification with being embodied and even human, and an identification with other embodied spirits who take the form of human. In the same way that a dog knows that she is a dog, and that other dogs are dogs, so does a spirit that inhabits a human body come to know and think of itself as human and know others of the same species as human. There are some very basic ways in which embodiment takes place. |
Some people sit very comfortably in their skin and in being human, and other people do not. We would even say that the majority of spirits inhabiting human form have no question about it. They are so completely identified with being human, and with being human among humans, and physical, that some of them have no perception that there is any other reality whatsoever.
Juliette says that some spirits are more ambivalent about coming to Earth than others. Some spirits do not want to leave what we will call “Spirit Home” to come to Earth. There is no mandatory requirement in Heaven that spirits come to Earth. There are several reasons that a soul chooses to come to Earth. Some souls see other souls leave and go to Earth, and they want to be with them. Others recognize that their karma or destiny lies in Earth, or to put it more precisely, they realize that they have unfinished business, and that it’s unfinished business that can only be finished through incarnating, because it’s unfinished business with having incarnated. In other words, sometimes souls realize after a series of incarnations that they don’t really want to incarnate anymore. But usually, not always, if they choose to take a respite from the earth plane at that point, it cannot be permanent because they haven’t finished their journey; it’s an interrupted voyage; and they need to return to finish their voyage on earth so that they can return to their “Spirit Home” permanently.
Juliette says that one of the ways to make it easier to be on earth is to remember and know that we angels, or guides (whatever you want to call us) love you very, very deeply and constantly. When we say “know,” we don’t mean know as a concept in your head but as a gut level knowing, as a receiving. Feel our devotion towards you. Feel how we, who still reside in “Spirit Home” are sending you so much love and so much care, and that the continuity of contact with the Spirit Home is never broken. You may feel lost in the earth plane sometimes, but the contact is never broken. That lifeline, soulline or heartline can help, can’t it? The other thing we have said repeatedly, is to find the beauty in life. That’s actually one of the tasks. That is one of the things that the Sufi Attar meant when he said, “At every step of the road, gratitude is necessary.” What he meant was, that if you are repelled by life or focusing on the negative, you are ungrateful at that moment. And ingratitude bogs you down on the road. You don’t get farther that way. And by seeing the beauty of the inhabited realm (of the physical earth plane), it changes your attitude to one that is much more open in general, and certainly more open to God. When you are hating and cursing life, the doors slam shut--not by God (that can never happen) but by you. And when instead you see the beauty of a rose, or the care in another human being’s or a puppy’s eyes, or the sound of the birds, or of music, or opening your heart (or perhaps especially opening your heart) to love those around you, to love life opens door after door after door.
The task is to open your heart to everyone and everything, and especially the things that are most difficult to open your heart to. That is why the Twelfth Ray, or the Christ Ray, or the Violet Ray, has been called the Path of Compassion.
We are not saying that you are wrong or bad to close. Human beings close. When Hank had a cold, he closed down some. When someone hurts your feelings, you close down a bit. When life becomes overwhelming, you close down. When you have a physical accident, you may close down. When shocks hit the system, you may close down. It’s not unnatural. It’s like inhaling and then exhaling, but remember to exhale.
The truth is, the process of closing and then opening again is a sacred one. God knows, and so do you, that you will close thousands of times, or move towards closing at the very least. Closing is also not black or white, there are degrees of it. If someone has a small insult, they may close a little bit. Stephen Levine refers to it as tight belly, tightening the belly. We don’t think it’s just the belly. If someone has a harder shock, physical or emotional, they may close more. One of the teachers that Hank heard once said that closing is a way to vegetate, to let the vegetative self heal itself.
Whatever the degree of closing, it is important to recognize that you are closed, but not to rush to open. That may not be natural or appropriate. To respect the need to close or contract. And to disengage, if necessary, during the closing from some of your tasks or responsibilities, if that’s appropriate, and give yourself whatever you need to restore. Then the opening can happen. It’s ironic because the truth is that the real attention needs to be on how you close, not on how you open. What we mean is to be open about closing, to neither have judgments about it, nor blindness nor denial, nor anger, nor despair.
Closing can bring you closer to yourself, but it doesn’t necessarily do so. For many people it doesn’t do that at all. For instance, someone gets a bad cold and they go numb. They may even take a lot of medication. Their beingness may have closed for a while, but they do not meet themselves at a deeper level. They may simply be “checking out,” taking time to go out of gear, from being “in gear.” Closing is designed to clear some channels and to get the person to break stride with their life, and then to re-enter it differently. Closings lead to re-openings, but the act of closing itself may or may not itself feel like or immediately be an opening. It is very common in your society to use the word “closed” as a pejorative. “He’s a very closed person.” “She’s closed her door to me.”
As you know, the severity of closing can vary tremendously. If someone is damaged enough, it can take a very long time to reopen. That can be true of survivors of assault. Closing is as natural as opening. By natural we do not mean that we applaud those who victimize other people and force them to close down, at all. We are simply saying that as an embodied being there will be closings and openings in your lives, some minor, some major. Sometimes you will close your heart to another human being.
Notice that closings are not necessarily panoramic. For instance, you might feel closed to one person and open to other people. This illustrates that you can be closed in some place and open in others.
The second principle is that if you are really closed in one place, it does prevent the openness in all the other places from being quite as open. It is a “lead weight.” It does hold you down.
We need to make a distinction between closing, and getting stuck there. Let’s say that something happens to you and then you close, and then you open, and the process is organic. And that process, like the bellows of a fire or the breath of the lungs, just happens. In that case, evolution can occur. When someone closes and get stuck closed, whether it is one particular area, like being closed off in relationship to another person, or whether it is towards life in general, that stuck place and stuckness is different from just being closed. It is stuckness.
The process is one of opening and closing because they are not frozen states. You are not simply open, you are not simply closed. You are either in the process of opening or you are in the process of closing. It is important to not make those wrong. You can’t always be opening. Sometimes you need to be closing. You can’t always be closing. You need to be opening.
If someone gets stuck closed, if someone gets stuck open, different dis-eases occur. Someone who is stuck open can end up finding themselves battered by life, by people. Things are too intense. They don’t know how to close, or to be closing. The ultimate example of that is the person who has no boundaries, and everything is open and that person can’t sort through it. They are too open.
If a person who is stuck allows the closing or the opening to take place more, a shift will happen. It is when you are stuck at a particular place that creates the problem. It is the immobility that is the problem.
The key to recognizing when you are stuck, and moving off stuckness, is self awareness, of course. It is vital for people to stay in touch with themselves. We call that “opening the field of awareness.” This is one of the purposes of meditation.
First, open yourself to everything going on in your body. Open your awareness to everything going on in your body. If there are blocks there, you need to maintain awareness on the blocks before you proceed. The maintenance of awareness, the continuing to open awareness of a place in your body that is blocked can unblock that part of your body. Awareness itself will usually do the job, unless the trauma is very severe in which case it will do part of the job, meaning it will continue the job.
You do the same thing emotionally. You go into your emotional body, which many people will find centered in the heart. You open your awareness and have your awareness open throughout the emotional body, and again you may find feelings coming up. Open to them. Again, if the feelings can move through quickly, then the opening to them will discharge them completely. If they cannot, then you will have done some of the job and you can return to it the next time, and the next time.
Then you open your awareness to your mind. You open your awareness to all the thoughts and attitudes and stances that you have taken. You open your awareness to it. If you can see places where your mind is stuck, where your attitude is stuck or closed, closed in the way we mean, stopped from opening or closing--stopped at one point, stuck. And simply by opening your awareness, it softens it.
Then you can open your awareness to your life, meaning everything outside your body. You can open your awareness, in other words, to what we would call your place in life.
You open your awareness to your personal life. That doesn’t include just other people. It includes eating, sleeping, in other words, activities in your home, and it includes your relationship to your home--relationship to partners, children, housemates, close friends, pets. You open your awareness to that, and you sit with that for a while. Where am I in my personal life, in my personal relationships, in my personal habits? That can be very valuable and dissolve stuck places. You may have to clean the messes externally, but this will help.
Then you do it in your public life, your life of service, of career. You look and you say, “Where am I in my public life?” You experience your attitudes towards your work, your relationship to people you work with. When you open your awareness in your public life, you become aware to the degree to which you are giving yourself away. You become aware of the degree to which you are on-call. You become aware of the relationship to your soul of that degree. By that we mean, are you on call too much or too little? You also become aware of all your concepts about career, all your blocks.
When you have done those five steps--body, heart, mind, personal life, public life--then, and only then, should you do step number six: Your relationship to God.
You open your awareness to your relationship to God. That might seem absolutely ambiguous or confusing to some people. We categorically do not mean your attitudes toward God. That would be for the awareness of mind practice. This is not about your feelings towards God. This is about God’s presence. You simply open your awareness to God’s presence, to the degree that you can. It has to be absolutely direct. Juliette says, “Simply go deep within your own beingness with the knowledge that God is present and extend that awareness, and experience that Presence to the degree that you can, which in the beginning may be very little, and gradually grow. It is a "muscle" (i.e. ability) very worth developing, exercising. The attempt to be in God’s presence will get you there in time." It's the attempt to experience God’s presence, which already exists whether you call it unity or totality, oneness, wholeness, or God.
We are not saying that someone should try to do all six steps everytime they do this practice. Sometimes doing the first three which make a nice chunk is just fine. Adding steps four and five, personal and public life, is also a fine addition. We would suggest that people do the first three steps before they go on to the personal and public life. It doesn’t matter what order you do the first three steps, meaning body, heart and mind or mind heart and body. Within their group they are not sequential. And then when you are in steps four and five, the private life or public life, again it doesn’t matter in which order they are experienced. It is just that the first chunk should be done before the second chunk because it is a clearing, and it is good to have the first three cleared before you go to four and five, and it certainly is good to have the first five cleared before you even attempt six, simply because six is the most difficult. It requires the most clarity.
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