Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Illusion of Pain: Exploring Consciousness Within

I was thinking a lot over the holidays having a lot of time to just relax and do absolutely nothing (which is rare for me).  I was thinking specifically about emotional pain.  Having a strong interest in helping others understand and come to terms with pain, I was toying with an idea.  I’ve written in my books about the concept of malware.  Malware as I’ve used it is very much like a computer virus that get’s in and infiltrates your computer’s operating system.  I see pain not at all differently.  It becomes like an emotional virus that infiltrates and infects our mental human operating system.  Once resident (and there is something resident in all of us), it results in pain deep within us that causes our perspectives to be jaded, skewed and well, often, completely inaccurate.  It causes us to lose our ability to see the truth in our human interactions.  There is much we can do once we realize that we have something within us that needs our attention.  We can learn to find out what it is, understand it and then learn to see things differently thus minimizing the effect of the “malware.” 

A interesting thought I had was whether pain ever truly healed or not.  I mean, it seems that once we have been emotionally wounded, those wounds never seem to go away. At least not entirely (if they did, how come we keep being triggered?). We go through our lives reacting, wincing, transferring and projecting the pain that we’ve suffered to and through others as we interact with each other. I think malware stems from beliefs we have created around emotional wounds. For some, the malware is mostly benign and so there is no real or dramatic harm done. But for others, this malware becomes an epic roadblock to our ability to have and maintain healthy human relationships.  What do we do then?  Is there no hope?  Is there no cure?  I think that the pain caused by malware (and that term should be read as a hidden belief held with a pain charged memory) cannot ever be healed.  Yes.  You read that right.  Pain suffered emotionally cannot be healed.  It remains resident like the RAM resident programs in your computer’s operating system (e.g., programs that take up memory continually while your computer is running – draining and dragging on your computer’s performance).  This malware in the human mental operating system does the same thing.  It runs in the background taking up precious energy, clouding our memories, our vision and our experience and there it remains, mostly undetected by us consciously.  Oh, others may see it and even draw it to our attention but in so doing, it just results in poking the wound causing us to react.

I have proposed that pain cannot be healed.  That once you have formed a belief with an emotionally charged memory, the pain is there and remains forever resident in our mental operating system.  Well, that is until you can find the precise belief that is at the true core of the malware and seek to understand it.  Now, that understanding part is like climbing Mount Everest and just like climbing said mountain, you’ll need a guide.  You truly need someone to help you navigate unfamiliar terrain, to help guide you around the cervices, canyons and steep slippery slopes.  It isn’t easy.  But, once you have engaged in the climb and endeavored to find and root out those beliefs that formed emotionally charged memories that resulted in malware running in the background of your conscious existence, you can begin to understand.  Once you come to understand the belief at the core of the pain, you don’t really heal it or make it go away but you come to understand it.  Once you come to understand it, you start removing the energetic charge of emotion.  With the highest level of understanding possible, you could completely transform the malware through understanding and then the whole belief and its perceived emotional harm can be transformed as if it where a fog being dissipated by the sun’s light.  We don’t remove it completely in this regard but we understand it.  Through awareness, we can understand our own behavior and eliminate reactions to certain situations that trigger the original pain from the belief.  Once you can get to this plateau, you can walk a little taller, with more confidence and less of the malware filters your experiences.  You learn to react differently.

Now, how do you know if you have something infecting your human mental operating system?  There are many ways to tell.  What are you afraid of?  What causes you the most pain?  What do you dislike the most in others?  What do you dislike in yourself?  What have been the sticking points in current or past relationships?  Did you know that you are so amazing that you will actually attract to you the very specific kinds of people you need to interact with that will help bring the original belief to light?  Did you know this isn’t limited to personal relationships and that it can happen on the job, during shopping trips or even while driving?  We even invite certain situations to us that will brush up against that belief and cause us to wince a little bit not as punishment but as a reminder that something is resident in the psyche that maybe shouldn’t be.  If you can find it, and I do not by any stretch of the imagination mean to suggest that it is a simple and easy process, but you can dissipate the malware through understanding.  When you can do this, your perceptions and perspectives are automatically transformed and your old behaviors and desires for interactions are also transformed bringing you new and hopefully healthier experiences.

I think that we run into these situations on purpose.  I think it is part of our life or lesson plan to take on certain things to over come.  That doesn’t mean we have to stay stuck in the class.  See my article on A Class in Life for some additional food for thought.  I believe that we were not put here to suffer for our sins (or past beliefs that formed emotionally charged painful memories).  I believe that we were put here to learn and transform the things we hold within our egoic selves or little “c” consciousness that prevent us from knowing fully the truth about us.  Once you can find a way to dig deep beneath the layers of the accumulated beliefs that have truly caused you nothing but pain and a compromised human mental operating system, you can live a more meaningful life with a sense of greater well-being.  Anything is possible when you make up your beautiful mind and take action.  As the Tao Te Ching says, even a 1,000-mile journey begins with a single step.  So too, does the journey of healing begin.  Although healing is a funny word, when you get to the true essence of it, healing isn’t really about finding an emotional wound and treating it.  It is removing the idea of something you think exists through understanding the truth from a 360-degree perspective. When you can get there, all illusions fall away.  Pain never just heals on its own with time.  It is a filter we carry with us to protect certain wounds we believe that we have accumulated.  And, well, we do have them as long as we choose to run certain programs (read:  View certain experiences in a specific way to protect yourself from pain).  Sometimes just acknowledging something exists and going through the pain helps you to release it.  However, when you can come to a state of true understanding, the original wound in the mind is eliminated through the transformation by understanding it.  The pain is gone, we heal and learn to live with our experience as well as learn to integrate the emotions and all of the reinforcements of it that we’ve carried all of these years.  That does take time but it is worth it to explore I think.  A life lived in emotional pain is a tough life to live.  If you find yourself there mentally, physically or spiritually, please do seek out the right kind of assistance for yourself.  You have so many options from self-help books, counselors in psychology, metaphysics or spiritual…all can be of assistance if you want it.

My theory is just that, a theory.  I write about this often and have touched on these subjects in a number of my books written specifically to bring light to these concepts.  ChangingPerspectives:  The Journey is theDestination, ExpandingHorizons:  Growth and Beyond, So, It’s Over.  Now What?, Awakening from the Dream and Solving for X all carry this theme as does my online training course, Exploring the Conscious Self (see Training tab).  We all carry what we carry for very good reasons and through the experience of carrying wounds, we learn.  This means that an emotional wound is not a death sentence but an opportunity or challenge, if you are to take up the challenge you actually presented for yourself to overcome.  That is the metaphysical or spiritual twist to all of this, I suppose.  As a metaphysical practitioner, I cannot help but look to all sources for understanding.  Through being resourceful and tenacious, I find there is nothing I cannot overcome. The only failure one can ever truly achieve is never trying.  But even in that, we have a choice.  We can endeavor to grow with intention or continue to unconsciously.  Life truly is amazing.  With my theory, I have intended to paint a picture of understanding because I have discovered that this simple act of understanding or being open to understanding or seeking understanding has become the key that has unlocked so very many doors for me.  I hope understanding opens doors for you as well.

As you go into the New Year, I challenge you to consider “understanding” in all that you do.  I challenge you to become very curious about your lives and the multiple meanings every single interaction and event holds.  Enjoy your time here in every way that you possibly can.  I wish you great blessings of love, light and understanding.

© 2014, J.L. Harter (photo and words)

Rev. J.L. Harter, PhD, M.Msc., B.Msc., Author, Blogger, Teacher,  Spiritual Counselor and Founder/Editor of the JMCC.  See Bio section for more information.

Allowing the Forces to Work

My friend Shonda*, at one time, was committed to journaling, and meditating. Shonda tells me she has of late experienced a strong sense of negative feelings such as misplaced anger as well as the inability to transform negative energy into positive energy. She mentioned feeling “out of balance.” This was a sign that Shonda needed to reconnect with her Higher Self.
Lately, Shonda has gone about her day making several failed attempts at dealing with mainstream earthlings (e.g., banking, shopping, other trans-actions, and inter-actions). Shonda puts off communing with Spirit Energy resulting in the progressive degeneration of poise, and self-confidence.
My friend denies ever experiencing such intense, negative erratic cogency. For example although Shonda is an affable woman she seems to have lost her inside compass, putting it another way Shonda is off center, attracting into her sphere more dis-ease.
Shonda lives in a New York City, west side apartment and states hearing loud noises coming from her neighbor’s apartment; she actually went to her neighbor’s door expressing concern as to whether or not her neighbor was safe as the noises did seem as though they could be coming from the neighbor’s apartment. Shonda felt relieved by her neighbor’s reports that this was not the case.
The intermittent unexplained noises, she assured me, are not imagined to include irritability. Where was this energy coming from? Although Shonda finds solace engaging in a Full Moon Ritual she reports being “too busy” to be active in the ceremony this month. Shonda was usually observed journaling, praying, burning oil or incense, affirmations, burning candles as part of her daily sacred grooming process for many years. When I inquired about her spiritual grooming regiment Shonda admitted that it had not been a priority for quite some time. Based upon everything Shonda was describing it seemed as though she was experiencing spiritual depletion.
Simply put spiritual depletion is when we feel despondent, alone, agitated, and a disconnection from self. This happens as a result of failure to seek, obtain and maintain on some level a connection with our Higher Self or a Power or Force which we feel is Greater than ourselves. This disconnection leaves us nothing to feed from, nothing to sooth as a balm for our soul. Therefore a lack of spiritual sustenance results in spiritual depletion of which Shonda was experiencing. Shonda’s soul was in S.O.S. mode crying out for help. She began to experience what she called “strong instinctual feelings” accompanied by thoughts of her maternal aboriginal Cherokee roots. 

The Evocation, Intercession, Invocation Process

During Shonda’s childhood and teen years her mother made every attempt and used every opportunity to ensure Shonda was aware of her aboriginal Cherokee roots to include the practicing of rituals and ceremonies. Shonda grew up in a Cherokee matrilineal kinship system. In a matrilineal kinship system, a person is related only to people on their mother’s side. Her relatives are those who can be traced through a woman.
“Early Cherokee culture the family unit was traced through the wives and not the husbands. The major members in each family were the mothers, aunts, grandmothers, brothers, and uncles, not fathers.” (Cited source )
Shonda stated that, “Lately, there seems to be a negative force so strong there is no way to escape it.” Shonda may have avoided such an uncomfortable experience had she continued her daily ritual of sacred spiritual grooming.
The invitation from her ancestral roots became progressively stronger as she hesitated engaging in the invocation or summoning process. I wondered just how far her ancestors traveled to reach my friend. I reflected upon what was or is the reason for her predecessors’ journey? What, if at all, is their message to her? If this is the case there is a lot to be said about the help Shonda can receive, the messages she can obtain if she is open and receptive. The availability of assistance was accessible and therefore not the issue, The Force(s) required her permission to intercede. The Greater Power(s), call it whatever we want, came to help Shonda in her time of need.
Shonda instinctively gravitated towards initiating the practices of her aboriginal Cherokee roots. She allowed me to be part of a cleansing ritual.

White Sage and Lemongrass Oil
Shondra engaged in what she termed as “smudging.” She stated that, “The intention is to drive out bad influences.” I’d heard of smudging but now I was allowed the privilege of participating in the ritual. She lit aflame two small white sage leaves, no more than two inches long, extinguished the fire, fanning the smoke by using a feather she began to smudge herself from head to toe very slowly, ensuring the heart/chest area was smudged. She continued slowly smudging the floors, slowly moving upwards to the ceiling as far as she could reach. Room to room, doorways, thresholds, windows, closets and myself again. When Shondra completed the ritual she extinguished the sage smoke via placing the remnants of the two small leaves into a small bowl of sand.
Afterwards we journaled what may have been received messages. There seemed to be a sense of release, and calmness about Shondra. I was happy for her as well as myself.

The Lemongrass
I asked her what the significance of Lemongrass was within this ritual. She responded with, “For me it helps to improve digestive problems, detoxifies my entire system, chase away sluggishness, stimulates the central nervous system, to develop a sense of self-esteem, confidence, hope, mental strength, and it uplifts spirits and fights depression.” She thusly placed a drop in the palm of her hand, rubbed her hands together then inhaled softly for 30 seconds, the scent in her hands.

She began to talk about envisioning successes with her career goals, personal life, a sense of security and wellbeing. Shonda made a decision to get out of her way, allowed a connection with Higher Forces, resulting in tranquility. In witnessing her transformation it was conclusive for me that her faith in the ritual ceremony, and connection to her matrilineal kinship ancestral roots, reestablished Shondra's connection with her Higher Self.

*Real name changed for reasons of personal privacy.

© 2014 Rev. Barbara Williams, M.Msc.


Rev. Barbara Williams provides services in the areas of premarital counseling, facilitating addiction workshops aimed at the progressive benefits of holistic counseling, officiating of weddings or civil ceremonies, christenings, baptism’s, baby naming interpretations, home blessings, transitional or home going ceremonies also known as funeral services and the reading of the Tarot. Rev. Barbara Williams currently resides in Poughkeepsie, New York. See the Bio section for more information.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Class in Life

Consider something way far outside of the lines for a moment.  Clear your mind of all preconceived notions, perceptions and beliefs.  Go back into the imaginary part of your being like that of childhood where imagination was plentiful and so much fun.  Imagine a moment; a time before this life.  Imagine that lives were like a catalog of classes that you wished to take to learn.  So, you visit the grand library in a crystal city far far away outside of time and space and you have your guidance counselors with you knowing your history, the levels of the learning you have achieved so far.  Imagine vast catalogs of potential life classes that you could choose to take.  Imagine selecting one and studying it, spending time contemplating your spirit and your soul and where it needs strength or more experience.  Imagine now selecting a life plan that presents you with all sorts of possibilities to support the life lesson (or class) you wished to choose for incarnation in this realm.

You carefully consider and discuss with your guides the life you have chosen.  You converse with your soul family and decide upon a most opportune course of study in the realm of Earth in this Third-Dimensional existence.  You prepare for the life as you would a college course.  You brush up on the knowledge you’ll need to take with you.  You might study a bit of some of the similar courses you’ve taken (e.g., other lives) that call to you in full remembrance the other lives in which you have previously learned things that might help you in the next class like taking and completing all lower level math classes before ascending into algebra, calculus and then trig.  You brush up and ready yourself to incarnate here on Earth in this dimension through concentrated conscious projection.

The thing about the life or class that you choose is that there must be a premise from which you operate or handicaps of various kinds that will set up for you the most perfect opportunity to truly learn.  Maybe you have to take a life you might from this life consider as difficult as calculus or something like it but although you’ve studied all other forms of math, this time, you don’t get to take your notes or your calculator.  The design of the program you set up with your guides and soul family creates an ample opportunity for you to learn and slowly over time your memories of prior learnings will become reinforced as you live the next life.  Knowing this, you gladly leave those memories behind or the calculator even because you know these things are ingrained within the memories within the archives of your soul.  At the right time and with the right study, the lessons previously learned will represent themselves in new places, faces or times.  So, you come (project your consciousness into Earth) and you grow with a family that helps reinforce the premise or handicap.  I have called this malware but it is not some victimizing thing at all but rather the very thing that helps you learn and reinforce all prior learning when you incarnate.

While projecting your consciousness here in this frame, you remain connected to your spirit back home, your guides and the idea or concept of the lesson plan chosen.  You also carry with you the latent memories within your soul that you can, at the right time, access.  You grow into your life incarnate on Earth and have many experiences that reinforce your learning.  Whatever it is you set out to learn, your life is perfectly designed to bring to you the most opportune events and people to assist you in your learning.  There will be those who share similar lessons or the opposite aspect of what you are learning in terms of other Soul Family who incarnated here with you and together you learn and together you grow.  You continue in this fashion until your spirit has gained all of the knowledge you wished and then it begins to fade its projection in the Third-Dimensional reality.  The vital essence of the body begins to subside, the fullness of your body’s experience appears to deteriorate and you turn gray and begin aging all in perfect time holding all of the new and beautiful lessons you have had the opportunity to learn.  The final day comes and you let go of this projection here and then with a final breath in the manner of your planning and choosing comes and you allow the projection to be turned off. 

You find yourself now in the space between and eventually make your way back to the place you truly started from, Elsewhere.  When you arrive back home you are greeted by guides and loved ones so happy to see you return and so eager to hear how your journey of life went and you celebrate together the things that you learned and you receive encouragement for your efforts and you debrief from the lesson or class just completed.  You rest and recuperate glad you got through it, grateful for the opportunity to learn and then you sit and take it all in with all the other things that you’ve learned.  If more learning is what you most need, you know the way back to the Grand library and can strike out again and may wish to retake portions of your last lesson because you could have done it better or you may wish to assist one of your soul family members who wanted to retest his or her abilities in form.

In contemplating all of the various levels humanity seems to exist within, this idea, this imaginary idea seems to speak to the reason why there are all manner of experiences here…some good and some bad but what if every class isn’t your favorite class?  Sometimes we must take classes we’re not very good at and look around you, some people are not very good at this thing called life and that is really and truly okay because by the very act of them being present here, they learn and as they learn, they expand the collective of knowledge.  Each spirit that projects here to learn adds to the seasoning of the dish or the color of the artwork that is the Whole of our shared Consciousness.  If we can contemplate this view if even for a moment, we can find greater compassion for others here learning instead of raw toxic judgment.  What do you think?
© 2014 JL Harter (photo Google -

 Rev. J.L. Harter, PhD, M.Msc., B.Msc., Author, Blogger, and Spiritual Counselor, Editor of the JMCC.  See Bio section for more information.